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  #1  
Old 07-22-2014, 02:54 PM
NLR NLR is offline
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Default Oil in Coolant Reservoir 2.3 l

So I'm having troubles with my 4 cyl. 2.3, 02 ranger. I'm reasonably ok with understanding basic mechanics and everything (it needs oil, don't overheat it etc...). But as a woman its not my strong suit, and I figured asking others who know rangers specifically would be my best bet for info. So I had oil in my coolant reservoir a few weeks ago. caught it before the truck overheated. long story short, I had the head milled, had good pressure, new gaskets, flushed the coolant system, all new fluids...seemed great fired right up and drove well and sounded great for the test drive around, it smoked a lot out the exhaust which was unusual as my truck never smoked. The fluid levels seemed ok then. I've been checking the fluid levels periodically and when I got to work there was oil in my coolant reservoir again, it runs great and sounds good so im confused! I'm at a loss as to what to do next, I love my truck, hate not knowing what to do. Any thoughts, or has anyone else had and fixed this issue?

Thanks, NLR
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:50 PM
97rangerstepside 97rangerstepside is offline
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Default Re: Oil in Coolant Reservoir 2.3 l

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Originally Posted by NLR View Post
So I'm having troubles with my 4 cyl. 2.3, 02 ranger. I'm reasonably ok with understanding basic mechanics and everything (it needs oil, don't overheat it etc...). But as a woman its not my strong suit, and I figured asking others who know rangers specifically would be my best bet for info. So I had oil in my coolant reservoir a few weeks ago. caught it before the truck overheated. long story short, I had the head milled, had good pressure, new gaskets, flushed the coolant system, all new fluids...seemed great fired right up and drove well and sounded great for the test drive around, it smoked a lot out the exhaust which was unusual as my truck never smoked. The fluid levels seemed ok then. I've been checking the fluid levels periodically and when I got to work there was oil in my coolant reservoir again, it runs great and sounds good so im confused! I'm at a loss as to what to do next, I love my truck, hate not knowing what to do. Any thoughts, or has anyone else had and fixed this issue?

Thanks, NLR
What color was the smoke from the exhaust? If it is white then it could have blown a head gasket, check the oil to see if it is cream colored, also open the reservoir and pull the cap off the radiator to see if it smells like exhaust.

Another thing it could be is the oil cooler or trans cooler(if your truck is auto) could have gone bad as in some vehicles these are integrated into the radiator.

The best case scenerio could be scum leftover from the old coolant breaking off from the passageways in the block, as coolant degrades it leaves an oil scum in the reservoir and in the block. When was the last time the coolant was flushed before you did it?
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Last edited by 97rangerstepside; 07-22-2014 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:17 PM
NLR NLR is offline
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Default Re: Oil in Coolant Reservoir 2.3 l

Smoke was white, the oil looks new still. Would it be possible/common to blow a brand new head gasket or would that be unusual? I flushed the coolant system before taking it apart and again right after having new gaskets in and everything put back together. I think it would be a lot (1/4 inch) of excess oil for it to be simply old coolant scum unfortunately. My truck is an automatic, how would I know if it as a trans cooler?
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:37 PM
97rangerstepside 97rangerstepside is offline
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Default Re: Oil in Coolant Reservoir 2.3 l

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Originally Posted by NLR View Post
Smoke was white, the oil looks new still. Would it be possible/common to blow a brand new head gasket or would that be unusual? I flushed the coolant system before taking it apart and again right after having new gaskets in and everything put back together. I think it would be a lot (1/4 inch) of excess oil for it to be simply old coolant scum unfortunately. My truck is an automatic, how would I know if it as a trans cooler?
Yes a head that is not machined or improperly machined can cause it to blow a head gasket even if it is new, this happened to my brother with a Subaru. Check your trans fluid level but with white smoke out the exhaust it doesn't sound likely.
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1997 Ranger xlt standard cab stepside. 2.3 5 speed
06 mirrors, white face gauges, explorer limited leather seats, shorty console, UWS Toolbox, proper hitch, proper spray in bed liner.
Build Thread
1981 Honda CB900c fully dressed
2004 Jeep Wrangler 2.4 5speed

Last edited by 97rangerstepside; 07-23-2014 at 05:45 PM.
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2014, 05:44 PM
NLR NLR is offline
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Default Re: Oil in Coolant Reservoir 2.3 l

transmission fluid level looks good.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:40 PM
NLR NLR is offline
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Default Re: Oil in Coolant Reservoir 2.3 l

Ok so here is what happened from the beginning. I went to change the oil and noticed not much drained out. Finished the oil change and a couple days later my oil level was low again. This time I looke in the coolant reservoir and it had engine oil in it. Removed the head and took it to a machine shop. They said it was ok besides being. 009 out of flat so they machined it. Reinstalled with new head gasket and new head bolts. Started right up but still have the same exact problem ( oil in coolant)except now it whitish grey smokes. I dk if the machine shop missed something or could it be the block?
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:37 PM
stateranger stateranger is offline
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Default Re: Oil in Coolant Reservoir 2.3 l

May have had a crack between a oil gallery and water jacket that has progressed to a cylinder.

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I would say you need to get the block checked.
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