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  #1  
Old 08-05-2017, 02:15 PM
2003rangerDude 2003rangerDude is offline
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Default Need some insight into Boiling Coolant hot engine 2003 2.3 4cyl Ford Ranger

Hi guys. I am a tech Noob. Long story short , I was driving to work in my Ranger 100k mls. I sprang a coolant leak and drove for a short distance before noticing my coolant leaked out. I took it to the mech. He replaced and clamped a T shaped piece and hose together on the bottom of the engine near the firewall.

That stopped the leak.

This week I was driving and noticed loss of power on a hot day with the AC blowing. I feel the gas pedal hiccup the acceleration in the engine maybe misfiring while speeding up 0-35 mph.

I think my Thermostat is broke because I drove 28 miles home yesterday and popped my hood to feel a HOT engine very hot as well as see my coolant boiling hot. I tried to unsrew the cap but the hot liquid almost shot out at me.

I know that"s dumb sorry. This truck had a new radiator already just 2 yrs ago. I think My mechanic would have checked for problems (thats how he found out the leak was T shaped piece).

My engine Idles ok not rough wich is a good sign. I am worried because this Truck is my LIfe to get to and from work. My wife just died 8 months ago and I rely on this vehicle only.

What do you guys think? If it was a Head gasket wouldn't It drive crappy? rough idle? All I know is my Engine loses power with the AC, The engine is getting HOT and Coolant was boiling. I just hit 100k miles. Had a tune up a year ago.

I wonder if driving the truck without coolant a few miles caused damage and my mechanic just fixed the hose and T shape piece and now I am having overheating issues as described.
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2017, 02:43 PM
cowboybilly9mile cowboybilly9mile is offline
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Default Re: Need some insight into Boiling Coolant hot engine 2003 2.3 4cyl Ford Ranger

IMO, start by making sure the cooling system is purged of all air and is correctly filled with a 50/50 mix of antifreeze/water. Also, look for any visible leak. Also, if it's overheating you should get warning via light or gauge; this wasn't noted in the OP.


***Never, ever attempt to remove the cap from a hot radiator (tank in your case), getting hit in the face/chest/arms by searing hot liquid and/or liquid that may instantly flash to steam when it escapes the pressurized cooling system (this is the worst possible burn) will leave you scared for life. Be late for work, call, and if management doesn't understand then you don't need people like that in your life.
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2017, 02:50 PM
2003rangerDude 2003rangerDude is offline
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Default Re: Need some insight into Boiling Coolant hot engine 2003 2.3 4cyl Ford Ranger

I think my Thermostat is broke because I drove 28 miles home yesterday and popped my hood to feel a HOT engine very hot as well as see my coolant boiling hot. I tried to unsrew the cap but the hot liquid almost shot out at me.
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  #4  
Old 08-05-2017, 03:05 PM
Harbor_Handed Harbor_Handed is offline
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Default Re: Need some insight into Boiling Coolant hot engine 2003 2.3 4cyl Ford Ranger

If coolant was puking at all out of the overflow tank, then it's very likely that your overflow tank cap is worn out and needs a new cap. They're only a few dollars at any parts store. I had coolant puking out from the overflow tank and a new cap fixed it.

Now for the thermostat: The stock electric thermostat sucks, and IMO you should switch to a mechanical thermostat. The electrical connector will be hanging loose and will trigger the Check Engine light, so you can either live with it or insert it into the old thermostat and zip-tie it off under the hood or you can wire in a resistor. There are lots of posts about how crappy the original electric thermostats are on our trucks for these year models (mine is also a 2003, I'm so happy I switched to a mechanical one - no problems any more). Try to get a Motorcraft one. I chose one by Gates that runs at 180 degrees and it works like a dream, but most choose the Motorcraft one that opens at 190 or 195.
Here's a thread about this issue just a few posts below:
04 thermostat in an 02, 2.3

I'm very sorry to hear about your wife. Hang in there.
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2003 Mazda B2300
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157,000 miles on Odometer as of Nov 2018
25 mpg on mixed hwy/city driving


Last edited by Harbor_Handed; 08-05-2017 at 03:09 PM.
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  #5  
Old 08-05-2017, 03:42 PM
EaOutlaw1969 EaOutlaw1969 is offline
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Default Re: Need some insight into Boiling Coolant hot engine 2003 2.3 4cyl Ford Ranger

Do as Cowboy first mentioned, make sure the system is purged of air.

These engines are a pain to get all the air out.

Do a search on this forum I made a post that showed the filling procedure from Ford.
I also posted what I found was a safer way of purging the air.

You may have a blown head gasket but let's hope for the best for now.
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  #6  
Old 08-06-2017, 10:21 AM
2003rangerDude 2003rangerDude is offline
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Default Re: Need some insight into Boiling Coolant hot engine 2003 2.3 4cyl Ford Ranger

Well I am not sure if a new resevoir cap is the fix. I said when I popped the hood the coolant was boiling inside the resevoir not shooting out.
When I partly unscrewed the cap then the coolant started to rise and overflow, then I tightened the cap to keep the coolant from coming out overflowing.

Do you think the cap is leaking air from the coolant tank? thats why you suggested I get a new cap?

I am trying to figure out what would cause my engine to be so hot and the coolant boiling inside with the cap tight? I am a noob with engines and must take it to the mechanic because I cant risk driving it to work breaking down on me.
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  #7  
Old 08-06-2017, 11:13 AM
Harbor_Handed Harbor_Handed is offline
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Default Re: Need some insight into Boiling Coolant hot engine 2003 2.3 4cyl Ford Ranger

I wrote that about the tank cap because I initially thought I read it was puking out, but I see that you didn't say that. Since it was not puking out the cap, then there's probably no need for a new cap so just disregard that.

I do know that the electric thermostat on our trucks do not have a great reputation, and many say they allow for some slight overheating. I did experience that with mine, I would see the needle creep up slightly on a hot day, which made me uncomfortable.

However, if your truck was overheating badly, then your thermostat might be stuck closed or partially closed, or you could have a blown head gasket which would cause boiling in the tank. Are you certain that it was "boiling" in the tank? There is a constant flow into that tank from a tube up toward the top which can sometimes make it look like it's boiling/bubbling a little because there's coolant flowing in from the top. The pressure that you experienced when you tried to remove the cap is completely normal - it is supposed to be very hot and pressurized - but not literally "boiling." Make sure that the boiling you're seeing is not just the tiny bubbles from the coolant being sprayed back into the tank from that top tube. I used to think my coolant was boiling, but it wasn't.

As for loss of power, when my AC is on, my truck runs a bit jumpier and does not have the same amt of power it has with AC off. And the higher the fan setting, the worse it is. This is also the case on nearly every car I've owned: the AC takes some of the power from the engine.
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2003 Mazda B2300
2.3 L DOHC
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157,000 miles on Odometer as of Nov 2018
25 mpg on mixed hwy/city driving


Last edited by Harbor_Handed; 08-06-2017 at 11:24 AM.
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  #8  
Old 08-06-2017, 11:24 AM
2003rangerDude 2003rangerDude is offline
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Default Re: Need some insight into Boiling Coolant hot engine 2003 2.3 4cyl Ford Ranger

this is what I have been experiencing-

No movement in Thermostat, popped the hood after driving 28 freeway miles and felt a very hot engine and saw the coolant in the tank boiling hot with boiling bubbles and could hear it bubbling all while the engine was off after parking.

Loss of power when accelerating the truck engine struggles and kicks into the different gears whhile accelerating onto the highway 65 mph- 80.

Loss of power when using the AC while accelerating. Loss of actual AC cold air when the AC is full blast.
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  #9  
Old 08-06-2017, 11:35 AM
Harbor_Handed Harbor_Handed is offline
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Default Re: Need some insight into Boiling Coolant hot engine 2003 2.3 4cyl Ford Ranger

What did your gauge register when this happened? Was the gauge visibly showing overheating?

Try spinning your fan by hand - the one that's attached to the pulley system. If it keeps spinning after letting off it, it's not properly doing its job cooling and it needs a new fan clutch.

I'm no expert but it *could* be a blown head gasket. Is the coolant level remaining consistent? Is there any oil in the coolant? Can you remove some oil (when truck is cool) and see if it's milky at all, like chocolate milk?

If you don't have any of those symptoms discussed above, then I would change the thermostat (IMO, preferably to a mechanical Motocraft one).

I had to do a lot of problem solving on my own cooling system and I finally got it to where it's functioning great, but I'm no expert.
__________________
2003 Mazda B2300
2.3 L DOHC
4 Cylinder, Automatic Transmission
157,000 miles on Odometer as of Nov 2018
25 mpg on mixed hwy/city driving


Last edited by Harbor_Handed; 08-06-2017 at 11:37 AM.
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  #10  
Old 08-06-2017, 12:32 PM
EaOutlaw1969 EaOutlaw1969 is offline
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Default Re: Need some insight into Boiling Coolant hot engine 2003 2.3 4cyl Ford Ranger

Again you have air trapped in the system, if I was on my PC I would have provided a link to the fill procedure.

If you type in the search feature of this forum fill procedure you will find the information you need.

I only hope you have not blown the head gasket.

You may have other issues with the cooling system that part I agree, however if your truck was not overheating before the hose blew out I doubt the rest of your cooling system parts
Have anything to do with the current issue your having.


Here is the link

Cooling System Draining, Filling And Bleeding according to the manual
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  #11  
Old 08-06-2017, 01:14 PM
2003rangerDude 2003rangerDude is offline
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Default Re: Need some insight into Boiling Coolant hot engine 2003 2.3 4cyl Ford Ranger

ok the fan does stop after turning it with my finger ( the one right behind the radiator )

The oil is maple syrup colored (normal i think )

The coolant is still looking normal ( lime green) .

The coolant level is however about an inch below the minimum line. But when I popped the hood and saw it boiling it was above the max line boiling.

I removed the oil cap and it just had regular oil in it.

What about when I drive with the AC full blast and it stopped putting out AC cool air after about 20 minutes? Yet the next day the AC was working fine and started putting out cold air again. Weird

Also there is signifigant loss of acceleration power and hiccups in acceleration into faster speeds while using the AC. AND NOT USING AC -this hasppens regaurdless of using ac or not

Last edited by 2003rangerDude; 08-06-2017 at 01:32 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-06-2017, 01:18 PM
cowboybilly9mile cowboybilly9mile is offline
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Default Re: Need some insight into Boiling Coolant hot engine 2003 2.3 4cyl Ford Ranger

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2003rangerDude View Post
Well I am not sure if a new resevoir cap is the fix. I said when I popped the hood the coolant was boiling inside the resevoir not shooting out.
When I partly unscrewed the cap then the coolant started to rise and overflow, then I tightened the cap to keep the coolant from coming out overflowing.

Do you think the cap is leaking air from the coolant tank? thats why you suggested I get a new cap?

I am trying to figure out what would cause my engine to be so hot and the coolant boiling inside with the cap tight? I am a noob with engines and must take it to the mechanic because I cant risk driving it to work breaking down on me.

Hello. The cap will NOT stop coolant from boiling in an engine that is overheating because the liquid level is not filled to what the system is designed to hold and instead of there being ALL liquid in the system, there is air in there. Air in the system, where there is intended to be liquid, will not cool the engine, air will not absorb/transfer/convey heat like the liquid will, ok? This is exactly why I suggested you first and foremost check the most fundamental requirement in the cooling system, and the response to this earlier suggestion yielded no new and useful information at all, and is precisely why I did not reply to your response to my earlier post (ie, no value added). Anyways, start with the basics and in this case it's very simple to do; nothing wrong with thinking ahead and out loud but right now, you need information, basic, fundamental, good and above all, useful information in order to make a decision as to the next step (or if it's fixed).

Edit: my post #3 inquiry regarding a high temp light and/or a temp gauge indicating overheating also went unanswered, and this is actually something relevant and of interest. :-/
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Last edited by cowboybilly9mile; 08-06-2017 at 01:37 PM.
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  #13  
Old 08-06-2017, 01:34 PM
2003rangerDude 2003rangerDude is offline
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Default Re: Need some insight into Boiling Coolant hot engine 2003 2.3 4cyl Ford Ranger

sorry about that. No there is no engine light or any indication from the temp gauge or dash lights that I have a problem.
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  #14  
Old 08-06-2017, 01:50 PM
cowboybilly9mile cowboybilly9mile is offline
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Default Re: Need some insight into Boiling Coolant hot engine 2003 2.3 4cyl Ford Ranger

If the coolant level is below the sending unit for the temp gauge (or high temp light), the gauge (light) won't work reliably as these sending units are designed to be immersed in liquid, not air. Overheating without a gauge or warning light alerting the driver, and when it's known that the gauge (light) is working correctly, is often a major clue that the coolant level is low.

Edit: the 2004 4cyl Rangers have fail safe cooling (source: 2004 MY owners manual). I don't know about your MY, but if it has this and knowing that failsafe cooling means a deliberate, by design degradation of engine performance during the overheat (to protect the engine), then this could/would explain the performance and ac concern.
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Last edited by cowboybilly9mile; 08-06-2017 at 01:56 PM.
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  #15  
Old 08-06-2017, 02:38 PM
Harbor_Handed Harbor_Handed is offline
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Default Re: Need some insight into Boiling Coolant hot engine 2003 2.3 4cyl Ford Ranger

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2003rangerDude View Post
ok the fan does stop after turning it with my finger ( the one right behind the radiator )

The oil is maple syrup colored (normal i think )

The coolant is still looking normal ( lime green) .

The coolant level is however about an inch below the minimum line. But when I popped the hood and saw it boiling it was above the max line boiling.

I removed the oil cap and it just had regular oil in it.

What about when I drive with the AC full blast and it stopped putting out AC cool air after about 20 minutes? Yet the next day the AC was working fine and started putting out cold air again. Weird

Also there is signifigant loss of acceleration power and hiccups in acceleration into faster speeds while using the AC. AND NOT USING AC -this hasppens regaurdless of using ac or not
You're doing great, and that's good news: there's no indication that your clutch fan is malfunctioning or that you have a head gasket leak.

When your truck is fully heated, the level in the overflow-tank will be higher than it is when cool, because as the truck cools down the coolant is sucked back into the system. This is normal.

The fact that your coolant is now an inch lower than the MIN line when cool indicates that your truck was not thoroughly burped when the person filled it with coolant, and so it is now slowly burping itself and will need to be topped up periodically for the next few days until the level stabilizes. This is normal and it's what happened on my truck when I refilled it with coolant, because I didn't burp/purge it (because I don't like revving my RPMs up).

So go to the store and buy some 50/50 coolant, and fill your overflow tank - when cool - to midway between MIN & MAX. Then either purge it according to the procedure that others have provided, or drive it a few miles around your neighborhood, let it reach full operating temp, and monitor the temp gauge for any signs of overheating. As air works its way out of the system naturally as you drive it, the fill level will continue to fall and you'll need to keep monitoring it and topping it up - when cool - to between MIN & MAX.

This might have been the whole source of your issue - that there was simply not enough coolant in the system to sufficiently cool the engine down, so it overheated.

OR....you might also have a thermostat that is stuck closed or partially closed. If getting yourself to the proper coolant level does not fix your problem and you are still experiencing overheating, stick a new Motorcraft thermostat in there. Many here prefer switching to mechanical - I know I love mine - but use your own judgement.

As for the hiccuping, it could've just been the engine stumbling from the overheating, or you could have a separate problem with your transmission. Don't know. See if there's any improvement to these problems by getting your coolant level to where it should be.
__________________
2003 Mazda B2300
2.3 L DOHC
4 Cylinder, Automatic Transmission
157,000 miles on Odometer as of Nov 2018
25 mpg on mixed hwy/city driving


Last edited by Harbor_Handed; 08-06-2017 at 03:02 PM.
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