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New Radiator, New Problem 

 

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 Post subject: New Radiator, New Problem
Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:39 am 
Oompa Loompa
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Ride: 1998 gLi EL Ford Falcon

Location: Melbourne
VIC, Australia

Hi all.

I have a very mechanically-trustworthy, reliable, awesome 1998 gLi el Ford Falcon which has never given me any issues.

Two months ago I took it in for a service.

Just a week ago, my mom and I realized that it was smelling really hot (mom has blown an engine before so she knew the smell).

Day before I went to get my Ps, we found out that there was next to no coolant in the chamber. We could only see remnants.

Freaking out, we drove to Autobarn and got some pre-mix,filled her up, and then went to a radiator place as recommended by a mechanic. There's definitely a leak. I can see myself that the coolant level is veeeery slowly going down.

The radiator guy had a look at the car and charged $440" but after inspection, said tthat he didn't realize that it was an older Falcon (el instead of EF) and upped the price saying it needed a copper radiator. I've seen aluminium radiators for sale for both the 1998 EF AND el models.

My question is, do I have to pay the extra $100 to get the copper radiator, or can I switch to the cheaper aluminium one?

Thank you!

Last edited by Kaiverta on Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Urgent Radiator Help (car goes into the shop, tomorrow!)
Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:29 am 
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EF is older than the EL.

EF 1994 to Late 1996.

EL Late 1996 to 1998.

Fit the radiator yourself, it's not hard.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Ford-Falcon- ... SwQItT~-4m

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Radiator-For ... D6WwlzPT4g

These are copper core radiators but you can use aluminium if you wish.
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 Post subject: Re: Urgent Radiator Help (car goes into the shop, tomorrow!)
Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:45 pm 
Oompa Loompa
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Ride: 1998 gLi EL Ford Falcon

Location: Melbourne
VIC, Australia

SWC wrote:
EF is older than the EL.

EF 1994 to Late 1996.

EL Late 1996 to 1998.

Fit the radiator yourself, it's not hard.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Ford-Falcon- ... SwQItT~-4m

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Radiator-For ... D6WwlzPT4g

These are copper core radiators but you can use aluminium if you wish.


Thanks very much for that information.

I called another garage who can do it for $450, and I'm just going to have to go with that. I don't have any mechanical experience and very little know-how so I'm not going to try and change the radiator myself at this stage. I have to work up to that. :)
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 Post subject: Re: Urgent Radiator Help (car goes into the shop, tomorrow!)
Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:59 pm 
Fordmods Junkie
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are you sure it's leaking from the radiator? if you go aluminium remember to fit a wire from the radiator to the body & battery negative. there's really not a lot to remove/undo to swap a radiator.
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 Post subject: Re: Urgent Radiator Help (car goes into the shop, tomorrow!)
Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:18 pm 
Oompa Loompa
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Ride: 1998 gLi EL Ford Falcon

Location: Melbourne
VIC, Australia

Mad2 wrote:
are you sure it's leaking from the radiator? if you go aluminium remember to fit a wire from the radiator to the body & battery negative. there's really not a lot to remove/undo to swap a radiator.


I didn't say it was leaking from the radiator, I don't think. I actually have no idea WHERE the leak is. I'm hoping it's just in one of the hoses that connects the coolant container to the radiator. That would be awesome and obviously cheaper than a full replacement.

I'm not going to do it myself so I don't have to worry with making sure to connect to the batter and all that (really a mechanical newb). The one guy charged $550 because he said he'd need to get another COPPER radiator. This second guy is charging $450, so maybe he'll use an aluminium one? Car goes in tomorrow so I'll let you guys know how it turns out, if you're interested. :)
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 Post subject: Re: Urgent Radiator Help (car goes into the shop, tomorrow!)
Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:35 pm 
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then you should get them to pressure test the system & workout where it's coming from! [or in this case where it's going to!] ... coz without checking ..... who knows, you may not need a new rad :mrgreen:



.




.


and IF ya gunna drive a car ......... ya betterer learn how to fix it - does NOT matter if ya male or female ... learn the basic's at least :roll:
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 Post subject: Re: Urgent Radiator Help (car goes into the shop, tomorrow!)
Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:59 pm 
Oompa Loompa
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Ride: 1998 gLi EL Ford Falcon

Location: Melbourne
VIC, Australia

Hi everyone.

Got the car fixed and it now has an aluminium radiator. The mechanic said that there's a pipe that runs from the radiator and behind the engine that looks like it had a leak in the past or something, and that we'll have to keep an eye on it but it will likely need to be replaced (which requires removing the transmission to get to the pipe).

So I had been keeping an eye on it the last few days, every day, twice or more. I also checked under the car and on the concrete but didn't see ANY moisture ANYwhere over the course of those three days. The car temperature has been doing extremely well (it helps that we've had some cool days) but even in traffic it hasn't ever gone above the 'o' of the word 'normal'. It's doing very well, and it runs super smoothly. The mechanic said to keep an eye out for potential leaks etc so I've been doing that, and to just top it up with distilled/demineralized water if the levels in the reservoir get low.

Morning after the radiator change, the coolant was well below the minimum line so I went to Autobarn to get some distilled/demineralized water to top it up. Took it halfway between MIN and MAX and it hovered there for twoish days. Then this morning, after getting home from a one and a half hour round trip, I checked it as soon as I got home and it was slightly lower (see pics with explanations).

The pictures of underneath the car are at the side-front and from the front to the back, showing moisture. I just want to know if any of you can discern where the leak is, if it's in that pipe that runs down around the engine or maybe something else, based on these pictures. I don't want to have to shell out another $400 if something like Stop Leak might fix it, unless it's an actual parts-replacement issue.

Thanks very much.

 

 

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File comment: Picture 3 - a few hours after getting home from city drive, coolant is lower (look at the little white piece of tape).
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File comment: Picture 2 - Got home an hour and a half later and the coolant had gone down a tiny bit.
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File comment: Picture 1 - Filled up in the morning before 35 min trip (one way) to city.
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 Post subject: Re: New Radiator, New Problem
Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:05 pm 
Oompa Loompa
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Age: 31

Posts: 31

Joined: 15th Mar 2016

Ride: 1998 gLi EL Ford Falcon

Location: Melbourne
VIC, Australia

Big puddle on the driveway last night, which I discovered returning from the train station. Car was parked for all of one minute on the driveway while I closed the gate.

Puddle is 'Pic 1'.

In the morning, radiator fluid was down, so topped it up again to just under the MAX line. Haven't seen a big puddle like that since. Drove the car around today and the temp is always super cool (for local driving about ten minutes each time - on or just below the C, which is way cooler than it was with the last radiator). The hottest it has got up to is the R of 'normal' inside the temperature bracket, which is still lower than it was with the older radiator.

Parked the car on the road this time while I closed the gate. When I returned home, parked on the driveway to OPEN the gate, and didn't see any leaking or puddles. Could this be due to expansion from the cooling system parts being warm from use?

I've never had to look in-depth at a car's mechanics like this so forgive my ignorance. I'm still learning.

 

 

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File comment: Pic 1
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File comment: I found a bit of leaking radiator fluid down there in the white circle that I made. It's definitely radiator fluid. I couldn't locate where it was coming from, though.
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File comment: I think this is part of the suspension. It's a rubber 'coil' next to the right front tire. Is that hole/moisture something to be worried about?
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File comment: Pic 2B - the 'start' of the new radiator, and the object in front of it.
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File comment: Pic 3 - That looks like a lot of wetness coming behind the radiator, attached to the front/bottom of the engine block. I have no idea what that region is or if that wetness is normal. Can anyone tell me?
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File comment: Pic 2 - The radiator is obviously the super clean aluminium structure there in the background, but what the heck is in front of it? Is that some kind of radiator guard, or is it the old radiator left in there (I don't even know if there's room for two?)?
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 Post subject: Re: New Radiator, New Problem
Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:14 pm 
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Ride: EF Fairmont

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Water leak in that spot on your sub frame says to me that you have either a leaking hose or more likely a leaking water pump. Check the pipe at the rear of the water pump to see if there is any leak. Look at getting the cooling sysytem pressure tested, it should show up any leaks.

The Rubber Boot is part of your steering rack, replace it as soon as you can as watter and dirt will enter and possibly stuff your seals on the rack.

The "second" radiator as you call it, is your AC Condensor.
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 Post subject: Re: New Radiator, New Problem
Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:19 pm 
Oompa Loompa
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Age: 31

Posts: 31

Joined: 15th Mar 2016

Ride: 1998 gLi EL Ford Falcon

Location: Melbourne
VIC, Australia

SWC wrote:
Water leak in that spot on your sub frame says to me that you have either a leaking hose or more likely a leaking water pump. Check the pipe at the rear of the water pump to see if there is any leak. Look at getting the cooling sysytem pressure tested, it should show up any leaks.

The Rubber Boot is part of your steering rack, replace it as soon as you can as watter and dirt will enter and possibly stuff your seals on the rack.

The "second" radiator as you call it, is your AC Condensor.


Ah, thanks very much! I did think that it was weird for the old radiator to be in there, but I wasn't sure WHAT that was. It's good to know now what it is.

I was also thinking a leaking hose or water pump. Where is the pipe for the water pump located and how do I get to it?

If the seals on the rack end up stuffed up, does that make steering harder to control or just not function at all, etc?
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 Post subject: Re: New Radiator, New Problem
Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:38 pm 
Technical Contributor
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Ride: EF Fairmont

Location: Campbelltown
NSW, Australia

Kaiverta wrote:
SWC wrote:
Water leak in that spot on your sub frame says to me that you have either a leaking hose or more likely a leaking water pump. Check the pipe at the rear of the water pump to see if there is any leak. Look at getting the cooling sysytem pressure tested, it should show up any leaks.

The Rubber Boot is part of your steering rack, replace it as soon as you can as watter and dirt will enter and possibly stuff your seals on the rack.

The "second" radiator as you call it, is your AC Condensor.


Ah, thanks very much! I did think that it was weird for the old radiator to be in there, but I wasn't sure WHAT that was. It's good to know now what it is.

I was also thinking a leaking hose or water pump. Where is the pipe for the water pump located and how do I get to it?
It is the pipe that runs around the block from the heater tap behind the engine to the rear of the water pump. They can leak at the O ring in the rear of the water pump or from corrosion.

If the seals on the rack end up stuffed up, does that make steering harder to control or just not function at all, etc?

Will not intially cause a promblem but can lead to issues as I explained. It is also a Roadworthy Failure.
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 Post subject: Re: New Radiator, New Problem
Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:46 pm 
Oompa Loompa
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Age: 31

Posts: 31

Joined: 15th Mar 2016

Ride: 1998 gLi EL Ford Falcon

Location: Melbourne
VIC, Australia

SWC wrote:
Kaiverta wrote:
SWC wrote:
Water leak in that spot on your sub frame says to me that you have either a leaking hose or more likely a leaking water pump. Check the pipe at the rear of the water pump to see if there is any leak. Look at getting the cooling sysytem pressure tested, it should show up any leaks.

The Rubber Boot is part of your steering rack, replace it as soon as you can as watter and dirt will enter and possibly stuff your seals on the rack.

The "second" radiator as you call it, is your AC Condensor.


Ah, thanks very much! I did think that it was weird for the old radiator to be in there, but I wasn't sure WHAT that was. It's good to know now what it is.

I was also thinking a leaking hose or water pump. Where is the pipe for the water pump located and how do I get to it?
It is the pipe that runs around the block from the heater tap behind the engine to the rear of the water pump. They can leak at the O ring in the rear of the water pump or from corrosion.

If the seals on the rack end up stuffed up, does that make steering harder to control or just not function at all, etc?

Will not intially cause a promblem but can lead to issues as I explained. It is also a Roadworthy Failure.


Yes, that's true. Alright, thank you very much. I'll take him in and get that seen to. Thank you again for all your help. I just wanted to be more informed so that when I get these things fixed, I'm not duped by the mechanics. It's hard to know whether or not you can trust them, and I don't want my car failing in other areas because of things they've done. I know he's reliable everywhere else. :)
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 Post subject: Re: New Radiator, New Problem
Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:22 pm 
Oompa Loompa
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Ride: 1998 gLi EL Ford Falcon

Location: Melbourne
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I took my car to a new mechanic today (who gave me a loan car, thank god) and he did a pressure test right in front of me. He bent down, saw where the dripping was coming from, and said that it's the water pump. So the car is in the shop until tomorrow noon (or thereabouts), and we'll see how he goes after that repair is done. :)

Thanks everyone for your help. I'll post here with an update once I've had the car back for a few days.
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 Post subject: Re: New Radiator, New Problem
Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:29 pm 
Fordmods Junkie
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Kaiverta wrote:
I took my car to a new mechanic today (who gave me a loan car, thank god) and he did a pressure test right in front of me. He bent down, saw where the dripping was coming from, and said that it's the water pump. So the car is in the shop until tomorrow noon (or thereabouts), and we'll see how he goes after that repair is done. :)

Thanks everyone for your help. I'll post here with an update once I've had the car back for a few days.



so if the pressure test hada been done 1st, it would have cost you less overall :wink: anyway good to see it has now been done :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: New Radiator, New Problem
Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:54 pm 
Oompa Loompa
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Mad2 wrote:
Kaiverta wrote:
I took my car to a new mechanic today (who gave me a loan car, thank god) and he did a pressure test right in front of me. He bent down, saw where the dripping was coming from, and said that it's the water pump. So the car is in the shop until tomorrow noon (or thereabouts), and we'll see how he goes after that repair is done. :)

Thanks everyone for your help. I'll post here with an update once I've had the car back for a few days.



so if the pressure test hada been done 1st, it would have cost you less overall :wink: anyway good to see it has now been done :mrgreen:


Thanks! Well, apparently the pressure test had been done TWICE before this one. The first time was by a guy who for some reason needed the car for two hours (to do what this recent mechanic took all of one minute to do) AND he charged us $20 for it (which is low, but this new mechanic didn't charge us anything). He said that there was "a lot of pressure" but didn't mention where the leak was. Then the mechanic (different again) who changed the radiator from the old copper one to a new aluminium one, pointed us to coolant at the bottom tray under the old radiator, so the old radiator was definitely a problem, too. But he also did a pressure test and didn't catch the water pump problem. It is possible that the water pump failed with the heightened efficiency of the new radiator, do you think? Thus, the previous two mechanics couldn't see the problem before as it actually technically didn't exist?
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