1996 Explorer With Strange Coolent Leak

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#1
Ok

I have a 96 Ford Explorer with the V8, its rwd and has 107K....HAs a coolent leak, was told the timig cover was leaking by a fomoco dealer..Didn't think timig covers leaked coolent..... Truck also has oil leak and they state thats the oil pan (its on one side and leaking twords the back).....Anyway, i don't feel this is right... Something is nagging at me that its either the water pump or the freeze plug (which could lead to a leak behing the timing cover i presume).. Trying to figure out if it was pressure tested... Looked at the truck on the lift there and you can see it leaking from the front of the engine, right smack in the middle of the truck....Should i take the truck elsewhere and get a second opinion? I checked with my old ford dealer and they tended to agree with me, but of course need to see it..There 4 hours away and right now i feel they may be a better option...
???
 

opelgt

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#2
Pretty common problem. Timing covers do leak coolant as they have coolant passages in them. The water pump is bolted to the timing cover. Good possibility that the cover is actually cracked. Whether the leak was fully diagnosed is your call. You can get a second opinion... as well you should considering the cost involved.
 
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#3
Of all of my experiance with these cars (explorers) i have never heard of this or delt with this... How can they crack? I never imagined one could crack or leak or even had coolent passages behind them (although the water pump bolted to the cover this amkes sense)... I know there is a squeaking noise i noticed today...My gut tells me to get a second opinon, i just have an off feeling and think this needs further checking out
 
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#4
since the inception of that cast aluminum timing cover ford has had them leak.there have been numerous gasket upgrades to correct this.its not really a mystery. i would have assumed that since you took it to the dealer in the first place you trusted them.what has changed?
 

opelgt

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#5
I don't know about "all of" your years of experience with the Exploders but... I do know of all of my years of experience as a journeyman technician and like Al said, with the advent of aluminum components... Aluminum does have a tendency to corrode more and faster than cast iron or steel. It can "stress" crack very easily in the corroded areas. In the past month We have had 2 Windstars with cracked timing covers. They crack in the upper right (or left corner as looking at the component) corner, which, on a transverse engine, is a real pain to diagnose, and costly to replace. But like I said, with the cost involved, get a 2nd opinion and see what is found.
 
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#6
I will say this is my first V8 explorer... But i have been around exploders scince a child (when they first came out, my family bought 3)..I drove a 94 (OHV) to 300K and a 98 (SOCH)to 200K and never had an issue..Bought this one hoping for a repet of the 94, being it was the 302 and there such a stong engine....I rebuilt the engine in the 94 and Trans in the 98 and have done lots to these cars..I know the timing chain and such was an issue on my 98 (the rattle noise)
I never used this ford dealer before, i just moved here a year ago and havent had to deal with the ford dealer yet..Just the toyota place and a chevy dealer now...
But a second opinon is in order and i will see how that goes
 

autodr

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#7
Those older Ford engine designs could... and did on a regular basis, leak coolant from the timing chain cover. That is because the water pump bolted to the timing chain cover and in order for the coolant to get into and out of the water pump at had to pass through the timing chain cover to do it. There is a gasket that sealed the covers to the block and the gaskets rotted.

The old 5.0 and 5.8's, and 3.8 were bad about it. Many times, you ended up needing a new timing chain cover as well due to the coolant eating the covers up. Do yourself a favor, if a second opinion agrees that the cover gasket is leaking... put a new timing chain set in there at the same time plus a water pump.
 

csaxon

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#8
You're spinning your wheels exploder3211. The dealer and some experienced mechanics here given you their opinions. They wouldn't respond if they didn't have experience with your problem. Since you don't hang out at service shops you wouldn't know how frequently the timing covers leak.
 
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#9
I spoke with an indpenant mechanic and he and i had long discussion on this.. He feels that it could be done for around $650 or so and explianed and showed me where and how everything is hooked up... I am going to get his opinion as well, but i am in agreement now this is probably the issue and all stated parts need replacement..
I do want my water pump replaced at this point as well, and if the timing cover is coming off, a new timing chain set..

I am suprised by this and shocked... I am praying now that this truck won't need any major other help until its paid off (2 more years).... I know its probably been leaking for a while and its never once over heated (i got it in early august during the 100+ degree heat and it ran like a top and the radiator always stayed full)..

My big question is: Are the upgraded gaskets, covers or what not to fully correct this
Also i know there is an oil leak, so i assume i should just bite the bullet and get both fixed, as i want this truck to survive for a long time....These sploders i cherish and love and if i could i would have 4 or 5 of them...

Thanks
 

autodr

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#10
The best way to prolong the life of the cooling system, not just the timing chain cover gaskets, is to flush the cooling system every 30k or 2 years. Over time, the ethylene glycol in the coolant breaks down with exposure to heat and time. The chemicals that make up the glycol separate and are free to reform with other components in the cooling system (water mostly, air, carbon). A multitude of different acids form and eat gaskets and metal up. These acids also act as a catalyst with the dis-similar metals found in the system, iron, steel, aluminum. That does the same thing as what happens inside of a battery. It actually creates a voltage of its own called electrolysis. The electrolysis further promotes the destruction of cooling system components, aluminum parts being the most effected, radiator, heater core, timing chain cover... It corrodes and eats them up. Due to heavy corrosion in the timing chain cover, don't be surprised if you end up needing a new timing chain cover as well because the long bolts that go all the way through the pump and into the block will corrode the timing chain cover... like a cold-weld. It also pits the gasket sealing surface of the cover. The long bolts also usually snap off. The broken off halves usually come out of the block with some heat, but occasionally, they are so welded to the cover from the corrosion that they won't come out of the cover.