Question about 1999 Ford Taurus

3 Answers

Coolant overflowing out of expansion tank no boil no steam

I have a 1999 Taurus SE (3.0L Vulcan V-6 12 Overhead Valves) that I have recently done quite a bit of work to. I have replaced the timing chain along with the front oil seal, timing cover gasket, oil pan gasket, water pump, water pump gasket, front bank (4-6) cylinder head, both head gaskets, head bolts, intake manifold gaskets, exhaust manifold gaskets, thermostat, flush and fill (though not a back flush), and all other related gaskets. I have recently been driving the car around town with no problems. Coolant would rise and fall, though the speed with which it would fill will vay- it would never overflow, steam, or boil in the recovery tank. It just started overflowing today. I did all the work myself, and I'm a pretty knowledgeable amateur mechanic-and I had the assistance of a Hayne's manual. Did everything right as far as I can tell. I'm using the Napa green coolant and mixing somewhere between 50/50 and 70/30. More coolant than water, but did not account for the water in the engine block. Not really sure where to go from here. The older cylinder head (1-3) passed warpage tests. I had a shop do a pressure test and leak down test before the repairs. Block liquid indicated combustion gasses in coolant. Leak down test showed 5% leakage in 1, 12% in 2, 20% in 3, 40% in 4, 65% in 5, and 2% in 6. I replaced the cylinder head that contains 4-6 and the gasket in the head that contains 1-3. What else could be causing my coolant to overflow when it is filled to the correct cold level?

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  • Joseph Weisenberger
    Joseph Weisenberger Jun 02, 2009

    I have also not done a follow-up block test (liquid coolant tester) or a follow-up leak down test.

  • Joseph Weisenberger
    Joseph Weisenberger Jun 02, 2009

    Wow, thanks for all the advise. It was driven for 27-ish miles today in stop and go traffic. Car runs nicely, except for this. Preceding this today, the car hesitated for a moment during acceleration. The only access to fill the radiator is through the recover/ expansion tank. Cooling fans operate, and during the bleeding process I measured the heat of the coolant while waiting for the thermostat to open. Over the course of several minutes the temperature in the expansion tank climbed from the 180's to over 190 (the thermometer only goes to 190), then after checking again the coolant was around 184 and holding. I would think this would indicate the radiator was working because it transfered the heat. The shop noted that other cooling systems functions appeared normal. Again, the shop looked at the problem before I did repair.

  • Joseph Weisenberger
    Joseph Weisenberger Jun 02, 2009

    Why I kept the old cylinder head: with nominal leakage, I performed a warpage test, using a razor blade placed on the mating surfaces of the head in a myriad of different positions and angles. Never did the maximum allowable warpage feeler gadge blade pass beneath the blade. My square has etched rules that go down both sides of the straight edge, nullifying its smooth finish. With the head having only the 20% leakage on one cylinder, a bad gasket, and passing warpage tests, I thought it would be a good head.

  • Joseph Weisenberger
    Joseph Weisenberger Jun 02, 2009

    its420_us, with water flowing through the radiator during the draining process, is there still a possiblility for blockage? Any way to test?

  • Joseph Weisenberger
    Joseph Weisenberger Jun 02, 2009

    twindawg, this is the third cap we've put on it, but have not put one on since the repair.

  • Joseph Weisenberger
    Joseph Weisenberger Jun 02, 2009

    By the way, the heads are cast iron

  • Joseph Weisenberger
    Joseph Weisenberger Jun 11, 2009

    Okay, I reverse flushed, chemical flushed and filled the radiator, blew compressed air through the radiator-got quite a bit of junk out after the chemical flush. Got a new radiator cap. Radiator cap was the solution. Thank you all for all your help.

  • Clayton O'Doniel May 11, 2010

    Did you try replacing the radiator cap? Sometimes they go bad as well causing overheating.

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As you've stated driving around town it's fine, and everything is working well. For the symptoms, there are 2 possible causes:
1. Your cooling fans are not working.
2. Your radiator needs to be replaced.
I'm sure you can determine which it is, and I wish you luck on your repair.

Posted on Jun 02, 2009

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  • its420_us Jun 02, 2009

    Chances are, the radiator was the cause of your original problem.

  • its420_us Jun 02, 2009

    As you fill and bleed the system, the pressure doesn't build as fast as it does driving at highway speeds. Therefore, the coolant isn't trying to flow through your radiator as fast. Regardless, I do wish you luck on the repair.

  • its420_us Jun 02, 2009

    Water flowing through it doesn't mean it's doing it's job. When the flow is restricted, the liquid can't flow through the fins so it won't cool as it should. Obviously, you had a issue that made you do the repairs in the beginning, and with all the work you've already done seems your problem is right there at the radiator. Technically, you've already tested it, and it has failed. It would be a bummer to have done all that work, and to have the same issue return for a radiator. After all you've explained, I personally would look no further, and replacing it should resolve your issue. I would never buy a used radiator; new ones are worth the extra cash.

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A cracked block? if you car still runs well, do you have a overflow reservoir

Posted on Jun 02, 2009

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  • 105 Answers

You could have cracked head or cracked block is there any signs of water in the oil? if you have a cooling system pressure tester hook it to reservoir cap and start car see if it continues to build pressure shouldn't build psi past what cap is rated for if it does you have internal leak head gasket, or cracked head/block the shop that checked the heads probably didnt check them for cracks unless you told them to. this is called magnafluxing the heads check for pressure build up in res first let me know how you make out

Posted on Jun 02, 2009

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Answer 2 from Inventus: It means your cooling system is funtioning properly. In a system having a coolant recovery tank, coolant in the radiator is always up to the brim, hot or cold. There is negligible or no air space. When coolant in the radiator expands sufficiently due to warming from the engine, it will squeeze past the pressure cap's bottom seal and flow into the recovery tank. (If no provision for such expansion was present, the expansion would rupture the radiator or your hoses.) Only coolant within the radiator is under pressure, and because of this pressure (together with the elevated boiling point that the "anti-freeze" permits), it normally does not boil. But once past the pressure cap's bottom seal, the overflow is at atmospheric pressure and therefore boils.
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-- BETTER ANSWER ==
Your cooling fans are not turning on. It is not normal for your overflow tank to boil like that. It is true that your radiator is overflowing into the reserve tank, but that means yourr adiaotor is boiling. Check for blown fuses or relays for your cooling fans. IF theya re fine. run your engine for about 15 minutes and drive. When you temp level is at normal operating temp open your hood with the engine runing and see if your fans are on. If they are, then you may have a bad thermostat or a plugged radiator, or a bad water pump. If the fans are not on, get your cooling fan switch replaced if your car has one. Check your temp sending sensor

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1 Answer

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