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  #1  
Old 07-19-2005, 04:01 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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1998 F-150 Chronic Radiator Replacement Issue

I have a 1998 F-150, small V-8, 2WD. Roughly 60,000 miles ago and almost 2 years ago, the radiator went out.

Had a new aftermarket radiator installed at my Ford Dealer. Today they are installing radiator #9 (yes NINE). All have been under warranty, but they only last an average of 2.5 months. All leak in same spot, on passenger side about halfway up at one of the seams (plastic radiator).

At first, they tried replacing radiator cap, in case it was over pressurizing. Did not work. Last time they flushed and soaked the cooling system with baking soda overnight. That radiator lasted 6 weeks.

First 6 were aftermarket but installed by Ford Dealer. Last 3 are genuine Ford radiators. Does not seem to matter.

They have spoken to Ford Engineering, the only help they offered was radiator cap, which has been tried.

HELP! I like my Ford dealer but am seeing them way too often. Any help is appreciated.

If this keeps up, the truck is going to die with a brand new radiator. Up to 150,000 miles now, radiator issue started at approx. 85,000.
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2005, 04:12 PM
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The only thing I could think of is that somewhere near the spot you are having a problem, you have a stray electrical current. This would definitely cause corrosion. I had a 98 F150 and put 70k on it with no problems, for you to go thru that many radiators, there has to be something causing the corrosion. Electricity will do this.

Last edited by kingfish51; 07-19-2005 at 04:14 PM.
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2005, 04:42 PM
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Location: Easton, Pa.
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Most of these radiators have plastic end tanks that are crimpped on with a metal tab assembly and gasket. I don't think galvonic activity is the problem.
Look at the possibility of mechnical stress.
Be sure to use good antifreeze and use a can of sealer in the system.
Be sure the battery ground is good at the block and strap a good one to the chassis.
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  #4  
Old 07-19-2005, 04:43 PM
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actually I have 2 1998 F150's, the other has the big v-8 with over 180,000 on it. never one radiator problem.

regarding your reply, the thing is, it's a plastic radiator sitting in 4 rubber mounts totally isolating it. not sure how a current could get to it?

my first thought was it was getting in 'a bind' somehow causing the leak. but you grab it and it kind of floats around in the rubber mounts. these have been looked at each time by Ford, they say they are correct.
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  #5  
Old 07-19-2005, 04:45 PM
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Ford puts new fluid in it each time, at least I know I have good fluid. Thank heavens this is not the truck I drive across the desert every 2 weeks! I will ask them to check the ground as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegrass
Most of these radiators have plastic end tanks that are crimpped on with a metal tab assembly and gasket. I don't think galvonic activity is the problem.
Look at the possibility of mechnical stress.
Be sure to use good antifreeze and use a can of sealer in the system.
Be sure the battery ground is good at the block and strap a good one to the chassis.
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  #6  
Old 07-19-2005, 06:34 PM
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you get the radiators from the dealer....hmmmm
why not get one from a RADIATOR SHOP next time
or one thru jegs or summit?..
thats the good stuff

...zap!
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  #7  
Old 07-19-2005, 08:05 PM
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I hear you, but at this point, it's a warranty issue so I want Ford to take care of it. Not too sure that the problem is the radiator, need to either make them take care of it or find someone who's had this problem who can help me solve it FOR the dealer (the most likely scenario at this point).
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  #8  
Old 07-19-2005, 08:44 PM
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I think you may have an electrolysis concern. Has the system been throughly flushed?
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  #9  
Old 07-19-2005, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quintin
I think you may have an electrolysis concern. Has the system been throughly flushed?

i find it hard to believe that a plastic tank would submit to anything "electrical"
...zap!
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  #10  
Old 07-19-2005, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zapster
i find it hard to believe that a plastic tank would submit to anything "electrical"
...zap!
Only the end caps are plastic. The core is aluminum. Water does conduct electricity, so it could cause corrosion. If the leak is in the core section or between the end cap and core section, it could be caused by corrosion. I just don't see how it could be too much pressure if the correct cap is used and is working properly. I also just don't buy 9 bad radiators.

Last edited by kingfish51; 07-19-2005 at 09:36 PM.
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  #11  
Old 07-20-2005, 09:16 AM
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The system was completely flushed, filled with baking soda solution and soaked overnight, then flushed again when they put in the last radiator. If it's electrolysis, then it would have to be in the fluid itself coming from the engine? The radiator does not contact metal anywhere, sits in 4 rubber 'pads' basically, then the hoses are connected to it. The leak is always between the aluminum core and the plastic end cap, always in the same place on the passenger side.

I don't buy '9 bad radiators' either, 6 afterr market, 3 genuine Ford (soon to be 4 - I picked it up with the latest new one last night), all going bad in the exact same spot? No way. I know it's not fixed, need to figure out why.

I still need to check the ground cables, have not had a chance yet and even though I told Ford, I doubt they did it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kingfish51
Only the end caps are plastic. The core is aluminum. Water does conduct electricity, so it could cause corrosion. If the leak is in the core section or between the end cap and core section, it could be caused by corrosion. I just don't see how it could be too much pressure if the correct cap is used and is working properly. I also just don't buy 9 bad radiators.
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  #12  
Old 09-06-2006, 04:13 PM
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rad leak fixed

forgot all about this post until someone sent me an email. i found the problem with the radiator leaks. blew up the rear end, traded it in on a new F250 and Wa La!! No more radiator leaks.

seriously, never did find the problem. 2 weeks before the rear end impploded, they had just put in another radiator. the other F150 that they knew of with same problem, still not solved according to my service guy yesterday.

must be alien influence.
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  #13  
Old 09-07-2006, 02:40 AM
JMC JMC is offline
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The problem is caused by electrolysis. I am on heater core #8. I think I have solved it by rewiring the blower fan. It now has the resistor pack on the positive side of the motor and a straight ground to the body. Ford has bulletin on the problem and there are several articles written by some rad shops on how to cure the problem.

JMC
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  #14  
Old 09-07-2006, 02:47 AM
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Vehicle: 1992 Ford F-150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMC
The problem is caused by electrolysis. I am on heater core #8. I think I have solved it by rewiring the blower fan. It now has the resistor pack on the positive side of the motor and a straight ground to the body. Ford has bulletin on the problem and there are several articles written by some rad shops on how to cure the problem.

JMC
Interesting - is it only around the '98 vintage? how is a resistor pack (is it voltage reducing?) on the chassis side going to cause that weird stuff?

I would also check the water quality, assuming tap water's being used in conjunction with antifreeze/inhibitor etc....
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  #15  
Old 09-07-2006, 03:01 AM
JMC JMC is offline
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The blower fan is spinning in the plastic plenum. When you cut the current by turning off the key a static charge builds up from the spinning fan. it needs a path to follow to ground. becasue the resistor pack is on the ground side of the blower motor the current looks for a path thet has less resistance. Usually the heater core to the antifreeze to the body.

JMC

EDIT: Link to electrolysis article. http://www.radiatorreporter.com/electrol.html

Last edited by JMC; 09-07-2006 at 03:04 AM.
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Old 09-07-2006, 03:01 AM


 
 
 
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