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  #1  
Old 02-16-2007, 09:54 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: North Idaho/Eastern WA
Vehicle: 1997 Ford F150
Posts: 162
Please tell me it was a freeze plug!!!

Most likely my fault, but that's another story...

It's a '97 4.6L windsor engine. When I pour coolant in the radiator, there is about a 3 second delay, then it pours out just as fast toward the back of the engine on the drivers side. Can't see it very clearly, but it's close to where the block and the head join.

Puhlease bring me good news!!
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  #2  
Old 02-16-2007, 10:13 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Eau Claire / Milwaukee, WI; USA
Vehicle: 1997 Ford F-150 4x4
Posts: 379
Send a message via Yahoo to DDan1967
Having just recently replaced the engine on my '97. I don't recall any freeze plugs on the back side of the engine on either side.

There is a heater line that runs from the back of the water pump though the engine valley under the intake. On the '97 it a portion of it is rubber. Something they change sometime later.

There is a chance that it may have burst. You'll have to remove the Intake to access it. If that is the cause of the leak there is are one or two retaining bolts / nuts that have to come out. They are a real pain in the but to get out in that tight space, but it is possible.

I highly suggest you get a set of metric ratcheting wrenches if you don't already have some.

Good luck,

Doug
__________________
1997 Lariat 4x4 w/ 2004 PI 4.6L & 2003 Auto, Amsoil Filters & Fluids all around
E-Fans; Underdrive Pulleys; Shorty Headers; BBK 75mm Throttle Body; BBK Cool Air Intake

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  #3  
Old 02-16-2007, 10:28 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: WINDSOR, ONTARIO, CANADA
Vehicle: "99" FORD F-150
Posts: 7,013
Cool

HI!... Well there are frost plugs on the back of the cylinder heads that are exposed :

Click the image to open in full size.

There is also 3 frost plugs on each side of the block :

Click the image to open in full size.
__________________
"1999" F-150 XLT SPORT, BUILT 5.4, all N/A.
354RWH.P/392RWTQ (no tune, yet) on 8 cylinders/ 1/8= 8.4, 13.60E.T (on 7 cylinders, broken ring in #5), 1.8 60FT.

"2007" FORD RANGER SPORT, EC, SB, 4X2, 4.0L. 1/8= 8.8, 13.83E.T
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  #4  
Old 02-16-2007, 11:45 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: North Idaho/Eastern WA
Vehicle: 1997 Ford F150
Posts: 162
Neal, you are too awesome! I've learned so much from your descriptions and photos.

If I'm understanding what I'm seeing on your last pic, the gold circle farthest to the back (left) is where I think the coolant is coming out.

Unfortunately the truck is stuck about 30 miles from home at the moment. However, tomorrow is Saturday, it's going to be relatively warm, and I may have a way to get the ol' beast home.
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2007, 12:26 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: North Idaho/Eastern WA
Vehicle: 1997 Ford F150
Posts: 162
OK, let's say it was the freeze plug. How could that happen?

I recently removed the fan and shrowd in anticipation of installing efans. I ended up going a few weeks before installing the efans because it was so danged cold out. I figured I could get away with it too. Nothing remarkable happened in that time.

Now, since the efans have been installed, all was well for a week or two, then I smelled coolant, then a couple days ago I notice a puff of steam coming from under the hood. I tried to isolate where it was coming from, and thought it might have been an old hose. Guess not.

The FAL efans have been running properly (I think). I haven't actually measured temps or anything yet, once again due to cold temps and darkness. I've never gotten an overheat indication on the dash though.

I did notice that my coolant didn't look so good (It's about 2 years old). Is it possible that the freeze plug was weakened during the recent cold spell (-5F)?
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  #6  
Old 02-17-2007, 12:46 AM
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Location: Eau Claire / Milwaukee, WI; USA
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My bad I'd forgotten the ones on the heads. Thanks Neal, you are a great source of information.

One thing about my '97 that I replaced. The Eng. Block looked like a rusted junk, flaking badly. But all the freeze plugs looked like they were darn near brand new. There wasn't a spot of rust inside or out on them. (A friend tore the Engine down to seperate the steel from the aluminum for scrap.)

Of course that is no garentee that yours didn't rust.

Regardless you'll have to pull the Intake and possibly the Head to fix your problem.

Good luck with it,
Doug
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2007, 01:49 AM
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Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: WINDSOR, ONTARIO, CANADA
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Cool

HI!... BILLYW : The rear most frost plug on the driver's side is usually the block heater. They are known for leaking. I had two blow out on me while driving. When I built the engine in the pics I posted, I had it replaced with a brass frost plug like the rest. Do you have a block heater on your truck? If so it most likely is that. If not and it is the rear plug, it can be popped out and replace easily on the truck.

You can see the block heater in this pic :

Click the image to open in full size.
__________________
"1999" F-150 XLT SPORT, BUILT 5.4, all N/A.
354RWH.P/392RWTQ (no tune, yet) on 8 cylinders/ 1/8= 8.4, 13.60E.T (on 7 cylinders, broken ring in #5), 1.8 60FT.

"2007" FORD RANGER SPORT, EC, SB, 4X2, 4.0L. 1/8= 8.8, 13.83E.T

Last edited by Neal; 02-17-2007 at 01:51 AM.
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  #8  
Old 02-17-2007, 02:14 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: North Idaho/Eastern WA
Vehicle: 1997 Ford F150
Posts: 162
YES!!! I do have a block heater, and when I was under there looking, THAT is exactly what I was looking at! Of course the wire and plug were still there!

This engine is due to be replaced in the next 10 days by a new rebuilt block. Now that I feel reasonably confident I didn't blow it, costing me a core charge, how can I prevent this in the future? I really like using that block heater. Is there an alternative that works pretty well?
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  #9  
Old 02-17-2007, 10:29 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: North Idaho/Eastern WA
Vehicle: 1997 Ford F150
Posts: 162
Quick follow up. I found a local guy to tow the truck back to my house from Spokane (about 20 miles). Turned out to be a great deal for me. Because the guy needed to go to Spokane anyhow, and I bought him an espresso, and we generally hit it off, the tow only cost me $50, AND he stopped at the local NAPA and helped me get a rubber plug and and replacement antifreeze at his rates.

I didn't even know there was such thing as a rubber freeze plug available. WAY COOL!!

Ultimately, $65 later I'm back in a working vehicle. And I'll be reimbursed for $50 of it from insurance. Hopefully it lasts for a week or two until my nice new supercharged engine is ready.
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2007, 02:43 AM
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Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: WINDSOR, ONTARIO, CANADA
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Posts: 7,013
Cool

HI!... This rubber plug you bought, is it the kind that fits in the frost plug hole and you turn a nut/**** and it compresses and expands the plug to fit the hole? If it is, it won't last. I tried 3 of those when my block heater blew out. As soon as you get on the gas hard and the W/P spins up the coolant flow, it will blow that expanding plug right out. The frost plug holes on the modular engines have a taper to them. I hope it stays in for you, but didn't for me. You can buy another frost plug for like $2 and knock it back in with a large socker and extension.
__________________
"1999" F-150 XLT SPORT, BUILT 5.4, all N/A.
354RWH.P/392RWTQ (no tune, yet) on 8 cylinders/ 1/8= 8.4, 13.60E.T (on 7 cylinders, broken ring in #5), 1.8 60FT.

"2007" FORD RANGER SPORT, EC, SB, 4X2, 4.0L. 1/8= 8.8, 13.83E.T
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  #11  
Old 02-18-2007, 03:04 AM
JMC JMC is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1997
Location: Windsor,Ontario,Canada
Vehicle: 2000 Ford F-150 4x4
Posts: 9,349
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The 97+ F-150 V8s have failsafe cooling. If you ever blow a frost plug you can keep driving. The oil pressure light as well as the SES light will come on to indicate that you are in failsafe cooling mode. You will also notice it by the fact that the PCM shuts down up to 4 injectors at a time and varies them so they can act as an air pump to aid in cooling. This will allow you to limp the truck home in a pinch.

JMC
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Regards
Jean Marc Chartier


4.6 to 5.4 swap, M5OD w/ Hurst short throw, Warn XD9000i, OBX Long Tubes /w Cats, Troyer E-fans, P-1SC Procharger @15psi, Troyer tuned. ;)
Swap notes; http://www.f150online.com/forums/art...ml#post3570245
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  #12  
Old 02-18-2007, 11:18 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: North Idaho/Eastern WA
Vehicle: 1997 Ford F150
Posts: 162
I read about the failsafe mode last night. Wish I would have known about it when I was driving home on Friday. The SES light is blinking on my dash, but it has been for over a month now anyhow due to missing.

I've driven about 20 miles with that expandable rubber plug in place. I'll cross my fingers and hope that it makes it another 10 days or so until the new engine is ready.

Neil, thanks for the input, I couldn't tell if the hole was tapered or not. If so, and it comes out again. I now know that I can limp to a parts store and get something that should last long enough.

I don't want to sound mushy, but I am so grateful to be able to come here for enlightenment.

I guess it's kind of a double edged sword. On the one side, there is so much experience and knowledge to draw on, thus saving money. On the other, is the plethora of great suggestions on how to spend the hard earned buck.

What to do, what to do?
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Old 02-18-2007, 11:18 PM


 
 
 
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