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Old 12-25-2011, 10:33 PM
MLD MLD is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Vehicle: 2002 Ford F150
Posts: 116
Radiator end tank leak @ gasket

I've noticed a coolant smell when I'm standing under the opened hood, and now I have found the leak at the end plastic tank / aluminum radiator core joint.

It's right at the bottom, and I was wondering if it's advisable to take it in for a fix or buy new. Radiator is in excellent shape internally and I put this 2 core unit in '05.

I've found accounts online of hammering the tabs in more because of the thermal expansion is what separated these over time, or another thought is the gasket shrinks and a 're-hammer' here will do the trick .


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Old 12-25-2011, 11:12 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Beaverton Or.
Vehicle: 1999 Ford F150
Posts: 3,204
I've had mine leak there also and just ended up replacing it. I don't know if there are any temp fixes for the issue.
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Old 12-26-2011, 10:09 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Utah
Vehicle: 1999 Ford F-150 5.4
Posts: 5,135
Plastic tank radiators aren't reparable. You gotta get a new one..

1999 F-150 xlt 5.4 4x4
1971 Mach 351c 5 speed TKO600 Tremac-sold!
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Old 12-26-2011, 12:10 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Sask. Canada
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Originally Posted by jethat View Post
Plastic tank radiators aren't reparable. You gotta get a new one..
yes and no. the plastic tank on the end of the tank is not repairable, but there are o rings that seal the plastic tank to the core. I have never attempted to replace them myself but have taken many rads in to have the seals replaced.
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:44 PM
MLD MLD is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Vehicle: 2002 Ford F150
Posts: 116
OK, I've found an online post with pictures of a DIY fix.

He lifts the aluminum tabs and works it off the tank so as not weakening these tabs....said the fix took about an hour for a side.

It looks a bit distorted and makes you wonder if it's going to work , but once together it looked O.E. It sounds as though the end tank and gasket are sold as a set.

A local shop said, "they got out of this, and no longer do it," and gave me a reference. They said this type of work is "iffy" these days on getting a good job, and recommended the 35 mile drive.

Things are getting more throw away these days.

Btw, I hammered two tabs that were accessible and that happened to be at the leak spot, and it worked for now.

This was a minor leak where the coolant dripped only on shut down when cool,; when hot the expansion would self-seal it.
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:44 PM


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