Re: 98 Windstar coolant leak
The bypass tube I was talking about goes in the front of the intake and runs down the inside of the intake to the thermostat. I pulled the bolt holding it in place not knowing that the tube was as long as it was. At any rate I replaced the o-ring on it and put the bolt back into place.
Last Monday I started the tear down and the intake was off by dinner time. Not that bad of a teardown really. I expected it to be worse. I had hoped to see the gasket disturbed along the top edge of the front (left) side of the engine, but I didn't. What I did see was a brittle gasket that had started to seperate on the blocked water jacket on the right hand side of the intake (towards the firewall) and a piece actually missing in the other jacket. I guess maybe the gasket got weak and brittle over time and it weakened and leaked while under pressure.
I decided against doing the heads and opted to just do the intake gaskets. I have never had much luck with exhaust manifold studs....
I ordered some parts and I cleaned up all the surfaces, replaced the injector o-rings at the head, installed new gaskets from the Fel-pro kit and replaced the thermostat and gasket. There is a night and day difference in the old gaskets and the new ones. The new gaskets are made of metal, alot better then the original gaskets that came off it.
I managed to get it all back together tonight and it fired right up. Before I tried to start, I turned the key to the on position 3 times, waiting for the fuel pump to quit between each. The heat gauge came up to mid range as it has since day one and was there while it was running for close to 45+ minutes. Took a run up the street for a bit and it is looking good. Doesn't appear to have any leaks.
I have almost no rear heat though unless I am moving at the speed limit in the city, I suspect I have an air lock in there somewhere and/or not enough coolant to supply the rear heat. So on Saturday I am going to get a new rad cap and top it off with some anti-freeze and give it an oil change.
I am hoping that these are good signs, it appears I may have fixed the problem. If I didn't fix it, I have to say this r and r of the intake was not that bad. Seeing I haven't done it since 1994 on my '88 Ranger with the 2.9l.
I hope this all makes sense, it has been a long day. Thanks for words of wisdom chipset, much appreciated. Eric.