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Old 02-12-2006, 09:01   #1 (permalink)
shogun64
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strange leak

my 88 cougar has a weard coolant leak. it just started and it only
leaks on real cold nights without the car even been running for days. i
fill it up, start it and look for leaks when its running and no leaks.
not a lot, just a puddle or two. could this be related to my service
light being on?

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Old 02-12-2006, 11:01   #2 (permalink)
scrapir
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Re: strange leak

Do you have a newer radiator? One with plastic side tanks? Its not uncomon
to see the seal between the tank and fins leak when it gets cold out.

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Old 02-12-2006, 11:01   #3 (permalink)
shogun64
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Re: strange leak

no, i belive it is the original.

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Old 02-12-2006, 14:01   #4 (permalink)
Puddin' Man
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Re: strange leak

On Sun, 12 Feb 2006 13:07:56 -0500, "scrapir" <scrapir@gmail.com>
wrote:

>Do you have a newer radiator? One with plastic side tanks? Its not uncomon
>to see the seal between the tank and fins leak when it gets cold out.


Hi,

I got '94 Tbird LX V8, 61K mi. with similar problem.

The (Mickey Mouse) rad. has plastic on each end, alum.
fins in middle.

Any info re diagnosis and repair (if possible) would
be appreciated:

1.) Is there a seal on each side of the alum. fins?

2.) Can rad. be disassembled to replace seal(s)?

3.) Etc, etc.

Thanks,
Puddin'
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Old 02-12-2006, 14:01   #5 (permalink)
shogun64
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Re: strange leak

i will check, but i think it is the factory one

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Old 02-12-2006, 15:01   #6 (permalink)
CJB
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Re: strange leak

I'm willing to bet you have a 3.8l engine. If so, it's head gasket time.

CJB

"shogun64" <shogun64@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:1139761139.080068.83320@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> my 88 cougar has a weard coolant leak. it just started and it only
> leaks on real cold nights without the car even been running for days. i
> fill it up, start it and look for leaks when its running and no leaks.
> not a lot, just a puddle or two. could this be related to my service
> light being on?
>



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Old 02-12-2006, 21:01   #7 (permalink)
Dave in Columbus
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Re: strange leak

On 12 Feb 2006 08:18:59 -0800, "shogun64" <shogun64@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

>my 88 cougar has a weard coolant leak. it just started and it only
>leaks on real cold nights without the car even been running for days. i
>fill it up, start it and look for leaks when its running and no leaks.
>not a lot, just a puddle or two. could this be related to my service
>light being on?



Could be a water pump. Look for coolant seeping out of the weep hole on
the water pump.
--

Dave in Columbus
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:01   #8 (permalink)
Fordfan
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Re: strange leak

Puddin' Man wrote:
> On Sun, 12 Feb 2006 13:07:56 -0500, "scrapir" <scrapir@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>
>>Do you have a newer radiator? One with plastic side tanks? Its not uncomon
>>to see the seal between the tank and fins leak when it gets cold out.

>
>
> Hi,
>
> I got '94 Tbird LX V8, 61K mi. with similar problem.
>
> The (Mickey Mouse) rad. has plastic on each end, alum.
> fins in middle.
>
> Any info re diagnosis and repair (if possible) would
> be appreciated:
>
> 1.) Is there a seal on each side of the alum. fins?
>
> 2.) Can rad. be disassembled to replace seal(s)?
>
> 3.) Etc, etc.
>
> Thanks,
> Puddin'


I've had the same problem with a 95' Escort radiator. It only leaks in
cold weather while the engine is warming up. The leak stops when normal
operating temperature is reached. The leak is caused by the seals
(O-rings) located between the plastic tanks and the aluminum core on
each end. When the temperature is below about 40-F the seals don't have
enough resiliency. They leak until the rubber material warms up and
becomes flexible. Ford does make a repair kit with new seals but the
problem is the locking tabs on the aluminum core which hold the plastic
tanks, can crack and break when you try to open them up. There's no way
to repair the tabs if they break off. I've been wondering if there is
some kind of radiator sealant I can use that will stop the seal leaks
without causing any problems to the cooling system in general,
particularly the heater core. The solution of course is to change the
radiator. I just haven't got around to doing it.
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:01   #9 (permalink)
MasterBlaster
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Re: strange leak


"shogun64" wrote:

> my 88 cougar has a weard coolant leak. it just started and it only
> leaks on real cold nights without the car even been running for days.
> i fill it up, start it and look for leaks when its running and no leaks.
> not a lot, just a puddle or two.


The location of the puddles will tell a lot. Front, back, side?

> could this be related to my service light being on?


Semi-digital dash? Digital speedo, analog fuel and temp, amp & oil lights?
Looks amazingly like this: ?
http://www3.telus.net/neatcrap/pics1/service-light.gif
That's just the oil change reminder. It comes on every few thousand miles.
Just push Trip and Trip Reset at the same time, 3 beeps later it's off again.

If you love your Cougar, and plan on keeping it for a while, come visit us at
http://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/index.php
Read a while, register (it's FREEEEEEE!), and start asking questions.
We'll leave the light on for ya. :)

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Old 02-13-2006, 09:01   #10 (permalink)
Puddin' Man
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Posts: n/a
Re: strange leak

On Mon, 13 Feb 2006 08:26:59 GMT, Fordfan <Fordfan@connifer.net>
wrote:

>Puddin' Man wrote:
>> On Sun, 12 Feb 2006 13:07:56 -0500, "scrapir" <scrapir@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Do you have a newer radiator? One with plastic side tanks? Its not uncomon
>>>to see the seal between the tank and fins leak when it gets cold out.

>>
>>
>> Hi,
>>
>> I got '94 Tbird LX V8, 61K mi. with similar problem.
>>
>> The (Mickey Mouse) rad. has plastic on each end, alum.
>> fins in middle.
>>
>> Any info re diagnosis and repair (if possible) would
>> be appreciated:
>>
>> 1.) Is there a seal on each side of the alum. fins?
>>
>> 2.) Can rad. be disassembled to replace seal(s)?
>>
>> 3.) Etc, etc.
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Puddin'

>
>I've had the same problem with a 95' Escort radiator. It only leaks in
>cold weather while the engine is warming up. The leak stops when normal
>operating temperature is reached. The leak is caused by the seals
>(O-rings) located between the plastic tanks and the aluminum core on
>each end. When the temperature is below about 40-F the seals don't have
>enough resiliency. They leak until the rubber material warms up and
>becomes flexible. Ford does make a repair kit with new seals but the
>problem is the locking tabs on the aluminum core which hold the plastic
>tanks, can crack and break when you try to open them up. There's no way
>to repair the tabs if they break off.


"Another Ford Engineering Masterpiece!!!" :-)

>I've been wondering if there is
>some kind of radiator sealant I can use that will stop the seal leaks
>without causing any problems to the cooling system in general,
>particularly the heater core.


I've been wondering as well.

Sitting on my desk (for weeks now) is a bottle of "Bar's
Leaks (Original Pelletized Formula) Stop Leak". I'm afraid to
put it in the rad.: the only additive I've -ever- used is FI
cleaner.

Advice on use/implications of such additives would be much
appreciated.

>The solution of course is to change the
>radiator. I just haven't got around to doing it.


Yeah, the nice, nice guy at the rad. shop wrote me a nice,
nice estimate. For $500. Wonder iffen I could raise it
diving for lost change in the sofa cushions ... <g>

Cheers,
Puddin'
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