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It is the by product of your engine. Not to get to technical but your engine does produce a little h20( water) . Also your exhaust builds a little condensate in the pipes and mufflers. Does it clear up after it gets hot? If it blows steam out all the time and on the road going at hiway speeds. Its a blown head gaskets. If you have oil in your radiator, the same. If you have water in your oil may be crakced block. Your oil will look like gray and pasty. Your radiator will have oil residue on the cap and check you breather valve cover it may look the same. Check out new cars exhaust and see if yours is similar. You will use this as a gauge to your drip. Good luck and I am sure it is ok unless it is pouring steam out the tailpipe.
As rvzavala said, water is a normal product of combusting a hydrocarbon fuel. The other is carbon dioxide, one of the gasses responsible for global warming. When the car is first started, everything is cold, so the hot steam part of the exhaust will quickly condense into liquid water. As the parts warm up, the steam will remain hot enough that it will generally stay transparent under normal temperatures.
Under ideal conditions, a pound of gasoline burns with about 14 pounds of air, so a gallon of gas at 7 pounds will burn with 98 pounds of air. This much weight will make its way through the exhaust as 105 pounds of water, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. So you can expect to see a bit of water coming out of your exhaust system.
Ethanol alcohol has a greater proportion of oxygen vs carbon, but I don't remember the air/fuel ratio for it (it's less than gasoline). It's also a hydrocarbon fuel, so it will also generate H2O and CO2 as its exhaust.
I recently noticed a bit of water dripping from my exhaust while engine was running (3.0, '97, automatic w/oem exhaust). I thought at first it was bad gas but now I don't know what it is? Any ideas?
Another thought would be to carefully inspect the liquid that is emanating from your exhaust. I have a 1995 Aerostar 3.0L V6 that I recently purchased. After getting the machine home, I noticed that it was dripping from the exhaust when first starting-up the engine (about 1 drop every 5-10 seconds for the first 10-15 minutes). The cooling system was dirty, and had been filled with H20 for months. I flushed the system (2 quarts of Prestone cooling system cleaner), and flushed the system using a Prestone garden hose flusher (cut hose atop alternator, and installed "T" adaptor), and the system was cleaned out effectively. I added a gallon of Prestone, filled with water, did the heater thing (on full and max flow), and topped this system off. So far, so good. However, the tail pipe still leaked. Didn't expect a fix by cleaning the system, but wanted to see if the tail pipe liquid "drip" was clear (water) or colored (Prestone color). Bad news: yellow/green drip. Knowing that I have either a cracked head or a partially blown head gasket, I added a bottle of Bars Leaks. Some improvement, but not perfect, but no leaks at all after 15 minutes at idle or use. Next plan is to flush system again, and follow strict procedure outlined in "H & W Block Sealer" instructions: flush, drain, add limited water, add product, run, then drain, and allow cooling system to "dry" for 24 hours (with all ports open: filler, draincock, and "Prestone flush port"). Frankly, I think it will work. We will see. One thing is for sure, there will be no removal of this engine for a replaced head gasket, or engine overhaul. Any other ideas?
I think that a sealer is just a temporary fix. It might work for a couple of weeks, but then the leak would come back. By the way, if the coolant is dirty, chances are the engine has been overheated before you bought the van. That would explain the head gasket leak. As for a cracked head, I doubt it. The 3.0L heads are much less prone to cracking than the 4.0L heads.
i've had my 91 aerostar for about 6 months now, and i can confidently say that the heat is normal. i also have a chevy dually with a 454 and it gets nowhere near as hot as my aero*. it's just such a small space for the heat to dissipate, esecially with half of the engine underneath the vehicle. with a normal vehicle, i.e. a car or truck, there is a lot more surface area of the hood, so when you pick it up, it can vent the heat a lot more quickly and over a larger area, with a van that has a small hood, when you open the hood, the heat comes out of the small area, which effectivly acts as a funnel to vent the heat straight up into your face.
[QUOTE=M.Herrington]i've had my 91 aerostar for about 6 months now, and i can confidently say that the heat is normal...
Another question for you...since I live in Knoxville, TN, the temperatures are fairly normal, and not excessively cold in winter. I am wondering if it would be a good idea, or not, to change the factory Thermostat (who knows what temp it is set for?) for 1 of the 2 lower temperature versions - like the 165-degree thermostat?
What do you think? Would this be a good idea to do, since the engine compartment is so cramped?
Wow, I just re-read the comments on the Chevy 454 V8 being a cooler engine bay than the Aerostar's engine compartment! Amazing, but I believe it.
Again, thank you for your reply! I appreciate it. Good news is good to get sometimes.
A colder thermostat isn't a good idea. The EEC (Electronic Engine Controls) is made to run at a certain temperature and if it doesn't get to that temperature it will usualy run rich and burn more gas than it should, as well as polluting more than it should.
Any idea how long since it's had a tune up? A dirty MAF sensor can make it have less power than it should. So can a partially plugged fuel filter.
You might find that the radiator leak gets worse in winter. These rads are aluminum with plastic tanks crimped onto the core. Quite often they leak as it gets colder. Sometimes they can be recrimped but usually if they leak they should be replaced.
The heat in the engine compartment is normal. Every time I open that hood, I had to stand a couple of feet away, otherwise the heat is unbearable. Trust me, I have two Aerostars, and they are both the same. Herrington is absolutely right, the small hood opening acts a a chimney to divert all that hot air to our face (natural convection at work here, at last that heat transfer course is good for something ). As for the leak near the drain ****, next time you drain the radiator, open the drain **** completely, then you can pull it out. On it is a little O-ring. You can either replace that O-ring alone or replace the entire drain **** (I'm cheap, so I just did the O-ring). Both are available at Kragen.
Since the leak stopped, I would suggest you drive it as is for a while to see if it comes back. If it does, try to remove the upper intake manifold and tighten the lower intake manifold a little. Sometimes the leak is there instead of in the head gasket. If you want to check the head gaskets, open the radiator cap while the engine is COLD and run until it gets hot and the water is circulating. Watch for gas bubbles floating to the surface. If the bubbles are there, you have a head gasket leak. In that case, I suggest pulling both heads and have them resurfaced, put in new valve stem seals and torque them up. You have a 3.0L so you can reuse the head bolts, but only ONCE. Standard practice is to put a little paint on the top of the head bolts so the next guy who has to deal with the heads knows he has to replace them next time around.
Also, Dave is right, forget about the lower temperature thermostat. If your engine is cold, the computer won't kick in and you will be running in open loop, which is bad for gas mileage, and other things too
About the transmission, there are two things I would like to mention. First, don't use the crappy cork gasket that came with the filter. Go to bulkpart.com and order the paper gasket instead. The cork gaskets always leak on me after a few thousand miles, and there is no way I could make them leak proof. Perhaps others have found ways to do so, but I gave up. Second, next time you open up the transmission oil pan, drill a hole at the lowest point (about 1/2" in diameter), put a 10mm nut on it (on the outside) and take it to a muffler shop. They would charge you about $5 to BRAZE (not weld) it onto the oil pan. Then buy some copper washer (to seal) and put a 10mm bolt on it. Voila, you now have ways to drain the transmission without opening the pan. I find that changing the fluid every 6000 miles, even if it's only a few quarts, cannot be bad for your transmission. I change the filter only every 20,000 miles. As for completely flushing the transmission, put in a new filter, then do the drain-fill-drive sequence for 5-6 times and you should be done. At one time I concocted a gadget to flush transmissions, and it worked well, but too troublesome, with closing this valve, open that valve etc... you get the idea! After using it three time (my brother's car, my wife's car and my car), I now put it on top of the garage and never used it again. If any of you want it, I'll send it to you guys for free
You three have eased my mind. I thought that my Aerostar had turned into a blast furnace. I was getting ready to install a small fire extinguisher in the front cabin on the passenger floor side, due to that heat. I think I'll still do it, but not for the engine compartment heat. Again, thanks for the knowledge.
Also, I've got to say that this machine is a very nice piece of engineering. I still love my old Peugeot 505 DL & S wagons, but this XLT (shorty) Aerostar is a serious cruiser. As I was crawling underneath it and looking at the FRAME (looks like a truck frame!), I realized that I'm not dealing with an econobox. Nice design. Everything down there, the fairly huge 21 gallon fuel tank, the design of the exhaust, drive train, it all looks like it built very solid.
I'm glad I bought this machine.
Also, Copper, the tranny pan nut-brazed thing...Great idea! I'll do that next time I drop the pan for another flush. I believe my Purolator kit had a "corky gasket"...you're right about that. I put some "blue" gasket fixer on the pan to hold on the gasket...it seemed to hold it straight...but that cork was very unsatisfactory, you're right. I'll do better than that next time.
Thermostat. Okay, I'll stay with the hot one. The cold idea was an uneducated idea on keeping the engine bay cooler. Thanks for the correction on that bad therory.
I'm sure I'll have more questions. I really appreciate all your help. I hope I can be of some assistance to you folks too.
95 Aerostar XLT 3.0L
My 89 was Hot like that when it had a bad Head Gasket. Got Really Hot really fast.
Could feel it in the Cab. After I rebuild the Engine it's a lot cooler now. I can open it up after a 2 hour drive, reach in and check the oil with no problem. Before the rebuild I'd burn my hand if I would of done that.
Removing from the Front a Aerostar 3.0/4.0 Engine & Rebuilding a 3.0 WebPage
Hmm. So you say that your engine was hot as a firecracker when your head gasket had failed. I read the above posts, and I was thinking that maybe it was normal, but it did continue to drip (when it was cold). I would say that measured about 1 drop of water out the tailpipe every 5-10 seconds (for the first 5 minutes), but after that, the drip decreases as it warms-up. I've never had a car drip like clockwork, like this (a water clock, nonetheless, ha ha). I had a 97 Mustang with 3.8 (I think it was), and it never dripped...I think. On the other hand, I never stared at its exhaust. This Aerostar caught my attention dripping, because my new driveway is smooth, and anything that is on it (A/C condensation, for example) shows up well.
Yesterday, I flushed the cooling system once again. This time, I used Zerex Super Cleaner (2 quarts), and ran it as prescribed, then flushed the system. Afterwards, I added K & W Block Seal (per their instructions), lots of flushing, draining, and mixing with 3 quarts of hot water, then running it at idle for a minimum of 30 minutes. I ran it for 45 minutes.
Result so far (during idle, even) is that the drip disappeared. Completely. My cooling system may have also disappeared too, but I'm happy with the temporary fix. Tonight, after the cooling system "dries" for 24 hours, I'm filling it, and testing it for leaks.
I realize that the "real" answer is the attached disassembly/rebuild. I'll try to do that if this K & W fix doesn't work. I tell you what JT, that web site demonstration of your rebuild of that Aerostar is AMAZING! I even like the blue paint! Beautiful! If I had a little experience, and one more operative vehicle, I would give it a shot. In any case, thanks for the expertise on the engine heat, and the link. Superb.
I'll let you folks know the results of my K & W "overhaul".
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