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2002 Ranger Coolant leak problem

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2002 Ranger Coolant leak problem

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  #1  
Old 06-18-2015, 11:23 AM
Honest
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2002 Ranger Coolant leak problem

I have a 2002 Ranger 2.4L 5 speed that is leaking a fair amount of coolant, enough that I need to add a gallon of water ever other day to keep the reservoir full. I tracked down the leak to the upper radiator hose, where the hose meets the radiator. I replaced the hose and clamp and it still leaks from that spot. I recently added an additional hose clamp (now 2 clamps where upper hose meets radiator) and that has reduced the leaking in that spot even further. My radiator doesn't have a cap directly on it, only an expansion tank. I notice a lot of pressure in there after I make my 40 mile drive home from work. Meaning when I get home and pop the hood and open expansion cap, there is a lot of pressure built up. I'm concerned that the pressure is the reason I'm loosing coolant, as it's just too much and getting forced out in that same spot. I will add that since I've had this leaking I've just added water to my radiator as it's seems stupid to keep buying coolant that is just going to leak out until I've got the problem fixed. The other week I heard bubbling from under the hood when I reached my home, although my truck was at normal operating temperature. Last Wednesday I added that second clamp and a gallon of coolant (50/50 premixed) and no longer hear the bubbling but there is still a lot of pressure. From what I've read it could possibly be the following:

1) Bad Radiator cap (if this is the case and it's causing excessive build up could I just drive with the reservoir cap off and see if I still get the leak?)

2) Cracked Radiator (the radiator housing is plastic, when I replaced the hose I visually inspected cuff that the hose goes over and did not see anything, although I couldn't see the bottom side of it due to angle)

3)Head Gasket (I don't have milky oil, no oil in water/coolant, no smoke from exhaust. I'm concerned that a head gasket could be causing excessive pressure which is forcing the leak)

I've had this truck for 12 years. I do remember in the past (prior to the leak) that if I did open reservoir it had pressure. I wonder if it has excessive pressure because it was just water in there and not a mix of coolant, since I added the gallon of coolant I haven't heard any bubbling and the pressure seems less. Although when i open the tank coolant rushes back in past the max line. What's my problem here. Should I just replace the cap? Block test for gasket? I'm trying to go with the least expensive diagnostics as possible as money is an issue.

Thank you in advance for your advise/help.
 
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Old 06-18-2015, 12:48 PM
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If it's leaking where the hose attaches to the radiator, first thing I would suspect is a crack in the radiator.

Maybe try a telescoping mirror to get a peak underneath the "cuff".
 
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Old 07-04-2015, 04:31 PM
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I would definitely block test for gasket. Blown Head Gasket is the worst case and it is good to eliminate this condition first before spending any more real big money.
 
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:18 PM
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The plastic radiators seem to fail with some regularity. Also the thermostat housing which is plastic and the heater control valve which is plastic fail with some regularity.

Russ
 
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Old 07-13-2015, 12:08 AM
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I would agree, do a detailed inspection of the radiator for a cracked tank/outlet. When mine failed you could see the "veins" in the plastic from when the poured/formed it. Failed dead along one of those. Poor design, poor execution.

When I had head gasket issues. It would "blow" past the cap and into the overflow for a bit after shutting down. No oil in water, no water in oil so it was cylinder to coolant crossover.
 
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:57 AM
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When I had head gasket issues. It would "blow" past the cap and into the overflow for a bit after shutting down. No oil in water, no water in oil so it was cylinder to coolant crossover.[/QUOTE]

We thought that was the problem. We changed the head gaskets AND the heads. Still have the same problem.
 
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