Help a n00b with a coolant leak? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:53 PM
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Help a n00b with a coolant leak?

Hi all, I've been a member for a while, this forum has been a great resource (so much so that searching generally finds my answer without needing to post a new thread). However, my coolant leak has me perplexed and I couldn't find a similar thread.

Truck is: 95 F250 PSD, 5spd, 4x4. From what I can tell it's an early 95 model (has rad cap on radiator, not expansion tank).

I have had a really slight coolant leak for a while now, and am having trouble diagnosing it. There isn't a substantial amount of coolant under it, and it only leaks right after running the truck. It could sit for eight weeks and not leak a drop (I tried it - and the coolant level stayed the same). However, I drive it to work, and as it cools it will drip enough to notice, but not enough to measure (maybe a quart, probably less).

The previous owner (my grandpa) took a 2x4 to the Grill/AC Condenser/Radiator over a decade ago. The AC system held coolant, and so did the radiator, he never replaced it. My inclination is it's a bad radiator, but I can't ever see the coolant leaking out of it. The front is dry, the engine is dry, the back of the rad is dry. But, there is a lower cross bar (painted body color) that covers the bottom of the radiator from my view, and coolant slowly drips off it.

Before I go throwing parts at it (buy a radiator), is there anything else I should look into? Or is there a good way to test the radiator and rule it out? (I don't have a vacuum tester or adapter, but could get one if that's needed.) Any help is appreciated.

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Old 04-23-2013, 07:21 PM
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Welcome!

I would be looking at the lower radiator hose where it connects to the radiator or the radiator itself. I'm sure you could always take the radiator in and have it tested. Cheers!
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:58 PM
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Thanks for the help, but the lower (and upper for that matter) hoses look great. If it is the rad, I will replace both of them anyway.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:04 AM
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The A/C system doesn't hold coolant, so it's out of the picture. You don't need a vacuum tester, you need a pressure tester. It's basically a fitting that goes on in place of the radiator cap, with a pump that allows you to build pressure while the engine is cold. This allows small leaks, which often only come out when the engine is hot and the cooling system is under pressure, to evidence themselves more readily.

It's actually easier to find such a tester for your style of cap, on the radiator, rather than the later ones with the pressure cap on the reservoir. Check your various FLAPS, see if they have one that you can borrow on deposit.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:15 PM
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Sorry, I should have said refrigerant when I referenced the condenser. In any case, I only mentioned it because of the incident way back when. Thanks for the heads up on the pressure tester, I thought it was an attachment for a vacuum tester - not that it had its own pump.
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