Fuel in the cooling system! - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:45 PM
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Fuel in the cooling system!

I have a 2000 7.3 litre, there is fuel in the radiator and after start it burns off coolant for a minute or so. There is no coolant or fuel in the engine oil. The engine doesn't miss after initial start up and coolant has burned off, the engine cranks steady (i.e. seems to have good compression) and there is no obvious power loss. where ever the leak is it is slight because it doesn't over pressurize the cooling system and I have driven some long distances.

Is there any place where the fuel and cooling system intersect that could leak or is it more likely that there is a crack in the head between a fuel passage and a water jacket?

Any help with this will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:43 PM
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check your injector cups they are probably cracked letting fuel in your coolant.
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Old 03-29-2010, 04:09 PM
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444ci is right - that's the only place fuel can get into the coolant. If you do try to do it yourself, you can get these tools and do the job without pulling the heads:

Injector Sleeve Puller | Ford 7.3 Powerstroke Diesel Engine Tools | Whitaker Tools, Inc.

Watch the video - pretty neat compared to the old way of doing it.
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Old 03-30-2010, 02:37 PM
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Just a quick question. Is this a normal failure that happens on all 7.3's or is it rare? I own a VERY well maintained 7.3 with 130,000 and I dont even wanna think about this goin wrong on mine.
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Old 03-30-2010, 03:18 PM
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mine is doin the same thing it a 99 238,000 on it
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Old 03-30-2010, 03:46 PM
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It has nothing to do with maintenance - there is no way you could prevent this - it probably has to do with expansion and contraction of the head over time and some inserts do just fine and some crack. Just bad luck. Its not real common, but it is common enough that the guy at whitaker tools is making a load of money on just one tool he dreamed up.
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:46 PM
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i got same thing going on 285,453 miles fuel in cooling system 2001 f250
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Old 07-29-2010, 03:03 AM
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i thought i was going to have to replace injector cups, since i also had contaminants in the coolant. a fellow stroker here suggested i drain coolant, flush with water, and see if the problem persisted. i flushed completely and used a little simple green to get out the fuel. the problem never came back.

have you had any injector work done recently? i had, and i suspect that's how the junk got in there. anyways, flushing at home was free and easy. then i just drove with pure water around town nice and easy for a few miles for a week. problem never came back so i put in the proper coolant.
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Old 07-29-2010, 06:57 AM
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Samiam - I don't understand how fuel could get into the cooling system during injector work. The cooling jackets are never exposed. You can get oil and fuel mixing, but the only place the fuel and oil get close to each other is across the injector cup, and those are supposed to be solid breaks unless they are cracked. When you had injector work, do you think they replaced your injector cups and didn't tell you?
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:48 AM
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dray8165... ya, that's why i said "contaminant" instead of fuel. i should have asked right up front how it was determined that it was fuel instead of oil. initially i thought i had fuel in my coolant, but in the end it was probably oil. it was light colored, and not very dark at all sitting in the coolant tank. but a good flushing made it go away. when i skimmed it off and let it sit completely still in a jar for a couple days it blackened up as it totally separated from the coolant.
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