Coolant level rising . . . and darkening - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:01 PM
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Coolant level rising . . . and darkening

Last year in December I tore into my '05 to do the semi-bulletproofing. I did oil cooler, BPD EGR cooler, STC connector, etc. No head gaskets at that time. Truck has been flawless since then. Coolant was flushed about 10,000 miles ago (before the oil cooler swap). I usually run Matt's 8k Tow tune as a daily driver unless I'm towing heavy.

In the past week I've used the truck a lot from towing a light box trailer 300 miles, running all around locally more than usual, & pulling a 15,500 lb fifth wheel a short, but hilly distance. Today I was about to do an oil change and I lifted the hood to see the degas bottle full and dark-ish.

The degas bottle level has been between the lines all year in all conditions, so clearly something is wrong. The color is a dark yellow, not the light yellow color that the coolant normally is. (Yes, I have Ford Gold in there; lets not get into all that debate in this thread) With a light or the sun on the degas bottle, I can still see light through t very well. All that leads me to believe that whatever happened happened this week so it's not been an ongoing issue and I probably caught it in time. My oil level is always at the top of the OK zone on the dipstick but today I checked it and it's a little bit down (maybe 2 X's down)

I've ordered a coolant test kit from amsoilAMSOIL - Oil Analysis Kits to try to narrow it down. I truly believe that it's an oil cooler issue. and with a coolant flush and new oil cooler I'll probably be OK.

Anyone see any flaws in my logic or path here?

I'll keep this thread up to date so others can use it in the future.

-Hemicbx
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:08 PM
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oil in the degas would be easy to visually detect if it raised the level that much
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:18 PM
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Sounds like you are on the right path and I would suspect oil cooler just like you.
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:53 PM
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Before I switched to ELC my gold coolant was dark. That "might" be normal. Do u have a proper mixture with water? Also u should filter the coolant.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:17 AM
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Oil in the coolant gets "beaten up" by the water pump and emulsifies into a paste or pudding pretty quickly. If the coolant is turning dark, but there are no thick solids, it is probably soot from combustion gasses. That usually comes from head gaskets leaking.

I would be watching the degas bottle pressures.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bismic View Post
Oil in the coolant gets "beaten up" by the water pump and emulsifies into a paste or pudding pretty quickly. If the coolant is turning dark, but there are no thick solids, it is probably soot from combustion gasses. That usually comes from head gaskets leaking.

I would be watching the degas bottle pressures.

Could be why my gaskets were replaced under warranty...
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bismic View Post
Oil in the coolant gets "beaten up" by the water pump and emulsifies into a paste or pudding pretty quickly. If the coolant is turning dark, but there are no thick solids, it is probably soot from combustion gasses. That usually comes from head gaskets leaking.

I would be watching the degas bottle pressures.
Speaking of that can anyone find the thread about the coolant pressure guage setup for me please?

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Old 11-03-2012, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by WarChild View Post
Speaking of that can anyone find the thread about the coolant pressure guage setup for me please?
All you need to do is "T" into one of the small hoses going to the degas bottle and install the pressure sender.


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Old 11-03-2012, 07:44 AM
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I'm looking for the thread

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Old 11-19-2012, 03:22 PM
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OK, It's been a bit since I've really gotten anywhere with this, but I have had time to make some observations.

I came home after several days out of town to a big puddle of antifreeze under the truck. Seems as though the tee where my coolant filter is piped in was leaking. I re-did the clamping there and it is fixed.

I ran the truck to warm it up & circulate the coolant prior to pulling a sample. With the truck hot-ish I opened the degas bottle cap and the level came up exactly to where it was when I first started this thread. It also darkened as it expanded so I'm thinking that my initial assessment of dark fluid is wrong and it's just that due to the extra fluid in the bottle, less light was coming through and it only appeared darker. I pulled a sample and set it off. Results are:


I've been driving the truck a lot and the level has been very normal; color very good. I'm really thinking that the high level was due to the leak and it was not holding pressure & therefore expanding. The level has stayed within the hi/low lines on the label all week through both long & short trips and hi & low temps.

I am seeing a very small puddle now which is always at the radiator area, seems to be where the top cap is crimped on. Ive rinsed it with water, run it, and verified that it is always from up in that area in front of the fan shroud so it seems as though I may be in for a radiator next.
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