Leak at the top rear driver side of engine: Coolant or Transmission Fluid? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-16-2017, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Leak at the top rear driver side of engine: Coolant or Transmission Fluid?

Well, I thought I was done with leaks for a while after just replacing my radiator (Mishimoto) and updating the hoses. Now, there is a leak at the back of the motor. The fluid is red, but so is my coolant now. It seems to be water soluble with very little smell. I know the truck smells a little "sweet" when I get out.

More info:

It started leaking after it had been running for about 30 minutes and stopped when I took off the radiator cap. The stream is maybe a pinhole leak, but it's coming out fast.

Attached are pictures to help. The pressure is coming from high and I can't tell what could possibly be back there up against the firewall except the hose with a factory metal fitting on it about 1" in diameter that runs to the passenger side.

From the front of the truck looking to the firewall:


Close up of leak location and residue:


Rear of engine to give you a better idea where the leak hits:
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Last edited by Doss; 03-16-2017 at 04:59 PM. Reason: Improve readability
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-16-2017, 06:38 PM
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The heater hose is on the passenger side. That about the only coolant line I can think of in that area.

Perhaps someone smart will be along shortly....
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-16-2017, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I just can't see exactly where it's coming from... only where it's hitting (the up-pipe for the driver's side exhaust). It looks like it's coming from above. I can see about a 4 or 5" super thin stream coming at an angle. It makes a 1 foot by 1 foot puddle in a few minutes. It only started after my truck got up to temp and after sitting about 10 minutes it was still going strong until I removed the radiator cap (which made the whole degas bottle start bubbling while the pressure was releasing).

I just went back out to the driveway and the puddle that was 1 foot by 2 feet is now gone. My coolant is down about 1/2 to 3/4". I looked at the hose that goes over the up-pipe and it just routes from the front of the engine near the thermostats to the passenger side behind the air filter box. I'll try to look at it more tomorrow if I can't find it in a diagram or schematic.

I would think if it were transmission fluid or similar it would still be sitting on my driveway in an oily puddle.
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-16-2017, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doss View Post
Yeah, I just can't see exactly where it's coming from... only where it's hitting (the up-pipe for the driver's side exhaust). It looks like it's coming from above. I can see about a 4 or 5" super thin stream coming at an angle. It makes a 1 foot by 1 foot puddle in a few minutes. It only started after my truck got up to temp and after sitting about 10 minutes it was still going strong until I removed the radiator cap (which made the whole degas bottle start bubbling while the pressure was releasing).

I just went back out to the driveway and the puddle that was 1 foot by 2 feet is now gone. My coolant is down about 1/2 to 3/4". I looked at the hose that goes over the up-pipe and it just routes from the front of the engine near the thermostats to the passenger side behind the air filter box. I'll try to look at it more tomorrow if I can't find it in a diagram or schematic.

I would think if it were transmission fluid or similar it would still be sitting on my driveway in an oily puddle.
Like spock said, probably a negitave on the heater. But the fuel and turbo actuator are also cooled by the radiator coolant. Its the small black tank by the turbo on drivers side. Might want to trace the lines from there and check it all.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-17-2017, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, I think I have this figured out. I just need to get my inspection mirror under there and make sure this is the hose/pipe that is leaking. I have included images to help those that may have this issue.

The hose/pipe in question comes from under the thermostat housing and then seems to run all the way around the back of the motor up high against the firewall to the heater core. One thing that would have clued me in that it was a heater core hose was that this didn't even occur over the last few weeks until I shut my heater off yesterday.

Here's the layout. Let me know what you think:









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Last edited by Doss; 03-17-2017 at 10:39 AM.
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-17-2017, 10:43 AM
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Its most likely your heater core return line. It runs from the heater core over to the driver side of the engine like you described. Its rubber on both ends and metal in the middle. It mounts on 2 studs that attach to the firewall.
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-17-2017, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by w_jone23 View Post
Its most likely your heater core return line. It runs from the heater core over to the driver side of the engine like you described. Its rubber on both ends and metal in the middle. It mounts on 2 studs that attach to the firewall.
Yep, that's exactly what I was thinking. I just couldn't find a schematic detailing this line being run. I think in the cooling system diagrams that they should also show the heater core runs and any of the ancillary systems as well.
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-17-2017, 12:29 PM
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Yep, that's exactly what I was thinking. I just couldn't find a schematic detailing this line being run. I think in the cooling system diagrams that they should also show the heater core runs and any of the ancillary systems as well.
Yes the ford diagrams will show where the hoses connect on both ends of the hoses. You will just have to get a parts guy that can find the right picture for you to point out the hose that you need. If your having trouble visually inspecting the system, you can pressure test the system and then recheck with a mirror. The engine bay near the turbo gets tight and the heater core return line can be a little bit of a pain to get to. Depending on your cab style (Standard, Extended or Crew) you can unbolt the cab and tilt it with a floor jack to be able to get enough room to access the heater core return hose mounting studs. If its a crew cab I would remove the front 6 bolts out of the 8 that mount it down. Jack up the front of the truck by the radiator support cross member until you can set a 4x4 between the body mount and the support just below the head lights. Hope this helps.
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-17-2017, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w_jone23 View Post
Yes the ford diagrams will show where the hoses connect on both ends of the hoses. You will just have to get a parts guy that can find the right picture for you to point out the hose that you need. If your having trouble visually inspecting the system, you can pressure test the system and then recheck with a mirror. The engine bay near the turbo gets tight and the heater core return line can be a little bit of a pain to get to. Depending on your cab style (Standard, Extended or Crew) you can unbolt the cab and tilt it with a floor jack to be able to get enough room to access the heater core return hose mounting studs. If its a crew cab I would remove the front 6 bolts out of the 8 that mount it down. Jack up the front of the truck by the radiator support cross member until you can set a 4x4 between the body mount and the support just below the head lights. Hope this helps.

As you may know if you have ever done this procedure, this is not news I wanted to hear. LOL Nonetheless, I will get this thing fixed. I may get luck and it's just a repair that can be done by fixing the existing hose. Worst case, I have to take off this one and put in another. Worst worst case, I have to lift the cab (which I just lifted partially for the front cab isolator (radiator) replacement.

Thanks for the tips!
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-27-2017, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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One other note on this. The bolts that you mount this hose to are super fragile. Basically, with minimal torque, I managed to break the off of the firewall. This will probably be an issue in the future since the hose now touches the exhaust (at least there is a little heat shielding where contact is being made).

Anyone have a good solution for this?
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