351 coolant leak

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351 coolant leak

Gsmblue
Looks like I have a nice coolant leak behind the alternator. Looks like the timing cover gasket. How hard is this to change out?

This is on my 82 Bronco..

1985 F150 XL Explorer 5.0 EFI 4AOD 4x4 standard cab.
Daily Driver. I call her Eunice.
To do:  Rear fuel tank pump, replace door hinges, Front and rear windows need replacing, blue top steering box, front dampers, Interior panels to be painted, new carpet, seats to be recovered, some exterior paint work

1982 Bronco XLT Lariat 351 C6 4x4
Code name Esperanza, or Espy to her friends. Please see my Project page for details.
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Re: 351 coolant leak

Gary Lewis
Administrator
It isn't all that hard to change out the timing cover.  But you do have to ensure that you get it sealed properly to the pan.  However, it may not be the timing cover that is leaking, as a leaking pump gasket will put coolant in the same place.  So try to determine where the leak is before you tackle it.

And, you have lots of bolts to keep track of as the Windsors use several different length bolts, so you need to come up with a scheme to keep track of them.  And while you are in there you might want to replace the water pump as they have to come off and are relatively cheap.

If you are replacing the water pump, then the easiest way I've seen to keep track of the bolts is to trace the new water pump's outline, including bolt holes, on a piece of cardboard.  And the new pump's box is a good candidate for that.  Then, as you pull the bolts, put them through the cardboard in the correct position.

Also, note that several of those bolts go into coolant, so thread sealer is good to use on them as you replace them.  Something like PTFE in a tube is what I use.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/soon-to-be ZF5/3.55's & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: 351 coolant leak

Gsmblue
Thanks Gary.

As it is only a small amount of coolant I am going to keep an eye on it to work out what is going on there.

There was more on the other side under the thermostat, but I can’t tell right now which seal or seals are leaking...

Previous owner said they had replaced the thermostat recently. Which means either they had to replace it, or they thought it needed replacing... I do remember seeing coolant there when I first went to look at it.

I just cleaned her up a bit for now. I love these projects!
1985 F150 XL Explorer 5.0 EFI 4AOD 4x4 standard cab.
Daily Driver. I call her Eunice.
To do:  Rear fuel tank pump, replace door hinges, Front and rear windows need replacing, blue top steering box, front dampers, Interior panels to be painted, new carpet, seats to be recovered, some exterior paint work

1982 Bronco XLT Lariat 351 C6 4x4
Code name Esperanza, or Espy to her friends. Please see my Project page for details.
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Re: 351 coolant leak

Gary Lewis
Administrator
If there was coolant on both sides then that changes everything.  I would bet there's a problem with the thermostat housing.  I've seen them cracked and leaking and I've seen them so corroded they won't seal.  I've seen people swap the bolts side to side where the long one bottoms out in the blind hole and won't tighten down.  And I've seen people catch the rim of the thermostat between the housing and the gasket.  In fact, I've seen them put on with just RTV and no gasket.

So, if it was me I'd pull the housing off and inspect it closely.  Check to see that the bolts are in the right way 'round and snug.  Check the gasket, if there is one.  And I would do that several times before I pulled the water pump and timing cover off.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/soon-to-be ZF5/3.55's & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: 351 coolant leak

Gsmblue
Gary,

Thank you for the excellent advice! I will pull the thermostat and inspect the housing etc.
1985 F150 XL Explorer 5.0 EFI 4AOD 4x4 standard cab.
Daily Driver. I call her Eunice.
To do:  Rear fuel tank pump, replace door hinges, Front and rear windows need replacing, blue top steering box, front dampers, Interior panels to be painted, new carpet, seats to be recovered, some exterior paint work

1982 Bronco XLT Lariat 351 C6 4x4
Code name Esperanza, or Espy to her friends. Please see my Project page for details.
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Re: 351 coolant leak

Ken Blythen
Another possibility with coolant showing there, is a leak from the intake manifold.

A few months ago I had that situation & scrapped my original aluminum intake (which had suffered corrosion & repairs over time) swapping it for an older, non-EGR cast iron version in pristine condition, from a '69 Mustang motor.
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Re: 351 coolant leak

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Good point, Ken.  I've seen that as well but didn't think about it being a source of the leak.

Gsmblue - The aluminum intakes corrode pretty badly there on the ends if the coolant isn't changed routinely.  It is due to the interface of dissimilar metals in the presence of a liquid.  So the liquid, in this case coolant, has to have corrosion inhibitors, and they go away over time.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/soon-to-be ZF5/3.55's & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: 351 coolant leak

Gsmblue
Thanks! I am hoping to get to look at this on sunday.. it is my too priority.
1985 F150 XL Explorer 5.0 EFI 4AOD 4x4 standard cab.
Daily Driver. I call her Eunice.
To do:  Rear fuel tank pump, replace door hinges, Front and rear windows need replacing, blue top steering box, front dampers, Interior panels to be painted, new carpet, seats to be recovered, some exterior paint work

1982 Bronco XLT Lariat 351 C6 4x4
Code name Esperanza, or Espy to her friends. Please see my Project page for details.
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Re: 351 coolant leak

Jochen1964
Thought I use this thread to ask my question on coolant as well. Over the last couple of days mine leaked a few drops of coolant onto the floor. Just a few drops for a couple of days and yesterday it was gone again apparently. Is there any coolant overflow in these machines as a potential source other then the coolant reservoir? I tried to figure out the origin but couldn´t spot the source. Any ideas or thoughts from you guys? Regards Jochen

Mein Laster: 1986 Ford F150 XL, 4WD, sgl cab, short bed, 302 EFI
Meine Kurvige: BMW R Nine T
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Re: 351 coolant leak

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Jochen - If we are going to much troubleshooting on your truck we should start a thread for it and not hijack this one.  I can do that for you if you want and move this response there. But, I'll give you my thoughts, briefly, here.

The only overflow is from the radiator's neck into the coolant recovery bottle.  Sometimes that hose between them is bad and leaks.  Or, you have a hose clamp loose on either radiator hose or one of the heater hoses.  Next is a leak at the thermostat housing at the engine end of the upper radiator hose.  Then there's the little bypass hose between the water pump and the engine.  Worst is a leak at the front or rear of the intake manifold.

As said, to take this any further I can start a thread for you and move your post and mine there.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/soon-to-be ZF5/3.55's & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: 351 coolant leak

Gsmblue
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
I had a really good look at the intake. It does seem to originate there and not at the thermostat.

Both side of the distributor show signs of leaking. There is an Edelbrock performer intake there so I will order up the replacement gasket today.

Thanks for the tip!!
1985 F150 XL Explorer 5.0 EFI 4AOD 4x4 standard cab.
Daily Driver. I call her Eunice.
To do:  Rear fuel tank pump, replace door hinges, Front and rear windows need replacing, blue top steering box, front dampers, Interior panels to be painted, new carpet, seats to be recovered, some exterior paint work

1982 Bronco XLT Lariat 351 C6 4x4
Code name Esperanza, or Espy to her friends. Please see my Project page for details.
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Re: 351 coolant leak

Gary Lewis
Administrator
When you pull the intake take a really good look at its coolant passage.  It is at the front of the intake and connects the coolant in the heads.  If the coolant hasn't been kept up to snuff the aluminum intake will corrode at the interface to the head and you'll have a hard, if not impossible, time sealing it.

Brandon/Bruno2 sealed up an intake by cleaning it really well and then laying in JBWeld into the corroded spots, dressing that back with a file, and doing it again until the surfaces were smooth.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/soon-to-be ZF5/3.55's & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: 351 coolant leak

Gsmblue
Thanks for the heads up. Hoping to get this pulled off in the next day or two
1985 F150 XL Explorer 5.0 EFI 4AOD 4x4 standard cab.
Daily Driver. I call her Eunice.
To do:  Rear fuel tank pump, replace door hinges, Front and rear windows need replacing, blue top steering box, front dampers, Interior panels to be painted, new carpet, seats to be recovered, some exterior paint work

1982 Bronco XLT Lariat 351 C6 4x4
Code name Esperanza, or Espy to her friends. Please see my Project page for details.
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Re: 351 coolant leak

Jochen1964
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
Thanks Gary, for the time being this is helpful enough and in future I will open a separate thread if needed to become more effective in the follow up in the forum. I however appreciate all your (and the other members) support and thoughts. Jochen
Mein Laster: 1986 Ford F150 XL, 4WD, sgl cab, short bed, 302 EFI
Meine Kurvige: BMW R Nine T
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Re: 351 coolant leak

Bruno2
In reply to this post by Gsmblue
The thermostat on the W actually twists and snaps in the housing. When people don't know this they try to tighten it down when it's not seated properly. This almost always breaks the cast aluminum.
Whitey: 1996 F 250 XL CCLB 4X4 7.3 DI ZF5 (The Work Horse) Lots of power mods
Whitey Jr: AKA Jr 1982 F 150 CCLB 4X4 351W C6 (Jr Work Horse) respectable power, but not over the top
The Bronco: 1987 Bronco XLT 351W C6 (needs work) Lots of off road mods and plenty of power mods
The Dodge: 2006 Ram 2500 CCSB 4X4 5.9 HO Cummins (The reliable ride that cant keep an AC in itself) (5th AC go around almost complete)