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Discussion Starter #1
Oh boy. I blew a hose the other day and didn't think much of it when I replaced it. Again, today I blew another hose and found a milky type oil residue through out the coolant lines. I drained the whole radiator, flushed, repaired hose, added water, and drove 5 miles back to the old house. (in the process of moving)

Some related history? ... a few weeks ago I was having some issues with towing and tranny overheating so I installed a tranny fluid cooler. Plumbed in with existing lines. Someone recommend in the event I have any build up in radiator (tranny fluid area) I should blow some solvent into the top of tranny radiator and allow to drain out the bottom. So, tranny lines were disconnected from radiator and I blew brake cleaner into top and it came out the bottom. After I flushed it, I plumbed in the new tranny cooler with old.

So. Hoping not a major issue. Read somewhere about a bad head gasket? II pray dear god its not. Thought maybe I could just run the tranny cool lines through the new cooler and not plumb with existing in the event I messed something up with radiator when I flushed. Possible tranny fluid is pushing itself into the coolant radiator from the tranny fluid radiator with all the heat and pressure? Sorry, not sure if I have all my vocab right or sure how it all works.

Tranny fluid looks and smells fine, but I am NOT an expert so I might be missing something.

Any help would be much appreciated. Again, love all the support from everyone but I am getting discouraged cause I feel like something is always coming up with the truck.

I have a 90 Bronco with about 135K miles, 15K on new engine.
 

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check your oil and pull the plug and see what drains, sounds like a blown head gasket to me. Chances are, your oil will look milky also. Don't drive it anymore until you figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just pulled off my cap for the radiator and saw a more red color coming from my cool line at the top. Might have overtightened the the top line . Looks like its not sitting flush on the inside, like.... I overtightened. Removed the radiator cooler lines and plumbed direct with the auxiliary cooler. I'll check the oil. Please not a head gasket.
 

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Head gaskets aren't that hard to replace just time consuming, (hoping its not that) you should definately park it in the meantime untill its fixed.
 

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You need to determine if it's oil and trans fluid being mixed with the water..

If you have tranny fluid mixing with your coolant you need to replace your radiator. Also change your trans fluid.. Because if trans fluid is going into the radiator then that means water is going into the transmission..

Personally I'd rather have a blown headgasket then a tranny with water in it..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You need to determine if it's oil and trans fluid being mixed with the water..

If you have tranny fluid mixing with your coolant you need to replace your radiator. Also change your trans fluid.. Because if trans fluid is going into the radiator then that means water is going into the transmission..

Personally I'd rather have a blown headgasket then a tranny with water in it..
Checked oil. Good level. Good color. Didnt drain though. So, let me see if I got this right, if I have bad oil, I got a bad head gasket? If I got bad Tranny fluid, its a bad radiator? From what I saw last, it was redish in color right around where tran cool line connects to the rad on the top. (inside) I might have just overtightned the cool line like a dumb [email protected]#$ pressing its inside seal.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Recommendations for clearing all the oil gunk from the radiator and lines? Flush just isn't strong enough. If I do determine the problem, I'll need to get all the oil out of the rad.
 

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Checked oil. Good level. Good color. Didnt drain though. So, let me see if I got this right, if I have bad oil, I got a bad head gasket? If I got bad Tranny fluid, its a bad radiator? From what I saw last, it was redish in color right around where tran cool line connects to the rad on the top. (inside) I might have just overtightned the cool line like a dumb [email protected]#$ pressing its inside seal.
In my opinion that sums it up..

1)redish fluid and coolant mix. New radiator, coolant and trans flush needed.
2)brown/black ish fluid and coolant.. Head gaskets, Oil change and coolant flush needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
In my opinion that sums it up..

1)redish fluid and coolant mix. New radiator, coolant and trans flush needed.
2)brown/black ish fluid and coolant.. Head gaskets, Oil change and coolant flush needed.
Drained some oil, dark, but no white. Looked good. So, looks like im in for a tranny flush with new tranny fluid, new coolant, and im just going to eliminate the radiator for cooling the tranny, i'll just use the auxiliary for now... unless folks think thats bad.

Now just needs some suggestions for cleaning out the coolant lines.

Thanks All!
 

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I'd just get a new radiator.. It would really stink to have your tranny burn up due to not being able to be cooled properly..

Not sure on the best way to clean out the coolant lines.. However you are going to want to flush the coolant...
 

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I would change the transmission filter as well....and clean the inside of the pan to remove any residual....

If the coolant "races" like boiling water in the radiator neck at cold start or shortly after and there's a burnt smell it's definately a blown head gasket, though sometimes you can get lucky if you haven't over heated too much just by changing the oil and filter...it's your call...

I would take off the lines and clean them out with throttle body cleaner because it cuts right thru tranny fluid and it evaportes without leaving any residue so I can't see it hurting anything otherwise maybe use the tranny flush...?

Good Luck ~ :thumbup
 

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I'd just get a new radiator.. It would really stink to have your tranny burn up due to not being able to be cooled properly..

Not sure on the best way to clean out the coolant lines.. However you are going to want to flush the coolant...
Beat me to it ..Change the trans fluid ..get a new rad..and never put brake clean in youre coolant system or trans cooler that is soldered into the rad..brake clean Is a weird cleaner works great but contains chlorine in alot of cases ..as far as cleaning the hoses and system Dawn with the rad cap off in small doses in repetition...Flush and repeat ..JM2C ..Im gettin ready to use dawn to clean the beaches off here THANKS BP:haha
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi all. Thank you for all the input. Tranny flush and filter i'm good with. New rad- i'm hoping to get around with just using the auxiliary. The throttle body cleaner sounds good for cleaning the lines. The coolant is all out now. I have been running and flushing all afternoon. The challenge I have is when the cold water from the garden hose hits the oil residue, its winds up sticking to the coolant hoses where as the engine hot water/coolant loosens it right up. I've been running the engine and draining on one end and adding on the other. The heat is good. It loosens up the oil. Prob 90% there. I really dont have the $ for new rad, what you think the chances of me being ok with just using my heavy duty auxiliary rad? :uhoh3:uhoh3
 

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Are you saying maybe you are thinking the trans cooler in the radiator is leaking into the coolant? Because if not, how would it be there? Seems to me if that is the case a new radiator would solve the issue.
 

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Are you saying maybe you are thinking the trans cooler in the radiator is leaking into the coolant? Because if not, how would it be there? Seems to me if that is the case a new radiator would solve the issue.
It is my understanding that that would be the problem! :thumbup
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Today I'll be pulling all the lines, cleaning them up real well with the throttle body cleaner as recommended, and trying to make a decision about the radiator. I really dont want to buy a new radiator. Period. At this point I can either just run my auxiliary tranny cooler and plug up the radiator tranny cooler, or buy a 2nd $50-60 cooler. My existing cooler is 7.5 x 15.5. Good size. I do tow a med size trailer with a mower. I dont want to run to hot yet dont want to run to cold. Do I give the auxiliary tranny cooler a shot and see how it feels or just plumb in another cooler?
 

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Today I'll be pulling all the lines, cleaning them up real well with the throttle body cleaner as recommended, and trying to make a decision about the radiator. I really dont want to buy a new radiator. Period. At this point I can either just run my auxiliary tranny cooler and plug up the radiator tranny cooler, or buy a 2nd $50-60 cooler. My existing cooler is 7.5 x 15.5. Good size. I do tow a med size trailer with a mower. I dont want to run to hot yet dont want to run to cold. Do I give the auxiliary tranny cooler a shot and see how it feels or just plumb in another cooler?
New radiator from Kragen = $130. It's not the "best" but will do the job. Adding in another trans cooler for $60 is not really worthwhile.

No matter how much you flush, no matter how much "cleaner" you use, that radiator will still have residual tranny fluid in it that will get into your coolant.

A radiator change out is NOT much trouble compared to what you may be setting yourself up for by trying your "work around". If you have a basic socket set, some screwdrivers, and good pliers, you can get it done in a couple of hours.
 

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Now if trans fluid is getting into the radiator, Then it means coolant is going to the trans cooler lines....

It just doesn't go 1 way.. It goes both ways.. So yea. Unless you have the tranny lines disconnected and ran into an aux cooler (which I wouldn't do) then you'll never get it clean.. You'll go back and forth flushing fluid.. When you're done with with the coolant then you have to do the trans again.. Done with the trans and have to go back to the coolant again..

Though if you took off the trans lines then water should be leaking out of the radiator where the lines are..
 
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