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2011 5.0L Coolant Leak

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Old 03-20-2014, 10:41 AM   #1
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Default 2011 5.0L Coolant Leak

I did a fair amount of searching prior to creating this thread; but if I missed another one somewhere that addresses my issue please post the link.

The other day I noticed that my engine fans were running more than they should be, popped the hood, and wouldn't you know it...I was low on coolant. I had just changed the oil and checked all fluid levels a few days ago and they were all fine. The leak wasn't hard to find, though. It's the connection for the main coolant hose at the bottom of the coolant reservoir. This hose is just held on with a snap ring. After looking up the parts list it doesn't look like there is an O-ring or flat gasket at this connection, and I didn't see any signs of the hose or the tube connection on the reservoir being cracked. Why is this connection leaking all of a sudden? I tried to tighten down a hose clamp on this connection ahead of the snap ring, which helped some; but didn't completely stop the leak. Any suggestions?

On to the second part of my post, to repair/further troubleshoot this issue I know I'm going to have to drain coolant. I have 70,000 miles on the truck now, so I figure in the process of troubleshooting I might as well drain all of the coolant, flush the system, and fill everything back up with new. I haven't really looked yet; but are there coolant drain plugs on the radiator? Would someone be able to give me a quick how to on draining, flushing, and refilling the coolant system?

Thanks in advance for any help, guys.
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Old 03-22-2014, 12:12 AM   #2
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there is a drain plug on the passenger side of the radiator. I believe you just twist it open to drain it. You can but the ford coolant concentrated or already diluted. Very expensive.
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:31 PM   #3
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Well, here's some updated information in case anyone is following along.

Here's where the leak is, as I mentioned in my first post, I added the hose clamp as a quick attempt to stop the leak.



Where the hose attaches to the expansion tank there's a teflon reducer that's supposed to seal the connection, so I figured that was the culprit. I drained and flushed my coolant system with distilled water, replaced the hose (which comes with a new teflon reducer,) refilled the system, and crossed my fingers.

Also, here's a photo of the drain plug on the lower passenger side of the radiator just as a reference:



After all of that, I still had a leak; so I figured the problem was on the tank side of that connection, since the hose and teflon reducer was new. A new tank is between $200-250, so I figured I'd take it into the garage and let them replace it under warranty. The garage tells me the hose is bad, and should be replaced. That will fix the leak for sure. To my disbelief, I tell them that I just replaced that hose and I highly doubt that will fix the problem. They pressure tested the hose, and it's bad, a new hose will fix the problem for sure. So I submit and let them replace the hose, and it's still leaking. To add insult to injury, this work is not covered by the warranty.

So, I ordered a new tank this morning. I'll be replacing the tank and adding some permatex to this connection. I will provide another update once I get the tank changed out.

Sometimes the most simple problems prove to be the biggest headaches.
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:28 PM   #4
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Well, hopefully this is the last update to this thread. I replaced the coolant reservoir and coolant hose over the weekend. I also added a bead of permatex to the mating surface between the reservoir and the teflon reducer in the coolant hose.

After letting the RTV set up over night, I refilled the system and checked for leaks. None to be found.

There were no visible defects in the reservoir that I removed; so, I will still be paranoid about this repair for a few weeks. If anything changes I'll be sure to update again.
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:41 PM   #5
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Hey I appreciate the post. I've been looking for a while if anyone has had this same problem. My problem is identical to yours. I replaced the hose myself and it's still leaking. My next attemp it to take out the reservoir and inspect for any cracks or damage to the **** that goes in the fitting. If this is a common problem/defect, why isn't there a recall or TSB?
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J'sFX4.5.0 View Post
Hey I appreciate the post. I've been looking for a while if anyone has had this same problem. My problem is identical to yours. I replaced the hose myself and it's still leaking. My next attemp it to take out the reservoir and inspect for any cracks or damage to the **** that goes in the fitting. If this is a common problem/defect, why isn't there a recall or TSB?
I don't think it's a common problem. I hunted around for quite a while and didn't find many other cases at all. With that being said, I think it's a crappy design and I'm surprised the problem isn't more wide spread.

I would recommend draining the reservoir again, cleaning and drying the mating surface thoroughly, then applying a heavy bead of Permatex high temperature RTV. Slip the pipe and and reservoir back together and let the RTV set up over night. The next day, refill the coolant and check for leaks. It's key to let the RTV set up before you try to refill the system. If the leak is still there you'll most likely need to replace the reservoir.
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:02 AM   #7
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Thanks. Ya I liked this idea because it's free and I know how kickass RVT is lol. I plan to put my old hose back on and try this, that way if it is still leaking then I still have my new hose to match up with a new reservoir. Not that I really want to spend 2-300 on a reservoir. Anyways hope it works and I'll keep you posted! Going to tackle it this weekend.
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Old 05-26-2014, 02:26 PM   #8
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I just finished replacing my hose and it still leaks...


Has anyone actually seen a crack in the reservoir tank or connector? I am afraid that there is another problem that could be pressurizing the coolant and causing the oring in the quick connector to fail. I will install a new tank this week and recheck.

Chris
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:10 PM   #9
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We had a cracked tank on a 5.0 at work at around 105,000 miles.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBigley View Post
I just finished replacing my hose and it still leaks...

Has anyone actually seen a crack in the reservoir tank or connector? I am afraid that there is another problem that could be pressurizing the coolant and causing the oring in the quick connector to fail. I will install a new tank this week and recheck.

Chris
In my case there were no visible defects in the hose or the reservoir.
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