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71 Ranchero Radiator Help. Spewing everywhere

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Jordanbrown123 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13-July-2017 at 7:33PM
(1971 ford ranchero. Small block 302 with 4150 and stock internals. Had sat for 20 years when i got the thingConfused

So my ranchero radiator cap basically overflows like crazy and pukes half the coolant on the road after a few mins of running. This is before it even gets to operating temp (no temp gauge so idk what that is anyway). I attempted to bleed the system thinking it was air pockets causing this but when i start the thing up without the cap on fluid comes shooting out the hole every now and then once it gets up to temp.  If i run it long enough it will stop pouring out fluid, but only about half of the radiator (or less) is full after it cools down. Also i just replaced the thermostat so thats not the issue. 

-Im thinking the rad cap might be bad? but it looks brand new. 
-A blockage in the radiator? the car was sitting for 20 years with rad fluid in it. Might have some crusty stuff blocking it. 
-Possibly one of the head gaskets went? Causing excess pressure in the system. But theres no signs of water mixing with oil in the block or rad. 

Anyone know what the hell is going on?  the thing is getting on my nerves. 
71 Ranchero, 302.
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californiajohnny View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-July-2017 at 3:09AM
if you're sure the thermostat isn't sticking and in correctly,  could be something blocking somewhere? but sounds like a head gasket... do you have antifreeze in it? if it's burning coolant it will steam/smoke bad out the exhaust  and if you smell close in the radiator you can smell a exhaust/fuel kinda smell! (well at least i can if ones bad) also check your plugs... if one or two are clean (like they were steam cleaned) that could be the cylinder that's leaking
JOHN
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Jordanbrown123 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jordanbrown123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-July-2017 at 7:53AM
thanks for the reply. 
Forgot to mention it was doing this before i replaced the t-stat aswell. 
There was a little white smoke coming out the exhaust when i was bleeding the thing. But didnt look like water vapor, didnt dissipate quick. And only if i opened the throttle (which shot a 2 foot geyser of  coolant out the rad with the cap off. Clap idk if thats normal but it was pretty funny)

Ill pull the plugs on the thing today and take a look. Also do a compression test this weekend. 
Just smelled the rad and i cant tell if it smells like gas, it might a little bit maybe. Just smells like coolant. 

Also the rad cap on this radiator is on the drivers side on the output of the coolant (or the cold side?) so its coming out of the engine and going thru the rad and not getting back into the engine fast enough? I took the rad off and looked at the hoses and they dont seem restricted in anyway. 

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dave302 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dave302 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-July-2017 at 11:27AM
The hot coolant goes from the engine into the top passenger side (inlet) of the radiator, and then it exits at the lower drivers side (outlet) of the radiator.
If you want to test if the radiator is slow to drain or clogged, take the radiator cap off of the radiator, remove both upper and lower radiator hoses from the radiator, and put a drain pan underneath the drivers side lower outlet of the radiator. Then you can pour a gallon of water into the top passenger side inlet of the radiator and look down into the opening where you removed the radiator cap from. The water should drain out of the lower drivers side outlet into the drain pan quickly, if the radiator is not slow to drain or clogged.
If the water takes a long time to drain out then the radiator might be clogged. If the water drains out quickly, then the problem might be some where else. Such as clogged coolant passages in the engine cylinder heads and/or clogged coolant passages and water jackets in the engine block.

Edited by dave302 - 14-July-2017 at 11:35AM
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Jordanbrown123 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jordanbrown123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-July-2017 at 11:54AM
So i pulled the radiator, and poured water down the rad. Came out pretty quickly, didnt seem abnormal. Washed it out with a hose and put it back in the car. So i conclude its not the rad itself. 

Also pulled all the plugs, 7 of which were a tan or brown colour and 1 was oil soaked and black... Leaky valve seals? Rings? Head gasket? ill comp test it. There was no evidence water was getting into the cylinders aswell.

How would i even begin to clean the coolant passages in the engine? if thats the issue. Complete tear down i assume? 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dave302 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-July-2017 at 12:14PM
There are several different engine coolant system cleaners available for sale. Some are for a mild cleaning and others are for a deep thorough cleaning. But you might have to remove the coolant system drain plugs to do it properly. There is one coolant system drain plug on the lower drivers side of the engine near the freeze plugs. And there is one coolant system drain plug on the lower passengers side of the engine near the freeze plugs.
 
But sometimes these drain plugs are rusted or corroded onto the block and they can be difficult to remove.
There is also a way to use the coolant system cleaners without removing the engine drain plugs.
 
If the engine coolant psssages are badly rusted and/or corroded, the coolant system cleaners might not help at all.
 
That one spark that is black and oily might be a fouled plug. You can try to replace it with a new or good used plug, and see if it becomes tan colored like the other plugs.


Edited by dave302 - 14-July-2017 at 12:23PM
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Don V. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Don V. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-July-2017 at 12:42PM
Is your lower radiator hose collapsing? Or put another way, did someone remove the spring in the hose?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jordanbrown123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-July-2017 at 12:50PM
Thanks, ill look into cleaning out the system. But im beginning to suspect its the radiator cap, Im not able to fill the rad to the cold line without it pouring out the cap. When i shut the car down theres loud gurgling sounds coming from the passenger side. Symptoms of low fluid and air in the system. Im going to buy a replacement 13psi cap and see if that works. Hope to jeebus thats the problem. 

As for the plug, ill replace it. The plugs were replaced 2 years ago, and then sat untill now. Ive recently noticed burning oil smoke out the tailpipe. Not enought to warrant me replacing the valve seals yet. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jordanbrown123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-July-2017 at 12:50PM
And no the lower hose is fine. I removed all the hoses and inspected them all. no issues. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-July-2017 at 1:26PM
if you happen to remove the thermostat again i'd recommend drilling a small 1/8" hole in the thin flat part of the thermostat itself to allow air pockets to dissipate! many thermostats now come that way but i do it on all my cars Wink good point on the hose spring! is yours still in the lower hose?  
JOHN
74 GRAN TORINO S&H CLONE
74 CORVETTE COUPE CUSTOM
90 S10 BLAZER 4X4 LIFTED
77 CELICA CUSTOM
75 V8 MONZA SUPERCHARGED
79 COURIER VERT. SLAMMED
75 VEGA V6 5 SPD
70 CHEV C10 P/U
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jordanbrown123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-July-2017 at 1:38PM
Yea the thermostat housing is actually leaking now.... Guess i need more rtv. Ill drill the hole aswell. And yea the spring is still in there, just a lil rusty. 

Should the water in the rad be dropping dramatically when i open the throttle with the cap off? and then come flying out lol...
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Don V. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Don V. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-July-2017 at 2:25PM
Didn't Ford have both CW and CCW water pumps during this time that were interchangeable? Don't remember the years but it was around this time. I remember seeing this on a Mustang. Any chance the former owner picked up the wrong pump somewhere?  
 
The hole in the thermostat is almost mandatory on a lot of GM's. The thermostat is the highest point in a lot of their coolant systems. I read years ago about how it frustrated owners and the hole was the solution.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-July-2017 at 2:52PM
i've been doing the hole thing for???30 years?? hmmm water pump rotation.... that's a possibility Shocked
JOHN
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90 S10 BLAZER 4X4 LIFTED
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Don V. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-July-2017 at 7:36PM
Originally posted by californiajohnny californiajohnny wrote:

hmmm water pump rotation.... that's a possibility Shocked
 
Did some searching and direction is ambiguous. For the pump itself I could only find rotation direction an option for the '65 to '76 352, 360, 390, 427 and 428. I didn't find anywhere where the pump was available in CCW for 302, 400 or any 351 except for '69 when the 351W was CCW with the inlet on the passenger side. Appears the 69 pump can be adapted to other years but the pump needs the '69 timing cover also. Then it gets a bit confusing since it seems whatever was stated about what a year had someone would join in with their exception.
 
The consistent exception was the Merc Marine engines. Engine rotation could be changed for prop rotation when running multiple engines.
 
Anyway, if the Ranchero engine is original the pump should be running CW with the intake on the drivers side.
 
This was nice distraction though from the head gaskets I'm changing right now. Appears whoever else changed the gaskets recently thought torque specs and bolt order are suggestions along with the RTV called for on the intake gasket.
 
Don
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-July-2017 at 1:13AM
rotation is backward for a serpentine belt pump, and they will bolt up. However, they don't work well running backward. The geyser tells me that there is a flow obstruction, as I have run mine with the cap removed, even with a blown head gasket and got mild overflow and burping when air pushed thru. no geysers like Jordan describes.
The above post should be read in a "Grumpy Old Man" voice.
Almost forgot: "Get off my lawn!!!"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Don V. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-July-2017 at 10:36AM
Originally posted by Big Bird Big Bird wrote:

rotation is backward for a serpentine belt pump, and they will bolt up. However, they don't work well running backward. The geyser tells me that there is a flow obstruction, as I have run mine with the cap removed, even with a blown head gasket and got mild overflow and burping when air pushed thru. no geysers like Jordan describes.
 
Agreed. But if the thermostat is closed how well would the pump have to work? With the only noise mentioned being gurgling the pressure doesn't suggest the cause being heat.
 
John, good catch on the hose. I'm usually working on engines that use the direction of heat flow, "hot to cold or hot to less hot," to assist coolant flow.
 
Don
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jordanbrown123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-July-2017 at 2:24PM
The geyser was only when i revved the motor with the cap off, which was just the water pump shoving it out. otherwise it flows fine and overflows and kinda bubbles when at idle. It was low on coolant and has air in the system. Im getting a new cap and drilling a hole in the t stat. Then bleed it and hope its back to normal... I hope there isnt an obstruction in the motor somewhere. 

The water pump couldn't be reversed, Im 90 percent sure its the stock one on the motor.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jordanbrown123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-July-2017 at 2:26PM
Not the original motor btw. Not sure when it was replaced. But it is a windsor 302. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Don V. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-July-2017 at 2:57PM
That's good information.
I mentioned your problem to someone that knows these motors and the first thing he had to say was make sure the water pump and crankshaft pulleys are the same size. The W and C had different sizes because the C was higher reving. Both should be 1 to 1 though.
 
He also asked about an engine swap. In 70 Ford went to a cross flow radiator and the pump inlet went from the passenger side to the drivers side. If your engine is pre 70 it may be plumbed wrong. He added the type of radiator used should match type for engine year unless there is an aftermarket radiator installed. Then if properly matched to the engine differences should be compensated for.
 
Also said was the spring on these engines should be in the lower hose. If the engine runs fine in town but overheats on the highway the spring is probably missing.


Edited by Don V. - 15-July-2017 at 2:59PM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-July-2017 at 3:20PM
hmm i just had an off the wall thought...are all the smaller hoses connected correctly? on the windsor the heater hose comes out the top of the intake above the thermostat, the small hose barb on the thermostat housing goes to the upper small hose barb on the pump, the lower small hose barb on the pump goes to the other heater core tube. not sure exactly what it's purpose is but has something to do with circulation (the short 90* hose) just a thought since you said the engine's been changed, sometimes other people do stupid sh*t and makes you wonder WTF were they thinking!
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74 GRAN TORINO S&H CLONE
74 CORVETTE COUPE CUSTOM
90 S10 BLAZER 4X4 LIFTED
77 CELICA CUSTOM
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79 COURIER VERT. SLAMMED
75 VEGA V6 5 SPD
70 CHEV C10 P/U
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