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Old 05-31-2009, 06:19 AM   #15
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i'm with terry, it soulds like a pressure leak. you might try filling the overflow tank and leaving the cap just loose enough not to build pressure. it should get you to the mechanic without overheating and damaging the engine.
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Old 05-31-2009, 07:31 AM   #16
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First thing I would do is Take it to a competent mechanic. He will have a pressure tester that is put on in place of the radiator cap . It has a pump and a gauge. With the system full of coolant he will be able to cause a leak by applying pressure to the system. My first guess was Thermostat. Second would be waterpump. Radiator caps do go bad especially on a 95. Yes coolant tanks are plastic and do crack .
Id still take it to a competent mechanic and have it checked out.
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Old 05-31-2009, 07:34 AM   #17
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A pressure test AND another test that checks for combustion gases in the cooling system will most likely show a blown head gasket. Hopefully my diagnosis based on your described symptoms is incorrect and it will be something much less serious.

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Trent
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:15 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Could it possibly be a fan clutch?

Andy
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:36 AM   #19
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Lots of possibilities! I'm going to have it towed over, we have towing insurance, might as well use it rather than risk hurting the engine if it overheats again.

In December/January we had a bad sensor and a complete brake job, and then at the same time they replaced the radiator cap. I drove it a couple days and the new radiator cap apparently pressurized the system and caused a weak spot in the radiator to blow out, so it started leaking antifreeze. So it went back to the mechanic for a new radiator and hoses. So we dropped about $2k on it in two months. Dave's Dad said not to spend any more money on it since it's so old (1995), but you know it just nickle and dimes you, where you go 'well it's been a good truck, we might as well fix this', then another thing and another thing. Then it's like 'well now we've got $2k invested in repairs on it, and it's got new brakes'. If this is anything big it might be time to call it quits and replace it. We'll just have to see what the mechanic says.
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:42 AM   #20
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Sounds like you're on the right path Stephanie. We have pool going, so let us know what the culprit is.

I have a 97 Ford F150 that has 306,000 miles. It was my daily driver until the alterantor went our at 295,000. It's now my "Weekend" ride. It sure beat the heck out of making truck payments.

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Old 05-31-2009, 11:51 AM   #21
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Thermostats are cheap, water pumps used to be, but maybe not so much anymore. Head gaskets are not cheap (the gasket is cheap, getting to it is not, and once you have the head off, maybe it'll be time for a valve job). I appreciate your problem and unfortunately we can't usually predict just the right moment to sell a vehicle. Whatever is broken, it has to be fixed either to drive it or to sell it. At some point everyone gets sick of fixing it and either sells it, sends it to the crusher, or like they do where we live, park it somewhere out back alongside all the others and forget it.

If you sell it, you can advertise "new brakes, radiator!" Good luck. Check Edmunds and Kelly Blue Book for what your van is worth.

I gave up on fixing old cars and trucks some years ago because it hurt my body too much and bought new ones. Now I have an Airstream and I'm fixing a new vehicle. I don't understand how that happened.

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Old 05-31-2009, 12:27 PM   #22
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Well, want a '94 1 ton Dodge van cheap? Has a new rebuilt transmission!

Just needs a new AC rebuild.. oh.. about $1700 to fix!
Sigh... I know what you mean... where do we draw the line...
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Old 05-31-2009, 01:14 PM   #23
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Marc, I think we're both on the short end of the stick, when I was a kid we considered a 20 year old vehicle to be 'classic', and our vans are both just a few years away from that!

I just looked at new Ford vans on the Ford website - looks like someone beat them with an ugly stick! That grill is the most unattractive thing I've ever seen, and it just looks like it's stuck on the front end of the same van as always. Holy Cow, what were they thinking?!
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:03 PM   #24
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Steph, how much can you do with a van? 2 or 4 headlights; ugly or uglier grill, curved or flat windshield, but always is a really a big box.

I'm hoping it's the thermostat and you find a good deal on a new van or truck. I read they're selling certain US brands below cost. That depresses the used vehicle market, but I expect a 14 year old van's value doesn't change much no matter what's happening in the market.

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Old 06-01-2009, 10:12 PM   #25
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My money is still on a failing water pump. For as easy read, check this out. Autoclinix.com - Ford Econoline 5.0L / 5.8L Water Pump Repair

Cheers,

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Old 06-02-2009, 12:29 AM   #26
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The word from the mechanic is that the new radiator blew out. Luckily it's under warranty still so the parts and labor are covered. Once they get it replaced they'll check to make sure there wasn't any other damage.
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:13 AM   #27
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I don't know where it's at, but I know its the thermostat...we were going thru California, and started loosing power to the vehicle...we thought the radiater had a leak and were using the CB to get truckers to drop off water...we took it out and it worked fine after that.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:38 AM   #28
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Yup! How much lipstick can a pig get? My '94 Dodge looks the same as the 70's Tradesman, with a different grille! The Sprinter is really the only new game in town... if it came in a lower height, I'd buy one (it's even higher in the lowtop version than my 1 ton!! I barely fit in parking garages as it is...).

I dunno - I think I can replace the section of piping that needs to be replaced on the AC myself.. so I might hang on a bit more... still running!

Can't believe the radiator blew out! Where was that one made?
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