Issue With Cooling System...any Thoughts?

Discussion in 'SN95 4.6L Mustang Tech' started by IIGood, May 26, 2014.

  1. I hope I didn't royally screw up...if I did, I'm really gonna kick myself. Car is a stock 2003 GT with 161K on the clock. Apologies for the length but I feel I need to share the full story to truly figure out what's going on.

    I had been smelling coolant in the car for a few days but could never identify a leak anywhere. This past Wednesday, I was on my way to work and got on the throttle a bit hard at one point. As I pulled into the parking lot at work, steam started coming from under the hood right in front of the passenger side. I popped the hood and saw coolant sprayed on the firewall around the intake heater hose (the one going from the intake manifold into the heater core). So that afternoon I went over to the Ford dealer and got a new hose.

    I got home that evening and eventually swapped the hose...mostly. I was dumb and didn't know how to work the spring clamp, thinking the hose would expand or something. After changing the hose, I took it for a road test, got on the throttle a bit and of course the hose came off the intake, spewing coolant all over the windshield. *#(!#$! Pulled into the gas station to fill up (3 mile trip one-way) and put the hose back on, then babied the car back home. As I got closer to the house the temperature gauge was climbing and was just below the "H" mark by the time I parked. I got a ride up to a parts store and got a worm-screw type hose clamp and coolant...when I got home, I put the hose on properly with the clamp and filled the car back up with coolant. The next day (Thursday), all seemed good going to and from work...15 mile round trip.

    Friday, I drive down to the grocery store, but 8 miles one way. When I came out of the store, I saw a puddle of coolant coming from under the front of the car. I limped it home, parked it, and then popped the hood and saw coolant pouring from where the oil pan meets the front cover.

    Have I blown the water pump, or did I crack the block? I know it's hard to truly diagnose but if there's anything else I can look for to figure this out, it'd certainly help. Hoping to avoid a hefty repair bill...or wondering if I'm gonna be car shopping soon. The local shop I go to is backed up for 2 more weeks and I really don't wanna go to the dealership ($$$$).


    UPDATE: I was just looking at it and noticed a hairline crack halfway across the plastic hub that the water pump's pulley mounts on.
    #1 IIGood, May 26, 2014
    Last edited: May 26, 2014
  2. I'd have to see pictures of waht you are talking about but maybe a cracked intake manifold? I can't picture any plastic on the water pump.
  3. I think I've found the source of the leak. I saw coolant dripping from behind the water pump pulley, then pooling up just below the water pump and then apparently running down the front of the block. I've got a new pump on order and hope that'll take care of it.
  4. OK...the weep hole in the pump. That is the sign of a bad pump. That should get you fixed.
  5. Certainly seems it. The new water pump should be here tomorrow...I've got it mostly taken apart right now so I should just be able to slap the new one on, fill it all back up, put a new belt on, and go. Gonna need the new belt because some of the PB Blaster I sprayed on the water pump bolts got on the belt and kind of "disfigured" the belt a little bit. Kind of sucks because that belt only had about 25K on it. Ah well.
  6. When you refill the coolant, make sure your fill as much as you can from the thermostat housing. That way you don't get air in the system. That leads to overheating. Also be careful replacing said thermostat housing. just don;t over torque the bolts.
  7. Think I've got it all squared away. Put the new pump on this evening and got the coolant topped up...certainly hope there's no air in the system ( I actually idled the car til it reached running temp and waited for the thermostat to open...when the coolant level went down in the reservoir I was pouring more in).

    Road tested it afterwards and all seems OK. Held temperature in the normal range on a 15 minute drive, no leaks afterwards. Going to check the coolant level in the morning.
  8. As a follow far so good. Topped the coolant off again this morning, took it for another 20-minute road test, and all seems good. No leaks, no running hot; I think it's good to go now. I'm going out of town for the weekend but leaving the GT at home...don't want to risk it for the road trip. I'll get it back in daily service come Monday though.
    trombonedemon likes this.