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Old 07-07-2014, 06:54 AM   #1
IRSmart
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overheated and puked coolant, help diagnose

this weekend, I went to the carnival with the family. it was about a 20 minute drive there with no issues. once we got there, while trying to find a parking spot, all of a sudden white smoke started pouring out from under the hood and I could hear the radiator cap spitting. I shut the car off immediately and popped the hood, and found coolant everywhere, mostly over on the driver's side near the battery. I pushed the car into a space, turned the key to the ON position, and ran the heat at full blast to cool the car down.

as it happened, a guy who claimed to be a mechanic walked by and looked at it. he said that he couldn't see where anything had burst, and said that the lines leading to the engine were still hot and pressurized. he said it might have been the radiator itself that went, but I got to thinking. as I sat there with the key on and the heat blasting, the radiator fan was not running. it should have been on, even with the key just to ON, no? and if the radiator fan was nonoperational for some reason, this would be supported by the fact that the car didn't overheat until I stopped moving. how can I further diagnose this without having it towed (again) to the shop? is it safe to top off the coolant and start it again?
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:44 AM   #2
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How high did your temp gauge go? More than likely your CCRM sh!t the bed. Start off checking the fuses of course, then start checking voltages at the CCRM. Does the fan turn on when you have the AC running?
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:48 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by 03RedFireGT View Post
How high did your temp gauge go? More than likely your CCRM sh!t the bed. Start off checking the fuses of course, then start checking voltages at the CCRM. Does the fan turn on when you have the AC running?
I didn't notice the temp gauge before the engine went all mount rushmore on me, but when I got back in it was spiking on hot. I didn't have the AC running, the AC has been nonoperational for 2 years now. I only drive it when I can put the top down, so that's a non-issue. I just know that when the key was ON, the fan was not running, and I feel like it should have been.

save me the trouble of googling, what's CCRM?
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:00 AM   #4
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http://www.modularfords.com/threads/...What-is-a-CCRM
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:20 AM   #5
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ok, so to first diagnose whether it is the radiator itself, would it be harmful to the engine or other components in any way if I topped off the coolant and started the car back up to check for leaks in the system? and if I see the temp gauge start to climb, and the fan doesn't come on, that should eliminate a physical problem, like the radiator or plumbing, and narrow it down to a possible electrical issue, correct?
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:32 AM   #6
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It won't cause any more damage to the engine to run it for short periods of time. Just keep an eye on your engine temp. Also check to make sure your thermostat hasn't failed. They are supposed to stick open when they fail, but this isn't always the case. Regardless, your fan should be kicking on. Check the electrical connections on the fan shroud plug and see if they have melted.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:44 AM   #7
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Cracked intake.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:55 AM   #8
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Cracked intake.
I have a 2003, I didn't think that they were susceptible to that? plus, all, or at least most of, the coolant looks like it was spitting from the cap on top of the radiator next to the battery, hence the location of the spill.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:59 AM   #9
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Even the alum. crossover intakes can and will crack. Usually near the thermostat on the drivers side of the intake. Same spot as you've noticed coolant. Any pooled coolant along the injectors/coils?
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:43 AM   #10
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So after letting it sit for a month, I went outside last night to troubleshoot. I filled it back up with coolant, and let it run until it got to operating temps. The radiator fan never came on, not even when I would turn on the a/c. So it seems that something is preventing the fan from coming on. How would I go about further diagnosis? I do not have a multimeter, however I do have a dummy light for testing circuits.
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:55 PM   #11
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Unplug the fan, use two jumper wires. One for hot, other ground. If fan kicks on, you eliminate that.
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:36 PM   #12
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so, I finally had time to do further diagnosis tonight. I started with the most obvious place: the fuse box. sure enough, 50 amp max amp #1 was blown. I snagged a spare and replaced it, started the car and put the AC on, and BAMB! the fan came on. Horray!


almost.


I drove the car to walmart to test the durability of the fuse amd to buy replacements, and when I got there, the fan was making an unusual noise. when I returned home, it was still making the noise, but it was coming on and off as usual. the volume is hard to gauge, the following videos make it sound louder than it really is, but you get the idea.

http://vid119.photobucket.com/albums...ps0086b10a.mp4

http://vid119.photobucket.com/albums...psc70791d0.mp4

i also noticed after i shot the video that my headlights and taillights had a slight flicker to them, which synced with the sound that the fan was making. seems like the fan is having to work extra hard to stay on. what says MW, has my radiator fan's best days come and passed?
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:38 PM   #13
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strange, the five minute edit timer seems to be off

i forgot to mention that i noticed a smell coming from the engine bay as well, a burning smell. it was not overpowering, and i almost didn't notice it.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:44 AM   #14
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Check the electrical connections to the fan and see how bad they are melting.
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Old 09-03-2014, 12:21 PM   #15
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Check the electrical connections to the fan and see how bad they are melting.
I just checked, i didn't see anything melted. There's only one set of connections at the fan, correct?
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:56 PM   #16
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so I checked out latemodelresto for a replacement radiator fan. they show one for the 98-00. and one for the 01-04. now, for $40 cheaper, you can replace just the motor on the fan for model years 97-00. the photograph for three of the fans (97, 98-00, & 01-04) all look the same. can I get away with just replacing the motor, which seems to be the culprit, or do I need to replace the entire thing? replacing the motor sounds easier, unless you have to remove the entire fan to replace the motor anyway, in which case I would just replace the entire thing.
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Old 09-09-2014, 06:16 AM   #17
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Pretty sure you'll be removing the entire fan assembly to replace the fan motor.
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:38 AM   #18
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Its about 15 mins to replace the motor if you are experienced. Yes the entire assembly has to come out. Super easy.

Now if you are mechanically challenged or feeling lazy, just get the whole assembly.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:38 PM   #19
IRSmart
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Its about 15 mins to replace the motor if you are experienced. Yes the entire assembly has to come out. Super easy.

Now if you are mechanically challenged or feeling lazy, just get the whole assembly.
why would I buy a fan motor for $60 and have to remove the entire assembly anyway and then break it apart when for $75 I can just replace the entire thing? that makes a lot of sense.

reader's digest version, it was the fan motor that caused the issues. replaced it today, it's working perfectly. no overheating issues, and apparently this is also what has been causing my ac to be intermittent the last year or so, because it's blowing cold again.
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Old 09-18-2014, 06:43 AM   #20
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