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#2177516 - 11/08/10 07:39 AM Losing coolant
hlbly Offline

Registered: 04/21/03
Posts: 346
Loc: Knoxville TN
Friends, I hav an unusual problem with my 1997 CVPI with 182.5k.
After I moved the car from my garage after a few moths of being parked, to check anti-freeze, I found the overflow tank completely dry. I added coolant to the full mark and ran the engine until warmed.
Last week, I drove the car to Virginia (about 300 miles. Again, the tank was bone dry and required more coolant to fill. These observatons:
1. Temp gauge is completely in normal range.
2. Car has never overheated during my ownership (80k).
3. No coolant odour in passenger compartment.
4. No obvious leaks in pass compartment or engine bay. Engine still has plastic intake manifold but intake valley is completely dry.
5. Heater output is very cool and temp control setting makes no difference.
I have always felt fairly capable of fixing anything on my car, but I'm stumped on this one. Any suggestions of where to begin?
2008 Crown Vic P71 (former Sault St. Marie, Ontario PD).
2010 Crown Victoria P7B SAP (former Federal).

#2177552 - 11/08/10 09:08 AM Re: Losing coolant [Re: hlbly]
stalag Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 3839
Loc: Columbus, OH
Head gasket may have failed.

Stalag;___________Just for Rizzo I am posting this in my sig. Coolants
2001 Lincoln Town Car Cartier L, 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis (extinct)
On my LTC the following mods/upgrades were added. Heinous motorsport control arms, Command Automotive SD-1 rotors (these rotors can no longer be obtained), Calipers by in silver with Hawk HPS pads (now running Ford OEM), MSD COP's. MZT is also applied with programming from BOC. j-mod is now done. Final rebuild of transmission done by Gearstar.

#2177697 - 11/08/10 03:22 PM Re: Losing coolant [Re: stalag]
BigMerc96 Offline

I know nothing
Posting Addict

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 16437
Loc: I can see Detroit from here!
I wouldn't jump right to head gasket just yet. the heater is cool because the coolant is low, now the question is where is the coolant going.

There are many places coolant can leak, radiator, hoses, heater core, intake manifold, and of course, the head gaskets. I would highly suspect that manifold if it is still the all plastic one and it has never been changed before. The two most common places for them to leak is around the thermostat, and around the heater hose fitting.

at that age and mileage, I'd also suspect that the radiator hoses are probably in need of replacing, along with the hoses that run to the heater core. I could also be the heater core its self, but you say you don't smell coolant in the cabin.

Pull your plug wires and make sure the boots and plug-wells are dry, when the manifolds crack, they like to fill the spark-plug wells with coolant, especially numbers 4 and 5.

If it were a head gasket, you would likely have coolant/oil mixing, and/or white, sweet smelling exhaust smoke.

1998 Mercury Grand Marquis LS HPP ~92k miles, not entirely stock.

1997 Town Car Cartier ~143k miles, 70mm TB, Ported Plenum, Gutted Airbox, Mechanical Fan Delete, Contour E-fan Retrofit, Dual exhaust with Magnaflows, rear cat delete, MSD Ignition, KYB Gas-A-Justs, Marauder/HPP rear sway bar, P71 front bar, air ride reinstated, Blinker Mod, Projector retrofit, Caddy 4-note horn retrofit, Wood rim steering wheel retrofit, natural weight reduction.. Smashed 1/13/13....I fixt it..
1996 Mercury Grand Marquis GS 117,485mi. R.I.P. 7/14/12 frown

#2178294 - 11/09/10 12:30 PM Re: Losing coolant [Re: BigMerc96]
hlbly Offline

Registered: 04/21/03
Posts: 346
Loc: Knoxville TN
Thanks, a comperhensive diagnosis is scheduled for next week and I'll share the reaults on this thread.
2008 Crown Vic P71 (former Sault St. Marie, Ontario PD).
2010 Crown Victoria P7B SAP (former Federal).

#2178297 - 11/09/10 12:41 PM Re: Losing coolant [Re: hlbly]
Mileaway Offline
Posting Addict

Registered: 10/06/05
Posts: 16824
Loc: Sacto. Calif.
chck the heater hoses & connections.
2000 P71 Interceptor orig. equip.near mint parchment int.& carpet 155,000 mi. 3.55 rear

Little Anthony: That's all the television there is.

#2178777 - 11/10/10 07:47 AM Re: Losing coolant [Re: Mileaway]
White Falcon LS Offline

Posting Addict

Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 18916
Loc: SoCal
As stupid as it sounds, have you checked the radiator cap? I had a very similar problem, where 3/4 of the reservoir would be empty after every drive. If I didn't add coolant, it would be bone dry the next day. Did a pressure test, and there were no leaks so I replaced the cap with an RS-527, and that solved the issue. But about four days later, I had a leaky intake manifold gasket, in one of the coolant passages, which would leak coolant into the intake valley.

Would be good insurance to replace the manifold, heater core hoses, radiator hoses and that hose that runs from the back of the water pump. Silicone hoses are a good investment I would say.
Lucifer: '01 GCC Spec Grand Marquis GS Convenience
Tuned By Marty @ Mo's Speed Shop

In Memory of Ned Nuss, Rick Richardson and Matt (2vmodular)

#2196285 - 12/09/10 10:39 AM Re: Losing coolant [Re: White Falcon LS]
hlbly Offline

Registered: 04/21/03
Posts: 346
Loc: Knoxville TN
Coolant loss apparently was leaking intake manifold gaskets. We decided to replace the all-plastic mnifold with the new type (aluminum cross-over) since the manifold had to come off anyway.
Heater problem appears to be blend door actuator.
2008 Crown Vic P71 (former Sault St. Marie, Ontario PD).
2010 Crown Victoria P7B SAP (former Federal).


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