Radiator Cap





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Thread: Radiator Cap

  1. #1
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    Default Radiator Cap

    The ranger I recently bought seems to be using water but I could not see any leaks. Oil is clean and engine runs perfect so I dont think head gasket is blown anywhere.

    Upon closer inspection, it would seem the radiator cap is not sealing properly on the first stage and subsequently pushes the water into the reservoir through the overflow pipe.

    Previous owner fitted some cheap after market cap which I suspect is not the correct pressure rating. It does not leak on the cap itself so the top seal is OK.

    Seems ford dealerships dont keep much stock of these older 3.0 fords as I have to now wait for them to order a cap. I bought a cheapy from autozone but it does the same...


    Are these systems that sensitive to a radiator cap, or does it build up too much pressure? It doesnt seem like the system is over pressurized which could indicate a head gasket leak pushing combustion gas into water channel.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    I just had the exact same issue in my car.

    I was driving to Calvinia last week and stopped after about 2 hrs to fill up with fuel. I did my usual check around the car and engine bay and noticed that my radiator cap had failed and was leaking. Causing the coolant to boil.

    I then bought one from the petrol garage, but it's not working correctly. I am still loosing a small amount of coolant, I can see it on the pipes of the car.

    I also now have a lot of rust in the system from when the system boiled. So going to have to take the car in to get the system flushed.

    I drove from Calvinia to Sutherland and then to Calitzdorp via Seweweekspoort. Same issue again, small amount of coolant loss.

    The temp gauge stays sitting just below half so I know the car isn't overheating.

    I was told I can get the correct cap from Midas? Or should I just get it from Ford?
    2008 Ford Ranger 3.0 XLT 4x4

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    I bought one from autozone but its useless - it doesnt seal properly although it doesn't leak at the top (no water escaping) but it pushes the plunger up which causes the water to push out that little pipe that goes into the plastic reservoir right next to the radiator.

    I ordered one from a ford dealer near me, hopefully I'll get it later today or maybe monday.

    I am just surprised how sensitive these systems are.

    I dont think that the engine has a blown head gasket and over pressurizing the radiator because it does not boil or even bubble a lot when I idle the car with the cap open when cold.

    Will see of that cap solves my issue
    Ford Ranger 3.0Tdci Super Cab 4x4
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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    I just got home to the Cape. Ended up buying my 3rd cap at a garage in Lainsburg after the other 2 were duds. I also added hose clamps to the pipe leading to the overflow as i was finding coolant near this pipe. Anyway this seems to have solved my problem as i had no leaks. Even managed to throw in a 4x4 Trip in the Bosch Luys Kloof reserve called "To Hel and Gone". It must have been 30 - 35 deg and we were crawling along. Absolutely no leaks for the whole trip or on the way back to the Cape.

    My ABS light came on unfortunately. Now i need to figure out whats that all about.
    2008 Ford Ranger 3.0 XLT 4x4

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    Finally..... got the OEM cap I ordered from agents and it does seem to fit a bit more tight on the radiator.


    Tested it but it still pushes some water into the overflow pipe and into the reservoir. No leaks no steam and heat gauge seems normal.

    Thing is that after I have let it cool down, when I open the cap the radiator needs about a liter or more to fill it all the way to the top - is this normal? I dont want to take a long drive and the radiator eventually runs empty or something - that reservoir also has its own overflow so when it is full it will eventually push the water out?
    Ford Ranger 3.0Tdci Super Cab 4x4
    Platkar - Haaihoendaai i20 1.4]

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    Toyota 60 series 5.7 V8
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    I think the engine have a cracked head or leaking head gasket
    It is not what you buy its what you build.

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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    Quote Originally Posted by grips View Post
    I think the engine have a cracked head or leaking head gasket
    I agree
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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    Quote Originally Posted by WAJ View Post
    Upon closer inspection, it would seem the radiator cap is not sealing properly on the first stage and subsequently pushes the water into the reservoir through the overflow pipe.
    This is quite normal.
    The coolant system with an overflow tank is a "closed" system.

    The coolant expands with the engine and the excess coolant is pushed into the overflow tank.
    When everything cools down, the coolant contracts, and is sucked from the overflow tank.

    As you can see, the connection pipe between the top of the radiator is in a state of pressure when the coolant is heating up, and in a state of suction, when the coolant is cooling down.
    A small leak does not affect the pressure cycle, but will prevent the coolant from being sucked back into the engine.

    1. Does the tank overflow (especially after a few cycles)?
    2. Check the coolant level in the tank:
      • when cold
      • when hot
      • when cooled down
        The levels for the first and last should be the same (no total fluid loss).

    3. If the levels are not the same, there is possibly a leak in the connecting pipe, which breaks the suction.
    Last edited by 4eTouareg; 2020/01/07 at 12:53 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    Quote Originally Posted by WAJ View Post
    The ranger I recently bought seems to be using water but I could not see any leaks. Oil is clean and engine runs perfect so I dont think head gasket is blown anywhere.

    Upon closer inspection, it would seem the radiator cap is not sealing properly on the first stage and subsequently pushes the water into the reservoir through the overflow pipe.

    Previous owner fitted some cheap after market cap which I suspect is not the correct pressure rating.
    The same problem with my Wrangler, cheap aftermarket water cap, genuine cap cost R1800, must top up the water after every long trip.
    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    Quote Originally Posted by grips View Post
    I think the engine have a cracked head or leaking head gasket
    Would there be any other signs for this as the oil is clean, no white residue even the oil filler cap is neat and clean. Also if it burns that mush water in the combustion chamber wouldn't the engine run poorly as a diesel is very finicky when it comes to diesel combustion and if its contaminated with water it would misfire on one or more cylinders ?

    It runs good and power is all there starts ok, idles nice and quiet (well for a diesel that is) not shaking or anything.
    Ford Ranger 3.0Tdci Super Cab 4x4
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    Quote Originally Posted by 4eTouareg View Post
    This is quite normal.
    The coolant system with an overflow tank is a "closed" system.

    The coolant expands with the engine and the excess coolant is pushed into the overflow tank.
    When everything cools down, the coolant contracts, and is sucked from the overflow tank.

    As you can see, the connection pipe between the top of the radiator is in a state of pressure when the coolant is heating up, and in a state of suction, when the coolant is cooling down.
    A small leak does not affect the pressure cycle, but will prevent the coolant from being sucked back into the engine.

    1. Does the tank overflow (especially after a few cycles)?
    2. Check the coolant level in the tank:
      • when cold
      • when hot
      • when cooled down
        The levels for the first and last should be the same (no total fluid loss).

    3. If the levels are not the same, there is possibly a leak in the connecting pipe, which breaks the suction.
    It doesnt overflow from what I could see. What I did is fill up the radiator until full, replace cap. Then I drain the water reservoir to its full line which is quite low in the tank. Then I drive about say 5 - 10 kilos and then when I check the level in the reservoir it has risen a bit maybe by half a liter or so. Then when the radiator has cooled enough I open the cap, and then there is no water visible and it might take a liter (depending) or so to get it to full again.
    Ford Ranger 3.0Tdci Super Cab 4x4
    Platkar - Haaihoendaai i20 1.4]

    Ex'es
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    Nissan Terrano II 2.7
    Mazda Drifter DC 2.5 4x4
    Toyota 60 series 5.7 V8
    Daihatsu Rocky 2.8


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    Het mazda 626 gehad ,selfde simptome.
    Waterpomp , maar ek het geen lekke gesien nie.
    Nuwe eienaar het nooit water nagegaan soos ek aangeraai het nie. Toe gee die pomp in.
    Hy sit toe nuwe een in en kry cam timing verkeerd. Baie geld.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    Seen this thread ---> https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...rough-Overflow

    Will change the thermostat (where is it on the 3.0 tdci engine?) and go to radiator place and get all relevant tests done.
    Ford Ranger 3.0Tdci Super Cab 4x4
    Platkar - Haaihoendaai i20 1.4]

    Ex'es
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    Mazda Drifter DC 2.5 4x4
    Toyota 60 series 5.7 V8
    Daihatsu Rocky 2.8


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    Have to wonder why it was sold?
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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof View Post
    Have to wonder why it was sold?
    Its a bit of a lemon with multiple problems but the price reflected that.

    It would seem I like to fix problem cars, then sell them when they run perfect





    Its the ITCH
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    Ex'es
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    Nissan Terrano II 2.7
    Mazda Drifter DC 2.5 4x4
    Toyota 60 series 5.7 V8
    Daihatsu Rocky 2.8


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    Quote Originally Posted by WAJ View Post
    Its a bit of a lemon with multiple problems but the price reflected that.

    It would seem I like to fix problem cars, then sell them when they run perfect





    Its the ITCH
    Noticed Rocky is gone from your signature-sold?
    1998 Daihatsu Rocky 'The Kitty'
    2002 Daihatsu Rocky 'The Bully'

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    Quote Originally Posted by Prof View Post
    Noticed Rocky is gone from your signature-sold?
    .... yeah....

    Guy bought it saturday, drove to cape town on sunday - no problems and apparently good diesel consumption.
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    Toyota 60 series 5.7 V8
    Daihatsu Rocky 2.8


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    OK so I took it to silverton radiators and there prognoses - thermostat aint opening properly. Bottom pipe stays kinda cool while top one heats up.


    Will have a new one fitted and then Ill see if it solves the problem.
    Ford Ranger 3.0Tdci Super Cab 4x4
    Platkar - Haaihoendaai i20 1.4]

    Ex'es
    KIA Sorento 2.5 Crdi 4x4 (diesel guzzler of note)
    Nissan Terrano II 2.7
    Mazda Drifter DC 2.5 4x4
    Toyota 60 series 5.7 V8
    Daihatsu Rocky 2.8


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    Did new thermostat solve the problem ?
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Radiator Cap

    My 3.0 was losing Water aswell, Drove for approximately 2+ years trying to diagnose. Replaced the entire cooling system with no success. The motor ran smooth and pulled like a steam train.

    I started noticing above normal temperature readings on the gauge specifically when the motor was under labor / load..

    Long story short, I eventually pulled the head had it pressure tested and skimmed - All good.

    I found a hairline crack in the head gasket between the combustion chamber and the water port (so no white oil) which obviously pushed combustion gasses into the cooling system and out the reservoir (this happened mostly when the motor worked a bit harder) eg, long uphills (coast to inland driving) and towing.

    Replaced gaskets and problem solved.
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