blowing radiators in my truck - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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blowing radiators in my truck

Ok so I have had to replace the radiator in my truck 4 times in the last year. I pulled the original one out to have it fixed cuz it had a small leak and the fins in the inlet corner were just rotted right off, so the shop told me I'm better off replacing it. I have gone through 3 and on my 4th rad from The Zone. Thank god for lifetime warranty! So the last time they told me there had to be something else that keeps causing the seams on the top tank to keep blowing, like the truck is building too much pressure or something. Everything cooling system related has been replaced in an attempt to fix the no heat problem I've been battling.

Now I'm trying to figure out if I should replace the head gaskets or what. I would like some definite answers as to whether its the gaskets or not as I really can't have the truck down for a super long time. How can I test to verify that it is the HG or not. BTW I have no other symptoms of a head gasket either.

What else could possibly be causing this?

Any input would help me greatly, thanks

86 F-250 4X4..7.3 non turbo from an 89.. E injectors and pump turned up.. 4 speed..3.55 gears.. new dual 4" exhaust by diamond eye-- with the muffler > for now!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 03:35 AM
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Ok so I have had to replace the radiator in my truck 4 times in the last year. I pulled the original one out to have it fixed cuz it had a small leak and the fins in the inlet corner were just rotted right off, so the shop told me I'm better off replacing it. I have gone through 3 and on my 4th rad from The Zone. Thank god for lifetime warranty! So the last time they told me there had to be something else that keeps causing the seams on the top tank to keep blowing, like the truck is building too much pressure or something. Everything cooling system related has been replaced in an attempt to fix the no heat problem I've been battling.

Now I'm trying to figure out if I should replace the head gaskets or what. I would like some definite answers as to whether its the gaskets or not as I really can't have the truck down for a super long time. How can I test to verify that it is the HG or not. BTW I have no other symptoms of a head gasket either.

What else could possibly be causing this?

Any input would help me greatly, thanks
I've never had much luck with Autozone parts in general.

If you have the correct pressure cap on your radiator, it would relieve before blowing a seam in the radiator. Pressure caps tend to relieve early as they age and do not allow pressure build up as high as when new.

You should probably look for another radiator supplier and chalk this one up to experience as I did.

If you are experiencing no heat in the cab, try checking the water control valve in the heater core line, the vacuum, or electrical controls/servo motors on the blend air doors under the dash, and control switch assembly. All of these are failure points as vehicles age.

Last edited by Backslap; 03-19-2013 at 03:38 AM.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
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yeah no doubt. they already told me this was the last one they were going to warranty for me, which is fine cuz it was going to be the last one a got from them anyways.

the cap is brand new and should be the correct psi

86 F-250 4X4..7.3 non turbo from an 89.. E injectors and pump turned up.. 4 speed..3.55 gears.. new dual 4" exhaust by diamond eye-- with the muffler > for now!
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If you are experiencing no heat in the cab, try checking the water control valve in the heater core line, the vacuum, or electrical controls/servo motors on the blend air doors under the dash, and control switch assembly. All of these are failure points as vehicles age.

all my heat stuff is cable operated. i do get heat but after it runs for a while or gets ran on the hwy for a trip then its real warm in the cab

86 F-250 4X4..7.3 non turbo from an 89.. E injectors and pump turned up.. 4 speed..3.55 gears.. new dual 4" exhaust by diamond eye-- with the muffler > for now!
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 02:08 PM
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A few questions; can you see bubbles in the radiator? I'm guessing you drive it for awhile before the tank blows. Have you checked the thermostat? Maybe pull it out & see what happens.Has it ever hydrolocked? Do you get water out the exaust? Good chance one of the hg's is rusted out toward the water jacket. If that is the case, you would not get water in a cyl., or out the exaust. Not much else to cause your problem.---Bob
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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A few questions; can you see bubbles in the radiator? I'm guessing you drive it for awhile before the tank blows. Have you checked the thermostat? Maybe pull it out & see what happens.Has it ever hydrolocked? Do you get water out the exaust? Good chance one of the hg's is rusted out toward the water jacket. If that is the case, you would not get water in a cyl., or out the exaust. Not much else to cause your problem.---Bob
yeah it takes about three months before the radiator goes. I have let the truck run for about and hour without the cap on and never really noticed any bubbles. the tstat is brand new from the dealership so i wouldn't think that would be the problem? I also have not noticed any water out the exhaust other than what i would assume to be condensation?
also to my knowledge it has never hydrolocked

86 F-250 4X4..7.3 non turbo from an 89.. E injectors and pump turned up.. 4 speed..3.55 gears.. new dual 4" exhaust by diamond eye-- with the muffler > for now!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 03:03 AM
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I'd have the cap tested. 4 bad radiators seems unlikely......1 defective cap seems possible.

Early 2004 F-250 4x4 CC 6.0


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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 01:23 PM
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I'd have the cap tested. 4 bad radiators seems unlikely......1 defective cap seems possible.
The radiator support in those trucks is weak in design. With both the diesel engine, and the road shock of operatiing the truck, harmonics are set up in the front end that actually "scrub" rubber gasket seals out between the radiator core and tank due to flimsey construction, or crack solder joints. This coupled with the heat and cooling cycles are what is detrimental to long life of his radiator.

I've seen both soldered all metal radiators, and metal core with crimped plastic tanks in the application and most anything vendored by the aforementioned corporation is of sub standard quality in construction.

You do however still get what you pay for.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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yeah i thought it strange that the radiator bolts directly to the core support without any bushings or anything.

as far as the radiator cap goes-- i had put a new one on the original radiator and kept it for the first two aftermarket rads. when i went to replace the third radiator i put on a new cap and hoses at the same time to (i thought) eliminate any other issues with the radiators.

maybe it is the core support?-- any ideas on what to do in this situation?
also still possible to be head gasket?

86 F-250 4X4..7.3 non turbo from an 89.. E injectors and pump turned up.. 4 speed..3.55 gears.. new dual 4" exhaust by diamond eye-- with the muffler > for now!
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Hey weld engineer--- where you at in MI? I'm in Lansing for the next few months

86 F-250 4X4..7.3 non turbo from an 89.. E injectors and pump turned up.. 4 speed..3.55 gears.. new dual 4" exhaust by diamond eye-- with the muffler > for now!
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