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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that I paid this thing off and I'm waiting for something bad to happen. I went through a hard start mess and got if fixed and now I have a faint smell of anti-freeze wafting through the cab just every once in a while.....it only happens when the defroster is on and that is leading me to believe the heater core is probably on it's way out....no puddle or drips on the floor or driveway but it could be evaporating. Then in the back of my pessimistic mind I have a bad feeling.....my '98 12V has a 53 block...I have 220K miles on the truck and one of the symptoms of a cracked block is the anti-freeze smell when it warms up but I would think it would be constant with that crack. I'll crawl under the truck this weekend and peak up under the heat exchanger to rule out my worst case thought....then I can think about the fun I'll have pulling the dash off to fix the heater core and I might as well fix the A/C heat exchanger while I'm in there as well since it loses charge.
 

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good luck i bet that its the heater core but take a look at everything else before u rip the dash out.....nice truck i like the way it looks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well I crawled under the truck today....it was 31* so it was warm out for once....no crack in the block...it was a long shot but I had to check. I took the belt off and tried to wiggle the WP pulley and it's solid....amazing for 225K miles it is still good. The radiator is good....no signs of seepage so it almost has to be the heater core.....I need to find the A/C drain and see if there is some coolant dripping from there cause I was told if it starts to leak it will come out of there.
 

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A/C drain is on the passenger side low on the firewall you can see it from under the truck better than from on top.

But I don't mean to harp... But the only reason for coolant system failures is because you haven't change you coolant at the specified times. As the coolant ages it becomes acidic or basic and starts eating at the metals of the heater cores and radiators. Even though the coolant is green (or orange) it doesn't mean the pH level has changed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I change the coolant at the very least every other spring....but I bought the truck with 110K on it so what was done before I have no idea...I use Distilled Water and usually NAPA fleet anti-freeze which they sell for big rigs. I have heard differing opinions about using distilled water though...some say it is better cause it is neutral but some say worse cause it will pull the minerlas it's lacking out of the metal in the block and radiator and such. I don't think it matters much if you change it out regularly.
 

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Well my well water here is extremely low in mineral content. (TESTED!). I've been using well water in my engine now for the life of my truck and never even seen build up at alll in the radiator or block...

My block at 100K miles


My radiator at 100K miles (little tough to see)


But I've been using standard prestone coolant mixed 50/50 and change my coolant every 30K miles which happens to be really close to every spring. I don't care if the coolant is still green (or orange) it gets dumped... Every second change I change the thermostat if it needs it or not...
 

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Check the heater core! 90% that's it! Check the pass floor board for DAMPNESS!
 

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:whs My 87 Chev did almost the exact same thing only it left a puddle a couple days after I noticed the smell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have city water where I am at now....the well water I had was hard and would leave rings on just about every fixture so I never wanted to put it in the radiator. I didn't notice the smell at all today so I'll keep an eye on things. I drew a line on the recirc bottle to see if it goes down any here over the next couple of days. Thanks guys.
 

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The last 2 heater cores I replaced (1 on the '82 F250 and 1 on the '86 F250 I used to have), Neither leaked on the floor or ground. Just fogged up the window and the smell. At least those were simple to replace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I haven't noticed the smell at all in the past 3 or 4 days.....not a whiff....IDK...I think I am going nuts.
 

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Crazy people think they're gettin more and more sane, just so you know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well I'm definetly not getting more sane.....
 
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