Page updated on 12-18-2017

2000 Windstar coolant leak mystery


Bart8528
12-14-2006, 12:11 PM
:banghead: I have (had) a coolant leak coming from somewhere behind the engine (right side). It leaked for about two days onto the driveway and now has quit. While it was dripping, from off the gear case, fom somewhere above it, I got under the vehicle to see if I could see from where. Couldn't find anything. Looked from on top, nothing there either. So I decided to remove the cowel for a better looksee. Because it had stopped, I filled the fill bottle, ran the engine to heat it up, but can't make it start to leak again. Anyone out there with any experience with this sort of thing? I know it was coolant and it was sure a bonafide leak, ha. Forgot; it's a 3.8 engine.

MT-2500
12-14-2006, 12:20 PM
:banghead: I have (had) a coolant leak coming from somewhere behind the engine (right side). It leaked for about two days onto the driveway and now has quit. While it was dripping, from off the gear case, fom somewhere above it, I got under the vehicle to see if I could see from where. Couldn't find anything. Looked from on top, nothing there either. So I decided to remove the cowel for a better looksee. Because it had stopped, I filled the fill bottle, ran the engine to heat it up, but can't make it start to leak again. Anyone out there with any experience with this sort of thing? I know it was coolant and it was sure a bonafide leak, ha. Forgot; it's a 3.8 engine.

Leaks can be hard to find.
Sometimes they leak cold or warm or hot and some times under light or more or sometimes even no pressure.
A rad pressure rester is a must in finding leaks.
Also they make a leak dye for coolant to find the source of hard to find leaks

jakethebt
12-16-2006, 08:24 AM
Mine was doing the same thing, but instead of dripping it was smoking. Stop, look under the hood and nothing. It has not gotten much worse and appears to be the rear head gasket. When it was smoking it looked like it was coming up from under the power steering pump. I have heard that a leaky intake manifold gasket, lower, sometimes (often) go bad and make you think that the head gasket is blown. I eventually found the leak coming from what appears to be the head and block. The leak appears to be external only. I am still not convinced that it is the head gasket over the intake, but I am planning on repairing both. If I see evidence along the way that I can stop before the heads, I may. On the other hand, I am tearing the pc of crap down, so I might as well go all the way....

I have a 1999 3.8 with 105000 miles if that helps...

Good luck.

Goodbye
12-18-2006, 05:46 PM
I just had this fixed on mine, a 2000 with 110K. It was a small metal pipe under the throttle body between the upper and lower intake manifolds. It's brazed from the factory and the brazing cracked forming a leak. It's obviously a common problem because Frod(Ford) had the part in stock. It cost me $250 parts and labor, which isn't too bad. Hope that helps.

whaleman
07-08-2007, 07:07 PM
I have (had) a coolant leak coming from somewhere behind the engine (right side). It leaked for about two days onto the driveway and now has quit. While it was dripping, from off the gear case, fom somewhere above it, I got under the vehicle to see if I could see from where. Couldn't find anything. Looked from on top, nothing there either. So I decided to remove the cowel for a better looksee. Because it had stopped, I filled the fill bottle, ran the engine to heat it up, but can't make it start to leak again. Anyone out there with any experience with this sort of thing? I know it was coolant and it was sure a bonafide leak, ha. Forgot; it's a 3.8 engine

I got this same problem on my 2001 Windstar, it is almost impossible to see where the coolant is leaking from, but it drips between the transmission and the engine in the underside and it is coming from somewhere above the intake manifold near the thermostat but being blocked by view by the throttle body. It leaks quite a bit, but I am wondering if this same pipe might be a common problem to these models.

Any insight welcomed.

SlimJimRD
07-09-2007, 09:09 PM
There was pipe that was leaking on mine (3.8L). See this link. http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=657317

whaleman
07-11-2007, 08:22 AM
Thanks Slimjim, I am set to try to fix this tube this weekend.

tjgalvez
07-11-2007, 06:33 PM
Check the crossover hose from the thermostat housing to the water pump. Mine is a 1995, 3.8L and there is a pinhole and very hard to see. I use a drexel to cut the factory crimped clamp on the waterpump side and got the replacement hose from Y2K ford, seattle and I think it cost less than $15.00. I'm not sure if your 2000 have a crossover hose or pipe.

tjg

daveck2
12-18-2007, 09:37 PM
True, the coolant crossover pipe on the 3.8 has a defect that will cause it to leak at a given point (after warranty). My pipe looked brand new but had a pinhole leak that would have never been found had I not run the engine a luckily saw a small stream coming out from under the upper intake plenum.

The other pipe that this connects to which tees off into the water pump and to the firewall hoses sprung a similar leak.

Picture can be seen at following link: Pinhole leak:
http://picasaweb.google.com/EckFamily2/AutomotivePhotos07/photo#5145501800148136290

Location of other pipe: Pipe has yellow sticker attached
http://picasaweb.google.com/EckFamily2/AutomotivePhotos07/photo#5145501804443103602

This is a picture of the pipe that runs under the intake, the shiny new one in the center of the pic:
http://picasaweb.google.com/EckFamily2/AutomotivePhotos07/photo#5145501813033038226

The pipe with the yellow tape is the new replacement. $30 bucks, $60 for the one under the intake! Beware, this one has a bolt on the rear of the PS pump and connects to a firewall heater hose T and to the hose that runs under the Intake. I wish I would have known about this problem when I replaced the Isolator bolts about a year ago.

I plan to put a case together and present it to FORD to show that the pipes are in like new condition and that the leak obviously (from reading other message boards) is caused by a defect in Manufacturing. I plan to get my $$ back for their negligence. Who's In!

D

MARZBX157
12-18-2007, 09:51 PM
Does any one know if the replacment part is an upgrade to the original one? I ask because how would we know this leak wont develope again.

daveck2
12-18-2007, 09:59 PM
Ford won't say, but my guess is these are identical to the ones on the assembly line. Why would they scrap all those spares and reproduce a quality product free of defects. It would cost them too much $$$ for little benifit (for them, they sell more pipes). I figure the ones on my van lasted around 70-80k, so you can figure something else will put this van in the grave before the coolant pipes fail again :)
D

jgattian
12-19-2007, 01:35 AM
My 2001 had the same problem in October. The Ford parts guy called it a "Y" pipe. It comes out of the top of the water pump. It had a pin hole leak that could only be seen after taking out the bad part filling it with water and the using my air compressor pressurizing the pipe. The very smallest of holes located near a solder joint at one of the mounting brackets. The hardest part during the replacement was removing the hoses. Three small bolts hold it on. It friction fits into the top of the water pump with a rubber o-ring providing the seal.

Part Number:118 XF2Z 18663 AA $35.00 at my Ford dealer

pitteach
12-20-2007, 07:08 PM
I did this fix last year on the y-pipe. I expected it after noticing that the thing looked like it was 100 yrs old. Problem was, I cracked the water pump housing trying to get this out. Had to replace water pump. Big job-not fun. I'm keeping an eye on the replacement pipe (cheap crud- made in Mexico) and its starting to look a lot like it did before it blew the last time. Also expecting the pipe under the manifold to go at any moment. Too bad one (or many)small cheap part can render this vehicle useless.

MoCotton
02-12-2011, 12:24 PM
Thanks to all you who have posted, it helps so much to have an idea of what to look for. Also, has anyone had any air in coolant system problems? Is there some method required to remove air bubbles?? I had an Aerostar that was a bugger to purge the air from the coolant. Thks all.

MT-2500
02-12-2011, 12:58 PM
Thanks to all you who have posted, it helps so much to have an idea of what to look for. Also, has anyone had any air in coolant system problems? Is there some method required to remove air bubbles?? I had an Aerostar that was a bugger to purge the air from the coolant. Thks all.
If you need help on yours.
Best to start a New thread on your problem and give year make and modle and engine and a good discription of your problem.

TeslaCoils
06-17-2017, 01:22 PM
Can anyone ID these 2 ports for me, on a 1999 Windstar?
1 disconnected tube
& 1 unused tube port....


BTW, thanks for this post, guys!
This cleared up a lot of mysteries of "WHY??!!" :runaround:

MT-2500
06-18-2017, 10:43 AM
Can anyone ID these 2 ports for me, on a 1999 Windstar?
1 disconnected tube
& 1 unused tube port....


BTW, thanks for this post, guys!
This cleared up a lot of mysteries of "WHY??!!" :runaround:

This Post is 10 years old!!!!
Best to let sleeping dogs along some will bit.
Start a new post for good help on your problem.

12Ounce
06-18-2017, 11:14 AM
Your cooling system is showing signs of neglect. I suspect someone has used water, without anti-freeze, in the past ... and rust has formed. If one is forced to used plain water as coolant, something should always be included to prevent corrosion and rust. There are marketed additives available, I always just add (two tablespoons per gallon) of baking soda. This raises the PH somewhat to help prevent corrosion. As soon as possible, I switch to 50-50 antifreeze water mix.

About the hoses: I would recommend you look under the hood of a similar Windstar (does it have/have not rear heater as yours?) to get an idea of what is going on.

phil-l
06-18-2017, 12:34 PM
I have an '00 3.8 Windstar - which is mechanically nearly identical to the '99 - and there are many things I don't recognize in your pictures.

I suspect that you have the much-less-common 3.0 Windstar - which means the cooling system plumbing doesn't match mine.

Given that there aren't nearly as many 3.0 Windstars out there, it will be a challenge to find a similar van out there to compare to yours.

I'd start looking for a quality shop manual that has good underhood diagrams for your van.

12Ounce
06-18-2017, 05:56 PM
Good catch! I do see now that is probably a 3.0L.

12Ounce
06-19-2017, 03:56 PM
Its a bit off-subject, but why do some object to using a very old posting? .... if it is a related subject to one's current question?

Can't there be good info in an old posting? What of the writings of Moses, Plutarch, Martin Luther, and others ... too old to be worthwhile? Should we just turn the Dead Sea Scrolls into compost? Glad the Constitution is on parchment. (It is on parchment, isn't it?)

There must be a legitimate concern, I just have never read it ....??

phil-l
06-19-2017, 04:15 PM
Old threads coming back to life doesn't particularly bug me.

I get how it happens: Someone is Googling a problem - and an old thread happens to nicely match the wording used in their search.

The challenge comes when someone adds to an old thread - but there's also three pages of intervening discussion that was relevant at the time, but isn't related to the new poster's concern.

It probably makes more sense to start a new thread in such cases - but new members might not be aware of how things work on a forum.

So I just respond to the topic at hand, no matter where it shows up, and try to help where I can.

phil-l
06-19-2017, 04:22 PM
Regarding "TeslaCoils" questions: Yes, this is the 3.0 "Vulcan" powered Windstar, which is substantially different from the more common 3.8 engine.

For what it's worth, here's a short video of the engine compartment of a 3.0 Windstar, which might help answer some questions of where some hoses and tubes go. It isn't likely quite detailed enough to answer all of your questions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zMCsXr_Dy4

Sadly, this one also appears to have a rust-colored engine coolant reservoir. Between that and the loud tapping sound, I'd say this engine has lived a hard life.

tomj76
06-27-2017, 04:18 PM
FYI, online Ford Factory Manuals:

https://www.motorcraftservice.com/Purchase/ViewProduct

Just make sure you select a shorter time period for a "reasonable" price.

You used to be able to get it for a specific model for about $30/month. I don't know if they dropped that option or I can't find it.

phil-l
06-27-2017, 04:57 PM
Thanks for sharing!

I like the idea that Ford offers service manuals on-line - but they don't seem to have a pricing option that makes sense for the DIYer. I see nothing even close to $30/month. Even their $22 for 72 hours wouldn't make sense for most people.

There's a "Free Resources" link on the page above it, https://www.motorcraftservice.com/. I went through a number of the links. The "Paper/CD Manuals" link looks promising - but it just goes to Helm Inc. - which charges. The other links didn't seem to offer much value to the home mechanic.

tomj76
06-29-2017, 12:54 PM
I purchased the Helm manual. It's a Ford manual, they just outsource it. It looks like Helm doesn't offer the service manual any longer.

The on-line service can still be OK, you just have to print everything that you need before the subscription ends. Keep in mind that the on-line service is ALL the manuals; the service manual, the emissions manual, the electrical wiring manual, the TSBs, and probably the parts catalogue as well. The last time I used it I paid $18 for a month of access.

https://www.diyrepairmanuals.com/products.asp?cat=2687

wiswind
07-01-2017, 12:05 AM
I can tell at a glance.....the aluminum upper intake manifold, that this is a 3.0L engine.
Much less common.....not as much pep.......but MUCH more reliable....not that the 3.8L version is nearly as bad as its reputation.

The cooling system needs a GOOD cleaning.
If the overall vehicle is still in good shape....no reason not to give it some TLC.
I'm super cheap as far a vehicles are concerned....though I have no holding back as far as keeping the old girl going with very good quality parts and service (service that I do myself when I can do it.....and having a TRUSTED mechanic do things that I'm not comfortable doing myself).
Keeping up on routine maintenance is CRITICAL to keeping our old girls going.....and saving us MANY, MANY $$$$$ in the long run.

The 3.0L is a work horse....and should keep you going for a long time.
As mentioned.....there are very few 3.0L versions vs the 3.8L, so a lot more digging is in order to get the information you need.

TeslaCoils
11-29-2017, 01:47 AM
Updates (need to ID T tube above WaterPump)
&...
the hose mystery was the prior owner (gov.)
bypassed the upper water jacket.
OTHER solved mystery:
Gov. ordered (or replaced) a 1996-era 3.0 V6 engine
into a 1999 body, per the 3 bolt thermostat cover/ water housing.

The above NEW Mystery tube:
(again: 1996-era 3.0 V6 engine )
Note the mini-Abcess at the T junction
(out of view, when the bracket is hanging from the engine bock)
No parts store can ID it (esp. when going in to talk to fellow old timers),
the ford parts sites have been useless (so far)
& Dorman's (est'b. 1918! Yay, something older than me! )... not yet.
https://www.Dormanproducts.com/

Kudos:
Permatex Steel Weld (liquid epoxy, not paste) held a pinhole spray back,
for 2 months, until the metal evidently cascade failed into too big of a hole.
Hmmm... Honestly, I think that original hole is still sealed & this is a new one.

Pix:

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