99 7.3 Power Stroke Oil in Radiator - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 1999-Up Super Duty trucks and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 11-26-2012, 11:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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99 7.3 Power Stroke Oil in Radiator

Guys, this sounds like a common problem with these 7.3 power strokes. Here is my dilemma. In my 99 F250 I'm getting oil in my radiator. The fluid in the radiator looks like a light brown/yellowish pudding. No water or coolant in the oil "crankcase" I replaced the o-rings on the oil cooler and went as far as removing the water pump and radiator to flush the system best I could with solvent.. Thought I had it whipped .. But it has reared it ugly head again and the radiator is full of that gook again.. No performance issues ..truck runs great..No white smoke out the tail pipe.. Any suggestions? what am I missing here? Any help would be appreciated...
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There are sporadic instances of a cracked oil cooler cap that could leak. You might pull it apart again and inspect it with that in mind. You might even get a machine shop to check it out. There are areas of the front cover that could be at fault, but I would expect water in the oil to some extent.

The other possibility is your flush technique may not have got everything out. I've never heard of anyone using solvent, and that would not have removed oil from all the hidden pathways (heater core, upper radiator, heads, etc.)

The preferred flush technique is either Cascade detergent or Simple Green. You have to run it until it is hot and then use a Prestone flush kit to get the detergent water out. You might even have to do that twice if yours was bad. Then, after you get every grain of detergent water out, you do multiple distilled water flushes and only then go back in with your coolant.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My "O" rings went south and I started getting oil in the degas bottle, I think I caught it soon enough and didn't get a lot in the coolant. It takes a lot of time and effort to get the oil out of the cooling system. Simple Green mixed with distilled water, flush with distilled water, repeat. In between green and flushes I ran my truck a few days with the distilled water in it then greened and flush again. Even that didn't get rid of it all, wound up dipping a clean cloth in the degas bottle to get the last of it out.

If you are not 100% sure you've got the oil cooler or other leak under control get it pressure tested as suggested above.

One thing I noticed is the bolts didn't come out of the cooler (where it blots to the engine) easy, I looked at the bolts and it looked like they all bottomed out I made a flat tap and ran that in each hole and also bought new bolts and shortened them a bit to insure the assembly bolted up tight. "O" rings from Ford ($100.00) and I used dow corning "O" ring lubricant - went together really nice...
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks guys..
Just to confirm the engine oil is real clean.. And yes the goo was extremely thick and bad and that is what i'm coming back from.
As a favor, this is my first time through this can one of you give me a Step By Step flushing procedure..Thanks for all the help
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Pull the thermostat. Put the Prestone T-fitting in the heater hose. Drain the coolant and fill through the prestone fitting until you get clear water coming out of the degas bottle. Drain a couple gallons from the radiator, then fill with 2 gallons of simple green. Run the engine for about 20 minutes after it warms up. You could button it up and take it for a drive. You are just trying to get hot simple green solution circulating through the whole system. Come back, drain, refill with the prestone tap and continue until clear water (engine running). If it is really bad - which yours appears to be, I would repeat with another 2 gallons of simple green.

Here's what you want to do to flush down to distilled water after you've got the oil out - Cooling System Flush And Fill Methods For The Average Joe And The Perfectionest
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Here is where you put the Prestone t fitting - http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...1/5f428d90.jpg
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks RT
Sounds like I have a lot of work up ahead of me.. I worked hard at just cleaning up what I did.. But WOW the flushing procedures you supplied now I realize I wasn't even close to properly cleaning the system. No wonder the goo is coming back it has to be in everything and flushing out of every passage. I went out to check on the Simple Green and man that stuff is expensive You mentioned using cascade dish washing soap. What quantity of cascade will do the trick? Since my situation was pretty bad and if the Simple Green is heads and above superior to the cascade I guess I will bite the bullet..
Thanks again RT I'll post or PM you back after the procedure and let you know how it goes and if it fixes the problem.. Have a good one
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have well water at home and didn't want to use that so I bought cases of distilled water and used that with the simple green - removing the T stat really helps the water circulation.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't think Ford ever came out with an amount - it was in a TSB if I remember correctly - Cascade for the 7.3 and Simple Green for the 6.0. Now, most everyone just uses the simple green. If I had to guess, I would say the Cascade probably clogged the 6.0's pathetic oil cooler. Ours is much more robust.

If you want to use the Cascade - use one box of the powder. Dish detergent only dissolves in hot water, so you can either run your truck for a while and then slowly add it to the degas bottle with the engine running (to mix in with the water running through there) or try to mix it in a 5 gallon bucket of steaming hot water before you put it in.

The caveat is you have to flush really well to get the Cascade out. Might take 20 minutes of flushing with the Prestone tap to get it all out.

Minalba - I appreciate not wanting to introduce sediment into the truck, but I can't imagine how many distilled water flushes it would take to get the system clean. I did a Restore flush on my 57 and I bet I went through 100 gallons of water before I got clear water and neutral pH coming out of the radiator.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Are your sure its oil and not fuel? Check your coolant tank closely and try to take notice if it looks like its swollen or looks like its starting to crack from the inside out. Sounds to me like you could possibly have at least one cracked injector cup. The crack allows the high pressure fuel to push through into your cooling system. I just finished an 8 injector cup replacement on my buddies truck yesterday.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:18 AM   #11 (permalink)
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sorry to hijack, newbie for coolant issues.. do i have to do any of this for a waterpump change? im not even sure if i can do this here, now, in this driveway.. coolant LEAK help? is my thread if you have any comments/suggestions. Thank You
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:26 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Nope, your good to go. Water pump leaking like yours doesn't cause coolant/ oil to mix.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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PowstrokeYZ,
I guess i'm not 100% sure it is not fuel. But the tank is not swollen or cracked it appears to be in good shape. Just a question though, wouldn't the goo inside the radiator have a diesel fuel smell to it? Plus wouldn't there be performance issues if I had a cracked injector cup? reason why I ask,,despite the goo the truck is running great. Please elaborate some of the symptoms of a cracked injector cup.. thanks
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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You would have a layer of fuel in the degas bottle - not a slimy milky oily mess like you do now.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks RT,,
I am an excavator by trade and deal with diesels all day everyday,, but that doesn't make me an expert on this 7.3 but usually when diesel fuel is in oil or coolant you can smell it. Plus I am suspecting just like my John Deere's when you have injector problems the engine runs rough.. Just to check would that be the case with a bad injector cup..just curious for future reference.
In addition in your opinion how often does the oil cooler chamber goes bad? Do those tubes get holes in them or rot out.. I haven't had the chance to do the flush yet, but I guess I'm a little gun shy since there is some much of that gook in the radiator and coolant and when this all started it took awhile to even understand what the heck was going on "wrong". At least now I'm feeling like I am on some what solid ground. Thanks again..
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