Join Date: Sep 2005
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The issue w/ the gear shift lever is not related to the low coolant level. That sounds like a neutral safety switch that is acting up.
Since the coolant loss happened quickly and you see white smoke, it is most likely an EGR cooler leaking coolant into the intake manifold (and then it goes through the engine). The white smoke could be an injector dumping fuel, but with the loss of coolant, it seems more likely it is an EGR cooler.
If you are going to deal w/ an EGR cooler, then I would just fill with distilled water and then drive it just enough to get it fully warmed up. Then park it on an incline (nose down), wait an hour or so, then pull the EGR valve and look for moisture under the valve in the intake.
Unfortunately, when you have an EGR cooler failure it can lead to head gaskets leaking (from increased cylinder pressure due to the incompressible liquid in the cylinder). Also, EGR coolers fail many times due to oil coolers plugging up and restricting water flow to the EGR cooler.
When you drive the truck to get it up to temperature, you need your scangaugeII functional to read engine parameters. Specifically we need to know the oil and coolant temps AFTER the engine has fully heated up. If the oil temp stabilizes at a temperature that is 15 or more degrees above the coolant temp, then you need a new oil cooler.
We already know you need to get rid of the Ford Gold coolant, but it sure seems wise for you to assess these other areas first.
Lastly, you need to confirm what engine you have in your 2004 truck. They came w/ an 03 engine and this setup is called an "early 04". They then did some changes and called it a late 04 (actually there is a mid 04 also, but immaterial to you at this point). Find your ICP sensor. If it is on the passenger valve cover, then you have the late 04 and you are much more likely to have an EGR cooler. One of the 04 "upgrade" was to go to a finned type EGR cooler for more heat exchange capability. Unfortunately it is a weak design and prone to leaking.
An ICP sensor behind the turbo means it is an 03 engine and that it has the shell and tube design for an EGR cooler. They can still leak, but less often.
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Last edited by bismic; 08-08-2018 at 07:01 AM.