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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, been browsing the forum off and own for a long time, but never posted here.

I've just pulled and rebuilt the oil cooler on my 99 F-250 7.3L due to the common leak when cold at the front header. Overall, things were very clean inside - nothing like some of the pics I've seen. Just a few small pieces of what appeared to be silicon in the tubes, which was easily cleaned out.

What's a little disturbing is some broken metal parts I found inside. Can someone help me identify what this is?
IMG_3356.JPG

One piece was stuck in one of the coolant tubes and the others were floating around in the rear header. Appears to have been in there for a long time based on all the erosion and smoothed edges. I'm hoping it's part of an old failed water pump or something, but it's a little concerning. I bought this truck in 2004 with 160k miles and it currently has 307k. I've replaced the water pump once in that time, and this is the first time removing the oil cooler.

Other than that, things look great inside:
IMG_3353.JPG
IMG_3354.JPG

Thanks in advance for any help you guys can provide!
 

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Can you put a penny next to the metal pieces for scale. Looks like it could be a very well worn c-clip, but the picture makes it look as big as the oil cooler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here's a pic with some coins for perspective. It's roughly the size of a quarter.

IMG_3363.JPG

It's metal, but it's not magnetic, so maybe it's aluminum?

I don't believe it's a snap ring - it's way too think. It's more like a thick washer with a bevel machined into it.

Yes, the relief valve is still in place and complete. This part was actually found in the water side, so I don't think there's any chance it came from anything on the oil side. The smaller piece was actually jammed into one of the small copper tubes. It looks like it would have had to come from the water jacket in the block, through the passage where the block heater is, and through the small 1/2" or so diameter passage leading from the block heater to the oil cooler.

As far as I know, there's nothing in the water jacket that would have any parts like this other than the water pump, right? I can tell you my previous waterpump started leaking REALLY bad, and when I removed it, the bearings were work so bad the impeller had hit the front cover on the engine, cutting a nice grove into it. That was about 7 years ago though and I don't have the old pump any more to inspect for missing parts. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess the other possibility is it's some random part that got dropped into the block at the factory.

Truck runs great and has never had any issues other than the normal repair stuff like water pump, alternator, etc.
 

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I had the same bits of metal in my cooler when I rebuilt and it was from the water pump casting that broke/wore away (found that out when I did the water pump at the same time as the cooler)
 
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