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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-09-2015, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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More cooling pressure questions

Short recap for those who don't remember....

2004 Excursion, 6.0, did ARP studs (one at a time method), EGR delete, full reverse flush on cooling system, ran the restore, flush, flush, flush, ELC coolant.

I was getting some light puking and figured head gaskets. Put in a pressure gauge and It would SLOWLY build to 16psi and then vent. Step on the throttle and the pressure would not jump at all. In fact, sometimes it would DROP! System wasn't over filled either. Had no heat unless it was at high idle or more. Then, out of nowhere, all of the symptoms stopped. No more puke, still a little high for my tastes on the pressure (about 10), got heat even at idle. My thought was maybe water pump.

Fast forward to today when I hooked up to my trailer. Suddenly I'm smelling coolant big time so I'm thinking it's puking again and must be head gaskets. Pull out the pressure gauge (which I have hooked still) and it's at 16. So, I bleed off pressure, run the gauge to my window and start driving. No change at all. I step on it, full throttle, pulling a 5000lb trailer. Not even a flicker on the gauge. After driving it home I check and I'm at about 4psi. A little more driving and it's up at 10 again.

Since there is no fluctuation at all when I stomp on it, can I rule out head gaskets? Does this sound like a water pump issue? I'm getting flow through the hoses, but I don't know if it's the proper amount...maybe my impeller is shot? I'm at wits end here. I need to be able to pull that trailer. I have to replace my belt so I'm probably going to replace the pump anyway since I'll have a bunch of stuff off anyway....it'll be right in front of me. If that solves the problem then I'll know it was the pump, but if you guys have any other ideas I'm all ears.
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 12:05 AM
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Re: More cooling pressure questions

i think you know your water pump can't create cooling system PSI

so the 16 psi is coming from somewhere

what temps are you seeing ?

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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: More cooling pressure questions

Sorry, yeah, I know the pump can't create it. lol I was going with what I have seen happen on gas engines. If the pump isn't working right, you wind up with hot spots in the system. The coolant boils and creates pressure. Even while pulling the trailer I don't go above 193.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 03:02 AM
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Re: More cooling pressure questions

that scenario would make better sense but I would expect to see some temp spiking
or plain old overheating

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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 06:22 AM Thread Starter
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Re: More cooling pressure questions

Not sure. I've read about folks whose pumps had sheared the impeller completely off and they never overheated. I've checked oil and no coolant in oil. Checked coolant, no oil in coolant. The EGR is deleted so I know exhaust isn't getting in through that area. I can think of no other possibilities for something to pressurize the cooling system like that except for the head gaskets or the boiling coolant scenario. Can you?
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 01:13 PM
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Re: More cooling pressure questions

The harder you are on the engine when cold (I find anyway) the more general system pressure it will build due to the expansion rate of the coolant. The key is if it OVERpressurizes the system. Mine does build "some" pressure, i've never put a gauge on it, but hoses are plyable and coolant is no where near the top of the bottle. I can release the pressure, do a few WOT runs on my race tune, and there is zero buildup of pressure. If you had issues it would show when you're hard on it with a big tune. Before i put studs in it would have puked its guts out with a 0-50 WOT run on a street tune.

However, if it OVERpressurizes the system when cold, the you probably have some warped heads or small HG that seals with things warm up. It should be consistent, though.

Another easy way to check if air is entering cooling system is when you released the pressure from degas bottle (removing cap), put one hand on your upper hose while you release your cap until pressure is fully released. If you feel lots of air bubbles being purged from the hose, then you have HG issues. I had TONS of air bubbles coming from hose before i did my studs. Afterwards, there is none whatsoever.

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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-11-2015, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re: More cooling pressure questions

Pulled the pump today and it looks perfect. Isn't loose, no nicks in it anywhere. Even the cover looks good.

I'm never hard on it when she's cold. Only time I'm ever "on" it is when she's up to temp and I'm merging into highway traffic, or when I'm testing something out, like the cooling pressure.

I do get a lot of bubbles when I release pressure, but only if I release it fast. If I release it slowly then I don't get any. My thought there was it was the coolant boiling due to the change in pressure....stuff that's sitting right against the cylinder walls won't boil when pressurized but will when at zero psi if hot enough...maybe??

I'm so baffled. Is there any other place the pressure could be coming from? I'm half tempted to just say f-it and do the damn head gaskets anyway.

Oh, and for anyone who doesn't know, the pic of the mostly empty bucket is why we put filters in the cooling system. This is after AMPLE flushes and with a bypass cooler installed!! This came out of the radiator drain valve. Nothing (thankfully) came out when I pulled the pump.

BTW, from the pics, do you think I should just re-install the old water pump? It's definitely not the original because it was pretty darn clean compared to the rest of the front of the engine.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-11-2015, 03:28 AM
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Re: More cooling pressure questions

Check the measurement on your pump and your cover. Make sure you have the right water pump installed as there are 2 different ones for the 6.0. The smaller pump will go into both covers.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-11-2015, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
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Re: More cooling pressure questions

I didn't think to measure the cover, but I did measure the impeller on the pump so I would know what size I need in the future. When I did the conversion (because I don't have a metric ruler) it came out to 99mm, so I imagine it is the 100mm pump. I'll measure the cover as well, but a 100mm wouldn't fit into a 90mm cover, would it? I'm at work right now so can't just pop over and check.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 04-11-2015, 03:51 AM
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Re: More cooling pressure questions

I suspect you had trapped air from the flush and it finally worked out. At least until you cracked open your water pump. A pocket of air will give you fits until it works out.
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