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refill1961
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have just finished rebuilding the oil cooler on my 2002 7.3. I had no problems, everything went together and back on the truck without any issues. I used Dorman parts and I used regular hub grease to make it easy to slide the cooler back together, I was able to do so just by pushing it by hand. I filled the coolant and oil back up and cranked it. I let it run 5 or 6 minutes and then shut it down. When I checked the oil, it had a small amount of coolant in it. I drained both the coolant and the oil. I left the filter and drain plug off and refilled the coolant. I'm getting a few drips of coolant from where the filter mounts, from inside, in the very center of the threaded tube. There is not an external leak that I can find. Is there something I'm missing that's allowing the coolant to pass into the oil? I'm about to recheck the torque I put on the bolts that hold the cooler to the block. Any other ideas? I'm tired, wet, aggravated and stumped.
 

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Bobs 7.3
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2,852 Posts
torque the bolts to 18ft/lbs thats what they call for. I just did mine last month with no problems and I cant picture in my head where yours can be leaking internally in the area your talking about. I cleaned my block and cooler surfaces so it was shiny and wiped it down 3-4 times with starting fluid on a rag then the final time with alcohol.
 

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Bobs 7.3
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2,852 Posts
Are you talking about the threaded part the oil filter screws onto? If so you might have internal cooler damage as I cant think of any other way the coolant and oil can mix unless the dorman o-rings werent made to the correct thickness or damaged upon assembly. I used all ford o-rings and gaskets at $70 bucks for the whole kit and mine I had to use my press to install the end caps as I only weigh 190lbs and not heavy enough with my weight to get them to go on. Ive had too many dorman products bad right out of the box new .
 

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Bobs 7.3
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2,852 Posts
I had to use a light smear of rtv by my rear cooler mount as the block had a little pitting but with good block services with no pitting or such the metal gaskets will seal right up and hold for a long time I prob could have gotten away with no rtv but I didnt want to take the chance on a leak at all.
 

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refill1961
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Mine went together fairly easy, I mean I had to push but in no way would I have needed a press. When the truck is sitting, not running, full of coolant, no oil, oil pan plug out, oil filter off, every 20 or 30 seconds a few drops of coolant will drip from the threaded part the oil filter screws onto.
 

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Bobs 7.3
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2,852 Posts
The o-ring on the end of the tube at each end seperates your coolant from the oil and the inner o-ring (closest to each other when holding the tube sideways) seals the oil from leaking out (that would be an external oil leak then). Id say either one of the o-rings arnt the right diameter (hence so easy to assemble by hand as most use a ratchet strap or press to install the caps unless there over 250 lbs then body weight will pust them on) or an o-ring got damaged during assembly, and a possiability the cooler itsself is damaged internally but if it wasnt mixing before you removed and dissasembled it id rule that one out for now. I douby the metal gaskets are letting it mix. It is a possiability if the surfaces are damaged or there not really clean.
 

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Bobs 7.3
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2,852 Posts
Mine went together fairly easy, I mean I had to push but in no way would I have needed a press. When the truck is sitting, not running, full of coolant, no oil, oil pan plug out, oil filter off, every 20 or 30 seconds a few drops of coolant will drip from the threaded part the oil filter screws onto.
what was wrong that you pulled it? external oil leak?
 

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refill1961
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I did see slight pitting, very slight on the oil cooler but not on the block.
If I remove it, clean it again and use a little RTV, do I need new gaskets or should I be able to reuse the ones that are on there? They were new a few hours ago.
 

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Bobs 7.3
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2,852 Posts
yep thats what I had when it got really cold. you can pull it back off (I know not something you or anyone wants to do lol) and pull the end caps off and see if theres a damaged o-ring. If not id get the ford kit for $70 bucks and just be done with it. If you have a ford dealer there close (the o-rings are exspensive here local) you can reuse the new metal gaskets you now have and just get the o-rings. The cooler itsself if not heavily rusted will be fine as mine had 190,000 miles on it with just surface rust on the outside so I sanded and painted it just to protect it but was spot clean inside. I got my kit from a ford dealer in conn on fleabay and it was here in pa in 2 days. An internal leak blows though as it ties the truck up till then due to the fact you cant drive it at all with coolant getting into the oil.
 

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Bobs 7.3
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2,852 Posts
My o-rings were green and man when I put them on the cooler and lined everything up to push them on they did in no way look like they were going to compress enough to go in the holes at all. The old ones I took off broke off in pieces.
 

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refill1961
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I thought Dorman was a good brand, guess I was wrong. I weigh 275 but after chatting with you Bob's 7.3, I really feel as if there wasn't enough resistance when I pushed the end caps on. I wonder if they'll refund my money? LOL. Regardless, I'll be at the Ford Dealer Parts Counter when they open in the AM. Thanks and I'll let you know if that does or doesn't correct the issue. Again, many thanks.
 

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Yea, something defintely seems wrong to have gone together so easy. I used a ratchet strap to press mine back together, and I had to use every bit of strength I had cranking on the strap to get it to push together. From the way you described, there's no way it would seal as it should to with it going back together so easy. Take this as a lesson and only buy ford parts from now on. I learned my lesson buying duralast water pumps, went through 4 in 2 years.

Hell, with the dorman up pipes, they can't even seem to get the bolt lengths right, definitely wouldn't trust them with orings.

Check out dieselorings.com ; they've got all the Ford OEM seals you'll ever need, and significantly cheaper than ford too. ($70 for the oring kit from them)
 

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Bobs 7.3
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2,852 Posts
Your ford dealer might be more price friendly then ours here lol. Total here they gave me was $198 bucks without tax for the 4 o-rings and 2 gaskets and ofcarse I laughed and said I will get them $140 dollars cheaper and walk to work for 2 days if I have to lol. Dorman makes alot of good parts but when it comes to a job you only want to have to do once I go with international or ford parts. One wrong made o-ring and the headache starts. You can skim rtv on the part that has the pitting as I have you just dont want any more then a skim of it so it doesnt hardly squeeze out or then it will find its way into the cooler and oil and such. I used very very little and only where I needed it (around the rear top water jacket where the heater would be) and had just a tad squeeze out when I torqued it up then I let it sit for about 2 hrs so the rtv set up pretty good and mines been bone dry with no worries here. Id pull that baby back off while im still sloppy and wet that way when ya get the ford stuff you dont have to get soaked again pulling it off tomorrow lol...I hated that job.
 

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Bobs 7.3
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2,852 Posts
Yea, something defintely seems wrong to have gone together so easy. I used a ratchet strap to press mine back together, and I had to use every bit of strength I had cranking on the strap to get it to push together. From the way you described, there's no way it would seal as it should to with it going back together so easy. Take this as a lesson and only buy ford parts from now on. I learned my lesson buying duralast water pumps, went through 4 in 2 years.

Hell, with the dorman up pipes, they can't even seem to get the bolt lengths right, definitely wouldn't trust them with orings.

Check out dieselorings.com ; they've got all the Ford OEM seals you'll ever need, and significantly cheaper than ford too.
:whs:
 

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Bobs 7.3
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2,852 Posts
I would contact them and tell them there made wrong and causing a leak so you had to get ford ones in a pinch and now you dont need these as there made wrong anyhow and dont need new ones as you had to buy oem ford ones already. Ive gotten all my money refunded 99% of the time when I had to do this.
 

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264 Posts
I recently rebuilt mine and it took a ratchet strap to press it back together.. I would pull it back out and inspect tube and install another set of orings
 

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At my local Ford Dealer the 4 orings and 2 gaskets are $90.00 out the door
That's not bad then, especially if you're in a rush to get the truck back on the road. I figured they would have been a bit more on the price
 
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