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Fordster, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
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Experience:  ASE Certified as an L1 Master Technician with extensive experience in Ford products
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2001 Windstar: a coolant leak..plastic..intake..exhaust

Resolved Question:

I have a 2001 Windstar. Developed a coolant leak and determined it is in the coolant line under the plastic intake plenum. Also noticed water in the exhaust. Found no water in the oil. When I took the upper plastic intake plenum off I found a lot of coolant in the lower plastic section of the plenum. How is coolant getting into the upper intake and what needs to be fixed? I found the leak in the metal coolant line under the plastic plenum but do not see how it could get into the plenum.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Fordster replied 9 years ago.
These plastic intakes are pretty notorious for cracking and causing leaks like that. What you need to do is pressure test the cooling system to try to pinpoint done the location of the leak and whether the manifold is cracked or not.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I know where the leak is. It is in the coolant line which runs between the plastic intake and the cast intake. It is not connected to the plastic intake and I can not see how coolant would get in there. Are you saying there could be a hole in the plastic intake near the leak in the line. We see no cracks in the plastic. It would have to ba a huge hole because the lower section of the plastic intake was full up to the level of spilling over into the cast manifold.
Expert:  Fordster replied 9 years ago.

I don't know what your looking at. The only way coolant can get into the exhaust is if it leaks from the water jacket into the vacuum area.

I looked at this design again and it looks like the lower gsasket is the only possible place.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
The intake consists of three parts. a plastic top that covers the plastic middle which bolts on to the aluminum bottom part which is attached to the heads. When the top plastic cover was removed to gain access to the middle plastic piece. we found that the middle plastic piece was full of coolant. I don't believe that this could have come from a leak in the gasket that fits between the head and the aluminum portion of the intake. If so then the coolant would go into the combustion chamber and not upwards into the upper intake. my question is do you know how this could happen. Does this vehicle have a vacuum controled coolant valve, or is there any other way that the vacuum system could be contaminated with coolant? There was coolant on the manifold side of the throttle body butterfly, but not on the aircleaner side.
Expert:  Fordster replied 9 years ago.

The only pklace there is coolant is in the cooling jacket that runs through the metal manifold and the only way it can get into the intake is through the wall of the water jacket or at the gasket.

Pull the manifold and change the gasket.

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