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Daryl, Shop Owner, Master Mechanic
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 12520
Experience:  28 years experience, Master Mechanic
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1999 Ford: e150 5.4L..engine oil..coolant reservoir..somewhere

Customer Question

1999 Ford E150 5.4L with 116K miles. engine oil is spewing out of the coolant reservoir. which tells me that oil is getting into the coolant system somewhere. the van is not overheating and no smoke is coming out of the tail pipe. where could the oil be getting into the coolant?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Daryl replied 4 years ago.
If this has a engine oil cooler in the radiator it is probably coming from that cooler and getting into the oil. If it does not have a cooler there is probably a cracked head or engine block that is letting the oil into the coolant.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
that's what i was thinking, but if the block or heads were cracked wouldn't the engine have overheating problems? how can i find out if it indeed has an oil cooler in the radiator?
Expert:  Daryl replied 4 years ago.
It will not always over heat when the engine block or head is cracked. To know if there is a engine oil cooler look to see how many lines are going to the radiator, there are always the 2 trans cooler lines so if there are 4 lines going into the radiator then there is a engine oil cooler, there are usually 2 on one side and 2 on the other, or 2 on the bottom and 2 on one side.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
understood. in your opinion, this engine with only 116K miles and the fact this van was not used to carry heavy cargo (its a passenger van), is it unlikely that the engine block or heads are cracked?
Expert:  Daryl replied 4 years ago.
Sorry for the wait I had to step out for a little while. I really do not think what the van was used for or how many miles are on it is a factor, if it is cracked it is probably because of a defect. But it is much more likely a problem with the cooler if there is one.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
there is an oil cooler right at the oil filter with what it looks like 2 coolant lines going to it. and it doesn't look like it is simple to replace. so you think it is that what's causing the problem?
Expert:  Daryl replied 4 years ago.
The cooler part at the oil filter is just a adapter for the lines, the cooler is actually in the radiator so replacing the part at the oil filter will not help.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
i called the Ford dealer and spoke with parts. they said that there is no engine oil cooler in the radiator. and i can't find any diagram of the cooling system and oil system.
Expert:  Daryl replied 4 years ago.
It is nearly imposable to find these diagrams I do not even have luck finding any, But if there are lines coming out of that oil filter adapter where do they go? You should be able to follow them?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
they splice into the lower radiator hose.
Expert:  Daryl replied 4 years ago.
Ok, sorry I did forget about this cooling system, they are not typically like this but this particular vehicle is(most vehicles have oil being cooled into the radiator, this has coolant going into the cooler). Here is what I would do, At the oil cooler, located between the oil filter and the oil filter adapter, disconnect the water hoses. Connect the hoses together to bypass the cooler and run the engine. If any oil starts to come out of where the water hoses would connect to the cooler, replace the cooler.

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