Born Free Leap'n Lions RV Club

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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 12:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:12 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Steamboat Springs, CO
Something to watch for on the Ford 6.0 Liter Diesel...

Last fall I noticed I could smell anti-freeze when the engine temperature would rise above 225 degrees when the fan clutch kicks in. I use a ScanGuage II to watch the water and oil temperatures and could predict at about what temperature I could start to smell the coolant. The odor didn't last long and I thought it was the de-gas bottle cap letting off some pressure as the cap was original and maybe it had failed on the low side of the 16 psi it was rated for.

Last week on a trip home to Colorado from the Texas hill country I replaced the cap. About 200 miles later the anti-freeze odor got very strong and the inside windshield fogged up with coolant. I topped off the coolant and drove very conservatively with the heater going full blast, the cab windows open, the vent fan blowing and keeping the engine water temperature below 200 degrees. At the south edge of Denver the heater core finally failed completely. My wife and the dogs had abandoned me 90 miles before this and were driving the tow vehicle. I think I may have lost some points off my IQ from breathing the glycol, but I'm still able to do long division (integral calculus is completely gone though).

The Ford garage replaced the heater core the next day. When that was complete they called and said that there was also a leak in the radiator, so I had them replace that too. The next day they called and they said there was engine oil in the coolant and that the oil cooler was leaking. In for a penny, in for a pound. Ended up replacing the oil cooler and the EGR cooler too.

The Ford shop's theory was that the oil in the coolant over pressurized the cooling system and caused the other exchangers to fail. I don't know that I completely believe their explanation or not, as the de-gas bottle cap should have relieved the pressure at 16 psi.

The de-gas bottle is a plastic bottle off to the driver side of the engine compartment where you would put in the radiator coolant. It is translucent and you can see the fluid level through the bottle. My old de-gas bottle had gotten so dark colored it was hard to see the coolant level. I thought this was normal and didn't pay much attention. The dark color was actually oil build up from the leaking oil cooler.

Lessons Learned...

1. Watch out for oil in the coolant or the smell of anti-freeze in the cab.
2. On this particular engine, I was advised to drive it like it was stolen once in a while to keep the carbon out of the EGR system. This is not an engine that can be babied and lugged like earlier and later Ford diesels.
3. The Born Free does not handle too bad on ice and snow packed roads on the passes of Colorado if you take it slow.
4. Texas is a very big state.

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Bruce & Teresa Hinde
Steamboat Springs, CO
2004 26RB Diesel
2001 Jeep Wrangler


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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 12:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:23 pm
Posts: 85
Location: Camarillo, CA
Very interesting. I too have a 2004 RB diesel. While driving to Cedar City Utah the heater coil gave way and doused my wife's feet in coolant. The Ford Garage in Cedar City, while replacing the heater core, noted and replaced the radiator core also. This, fortunately for me, was done under warranty.
I have not noted your problem with the coolant, nor have I had any further problems with the heater core.

Jim


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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 1:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:12 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Steamboat Springs, CO
Sam
I wished I had the same engine as you do... the 7.3 was a workhorse and old enough to have all the kinks (in programming we called them features) worked out. 2004 was the first year for the 6.0 and they only used them for 3 years. That should have told me something... I only have 28,000 miles on this coach and I have put 20,000 of those on in the past 3 years.

It was in Cedar City (or near there) last year when I first noticed the anti-freeze smell. Coincidence? (24 hours in day, 24 bottles in a case, coincidence?)

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Bruce & Teresa Hinde
Steamboat Springs, CO
2004 26RB Diesel
2001 Jeep Wrangler


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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:56 am
Posts: 547
Location: WA
Quote:
4. Texas is a very big state.


Yes, it is. Hence the rhyme for the traveler:

'The sun is riz,
the sun is set,
and here I is
in Texas yet.'

I love Texas!

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2000 Born Free 24RB


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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:10 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Charlotte, NC
Sometimes it pays to stick with tried and true. I have a 93 F150 with 460 V8 127k miles and no troubles. I have a 2000 honda accord with 157 miles that we also use as a toad, again no troubles. Finally I have a 96 Bornfree 26' rsb, with 460 v8 84k miles and again no troubles. The F150 I bought when it was 2 yrs old and 18k miles, the 2000 honda I bought new, and the Bornfree I bought 3 years ago. Plan to keep them all till they give out or I give out.

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William Higbie
'96 26 rsb
2000 Honda Accord


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