So I swapped a 16 lb radiator cap for the 20 lb...

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Artie

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I purchased my 08' 4.0 Sport Trac last Saturday and drove it home 100 miles with no problems, no nothing. Popped the hood, checked all fluuds, all good, no leaks.
Went to Autozone, purchased a 16 lb radiator cap, swapped out the 20 lb cap in a cold engine and started it. At operating temperature (gauge needle @ slight less than mid way) and I smell antifreeze. Look under the hood and behold, small leak in top of radiator (plastic). Attachment shows where leak was.. An @ 2" crack in the middle two squares (I epoxied beyond the crack either side an additional couple of inches for what I couldn't see was a crack but expected to be a crack at some point.

Thing is, when I got the cap the store had two versions, one with no pressure spec stamped in the cap, and another with pressure relief valve and 16 lb stamped in the head of the cap. I bought the latter.

Shame on me, I should have tested the cap unfortunately my Stant coolant tester did not have the correct adapter and 0'Reillys wanted $200 bucks plus tax (rental) for me to test the cap even though I could test it over the counter and hand the tester back to them.

Went back to Autozone, had them pull out the other cap and three of us tested physical pressure pushing the springs for comparison. We all agreed the unmarked cap definetely required less pressure.

So now I am doing a repair (see pic) to see if it actually works while I search listings for an all aluminum radiator. Btw, I'm using JBWeld Plastweld for the repair (all I could find locally otc). Pic shows first application, I plan a second, final coating after the first cures.

Anyone recommend a reasonably priced all aluminum radiator for the 2008 ST 4.0? I see one on Fleabay for @200 shipped. From California so I'm sure it's off the slow boat from China..
 

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Duncan Kimbro

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Artie

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Does the V8 and V6 use the same radiator? Also, does 2006-2010 Explorer rads swap in?

I don't fault the parts store, without verification thru accurate testing who can say.. Just not expecting the rad to crap out before I even had a chance to finish detailing the doggone car. For all I know the crack was waiting to happen and my 100 mile drive back in 90°+ weather may have kept pressures low enough to not force water out. But I doubt it., radiator was full after cool down, no anti freeze smell nor tale tell shine of a leak.
Thanks for the link, I'll follow up on it.
 

Artie

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Great link Duncan! A million thanks.
Brian Makuloco makes great videos, the one you linked is new to me but spot on for my needs. Again, thanks.
 

Duncan Kimbro

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2007-2010 should fit, except as noted for Job1 Sport Tracs in the thread I posted, but you should confirm independently. Explorer, Mountaineer and Sport Trac should all be the same. See fitment guide at the bottom of the page here https://parts.levittownfordparts.com/oem-parts/ford-radiator-assembly-8l2z8005a?c=Zz1jb29saW5nLXN5c3RlbSZzPXJhZGlhdG9yLWFuZC1jb21wb25lbnRzJmw9MTMmbj1Bc3NlbWJsaWVzIFBhZ2UmYT1mb3JkJm89ZXhwbG9yZXItc3BvcnQtdHJhYyZ5PTIwMTAmdD1saW1pdGVkJmU9NC02bC12OC1nYXM=.

@ToddZ can give more definitive answers than me.

The leak could be coincidental or was already there but not bad enough to be evident. I think it’s pretty common.
 

Artie

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"I think it’s pretty common".. Roger that.
Hopefully ToddZ will chime in at a point, in the mean time I'll start sourcing parts. Looking like Spectra rads and Dorman trans cooler line connectors is the way to go.
 

Todd Z

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Yup, that's why i say "98 mustang 3.8 v6" cap, removes all the BS in the parts look up. also the 2002 Hyundai SanteFe cap is also 16 and works.

As for the rad, the only all aluminum one is the one on ebay and adaptor's, but it does work.

IF you spend the extra $ and get a good rad, I run the spectra from Rock auto, you will be fine...…

i have installed the "all Aluminum" rads and guess what???? they are NO BIGGER, no more rows, no more cores, so that means NO EXTRA cooling AT ALL !!!

unless you want to install a $1200 Modine rad and electric fan, don't over think it....
 

Artie

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Thanks Todd. In your post, what "adaptors" are you referring to for the all aluminum radiator?
I found two different radiators on Ebay (all aluminum) for the 2008 ST RadiatorMaster & PartsForLess16. I'm contacting them to determine what type trans connectors they are fitted with (M18x1.5 thread or integrated quick connect).
I realize the only advantage the all aluminum may offer is the radiator tanks are welded and not plastic to metal crimp. I do question the soundness of using a brass, threaded pet cock on the PartsForLess radiator due to galvanic corrosion between bras & aluminum. Easy enough to swap out I suppose..

I read Amazon reviews on the Spectra Premium CU2952 radiator (61 total reviews, 2018-2020). @ 7%, 4 reviews total, reported internal transmission cooler failure, resulting in water intrusion into the transmission. Other reviews reported leakage at the crimps..

I would spend the money on a Motorcraft replacement if it got me more reliability but I question that frankly.
I believe in "whatever you buy, don't buy cheap!", but when it comes down to choosing between Ebay all aluminum, Spectra CU2952, and Motorcraft it may well come down to "pick your poison"?
 

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Duncan Kimbro

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Posting this for future reference since it comes up every so often.

The 16 psi 1998 Mustang cap I ordered is Ford/Motorcraft part no. E9SZ-8100-A. Alternate part no. is RS-76, as shown on the cap. I've purchased several in the past and all were the white label with red lettering. See image below.

RS-76.JPG
 

Artie

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Thanks Duncan, I have one of those sourced, ready to order. My 09 Ranger 4.0 rad cap is marked 16psi, fits the ST and is a yellow labeled Motorcraft cap.
Interesting thing. When I began the search for another radiator (last week) RockAuto had the Spectra Premium CU2952 marked with the "heart" icon (indicating a higher purchase rate with fewer returns compared to alternatives). Today when I looked at the same listing, the heart no longer marks the CU2952 radiator. Instead the Motorcraft RAD38 is now marked with a heart?
 

EddieS'04

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I didn't know that the Gen2 Trac had a down flow design radiator. Is there a reason for the change from cross flow.?
 

Todd Z

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I didn't know that the Gen2 Trac had a down flow design radiator. Is there a reason for the change from cross flow.?

Mounting design.... the gen 2 ac condenser is bolted to the rad..... You can change just the rad on the gen 2 without evacuating the AC but it takes some thinking....
 

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Thanks for the info, Todd

Here is a dumb one for you. On my ex's '08 Escape the lower 25% of the condenser is the Trans cooler.
Change one, you change them both. Ford had a silent recall on them, the first year. The trans cooler portion sprung leaks.
If you knew about the TSB. Ford will fix it, In the first few years. They sent no letters out though.
Hers sprung a leak around 18 months of the purchase. I printed the info, and her dealer did a free fix.
She said, they were surprised, that we knew about the faulty oem part. With no recall.
 

Artie

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The Ebay all aluminum radiators (2 slightly different styles) each have different trans cooler connectors than the CU2952, nor much feedback so I'm not too comfortable purchasing one. Rockauto is the cheapest I've found on a Motorcraft or Spectra Premium CU2952. I chose the Spectra, RA provides a two year warranty but I can purchase the Spectra 2952 from Autozone with a limited lifetime warranty for little more. I talked to the AZ mgr about the limited lifetime warranty asking if the rad springs a leak, I replace it under warranty and 2nd rad goes bad, do I exchange for a third and so on... Manager said yep. So... After adding in my military discount, the difference between AZ out the door and the shipped RA Spectra was $10 including tax. Plus I was able to inspect on sight.

Initially I was planning a diy install but my repair shop said they could do it for $125 (I supply parts/coolant) so will likely have them do it and a flush, new GO5 coolant changeout. I can do a new thermostat swap on my own while installing the Austekk aluminum thermostat housing I originally bought for the Ranger but never installed (matches my ST)
Guess I also need to order (2) Dorman 800-621 trans line connectors with double o'rings following Makuloco's recommendations. I should also probably buy (2) of the plastic Ford 8C3Z7Z465A Latch (s) for replacement in case the old ones are brittle and break removing them. I suppose the plastic latches are to keep the trans lines inline and properly mated to the cooler fitting so tranny fluid does not leak?

Another note of interest, everything I've read indicates the trans line is 3/8" on the ST but mine definitely calipers at 1/2"? Maybe the 3/8" reference is the ID? I thought tubing was always measured by OD & pipe by ID? Why this matters is the tool needed to remove the trans line from cooler adapter needs to match the tubing OD..

The attachments show:
- the trans fittings on the Spectra I inspected today at Autozone. (AZ Spectra)
- the Dorman double o'ring connectors I plan to swap
- The plastic "latch" on my trans lines.
* The AZ Spectra has the same trans fittings that my 2008 ST currently has on it. Do you see any issues swapping the Spectra fittings out for the Dorman's Todd? Will the plastic "latches" work on both types?
 

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Todd Z

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SOOOO your one of those over thinkers huh ????? LOL …….
Most plumbing is measured in the ID for flow reasons…. OD helps when using fittings and other things... Like all 1/2" copper is the same OD size BUT the thickness changes making the inside smaller.....
Make sure the outlet faces the same way on the Austekk housing... its NOT movable to a different clock position.... I sell different tops if needed...
I've never swapped the fittings, But i have replaced the O rings and also re used them....
If you have the plastic locks in the fitting you don't need to replace and the metal keepers should be on the line to lock it all together...
 

Artie

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"SOOOO your one of those over thinkers huh ????? LOL ……."
Ha! I was waiting for that one! Thanks for helping me out.
 

Johnny O

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My original radiator cracked around 70,000 miles and the dealer replaced it on extended warranty. I started wondering about preventing it from happening again (thank you, plastic tanks) and discovered that the 2000 Mustang V6 that my son had at the time had a 16 lb cap. I took it off and tried it on the Sport Trac and presto, it fit. I think Todd Z and I discovered this trick about the same time. At this point I have 199,000 miles on it with the Motorcraft radiator that the dealer installed with no issues.
 
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