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1997 4.0L Aerostar Shooting Water


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07-05-02, 11:28 PM   #1  
ToxicityLevel
1997 4.0L Aerostar Shooting Water

My boyfriend was driving down the freeway three days ago when he noticed the car was overheating. He then began to lose accelerationm, and thusly had a hard time getting the thing pulled over. After letting the engine cool overnight, we put some water in, and tried to restart it. A big guyser of water shot back out of the radiator; most of it laced with antifreeze and kinda yucky looking. Needless to say; the thing didn't start, although it sounded like it wanted to. We replaced the thermostat, which didn't help either, more water just came flying back out as the engine tried to turn over. Wondering what was the deal, and feeling experimental, he took out the thermostat, put the whole sha-bang back together and after some battery re-charging, it eventually turned over, and idled; although it wanted to die. He played with the switch that causes the engine to rev under the hood (I've forgotten what it's called) and that was the only thing that kept it from dying, although it idled "funny" it was kinda sluggish, maybe even jumpy. We put the thermostat back in, and bam, more water, still anti-freezeish came pouring out. This is strange because they drained the radiator, and ran water through it each time they put the thermostat in, and/or took it out. The next thought is that it's the head gasket, but before we think about laying down that kind of money (Or I break down and agree to let him try it) I'd like to be sure that's the most viable option. Any help would be great.


Mandie
Des Moines, IA

 
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07-06-02, 05:28 AM   #2  
Blown head gasket; only cause of a radiator geyser.

 
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07-06-02, 09:39 AM   #3  
waterhead
aerostar

i agree with tow guy. why do waste the money on it .trade it in

 
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07-06-02, 01:48 PM   #4  
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I would tend to agree. It's likely the cause of the rough running too. A shop can easily check it with a gas analyzer. If there are hydrocarbons in the cooling system, the head gasket is blown.

It's a relatively new vehicle, so it might be worth fixing. To me, no Ford product is worth 50 cents even brand new, so it would have been a boat anchor for me aleady . However, it is probably worth it to fix. Send out both cylinder heads to a reputable machine shop to have them check for cracks and burned valves and you should be able to do the rest of the R&R yourself.

 
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07-06-02, 06:30 PM   #5  
C'mon, Joe, don't sugar-coat it; tell us what you REALLY think of Ford products!

 
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07-07-02, 03:47 AM   #6  
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Not so much the product as everything else that goes with it .

1) Poor customer service.....typically on hold for an eternity. I remember the dealer losing my sister's keys one evening when the car (1990 T-Bird) was there on recall. 2 hours of arguing where and who lost the keys. Three attempts to make new ones from the VIN # (as the car was sold there), and they could only get the ignition key (thank goodness it worked the doors too) right! This is at 8 p.m. and the whole dealership is involved by now and everyone wants to go home. Not to mention my mother had spoiled dinner on the table by the time we got home! And to think my sister said to me, "Go, I'll meet you at Mommy's. I'll be right behind you in five minutes". Yea right!

2) Serviceability is either great or contornonist in nature. I'll find out today when I tune up my cousin's 1993 Taurus later on this morning (9 a.m.) Lol

3) Crazy part numbering system. I feel like I'm calling out battleship coordinates to the dealer when calling for a part #.

Joe: "Yes, that's Edward (E) 6 Alpha (A), Zebra (Z), 8-6-2-0 Apple (A)"

Dealer: "So you need an E6FZ-8620A?"

Joe: (Banging his head on the desk). "That's E6AZ-8620A!!!" Dang Ford part # system. Worse now with these world #s. XF2Z, YF1Z, ugggh!!! Lol.

GM dealer: Joe: "Give me a 16037778"
Dealer: "16037778 it is".

Done .

4) The old "letter in the mail game" for recalls. I have known a few people with affected recalled cars that have never gotten this supposed letter. When they called about a problem (either by talking to me or finding out on their own), the campaign had expired already. We'll see how Ford complies with my cousin's other Taurus. There's an 85 step flush and fill procedure on his 1996 Taurus 3.0 SOHC. Ford even states it's recalled and the water pump is part of the deal. Knuckles posted it for someone a few days ago. My cousin has owned the car for about 4 or 5 years. No letter .

5) Lackluster product compared to many other offerings: I often wonder why GM is still the #1 carmaker if everyone else is so "great" .

That's the short version and my .02.

I'd like to hear from Fordtech on this one. Lol.

 
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07-07-02, 02:42 PM   #7  
Joe_F
Did the terrible Taurus tuneup. Lol

Not too bad. My cousin claims the car hasn't run that good since he bought it

Plugs, cap, rotor, wires, air filter, gas filter, and PCV. Price $36 bucks cash.

Cousin's face when the test drive revealed the car didn't skip or miss anymore: Priceless

 
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07-09-02, 05:57 AM   #8  
Pray for me, joe; I get to do battle with the check engine light on my sister's Windstar this weekend (has my favorite FoMoCo engine in it, of course). Fortunately she's already gone by AutoZone at my suggestion and got the code read to an EGR problem. Hoping a little quick troubleshooting will point to the cuplrit. She's also had an ABS light for quite a while, but I'm not sure I want to dive into that one.

 
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07-09-02, 06:53 AM   #9  
Joe_F
Would suggest you get your own scanner (or access to one).

Change the EGR valve and install the gasket with the integral screen built in if available for this application. Clean out the EGR ports of carbon (the likely cause of the light).

Use the scanner to reset the codes and see what you have. The ABS problem is likely a wheel sensor.

Check alldata.com too for known problems.

Good luck and let us know.

 
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07-09-02, 07:02 AM   #10  
Thanks, Joe; have access to scanner and alldata, plus someone who's good at using both. Already eyeballed the valve location on a previous visit and it doesn't look too bad (wish it was a car and not a van, tho, lol).

Haven't mentioned the abs to my tech expert; not really planning on messing with it this time. Is there a technique for narrowing down which wheel sensor?

 
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07-09-02, 09:09 AM   #11  
Joe_F
Start by scanning the ABS system for codes so you know what you're up against. I would gather depending on the scanner it can tell you where in the system the fault lies and which sensor (If it is a bad one) is at fault.

 
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