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coolant contaimnated with ATF

coopab

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Aug 26, 2009
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Location
Central Massachusetts
Vehicle Year
1999
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0 L
Transmission
Automatic
A week or so ago I overheated and upon examination of overflow tank I have a "strawberry milkshake" in my cooling system. I'm aware that the cause is a leak in the transmission cooling circuit inside my radiator. I'm looking for recommended solutions. Here's my first impressions.
  • Add a transmission cooler rather than replacing the entire radiator
  • DIY Flushing of the transmission fluid via the upper transmission cooler line into a large drain pan with new fluid being added until "strawberry milkshake" is gone.
  • draining ATF from the torque converter
  • draining and flushing engine coolant
  • refilling transmission fluid with fresh Mercron V
  • refill cooling system with 50/50 mix

Additional suggestions welcome including re-ordering the above steps.

coopab
 


Brian1973

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May 29, 2010
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Location
Cincinnati, OH
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
I had a similar situation happen but in a 4Runner... I luckily caught it before any overheat or damage to transmission... Luckily I was aware of the possibility and had the new radiator and cooler already in hand... I noticed an antifreeze smell and just got home when I noticed some drops on my driveway that appeared transmission fluid...

1st) Drained radiator, replaced! Left hoses for transmission off. Filled radiator with hose water

2nd) Ran engine and kept fresh transmission fluid going in the dipstick tube. Keeping check on open radiator to top off after a couple minutes - attaching cap... Had a large pan for the outlet hose that spewed strawberry milkshake only a bit.... once ran completely red, turned off truck, hooked to radiator...

3rd) Flushed radiator coolant for extended period of time allowing all the mix to come out of the engine... Then filled with appropriate antifreeze mix...

4th) Pulled tranny outlet hose again and went through flushing again, more strawberry came out... Not like initially but some was still in there... once completely red again, drained out of pan and dropped pan, replaced filter, new gasket, pan bolted back up, flushed again just to be completely sure.... it may have still put out some pink but I don't think much if any.... then attached hoses to the new transmission cooler that I installed next to the radiator.

If you had an overheat, may want to make sure transmission works ok after my 2nd step... try all your gears and make sure there isn't anything funny going on. If so, may need new tranny. Good luck if you haven't already done.
 

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