If anyone has been reading my blog, you may have read this post:The Great Bronco Engine Transplant-UH OH!. In this post, I described how I discovered that my transmission cooler in the radiator had failed and deposited antifreeze in the transmission and transmission fluid in the engine coolant. Well, the saga continues.
I contacted the company that supplied the failed radiator and although they could not warranty it outright, they did sell me a new aluminum radiator at a very reduced price. While waiting for it to be delivered, I proceeded with more flushing. After buying the remaining 6 quarts of Type F transmission fluid from Walmart (I cleaned out their shelf) and three more from O Reilly, I once again drained the contaminated fluid from the transmission. This time the fluid came out looking more like "strawberry milkshake" instead of chocolate milk. It also did not appear to separate out any water. So, nine more quarts of clean fluid went back into the transmission to be sacrificed at a later date.
Also while waiting for the new radiator, I decided to start flushing the engine coolant system. As suspected, there was quite a bit of transmission fluid in the coolant. I flushed several times with the old radiator over several days with flushing fluid added. I ended up with 5 gallons of ugly contaminated antifreeze and water. I delivered 4-1/2 gallons of contaminated transmission fluid and the antifreeze to the Hazardous Waste Facility on Friday.
The new radiator arrived Friday. It is a beauty. But I immediately noticed that the transmission cooler is installed on the drivers side where the old radiator had the cooler on the passenger side. This caused two changes: 1. The transmission cooler lines will need to be extended and 2. The electric fan will need to be moved to the passenger side. Moving the fan is a complex item to figure out. Fortunately, two of my custom fan mounting brackets could be used as is, and the other two could be modified. The radiator also mounted differently which took some head scratching to come up with a new design for mounting brackets.
After three days of part time work, I started the Bronco this afternoon. As I had hoped, the aluminum radiator seems to control the temperature better. I flushed the radiator twice today, but I can still see transmission fluid in the water. I will probably flush it a few more times before I add antifreeze.
Of course, it is always something more! After parking the Bronco for the night, I noticed a puddle of water under the passenger compartment. Sure enough, the heater core had failed after only three years. I had suspected this, but when I looked at it a few weeks ago, I did not see any evidence of leakage. So off to the auto parts store and home again with a new heater core. After another 1/2 hour of work and the core was replaced. With only 5 screws to remove to access the heater core, this repair is a lot easier than what I did on the Mustang a few weeks ago: The Pony Car Project-I Can See Clearly Now
So what's next? First I need to extend the transmission coolant tubes to connect to the transmission cooler. Then more transmission flushing followed by a transmission filter change. A friend located 6 quarts of transmission fluid that was be closed out for only 11¢ per quart! That is a great buy, especially since it will probably be thrown away after a short service life..
The second draining of the transmission. This looked a bit more like "strawberry milkshake" in person.
The new radiator.
The radiator installed and the fan relocated.