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Old 08-17-2013, 01:20 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Radiator issue ford f450

Our tow vehicle, a 2008 ford F450, started to run hot and the fans came on. We checked the water in the rad and it was low. We filled back up with water and the truck ran as usual. After driving about 60 miles I rechecked the level and it was down a gallon. After watching it carefully it was going thru water but no leaks anywhere. Then it lost power and started blowing blueish grey smoke. This cleared up and it ran fine again. Checked the water and was a gallon and a half down again!! No leaks in the system. Where is the water going??? We checked the oil and it looked fine, was not milky. We will keep a close eye on it but we have to get home. Is this a diesel engine thing or are we in trouble? Thanks Ps.. if the oil is milky does that mean the water is going into the oil and it will damage the engine?

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Old 08-17-2013, 09:37 PM   #2
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There was a recall on 08s for this. Mine went in 08 and lots of people had 2-3 radiators replaced before no problems. Not sure what the problem was but your Ford dealer should be aware of it. It was a big deal at the time and got a lot of press.

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Old 08-18-2013, 09:34 AM   #3
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We had a Job 1 - 2008 F450, find by build date on driver's door sticker. Ours was 2007. Had hoses replaced at least once and a total of 3 radiators, even with all of the upgrades done to prevent a radiator failure.

When it looked like another was imminent in early 2010, we figured we could trade it for a 2010 or wait 3 mos for a 2011 to be built. Not wanting to be guinea pigs again, we opted for the 2010. Much better reliability and later found out the 2011's had transmission issues.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:32 AM   #4
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If the oil gets 'milky' looking--kind of like a chocolate malt, you have a problem with the oil cooler leaking into the cooling system. It is a serious problem and costly to fix.
If you are losing coolant and can't find a leak, then you might have a head-gasket leak, or the water pump housing has cavitation pinholes in it.
Both of these are not easily self-diagnosed, needs to be looked at by a competent mechanic.

First, hope you are replacing the coolant with proper coolant, not water!!
There are TSBs from Ford on early '08 6.4L engines about the radiator, hoses, and a 'venturi tee' mod that helps keep the water pump housing from developing pinholes. Have you ever checked the nitrite level on the coolant? Very important component of these cooling systems.

If you were me, with these symptoms, I would seriously consider upgrading to a 2010 450 if you like the vehicle. Or to a 2012-13-14 450. You are probably looking at a minimum of $1500 repairs, and maybe up to $3-4 grand--even more if head gaskets are leaking.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:47 AM   #5
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With the smoke I'd say you probably have a blown head gasket and are pumping your coolant out through the engine. That is not a minor problem. I suggest you get it to a Ford shop asap.
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