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Thread: Two problems: ATF and Coolant-related. Or, cylinder head and transmission. Ouch.

  1. #1
    On a roll Al_C's Avatar
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    Two problems: ATF and Coolant-related. Or, cylinder head and transmission. Ouch.

    Let's deal with the bigger (in my mind) issue first. Driving home on Friday, I smelled antifreeze. OK, coolant. Whatever. No leaks visible on the garage floor. Saturday morning, I check the expansion tank: pretty much empty. So, I got a friend over, we put it up pretty high on jack stands and took a good look. ATF all over the frame and on the seam of the TKO. Couldn't see any coolant leaks. Cleaned up the ATF, filled the expansion tank and started it up. Ran for a good 10 minutes. No dripping from the transmission, no apparent oil leaks, no apparent cooling leaks. We had originally thought it was leaking by the water temperature sender, because there was some smoke rising up from the DS rear of the block.

    Just when I thought all was well, the floodgates opened. Well, maybe not that bad, the it was more than a "drip". Coolant was leaking out pretty quickly from the rear of the engine on the passenger side. Shut it off and the dripping pretty much stopped.

    Here are three photos: the first is the "context" picture showing the PS side of the engine from below. The second is a closer view with a line drawn around the problem area (as best as I can determine). The third is the transmission.










    Consider the second photo. It looks to me like the coolant is leaking from the seam of the PS head and the block. Anybody ever run into this? If my assessment is correct, it is not good. (Maybe I'm wrong?) I'm extremely interested in your thoughts on this.

    OK, now on to the transmission. It's a TKO600. I talked to Dave (Ducky2009) and he experienced the same issue. Apparently, there is no gasket between the two pieces of the transmission case. He was told by the Tremec folks to take that apart and put permatex into the seam. He's pretty experienced, and he thought it was a pain. (or at least that was my take on his comments) Here's my question on that one: Have you run into this on a TKO, and if so, have you found any solution where you can add something to the ATF that will seal it from inside, thereby eliminating the need to take the trans apart?
    Mk IV Roadster - #8650 - delivered 7-17-2015 - first start 7-28-2018 - first go-kart 10-13-2018 - licensed and on the road 9-9-19: body/paint completed 3-17-2020.
    Complete kit / 2015 Coyote / TKO600 / IRS / Wilwood brakes / Mid-Shift mod / Power Steering / Heater and Seat Heaters / RT turn signal / Breeze radiator shroud and mount

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  3. #2
    Seasoned Citizen NAZ's Avatar
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    If you're sure that the coolant is coming directly from the area you circled -- head gasket. Forget the stop leak snake oil -- change the gasket if it's leaking.

    You may also be tempted to use a mechanic in a can solution to your trans leak but don't count on these actually working. The proper way to seal the TKO is split the mating surfaces that do not use a gasket and clean them then use the proper sealant. If you want to run ATF in that trans you'll need to use a sealer that is specifically formulated for ATF -- most common sealants will break down when exposed to ATF. Stick with one that says on the label it's for ATF or you will be revisiting this problem again before long. Permatex is not a product -- it's a company that makes a lot of products. Choose wisely.
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    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    As far as the transmission goes. They seem to have a 50% leak ratio from the factory. Ridiculous for an otherwise quality product. Mine leaked from day one. Then I fried a synchro. Low fluid or ham-fisted shifting? Who knows. I did a rebuild, and made sure that it was properly sealed. Not a drop since. The sealer is Permatex Anaerobic sealer. There is also a bearing cup that has an o-ring right on the front face of the transmission. If there is the slightest nick, it will leak. When I put mine back together, I saw the tiniest hair of a sliver when I pushed it in. Out it came and a another new o-ring went on. I would think that you are out of luck looking for a fix in a bottle.

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    There's a large freeze plug in the back of the head. Check and see if that's leaking.



    Tremec used a anaerobic sealant on the case. A lot of them leaked. I guess they used cheap sealant. The only real fix is to split the case, clean off all the old goo, and apply some new goo.
    .boB "Iron Man"
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    I doubt you have a leak on your engine from the heads, block or intake. I would check all the coolant plumbing and clamps. That stuff has a bad habit of going to a lot of places after it comes out.
    20th Anniversary Mk IV, A50XS Coyote, TKO 600, Trunk Drop Box, Trunk Battery Box, Cubby Hole, Seat Heaters, Radiator hanger and shroud.

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    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    I know where you see the coolant but the majority of leaks there actually come from the intake gasket. Coolant flows from one head through a passage at both ends of the intake to the other head. Did you put a thin smear of sealer around those openings in the intake gasket?
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

  10. #7
    On a roll Al_C's Avatar
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    NAZ - head gasket - that's what I was thinking.
    Bob Cowan - Your cause is better to my liking than a head gasket, but everything on the back is dry.
    Avalanche and Railroad - you could be right. There is coolant in the passenger side of the valley. It's entirely possible that the fitting at the front of the PS cylinder is the culprit. There's a cover on the fuel rail and the engine cover masking what goes on, so I can understand how the coolant shows up in a different spot.

    Mike Forte may have some new info for me, too, and I think next is to check that connection on the front of the PS head. (It's dry, but we'll see what happens.) That is a much easier and palatable fix...

    Should have an update later today (hopefully!).
    Mk IV Roadster - #8650 - delivered 7-17-2015 - first start 7-28-2018 - first go-kart 10-13-2018 - licensed and on the road 9-9-19: body/paint completed 3-17-2020.
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  11. #8
    On a roll Al_C's Avatar
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    Avalanche, Railroad and CraigS nailed it. Ford Tech Support asked "is there coolant in the valley?" Finally, the lights went on. There was, so I thought it had to be that fitting. I filled it back up with coolant and started it up. I figured I'd know in 10 minutes. It only took 3. It's the quick connect from the heater hose into the right side of the engine. It drips into the valley and when there is enough to overflow, it comes out by the right rear-most cylinder.



    Now I just have to fix the connector. Much easier, and within my (improving!) skill level. In my experience, here's how these things work:
    1. Find problem I haven't encountered before.
    2. Freak out.
    3. Seek help.
    4. Learning takes place.
    5. Fix and add to experience "data base".
    Mk IV Roadster - #8650 - delivered 7-17-2015 - first start 7-28-2018 - first go-kart 10-13-2018 - licensed and on the road 9-9-19: body/paint completed 3-17-2020.
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  12. #9
    Senior Member edwardb's Avatar
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    Had the exact problem on my Gen 3 Coupe / Gen 3 Coyote build. Talked about it in my build thread. In case you didn't know already, those are Gates 28504 Heater Hose Connectors. Available from Amazon or Rock Auto. Two sources that I've used. Make sure they're the actual Gates branded products. The ones that came in my kit from FF were compatible but not branded Gates parts. Comparing side-to-side, the Gates appears to be a higher quality part. I replaced both on my build. The leaking one and the one that hadn't started leaking yet.
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    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    Glad you found it! (It wasn't me on the engine part though)

  14. #11
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    After you clean everything up, check your trans fluid. The red stuff on the center of the trans, looks to be sealer. My TKO 600, only about 5 miles, had the same sealer on it, when new. No leaks yet, might start after more heat cycles.
    20th Anniversary Mk IV, A50XS Coyote, TKO 600, Trunk Drop Box, Trunk Battery Box, Cubby Hole, Seat Heaters, Radiator hanger and shroud.

  15. #12
    Senior Member CraigS's Avatar
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    Get all you can out of there w/ paper towels and then run 1/2 a can of brake cleaner from the valley down. It will follow the same path the coolant did and flush any remnants away. The bell housing, block plate, block join is notorious for fluids running down from the engine and then taking quite a while to clean out after a repair. You may have seen comments in other leak threads about anything leaking from a SBF ends up looking like a rear main leak as it drips off the bottom of the block plate.
    FFR MkII, 408W, Tremec TKO 500, 2015 IRS, DA QA1s, Forte front bar, APE hardtop.

  16. #13
    Senior Member BEAR-AvHistory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwardb View Post
    Had the exact problem on my Gen 3 Coupe / Gen 3 Coyote build. Talked about it in my build thread. In case you didn't know already, those are Gates 28504 Heater Hose Connectors. Available from Amazon or Rock Auto. Two sources that I've used. Make sure they're the actual Gates branded products. The ones that came in my kit from FF were compatible but not branded Gates parts. Comparing side-to-side, the Gates appears to be a higher quality part. I replaced both on my build. The leaking one and the one that hadn't started leaking yet.
    +1 with the Gates fitting after one of the FFR supplied parts leaked in 300 miles. Same deal, fluid ran down the valley & off the back. Color helped to zero it in on it. Would recommend buying gates before filling the coolant for the first time.
    Kevin
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  17. #14
    On a roll Al_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwardb View Post
    Had the exact problem on my Gen 3 Coupe / Gen 3 Coyote build. Talked about it in my build thread. In case you didn't know already, those are Gates 28504 Heater Hose Connectors. Available from Amazon or Rock Auto. Two sources that I've used. Make sure they're the actual Gates branded products. The ones that came in my kit from FF were compatible but not branded Gates parts. Comparing side-to-side, the Gates appears to be a higher quality part. I replaced both on my build. The leaking one and the one that hadn't started leaking yet.
    Thanks for the part number, Paul!
    Mk IV Roadster - #8650 - delivered 7-17-2015 - first start 7-28-2018 - first go-kart 10-13-2018 - licensed and on the road 9-9-19: body/paint completed 3-17-2020.
    Complete kit / 2015 Coyote / TKO600 / IRS / Wilwood brakes / Mid-Shift mod / Power Steering / Heater and Seat Heaters / RT turn signal / Breeze radiator shroud and mount

  18. #15
    On a roll Al_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigS View Post
    Get all you can out of there w/ paper towels and then run 1/2 a can of brake cleaner from the valley down. It will follow the same path the coolant did and flush any remnants away. The bell housing, block plate, block join is notorious for fluids running down from the engine and then taking quite a while to clean out after a repair. You may have seen comments in other leak threads about anything leaking from a SBF ends up looking like a rear main leak as it drips off the bottom of the block plate.
    Thanks, Craig!
    Mk IV Roadster - #8650 - delivered 7-17-2015 - first start 7-28-2018 - first go-kart 10-13-2018 - licensed and on the road 9-9-19: body/paint completed 3-17-2020.
    Complete kit / 2015 Coyote / TKO600 / IRS / Wilwood brakes / Mid-Shift mod / Power Steering / Heater and Seat Heaters / RT turn signal / Breeze radiator shroud and mount

  19. #16
    On a roll Al_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Railroad View Post
    After you clean everything up, check your trans fluid. The red stuff on the center of the trans, looks to be sealer. My TKO 600, only about 5 miles, had the same sealer on it, when new. No leaks yet, might start after more heat cycles.
    It was checking the transmission that started this whole thing. My fluid level is good - some was draining when I took off the fill plug. I have a fair amount of cleaning to do underneath in the next day or so. I'm going to hold off for now on doing anything with the transmission, as the leak seems to have slowed significantly. I know what the permanent fix entails, and the leak is manageable at this point. We'll see what happens in the near term.
    Mk IV Roadster - #8650 - delivered 7-17-2015 - first start 7-28-2018 - first go-kart 10-13-2018 - licensed and on the road 9-9-19: body/paint completed 3-17-2020.
    Complete kit / 2015 Coyote / TKO600 / IRS / Wilwood brakes / Mid-Shift mod / Power Steering / Heater and Seat Heaters / RT turn signal / Breeze radiator shroud and mount

  20. #17
    David aka Ducky2009 Ducky2009's Avatar
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    As NAZ said, Permatex is a brand, not a product. I originally called Tremec and was told to use Permatex Anaerobic gasket maker.

    I had a second leaking issue. Second time I used the next thicker Permatex product. I'll have to look up name up when I'm home.
    Last edited by Ducky2009; 11-07-2019 at 10:36 AM.
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