02' LS 3.9 - Violent Bubbling in Coolant Reservoir

KennyOnTap

New member
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2002 Lincoln LS 3.9L V8 Coolant Bubbling Issue

Hello all,

I have been driving this car for about 5 years and have just come upon an issue that is making me think I will have to sell it. I love this car and would like to figure it out. I am ASE certified and am an aircraft mechanic with Naval training. I am no stranger to engines and mechanics.

Ok, so this issue started as I was driving from California to Texas. Before I went on this drive I replaced the hydraulic fan and associated hose along with the alternator because it had leaked all over it. I also replaced the entire suspension system (uppers, lowers, sway bar links, tie rod ends, springs, shocks, everything), the brake pads, calipers, and tires.

I made it down the California coast of about 300 miles when the vehicle started running hot, the gauge sat just above the middle line on the temperature gauge. I turned on the heater and continued driving all the way to Arizona. When I stopped for gas in Arizona coolant began violently bubbling in the reservoir tank and dumped approximately a gallon of coolant onto the ground.

I immediately thought that the thermostat was in a ‘stuck closed’ condition. I removed the thermostats inners with side cutters leaving only the metal ring and attached rubber gasket and reassembled the vehicle while topping off the coolant. I did not follow the bleed procedure at this point. I made it only about 2 miles down the road and the vehicle over heated heavily. After that I did not drive the vehicle for about 2 weeks and towed it the rest of the way to Texas.

After that period of time, I flushed the radiator by inserting a garden hose into the engine coolant fill (Allen wrench cap) and started the engine in 30 second intervals for about 30 seconds each. I then installed a new thermostat and replaced coolant. I followed the bleed procedure. The vehicle continued to violently bubble large amounts of coolant out of the reservoir tank once warmed up and parked. This was after a short highway test drive of about 5 miles.

At this point I replaced the entire coolant system except the radiator (which to my knowledge is original) and the reservoir tank (replaced 2 years ago along with cap). I replaced the upper coolant hose, the crossover tube, the lower radiator hose, the DCCV, the drain petcock on the radiator, and the auxiliary pump. I am still having the same problem where coolant is bubbling up in the reservoir after parking the vehicle (once warmed up).

Can someone please help me with this issue. I do not understand where air is getting into the system and am going to perform a compression and leak down test to see if the head gaskets seals have lost integrity.

There are NO VISIBLE LEAKS anywhere on the coolant system (both static and while running) and the garage floor is bone dry after days of sitting. The heater is hot as it should be and there is definitely coolant flow. I am stumped.

Here is a video of this weirdness, it is usually worse:
 

KennyOnTap

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Thank you! I'll put a new water pump on. This car has a tiny radiator and I'll bet I've got one of those plastic impellers and it's barely moving the coolant, or giving out once warmed up.
 

don-ohio

Member
173
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18
No smoke out exhaust pipe? That's good. Running at least 50/50 antifreeze with the pressure cap?
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KennyOnTap

New member
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Well I put a new water pump in it and its still overheating. I'm gonna trade it in. I'm done with American made cars. We make garbage these days. Least I still have my 94 Chevy.
 

smegun

Junior Member
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best advice I got is open the bleeder before any servicing then fill burp run around the block easy purge bleed burp again wala… o yea that nasty fan will come on way too soon too just ignor it the first couple burps it will calm down ...the mind is faster than materials adjusted ... i turned off the juice to my home ac cleaned and shined then turned the juice back on nothing happened i called a tech he cam out and waited 15 minutes for the timeout that protects freezing the condensor pump wala air-conditioning...the other example is never ignor the red light
 

KennyOnTap

New member
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The thermostat is letting coolant through. I checked it by feeling the hoses for temperature and fluid moving. I pulled a spark plug and there is a good amount of white buildup on them. I think that it is burning coolant in the left head (drivers side). I am seeing a small amount of white smoke in the tail pipe but I think that whatever is going on with the gasket is forcing combustion gases into the coolant system once the engine warms up. So I put it into a garage and am going to pull the heads and have a machine shop deck them and do a valve job.
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smegun

Junior Member
14
0
1
awfully big thermostat awfully small radiator I boiled one to make sure it opens awfully slow my advice is a larger radiator and bigger holes for the dccv like I only put in distilled some have seen the fate of not at least 99.9 pure anyway calk is calk from unpurified water ...I recall modification on old cars is to put a bigger radiator but youll need fittings like shark bytes or something and youll have to get rid of the hydrolic fan the good ol days a passive fan right off the water pump not sure if our pump housing is big enough to handle that figuring out the slim line electric fan and a double core would be cool
 

KennyOnTap

New member
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I'm not going to mod out this vehicle. The engineers designed it this way, and it worked the way it is for 17 years. I'm not doing any of those dumb things you suggested.
 

G-76901

2002 Lincoln LS 3.9L V8 Coolant Bubbling Issue

Hello all,

I have been driving this car for about 5 years and have just come upon an issue that is making me think I will have to sell it. I love this car and would like to figure it out. I am ASE certified and am an aircraft mechanic with Naval training. I am no stranger to engines and mechanics.

Ok, so this issue started as I was driving from California to Texas. Before I went on this drive I replaced the hydraulic fan and associated hose along with the alternator because it had leaked all over it. I also replaced the entire suspension system (uppers, lowers, sway bar links, tie rod ends, springs, shocks, everything), the brake pads, calipers, and tires.

I made it down the California coast of about 300 miles when the vehicle started running hot, the gauge sat just above the middle line on the temperature gauge. I turned on the heater and continued driving all the way to Arizona. When I stopped for gas in Arizona coolant began violently bubbling in the reservoir tank and dumped approximately a gallon of coolant onto the ground.

I immediately thought that the thermostat was in a ‘stuck closed’ condition. I removed the thermostats inners with side cutters leaving only the metal ring and attached rubber gasket and reassembled the vehicle while topping off the coolant. I did not follow the bleed procedure at this point. I made it only about 2 miles down the road and the vehicle over heated heavily. After that I did not drive the vehicle for about 2 weeks and towed it the rest of the way to Texas.

After that period of time, I flushed the radiator by inserting a garden hose into the engine coolant fill (Allen wrench cap) and started the engine in 30 second intervals for about 30 seconds each. I then installed a new thermostat and replaced coolant. I followed the bleed procedure. The vehicle continued to violently bubble large amounts of coolant out of the reservoir tank once warmed up and parked. This was after a short highway test drive of about 5 miles.

At this point I replaced the entire coolant system except the radiator (which to my knowledge is original) and the reservoir tank (replaced 2 years ago along with cap). I replaced the upper coolant hose, the crossover tube, the lower radiator hose, the DCCV, the drain petcock on the radiator, and the auxiliary pump. I am still having the same problem where coolant is bubbling up in the reservoir after parking the vehicle (once warmed up).

Can someone please help me with this issue. I do not understand where air is getting into the system and am going to perform a compression and leak down test to see if the head gaskets seals have lost integrity.

There are NO VISIBLE LEAKS anywhere on the coolant system (both static and while running) and the garage floor is bone dry after days of sitting. The heater is hot as it should be and there is definitely coolant flow. I am stumped.

Here is a video of this weirdness, it is usually worse:
I have a '02 Lincoln LS 3.9L also, my was doing the same thing and come to find out the coolant reservoir tank had a hole in the seam of the reservoir tank. This tank is plastic put together in two pieces which forms a seam. Check all around that plastic tank with a mirror if you have one handy. When refilling the system with coolant definitely observe the refill directions, especially opening that pressure relief valve and be sure to open pressure relief valve before opening any of the caps to the system: allen wrench cap on top of thermostat housing or coolant reservoir tank. Also use the Motorcraft gold coolant not the green.
 

KennyOnTap

New member
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Well after 4 weekends in a row of driving to the next town over, I got the heads back on and the timing chains and the front engine cover. Not to mention everything the serpentine belt drives. The machine shop said that one of the heads was "really warped", and they milled it down 0.09 inches. Still some pitting on one head but it's way off to the side in a non-essential area. I will post again once I test it. Still haven't started it.

P.s. I am buying a new car. Peace and clarity of mind knowing that I will have a vehicle to go to work in or drive to the grocery store is worth the 6 months of pay a new car costs. Although I've spent the time repairing this vehicle, I'm going to give it away to a family member if it works correctly.
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