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1978 Mercury cooling system problems


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78merc
User

Mar 19, 2012, 7:36 PM

Post #1 of 9 (1773 views)
1978 Mercury cooling system problems Sign In

Hello,
I just stumbled on your forum and thought I would give it a try! Please pardon the long post, but I wanted to be thorough. I have a 1978 Mercury Grand Marquis with 120K miles. I replaced the heater core myself a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday, before taking it on a long trip, I noticed that I had overfilled the radiator and it was not going into the expansion bottle. When I slammed the hood, about half a cup of antifreeze started leaking from the radiator. I drained some of the antifreeze from the radiator and went on my long trip. The car ran fine.

Today, I got under the hood and decided to blow some of the carbon out of the engine by reving the engine really hard and blowing gumout down the carb throat. My mechanic recommended doing this every once in a while to blow out the carbon. When I was under the hood revving the engine, something blew from the underside middle area of the engine bay on the passenger side and blew radiator fluid all over the engine bay and all over my face! Luckily I was wearing glasses and the antifreeze was not hot. About a gallon of antifreeze started leaking from the bottom of the car. After a face full of antifreeze, I should just take it to my mechanic, but I would still like to attempt to repair this myself. I checked the lower and upper radiator hoses, as well as the hoses connected to my heater core, and they all look OK. I also started the car a few hours later, and it didn't leak until I poured some water into the radiator, then it started to leak. I am no car expert, but I sort of suspect the water pump. My questions are....

1. Could this problem simply be that the hoses connected to the water pump have come undone or ruptured, and I could get under there and reconnect them myself??
2. I can jack up the car if I move the car out of my small garage and take a look under there. Can I safely move the car with antifreeze leaking from the bottom of the car?
3. Could this be a problem other than the water pump?
Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!!


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Mar 20, 2012, 3:37 AM

Post #2 of 9 (1727 views)
Re: 1978 Mercury cooling system problems Sign In

It doesn't sound like this job is for you judging by the questions you are asking.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 20, 2012, 6:48 AM

Post #3 of 9 (1714 views)
Re: 1978 Mercury cooling system problems Sign In

Agree with HT. This should be the last of the big Fords and one of the easiest heater cores you'll ever run across. If it's leaking that much it shouldn't be that hard to find where.

Not sure how you think you can overfill this but you could overfill the recovery tank which if all else was right would just blow that out when warmed up,

T



78merc
User

Mar 20, 2012, 7:24 PM

Post #4 of 9 (1686 views)
Re: 1978 Mercury cooling system problems Sign In

Last question I promise. I got the car outside and tracked down the leaking hose. It was a small J shaped hose. I managed to replace it and the car runs fine. I was wondering if it is advisable to do a flush of the cooling system on a car this old. The radiator is only five years old and the heater core is obviously brand new. I thought I might use a bottle of Prestone Super Radiator flush in addition to one of the Prestone flush kits. Thanks!!


(This post was edited by 78merc on Mar 20, 2012, 7:25 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
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Mar 20, 2012, 8:11 PM

Post #5 of 9 (1679 views)
Re: 1978 Mercury cooling system problems Sign In

You can ask as many questions as you want. If a thread gets way to long sometimes it's best to make summary and start a new one.

There are several VERY experienced pros here and opinions can vary.

As for flushing system I say go for it but personally don't use anything for a solvent as I just get worried it could hurt something. Plain water AFTER system is empty back and forth thru items till it looks clear. Thermostat out and careful to use gentle pressure from a plain garden hose. If lots of junk is seen it was worth it and if not didn't hurt anything.

New antifreeze not exceeding 50% will help with corrosion from within. Just do know that the used antifreeze will kill plant life and the right thing to do is find out locally where you can dispose of it. My dang city will only deal with it twice a year so I take them to a friends shop as it is a hazmat. Use care if caught in a pan as pets and critters will drink it and it's deadly. Do your best.

Another great thing is to just bleed brakes with fresh brake fluid if this car is unrusted enough that you don't end up busting off bleeders or that could open a whole other project,

T



Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 20, 2012, 8:21 PM

Post #6 of 9 (1675 views)
Re: 1978 Mercury cooling system problems Sign In

Another thing you want to watch out for on the Fords is electrolysis going on in the coolant system. Fords were horrible for this. I have seen a few cores replaced that failed again within a week because there was voltage running around in the coolant system. Make sure that all your body and engine grounds are clean and tight. If you took any grounds off or have any missing, put them back on.

Check for voltage in the coolant system by connecting a volt meter to the negative side of the battery and dipping the tip of the other lead in the coolant inside the radiator with the engine running and all accessories turned on. Also check the voltage while cranking the engine. If you see more than .3 volts AC or DC, check your grounds or you'll be doing that core again...and maybe even a radiator.





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Mar 20, 2012, 8:28 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 21, 2012, 5:38 AM

Post #7 of 9 (1653 views)
Re: 1978 Mercury cooling system problems Sign In

You''ll never cease to amaze me DS! Interesting that I found that Fords had the least problem with that and Mopars were more trouble? Climate? Something in the air? I am VERY conscious of ground straps all over the place and have added them sometimes.

Owned this car as the Ford LTD Landau version - one of my personal top 10 vehicles out of countless vehicles mostly to fix for resale given to me or to cheap to pass up. That LTD wouldn't quit if you threw grenades at it! Died from rust running as new with an unstoppable 400M engine. Orig stuff made it way up over 200K - untouched A/C that still remains the most effective of any car I've ever been in never mind owned.

Except for rust that car was amazing and don't know why as some others of the same were a mess all the time??

"Those were the Days my friend, we thought they'd never end" (the song)


Tom


chickenhouse
Enthusiast

Mar 21, 2012, 1:45 PM

Post #8 of 9 (1639 views)
Re: 1978 Mercury cooling system problems Sign In

Wish I had that 400 M, could use it in my 78 T-Bird.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 21, 2012, 2:23 PM

Post #9 of 9 (1631 views)
Re: 1978 Mercury cooling system problems Sign In

This is like an old pharts conventionWink

Same basic car I had a '79 Cougar w the 302 that couldn't pass a turtle or spin the wheels on glare ice. Should have come with a bar on the trunk so you could push the dang thing. Oh, you want A/C and to move at the same time? Embarrassing when bicycles pass you - laugh,

Tom






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