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1990 Ford E-350 diesel engine

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S Joisey
New User

Jan 1, 2007, 5:11 PM

Post #1 of 1 (1833 views)
1990 Ford E-350 diesel engine Sign In

I have a 1990 Ford E-350 diesel with an ambulance body which I use as a work truck. Here's the saga.
1 - truck needed to be jumped. Antilock brake light also came on, usually when I went around a corner. I took it to the dealership. They replaced both batteries and changed the front brakes and rotors.
2 - truck still needed to be jumped (sometimes it would start, sometimes not). Brake light still came on. On the way back to the dealership, temperature gauge went to hot. Dealer replaced starter, pressure cap, pulled the rear dual tires and checked the brakes, which were okay.
3 - truck still needed to be jumped at times. Brake light still came on sometimes. On the way back to the dealer, temperature gauge went to hot. I stopped, and had it towed the rest of the way. Dealer replaced the water pump (a trail of water starting at my driveway showed where the pump failed). I asked them if they could check the engine for any possible damage. They said no way was it damaged.
4 - truck still needed to be jumped. I jumped it that Sunday afternoon, left it idle so the batteries would be fully charged and ready for work the next morning. When I came back out of the house, the engine was very hot, white smoke was coming out of the tailpipe, and coolant was coming from the radiator. The next morning, there was oil in the coolant when I refilled the radiator. The oil looked okay. The dealer said the engine was okay, but the seals in the oil cooler needed to be replaced. By the way, they said, we also repaired the radiator. I suggested they do a compression and oil pressure test, but they didn't think it necessary. After they replaced the seals, I drove it home (about 15 miles). It needed to be jumped the next morning. The coolant was 2 gallons low, and oil was floating on top after I refilled it. The oil was light tan and muddy looking.
My questions are:
- was the oil cooler a reasonable solution?
- a local diesel mechanic says the symptoms indicate engine damage, and he would need to tear down the engine to find the extent of the damage. Sound reasonable?
- one possible scenario is that the dealer damaged the radiator while changing the water pump, leading to it overheating when I idled it. How can I tell a human-damaged radiator?
- is there any way the other symptoms might be tied together. For instance, the problems starting with the engine beginning to have problems?

Its a long saga - thanks for your time,

S. Joisey

1990 Ford E-350 diesel engine

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