oil floating in coolant reservoir , no outside leaks - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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oil floating in coolant reservoir , no outside leaks

decided to start a thread about this just to get some feedback... recently checked out my coolant and there was oil floating in there. not a whole lot. no oil leaks or coolant leaks that I know of yet but I assume the oil in here means theres an internal leak? stock 97 thunderbird LX. temperature gauge consistently reads a little above halfway. replaced thermostat valve thing. no white or black smoke out of the exhaust. maybe some water out of the exhaust but not sure. engine runs okay no misfires or anything drastic. I replaced the coolant and drove it a lil bit. any help precciated thx ! also I do not have the old intake manifold with the plastic crossover.

so I might replace the rad. it holds pressure fine just the old one might have gunk buildup so either I will flush it or replace. might also do compression test. the fan runs fine.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flybirdyfly View Post
decided to start a thread about this just to get some feedback... recently checked out my coolant and there was oil floating in there. not a whole lot. no oil leaks or coolant leaks that I know of yet but I assume the oil in here means theres an internal leak? stock 97 thunderbird LX. temperature gauge consistently reads a little above halfway. replaced thermostat valve thing. no white or black smoke out of the exhaust. maybe some water out of the exhaust but not sure. engine runs okay no misfires or anything drastic. I replaced the coolant and drove it a lil bit. any help precciated thx ! also I do not have the old intake manifold with the plastic crossover.

so I might replace the rad. it holds pressure fine just the old one might have gunk buildup so either I will flush it or replace. might also do compression test. the fan runs fine.
Oil in the coolant is a few possibilities...
Check your compression to verify your head gaskets are OK.
Not a bad idea to replace the oil filter adapter gasket, known failure point at these cars age. Since both oil and coolant flow through this, it is a possibility, but generally there's leakage underneath as well.
Not aware of oil going through the intake manifold at all, so I'm not thinking that's the issue. The plastic (composite) intakes tend to degrade over time and can start having cracks, which generally ends up with a spark plug well full of coolant.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 12:46 PM
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Could be either a head gasket out or the coolant/oil filter adapter gasket out. Check your oil for contamination as well.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 12:56 PM
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Most likely oil filter adapter gasket, second most likely trans oil cooler leak in the rad, least likely head gaskets.

-Matt
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 01:08 PM
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Everything sounds about normal. Check for coolant in your oil or your transmission.

Replacing the thermostat valve thing didn't do anything.

Replacing your radiator more than likely wont do anything.

Water out of the exhaust is normal.

Don't try selling any of that old junk here if you do replace it.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 03:08 PM
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Going back to the beginning, are you sure it's oil? This is not a common thing.

Overflow tanks sometimes have a pinch of light brown frothy stuff floating on top around the edge, and the clear reservoir is stained brown. Especially if it has been a few yrs since the coolant was changed.

You could always put some coolant in a jar and add a pinch of oil to see if it looks the same. At the end of the day I think you will find you car just needs a coolant change, nothing more, nothing less.

Al

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 06:09 PM
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I've had oil in the coolant three times on Lazarus alone.

EVERY TIME I convinced myself into thinking it was the head gaskets.

EVERY TIME, replacing the oil filter adapter gasket fixed it, lol.

Take the top bolt out last and put it in first, to keep the gasket in place while you're doing it.

10mm bolts, 20 minute job, you will need to drain the coolant and oil.

This is a great time to add an oil filter relocation kit.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by T6Rocket View Post
Overflow tanks sometimes have a pinch of light brown frothy stuff floating on top around the edge, and the clear reservoir is stained brown. Especially if it has been a few yrs since the coolant was changed.

Al
I agree, have seen this before a few times. Older cars with not enough maintenance done can have nasty looking coolant.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Hey everyone thanks for the replies. I changed my radiator fluid after getting all the air bubbles out and I am pretty dang sure the oil floating was from the oil filter adapter gasket that I popped when I floored the car. Ended up getting a pretty hefty oil leak out the drver side of the engine so replaced the gasket and no oil leak and the fluid is fine now

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 09:51 AM
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I just noticed the same issue , it is only a thin dark line on the edge of the coolant , I took the cap off and looking straight down coolant looks clean , on the Rockauto catalog there are two choices for the gasket , with or without oil cooler , my car is a stock 4.6 ,
which gasket should I order ??
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 03:10 PM
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If that gasket is bad, you typically leak oil on the ground, more so in the cold weather.

Al

97 T-Bird LX 4.6 - 78k miles
94 Supra TT Auto - street/strip car
04 CVPI- Brenda's car - 71k miles
Previous Fords:
95 T-Bird LX 4.6 - fully optioned, owned 15 years, 220k miles
96 Cougar XR-7 4.6- Brenda's car, owned 11 years, 187k miles
88 T-Bird 3.8 - first T-Bird, owned 5 years, 206k miles
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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If that gasket is bad, you typically leak oil on the ground, more so in the cold weather.

Al
t6 youre right there was oil leaking onto the ground. actually a good amount of it. I had assumed that when I blew the gasket some oil got into the coolant line and just stayed there. I will check the coolant when I get home because ive driven it and see if the oil reappeared but I hope not

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sn95 hub swap (in progress)
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 08:20 AM
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I just noticed the same issue , it is only a thin dark line on the edge of the coolant , I took the cap off and looking straight down coolant looks clean , on the Rockauto catalog there are two choices for the gasket , with or without oil cooler , my car is a stock 4.6 ,
which gasket should I order ??
The MN-12's don't have a separate standalone oil cooler, so without.

Technically that oil filter housing IS an oil cooler, that's why coolant runs to it.

Al

97 T-Bird LX 4.6 - 78k miles
94 Supra TT Auto - street/strip car
04 CVPI- Brenda's car - 71k miles
Previous Fords:
95 T-Bird LX 4.6 - fully optioned, owned 15 years, 220k miles
96 Cougar XR-7 4.6- Brenda's car, owned 11 years, 187k miles
88 T-Bird 3.8 - first T-Bird, owned 5 years, 206k miles
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 09:20 AM
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OK , I will get under the car first to see if indeed there is a leak , I have not seen any puddles under the car
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