No heat!

Discussion in '1998 - 2011 Ford Ranger' started by DeanMk, May 16, 2017.

  1. DeanMk

    DeanMk Member

    So I've got a 2.5L 4-cylinder in my '98 XL.
    No AC.
    Recently noticed a coolant leak emanating from the front of the radiator, so I got another radiator and took the opportunity to replace the (original!) hoses.
    Everything went pretty smoothly. I did receive the wrong lower hose, but that got fixed easily and quickly.
    Upon bleeding the system, I've found (what I think) is an air bubble in the heater core.
    The rest of the system seems to work fine (upper hose gets nice and warm. Must've drove the truck 20 miles an it never overheated), but the temp gauge never registers and I get no heat through the defroster.
    I tried the old Escort trick of jacking up the front end and letting the truck run. I even held the rpm up a little for a few minutes, but to no avail.
    The heater hoses are barely warm, the gauge reads below "C" and I get no heat in the cab.
    As I write this, its about 10:30 in the evening and I've decided to leave it sit, with the front slightly elevated and the cap lose.
    I have to admit, even with years of automotive repair experience under my belt, I really don't know what else to do here.

    Anyone else ever run across this problem with their Ranger?
    How did you fix it?

    At this point, I'm hoping that it will eventually blow the air bubble out.

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  3. OP

    DeanMk Member

    Ok, since no one here apparently knew the cure for this problem, I'm going to post my results, in order to help the rest of my Ranger brothers and sisters, should they ever run across the same problem.

    Looks like I've solved this issue.
    Since that initial post, I went back the next day and things were a little better.
    Seems like just leaving it with the cap loose did help...gauge not registering, but I could feel a cool, luke warmness from the defroster.
    Doing some research, I ran across a passage at another forum where someone recommended opening the little hose that feeds the intake manifold and let the air bleed out there.
    I tried it, a few times.
    First time, I got a little spit of air. The gauge started to register. I decided I was on the right track so I opened it up again.
    Gauge stopped registering and no heat.
    Tried it a few more times, same results.
    Up until now, I had been doing with the engine off, so I finally started the truck and unplugged the line with the truck running. I got a solid stream of coolant from the get-go, so I plugged the line back in quickly.
    No new results....sorta.
    Next few days, just drove the piss out of it, every single day. Every now and again, the rad would be low and I'd fill it back up.
    Finally, I started to notice, the engine was running fine. The upper radiator hose was getting hot and cooling off, just like normal. However, now one of the heater hoses was getting hot, but the other one was barely warm.
    This told me the hot hose was the feed line into the heater core and the other was the return line going back into the engine.
    It also told me that the air bubble was now solely in the heater core, because everything else was working like normal and there was coolant in that side that fed the core (otherwise it wouldn't get hot).
    I unplugged the return line and back fed coolant into the system until it started trickling out of the open nipple of the heater core.
    I shoved the line back into heater core and drove the car.
    Gauge now registers and I get a little bit more heat in the cab.
    When I came home from that run, I left the hood propped open and let the truck idle for several hours.
    I had done this a couple of times before and each time things seemed just a little bit better.
    When I came back to the truck, the cab was definitely warm. I couldn't really feel much heat out of the defroster, but the fact that the cab was warm showed me I was on the right track.
    I kept driving the truck and the cab got warmer, sooner, every time I went out.
    Eventually, it got to the point to where I had to turn the heat off. It was too hot in the cab, even with the windows down.
    So, suffice to say, it wasn't just one thing that cured this problem, but a succession of things.
    If I ever run across this again, I'm going to try bleeding the rad first, then I'll pop those lines to make sure I've got coolant everywhere I can put it....but before I do ANYTHING, Shut that heater control to COLD.....can't believe I forgot to do that (not that it appears it would've made a difference, still...piece of mind).

  4. OP

    DeanMk Member

    EDIT: Turns out there was still some air in the system, so I've been leaving the truck with the cap just sitting on the neck and front end slightly elevated (maybe 6-8 inches).
    I go out in the morning (or whenever I wake up) and check the level. If its low, I still have some anti-freeze in the bottle and pour it in until it fills.
    Heater and gauge seems to work better these days.


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