Radiator/transmission fluid/antifreeze cross-over

  • FORD

Here is my problem:

I have a 96 E150 Ford conversion van with a 351ci engine.

I just replaced the radiator because it had a hole in the top portion.
I have an external transmission oil cooler that was daisy-chained into the bottom "bar" of the radiator.

I have a total of 3 lines that were feeding into the old radiator.

2 were conclusively transmission lines. The third was? I don't really know. I put the lines on in nearly the same order; but did switch two of them because of the way that the new radiator "looked" when compared to the old.

End result; tranny fluid and antifreeze mixing freely.


1. Does that line on the far right (passenger side) of the radiator contain antifreeze and is routed somewhere that NEEDs the antifreeze? It has no other feed/return line; it stands alone for all I can tell and cannot really see where the line goes except deeper back into the engine/transmission area; remember, this is a full-sized conversion van.

2. I have flushed (and flushed, and flushed lol) the transmission with new DexronIII; is it probably ruined anyway? It still works fine right now; I only have driven a few miles with it before discovering the problem.

3. If no one knows the status of that far "right" line, then tell me this: Does a line EVER carry antifreeze from a line in the radiator to the engine/transmission somewhere? Everyone I have asked tells me "never". I have it disconnected at the moment from the radiator. Where the line connects to the radiator, the radiator leaks antifreeze straight out; pours is the better answer. I put the shipping plug into the radiator and began flushing the transmission lines( not this third; just watched it since it was open too). Nothing came out of this third line except steam; copious amounts of steam that did not grow lesser; lots and lots of steam.

I am really thinking that this must be some strange cooling line that is just unknown to me. I did not add the external cooler myself; this is a conversion van that I purchased 2nd hand some years ago, so I don't know more than I have told you.

I do have a new filter for the transmission and am going to replace it next and refill the transmission with clean fluid again. I have gone through about 2 cases of transmission fluid to this point; is that enough?

I drain into a bucket from one of the cooler lines (clearing the cooler at the same time) and keep pouring quarts into the transmission through the fill/dipstick tube.

Any help/advice/guidance will be greatly appreciated!

From Dan-in-Washington-state

Do you
have the same problem?
Sunday, July 30th, 2006 AT 2:54 PM

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