clickbate, this simple trick will keep your water pump from blowing up
February 10, 20223 min read
Whenever installing our silicone coolant hose kits on your car, we recommend taking a look at your stock coolant hoses for a small feature which could mean the difference between smooth sailing and a bad time. Many late model Fords use a degas bottle in their cooling system to make filling and bleeding antifreeze easier. Degas bottles are used whenever the radiator is lower than the next highest point of the cooling system. The degas bottle is placed as high as possible with small bypass hoses attached to it to purge out any air pockets in the cooling system.
Typically, only one inlet and one outlet are found on degas bottles; usually at the highest point of the radiator bleeding into the degas bottle. In the case of some Ford Mustangs, as many as 2 bypass hoses are installed on the inlet of the degas bottle. Whenever there are two sources of fluids being pumped in and possibly at different rates, a blockage or backflow can occur. This backflowing of fluid can lead to pockets of pressure buildup which can cause damage or failure of the water pump.
We became victims of this issue on our 2015 Mustang Ecobooost time attack car. Our Mustang Ecoboost was outfitted with a complete silicone coolant hose kit along with our intake and intercooler pipe kit. After installing our silicone coolant hose kit and taking it out on the track, we noticed a faint coolant smell and thought nothing of it as we figured it was just residual coolant burning off. But when we parked the car, there was a pool of coolant sitting under the car and found the leak originates at the water pump, so we replace the water pump. Next track day, same thing. We didn't know what to do but to point fingers at the water pump being a poor design. Then we got to thinking... Ford, a multi-billion dollar corporation, wouldn't put out a product that would fail this easily. After all, they put a lot of resources to make sure these kinds of problems don't happen, especially for a model that is sold worldwide.
So we took a step back and inspected the original hoses that came on the car. This is when we noticed the check valve installed on the bypass hose between the radiator and the degas bottle. A couple of google searches eventually brought us to a recall issued by NHTSA (TSB #16-0074) addresses this concern for 2011-2014 Mustangs. The service procedure says to inspect the coolant hose from the thermostat housing to degas bottle for a check valve. If no check valve is found, the TSB calls to replace the hose with an updated design with an integral check valve as well as a new water pump as damage may have already occurred. Although this TSB mainly applies to 2011-2014, the idea and principles of the design were identical.
After dissecting and transferring the check valve over to our silicone hose kit, we were relieved to find that the issue was resolved. Although this TSB affected one make of vehicle and model, there are many vehicles out there that have the same design that the TSB does not address. We found that it is a good idea and good practice to always inspect the original hoses for any kind of features or designs. We certainly learned a lot [the hard way] about how different cooling systems work and hope that this discovery can help others out there.
Back for our first year since 2019, we sought out the latest projects that the ever innovative aftermarket automotive industry brought to share at the 2022 Las Vegas SEMA Show. From off-road customs and performance builds to EV conversions, this trade convention was a sight to see.