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Discussion Starter #1
Background
1996 4.6 LX 162 Kmiles, daily driver ( ~100 miles/ day)
(Runs great otherwise)

When the Phoenix temps began going over 1-00, I began experiencing my bird running hot on 100 + days. The temp guage usually shows somewhere the N to O on the N-O-R-M-A-L range (on the gauge), but when the ambient temp goes over 100 is when I start having problems. On a slight up hill climb, the temp increases past the L. 1/2 way to the red zone, to the point where the "Check Gauges" lite comes on. When going up hill, i.e., I-17 out of Phoenix heading towards Flagstaff (about 3000 ft going to about 5000 ft elevation) where for about 6-8 miles of steady throttle/ up hill climb @ 60-70 MPH (not WOT, but OD off), the temp gauge goes to about 3/4 & I get the "Check Gauges" & AC cutout. When the gauge starts to climb, I back off of the throttle, to hopefully keep it from getting overheated. Never goes past 3/4, but I back off and don't push it.

Last summer, with outside temps over 100, I could make the same climb, running long "bursts" of WOT, 70-90+ MPH and never have the temp gauge go past the "L" in NORMAL. I have 162,000 miles on the ol' bird, runs great otherwise. The variables from last year are as follows:
1. 3-4 months ago, Intake cracked - replaced with a generic one from Autozone, with an aluminum crossover.
2.Prior to the intake change out, I used a bottle of Barrs stop leak in desparation. Mainly because, the leak did not become apparent until later in the intake failure. I had the smell of coolant, but no wet spot... it evaporated and dried out before I got in the house & back to check it out.

Everything else is stock.

After the intake change, flushed with plain water & filled with distilled water 50/50 with Prestone green coolant. All was OK until we started getting the 100 + days

So far, I have replaced the thermostat (twice) & just changed out the coolant cap (radiator cap). Rad fan seems to be working fine, comes on about "O" and always on with AC running. (Water pump changed prior to last summer's heat).

My air dam went AWOL a couple of years ago, but it didn't affect things last summer. ( I'm not a big fan of the stop leak crap, but like I said, desparate to try something...)

At idle, temp remains at the "L" or below.

At 12 years old & 160 +K miles, I'm thinking it may be time for a radiator replacement. Would a (Prestone) chemical flush help? (Did the stop leak crap contribute to the problem?)

Thanks,

John in Arizona
 

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Fry Rice Specialist
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the stop leak will indeed contribute some to it. also maybe the tranny also contribute some of the heat too.

what you can do to help if there is no winter there change your coolant ratio instead of 50/50 mix change it to 30/70 mixed. 30 % coolant and 70% water. this will help it a bit.

when start to overheating pull both window down and full blast the heater on max temp will help lower the temp faster too.
 

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What Temperature Thermostat you running?
The stock ones run hot for emissions and tend to make the cars run hot especially if you live in Phoenix for Gods sakes!:eek:

What is wrong with you!:rolleyes:

J/K My best friend lives in Mesa and I give him crap all the time about the heat.:D
 

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I live in Vegas. I have a 94. I replaced the water pump and the radiator 3 years ago. It Never runs hot even in the summer.
1) make sure your cooling fan works. Mine went out 2 years ago, that was the only time it went out of the normal range. When you turn on the A/C the fan should automatically come on.
2) maybe the temp sensor
3) possibly the radiator. you can ge one for 150 bucks. so not too bad.
 

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I had some similar problems, too. I wound up replacing the water pump with an electric pump, and when I pulled the old pump it was full of crap.
It might have been just not pumping efficiently. If I ever have the same problem, I'm swapping the radiator...

Peter M
 

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I'm still having moderate cooling problems 30/70 coolant, tried a 180* 195* 192* and 160* t-stat none work well in 115 + heat, I've also replaced my intake with a pi with aluminum crossover, replaced my water pump, replaced my radiator.... I'm sick of this.... my car runs about 3/4 up all the time and sometimes up to the top of the white line, below the space before the red zone.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I never had a heat problem in past years. My temp always showed higher in hot weather but not as hot as it does now. Other than when I used the stupid Barrs Leak, my coolant has always been nice & green, no rust color. I think the stop leak crap has loaded up my radiator, I'm about ready to order a new one.
 

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save you money up and buy the griffin aluminum radiator I've been drooling over for the past few weeks on scp
 

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Faster than Porkchop
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With the xcal I lowered the fan on temp to 195 low speed fan and 198 high speed .

Now it doesn't go to 3/4 like before the xcal .

I guess stock the fan turns on at 200 low speed and 210 high speed .
 

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Background
1996 4.6 LX 162 Kmiles, daily driver ( ~100 miles/ day)
(Runs great otherwise)

When the Phoenix temps began going over 1-00, I began experiencing my bird running hot on 100 + days. The temp guage usually shows somewhere the N to O on the N-O-R-M-A-L range (on the gauge), but when the ambient temp goes over 100 is when I start having problems. On a slight up hill climb, the temp increases past the L. 1/2 way to the red zone, to the point where the "Check Gauges" lite comes on. When going up hill, i.e., I-17 out of Phoenix heading towards Flagstaff (about 3000 ft going to about 5000 ft elevation) where for about 6-8 miles of steady throttle/ up hill climb @ 60-70 MPH (not WOT, but OD off), the temp gauge goes to about 3/4 & I get the "Check Gauges" & AC cutout. When the gauge starts to climb, I back off of the throttle, to hopefully keep it from getting overheated. Never goes past 3/4, but I back off and don't push it.

Last summer, with outside temps over 100, I could make the same climb, running long "bursts" of WOT, 70-90+ MPH and never have the temp gauge go past the "L" in NORMAL. I have 162,000 miles on the ol' bird, runs great otherwise. The variables from last year are as follows:
1. 3-4 months ago, Intake cracked - replaced with a generic one from Autozone, with an aluminum crossover.
2.Prior to the intake change out, I used a bottle of Barrs stop leak in desparation. Mainly because, the leak did not become apparent until later in the intake failure. I had the smell of coolant, but no wet spot... it evaporated and dried out before I got in the house & back to check it out.

Everything else is stock.

After the intake change, flushed with plain water & filled with distilled water 50/50 with Prestone green coolant. All was OK until we started getting the 100 + days

So far, I have replaced the thermostat (twice) & just changed out the coolant cap (radiator cap). Rad fan seems to be working fine, comes on about "O" and always on with AC running. (Water pump changed prior to last summer's heat).

My air dam went AWOL a couple of years ago, but it didn't affect things last summer. ( I'm not a big fan of the stop leak crap, but like I said, desparate to try something...)

At idle, temp remains at the "L" or below.

At 12 years old & 160 +K miles, I'm thinking it may be time for a radiator replacement. Would a (Prestone) chemical flush help? (Did the stop leak crap contribute to the problem?)

Thanks,

John in Arizona
Did you every figure out what was the cause of your heating???

Mine is doing darn near the same thing here in Vegas, 112 degrees today, and i've replaced or inspected pretty much everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The air dam was definately contributing to the heat problem. I would still get a temp rise but not as bad. But just last week, I had to replace the radiator because of a crack in the plastic end cap. Now even with 110 - 112 temps the engine runs much cooler. I replaced the rad with an OEM from AutoZone (cheapest I could find - $150).

Hope this helps..

John
 

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Discussion Starter #12
BTW, I took off the end caps, mainly to see what the trans cooler looked like. The old rad was pretty clean looking on the ends, but a ton of fine sand / dirt fell out of the fins by banging it around. All the sand could have blocked up the air passage thru the fins.
 

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one in a million
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My Cougar runs in the 3/4 range when 100+ with the a\c on.

The radiator was replaced from the guy I bought the car from and I flushed the system and replaced the t-stat..

It seems normal for these stock 4.6's to run on the warm side given the stock cooling system.
from what I read.

other then that I change my oil regularly and baby it..
 

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My radiator has like 235k miles on it and im running a 180* thermostat and on the highway it never goes above a 1/4, and in town it never goes above a half, even on the hottest days. Im thinking about switching back to the stock thermostat though.
 

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My Cougar runs in the 3/4 range when 100+ with the a\c on.

The radiator was replaced from the guy I bought the car from and I flushed the system and replaced the t-stat..

It seems normal for these stock 4.6's to run on the warm side given the stock cooling system.
from what I read.

other then that I change my oil regularly and baby it..
I've got a a Cobra radiator and fan and I've noticed that above ~90deg outside, AC on, the voltage drops and the temp gauge climbs to 3/4 range in stop-n-go or slow and go highway traffic jams.

As long as I've had the car (9 yrs), the temp gauge always stayed between O and R in closed loop. Even after the Explorer swap in 2007, it stayed there. But after a dyno tune and after a couple of warm days, I've seen the temp issues.

I don't know where to start looking...Explorer water pump, red top battery, '95 alternator, coolant mixture, clogged cobra rad, bad sensors, compressor, etc. I took it to a shop and they say the fan is kicking on just fine. For the past month the temperature has been cool and I had no temp problems, although more at "R". Yesterday it reared it's ugly head at 95deg.

It's got a 180deg t-stat and one-step colder plugs, I usually don't go easy on the throttle as this car is for fun. I also noticed when I looked at the outside air digital guage in the dash it read only 66deg, way off.

I'm looking for any good ideas here or if I ever get this fixed I'll post.
 

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i had the same problem w/ my 95 v8 my girlfrind had an escort an i notice they had the same size rad as my v8. i was like how can a rad fron a 4 cyl cool off a v8?plus 95 a small opening grill and to make it worst i had ground effects on it, which restricted the airflow to rad even more. i did everything you guys mention before, i think i even danced around it but nothing helped. hell i even took the whole front facia off to aliviate the overheating during the wonderful days of summer over here in arizona. i noticed that one of the causes of this is when rad looses cooling efficiency i replaced mine with a rebuilt piece and it ran cool for a couple of weeks. my cooling system was dirty. also i noticed that my car ran ok for a couple of miles then started overheating due to tranny trying to cool off too. so rad would cool engine but not engine and tranny at the same time. recently i installed a trans cooler and i haven't had problems since. i got the biggest one i find a plate type from B&M made my own tranny steel hardlines and stepped up a notch from 5/16" to 3/8" and my rad fan doesn't even turn on when i'm on the freeway and my temp needle don't past halfway. my theory is that ford knew they screwed up thats why 96 and up tbird front facia was revised w/ bigger grill openings and bigger air dam on the bottom. :ztoohot::ztoohot:hope this helps anyone!
 

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I live in California and it gets pretty hot here in the summer. I have one range colder spark plugs, 180* thermostat, had the radiator flushed out, and external aftermarket transmission cooler. I also did the head coolant flow modification. Since I did most all of this at the same time (trans cooler was just a little bit later) I can't be positive what helped the most. But, there is no doubt that my cooling system operates better than stock. I don't have a temp gauge besides the stock one, but my car only goes to 1/2 way when I am hard on the engine or it is really hot out. In the winter the needle barely inches above the cold line.

It is my guess that the coolant flow mod made the biggest difference. Before, my car would "smell hot" when parking after even easy/normal driving... just gave off a weird, heat soak kind of smell, although the engine was not overheating and performed great.

After removing the freeze plugs on the rear of the heads, installing the ford modification brackets, and plumbing new 5/8" hose to the front of the engine to flow back through the radiator, I no longer notice that "heat soak" smell no matter how hot the car/outside temp gets. I did all of this back in '06 I believe, and even all the newly plumbed hoses are still in ok shape, although I plan on changing them soon just to be safe.
 

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I live in Arizona and have been having the same problem, same situation, when it gets to 110 degrees outside or so. It's more noticeable in stop and go traffic and if I stop the car it heats up really quick.

My radiator is only maybe 1 1/2 years old stock radiator, water pump is about the same age, thermostat same, I had all of that replaced. Also have an external tranny cooler.

I am wondering if maybe it would be wise to install an extra puller fan or two under the hood to create better airflow in the engine compartment. Has anyone ever done that? I have the 3.8L v6 so dont think I can change the temp the fan kicks on but it still gets extremely hot even with the fan running so dont think that will fix it.

Runs great though if its under 100 degrees, like everyone else the temp gauge needle barely moves.
 

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Thats what I'm hoping, to just increase the airflow in the engine compartment. I just have to figure out where to mount it and the best way to create a current to get the hot air out. I was looking around and they make some aftermarket ones that mount to the front of the radiator so you have one on either side.

I was thinking more along the lines of using smaller fans, 6-8" and some kind of pvc to grab cooler air from front bumper and blow it into the compartment.

I dont want to spend a fortune on it though, switching to a SC motor next year and it may not be compatible.
 
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