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The 90 is still is overheating. I am at a loss. I cant keep driving over to where it is working on the car doing the same **** every time with no changes. I seriously dont see the root of this problem. PLEASE offer any and all ideas, I need help here.

Here is the scenario. I can start the car and it will run fine for 15-20 minutes. It doesnt get hot to fast or stay cold to long. Seems to be equal to my 92 3.8s warm up time.

The upper radiator hose will start to get warm around the time the dummy gauge is at the M in norm. I also have pressure in the system. From here it will slowly keep creeping up until it hits the N in norm. Not fast by any means. When I hit this point I turn the car off because I know that it will just continue on its way up.

The radiator never really gets hot, almost like there is no flow. There are NO air bubbles. I can open both the vent on top of the engine and the radiator cap and I still have full coolant levels.

I have replaced...
New water pump
new 195* thermostat
radiator
16# radiator cap
flushed coolant about 3 times

Compression checks out fine. The oil is still as clear as when I put it in; no water in it. No knocks or pings.

Im sure the gaskets went on the right way.

Can that stop leak plug up the passageways in a block? The guy I bought the car from liked that stuff more than he should have. The radiator was plugged from the stuff, thats why I replaced it. If so how can I clean it out? Pressure washer? Chemicals?

Any other ideas? Im at a loss here. :(
 

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This is probably a silly question, but do you know if your sending unit is ok?

What symptom of overheating do you have besides the gauge? "Hot" smell, low oil pressure, no power, etc?

AED8 said:
The upper radiator hose will start to get warm around the time the dummy gauge is at the M in norm. I also have pressure in the system. From here it will slowly keep creeping up until it hits the N in norm. Not fast by any means. When I hit this point I turn the car off because I know that it will just continue on its way up.
Shouldn't that be the other way around? It hits the "N" first, and then works it's way up to the "M". :D

IMHO, the first law of troubleshooting a Ford is..... don't trust the OEM gauges. :D

But I will say that "stop leak" isn't the best thing in the world especially if a lot was used. :beek:

Just my .02 and good luck. :thumbsup:
 

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Check the Eninge Coolant Temp sensor, or just go ahead and replace it they like $15.
 

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bowez said:
Check the Eninge Coolant Temp sensor, or just go ahead and replace it they like $15.
Just out of curiosity, does the 3.8L have two sensors like the 4.6L? One for the EEC (i.e. ECT) AND one for the gauge? (I don't know jack about the 3.8L's. :leftright )
 

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What To Do ???????????????

I Removed The Guts Out Of The Themostac...used A 1/2 S.s Flat Washer It Has A 9/16 Opening Reinstalled Also Cut The 14 Wire...runs Cool With No Problem...can Also Run Fan On Rcim If To Cold With Switch.......... :d :d
 

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Was the water pump one with a plastic blades they are know to slip? If not, try back flushing everthing to see if you can clear a clog... which could be caused from scale...
 

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94 Daily Driven 4.6L said:
Just out of curiosity, does the 3.8L have two sensors like the 4.6L? One for the EEC (i.e. ECT) AND one for the gauge? (I don't know jack about the 3.8L's. :leftright )
Yep. And to go with what others have said, I also would not trust the factory gauge at all. My car overheated while the factory gauge was still on "N" in norm. You may be having the very opposite happening here.

-Rod
 

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94 Daily Driven 4.6L said:
Just out of curiosity, does the 3.8L have two sensors like the 4.6L? One for the EEC (i.e. ECT) AND one for the gauge? (I don't know jack about the 3.8L's. :leftright )
Just one, but there are 2 types that I'm aware of.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
94 Daily Driven 4.6L said:
Shouldn't that be the other way around? It hits the "N" first, and then works it's way up to the "M". :D

Just my .02 and good luck. :thumbsup:
Sorry, it was late when I wrote that. :D

No smells or anything, I havnt really let it overheat yet. It gets to the "M" :) and I turn it off. Im not going to do the headgaskets again.

I havnt looked into oil pressure. Its supposed to be a daily driver and I didnt plan on buying it 6 guages. :) As you know the 3.8 gauges are lackluster at best. You barely know its running looking at those. Looks like I might invest in a few aftermarket gauges.

Anyone know of a cheap place to get a decent water temp gauge? Or has anyone seen a water temp gauge for sale recently on another forum? (preferalbly autometer)
 

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Is the thermostat installed backwards? Just something to think about.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ive been asked that often.

The spring section is inside of the upper intake. Im pretty sure thats how its supposed to be. At least I think.
 

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Yep, thats the way it should be. Hows the belt? Any slipping?

If you cant find any mechanical reason, if they used too much stop leak it will plug things up (i think on most products it says to use one can to plug minor leaks, no more than that) there is engine flush products that can be used to clean out the passages. Basically you dump it in the coolant and drive the car for a while then flush out the coolant and refill.
 

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One more idea just off the top of my head. Is the water pump you bought a new unit or rebuilt?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
New. Someone mentioned plastic impellars. I dont have that, mine has the metal impellar.

The belt is new and damn tight so I dont think there is any kind of slipage. Im pretty sure the previous owner used more than one can of stop leak, the radiator was downright plugged and every time I drain the coolant since changing it out the coolant is still greenish brown. (Its not oil BTW) I love how people think the 2 dollar walmart special will fix anything.

Im going to try and drive it a few miles to my brothers work tomorrow, drain the coolant and try to blow out whatever is in there with their pressure washer. Is there a good way to back flush these system?
 

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Ok, so the water pump is good. I would suggest buying a can of engine flush and putting it in the car. Then drive to the shop, and flush it out.
 

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Here's an idea Mike, take out the thermostat and put it in a pot of boiling water, it will open if its good. Sounds to me like your thermostat isnt opening. Check out that t-stat. It's common for them to be produced faulty right off the assembly line (or whatever process they use for making thermostats hehe). But seriously, check it out. the 180* in my 95 went bad after 2 months and I blew the HG's :(
-Thomas
 

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Thomas said:
Here's an idea Mike, take out the thermostat and put it in a pot of boiling water, it will open if its good. Sounds to me like your thermostat isnt opening. Check out that t-stat. It's common for them to be produced faulty right off the assembly line (or whatever process they use for making thermostats hehe). But seriously, check it out. the 180* in my 95 went bad after 2 months and I blew the HG's :(
-Thomas
That's true. A nother thing I was thinkin about was if it might be a reverse rotation water pump? In which case it would be pushing on itself.
Also if you can borrow a temp gun you can verify the thermostat cycling.
What about making sure of air gaps?
 

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I would guess stuck thermostat or a clogged radiator. I have heard of the impeller coming loose from the waterpump shaft but I've only seen that happen once. When you run the car with no thermostat can you see the water circulating in the radiator?
-Rob
 

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Rob said:
I would guess stuck thermostat or a clogged radiator. I have heard of the impeller coming loose from the waterpump shaft but I've only seen that happen once. When you run the car with no thermostat can you see the water circulating in the radiator?
-Rob
yup, a clogged rad will make it over heat, With the Tstat out you should be able to see the water flow.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The radiator is new. I replaced the plugged one already.

Went out there today and flushed the **** out of the system. Turned the back yard into a giant puddle. (After I had most of the coolant in a catch can)

I jacked up the front end as high as possible. Refilled with brand new 36* coolant and 36* distilled water. Started her up and within ONE second the temp gauge was half way up. :confused: I turned off the car and it never zero'd out again, coolant is full and cold.

Before I got the car the guy overheated the engine pretty good. Anyone else think that the gauge/sensor is shot because of that incident? Maybe the overheating caused the sensor to crap out? From what I gather it was pretty bad when the head gasket went.

The upper radiator hose is getting warm after a few minutes, leads me to think that the coolant is flowing. I have pressure but I havnt really let it warm up to full operating temp.

Oil is still water free.

Im going to pick up an aftermarket gauge as soon as possible and see where the temp really is. (Hopefully tomorrow, waiting on a check) Is the stock location the most accurate place to mount an aftermarket gauge sensor? On the 4.6 we have a few options, the 3.8 similar?
 
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