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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1991 Thunderbird with a 3.8L V6 with 82k original miles. The entire engine is new from ford. I bought an nos crate motor that included the injectors, ignition, sensors, thermostat, ect... The motor currently has 3k miles on it. The ac condenser is new also.

It was 90 degrees here last week so I went for a drive on some back highways. After about 15 minutes I had to turn off the ac because the temp was getting a bit above the center of normal and loosing some power. I decided to drive into the city and by the time I was back on the highway I was very close to hot. I had this exact same problem with the old engine and in cooler weather the car runs cool.

The only thing that is not new is the radiator and clutch fan and they seem to be working perfectly. I just assume the closed off nose doesn't get enough airflow.

Has anybody else had this problem? Anybody know how overcome this problem.
 

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I would have to say that no, not all 3.8s run hot. It has been 110 lately (100+ for last 30 days) and driving around in stop and go traffic in my 89 Cougar is a dream. A/C starts blowing a LITTLE warmer when not moving, thats about it. Engine stays in the normal range and never goes higher. Only time it has gone higher, well, you know, it needed head gaskets. This is a Cougar, not a Thunderbird, and I have a grille opening, don't know if that would effect it as much as you think it would or not.

I have had the car since it had 40,000 miles, now it has 160k miles. Always in a warm (HOT HOT HOT) climate and no worries.

Now the 97 with the 4.6, it overheats. I took out the radiator and am going to get it test for flow, and probably get a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think I'm going to try popping and then tying down the hood to get better airflow and maybe a non-clutched fan.
 

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Who is John Galt?
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I was running a little warm at the beginning of the summer when it got REAL hot REAL fast here. I'd sit in stop and go traffic, no AC, and it would hit the M in norm at a stoplight. I went and got some of that water wetter stuff (Redline makes a version of it, but I got some no name stuff from my dad's CarQuest for cheaper than the Redline stuff). All I can say is that it does work. Even in stop and go with 90-100 degree heat, it doesn't go above O-R. Take note though, this is with the A/C off (I don't run it unless it's truly opressive heat)
 

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The Parts Guy
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The stock gauge doesn't serve much purpose in my opinion. My Splitport 94 LX overheated while the stock gauge was only at "O" of normal (fan fuse blew at the dragstrip). Shortly after that I installed an Automemter coolant temp gauge in that car. That car usually runs around 195, and about 200 when it's above 100 degrees outside. With the AC on, the coolant temp goes up about 5-10 degrees. Keep in mind, this is with an UD pulley, 180 T-stat, and the fan is set to come on around 195.

-Rod
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Has anyone tried a two-speed electric fan out of a Taurus?
 

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The Parts Guy
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Speed_Demon said:
Has anyone tried a two-speed electric fan out of a Taurus?
Why? A 94-97 MN12 electric fan will bolt right in and would probably pull more cfm's than the taurus one.

If you need a 94-97 electric fan, let me know. I have at least one in stock.

-Rod
 

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Confirmed V6 Nut
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I have an underdrive pully on my crank and a shorter belt, but the stock pully on my water pump. I have NO overheating problems. I also have 2 bottles of Redline's Water Wetter in the radiator. I also believe my transmission cooler helps keep the heat down.

I have the stock single core radiator. One of my planned upgrades is to put a 3 core radiator out of an 03 Cobra in place of the OEM radiator. I plan on doing some desert driving.
 

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I would say check your coolant, and then, check your heater core, and, your radiator, if it still gets hot, check your water pump. My car, the temp guage never moves, only when I like do 90+, then, it will get a bit warmer, otherwise, my car is a cold blooded being.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The coolant is full and with no water bubbles and I just did a complete flush. The heater core and water pump are new (not aftermarket). I even put a 160 thermostat in but once it reaches operating temperature it acts the same as a 195 so I put a new factory recommended 195 back in.

I just don't see how the car can get enough air with the nose closed off as it is. The SC's, Cougars, and 93 and up have either a grill or a bumper scoop.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Has anyone experience a significant loss in power when your car gets more than half way in the normal temp range?
 

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Full Metal
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my 92 hardly ever ran really hot, even with the ac on, it barely got less than halfway, even sitting in traffic, except once where it percolated the coolant bottle, and that was hg related, after i fixed it, it never was the same again, it still ran at the n on norm, but with the ac on it always ended up over 3/4's of the way to the h, so naturally i replaced the fan clutch, thermostat (2 times BTW), water pump(old one started leaking at the weep hole), never got around to replacing the radiator, though, but i never found the problem, only thing i would guess is a flow problem, lol.

anyways, my 94 runs really cool, this is with a 180 t-stat ac on full blast in 100+ degree weather and sitting in traffic, and it still doesn't come close to the n, it gets a little past the the beginning of the norm bracket but never goes more than a 1/4 of the way up the gauge, lol, i'm still thinking it is because of the e fan, if i don't sell my 92 i might try to put an e fan on it and see if that keeps it from heating up.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Neither. No trouble codes.
When the temp is below 80 degrees it'll run perfect for as long as you drive it.
 

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have you replaced the clutch fan ? and have you checked the coolant /water mix ? my cars are having heat issues as well the bird is on occasion using coolant, and the cat seems to just run hot .
 

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How can a problem with a heater core cause a car to overheat? If it is leaking, I guess, but wouldn't it just affect heater output?

It was 111 degrees yesterday, I put 60 miles on my 89/3.8 Cougar in stop and go traffic, with the A/C on, it never varied from the center of the temp gauge, and I know it shows temp getting hotter, because that part of it was excersized when the the head gaskets blew. The car never missed or acted like it was getting hot, the A/C only lost efficency while stopped for an extended time, still blew cold, just not really really cold.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
jk89cat,
I have not replaced the clutch fan and the mix is 50/50.

Joseph Rice,
I have a new heater core but I very much doubt it was the problem. I just replace it because I found an NOS unit for cheap.

Bangster,
I'm jealous. It must be great having the ac work when you need it. I'm thinking their isn't anything wrong with my car and if I want it to work better I will hav to make an improvement.

Thanks for all of the replies!
 

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If the Coolant system is Below 16lbs of Pressure then the car will overheat, If there is a small leak it is losing pressure. It could be faulty hoses could be leaking ECT Sensor around the threads could be leaking...
 

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Hmmmmmm......

My '89 T-Bird LX has the same issue - in hot weather, and start-and-stop traffic, I have to turn the A/C off.

This never happened in Washington or Ohio - it only started when I moved to Texas.

As long as the car is moving, it's fine. But if I'm at a stoplight for too long (or heavy traffic) the temp gauge will go up above the midline. At least 3 times, I've had to actually turn on the heat to bleed the heat off to get it to cool down - the gauge was registering right at the top of the NORM zone and just below the red zone.
 
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