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I have a 95 3.8 (148K miles) that looses coolant (radiator down about 5 inches each time) with no visible leaks in engine compartment. Could this be the heater core? Would coolant end up in passenger compartment or would it drain out where AC condensation drains? Also lost power to cooling fan. Relay and fuse OK. Fan runs on direct connect ot batt. Anybody know where the fusible link is located?

Thanks,
Pooch
 

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Pooch,

The usual problem for your fan problem is your IRCM behind the passenger side headlight is failing.

As for coolant, have a pressure test done on your radiator. If that checks out, try looking at the coolant hose connections to your intake manifold. My connection was corroding and that is where my "leak" was found. A little emory boarding and a new clamp took care of the problem.
 

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not necessarily the IRCM... it could be a 2 dollar part that sits on the passenger side of the engine... the temp sender for the fan.. should be a brass fitting.. replace that first... change teh HG's... it might be losing coolant through the exhaust... or intake manifold.... does it overheat?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeaah overheats like crazy. Swapped relay module from my 96 4.6 - doesn't make a difference. No coolant in oil. Exhaust is very white and heavy tho.
 

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same symptoms as mine... yeah, teh HG's are toast... and change that temp sensor.... that was what was causing mine..
 

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not that i could say.. if you dont smell coolant inside... or in the engine bay... then it has to be going out the exhaust... does the cooling tank boil over too? and does your heat not work when it starts heating up? it sounds definitely like the same symptoms as mine... just change teh hg's have the heads milled/checked, and redo the valves...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Don't smell coolant inside. Heat doesn't work when it starts heating up. Cooling tank doesn't boil over, but air bubbles come from radiator into cooling tank.
 

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yeah. its the hg's... change that sensor while youre at it.. or it will just overheat again... the sensor is fouled, and it isnt kicking your fan on... mine was the EXACT same way.
 

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It's a good thing you would rather change the head gaskets then the heater core because that's the usual culprit when '95 and older ford 3.8's start loosing coolant. It's a very common problem. At 148K I'd be mildly surprised if yours is still on it's first set of HG's.
 

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I agree on your HG's being the issue, which does suck but eventually we will all have to do it. Im still waiting fingers crossed. But I was also losing coolant for a while but no smoke or over heating, just missing coolant, Instead of getting the rad cap tested I just replaced it for $4 and I haven't lost any coolant since and this is going on 2-3months now. Good luck with the HG job I am fearing mine, I might use that as an excuse to put in a 4.6 or 5.0. I guess we'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanx for all the input. I bought the car with 103K on it. Don't think that the HGs were ever changed. I took a look at the heater core job and it looks like the type of thing that would cause me to set the car on fire for. HGs don't seem too bad - looks like a one weekend job.

So... car overheating, thick white rank smelling exhaust, skipping on one cylinder, coolant dissappearing with no apparent leak is pretty definitely HG?

Pooch
 

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Thanx for all the input. I bought the car with 103K on it. Don't think that the HGs were ever changed. I took a look at the heater core job and it looks like the type of thing that would cause me to set the car on fire for. HGs don't seem too bad - looks like a one weekend job.

So... car overheating, thick white rank smelling exhaust, skipping on one cylinder, coolant dissappearing with no apparent leak is pretty definitely HG?

Pooch

Yes. Even if it wasn't the HG, a car with that amount of mileage should have the hgs replaced anyways. I did a compression test on my car and th cylinder that was filling with water had a compression of 185. That right there gave it away. You performed a leak down test and that pretty much gave you the answer. You don't want to risk damaging the engine further. Fortunatley for me, My HGS were easy to diagnose because I had a top layer of water, and then oil beneath it in the pan. *chuckles* If you haven't already replaced a HG, after the first time its a breeze. Good luck! =)
 

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not necessarily the IRCM... it could be a 2 dollar part that sits on the passenger side of the engine... the temp sender for the fan.. should be a brass fitting.. replace that first... change teh HG's... it might be losing coolant through the exhaust... or intake manifold.... does it overheat?
Is that the coolant temperature sensor?
 

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there are two temp senders... one on the vent plug tree, and one thats just in front of the passenger side valve cover... the guage sender was alright.. but the fan temp sender ws screwed up
 
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