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i was on the way to my girlfriends house and right before i got there my temp gauge went all the way into the red and the check engine light came on. i added some water to the radiator after the engine cooled down because it looked a little low. on the way home, the car seemed to warm up really fast (within a half mile), but wasnt overheating. then as i was driving down the road the temp guage went all the way down into the blue and then back up to the middle a few times. right before i got to my house, after i stopped at a stop sign, the guage started rising and by the time i pulled into my driveway it was all the way past the red so i shut off the engine as quickly as i could. i didnt see or smell anything unusual under the hood...

i hope my headgasket isnt going.... ???
 

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I hate to tell you but that is what my 92 Cougar 3.8 did before my head gasket let go. It did not do it all the time but the temp gauge did exactly what yours is doing.
 

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The Parts Guy
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That usually is a telltale sign of a headgasket letting go. Pay attention to your oil (it will turn milky if coolant is mixing with it) and your exhaust (white smoke if you're burning coolant).

-Rod
 

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first thing I would do is put on one of those cheap coolant temp sensor/guage packages from autozone, etc... it COULD be just a faulty sensor.

I would agree that those do sound like symptoms of a head gasket failure, but if it's just a sensor on the fritz, better to find out now instead of ripping the engine apart.
 

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Full Metal
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you might have air in the cooling system as well, did you notice any water leaks before you added the coolant? it has to go somewhere, if not you may have a blown headgasket, but the best way to check before you buy anything is to do a compression test.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks for the help but the next morning i went outside and started it up and i got to the end of the driveway and when i went to pull out into the street it stalled and then wouldnt start. i got it running again but it was bogging when i gave it gas. i couldnt tell if the white smoke out the back was just condensation or it if it was coolant in the oil. it smelled kinda funny and it seemed like more smoke than usual though... so i think my headgasket is going :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
i plan replacing them myself since i dont have much money...
can someone send me a write up on how to replace them, pictures of your experiences, and links to parts i'll need please?
 

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joeytbird7 said:
thanks for the help but the next morning i went outside and started it up and i got to the end of the driveway and when i went to pull out into the street it stalled and then wouldnt start. i got it running again but it was bogging when i gave it gas. i couldnt tell if the white smoke out the back was just condensation or it if it was coolant in the oil. it smelled kinda funny and it seemed like more smoke than usual though... so i think my headgasket is going :mad:
Take out the sparkplugs and see if any of them are wet. Check the front sparkplug on the drivers side first. If the sparkplugs look wet then it is either oil, fuel or coolant, maybe all three.
 

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joeytbird7 said:
i plan replacing them myself since i dont have much money...
can someone send me a write up on how to replace them, pictures of your experiences, and links to parts i'll need please?
You're going to need some special tools as well. If you have never done a head gasket before you may want ot enlist some help or find a mechanic that will do it for what you can afford.

Some things I know you will need.
The usual
Screwdrivers
Socket set
Wrenches
Gasket Scrapper
Rags
Camera to take pictures of engine before you take it a part (highly recommended)

Special Tools - you might be able to borrow or rent from the parts store.
Torque Wrench 150Ft LB clicker if they got it.
Torque Tip (star) type sockets (you will need these for the head bolts and fuel rails)

Parts - Sometime you can buy a kit for less than the individual parts
I would recommend FelPro gaskets
New Head bolts as they are a one time strech type
You will need the head gasket of course
upper and lower intake manifold gaskets
Valve cover gaskets
I would replace the injector o-rings as well
Thermostat gasket - might want to replace the thermostat too

You will also need -
Replace the Coolant
Change the oil and filter
Change the spark plugs

Notes -
Make sure you clean all of the oil and coolant out of all the threaded holes. This will prevent contamination of the gasket as you thread the bolts back in on assembly.

Take pictures and make note of how everything comes apart. You might want to use tape to mark certain parts.

You might not have to remove the fuel system from the fuel rails, somethimes you can just move it out of the way. You should release the pressure from the fuel rail before you remove it though. It's just like letting air out of a tire. The little scherader valve on the fuel rain.

Make sure you have plenty or room on a work bench that will allow you to lay out the parts in order.

I would make sure you have everything you need before you start and the whole weekend to do the work.

Well, I am sure there is much more, but that's all the time I have for now.
 

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uhh ohh now that i think about it i might have this problem too. ive been noticing my coolant level droping slowly and the temp gauge has been jumpin around a bit...
 

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Full Metal
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D'oh!
 

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high temps= bad fan motor

i'm too slow of a reader to correct everyone on this thread so just trust me on this and change your fan motor a.s.a.p. and spare yourself a headgasket replacement fee. you can keep the old fan and just configure the new motor into the old housing.
i would also change your thermometer for good measures. if you're not busy, while changing your thermometer, drain all the anti-freeze as it could have boiled brown.
 

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Full Metal
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XR7IST said:
i'm too slow of a reader to correct everyone on this thread so just trust me on this and change your fan motor a.s.a.p. and spare yourself a headgasket replacement fee. you can keep the old fan and just configure the new motor into the old housing.
i would also change your thermometer for good measures. if you're not busy, while changing your thermometer, drain all the anti-freeze as it could have boiled brown.
dude, not all of the v6 have electric fans, 89-93 n/a v6's had belt driven fans, 89-95 sc's and the 94-97 n/a's had the electric fans. so the only person who needs to be corrected is you, lol, ;)
 

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joeytbird7 said:
i plan replacing them myself since i dont have much money...
can someone send me a write up on how to replace them, pictures of your experiences, and links to parts i'll need please?
Here's a link that might help. But keep in mind this link goes a bit further than you need to (they remove the cam). The regulars will recognize the site.

supersixmotorsports

I think it's great you want to do this yourself. Here's a couple of tips. Takes lots of pictures before you start and as you go so you can put it back together correctly. Second, your profile says you've got a 93 so it would a very, very good idea to get a valve job done on the heads while they're out. In fact, the heads NEED to go to a machine shop anyway to get resurfaced. If you don't you'll blow a headgasket again in a few months.
 

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is the vehicle actually overheating? or is it just that the gauge is jumping around. I had this problem a few weeks back, and fixed it.

If it's not actually overheating nor seeing smoke from the engine compartment, then it is probably a sensor. There is a sensor on the top of the engine that you'll need to take off with a crescent wrench. It takes about 10 seconds to take it off, run to a parts store and grab a new one. The new one will keep the sensor from jumping all over, just incase it is a faulty sensor.

I replaced mine, it was doing the same as yours, the temp gauge would go all the way up to the red line, but my car actually wasnt overheating. Replaced that sensor and everything has been just peetchy keen ever since with the temp. gauges.
 
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