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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I took my 89 Cougar SuperCharged five speed out for its first "long" drive yesterday. I had to go to a tag agency about 20 miles away, so I figured it would be a good shakedown run. On the trip down, everything was fine. Excellent OP, good charging, temp looked cool.

However, when I came up to my first stop sign, the car died. Do whut? I sat there for a moment, and it fired right up. All guages still looked fine, and I had just filled up, so I was perplexed.

Got my title business taken care of and headed back. I was busting along fine when all of a sudden, steam comes out from under the hood! Guage still registered fine-- in the middle at most. But man! That thing was cooking!

I pulled over and sat there for a good bit, and found a water faucet at a business. When I took the cap (a new one) off the radiator it shot fluid a foot high! I did not have a wrench to "burp" the system, but, I filled it up and got home. Thankfully, it ran okay, but, I am now really perplexed about why it got hot. Got home, and it looked like it had gotten rid of all the water. Very hot again.

The little car sat for almost 3 years before I bought it. I am now thinking that the thermostat has stuck. (And it looks like it is gonna be fun to change that stinkin thing too!)

It looks like the hoses were new when parked. They have the labels still on them.

Any suggestions?

Or...

What are the common issues of overheating on these little 3.8s? (
 

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It's really hard to say what kind of condition your cooling system is in..Since the car sat for such a long time..

The cooling system could be all plugged up?.. :confused:

I would probably start by flushing, and back flushing the entire cooling system over and over until you see nothing but clear water..

Prestone makes a decent kit for this..

Next step would be to replace the Water Pump, Radiator, and Thermostat if needed..It's an old car..I would probably replace all that stuff anyways..

I know most people are going to say your problem is "blown head gaskets"..The 3.8L MN12's are notorious for this issue..

In that case you need to do an Engine Compression Test on all 6 cylinders..

Let's be optimistic though..lol



Rayo..
 

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There's a TIB on the sending units reading low - I'll add "New gauge sending unit" to Rayo's list.

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, after checking out the car a bit more yesterday, I am convinced that it warped a head. Man, this is soo frustrating! Got a dead miss in it. Blasted heat guage! No warning until it was to late with steam coming out of the engine compartment! By then it was too late. Guage never indicated a problem of any kind!
 

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That blows if your heads warped.

To confirm such I would check for carbon monoxide in the radiator. And pressure test the cooling system.

Look for chocolate milkshake on dip stick.

Bubbles in the puke tank when cranking.

Remember a blown head gasket/warped head, while notorious on the 3.8's , is only a symptom of a root cause. In other words what Rayo wrote is important to remember while you're doing the top-end.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, after even more investigation, there is little doubt that my heads are blown. Just a total bummer! I guess I am gonna just unload the Cat. I don't have the time or the money to pay to get the heads repaired. Just really discouraging!
 

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Pm me how much you want for it!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have $1300.00 hard cash in it. Has a new fuel pump (and a full tank! :)

Would like to recover that if possible. Nice body, paint is very decent, very good tires. good tranny. Tons of potential.
 
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