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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to the list, and having a hard time with finding details to fix my 1998 ZX2. So I just wanted some input, if possible.

Recently driving my car, I noticed the temp gauge shot up way past the redline, I thought I was overheating, except I wasn't. No indications of smoke or anything coming from the exhaust or engine. Yesterday i changed the thermostat but in doing so I damaged the plastic housing on the water pump I believe. At least I think it's that. My car knowledge is limited, but I do know a few things.

So my question is, what could cause the gauge to jump up like that? Water pump? I changed the fuse link (40A) for the cooling fan, and the thermostat and when I went to check to see if any of that worked, the temp gauge was still redlined to the point it was wanting to jump off the gauge itself.

So what do I do? Water pump is my next guess. Flush the rad? I don't know but I've never had a problem with the car before. And I've always properly maintained it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks all.
G. B. #40
 

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First when was the last time you had your coolant checked and flushed.
Second I would change the coolant and check to see if the gauge still reads high.If it still does I would go ahead and change your water pump and at the same time change your timing belt too since they are on the same pulley.Also check your spark plugs and wires too and change them.Sometimes they tend to make a car run hot if they are old.
 

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Before you replace your water pump, run the engine and pinch the upper rad hose, hold for about a half a second, and release. You should hear/feel a rush of coolant through the lines. If not, you can suspect that your water pump shat itself.
 

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Sorry I'm a little late joining the story here, but I can't imagine how you damaged your water pump housing while replacing your thermostat. I haven't been under the hood of any escort other than my lovely 91 LX, but you should be nowhere near your water pump (attached to the block and which requires timing belt removal) while changing your thermostat. Your thermostat housing should be bolted to your cylinder head at the tranny end of the engine and it allows coolant to flow out of your engine and to your rad, etc once the fluid gets hot enough. Your water pump will be at the front of your engine and down, driven off your crankshaft (it runs whenever your engine runs to circulate coolant though the engine, at a minimum).

Just because you saw no smoke or steam, doesn't mean you didn't overheat your engine. Rule #1 - believe your instruments. Check your coolant level - is there any in your reservoir? If not, I think you had a legit overheat; but you may be lucky and didn't do any damage. However, if you have no coolant in your reservoir, you've lost some at some point and I'd bet on a blown head gasket if you're not seeing any coolant leaking externally.

You have to get on top of this right away. It's possible that it's simply a faulty switch, bad guage or a fan problem, but I doubt it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You're right, I took a look yesterday, and it was a larger part of the thermostat housing that was damaged, and I took the advice of checking the Temp Sending Sensors and it was so corroded and looked burnt out or overused. So I am replacing that and the cooling fan sensor as well.

Thank you so much for your help guys, totally appreciated!

G.B. #40
 
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