How hot is too hot? | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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How hot is too hot?

Discussion in 'Tech & Repair' started by cwol97401, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. cwol97401

    cwol97401 FEOA Member

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    I developed a cooling system problem yesterday about 50 miles away from home.
    When I left for the trip yesterday, I got about a mile away from home and the CEL came on with the check coolant light. I turned around and checked my water and radiator, no issues. Checked the CEL and it coded for input shaft turbine sensor circuit -- the same code it's thrown a half dozen times before. Drove to my destination without a hitch, went to a second destination a few blocks away and heard the hiss of a radiator leak. Opened the hood and could see steam but couldn't find out where it was coming from. Let the engine cool and drove another mile to a parts house where I could check it better, still couldn't find the leak. Put some stop-leak in the core just in case and filled water and started to drive home eyeballing the temp gauge on the way.
    I never let the temp gauge reach over 5/8 sweep to hot (just over half way up) and had to stop four times in that 50mile drive to cool the engine.
    I determined that the radiator inlet hose mount broke and sent pieces of plastic back towards the thermostat and messed it up. I haven't had a chance to work on the car yet so I don't know if there's any other damage.
    My question is how hot can I safely get the car before it is "too hot" to run?

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  2. Gamer92

    Gamer92 FEOA Donator

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    250-260 is what I’ve heard is the hottest. Temp gauge gets to H around 225-230 but best to have a scan tool on it to see actual temp as gauge isn’t always reliable.


    Driving with the heat on should help you make it home
  3. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    If the temp gauge didnt get over to near the H in Hot, I think you are okay. The gauges arent overly accurate. I own five 2nd gen Escorts, each having the standard 190 or 195 degree thermostat in them. Each of them point to a different spot in normal operations, and each goes up to a different higher point before the radiator fan comes on. The one that reads the -hottest- is about halfway between the end of the word "normal" and the H at the right side of the gauge; when the radiator fan comes on.
    Like I said, the gauges arent overly accurate, but should at least be consistent in their operation.
    Some folks say never to add stop leak. I have done it, but only had to add a teaspoon full on my 91LX, and I replaced that radiator after we got home. Home was 4000 miles away on that summer vacation. With my 92LX, I added about two tablespoons to deal with a loss of coolant. The stop leak did stop the loss of coolant, but probably also diminished the cooling ability of the car. Its been stable now for a few thousand miles, but does indeed read slightly higher when in slow traffic. The stop leak I used was the Barr stop leak that is Not the heavy duty black slimey kind. Just the regular gray.

    About once a summer, I do the following check with each of my Escorts. I get them fully warmed up, and let them sit idling in the driveway, until the radiator fan cycles on/off a couple of times. This is just to make sure the fan and its relays are still working.
    I also check the coolant level in my Escorts when the engine is cold - such as at 6 .m. And I check that there is coolant in the overflow recovery bottle, about 3 or 4 inches deeps.

    If you pull off the connector on the enginbe coolant temperature sensor, it should make the radiator fan run. It may take a minute or two to start up, depending on the engine temp. This will also make the Check Engine Light come on while the connector is disconnected.

    I have had the low coolant light come on in my cars, but they werent low. So I just unplug the sensor for low coolant.

    The input shaft turbine sensor circuit is just the part of the transmission that is spun by the engine. The transmission uses the info to determine when to upshift and down shift. As long as the car is shifting normally, it wont be affecting other aspects of the engine or its cooling system. The sensor is a magnet, mounted on the top corner of the automatic transmission - under the air filter housing. If its little metal magnetic pin went bad, it might give a bad reading now and then.
  4. cwol97401

    cwol97401 FEOA Member

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    This might malfunction if it gets wet then? I assume so. The car operates normal other than the radiator issues lately. The pcv valve elbow on top of the valve cover collapsed and caused a fuel economy issue but that's it. This damn coolant system has been the thorn in my side for the last several months. Been through three radiators in six months. Today's will be number four. Ugh.

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  5. Gamer92

    Gamer92 FEOA Donator

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    What’s breaking on the radiators?
  6. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    After the first radiator, I would have changed the thermostat, and thermostat housing. If I still thought it was overheating I would have bought one of the infrared temperture sensors, to check how hot the upper radiator hose was getting.
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  7. cwol97401

    cwol97401 FEOA Member

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    Not sure. The first one was the upper hose nipple, the second was a broken seam on the driver side where the plastic side tank and the core meet, and the third was same as the first. Nipple disintegrated.
    My hypothesis for the first and last, is possibly a bad motor mount pulling and tugging against the upper hose. The second was simply a radiator failure. My motor mounts appear and feel good though.

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  8. cwol97401

    cwol97401 FEOA Member

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    The thermostat never crossed my mind because the previous failures never caused an overheat issue. Only this last one. I'm wondering at this point if maybe the fan circuit has failed also. The thermostat developed a tear in the rubber seal at the same position as the check valve port in the housing.
    Aside thought, these thermostats can't be installed backwards, can they?[​IMG][​IMG]

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  9. cwol97401

    cwol97401 FEOA Member

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    My concern about the fan was valid too. The 40A fan fuse was blown and the fan bearings make a horrible racket. When I hot-wired the fan it acted like it wants to chew up it's housing. It's done for. Just one more setback.
    I've had a complete and good running 'spare parts' car sitting for years. This last couple months, it's been serving it's purpose.

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  10. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I dont know if a thermostat can be installed backwards. It should be installed with the small metal fingers facing the engine head. This also means the brass goody having the wax inside would be facing the head (and the oncoming out-flow of hot water) also.
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  11. marclar

    marclar Moderator Staff Member

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    fan doesnt come on until 230*
  12. cwol97401

    cwol97401 FEOA Member

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    So I replaced the fan and the fan fuse. I think the CCRM or the ECU is toasted now. It's been sitting all week while I'm working but when I ran it last week, It got to temp and ran until the gauge passed the mark when the fan usually triggers and nothing. Does unplugging the ECU temp sender turn on the fan? Is there another way to trick the computer to see a hot condition and kick on the fan?

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  13. marclar

    marclar Moderator Staff Member

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    what car are we working on?
  14. Gamer92

    Gamer92 FEOA Donator

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    Isn’t that high speed? Mine came on around 219-221
  15. Gamer92

    Gamer92 FEOA Donator

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    Unplug gray temp sensor connector and fan should come on .
  16. marclar

    marclar Moderator Staff Member

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  17. cwol97401

    cwol97401 FEOA Member

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    97 wagon automatic
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  18. cwol97401

    cwol97401 FEOA Member

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  19. cwol97401

    cwol97401 FEOA Member

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    It doesn't.

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  20. rbailin

    rbailin FEOA Member

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    Turn the climate control to any of the 5 positions that use the A/C and the fan should come on, whether or not your A/C is working.

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