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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just had the cooling system flushed, and installed a new thermostat, because my temperature gauge needle has started to read higher up the gauge than it has been while driving around town. (slightly above the "R" in NORMAL). The fan does not kick in until the needle hits to bottom of the "O".

The needle is solid right at the center ("M") during freeway driving.

A laser temp gauge reads the lower radiator hose at 186°F; a totally acceptable operating temp. As long as I know that the actual temperature is only 186°F, even though the gauge reads "hot (er)", I'm good. The needle never leaves the "NORMAL" range, so technically it isn't "hot".

So, my question is, where does your temp gauge needle usually point under "normal" operation?

I just ran a search for "temperature gauge" on the 1st gen group and didn't come up with any thing on this subject.
 

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Mine reads dead on the bottom of the L. I hooked up a mechanical gauge to where the sensor goes, and it reads 160F typically. However, that isn't the hot side of things. I think your temp is a little high considering it's on the lower hose, and not the upper (which would give a much better reading of how hot the engine really is). Keep in mind these heads are pretty heat sensitive.
 

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Before I changed the gauge temp sensor, mine barely had a reading on the dash temp gauge. When I put the new temp sender in, the dash gauge went right to the middle when the engine warmed up. I think those temperature
sensors need to be changed once in a while.... the gauge temp sensor is on the intake manifold. the connector is a single wire., and the sensor has a brass thread like fitting........
 

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The closed factory thermostat level should be 192, or near the second-to-bottom hash mark. The fan-actuated temperature is (I think) 218, or right in the middle of the gauge. The thermostat will be fully closed at highway speeds, so it shouldnt be reading that high. it sounds to me like your instrument panel voltage regulator is off, or the sending unit is incorrectly calibrated.

The real test of the cooling system is if it can sit and idle without overheating. If the fans kick in and it maintains a temperature, then the cooling system is OK and you have an instrumentation problem.

If the motor is high mileage and or the coolant has been neglected you could nee a water pump too (the vanes can wear down).
 

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It also depends on placement. My temp sensor is the same part number for the Escort, but came from a Tempo. They supposedly have the same calibration, but I want to put the sensor in the head, right by the thermostat, to see how accurate it is (tempos have it there). My only issue now is that the stupid allen plug rounded itself off, and I can't get the plug out of the head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey guys,

Refer back to my original post...

just had the cooling system flushed, and installed a new thermostat, because my temperature gauge needle has started to read higher up the gauge than it has been while driving around town.
This problem has me
. The engine is now beginning to do this "over heat" thing all the time. It isn't really "over heating" but the temp is climbing up the O-R range of the gauge, and the fan is coming on more frequently. Coolant level in the puke tank is normal, although there is a "hot coolant smell" under the hood.

At 55+ mph the temp gauge is squarely in the middle of the "NORMAL" range (sometimes even a bit below) and stays there until I get off the freeway and start driving around town again - then it's back to the hotter temp indication.

This has been done: 1) The cooling system was flushed and coolant replaced, 2) the thermostat was replaced, 3) a "combustion by-products" test was done to determine if there were any gases in the coolant which would have indicated a blown head gasket (there were none).

My only remaining theory is that the water pump impeller is erroded to the point that it is not working efficiently - but that is hard to understand when the temperature is good when driving at speed. I guess a cheap experiment would be to replace fan sensor and see if the fan kicks in sooner... . okay, that was two remaining theories.

I'd appreciate your thoughts on the subject.

Thanks,

Lew

edit- p.s. what is the electrical sensor fitted to the thermostat housing?
 

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If you're smelling coolant you have a leak...possibly a small one. I had that smell for a while, and the day I decided to replace the radiator hoses I popped the upper one as I pulled into Advance. It was a pinhole leak just off the thermostat goose neck. Try squeezing the hoses to see if they're soft. If they're the originals, replace them!
 

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The electrical sensor on the housing is the tempature switch for the fan.

I have seen impeller blades completely gone. Even heard of it. A Tempo I had did it and heard of a Ranger doing it. Both were 2.3s

Would possibly the new thermostat be sticking?
 

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The 2.3s you mentioned Marsh are completely unrelated. Both those engines use external water pumps that are more prone to leaking. The CVH pump is bolted directly to the block. The whole impeller sits right next to the #1 cylinder. Tempo has it hanging off the side of the engine with hoses going to it. To my knowledge the 2.3 Lima (in the Ranger) does the same.
 

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As a radiator gets old, changes in the metal occur that inhibit heat radiation. I would go to the maximun core radiator ( hopefully four) that is made for the car. I'm running a spectra 2 core and it seems to be running a little hotter that the 4 core I had that started leaking.
 

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I'm running the original, 20 year old radiator in my car and it takes a minimum of 15 minutes to get to operating temp it seems. Yes, it has a thermostat. On top of that, I rarely need the fan when driving, and I'm running a higher compression engine. The radiators in the 1st gen are pretty good for the car. They can also be swapped for a Tempo one, with matching fan, which seems to work just as well, or better.
 
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