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Discussion Starter #1
Well...it's a big small engine but you guys know cars, too.

My 1.9L escort 4 cyl (162k miles) will barely get into lowest end of "normal" on temp gauge after 30 minutes of driving. I don't think it is a defective gauge...the heater air is barely warm. I have:

1. Flushed coolant repeatedly and replaced w/ 50/50 mix.

2. Replaced thermostat with new one - OEM version. It got better for 1 month - Temp got to above "N" in the N-O-R-M-A-L temp range. Now, it's back to way below N.

What to try next? Another OEM t-stat? Another T-stat that opens at higher temp?

Thanks so much, Doug
 

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I would say you got a bad thermostat it does happen every now and then. Its ether staying open or its opening to soon try another thermostat and see if that works.
Jody
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll bet you're right, Jody. Just started it cold and the radiator coolant was gurgling almost immediately. Must be stuck open. Dang, when I pay $5 for a part at Autozone - I want perfection -LOL
 

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If it is not a bad T-stat, it very likely could be a trapped air pocket in the cooling system. The fact that you say the heater does not get very hot is a good indicator of this. Sometimes removing the raditator cap and allowing the engine to reach its max temp. it enough to purge the air pocket. Other times a vaccum device must be applied to the radiator spout to purge the air pocket. Try this and see if it fixes the problem. Any good garage will have a cooland system vaccum tool or very likely Auto Zone or one of the other might as well.
 

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i agree you probably have air in the coolant system-- but if it is not a bad t-stat or intake manifold -- it usually is a leaky head gasket-- does it ever act as if it is getting too hot? even though you cannot tell by the gauge?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, Chief. I just ran it up to max with the rad cap off and coolant level didn't change much...except a pint or so of purging. With the radiator gurgling when cold, I'm thinking I got a defective/stuck open T-stat.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It never acts like it's getting hot per gauge. Now, the upper radiator hose will get hot and the coolant at the rad mouth is hot but not scalding hot.

For a leaky head gasket, would there be coolant in the oil? It doesn't "use" coolant.
 

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You can always remove the T-stat and test in in a pot of water with a thermometer. Gradually heat the water up and watch at what temp it opens AND closes. If it is stuck open when you remove it, you already know it is bad then.
 

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doug -- you can do a general temp open and shut test by inserting t-stat and a thermomter into a cup of near boiling water and watching to see what temp is and if it opens FULLY -- it may also do a reverse and heat it and douse it with cooler water to watch for closing-- but it if has been more than a few days - and you don't hear any gurgling in area under dash arround heater core, and you still are getting air burping out ______and it must be air bubbles, just water gurgling out of open radiator is NOT a reliable signature of bad anything , just hot water leaving an open system ,, then I suggest a water coolant system pressurized leak down test -- any shop can do it - doesn't take very long-- and it takes only a small leak to introduce air into the system-- doesn't always show coolant in oil or oil in coolant in a small leak -- BUT autozone t-stats? c'mon get a good one[ napa] instead ; I have had 3 in a row go bad -- autozone t-stats are made by 12 yeara old hindu slave girls for 2 dollars a month
 

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Discussion Starter #11
bigl22, you are SO WRONG! They are made by BUDDHIST slave girls!

I think I'll pull the t-stat and get a better one and go from there.

Thanks, guys.
 

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Working in a new car dealership I see a LOT of problems with some of those cheep aftermarket parts. Some things are good in some cars, but mostly the OE stuff IS better. Oh my feeling on testing the old one?? You have already went through the trubble to remove the old one, just spring the bucks for a new one. Don't know for sure, but bet an OE one is less then $15.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, I bit the bullet and bought a Ford/Motorcraft Genuine OEM part for $14. The genuine guy didn't have a gasket. Ahhhhhhhhhh! Went to Autozone...out of stock. I say look and tell me which Autozone stores have one in stock. He says "Hmmmm...every other store in Chattanooga" Double Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Got one at Advance Auto.

Got it in, topped off coolant and had a normal temp reading for 1/2 hour (between O & R in N-O-R-M-A-L). Just ran it on the road for 20 minutes and needle is back down below N but heater output was pretty warm.

What next?...a water coolant system pressurized leak down test

Another thing I've thought about (kinda scary, I know)...The tstat doesn't seat the O-ring in the housing completely so there is always some blow by like the tstat is always partially open.
 

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dougan3--aha!!!
Another thing I've thought about (kinda scary, I know)...The tstat doesn't seat the O-ring in the housing completely so there is always some blow by like the tstat is always partially open.-- you didn't get it done right!! do it over again and get the correct O rng and the corect t-stat-- Ford is know for nasty updates for T-stats -- get the lateset set of Ford instructuions for this thing-- there can NOT be any leakage alowed -otherwise it does what you are complaining about here -- - get her done boy!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yep, well, the third time is the charm. What I can't figure out is how I got 1/2 hour of normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ford is sneaky, here. Took the tstat housing all the way out this time. There is a big bypass circuit around the tstat...it goes thru 2 cylinders with a ? float ball or ? check valve...unsure which. Anyway, I lubed inside the cylinders and it seemed freer. So, this housing has basically an internal tstat along with a conventional one. I'm getting fairly good heat but still a little low on gauge temp...I can live with it especially since summer is approaching. I'd rather have a little cool than hot.

Ford dealer wants $200 for the housing! Now, the 93 1.8L engine tsat housing (just basic - no cylinders) is $24. I kinda doubt there is 10x more engineering or material in the 1.9L housing. I'd bet Ford figured they could extract more $ from our pockets...LOL. As cheap as I am, I thought about partially blocking the cylinder circuit but sure as the world, I'll overheat it and crack the head.

Thanks again, guys.
 

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Thats odd never heard of that, well at least you found the problem hope you get it working right.
Jody
 
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