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Thread: Cooling problems

  1. #1
    Member 91merc's Avatar
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    Default Cooling problems

    I've replaced the entire cooling system on my 85 but the car's still getting hot, got a single core rad out of a 91, aluminum duralast water pump that came with the car, thermostat, all new hoses, fresh coolant, and I flushed as much rust out as I could, what am I missing?

    The fan clutch is working fine, but it's getting hot enough that the red "engine" light is coming on. Past 2 times it's gotten hot enough that the hoses are stiff, but hasn't blown any coolant out

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    Member 91merc's Avatar
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    Is the engine warning light temperature or pressure activated?

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    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Get a proper temperature gauge on the vehicle. It'll tell much more of a story than the warning light if its operation is suspect. The switch engages based on temperature, and I think it's north of 240 degrees. Usually the hoses will be pretty firm at operating temperature with pressure built up.

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  5. #5
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    how have you tested the fan clutch?

    hose tells me either its got a lot of air in it, or its not building pressure. No pressure is either a leak or a bad cap, or its not even warmed up. The idiot light is not to be relied on, you need at least an IR thermometer to shoot the thermostat housing, or better a real gauge.
    Last edited by gadget73; 08-19-2022 at 08:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    how have you tested the fan clutch?


    Well the one that was on it before would freespin after you shut the engine off and you couldn't feel it blowing, the one that's on here now you can feel it blowing good at idle

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    Still Wrenchin'! friskyfrankie's Avatar
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    Sure no large pockets of air in the system?
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    Quote Originally Posted by friskyfrankie View Post
    Sure no large pockets of air in the system?


    I'm sure I got the air worked out. When I did the flush I pet it run for a good couple hours, and I've been driving it 15 miles to work and back for 2 weeks and haven't had to add coolant except for the one time it started boiling out cuz there was a leak

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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    how have you tested the fan clutch?

    hose tells me either its got a lot of air in it, or its not building pressure. No pressure is either a leak or a bad cap, or its not even warmed up. The idiot light is not to be relied on, you need at least an IR thermometer to shoot the thermostat housing, or better a real gauge.


    I took the video after driving 15 miles to town and back on a 65mph highway with hills, and I FINALLY have all the leaks squared away

    So the hoses need to basically be hard enough you can't really squeeze them then?

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    Yes. That's when you know it's under pressure and at full operating temperature. Should be about 12-15 PSI.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    Yes. That's when you know it's under pressure and at full operating temperature. Should be about 12-15 PSI.
    At the moment I have 2 16lb caps I've tried

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    I have seen aftermarket radiators where the neck is made wrong and the lower cap seal doesn't actually seal on anything. Causes it to build no pressure, it just dumps coolant into the overflow bottle. Can usually tell this by squeezing the hose when its cold. if the level in the overflow bottle goes up as you squish the hose, its not sealing.

    related to the overflow bottle, if that hose isn't in good shape or its leaking at the connection on the radiator it will burp coolant out but suck air back in, producing an air pocket.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
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    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    I have seen aftermarket radiators where the neck is made wrong and the lower cap seal doesn't actually seal on anything. Causes it to build no pressure, it just dumps coolant into the overflow bottle. Can usually tell this by squeezing the hose when its cold. if the level in the overflow bottle goes up as you squish the hose, its not sealing.

    related to the overflow bottle, if that hose isn't in good shape or its leaking at the connection on the radiator it will burp coolant out but suck air back in, producing an air pocket.
    This is a stock radiator that I pulled out of a 91, I'm gonna see if I can find the original cap that went to the radiator and see if that does anything

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    Still Wrenchin'! friskyfrankie's Avatar
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    How about getting an OEM cap made for a 91? That way, you know the cap "shouldn't" be a potential problem. By the way, do you know the radiator is clean in and out?
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    Just echoing the suggestions that you employ a thermometer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by friskyfrankie View Post
    How about getting an OEM cap made for a 91? That way, you know the cap "shouldn't" be a potential problem. By the way, do you know the radiator is clean in and out?
    I pressure washed the radiator yesterday, and the cooling system is pretty rusty, I flushed it probably 25 times and still brown

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    Quote Originally Posted by 91merc View Post
    I pressure washed the radiator yesterday, and the cooling system is pretty rusty, I flushed it probably 25 times and still brown
    To get rust out, use a product called Thermocure. Smells awful, but works great. Follow the instructions properly and it'll work, but do be prepared to take the time to flush all of it from the system, otherwise it'll turn the coolant black. Dealt with a '99 Crown Victoria where the cooling system looked like stagnant pond water and smelled even worse. Car had been run with straight water for some time due to a prior intake and heater core leak. Everything had significant rust scale built up throughout the system, and every hose and outlet was just coated in brown.

    I did the water pump several months ago, and it was darn near spotless inside:

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    Despite common myths, a cooling system still needs a working fan at speed. (aka: its b.s. that you will run cool on the highway without a fan) If your fan clutch isn't working properly it can cause an overheat just for the fact it is not moving enough air. Get the car hot, open the hood, turn off the engine while keeping an eye on the fan. If it keeps spinning after the engine shuts off, replace it. It'll move a little bit (as in less than one revolution) but it should stop with the engine, especially if its up to temp and has gotten good and warm.

  19. #19
    Still Wrenchin'! friskyfrankie's Avatar
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    Yeah, sounds like you have to severely flush out the entire cooling system.
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    Yes if the fan spins for as long as a full second after the engine shuts off it needs to be replaced.
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