Another newbie question.... Temp - TCCoA Forums

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Another newbie question.... Temp

It's been cold pretty much since I got the car, so I'm not TOO concerned. But whenever I drive, my temp gauge is just barely going into the low part of the normal range.

I'm going to put a new thermostat in, but I'm wondering, do you think previous owner(s) put in a lower temp thermostat?

Car drives fine, coolant level is nice and at max, I get heat, but it just never gets into the middle of the normal range...


Just curious.

Oh, 1993 V8, super hard to get to thermstat? I know it's on the upper intake manifold, but any tricks?

Thanks,
N
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Natesriv View Post
It's been cold pretty much since I got the car, so I'm not TOO concerned. But whenever I drive, my temp gauge is just barely going into the low part of the normal range.

I'm going to put a new thermostat in, but I'm wondering, do you think previous owner(s) put in a lower temp thermostat?

Car drives fine, coolant level is nice and at max, I get heat, but it just never gets into the middle of the normal range...


Just curious.

Oh, 1993 V8, super hard to get to thermstat? I know it's on the upper intake manifold, but any tricks?

Thanks,
N
Are the 5.0 cars a mechanical clutch fan or electric fan? How "cold" is it (It was -4 on my way to work this morning, and my 1997 4Runner was at normal operating temp about 5 minutes into the drive to work (20 minute drive), and how far of a drive in do you have?

I really wouldn't worry unless the needle stays at the C or starts wandering up to the H. Once it starts warming up outside, it's not a bad idea to drain the coolant system, flush it out, and refill with 50/50, as well as new hoses and thermostat if you're not sure what's in there or the age of them. I wouldn't worry excessively about it though. The sensor may be off too.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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not that cold here, but about 30°F...

Probably will wait till warm weather to tear into it...

Where's the sensor at?

Thanks!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 01:12 PM
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Are the 5.0 cars a mechanical clutch fan or electric fan? How "cold" is it (It was -4 on my way to work this morning, and my 1997 4Runner was at normal operating temp about 5 minutes into the drive to work (20 minute drive), and how far of a drive in do you have?

I really wouldn't worry unless the needle stays at the C or starts wandering up to the H. Once it starts warming up outside, it's not a bad idea to drain the coolant system, flush it out, and refill with 50/50, as well as new hoses and thermostat if you're not sure what's in there or the age of them. I wouldn't worry excessively about it though. The sensor may be off too.
- 93 5.0 cars are a mechanical clutch fan (off the water pump).

The only two memorables things I can comment on related to the thermostat housing
* After 20+ years, the pot metal thermostat housing from one of my 5.0 engines became brittle and the ear broke off during removal. Luckily new thermostat housings are readily available from the local Autozone for <$12. It's right there on the front of the engine so don't expect a DIY.
* I also had an engine overheat because the "failsafe" thermostat was supposed to fail open but instead stayed shut contributed to one engine cooking itself on the track. My solution was to go with water restrictor rings but that's not a good idea for a street car. Instead, I would test the thermostat before installing by boiling it in a pot of water to see if it opens.
* Your hoses are also probably worn out (proximity to engine + age). Get new ones while you are replacing the thermostat. It'll also make removing the thermostat housing easier (just cut the hoses off.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 01:30 PM
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My old 95 always ran cool. It would only get up towards the middle if I really got into traffic. I replaced the t-stat a couple times (to a 180, then back to 195), so it wasn't that.

I wouldn't worry about it unless it takes like 30 min to reach it's running temp.

Al
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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My old 95 always ran cool. It would only get up towards the middle if I really got into traffic. I replaced the t-stat a couple times (to a 180, then back to 195), so it wasn't that.

I wouldn't worry about it unless it takes like 30 min to reach it's running temp.

Al
Hoses and belts appear fine. This car was owned by older couples, I'm the 3rd owner. Seems she was services regularly.. A tune up will be done in the spring when it's warmer...

She needs an alignment and the new tires aren't balanced all that great, that gets fixed this Sunday!
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 06:51 PM
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I am in Florida and my 95's never overheated or even got hot
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 07:25 PM
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I'm not even going to venture a guess, on whether or not the previous owner put in a lower temp thermostat..
It is not out of the realm of possibility though..

The reason I say that is, because the 5.0 MN12 did not have a sufficient cooling system from the factory..
So in order to help that problem, the previous owner could have installed a lower temp thermostat..
There's no way of knowing, without actually physically pulling it out and testing it though..

I've been a 5.0 MN12 owner for awhile now, so I know all of its little quirks..

To tell you the truth though, from a reliability standpoint..
The only issues the 5.0 MN12 left the factory with, was the cooling system..
You could also argue that the AOD falls into that category, but it's not going to leave you stranded anywhere if it fails..


Anyways,

Most of us longtime 5.0 MN12 owners have opted to swap out the stock clutch fan, for an electric Mark VIII or 94-97 MN12 electric fan..
Either one will work, the Mark VIII fan requires a bigger alternator to run it though..

You're not going to know until the hottest part of the summer, if you can get by with the stock clutch fan set-up..
I know you said you wanted to keep it stock, sooooo...

Since you want to keep it all stock, If I was you I wouldn't mess with the cooling system until it warms up outside..
You could give the cooling system a flush, if it looks muddy or rusty looking..

Then when it warms up outside, you can go through and change the thermostat and water pump..
As well as checking your clutch fan for functionality..
I would replace the current thermostat with a 180 degree Motorcraft unit..
If you're keeping the clutch fan set-up, then just replace the water pump with a factory Motorcraft replacement..

On my set-up, I chose to use the Mark VIII fan..I also opted to use a 94-95 Mustang (5.0) water pump..
The Mustang water pump does not have a threaded snout for a clutch fan provision..
Since the 94-95 (5.0) Mustang used electric cooling fans instead..

Don't forget to replace ALL 4 of the rubber hoses used in the cooling system as well..
These degrade over time, and their life expectancy is probably about up..

Just because they look fine on the outside, doesn't mean they aren't deteriorated on the inside..

In the summer, the needle on my cooling gauge stays on the "N" in normal..
Unless I get on it real good, then it will creep up to the middle then back down to the "N" in normal..

That's with a 180 degree thermostat, a Mark VIII fan, and a High Amp Alternator..
I'm running a stock replacement radiator..Which is sufficient with my current set-up..






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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-03-2017, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Cool thanks! Yeah I'm ready for some warm weather to see what she does.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 10:33 AM
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I have heard on here that the coolant temp sensor wires sometime have corrosion issues. That can cause the temp gauge to read lower then it actually is. I don't know if that is just the 4.6 or not though.

This might be happening to my Cougar, because even in the summer its rare to see the temp gauge move much at all. In my Tbird however temp gauge move quite a bit whenever I drive it.

I haven't touched my cougars cooling system at all, I should probably replace the thermostat and give it a flush at some point. My plans are to pull the engine / transmission in the near future to do some upgrades, so I have been putting it off.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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The sensor's right on top of the manifold isn't it? Seems an easy swap out.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2017, 04:36 PM
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I have heard on here that the coolant temp sensor wires sometime have corrosion issues. That can cause the temp gauge to read lower then it actually is. I don't know if that is just the 4.6 or not though.

This might be happening to my Cougar, because even in the summer its rare to see the temp gauge move much at all. In my Tbird however temp gauge move quite a bit whenever I drive it.

I haven't touched my cougars cooling system at all, I should probably replace the thermostat and give it a flush at some point. My plans are to pull the engine / transmission in the near future to do some upgrades, so I have been putting it off.
On my 4.6, the gauge would pretty much park itself right in the middle, it would bump up slightly if I were doing 70 or 75 on the freeway and then slowed down to 30 or so for around town, but it would quickly bump back to "normal" after the thermostat would open. I did install an electric secondary gauge (along with an electric oil pressure gauge and voltage gauge) and it confirms that by and large, my car runs at a steady 197-202*F at any given time (confirmed with my torque pro software an bluetooth scan tool).
The one time I drove it in significant sub zero weather (there was no snow, and it was -17 outside) the temperature still got up to it's normal 195 after a good 8 to 10 minutes on the road.

The PI motor I'm putting in is getting a closed vane water pump, a new thermostat (I installed the one in it now when I bought the car in 2014), and fresh coolant, and we'll see how it does, but I don't expect it to be much different.

97 Thunderbird LX (The GT Bird)
PI Swapped NPI motor with some port work on the heads, PI cams, 80mm MAF, CAI that feeds from fenderwell. Jmod, 3.73:1 TL in Mark VIII carrier, Mark VIII aluminum LCAs, 93 Mark VIII driveshaft, PBR brakes (soon to be Cobras), 18x9 wheels, 255/40/ZR18 Tires, Front and Rear strut/shock bracing, GR-2 shocks, Eibach 1.5" springs, 1989 SC front and rear sway bars.
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