3.8L V6 coolant level sensor help - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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3.8L V6 coolant level sensor help

Hi guys,

My '97 3.8L V6 T-Bird's low coolant light has been turning on. I've checked the coolant level on the reservoir tank and it seems to be at the right levels, also the car does not seem to be overheating. I did take the coolant level sensor out to have a look at it and found that the silicone on the inside on the very top covering the electronics has melted. I have tried searching for one of these sensors in my local salvage yards and have come up with nothing but reservoir tanks and level sensors for the 4.6L which is completely different. My question is, is there a way that I can test and/or repair my old sensor? Also, is it possible to replace the reservoir tank and sensor with one from a 4.6?

Last edited by WSFrankM; 08-26-2014 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Needed to add info
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 09:53 PM
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ACDelco 15-50627, Airtex 5S5535, Standard Motor Products FLS-43, BWD FS3028 are all replacement part numbers with brands. The 4.6 degas bottle and sensor is not a direct swap to the 3.8. Unplugging it will also turn off the light if it's the light that is bothering you. However then you wouldn't know if it's low, which is also true of it now since it is a false on. Sometime I've gotten away with sanding the corrosion off of the sensor prongs that dip into the coolant.

Hope this helps.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Chris for your prompt reply. Sorry it took this long for me to get back on this matter.

I ended up unplugging the sensor as you suggested and the light turned off. I looked into getting a new one, but seeing as they run around $90-$100 and I've needed to make other repairs on the car, I decided to go to the junk yard and pull one.

I was able to only find one fluid level sensor for the 3.8L which I found was dead also.
It seem the design on these wasn't all that great. The electronics are only covered by a silicone coating which is exposed to the heat and vapors of the radiator coolant. Over time it melts and exposes the electronics to the fluid, which is what happened to both sensors.

I did notice that the yards in my area had a lot of late 90's Escorts which have a fluid level sensor that looks almost identical to the one used in the 3.8L T-birds. The mount is different since the sensor is incorporated into the filler cap, but the connector for the sensor is the same.

I bought one and took it home. I only needed to cut the mount from my old sensor and epoxy it to the new one. Here are some pictures that should illustrate the process. After installing it and plugging it in it works great and now I have an extra filler.

This is the new sensor from the Escort, notice how the electronics are outside.

This is where I cut the mount off of my old sensor.

This is the mount.

Here I have attached the mount to the bottom of the new sensor using epoxy.

And here it is installed in my t-bird and working great. No more light and now I have a working fluid level sensor.
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