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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-16-2006, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Stupid 3.8 Question

Greetings all,

As anyone knows that has read any of my posts know, I am dealing with the slow death of my 3.8. I could deal with the constant coolant loss, but now I have to stop constantly, bleed off the pressure from the cooling system, refill the radiator and drive home or to work.

The newest development is that it seems that the fan is not operating properly. If I turn on the AC, the fan comes on just fine, but otherwise I do not think it is running. I am trying to figure out which switch controls the fan on the engine. Is it the switch that sits just left of the distributor, or is it the one that attaches to the fitting that bleeds air out of the system?

I have done some searching, but the only real answers I find are in the 4.6 thread.

Hopefully things will improve soon, since my slow decent into hell is being driven by my once beloved 3.8 Cougar.

Thanks for any assistance from anyone out there.


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-16-2006, 08:45 PM
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It's the one to the left of the distributor (2 wires going to it). The reason that it might not be coming on is that if the level of coolant is too low, the sensor won't be heating up since no coolant is touching it and therefore the fan won't come on.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-17-2006, 09:56 AM
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I would drop by an autoparts store and have them run a code tester on it and see what codes you get. If you have a bad sensor, it should show up. You may be loosing coolant for one or both reasons: water pump is going or you have have a head gasket leaking.

You can test the fan by unplugging it and testing it with 12v. There should be a high and low speed.

I have the same car and the same problems. I can't decide if I want to spend the $200 + to do the heads or just find a 4.6l and replace the engine and tranny for not much more. The 4.6l is a sturdy engine; much better than the 89-94 3.8l engines...

Good luck.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-17-2006, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. I will see if hotwiring the fan will help with the fan issue. I have pretty much determined that head gasket failure is the problem. The steam from the tailpipe pretty much tells the story. If it was the WP, then this would not be an issue.

Around here, the pricing I have received is right at $2k for the job. I am looking for another car, but the 94 needs to keep running for at least a couple more weeks until some things clear up.

Once again, thanks for everyone's input.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-17-2006, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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I went out this evening (had to get GF's dodge back from the dealer again). I tested the sensor, it it looks like it is not working. The fan works on high, but not low. I tricked the system, sort of, by disconnecting the compressor connector, and putting the control inside to AC. This has the fan running all the time now. I took it around the block a couple of times and it seems to be maintaining a decent temperature. I will look further into it this weekend. Thanks again all.


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