North American Turbocoupe Organization



Cooling System Issues
firebirdparts Offline
Member
#1
My fans seem to come on a little "hot" and I decided to replace the coolant temperature sender on my 1988. I absolutely cannot find it. I read online it was in the bottom of the intake manifold, and I took two sensors out of there, but they sure don't seem to be it. I feel stupid asking this question.

Also, I cannot believe that the water outlet has to come off to get the timing belt cover off. Has anybody revised that successfully? I was thinking i might make a bolt that could work in there, maybe starting with an allen head cap screw. Obviously leaving it out would be much easier.

I have a new water outlet on the way also, so we'll see if it's better or worse. The reason I got bound up on that is the belt was slapping after I assembled everything and I had to dig it back out. I locked down the tensioner and it was too loose. I guess I didn't turn the motor over enough. I have never owned a car with a locked tensioner, so that seemed strange to me.
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#2
My experience has been—and I have had the timing cover off many times—it’s not necessary to remove the water outlet to remove the timing belt cover. Keeping in mind that the cover is a type of plastic material and is 30 years old and somewhat fragile, I’ve been able to “flex” it enough to get it off without removing the water outlet.

I recall that the first few times I removed the cover, I did take off the outlet. But that soon grew tedious, and I devised a way to get it off without that.

You’ll likely find that it will be easier to also remove the Crankshaft Pulley to remove the outer cover.

As always—YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary). Be very careful and patient.
Another proud dues-paying member.

1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Got it in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 T5OD full rebuild, 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#3
Agreed about the timing cover. I have never removed the water neck to remove the timing belt cover. Crank pulley is easy to remove. 22 mm bolt. If you have an impact driver, it takes 5 seconds. If no impact, put tranny in gear, set parking brake, and use a breaker bar to break the bolt free. Crank pulley should come off with a good tug. I have never found a puller necessary.

ECT (coolant temp sensor for the PCM) is sticking straight up out of the lower intake between #2 and #3 injectors. 2 wire connector. Gauge sensor in in the block, driver side, 1 wire connector.

Do you have an actual temp gauge for coolant temp that leads you to believe fans are coming on late? Stock gauge isnt very accurate. FYI, the stock temp gauge has a very non linear response to temp. Main fan (pass side) comes on with stock gauge around 1/2 way up, corresponding to a coolant temp of around 210 deg F, or with AC compressor running. If temp continues to climb, secondary fan (drivers side) comes on with gauge about 3/4 of the way up, corresponding to about 220 deg F. If you want to know actual coolant temp, get a good quality aftermarket gauge, either mechanical or electrical.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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firebirdparts Offline
Member
#4
Timing belt is already done. Do I need to take the upper intake off? Seems like I would.
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#5
Do you need to take the upper intake off...to get to those sensors?

The rule that I follow is: what takes the least amount of time and successfully gets the job done? Yeah, I know that’s not news, we all probably do that. But, if it takes you 2 hours to work around parts of the engine to get at and remove those sensors, and the same amount of time to remove all the parts of the upper intake manifold—disconnecting and removing the fuel rail, all the wiring connectors for the various sensors found there (and remember they are decades old and fragile from the engine heat, and some aren’t available any more); and so on—and reassemble all of it, then why would you go to all that trouble?

I’ve replaced those sensors, without removing the upper intake manifold. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t as hard (in my opinion) as taking all that stuff off and risking damage to parts. You can get at the gauge sensor from under the car; you’ll have to reach around stuff like the oil filter (you could remove it), but it’s doable.

Here’s a thought: why not take Jeff’s suggestion and be certain that replacements are necessary before you get involved in a lot of work? I’m guessing you haven’t already done that.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you just settle for what you think are incorrect readings, and let it go at that. I’m a notorious stickler for having things just so...but if it was me I would want to be at least fairly convinced that replacing the sensors was going to give me the more desired result.

Unlike the old joke about the dog that licks himself, don’t do it just because you can.
Another proud dues-paying member.

1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Got it in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 T5OD full rebuild, 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....
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firebirdparts Offline
Member
#6
Thanks! I see it now. That is a strange location. the car hasn't overheated, just created a little angst. So I will look at that. I haven't seen the gauge sender either, but I wasn't looking for it.
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firebirdparts Offline
Member
#7
Following up on the water outlet, mine had leaked at the radiator hose, and somebody put RTV in the radiator hose, so I decided for $10, I would just buy a new one. It turned out that the new one does not interfere with the bolt in the timing cover.
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