North American Turbocoupe Organization



Radiator replacement options...
Kuch Offline
Member
#1
So my 88 TC likes to run into the hot range with the HVAC turned off. If I turn it on, the temps go back down. I already changed the thermostat with a NAPA 195 degree, but in case the radiator needs replacing instead of just a good flushing, are there other options that fit?
1988 Turbo Coupe, Black/Black, 5 Speed, Moonroof, T3/T4 50 trim, 255LPH, BBK AFPR, 3" DP dual 2.5", MGW shifter, K&N, Gillis valve, RR cam
1964 Ford Galaxie 500XL, 390 6V, 4 Speed, Vast and fast
1960 Ford Starliner, 292 Y Block, 3 Speed, slow and low
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Pete D Offline
Administrator
#2
The gauges aren't know for accuracy. The sending unit could be off. Also important for highway cruising is the black plastic air dam below the front bumper cover. If it is missing the car will run hot a cruising speeds. Have you looked in the radiator for corrosion buildup at the end of the tubes. If there is a lot of build up, that certainly affects the radiators ability to properly cool.

You can get inexpensive rads from some of the discount parts stores, Advanced Auto and Autozone. They work for the average daily driver, I been using one in one of my cars for a few years. Several people make aluminum radiators for various cars but the price goes up quick. Google is your friend in this case.
Pete Dunham


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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#3
Is the pass side fan turning on as temp climbs? Have you run the complete code test (KOEO, CM, KOER). The fans are tested for operation during the tests and will set a code if they are running when commanded on.
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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Kuch Offline
Member
#4
Pete, interesting you mention the front lower air dam. Mine looks like it was cut along the forward running thin braces, with nothing along the radiator side. It does not have any small spoiler looking plastic along the bottom either. Maybe they were removed for some reason earlier. I initially had issues with it getting hot after about a 20 minute drive, so replaced the thermostat and the ECT, also cleaned out the passage to the ECT as best I could. That helped as I drove for a 40 minute drive and temps were good, right in the middle. I did have the heat on max defrost to work any possible bubbles out of the system, when I turned the heat off, the temps slowly crept up to the high range again. Turned on the max defrost, temps went down to normal. I did the KOER test and both fans seemed to cycle as they should. That led me to believe they are working correctly. When I first got the car I found the high pressure switch on the A/C pulled with a jumper in it, which would run the driver side fan constantly. I assume the owners had issues getting hot. Now, I'm thinking the temp sender unit needs changing and a good flush out of the system.
1988 Turbo Coupe, Black/Black, 5 Speed, Moonroof, T3/T4 50 trim, 255LPH, BBK AFPR, 3" DP dual 2.5", MGW shifter, K&N, Gillis valve, RR cam
1964 Ford Galaxie 500XL, 390 6V, 4 Speed, Vast and fast
1960 Ford Starliner, 292 Y Block, 3 Speed, slow and low
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Pete D Offline
Administrator
#5
In general, a fan runs whenever the A/C is on such as the defrost mode and this helps stabilize the system at a somewhat lower temp. It is normal for temps to go up and down with an electric cooling fan system. The ECT provides info the the EEC about engine temps so the EEC know when to turn on the fan(s) and this info is also a factor in A/F ratio and, I believe, timing. The ECT does not do anything for the temp gauge in the dash, that is another sensor. Might want to clean the contact pole on top the temp sensor or just replace the sensor. See http://www.turbotbird.com/faqs/engine.jpg.

One of the places that can clog up and mess with the ECT is the fitting on the lower part of the bottom intake manifold. It has a smaller diameter hose running to it. I have seen several of these with deposits inside that restrict flow or block the flow of coolant thru them thus causing the ECT to provide inaccurate data to the EEC. They are easily cleaned even in place.
Pete Dunham


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