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Old 12-09-2010
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Overheating - can't find problem

My name is Brock and I'm new to the forum. This is my first post.

I've got a 99 Ford Ranger, 3.0L V6.

The weather has recently gotten cold here, and the other day, I was driving around and turned the heater on. The heater was blowing cold air and would never heat up.

I thought, "Uh OH, this is not good." But I kept driving all day, and my truck never overheated. The next morning I went to add coolant to the radiator, and upon starting the engine, I see antifreeze gushing out of the radiator. Needless to say, I needed a new radiator.

The only problem is, this is the 2nd radiator that I have replaced. I replaced the radiator last year at this exact same time. (thermostat was replaced both times, and one time before that).

After the first time the radiator was replaced, it would still overheat occasionally, but eventually it got better and I drove it for exactly a year (until this point).

After the radiator was replaced yesterday, my truck still overheats. I have heard the excuse "There is probably just air in the line" so many times that it makes me nauseas. Although this is what I heard the other day from the place that replaced the radiator after I told them it was still overheating.

The funny thing is though, it will overheat and I pull over for maybe 10 minutes. Then I start the truck up again, without adding anything to the radiator, and continue driving. The heater starts to blow hot, and it won't overheat for the rest of the night.

I have had people speculate that it has a cracked block or a blown head gasket, but I have had it looked at by a shop that does head work, and they found nothing.

I noticed last night that the bottom hose running to the radiator was collapsed, and so I asked the shop to replace this hose (even though they say they know that this is not a problem). I doubt this is the problem, but it's worth a shot since the hoses have never been replaced.

Sorry if this story seems kind of spastic, but I am willing to provide any information about the situation that is needed to resolve the problem. Please let me know what yall think.
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Old 12-09-2010
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Replaced the lower radiator hose today, and I still have problems. I had the serpentine belt replaced about a 10 months ago, but that was after the second radiator.

I have never replaced the water pump, and wonder if it could be the culprit, but I don't see any signs of water leakage from it, wouldn't I see that if it was going out?


The strangest thing is happening at this point. I start the truck up cold, and get out on to the road. The heater blows cold air at this point, and I travel about a quarter of a mile, and it overheats. I pull over, letting the truck sit for about a minute (I don't add coolant or anything) and start the truck back up. I pull back on to the road, the temperature gauge slowly makes its way back to normal, the heater starts to blow hot. After this, I can drive for many miles without overheating.

However, once I let the truck sit for 30 min to an hour, this process occurs again, exactly the same way.

Any Ideas?
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Old 12-09-2010
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Heater core could be shot, thermostat could have tripped shut, water pump impeller may not be spinning.........etc.
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Old 12-09-2010
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thermostat could have been installed the wrong way too. If its installed the wrong way it will start to overheat. check to see if it is put in the correct way.
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Old 12-09-2010
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Originally Posted by 99offroadrngr View Post
thermostat could have been installed the wrong way too. If its installed the wrong way it will start to overheat. check to see if it is put in the correct way.
I was thinking the exact same thing.



GB :)
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  #6  
Old 12-09-2010
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Update

************Update************

Replaced the radiator cap. No Luck.

Vehicle is less drive able than it was two days ago.

One interesting thing that I have noticed is, when the vehicle overheats, the top is blown off of the overfill reservoir and I see hot water bubbling in it (it is completely full). However, the radiator cap doesn't even feel hot. There is no evidence spewing around the radiator cap either.

When I first start the vehicle, the heater seems to work. As soon as I have driven the vehicle for about 30 seconds (very low speed), the heater starts to blow cold air, and the temperature gauge drops to way below cold. Once I get out on the highway and run about 45mph for about quarter to half a mile, the vehicle overheats. I pull over, turn the vehicle off, and let it sit for about 2 minutes. At this point, I start the vehicle up again, the temperature gauge falls slightly as I accelerate, but overheats again after about a quarter of a mile.

As for the thermostat, I am on my 4th or 5th thermostat. If there is a problem with the thermostat, something seems to be causing it.

I wonder about the heater core, but the passenger floorboard is not wet.

Also, I am curious about the possibility of the water pump not operating properly, but there is no sign of leakage from the water pump (that I can see).

Any ideas?
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Old 12-09-2010
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are you taking it to the same place everytime? if so take it somewhere else see what they have to say.
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Old 12-10-2010
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I'm thinking blown head gasket do a coolant system pressure test to see if the pressure is ok.Waterpump could be the issue I seen them go bad even if they dont leak.
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Old 12-10-2010
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Originally Posted by fordtech View Post
I'm thinking blown head gasket do a coolant system pressure test to see if the pressure is ok.Waterpump could be the issue I seen them go bad even if they dont leak.
What are you talking about? What is there to go bad in a water pump when it's bad and not leaking like you state?


I'm still curious if he installed the thermostat upsidedown. Although, it does kind of sound like he may have a head gasket problem. I had similar problems when I started cracking heads on my 1989 2.9 Ranger. I've been through 3 heads so far. It also made my radiator start leaking when it cracked.



GB :)
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Old 12-10-2010
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you may have a completely plugged up heater core

that would cause the resevoir cap to pop off and boiling coolant to be seen

you might try having a heater core power flush ( hot water and air pressure ) being forced through it.

it might be able to dis-lodge the blockage , then again it might not

dis-connect both heater core hoses from where they are connected .

use an air gun and blow air into 1 of the hoses , and listen for the air coming out of the other hose.

no air coming out of the other hose -- a plugged heater core
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  #11  
Old 12-10-2010
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Don't know how you check for it ,one of the guys might. A) Faulty temperature sending unit. B). Cracked Thermostat HOUSING.A third one is Again the Rad cap, Sometimes you get a faulty one Brand new,and sometimes the pressure rating could increased or decreased.I'm fascinated by the "Collapsed Lower HOSE"As you have replaced the rad a couple times tho' my bet is one the heater core. Good luck to you.Belinda
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Old 12-11-2010
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You can reverse the heater core hoses to help break loose any clogs..



GB :)
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Old 12-11-2010
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you can go through 10000000 thermostats and they'll all fail if they're not installed properly. if there is a problem with the thermostat it can also be user error not another component of the truck. You mentioned as if you know something else is wrong but you didn't say you've made sure its in properly so thats why i am reinstating what i said before. copper side goes downward.

Last edited by 99offroadrngr; 12-11-2010 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 12-11-2010
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e

Last edited by instigator; 12-12-2010 at 12:22 PM.
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  #15  
Old 12-13-2010
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Originally Posted by Bird76Mojo View Post
What are you talking about? What is there to go bad in a water pump when it's bad and not leaking like you state?

GB :)

I seen the propeller in the waterpump completely desintergrate and not push water and it doesnt leak
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Old 12-13-2010
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I don't think the thermostat can be installed backwards on a 3.0

is the coolant mixed properly? sounds to me like it is icing up in a hose or in the radiator blocking flow (no heat) then when you pull over and wait, it thaws out, then you have heat and its fine...make sense? i would drain all the coolant out of the radiator drain ****, since all of it wont drain out, mix the coolant approximately 60% coolant and 40% water and try that. when the truck is warm and not overheating, with the radiator cap removed (start truck with it off, don't remove when hot) and see if the coolant is flowing in the radiator. if not the water pump is bad...when the truck overheats, jump out and see if the upper and lower radiator hoses feel the same temp, and both heater hoses too. a clogged heater core wont cause it to overheat, coolant will bypass the heater core (just as it would if the heat is turned off)
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  #17  
Old 12-25-2010
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yes i know what you are talking about i have a 2000 that does the same thing exactely like that 3.0 if you find out what is the problem please let me know. i have replaced everything and there is no change. . if you let it warm up about 30 minutes befour driving it doesent do the belching thing so bad. but if you tale off ona cold start man . look out old faitful haha. thanks DRJ806
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  #18  
Old 12-26-2010
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Unfortunately, there was evidence of a blown head gasket.

This was fixed, and there is no longer a problem.

I hate that I had to pay the money to have that extensive work done, but I am glad that they found the problem and my truck runs good again.
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  #19  
Old 12-27-2010
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glad u found the problem i talked to a head shop and they say the 3.0 heads are the best sellers . i got my 2000 took apart now going to do the same thing you did. it is a lot less then trading it off.
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  #20  
Old 12-27-2010
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i got a question if you change heads do you put on new head bolts also? or can you use the old ones again
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  #21  
Old 01-13-2011
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I am wondering the same thing? Is it ok to re-use the old head bolts?
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  #22  
Old 01-13-2011
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never ever re-use old cylinder head bolts

they stretch from heat and stress , and are simply not worth the aggravation

get yourself some excellent quality ARP head bolts and be happy
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  #23  
Old 01-13-2011
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thanks i got it took apart and the heads fixed at the head shop one of them was warped but no cracks. he got it planed down and repaired it. gona put them on this week end with new bolts . i guess it got to hot when all the fins on the inside of the water pump was warn off. never seen anything like that befour. hope it fixes it . thanks for the reply
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Old 01-13-2011
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now and again you get defective castings

and that also inlcudes water pump impellers
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  #25  
Old 01-13-2011
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i guess they just wore out it has 140 thousand on the moter when i took off the water pump there was only a round saucer left on the back of it to pump water. of course it is made of tin i guess if it were made of cast it would stil be working today. the head man said the 3.0 was his best seller for heads. but i never had a mested up head on one of them until now i have had 4 rangers total ,some of them with over 200 thousand on them. thank you very much for the reply 806
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