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Solved 1993 Ford Explorer XLT Temperature Gauge Dead

Discussion in 'Stock 1991 - 1994 Explorers' started by jasonexplorer, July 25, 2011.

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    1. jasonexplorer

      jasonexplorer New Member

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      Hello all,

      My temperature gauge is dead. I got the car like 8 months ago and it hasn't worked from the start. She runs fine, no problems and the heat works good too, just the temp gauge is dead.

      Do I just need a new coolant temperature sensor?

      Any thoughts.

      Jason
       
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    3. Turdle

      Turdle Has Pleasure Chamber Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      yes, but you need to replace the coolant "sender" on the right side of engine. There is also a coolant temp sensor, so do not confuse the two.
       
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    4. Maniak

      Maniak Moderator-Stock 91-94 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      The single wire one is for the gauge. The 2 wire temp sensor is for the computer.

      ~Mark
       
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    5. jasonexplorer

      jasonexplorer New Member

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    6. Turdle

      Turdle Has Pleasure Chamber Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    7. jasonexplorer

      jasonexplorer New Member

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      Thanks, I'm still new to mechanics, so I don't understand, I'm gonna check my Haynes Repair Manual to see if I can figure it out and do some homework.
       
    8. jasonexplorer

      jasonexplorer New Member

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      Cool thanks!
       
    9. jasonexplorer

      jasonexplorer New Member

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      Ordered, 16 bucks with shipping, not bad.
       
    10. jasonexplorer

      jasonexplorer New Member

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    11. Turdle

      Turdle Has Pleasure Chamber Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    12. Turdle

      Turdle Has Pleasure Chamber Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      ok on My 93 the temp sender looks like the one pictured abaove, with a small threaded type stud for a wire connector to slide onto

      Here is one from a later model. Although the connector is different, yours is still in the same location
       

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    13. jasonexplorer

      jasonexplorer New Member

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      Thanks Turdle for the picture, big help. Using my original picture, I put a new arrow of where I think your pointing too. I think this location is it, or somewhere around this area. I'll get a better picture tonight.

      [​IMG]

      Uploaded with ImageShack.us
       
    14. Turdle

      Turdle Has Pleasure Chamber Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    15. Turdle

      Turdle Has Pleasure Chamber Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Here is a bare manifold. I have too much junk

      Red arrow is ECT sensor. It helps the pcm calculate fuel ratio. This is not the problem sensor.



      Green is Coolant sender, which is the gauge sender. This is the one you want
       

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    16. Turdle

      Turdle Has Pleasure Chamber Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Here is my engine. I have a different looking cable to the sender, as I am using an aftermarket gauge. These will show you where your sender is though.
       

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    17. jasonexplorer

      jasonexplorer New Member

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      Nice :D
       
    18. Kamel

      Kamel Member

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      Thanks for this thread guys... it's helped me out a lot in understanding where the temp sensor is at.
       
    19. jasonexplorer

      jasonexplorer New Member

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      I changed the temperature sender a few weeks ago, I needed a deep socket 18mm (i think) to get it. Quite a bit of coolant came out, but temperature gauge still not working, battery level gauge also dead. Maybe I need a whole new gauge cluster?? or perhaps try to replace the other component, the temperature "sensor"?
       
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    20. Kamel

      Kamel Member

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      I might be in the same boat here soon... i am about to replace my "sender" to see if it fixes it... hopefully i'll have good news :O
       
    21. Maniak

      Maniak Moderator-Stock 91-94 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Before you throw money at the sending unit, you should make sure the gauge and the wireing for it are working.

      Its an easy test. Just take the single wire that goes to the sending unit and ground it. If the gauge and wiring is good it will peg the gauge. If it doesn't move you have other issues to fix before you change the sending unit.

      ~Mark
       
    22. Kamel

      Kamel Member

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      Maniak, thanks for your response. Unfortunately, it came too late as I did the job today. Fortunately, it DID fix the problem! Guess I lucked out on that one.

      Here are just a few notes for anyone doing this job.

      NOTE: For anyone replacing this unit especially on as old of vehicle as this, plastic/rubber boot around the sending unit has hardened over the years and will not get larger. The sender I got was a generic part and the probe was much larger than the one it was replacing. Due to this, I had to hammer a screwdriver into the boot, breaking some of the boot. I highly recommend you get a part with a small probe on the top, like the OEM version and not a larger one.

      I got the part in question from O'Reilly similar to the one shown here (came with a nut on the top) http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/BWD0/WT909.oap?ck=Search_N2346_-1_-1&pt=N2346&ppt=C0331 . I was able to confirm the new part did indeed have a much larger top as the unnecessary nut that came on top of the sender easily slide right down the part I took out.

      I did get a second sender from Napa which I compared to the part I took out and it looked identical in diameter (but different in other ways). I would imagine it would have kept me from needing to hammer a screwdriver into the boot breaking it, but I already had the new one in and it was a major pain to get in (also from a financial perspective if I didn't use the napa part I could return it, whereas there was no hope for the one already installed and marred up).

      The sender is located on the right side of the alternator, next to the base. It is under the tubing for the A/C, the thermostat, and the 2 little wiring harnesses there to the left of where the red arrow pointed in jasonexplorer's last picture.

      I took the air tube and the shield over the throttle off to improve room, but ultimately it didn't do much -- this is one of those jobs that are a tight fit and require patience and a small hand. No coolant came out for me when I did it, but there was fluid right up to the hole, could have easily stuck my finger in and gotten coolant on it.

      It has an "L" shaped boot over the top with a single (green, if I recall correctly) wire coming from it. You can easily pull this right off (doesn't have threads) to get a socket over it. The stock one takes a 17mm socket but I think the replacement part I got would have had a better fitting english-system counter part, as I saw that the corners looked marred once installed. I used a deep socket, but it was the only one of the size I had so not sure if it was required.

      Hope this helps anyone who does this job. It was certainly more of a pain than I thought it would be, but well worth the effort. With the right replacement part, I think it would have been much easier overall.
       
    23. larrydd999

      larrydd999 Elite Explorer

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      Also my thanks for all who took the time and photos! I, too, had to replace the sender a few months ago and had the same problems. With my large hands it was a bit of a struggle to get that tiny sender into that small area. I ended up using the rubber hose method. One very minor suggestion... When checking this gauge - or any other - the ignition switch needs to be on so the gauges have power. Grounding most dash gauge senders will cause the associated gauge to move so it's a quick and effective test. Don't try this with senders having multiple wires, however, since one or more of the wires will likely be connected to the battery and/or the electronics module possibly resulting in damage.
       
    24. DR

      DR New Member

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      Temperature Gauge Reading Low

      I assume the problem is the thermostat staying open but does anyone have resistance readings for the sensor. Engine cold with air temperature around 60 degrees I get a reading of around 400 ohms. What checking I have done lets me know with heat the resistance will decrease. The temperature gauge comes up to the cold line and stalls there while driving. Around 2007 I installed a fail safe thermostat with no problems until know. Not a bad problem if you compare it to overheating. Anyone have an input on this?
       
    25. larrydd999

      larrydd999 Elite Explorer

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      The sender resistances are variable depending on the manufacturer, but a 400 ohm reading at 'cold' temperatures is reasonable in my experience. Hot will be somewhere around 30 ohms, again depending on the manufacturer and intended use (i.e. make, model, year, etc.). My wife's '92 ex and my '94 ex both use the same thermostat and the same sender and our gauges read quite a bit different under the same conditions.
       
    26. davidk

      davidk Elite Explorer

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      Just to make sure I understand, if the gauge and the wiring are good (grounding test: gauge is pegged with key on) then that means the sender is bad?

      David
       
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