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2000 Explorer Sport SOHC Overheating


CyanideSandwich

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2000 Ford Explorer Sport
Hi, I have a 2000 Explorer Sport 6 cylinder SOHC with 216k miles that has recently begun to overheat within a half hour of use.

First time it happened we found the overflow tube from the top of the radiator to the reservoir was cut by the alternator, whoever the last owner of the car was installed a hose that was too long and thus was a ticking time bomb for this to happen. We put in a new hose and refilled the reservoir and the radiator with about 4 quarts coolant.

Car lasted about an hour on next use before overheating again, Reservoir was full when it began to overheat. Found the reservoir to be empty and the radiator was a little low once the car was allowed to sit overnight, added about another quart of coolant. At this point, we tried to trigger an overheat again and got about a half hour before it began to overheat again. Also, when the car is started there is now a brief squeaking noise, that started happening last night after we tripped an overheat.

Don't know what the issue is. There's no sign of a leak anywhere, no coolant on the ground. Further, the heat works, comes out strong, even when the car starts to overheat. From googling the issue, most say it's the T-stat getting stuck, but my issue is that the heat works, if it was stuck wouldnt the heat not work at all? I'm not sure if the thermostat needs to be replaced or the water pump maybe, or both.

Any help would be great, would like to fix this before the weather isnt bitterly cold again in NY
 


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swshawaii

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By far the most common failure with the 4.0L SOHC's cooling system is the plastic LOWER THERMOSTAT HOUSING splitting it's seams. Leaking coolant is not always visible because it's usually on the rear of the housing and collects inside the intake valley. Use a strong flashlight and small mirror to inspect or better yet borrow a pressure test kit from most larger auto parts stores with a fully refundable deposit. Telltale signs are usually dried white residue around the lower housing. If yours is original I'd almost give odds that yours is the culprit. GL

4.0 SOHC plastic thermostat housing
4.0 SOHC Metal Thermostat Housing Comparison

How To Replace the Upper and Lower Thermostat Housing on a Ford 4.0L V6 SOHC Engine
 




MrQ

Smokey the clutch is; Missed shift you did
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Water pump would be pretty obvious with that much coolant loss. It would be pouring out of the weep hole.

Thermostat housing would be the place to start. Be very careful about driving this vehicle, as in DON'T, until you get this overheating problem fixed. The 4.0 head gaskets will not take excessive heat for very long. Last thing you want to do is pulling the heads and dealing with the timing components to replace head gaskets.
 




donalds

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One more thing when you replace the thermostat housing check your thermostat I'd just replace it
 




CyanideSandwich

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Ok, thanks for the replies so far, we (as in my dad and I) started the car again to read how hot the engine was running, so far the coolant has been stable, the engine got up to 258F before we shut it off. I felt the upper radiator hose and it was boiling hot, but the lower radiator hose was ice cold.

Current plan of action is to take out the thermostat and see if that fixes the issue until we get a replacement part shipped. I will also check around the housing while i'm taking the thermostat out, and if I see any signs of dried coolant, which would indicate the housing needs to be replaced too.

Also, noticed white smoke coming out of the exhaust and water dripping, but don't know if that's normal considering it's like 40F where I am and pretty humid, or if it's a sign to junk the car.

One last thing, we don't know the history on the car, we're not the original owners and according to my dad, he thinks either the engine or the tranny or both have been replaced because according to him it doesnt feel like an engine with 200k miles on it. Plus the shifter needle doesn't line up with the gear it is in, e.g. if the car is in Park, the needle is on Neutral.
 




donalds

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The white smoke worries me but it is humid and cold so have to wait and see on that 258f holy cow that's not good
The gear indicator. Being off is a very easy fix I wouldn't worry about that for now

Your on the right track
 




MrQ

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White smoke...uhoh. That temp was waaayy too high. Once you fix the leak, I'd start checking for coolant in your oil, or bubbling in your over flow tank. You would be damn lucky to not have blown a head gasket.

Don't pull the thermostat, don't drive it. It will make matters worse. Just my 2 cents.
 




swshawaii

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First and by far the most important is fixing your overheating issue. (Unless too late with blown head gasket)

Many threads and videos, but do this last. LOL
 




CyanideSandwich

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Last update for the night. I pulled the thermostat out, found a bunch of gunk on it, but there was no signs of white residue around the lower T-stat housing, so I don't think it's cracked. Ended up buying a new thermostat/o-ring from advance auto for like 38 bucks after tax as both pep boys and autozone either didnt have it, or didnt have the right temp on it. Decided not to pull the thermostat and put it together without because that last bolt in the back is a real PITA and I don't want to do this again, and just installed a new one.

Plan of action tomorrow is to get a new throttle body mounting gasket, because the last one disintegrated when i pulled the throttle body off, which i'll hopefully be able to install and see if my issue is fixed.
 




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