92 with pinging / coolant loss / jumping temp | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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92 with pinging / coolant loss / jumping temp


New Member
July 17, 2004
Reaction score
City, State
Wichita, Kansas
Year, Model & Trim Level
'92 XLT
I have a 92 Auto with 194k miles with recently rebuilt A4LD. I notice the other day that there was gurgling in the dash. Checked the coolant level and it was low. There are no signs of external coolant leaks, but coolant is still disappearing. Temp gauge will hit the R in NORMAL then go to the A and then back again. It does this constantly. Its also had this pinging sound under load for a long time. My sister owned it before me and we did replace the upper intake gasket but I dont remember at what mileage. The pinging has gotten a little worse now. If you put it in drive with brakes on it pings more loudly. It also makes a rattle sound when you shut it down. The coolant looks good, bright green and the oil looks normal as well. I was reading the forums and see that sometimes the pinging is the intake gasket? Or could it be a head gasket? This weekend I am going to do a compression test and block test. This is my wifes car and we dont drive it a lot, but I need some repair advice. Oh and I am fairly good at taking apart an engine so changing the gaskets wont be a problem if thats what is needed.

It could be the lower intake, I wouldnt immediatly suspect head gasket, if that were the case it would be known! You wouldn’t be able to keep coolant in that thing...

Worst case scenario: cracked head. Compression test and a coolant pressure test could help diagnose this.

As for the pinging, its most likely carbon build up in the lower intake and intake runners causing gas to condense in the bowls which in turn the gas drips into the cylinder making the combustion uneven. Or it could mean the valve seats are in need of a grinding. Unforunatly removing the heads will be required. It might be a good idea just to do that, check the guides, have all the valves grinded. The springs and retainers should be fine. I had a set of single-valve springs with 200k miles still put out 90lbs of pressure, and as i came to find out, my new single springs put out just that, 90lbs of pressure. The comp-cam dual springs put out 100lbs at full compression. But either way, if you rebuild the top end you will kill two birds with one stone!

Thanks for the reply. The coolant seems to "disappear" without being visable anywhere. I also noticed that there is moisture at the tail pipe at startup. I topped it off today and am going to see how low it gets after few trips around town. If the upper intake is bad, would that cause the coolant to vanish? It also always seems to have a "slight" misfire. How much would you estimate a top end rebuild would cost, and how hard is it?

Thanks again.