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I know I need a tranny, BUT!

tidmarshsmiths5

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1991 Explorer XLT
No towing, runs fine - no overheating - other than that screwy temp fluctuation that I've never seen in any other vehicle I've ever owned.

Tomorrow, I'll pull the thermostat (AND LEAVE IT OUT) and replace fan with either regular of heavy duty clutch.

Here is the issue - almost made it home, see temp gauge arising but it does this and usually mickey mouses up and down...not today because it's hotter than hades in South Carolina. Leave the stop and go red light (pulling a box trailer with just a lawn mower in it - less than 1000 lbs) and I see smoke, lots of smoke.

Oh, I know what it is...tranny fluid pouring on the muffler...praying it doesn't catch fire, I limp home the next 1.5 miles.

Cut it off, I hear the radiator boiling over (it never got past the L on the stupid gauge - yes, I know y'all say it's a dummy gauge but that's greek to me)...so, I grab the hose pipe and wash off tranny fluid out from under it - it's all over the box trailer and under the truck as well and then I cut the heat on high and start spraying the radiator until it gets back between the R and the M.

Cut it back off and no more boiling over. And yes, it has a tranny cooler - that's where I think all the heat comes from...

I know the tranny fluid is black and I had to add a quart the last time this happened - towed the pop up camper to the mountains - and the darn thing runs like a champ if I'm not towing.

So, until I can get the tranny rebuilt - read, money - I'll just not tow anymore. Yes, I do not tow in Overdrive and I never got over 55 - most of the time, I stayed at 45 to 50 mph. Trying to prevent this from happening - but it was HOT today (so was I after 4 hours on a tractor bush hogging - on a 1952 Ford 8N I might add - I'm partial to the Blue Ovals).

Any other ideas? Besides a lot of swearing - I've got that part down!
 



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p38fln

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If everything is full of fluid and nothing is leaking until it starts to overheat - is your clutch fan actually working at all? I mean you should HEAR that thing when you take off if it's that hot out and you're towing, with or without the AC on.
 






tidmarshsmiths5

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If everything is full of fluid and nothing is leaking until it starts to overheat - is your clutch fan actually working at all? I mean you should HEAR that thing when you take off if it's that hot out and you're towing, with or without the AC on.

I can watch it spin; if not towing no problems. Whether it's turning going down the road I don't know - someone put a new radiator in it before I bought it. You would think, ha!, that they replaced thermostat and fan clutch at same time...I can see where the gasket sealer is and I can see that the temp gauge sensor was new (I bought one too just for kicks and giggles - no change in readings). It does not overheat if I don't run AC or don't tow.

I never ran the AC - that definitely runs it way over the R and M and into the L area...

One would think it's the fan clutch...I'll do all that tomorrow before our dove shoot, but darn why can't cold weather just get here...so tired of the heat...and so is my old truck!
 






Wolfie_85

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There's two temp sensors. One goes to the gauge on the dash and one to the computer. The temp guage isn't a dummy. It's the real deal. The oil pressure guage is the dummy.
 






natenkiki2004

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Sounds like you're just overheating due to load. I'd put a new thermostat (Stant Superstat) and fan clutch (Hayden Severe Duty) in it just so you know they are new and premium parts. Just because someone replaced the radiator doesn't mean they did anything to the fan clutch. You should be able to spin the fan freely with the engine off but also hear it engage louder when you first start the engine but it will quiet down about a half mile down the road. You can also reach in front of the fan clutch, in the center. If it's wet or sticky, it's leaking and needs to be replaced.

If you're going to be towing, it'd be a good idea to put an auxiliary cooler on the transmission if there isn't one already. Even if it's a light load like the lawnmower.
 












tidmarshsmiths5

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Two...awesome...so I'm the dummy! ha!

We're going to tear into it tomorrow and replace thermostat (prolly just remove it) and new heavy duty clutch. Currently, it's not leaking...this truck was well maintained over the years (lots of Ford Dealership repairs) and I would guess the fan clutch would have been replaced with the radiator...BUT I'm tired of worrying and will just do it. We did buy a filter and why we have it all apart will install a tranny filter as well - it has a tranny cooler from the factory - my brother really wants to pump all the tranny fluid out and replace it but I keep telling him you gents don't recommend it...

It has a new radiator cap.
 






mekelly

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Is the replaced radiator double core (the thick one). They may have replaced it with a thinner radiator. That could definitely cause overheating if you're towing or when stopped on a hot day. Especially if you're fan clutch is suspect.

I put a Hayden severe duty fan clutch on my '94 2wd Auto and never have heat problems.
 






natenkiki2004

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Even if you suspect parts have been replaced, who knows the quality and the actual date they were done. Once you do them, you have an accounting for when they were replaced and how many miles are on them. Just good to have IMO.

If you want to exchange some trans fluid, do it when you install the filter. Run the engine with the trans cooler hose disconnected and into a bucket. Pump out maybe 2 quarts or so then install the filter. Fill it up with whatever you pumped out and check the level. That's an easy way to replace some fluid without risking blowing seals or "flushing" the trans out. A little bit of new fluid at a time if the trans maintenance is unknown.
 






tidmarshsmiths5

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Cap, Radiator and Tranny cooler...

This looks like a very stout radiator - can't be a single?
 






Explorin'VA

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I'm sure you just need a new fan clutch. If the fan clutch isn't engaging and it's causing your radiator to boil over, then it's possible the trans cooler isn't cooling your fluid, causing the trans fluid leak much more rapidly? I think the best test is to twist up a roll of newspaper and with the engine running hold the newspaper against the fan. If the fan stops rotating you need to replace the clutch.
 






tidmarshsmiths5

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I'm sure you just need a new fan clutch. If the fan clutch isn't engaging and it's causing your radiator to boil over, then it's possible the trans cooler isn't cooling your fluid, causing the trans fluid leak much more rapidly? I think the best test is to twist up a roll of newspaper and with the engine running hold the newspaper against the fan. If the fan stops rotating you need to replace the clutch.
Well, I had to put a quart of tranny fluid and stopped once it warmed up, had to buy what the C-store had, type A, and run the heat on high down the highway...

Because today without a load it was running hot. It never boiled over but it ran well into the L on the temp gauge.
 






2stroke

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If it wasn't getting that hot, but still boiling over you either A have coolant that is old/mixed improperly, or B have a bad radiator cap. 50/50 coolant at 16 psi won't boil until over 260 degrees, and that's close to the H on the gauge.
 






tidmarshsmiths5

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If it wasn't getting that hot, but still boiling over you either A have coolant that is old/mixed improperly, or B have a bad radiator cap. 50/50 coolant at 16 psi won't boil until over 260 degrees, and that's close to the H on the gauge.

The radiator never boiled over...improper description I'm sure. It boiled back into the fill reservoir on the side. The tranny is what is boiling it I am sure. Antifreeze mix is good, new radiator cap and getting ready to put a thermostat in it.
 






Turdle

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Coolant entering the reservoir is pressure venting. Out of curiosity I looked on Rockauto's site. There are several radiator caps listed, however, only the Motorcraft unit is rated for 16PSI.

I'd be inclined to try that.
 






tidmarshsmiths5

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Coolant entering the reservoir is pressure venting. Out of curiosity I looked on Rockauto's site. There are several radiator caps listed, however, only the Motorcraft unit is rated for 16PSI.

I'd be inclined to try that.

Removed thermostat - ran cool as a cucumber all the way home. No tranny leak either. No boiling over when I got home.

Went to buy thermostat (we were at our annual Dove Shoot) and the small town only had a MotoRad 198 with auto stuck open so we didn't put it in. I'll get over to autozone tomorrow and get a 180 or less if they have it. I've got to buy the clutch fan anyway just to be safe. My brother ran his 95 X for 15 plus years without a thermostat but with winter coming we'll need some heat.

My gut is this thermostat was sticking - going to go boil it in hot water in a minute to see what it does. Just want to know for the sake of knowing.

We tested the fan with a hat and got it to stop but we had to really stick it in there to stop it. My brother (he is a lot more gifted than me with mechanics) said that he thinks the fan is fine and he wouldn't do it but I do not want any overheating when driving it and when I put the thermostat back in it I want to shy away from any problems.

I would say this thermostat has seen better days and that darn bolt behind that wire was a booger!
 






tidmarshsmiths5

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Just boiled it in water and it opened up; at least a 1/8 of an inch I'd say...maybe it just wouldn't open up enough under load???

Oh well, it got a radiator flush and new coolant today today and we got all the air bubbles out...

Who knows...it's getting pretty bad when I walk in AutoZone and they say, "Hey Paul what's wrong with the X today?"

Did it AGAIN and this is what it looked like...didn't open up until it was well past water boiling and then just barely.:eek:

I'd say this is the culprit!:thumbsup:

If my wife sees what I'm using in her kitchen I'll be getting boiled over!:D
 






2stroke

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Don't go below 180. Being in the south, a heavy duty fan clutch, or an electric fan are a good idea. If it still overheats you need a bigger radiator.
 






tidmarshsmiths5

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Don't go below 180. Being in the south, a heavy duty fan clutch, or an electric fan are a good idea. If it still overheats you need a bigger radiator.

I think the radiator is fine - it looks big enough.

I'm definitely going with the heavy duty (had one on my Bronco II and never ran hot). Going to buy a new radiator cap "just in case". Figure if I'm doing it all I might as well.

I understand that the thermostat is supposed to improve fuel mileage and maintain proper engine temp but why are they so important other than that?

My brother wants me to get an electric fan out of the junkyard and put it on - he says that will be the best thing I can do.
 



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2stroke

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Well there are a whole host of reasons, most of which I don't know. A big one is engine tolerances. These engines were designed with 195 in mind. You will increase wear with an engine that isn't up to temp. You will increase engine wear. Will it blow up soon without a thermostat? I doubt it. Will it last as long as if it had been running 180+? Not a chance. Without a thermostat your engine might not even get out of open loop mode, and seriously hurt your fuel mileage. Even if you do get warm enough for closed loop, you will still have a slight drop in fuel mileage. I know you live in the south, but I'm guessing there are days you need to defrost your window on a cold morning. Good luck without a thermostat. You could go with a 160 thermostat, but you would be wasting your time. 180 is for those that want a little buffer for really hot days.
 






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