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Overheating on a 1991 Ford Explorer :(

Texasryan

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Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 Ford explorer Sport
I bought a 1991 Ford Explorer 2wd for about $500 the guy we bought it from said the head gasket was blown and that it would be wise to just tow it home, well me and my dad drove it home without a problem, didn't overheat or anything. Time flys for about 4 months and i get my license, i fire the bad boy up and run it for a little bit and then it started overheating, i figured it was lack of fluid so i put some water in there, it was at FULL water capacity even the over flow tank was filled(Not to much though) It's still over heating.
I don't think it's a cracked head gasket because my friends told me that it would over heat even while driving. So i was wondering what it was?! Anyone have any clues?
I haven't done a radiator flush, or changed the hoses since i got the truck. Could they be clogged?


Any advice will be VERY much appreciated.
She's got 120k miles on her and i plan on keeping her for a long time i just want a simple fix for the over heating issues.
 
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ParkerRocker

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92 Explorer Sport
If it's not leaking coolant all over the ground, then after it warms up, check your oil for water. Look on the underside of the oil cap for condensation. However, since you are saying that it's full I doubt the head gasket is blown. I would still check it though, just in case there is even a small leak.

Did you check your thermostat yet? Cheap part, easy to replace. WHen it's busted the coolant won't flow through the system like it's supposed to. Thermostat is located under the metal part that bolts to the top/front of the engine that attaches to the upper radiator hose. (Make sure you install your replacement in the same orientation as the old one ;-P)
 
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Texasryan

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If it's not leaking coolant all over the ground, then after it warms up, check your oil for water. Look on the underside of the oil cap for condensation. However, since you are saying that it's full I doubt the head gasket is blown. I would still check it though, just in case there is even a small leak.

Did you check your thermostat yet? Cheap part, easy to replace. WHen it's busted the coolant won't flow through the system like it's supposed to. Thermostat is located under the metal part that bolts to the top/front of the engine that attaches to the upper radiator hose. (Make sure you install your replacement in the same orientation as the old one ;-P)


Freakin sweet man! Thank you!
I'll check into that! I think the thermostat is sticking or something like that.
 
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Bruces expo

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Hopefully it's something easy , Also Welcome to The site , Great Place And Info
 
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runningred92

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I 2nd the thermostat. Whatever you do DO NOT DRIVE IT HOT! A coolant flush wouldn't be a bad idea either since you don't know how the truck was run before coolant will break down much faster being run at high temps for an extended period of time.
 
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Fastest Caskets

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thermostat seems likely. If I understand your post correctly it seems to only overheat at idle, and not while driving it? I've seen fauly fans cause this, and even once a waterpump. Something to think about if the thermostat doesn't pan out
 
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Texasryan

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Well, i checked my fan and it seemed that i have a couple cracks between the blades but it's just 1 and i also checked my oil cap for condensation and what not, and there was NONE just a bunch of gunk stuck on it. i cleaned it off and reinstalled it, I'm gonna go look for a thermostat when i have off! Thanks for the help! It's really appreciated! It's helped me know more about my Ex.
 
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Texasryan

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thermostat seems likely. If I understand your post correctly it seems to only overheat at idle, and not while driving it? I've seen fauly fans cause this, and even once a waterpump. Something to think about if the thermostat doesn't pan out

And yes it overheats at Idle and not going.
 
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Bruces expo

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btw check it while its running and about to get over normal temp , squeeze the top radiator hose near the throttle body to see if its hard , if it is hard after the truck has warmed up then you know the thermostat is sticking , and that will also tell you if you have any small leaks in the radiator , find them all the time for friends !
 
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ozzie4x4

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chuck the thermistat in a pot of cold water , put it on the stove and watch as the water heats up, if it dont pop out, then its the thermistat if it does then I would lean towards the viscous fan clutch, being crook then towards a blocked radiator
 
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Tony H

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Cracks on the fan blades is typical with these 1st Generation Explorers.
Don't sweat that.
Yes, get the T stat out and put it in boiling water and see if it opens. It's out already.. just replace it.
 
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Bruces expo

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SWEET ! , Glad It was an easy fix as i mentioned , Be Sure to check it every time you drive , I plan to put a Fan on my trans Cooler , But I Am also planning on running dual Trans Coolers with Fans !
 
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safn1949

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Keep track of your temps and don't be afraid to replace that old radiator if it runs hot,I find that solves about 80% of my problems,lived in Garland in the 80's and had a 68 Road Runner that over heated,after fooling around with water pump,flushes,etc a new radiator fixed it. Done that a bunch of times.:D
 
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Rich52490

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Does it overheat when you are idling or at speed?
 
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Texasryan

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Both...
I think i found the problem though...
I wasn't using Anti-freeze i was just using water.
Well, the water would start to boil due to heat added with MORE heat.
So my thermostat wouldn't open and wouldn't let water through because it was all hot.
Well, it started overheating again so i parked in a QT parking lot ran inside and got some more water, and put it in there and this man came up and gave me a bottle of Antifreeze which had a OverBoil protection of 235 degrees or so, I turned my truck on let it get a little hot and flush out some of the water, it did that and it drained about a quarter of my water so i threw the 50/50 antifreeze in there and now it's running hot but not too hot if that makes sense it's right in the middle of NORMAL.
I turned my AC on FULL blast just to test it while i was driving and the temp started rising and then it fell.
I parked in another parking lot about 2 miles down the road and then let the AC run on the truck at a stand still and it did the same thing, Got up to about A and then fell.
I was SO relieved.
I have learned a valuable lesson. If i want a truck to last me a long time, i must use ANTIFREEZE not just water.
 
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Rich52490

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Awesome man, I am glad you got it figured out. I was going to ask if you were using a 50/50 mixture and a had a working radiator cap. Seeing as you are from Texas, it gets pretty hot down there :D
 
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