Wiring or Temp sensor? 97 5.0 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Wiring or Temp sensor? 97 5.0


January 15, 2015
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City, State
Sometimes Rural Texas
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 Explorer
Hi All,
Need some help. Our 97 Explorer 5.0 has been in use at our farm and recently the mice chewed through a couple of wires. It's giving me a Engine Temperature Sensor code, but it doesn't appear to be a wire to the temperature sensor. Anyone have any idea what this wire may go to? I am not finding any other loose end and the Chilton manual is not too helpful. I need to get this sorted out before I change the temperature sensor.


A wider view.


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I'm not 100% sure what I'm looking at because I don't have the 5.0L, but there should be two temp sensors right next to or pretty near each other, one for the ECM (aka "temp sensor") and one for the dash gauge (aka "temp sender"). The former has two wires, "maybe" light green/red and grey/red, might be in the intake manifold, and the latter temp sender, I'm guessing is the one I can see in the pic, red connector that's only supposed to have that one, red with white-stripe wire pictured.

It's a long shot, but on the pic below, I can tell that the left circled wire is severed, then does it go to (what might be) a wire in the second circle?


it does not go in that hole, no
the brown thing is your coolant temp sensor FOR THE DASH, it has a single wire going to it.

The wire they chewed through looks like it is headed for the other coolant temp sensor which is for the engines computer
Hence the code

Right under that coil pack you will see another coolant temp sensor

coil pack metal
"tripod" can be removed with 3ea 13mm nuts, and a 10 or 11mm nut on the side. then just pry the throttle cable bracket over
You can number the plug wires before you remove them so they go back on same positions

here you go a pic

here is 5.0 firing order/ wire locations in case you need


It's a long shot, but on the pic below, I can tell that the left circled wire is severed, then does it go to (what might be) a wire in the second circle?

View attachment 426909
JC is correct: the severed wires are for the ECM sensor. They should be gray/red and light green/red. The sensor itself is to the left, behind the thermostat. The orange-color sensor in the photo is the single-wire one for the gauge and its connection (red/white) appears intact.

Thanks gentlemen. I'll be out at the farm next week and will pull the coil pack and then report back. I appreciate the insight.


Quick update. Longer explanation.

Well, it looks like @410Fortune was spot on. Of course, the little buggers nesting under the hood chewed the wires flush with the connector. Small Town Auto Supply didn't have it, neither did NAPA, which is probably good, because I ordered one from the internet for $25 less. I just wait another week for it to get here. Getting the plug out was easy, just lift the "tripod" and I didn't need to remove a single nut either.

Longer explanation... I've generally turned my own wrenches since I was a teenager. A few years ago, the water pump went out and I twisted off a bolt trying to remove it. I had about 200k on the motor and needed to pull the motor to get it apart, so rather than put in an old motor I decided to put in a long block. At the time I was in the middle of an MBA and couldn't devote the time, so like an idiot I gave a local mechanic a chance to put in a rebuilt motor. After 10 days I went to pick it up and noticed the fan shroud was missing and some other parts loose. 5 days later, I come back to pick it up again and when I get it home find other parts lose on the motor. Back it went. After a couple of weeks back and forth, I took it home for good. Later I discovered they had not attached the wheel wells properly. This week I noticed they had set the "Tripod" for the coil pack on the studs but never put on the nuts. The truck runs fine most of the time, I just wish I had all of the fasteners they left off.

Any of you in Houston and looking for a repair shop, let me know and I'll tell you which one on Bissonette just inside the loop to avoid. BTW, these guys have 4.5 stars on Yelp, then again so did the local Taco Bell.

Thanks again.


Dang !!

This is exactly what I do
Shops stink which is why we diy

Glad you got it sorted out!

If you ever need 5.0
Parts just pm me

Thanks again for the advice. With the new plug spliced in over the weekend the old girl is running like a champ. Now to keep those mice out of there.

I'll give it a look. for $30 I'm trying a sonic device. They were also using the insulation under the hood to make a nest on top of the motor so I purchased some rodent repellant to spray on that. I may buy a roll of the tape to secure the plug I put in.

Amazon product ASIN B07LCKBGY8
Amazon product ASIN B01DTBOV06