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Old 07-14-2011, 04:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default overheating 2002 taurus, help please

i recently got a 2002 taurus ses 3.0 sohc, vulcan i think, it was overheating this past winter and the heater would not get hot, so the previous owner had the water pump replaced, the blades had rusted off, still it ran hot with no heat, we found a crack in the plastic fill tank for the radiator, i replaced that, we had a garage back flush the heater core and replace the heater control door motor, still no heat, so earlier this week it started loosing lots of water on short trips, i found water leaking from the passenger side firewall, i assumed it was the heater core,so i thought it may still be clogged up and not letting enough water circulate to keep the car cool, so i got a long piece of hose and bypassed the heater core, its still running hot, boiling over, i have also flushed the system out several times with rad flush, getting a lot of rust out, big flakes, about a coffee cup full!!, the fans seem to be working, but another strange thing is the temp hand dont rise above the half way mark, but you turn the car off and it boils out the reserve tank,also the reserve tank and cap are fairly new, but the cap dont hold the water in, or seem to seal tightly, the cap says 16lbs but its not venting at the cap, rather its coming out around the cap threads, could this cause the problem? why is the water getting up to boil temps? the car seems to run fairly good, other than the engine light stays on and it has a light surge ever so often, but i figured the surge was a result of the overheating, i had it hooked to a diagnostic thing and got these codes...p1151 and p0420 if anyone can help please pm me, i dont want to destroy the engine, but its all we have to drive and the temps here in ga are brutal, sorry so long winded but i wanted to be detailed in my description of the problem, im going to replace the thermostat today, i will post if it helps, thanks to all........................vandredi65
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would go for the thermostat too. IT's pretty cheap and easy to replace. The reservoir could still over pressure/heat because of a small line that bypasses the thermostat that comes off the head and goes right to the reservoir.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Have the system pressure tested

If it is not holding up to the 16psi pressure, you have a leak somewhere. An unpressurized system will not allow the coolant temperatures to exceed the boiling temperature of the antifreeze/water mixture so a boilover becomes more likely.

You may need a new pressure cap - a radiator shop can test that along with the overall system pressure.

Does your radiator fan kick in when it starts to go high?

You mentioned it boils over when you turn off the engine yet the gauge shows a midrange reading. That leads me to suspect even more that you have an unpressurized system or leaky cap. Coolant temps rise when you shut off the engine because it is no longer circulating through the radiator. Thus it picks up residual heat from the block which causes temps to rise even though the engine is no longer running. If the coolant is right at the edge of boiling, that's when it will do so. Pressurizing a system elevates the boiling point so a properly sealed system won't experience this.

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Old 07-14-2011, 10:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Besides the overheating issue, you have an upstream bank#2 o2 sensor code (p1151) and a bank#1 catalytic converter code (po420).
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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About your thermostat - I hope you got a Motorcraft. There a lot of unhappy owners that use something else.

If you have a Duratec engine the plug wires or coils are right in the middle of the valve cover. Otherwise you've got the vulcan engine. The Duratecs have been historically known for having the water pump impeller disappear or break.

Whatever you do, do NOT overheat the Duratec. The heads and block are made of aluminum. Have some common sense with this engine.

If you see large chunks of what looks like pieces of water pump (during a flush) this will overheat your engine as well.

Verify all your hoses do not have leaks. Pressure test your cooling system and look for leaks. Pressure your radiator cap.

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Old 07-14-2011, 11:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Just remember, vulcans are incredibly unforgiving when it comes to overheating. You might need new heads soon if you don't fix the issue, if you don't already.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monsoon View Post

The Duratecs have been historically known for having the water pump impeller disappear or break.

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The above statement should say VULCANS have been historically known for having the water pump impeller disappear or break.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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thanks for all of the advise,@k8crd & @monsoon it is a vulcan engine, and it had a new water pump installed around nov or dec last year, then the car sat for a couple of months, the previous owner was fed up with the overheating and no heater, she had the core flushed then they said it was the blend motor so she had that repaired, and replaced the coolant resevoir tank, and water pump, still no heat, and overheating,so she went a bought a new honda and parked the taurus after i started driving it about a month and a half ago, it was running like crap, missing bad, so i started checking things, replaced plugs and wires, still it missed so after figuring out there was no dist cap or rotor button to replace, i turned to the coil pack, that was it, i replaced it and the pass side wheel bearing, and it ran good for a few weeks, then one day on my way to work it overheated, so i flushed it out again getting a pile of rust out, and was in the process of flushing with radiator flush when i discovered water leaking from the firewall on the pass side, so i got a long hose and bypassed the core and tubing by connecting the hose from the top of the water pump to the rear of the intake inlet, and flushed the crap out of it again, so im sure its not the water pump or the heater core causing it, i think it is the coolant res tank, im going to return it to the store while its still under warranty, when you put the cap on and tighten it down, till the cap slips, it just pops back off, sometimes it will stay tight for a day, then the next day when i check it its popped up again, i replaced the cap but got the same result,so im going to check the next one while im in the store to make sure it tightens correctly, because it dont seem to overheat when the cap does manage to stay tight, if you ask me the parts are junk, i think they expand when hot then shrink and loosen when cooling, its a part designed to fail, plastic jug to hold hot water, what a joke, it would have been too easy to use a regular radiator instead of that goofy design, i cant understand why american car co's feel they have to design cars to fail in a few yrs, i have always driven older cars, because of the headache of the post 81 models, but with gas prices soaring i thought i would try something newer, i cant get over the cheap mfg of it, barley 10 yrs old and falling apart, it still has more probs but im not going to fix them if i cant stop the over heating, and new heads is out of the question, it only has 139000 miles on it, my dad has a 1990 volvo with 350000 miles, still running strong, has a few little probs but none that affect the way it runs or drives, these car co's are producing bad products, and designing them so the average joe cant do his repairs, its sad they have sank to that level, but any how im going to replace the coolant tank, and thermostat tomorrow, if that works i will do a oil change since its been overheating, then maybe it will last a year, im not holding my breath though, lol i will post my results in a couple of days, thanks to all of you for your help, ps i also have a 1997 escort, it was grandma owned, i drove it for about 3 months, then out of the blue it dropped a valve seat, wow what a mess, busted the head and one piston, any how i am looking for a thermostat housing for it, used and cheap, new one is out of question, so if any one has one for sale cheep, and live any where close to the north georgia area, send me a pm, thanks again all
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Vandred, sorry to hear about all your issues. Its a shame you have the aftermarket (probably dorman) tank. Dorman parts from napa are usually branded balkamp. This problem has been discussed many times here and it seems the solution is a motorcraft replacement reservoir in this situation. Same thing with another cooling system component, the thermostat. General consensus here is to stick with motorcraft. Likewise with plugs and wires. Motorcraft or autolite for these two ignition components.

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Old 07-17-2011, 01:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vandredi65 View Post
thanks for all of the advise,@k8crd & @monsoon it is a vulcan engine, and it had a new water pump installed around nov or dec last year, then the car sat for a couple of months, the previous owner was fed up with the overheating and no heater, she had the core flushed then they said it was the blend motor so she had that repaired, and replaced the coolant resevoir tank, and water pump, still no heat, and overheating,so she went a bought a new honda and parked the taurus after i started driving it about a month and a half ago, it was running like crap, missing bad, so i started checking things, replaced plugs and wires, still it missed so after figuring out there was no dist cap or rotor button to replace, i turned to the coil pack, that was it, i replaced it and the pass side wheel bearing, and it ran good for a few weeks, then one day on my way to work it overheated, so i flushed it out again getting a pile of rust out, and was in the process of flushing with radiator flush when i discovered water leaking from the firewall on the pass side, so i got a long hose and bypassed the core and tubing by connecting the hose from the top of the water pump to the rear of the intake inlet, and flushed the crap out of it again, so im sure its not the water pump or the heater core causing it, i think it is the coolant res tank, im going to return it to the store while its still under warranty, when you put the cap on and tighten it down, till the cap slips, it just pops back off, sometimes it will stay tight for a day, then the next day when i check it its popped up again, i replaced the cap but got the same result,so im going to check the next one while im in the store to make sure it tightens correctly, because it dont seem to overheat when the cap does manage to stay tight, if you ask me the parts are junk, i think they expand when hot then shrink and loosen when cooling, its a part designed to fail, plastic jug to hold hot water, what a joke, it would have been too easy to use a regular radiator instead of that goofy design, i cant understand why american car co's feel they have to design cars to fail in a few yrs, i have always driven older cars, because of the headache of the post 81 models, but with gas prices soaring i thought i would try something newer, i cant get over the cheap mfg of it, barley 10 yrs old and falling apart, it still has more probs but im not going to fix them if i cant stop the over heating, and new heads is out of the question, it only has 139000 miles on it, my dad has a 1990 volvo with 350000 miles, still running strong, has a few little probs but none that affect the way it runs or drives, these car co's are producing bad products, and designing them so the average joe cant do his repairs, its sad they have sank to that level, but any how im going to replace the coolant tank, and thermostat tomorrow, if that works i will do a oil change since its been overheating, then maybe it will last a year, im not holding my breath though, lol i will post my results in a couple of days, thanks to all of you for your help, ps i also have a 1997 escort, it was grandma owned, i drove it for about 3 months, then out of the blue it dropped a valve seat, wow what a mess, busted the head and one piston, any how i am looking for a thermostat housing for it, used and cheap, new one is out of question, so if any one has one for sale cheep, and live any where close to the north georgia area, send me a pm, thanks again all
The truth is, a lot of engines from that time had similar problems, from many different manufactures. The heads were a short coming, but on the plus side that engine is very reliable otherwise, just don't run it hot. I had a Volvo with over 300,000 miles, ran great. But I have seen Volvo's break, this guy had a bad rad and tried driving it to the dealer, it was a 20 minute drive and when he got there, he traded it because it had a bad knock from the trip.

Ford, GM and Chrysler get an undeserved bad reputation for their engines. Show me a domestic engine made in the last 15 years that can't do 150,000 miles without an issue, and I'm not talking electronics or other stuff that does break on domestics. The domestic manufactures engines (except a few Chrysler designs) have been incredibly reliable. The largest issues facing their engines over the last 15 years has been gasket and sealing issues. Fords modular v8 is a good example, there's one with 1.2 million miles, no rebuild. It is used by taxis and police, it sees some of the harshest conditions a passenger vehicle will ever see and they are considered to be incredibly reliable. 350,000 miles on a modular is nothing, I see them all the time.

Your issues are related to a crappy cooling system design.
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