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Discussion Starter #1
1998 Sable - Single Cam V6 3.0

This is extremely odd, so I'll start with a little background.

First of all, I use this '98 Sable for pizza delivery and I have since I bought it. I got it with about 98,000 miles on it back in April of 2003 and since that time, I've run the mileage up to over 153,000.

This has been a really dependable, fantastic car. No major problems at all. Even the transmission is doing great. This car has never been one to overheat. It always runs quite normally, at a steady temperature, no matter how hot it is outside or what kind of traffic I'm in. Normal for this car is at about 45% up the gauge and that's where it stays -- very reliably.

A couple of months after I bought it, a couple of those metallic pipes in the back corroded through resulting in a loss of coolant. I had it towed to have those replaced. Everything was back to normal.

Around November of 2003, the radiator sprang a leak on the bottom. I had it replaced. Everything was back to normal, including a 1700 mile trip from Virginia to Texas when I moved.

About three weeks ago, I was blasting down the highway at 70 miles per hour and the temperature gauge skyrocketed. I managed to get it off the road and shut down before the temperature gauge maxed out. Coolant was boiling out of the reservoir. I had the car towed back to town and it turned out that two of the impellers were broken off the water pump, so the mechanics installed a new water pump.

For about two weeks, things went fine. Then, about 3/4 of the way through my 38.5 mile trip to work, the temperature starts climbing, but slowly this time. I give it a few minutes and it continues climbing over about a two-mile stretch until it's at 70-75% of the maximum on the gauge. I decide it's time to pull over, fortunately at a restaurant, unlike the first time.

I called my friend to come rescue me. We went to O'Reilly and I bought a new thermostat and gasket. I had my socket and ratchet set with me, so after the engined cooled for a couple of hours, I got under the hood and removed the thermostat, thinking it might have stuck. I was going to put the new one in, but I realized I didn't have a scraper to remove all the old gasket, so I put it it back together with no thermostat.

I refilled the reservoir with some distilled water I'd bought. We headed toward home. It did alright until we were about 5 miles from home, then the temperature started climbing. We got about 900 yards from the house and I pulled over and shut her down at 90% of its maximum temperature on the gauge. Water rolled out again.

I only had to wait about fifteen minutes and it had cooled down enough that I was able to drive it the last 900 yards to get it in the driveway where I parked it overnight.

I refilled the next morning and took it back to the garage. Temperature stayed normal once it reached its operating temperature.

This time (and be patient with me here) an ice bag had flown up in between the radiator and condenser. They also installed the new thermostat I'd purchased upon and refilled my cooling system with water and antifreeze.

Thinking all was grand, I went on home. Later that evening, I set out toward work. This time, about halfway through my trip to work, after the car was operating at normal temperature for the longest time, the temperature started climbing again. I pulled over and lost coolant again.

I let it cool down for a while and then drove it back to the nearest town, about four or five miles back. Temperature stayed normal until I was coming into town and it edged up a little. I parked it next to a watering station at Fina, and went across the street for something to eat.

I came back about 30 minutes later and refilled the reservoir. I started back toward the house. Temperature stayed normal. As I turned out on the highway near the house, the temperature edged up a little. I was able to get it home and parked with the temperature at 55%.

I took it back to the garage the next morning (Wednesday morning, earlier this week) and that's where it's been ever since. It's now Friday at 3:06pm and they still haven't figured out what's causing this problem -- why it'll run at a normal temperature for so long, then start climbing.

Here's a rundown of what's been done

new radiator (december 2003)
new water pump (replaced on Monday)
warranty water pump (replaced on Thursday, just to check)
new thermostat
another new thermostsat, just to check
pressure tests
tests for coolant fumes in exhaust gas (for blown head gaskets) negative results
cooling system flush several times in both directions
it's not a freeze plug

Nothing in that list has been the problem.

Now they're in the process of checking to see if the lower radiator hose collapses when this overheating occurs and they put on a new radiator cap.

What are your suggestions? This thing has both me, my dad, and the mechanics at the shop bumfuzzled. Any ideas? Anybody else experiencing this? And yes, it is overheating for sure. The boiling hot liquid coming out of the reservoir is a testament to that.

Thanks for any brainstorming on this.

Damaeus
 

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Old hoses will collapse been there done that

Are the fans kicking on at the right times?

Mike
B)
 

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welcome to the TCCA, Sounds like you had the brown coolant problem that I and so many other members had to deal with. The only thing I can think of is debrie possibly wedged in one of the cooling passages going threw the engine. Did the mechanics find the broken impellers when the water pump was replaced?
Good Luck
 

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Originally posted by green@Jul 9 2004, 04:11 PM
welcome to the TCCA, Sounds like you had the brown coolant problem that I and so many other members had to deal with. The only thing I can think of is debrie possibly wedged in one of the cooling passages going threw the engine. Did the mechanics find the broken impellers when the water pump was replaced?
Good Luck
sorry to interrupt the thread but how bad is the brown coolant problem and what must be fixed to correct it. Our 98 SE w/ Vulcan seems to have brown stuff in the overflow tank, and as of late I smelled coolant and durring a drive in which I was a passenger earlier today the temperature spiked when sitting in traffic to just below the red zone, it was ok when it started moving above 40 or so mph when the air could cool it back down to half. Is it going to pop a headgasket should it reach the red point and overheat? Oh I smelled coolant awhile ago when my father drove it last but he assumed it was because he was running the car with the ac on on a hot day so it would be struggling harder, where might the coolant leak from, and how badly could this car be damaged all ready, it has 128,xxx miles on it, the first 20k miles of its life it served in fleet use.
 
G

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Coolant flush Read this first, and make sure the mechanics flushed it out this way. The heater core must be flushed separately from the rest of the system. It must also be flushed with the thermostat removed, as stated in the article, to flush it effectively.

After that, make sure the car has a bypass hose installed between the heater hoses. This was a silent recall, and some cars were not done. If the heater core plugs up, and the car doesn't have a bypass, it will overheat the rear head.

There's a chemical flush available from Ford, but I've found that it's not any better than any other flushing chemical.

Collapsing hoses, as you mentioned, will cause this problem. As mwt mentioned, make sure the cooling fans come on when they're supposed to.
 
G

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Originally posted by 2FST4U2C+Jul 9 2004, 04:52 PM--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (2FST4U2C @ Jul 9 2004, 04:52 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-green@Jul 9 2004, 04:11 PM
welcome to the TCCA, Sounds like you had the brown coolant problem that I and so many other members had to deal with. The only thing I can think of is debrie possibly wedged in one of the cooling passages going threw the engine. Did the mechanics find the broken impellers when the water pump was replaced?
                                                Good  Luck
sorry to interrupt the thread but how bad is the brown coolant problem and what must be fixed to correct it. Our 98 SE w/ Vulcan seems to have brown stuff in the overflow tank, and as of late I smelled coolant and durring a drive in which I was a passenger earlier today the temperature spiked when sitting in traffic to just below the red zone, it was ok when it started moving above 40 or so mph when the air could cool it back down to half. Is it going to pop a headgasket should it reach the red point and overheat? Oh I smelled coolant awhile ago when my father drove it last but he assumed it was because he was running the car with the ac on on a hot day so it would be struggling harder, where might the coolant leak from, and how badly could this car be damaged all ready, it has 128,xxx miles on it, the first 20k miles of its life it served in fleet use. [/b][/quote]
See the reference above pertaining to flushing, and the bypass hose. Your 98 should have the hose, but check anyway.

Also, for the coolant smell, have the degas bottle checked, or check it yourself. The earlier units had a tendency to crack at the bottom, causing a leak that you can't see.

From what I've seen, and repaired on about 10 Gen 3's already, is a blown rear head gasket. None of the cars had the bypass tube when they came in, so I added one. They all had brown coolant, and had overheated at one time or another. Not trying to scare anyone, but this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.
 

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Originally posted by Bob Gervais+Jul 9 2004, 05:27 PM--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Bob Gervais @ Jul 9 2004, 05:27 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
Originally posted by [email protected] 9 2004, 04:52 PM
<!--QuoteBegin-green
@Jul 9 2004, 04:11 PM
welcome to the TCCA, Sounds like you had the brown coolant problem that I and so many other members had to deal with. The only thing I can think of is debrie possibly wedged in one of the cooling passages going threw the engine. Did the mechanics find the broken impellers when the water pump was replaced?
                                                Good  Luck

sorry to interrupt the thread but how bad is the brown coolant problem and what must be fixed to correct it. Our 98 SE w/ Vulcan seems to have brown stuff in the overflow tank, and as of late I smelled coolant and durring a drive in which I was a passenger earlier today the temperature spiked when sitting in traffic to just below the red zone, it was ok when it started moving above 40 or so mph when the air could cool it back down to half. Is it going to pop a headgasket should it reach the red point and overheat? Oh I smelled coolant awhile ago when my father drove it last but he assumed it was because he was running the car with the ac on on a hot day so it would be struggling harder, where might the coolant leak from, and how badly could this car be damaged all ready, it has 128,xxx miles on it, the first 20k miles of its life it served in fleet use.
See the reference above pertaining to flushing, and the bypass hose. Your 98 should have the hose, but check anyway.

Also, for the coolant smell, have the degas bottle checked, or check it yourself. The earlier units had a tendency to crack at the bottom, causing a leak that you can't see.

From what I've seen, and repaired on about 10 Gen 3's already, is a blown rear head gasket. None of the cars had the bypass tube when they came in, so I added one. They all had brown coolant, and had overheated at one time or another. Not trying to scare anyone, but this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. [/b][/quote]
I don't know if it would have the hose as it was made in 11/97, how come the coolant smell is only really strong when the engine is nearly overheated but not as strong when the gauge shows about 50%? and how to tell if the headgasket has blown already? Your help is much appreciated Bob, thanks for the ideas thus far.
 

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Originally posted by 2FST4U2C+Jul 9 2004, 05:53 PM--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (2FST4U2C @ Jul 9 2004, 05:53 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
Originally posted by Bob [email protected] 9 2004, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by [email protected] 9 2004, 04:52 PM
<!--QuoteBegin-green
@Jul 9 2004, 04:11 PM
welcome to the TCCA, Sounds like you had the brown coolant problem that I and so many other members had to deal with. The only thing I can think of is debrie possibly wedged in one of the cooling passages going threw the engine. Did the mechanics find the broken impellers when the water pump was replaced?
                                                Good  Luck

sorry to interrupt the thread but how bad is the brown coolant problem and what must be fixed to correct it. Our 98 SE w/ Vulcan seems to have brown stuff in the overflow tank, and as of late I smelled coolant and durring a drive in which I was a passenger earlier today the temperature spiked when sitting in traffic to just below the red zone, it was ok when it started moving above 40 or so mph when the air could cool it back down to half. Is it going to pop a headgasket should it reach the red point and overheat? Oh I smelled coolant awhile ago when my father drove it last but he assumed it was because he was running the car with the ac on on a hot day so it would be struggling harder, where might the coolant leak from, and how badly could this car be damaged all ready, it has 128,xxx miles on it, the first 20k miles of its life it served in fleet use.

See the reference above pertaining to flushing, and the bypass hose. Your 98 should have the hose, but check anyway.

Also, for the coolant smell, have the degas bottle checked, or check it yourself. The earlier units had a tendency to crack at the bottom, causing a leak that you can't see.

From what I've seen, and repaired on about 10 Gen 3's already, is a blown rear head gasket. None of the cars had the bypass tube when they came in, so I added one. They all had brown coolant, and had overheated at one time or another. Not trying to scare anyone, but this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.
I don't know if it would have the hose as it was made in 11/97, how come the coolant smell is only really strong when the engine is nearly overheated but not as strong when the gauge shows about 50%? and how to tell if the headgasket has blown already? Your help is much appreciated Bob, thanks for the ideas thus far. [/b][/quote]
To see if you have a bypass kit, open the hood, and find the transmission dip stick. The heater hose runs close to dip stick, and if you have a by pass kit there will be a tee in the line right before the dip stick the two lines will split off and stradle the dip stick, and one of the lines will run across the fire wall. This what my 97 with 92k water pump looked like.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, my coolant does tend to be a rather brownish color. I'm just not sure how long it takes the fresh coolant to turn that color. After a couple of weeks of driving (I drive about 1000 miles a week) the coolant was still kind of greenish, but not a really pretty green like coolant should be. I think it had started to turn more of an olive green color.
 

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That brown coolant problem needs to be addressed, but first the overheating issue need resolved first. and if all checks out OK water pump, radiator, tstat, head gaskets, cooling fans, hoses, and so on. Then there must be a restriction in water flow some ware and thats going to take surgery if Flushing the system did not remove the blockage.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just an update. The mechanics say that recall bypass kit installed on the car. They say the heater core isn't clogged and neither is the radiator.

I haven't worked in a week because of this. I hope something breaks soon. :-(
 

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Discussion Starter #13
what part of Texas do you live?
Near the Longview/Marshall area.

As for another update, the mechanics got on the iATN website to solicit opinions. Thirteen out of the fifteen responses voted for a leaking head gasket. So as of yesterday morning, they took out all the spark plugs, hooked some stuff up to it to give it a pressure test and they said they were going to turn it over to see if any water would come out. I haven't heard anything from them since then.

I'm getting to the point where I'm going to have to take it to a dealership and just start all over. With as much as has been done to it, I'm wondering if the thing is ever going to be the same again.

I'm even considering buying another car as much as I don't want to. But financially speaking, it'd probably be easier to buy a new car than to try to get a loan to have a new engine put in.

Speaking of which -- if I do decide to put a new engine in it, is it possible to put the DOHC engine in it even if it originally had the single cam model? Will everything match up?
 

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The DOHC will go in, but all the externals are different too: alternator, waterpump, cooling piping, etc. I'm sure you'll need a new PCM (computer) programming as well.

I'm hoping you solve the cooling problem, because I'm having essentially the same thing in my DOHC and I'm looking for clues. New thermostat, new coolant, new hoses, and finally last fall, a new water pump. The coolant mix shows to be right at 50% using a hydrometer and after I replaced the leaking pump, the coolant level has been stable.

I thought water pump job had solved it, but it turned out that it was only fall and winter (and cooler temperatures) masking the problem. When it heated up here after an abnormally cool spring, the problem came right back. I'm now driving around in mid 90 degree heat with the AC off to keep the gauge out of the red :(
 

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I recently swapped my vulcan engine for the DOHC... i like the power increase, but it was a lot of work, and a lot of things that you'd think would be interchangeable aren't. Examples i can remember - y-pipe, alternator, starter, water pump, wiring, pcm, a/c lines attached to compressor, throttle cable (engine end is different), fuel lines to engine are a bit different, but will still hook up, air cleaner ass'y, coolant overflow bottle (vulcan has one fitting for a hose at the front top, and one at the rear top - DOHC bottle has both fittings at front top), heater hoses and rad hoses... probably more, but that's the most i can remember right now. Also, i'm pretty sure the transmission is calibrated differently for the DOHC - i put the engine and trans from a duratec taurus into mine, which i got from a wrecker. All in all, for it to be done right, it'll likely cost you a lot of money, and if you aren't doin the work yourself, i can almost guarantee that the guy doin it will cut corners and MacGyver a lotta stuff. Oh yeah... my car didn't have the PATS system on it originally, but the engine came from one that did.... because of this, i had to install PATS on my car to get it to run - there's no way around that, trust me. My personal opinion is, don't do it. I wouldn't do it again, i'll tell ya that much. A lot easier, and for someone who has to pay for labour, also a lot cheaper, to buy a car with the DOHC engine already in it.
 

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I have had the coolant expansion tank rupture on me. The car kept loosing antifreeze and overheating. I eventually noticed there was dried coolant UNDER the expansion tank. I pulled the tank and replaced it with the OEM part from Ford ($40 from the dealership). Has been fine ever since.
 
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;) Is it possible that the GIII Taurii are posessed? Thanks, Ford! :lol2:


...GII all the way...wait...wear and tear problems suck :angry:
 

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Make sure you have them really check the cooling fans. I had temperature spikes and a strong smell of coolant on my 2000 Taurus and if took the dealership a week to find that both of my cooling fans had stopped working. Once they were replaced all was well.

Good Luck on your problem
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I just got the car back Wednesday afternoon. It turned out to be warped cylinder heads. I'm now $838 poorer, but the problem has been fixed. On top of that, the nagging clattering problem I was having was fixed in the process. I had been burning premium just to MINIMIZE the clattering. Now it doesn't clatter at all even burning regular unleaded. I'm pretty happy. Since I do run pizza delivery, just burning regular unleaded will mean I'll save about $70 a month on gasoline, so after one year, the repair will pay for itself. :)
 
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