Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my nineteen year old has been driving the '98 to school the past year and with temps here in New England getting pretty low and gloves and hat only able to do so much with zero heat in the car and lets hope we don't need defrost we decided to tackle the heater core. We've done the flush several times with less than good results so we figured it was time for the heater core. We read all about the shortcut of loosening the dash and it only taking an hour or so so with temps hitting the mid 40's we parked the car and started taking it apart. Well, it might take a half an hour for some people but for us, running down cellar to get tools, running to the store to buy foam tape, returning the first core because one of the outlets was bent it ended up taking us the better parts of two afternoons. Once we got it all back together we turned the car on and let it warm up. Guess what? Cold air! Still! Talk about dissapointment and major frustration. all that work and no difference.

So, what could be wrong?

Interestingly the temperature gauge stayed on cold and then shot to halfway in less than a second. Never saw that before. It then went back to about reading 1/8 and then as we drove off and gave the car gas you could watch the gauge rise with the rpms. We drove all over and the best we got was cold air. Turn the temp control to cold and it seems like it got colder. I'm pretty sure you can hear the blend door closing when you turn the control to hot but the car never put out heat. Is there something we might have missed? Could the new, empty heater core have an air lock of some sort? I feel so bad for the kid driving to school in a frigid car plus it really limits the usefulness of the car.

The car has 158k on it, Vulcan engine, radiator and expansion tank replaced 6 months ago and manual hvac controls.

As an aside, here are some hints for those tackling this.
- Clamps are a b*tch to get off on the heater core hoses. One of the videos showed a tool that you squeeze and at the end of a cable there was a two jaws that close. Fought with the clamps with vice-grips and weren't able to get the clamps off. Remembered seeing the tool at Autozone for $34.95 and picked it up and gave it a try - worked unbelievably well. Definitely worth the cost. Made by OEM
- Writeups said you didn't have to take out the glove box but it sure helped us.
- A friend of mine had dropped a cigarette on the seat (normally I don't allow smoking in the car but for some reason I said ok) so the seat had burn holes in it. My son had picked up a new seat at the Junk Yard's all you can carry $50 annual sale so we decided this would be a good time to replace the seat. Took the old one out in 10 minutes and it made a huge difference in being able to access the underdash. Would recommend anyone to take the passenger seat out.
- Wait till you loosen the dash and pull it out some before trying to get the 4 bolts (5 if you have the aux outlet) holding the ashtray in.
- Putting the ashtray bolts back in it helps immensely if you use a piece of tape to hold the bolt in the socket and use a long extension to start the screws back in.
- You will need to get some 2 inch foam weatherstrip sticky on one side to put on the new heater core as there is no way to transfer the old foam over. I was able to get some 2 inch by 17 feet for around $8. Can use it when doing the wife's car
- Don't go as far as the old foam on the higher outlet side of the core. We had to pull the core back out to cut it back to about a half inch frm the end. The heater core cover and gasket will not fit back on tight enough for the actuator arm to go back on because the cover will stick out a tad.
- You can use your finger through the holes in the firewall to line up the outlet tubes so they fit throught the firewall.
- Pay attention to the part where the instructions tell you to move the actuator arm out of the way. We did but had trouble getting the old core out and on one pull the arm fell down and of course the retainer for the actuator rod snapped off. Luckily we were able to superglue it.

So, any and all ideas and suggestions would be most appreciated. I do have the inline hose connections from a flush kit installed in the core lines so if someone thinks it is an air bubble I might be able to get some water pushed in there.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
+1^

Have you changed the thermostat? Can you hear the blend door actuator when you switch it from cold to warm?
I haven't changed the thermostat. When I cycle from cold to hot I faintly hear a door close so I think the blend door is moving
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
if you rev the engine does hot air come out?

i'm going to be tackling the water pump todya and tomorrow.
No, no difference in vent temp when the engine is revved, at least as much as my uncalibrated hands can tell
 

·
Devoted Member
Joined
·
2,426 Posts
For the price of a new thermostat, I can't understand how people will drain down their coolant to do a lack of heat maintenance job and not change a part that costs less than 5 dollars...
...that, and Vulcans are known for dissolving the vanes on their water pumps...especially by 140k miles.

P.S. -you can pinch off the heater core bypass hose, with the engine running, to force coolant through the core and flush out any air that may be in there, but they don't usually air lock under normal conditions, i.e. an intact, working water pump.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Good stuff from danhasenauer

For the price of a new thermostat, I can't understand how people will drain down their coolant to do something else and not change a part that costs less than 5 dollars...
...that, and Vulcans are known for dissolving the vanes on their water pumps...

P.S. -you can pinch off the heater core bypass hose to force coolant through the core and flush out any air that may be in there, but they don't usually air lock under normal conditions, i.e. an intact, working water pump.
When I fixed the no heat issue on my sons 99 Sable with a Vulcan I started with the easiest to do/least costly approach. Unfortunately after all the easy and cheap possibilities were eliminated I replaced the water pump (the pumps impellers were ok) and then the core.

I also removed the steel tubes in the heater circuit and replaced with hose. The inside of the steel tubes were pretty ugly (rusty). I also restricted the flow through the heater bypass and left the restrictions in place. I did this by putting three hose clamps along the length of the bypass hose. I cut three pieces of spare hose about an inch and a half long, slit these pieces and placed under the three clamps for protecting the bypass hose and tightened the clamps but not enough to pinch off the flow. My son is driving it this way, there is plenty of heat and the antifreeze is still a clean green.

Hopefully this will be of some help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
When I fixed the no heat issue on my sons 99 Sable with a Vulcan I started with the easiest to do/least costly approach. Unfortunately after all the easy and cheap possibilities were eliminated I replaced the water pump (the pumps impellers were ok) and then the core.

I also removed the steel tubes in the heater circuit and replaced with hose. The inside of the steel tubes were pretty ugly (rusty). I also restricted the flow through the heater bypass and left the restrictions in place. I did this by putting three hose clamps along the length of the bypass hose. I cut three pieces of spare hose about an inch and a half long, slit these pieces and placed under the three clamps for protecting the bypass hose and tightened the clamps but not enough to pinch off the flow. My son is driving it this way, there is plenty of heat and the antifreeze is still a clean green.

Hopefully this will be of some help.
Thanks all for your replies.

Just to eliminate another possiblity I replaced the thermostat today. Who knew the parts stores were open on New Years! Not a bad job but unfortunately no help for our heat problem at all. Thanks for the tip from someone about using a bit of superglue to hold the gasket in place when putting it back together. I did replace the metal firewall pipes about two years ago when I accidentally was a little too rough and cracked one doing the heater core flush.

I felt the bypass hose and it was pretty hot. The heater core hoses were lukewarm at best. I did find a small kink in the hose from the waterpump. It was kinked after the bypass junction just before it attaches to the metal firewall pipe. I need to figure out how to keep that hose from kinking although it doesn't seem like it would stop water flow. After replacing the thermostat the temp gauge still seems weird. Once it warms up the car goes from cold to operating temperature (according to the temp gauge) in just a second or two,

A new problem complicating the issue is the fan blower is getting tempermental. Sometimes you turn the fan on and get nothing, sometimes it works fine on all speeds. All electrical connections I can get to seem seem tight.

I guess the one positive from all this frustration is the great one on one time I'm spending with #1 son.
 

·
Cake monster
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
If you take the radio out, I think you can see the blend door actuator function. If you can't, unscrew it and try turning changing the temp to see if it works?

The temp gauge thing is odd.

Interestingly the temperature gauge stayed on cold and then shot to halfway in less than a second. Never saw that before. It then went back to about reading 1/8 and then as we drove off and gave the car gas you could watch the gauge rise with the rpms.
That sounds like a water pump, or less likely a head gasket issue. The impeller is worn, causing the coolant flow at idle to be so low that the temp sensor isn't getting a good reading, until you step on the gas and rev it up. Just a thought, after reading that again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My local hardware store has a tool that has a camera and light on a flexible shaft about 18 inches long with a small display screen. Unfortunately it costs over $200 but it would be perfect to see waterpump status. Just pull main hose off and thread the shaft in and see what the vanes look like.

At this point I want to get the dang thing fixed I've got so much time invested in it. Luckily, we've had temps in the high 50s the last few days. Unfortunately that won't last. I've doen some reading on waterpumps and RockAuto has a motorcraft one for about $72 before discount. Twice what others cost but from what I've read worth it.

So, how hard is it to do the pump? Not much out there in the way of instructions. What will I need? I'm reading a lot of warnings about breaking the 8mm bolts and your screwed. Just how fragile are they? I'm about average mechanically with a pretty good tool set so is it something I can tackle or do I pass it off to my local mechanic? If I do what is a good cost for the job?

Thanks again
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I did come across these videos that make it seem not too too bad

1998 Ford Taurus Waterpump replacement part 1

1998 Ford Taurus Waterpump replacement part 2

1998 Ford Taurus Waterpump replacement part 3

1998 Ford Taurus Waterpump replacement part 4

1998 Ford Taurus Waterpump replacement part 5

1998 Ford Taurus Waterpump replacement part 6
 

·
Cake monster
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
My local hardware store has a tool that has a camera and light on a flexible shaft about 18 inches long with a small display screen. Unfortunately it costs over $200 but it would be perfect to see waterpump status. Just pull main hose off and thread the shaft in and see what the vanes look like.

At this point I want to get the dang thing fixed I've got so much time invested in it. Luckily, we've had temps in the high 50s the last few days. Unfortunately that won't last. I've doen some reading on waterpumps and RockAuto has a motorcraft one for about $72 before discount. Twice what others cost but from what I've read worth it.

So, how hard is it to do the pump? Not much out there in the way of instructions. What will I need? I'm reading a lot of warnings about breaking the 8mm bolts and your screwed. Just how fragile are they? I'm about average mechanically with a pretty good tool set so is it something I can tackle or do I pass it off to my local mechanic? If I do what is a good cost for the job?

Thanks again
I bought a carquest reman pump. It worked fine up until I got rid of the car. It's not that hard to replace on these engines. You need some kind of way to loosen the belt, I use a 15mm box end wrench with a pipe and that works really well for me. You'll probably need a torx bit to remove the tensioner. I would probably replace the idler and maybe even the tensioner if they're in bad shape, along with a new belt.

Before you go and tear into it, make sure the timing cover doesn't have any slow leaks, if there is then you might want to fix that while you're doing the water pump. Taking a picture of where all the bolts went into the water pump housing is a big help too.
 

·
Devoted Member
Joined
·
2,426 Posts
Vulcan water pumps are a breeze, compared to a 'Tec. And you don't have to remove the tensioner, just the serp belt. You can use a 15mm (IIRC) box end wrench to rotate the tensioner assembly over to remove the belt. It helps to remove the coolant bottle and the right front wheel & plastic wheel well liner, for added clearance/access.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,467 Posts
just did my water pump thanks to rudy,tim and nick. took me a few hours buts that because before i removed a bolt i bagged it and where kt went. i also took a lot of pictures of how the belt ran just incase but, never had to take it off.

Got heat now even at idle. the impeller was gone, just amazing this pump lasted close to 182k miles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
just did my water pump thanks to rudy,tim and nick. took me a few hours buts that because before i removed a bolt i bagged it and where kt went. i also took a lot of pictures of how the belt ran just incase but, never had to take it off.

Got heat now even at idle. the impeller was gone, just amazing this pump lasted close to 182k miles.

You didn't take the belt off?

Any hints, tips, pics would be most welcome. You must have pulled the tensioner? How did you handle the power steering pump? The videos above showed the guy disconnected it completely. I was hoping you could just move it aside. What make pump did you get? Did you pull the passenger wheel and wheel well liner?

Hows the knuckles?
 

·
Cake monster
Joined
·
1,584 Posts
You didn't take the belt off?

Any hints, tips, pics would be most welcome. You must have pulled the tensioner? How did you handle the power steering pump? The videos above showed the guy disconnected it completely. I was hoping you could just move it aside. What make pump did you get? Did you pull the passenger wheel and wheel well liner?

Hows the knuckles?
You don't need to pull the steering pump, but I did when I changed my water pump so I could install another one. I was almost positive that you needed to remove the tensioner, but if other people haven't then I'm obviously wrong :lol2:

I remember removing the fender liner as well. I don't think you would need to if you're really good at feeling around without your eyes. I'm not sure how you would remove the water pump on a 3.0 without taking the belt off. If you do remove the steering pump for whatever reason, you need to bleed it properly or at least half ass bleed it right, that adds more time to the job.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,467 Posts
no i didn;t fully remove it, probably would have been easier but i was afraid.

followed these instructions:
disconnect neg. battery cable.
open radiator petcock(driver's side) or remove lower radiator hose from radiator.
drain coolant.
take 8 or 10mm wrench(I've seen both), loosen w/p pulley bolts.
remove serpentine belt.
remove 4 bolts from pulley and remove pulley.
remove small bracket from top of alternator(8mm wrench).
remove 13mm bolt from alternator and loosen 15mm bolt on alternator then flip alternator out of way, slightly snug the 15mm bolt.
remove 7 8mm bolts holding water pump. there is one directly center beneath the shaft(hard to see) do not forget this!!
remove 4 13mm bolts holding water pump (2 each side).
remove water pump (tap lightly with hammer usually).
clean all remnants of old gasket material.
reverse for install.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top