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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I took in the 'ole bull for it's emission's test today. Turned the keys over to the guys and waitied in the booth for them to finish. They first did a visual inspection then they moved it onto the dyno, put the hose over the exhaust, moved a fan in front (without opening the hood) and began driving it at different speeds for like 4 or 5 minutes. The last 20 seconds or so they had it had at full throttle. They then drove it off the dyno, left it idling in park and called me to the car. As I was walking to the car I got a whiff of "coolant on the grill." I got into the drivers seat and saw the temp needle was buried way past the red zone.

As I noticed this the guy walked up with the computer printout and I pointed to gauge and asked him if he had bothered to pay attention to the needle while on the dyno. While his mouth hung open, his brain struggling to come up with a response, I heard a *POP* come from inside the hood and a whole bunch of coolant came spurting out from underneath the drivers side. A split second later smoke started pouring out from all sides . I stared dumfounded for 4 or 5 seconds before a voice in my head said "Turn the car off you idiot." I quickly did so but the smoke showed no signs of stopping. I looked at the guy who was still standing next to the car with the printouts in his hand and he said "Uhh, not that it adds much to this but you failed the emissions test." I swear I wanted to slap him.

Before I could say anything though some guy further back in the shop started yelling, "Get it out of the building! Get it out!" . . . apparently he thought it was on fire.
I got it into neutral and Mr. Genius pushed me into the parking lot. I popped the hood and tons of smoke came boiling out. When it cleared up I saw that the entire engine bay was soaked in coolant. I mean everything was wet. I checked the lines to the radiator (me and my dad just replaced it a couple of months ago) and the hoses but couldn't find anything wrong. The cover on the resevoir was even still on. I walked to their office and the manager let me use the phone to call my dad. After he told me he was on his way I asked the manager if this ever happened before. His response was "Uhh . . . a couple times." He then said if any damage was found to be caused by the test I could come back within 30 days and file a damage claim. Damn right I was.

My dad arrived about 25 minutes later and he couldn't find anything wrong with it either. Luckily, the stealership where this car was originally purchased 12 years ago was like 5 min away so I reluctantly drove it there. The mechanics had a look at it but couldn't find anything wrong. They filled it up with coolant and then revved it in place but couldn't find any noticeable leaks. Kinda hard though since the whole engine bay was covered in coolant, especially if the leak was small. They "recommended" that I leave it with them so they could do a pressure test (among other things) and try to find out what was wrong.

Since the needle had stayed at normal the whole time they had revved it in place, I wanted to take it to a local shop that I trusted and whose prices are hundreds less then what I get quoted at the stealership; plus, they've worked on tons of SHO's so they know Taurus's. My dad had a different opinion though. He thinks Ford mechanics knows the cars better than any local shop and thinks the exhorbitant prices they charge are worth it because they do the job "better then anyone else."
We've had this argument many times before so when he saw that I wasn't budging he said he would pay for the $90.95 diagnosis fee which btw, the service guy said he was giving to us as "deal" and that they normally charge $105. *pfft* My local shop charges $72 with no "deals."

Anyway, I couldn't argue with getting it done for free so I let them keep it. They even said they would check out the emissions problem. I'm just giddy waiting to here what price they quote me when they call tomorrow.
 

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Even if you don't find anything that caused your problem, you need to change the serpentine belt after soaking it like that. It will start to deteriorate.

Mike
 

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AFAIK, there is a pressure release valve on your radiator, and when the pressure gets too great, as in when the temp guage is way up, the valve opens and the excess pressure is relieved. My Topaz had a problem like this.

I had just had the radiator and all hoses replaced at Pep Boys (worst mistake, ever), and I was driving down Route 1 in Pennsylvania, to get to my grandparent's house for Thanksgiving. Its like a three horu drive from my house, and I was going about 70 or so the whole way. I stopped to take a leak at a store, and when I came back outside, there was coolant spurting out of the side of my radiator. I ended up having to stop and refill the radiator with water every 30 miles or so for the rest of the trip. When I brought it back to Pep Boys the next day, they said that they had screwed up the installation and that's why it overheated. They then said that the release valve got stuck in the open position and that was the reason why there was coolant all over the place.

Hope this helps...

JR
 

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oh brother. did you blow the gasket or anything? no coolant definitely could do a lot of damage. and also plus the fact that temp was wayyy too hot. hope all goes well
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ford called. The guy said that he couldn't do anything until the VAK was removed from my car. Said the wiring job was one of the worst he's seen and that it looked like someone with a construction background and no knowledge of cars had done it. It kinda makes sense; the VAK turns off all accessories (including the fan) at WOT so if they had it at WOT for like 10-20 seconds, the car would overheat. Anyway, he said it would cost at least $2k to rewire the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Originally posted by T3mplar@Apr 30 2004, 10:57 AM
Holy hell!
There's no way I'm going to have it rewired. I'm just going to have the VAK taken out and try the emissions test again.
 

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The VAK only cuts out the fan if the A/C is on. Don't know who wired your VAK in so I cannot comment further.

Being at full throttle on a dyno for under a minute with out a fan is no big deal. Especially if they had a fan blowing into the radiator. Sounds like the water pump quit pumping or you blew a hose. Check the short hose fat that is under the TB and going towards the firewall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Originally posted by SHOZ123@Apr 30 2004, 11:33 AM
The VAK only cuts out the fan if the A/C is on.  Don't know who wired your VAK in so I cannot comment further. 

Being at full throttle on a dyno for under a minute with out a fan is no big deal.  Especially if they had a fan blowing into the radiator.  Sounds like the water pump quit pumping or you blew a hose.  Check the short hose fat that is under the TB and going towards the firewall.
I got ahead of myself. Ford called again said I had a bad water pump. They were just being a$$es in regard to the VAK, another reason why I'll never give them my business. Plus, they want $600 to replace the pump; the local shop I go to said they'd charge $217.11, parts and labor included. I'm just going to have it towed to them and be done with it. Good call Paul!
 

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Originally posted by T3mplar@Apr 30 2004, 01:41 PM
Are you going to be able to prove negligence on the side of the testers?
Why? It wasn't the testers fault that he had a bad water pump. But then again, they could have stopped runnning the car if they saw the needle creeping up. I doubt they'll pay for the pump, but if you can prove that running an overheated car ruined something else they may have to pay for that.
 

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Originally posted by Xee@Apr 30 2004, 01:05 PM
Plus, they want $600 to replace the pump; the local shop I go to said they'd charge $217.11, parts and labor included. I'm just going to have it towed to them and be done with it. Good call Paul!
Dang. I guess prices are a little higher where you live. I got a water pump replaced at a Chevy dealership where my friend's dad works for about $135, parts and labor.

Who knows, maybe it's harder to change a water pump on a ohv engine.
 

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Originally posted by mikehawk+Apr 30 2004, 04:05 PM-->QUOTE (mikehawk @ Apr 30 2004, 04:05 PM)
<!--QuoteBegin-Xee
@Apr 30 2004, 01:05 PM
Plus, they want $600 to replace the pump; the local shop I go to said they'd charge $217.11, parts and labor included. I'm just going to have it towed to them and be done with it. Good call Paul!
Dang. I guess prices are a little higher where you live. I got a water pump replaced at a Chevy dealership where my friend's dad works for about $135, parts and labor.

Who knows, maybe it's harder to change a water pump on a ohv engine. [/b]
Vulcan water pumps are cake to replace.
 

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Looks like the pump is like $30-$40 at rockauto.com. I guess at $200 or so, that probably includes flushing/filling the antifreeze.
 

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After overheating that bad I hope that there isn't any problems that show up later, like headgaskets, or warped or cracked heads. I would have that motor looked over with a fine tooth comb before letting the emissions test people off the hook.
 

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Hard to diagnose cars over the Internet.


FWIW in over two years of VAK usage the only problems I personally have had is one failed relay. This relay I have upgraded to a higher capacity one. The other problems I have heard of were install problems, aggravation of pre-existing electrical problems or aggravation of screwed up wiring.

Oh, and one guy spilled brake fluid all over the plastic box. Completely destroyed it........
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Originally posted by SHOZ123@Apr 30 2004, 11:06 PM
Oh, and one guy spilled brake fluid all over the plastic box.  Completely destroyed it........
Don't think I'll have that problem. I have the huge honking metal VAK. The mechanics at Ford were poking fun at it. :rolleyes:
 

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It's been very difficult to find a proper case for the VAK. Most are tow short in height or too tall.
 
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