OK in city, but getting hot over 80 kph.
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Thread: OK in city, but getting hot over 80 kph.

  1. #1
    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    Default OK in city, but getting hot over 80 kph.

    I have a mate I'd like to help, even though his car is a Falcon. He's a decent bloke.

    His car's temperature is ok through traffic, and even sitting at the lights. But apparently over 80 kmh it gets a bit hotter. Not actually overheating, but enough to wonder what's happening.

    It has recently had a good secondhand overflow bottle (at the correct level) and apparently the cooling system is self-bleeding. There are no bugs clogging up the radiator vanes. And it has a shroud.....but that only affects low speed anyway.

    I'm assuming the radiator is ok because if it's slightly clogged that would probably affect his city driving.

    All I can think of is that the thermostat may not be opening completely. And it's best to check simple things first.

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    Can anyone suggest another cause ?

  2. #2
    COL
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    Easiest way to check the thermostat is to remove it and test it in some water heated on the stove with a thermometer in the water as well. Heat the water up and watch what the temp is that it opens and then bring to the boil, turn off the heat and then see what temp the thermostat closes at.

    The temp the thermostat operates at will be stamped on it.

    To me it sounds like a tubes in the core are partially blocked.
    Regards Col

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Are the electric cooling fans installed correctly. Could they be "resisting" the ram airflow when at highway speeds ?

    Other than that, an unusual water pump issue by which, the flow reduces at higher engine revs or something causes a wp drive belt to slip ?

    EDIT: Hose collapsing ?
    Last edited by robmac; 4th March 2017 at 01:47 PM.

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts Fordman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beano View Post
    .......................... even though his car is a Falcon. He's a decent bloke.
    Well he would be, wouldn't he!

    Has he had this car long? Reason I ask, is it now getting hotter than before, or has it always indicated the same high temp?

    If it is now higher than before then you can be looking for a problem.
    My suggestion is firstly check that the thermostat opens fully, as well as at the correct opening temp, using the method as COL says above. Be aware that most Fords (don't know which model you are speaking of) have a bypass which is closed off when the thermostat opens. When the thermostat is removed you can see there is an open port underneath it 20-25mm dia, this is for circulation when cold to assist warmup time, when the thermostat opens, the body moves down and partially blocks that port, if not the hot coolant continues to circulate without going to radiator - overheating. This is common to most cars in some form or other, but Ford is by design of thermostat, so a cheapie thermostat my not be the correct shape.

    If thermosat is ok, suggest replace the radiator, cleaning of the plastic/alloy radiators in my opinion is not worth it, new is relatively cheap. Radiators are finely balanced things, can get partially blocked with no problems, then a little more blockage throws the equilibrium and the engine overheats, especially on a hotter ambient day, and on a longer drive.

    But back to the first question. Most Ford temp gauges are fairly sensitive (ie, lot of needle movement for small change in temp). In normal conditions they should just climb fairly quickly to a temp about 1/3 to 1/2 on the gauge. But on a hot day with extended driving you could expect the gauge to climb to 3/4 and this is telling you that the radiator is now on its limit, but the temp in the engine is probably still OK - with correct radiator cap holding pressure, up to 100 deg C is OK. I have driven some other make cars where they are actually starting to steam a bit due to a leaking hose, and the temp gauge has gone up to about 5/8 on the scale, useless information. At least with a Ford gauge you can see small differences, and if it gets hot it will go right to the top! However, with a good clean radiator, about 5/8 on the gauge should be the maximum, I would think.

    My worth.

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    Hi
    Another random suggestion that I came across on a Ford Mondeo was the pump impeller had corroded away. Not much water was being circulated. Ended up with a blown head gasket etc etc. Probably previously coolant not maintained.
    Jaahn

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    1000+ Posts Fordman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    Hi
    Another random suggestion that I came across on a Ford Mondeo was the pump impeller had corroded away. Not much water was being circulated. Ended up with a blown head gasket etc etc. Probably previously coolant not maintained.
    Jaahn
    Yeah, pommy Ford - haha! Or a cheap/nasty non-gen water pump.

    The Aussie Falcons are more basic, maybe something simple like a couple of broken head bolts (!!) causing head gasket leaking - yes, common to the mid 90's EF/EL 6 cyl range at about 180-200k kms. A bit like AL4/DPO trans solenoids, except Ford modified the head bolts so after replacement it is fixed!

    Maybe the OP could let us know the age/model of the Foulcan, and whether it is consuming coolant.

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  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    It's definitely not consuming coolant.

    I'll get back to you on the age of car. I think my friend is recovering from having worked at the markets today (very hot and humid here in Brisbane).

    I think that if the water pump was suspect, it may not cool well around the city, so I may put this scenario on hold. But I appreciate the feedback, gentlemen !

    And I'll get him to check the direction of the fan flow. They may have been taken out recently....he had work done which I believe included the front crank seal.

    I mentioned the possibility of the thermostat being semi-functional and he will probably just replace it.

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    Car is a 2001 Ford AU series 2.

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    Could it be a faulty [Sid] viscous hub? I'm distracted at the moment watching the car "raisin" from Adelaide.

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! Roland's Avatar
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    I'd strongly suspect the radiator.

    After installing a new thermostat just as a matter of course.

    I would definitely have the radiator out and cleaned or find a new one and replace.
    = Peace of mind!

    After all - its 16 years old!

    cheers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildebeest View Post
    Could it be a faulty [Sid] viscous hub? I'm distracted at the moment watching the car "raisin" from Adelaide.
    AU will be electric fans - and fairly powerful ones at that.
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  12. #12
    1000+ Posts Gamma's Avatar
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    Thermostat...not opening fully or stuck 1/2 way.
    Chewed out veins on the waterpump.
    Partially blocked core.
    Return side radiator hose collapsing having gone soft or losing internal spring, (had this one).

    the themo fan fail usually is stuck on lock or free wheeling, (overheats at slow speed not on H/way).

    I am assuming it is running ok apart from heat issues, (not excessive fuel consumption, not clogged CAT, not gear box cooling issues).

    Gamma.
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  13. #13
    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    No other issues.

    I just called him and apparently the thermostat appears to be not opening much.....he tested it.

    Thanks to all of you for your feedback. I had to create this thread because there could easily have been something I fat-headedly may not have thought about. Cheers, dudes !

  14. #14
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Let us know if the thermostat change works please! Always interesting, problem solving.
    JohnW

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  15. #15
    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    Interesting alright.....a process of self-discovery !

    I often find myself trying to make certain symptoms fit the problem, and overlooking one or two symptoms, rather than finding a solution that fits ALL symptoms.

  16. #16
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    Robmac may have been on the right track...

    Grab the bottom hose and give it a squeeze. If you can flatten it easily, then replace it. I've had that myself, high pump speed sucked the bottom hose flat and it wouldn't release until the engine sat at idle for a few seconds. If your friend is replacing the thermostat, get the bottom hose replaced too.
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