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1979-2004 V6 Mustang Tech Discussions

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Unread 01-02-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1998 3.8L Mustang-Overheating Issue - Help

My fan doesn't work but that hasn't been a serious issue yet. Started last spring not to work.

Until recently my engine temperature gauge would go all the way to H, then drop back to medium Normal and operate with no further issues. It would overheat at stop lights with the A/C on but I attributed that to the fan not working.

Was suggested to me that it might be a thermostat issue so I replaced the old one with a Fail Safe brand Thermostat. First time I put it on it leaked so I made sure to clean off all of the old gasket and then used blue RTV silicone. It doesn't leak now.

However, now the car overheats and smokes within 20 minutes of normal driving. The smoke and vapor is now coming out of a ?vacuum hose? that connects to the Cold Air Air Intake I put on 3 years ago (no issues with it till now). This hose was part of the original intake system and the new one had the attachment for it.

The engine now idles poorly and with vapor coming out of it and INTO THE ENGINE I'm highly concerned. I can't even figure out why vapor I assume is cooling fluid is now going into my air intake?

Help please. Thanks
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Unread 01-02-2011   #2 (permalink)
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I would think its bad head gaskets its quite common for 3.8s I hear..
As a matter of fact I have a 1995 3.8 with bad head gaskets right now so Im just swappin it out for a 5.0 lol
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Unread 01-02-2011   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Star_FoxBody View Post
I would think its bad head gaskets its quite common for 3.8s I hear..
As a matter of fact I have a 1995 3.8 with bad head gaskets right now so Im just swappin it out for a 5.0 lol
I would think so too but the car ran perfectly fine till I changed the Thermostat. Surely changing that didn't make the gasket go bad?
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Unread 01-02-2011   #4 (permalink)
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that is the exact story for my old 95 it was the headgasket =(
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Unread 01-03-2011   #5 (permalink)
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i think the gasket was gone before that
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Unread 01-03-2011   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanton49 View Post
My fan doesn't work but that hasn't been a serious issue yet. Started last spring not to work.

Until recently my engine temperature gauge would go all the way to H, then drop back to medium Normal and operate with no further issues. It would overheat at stop lights with the A/C on but I attributed that to the fan not working.

Was suggested to me that it might be a thermostat issue so I replaced the old one with a Fail Safe brand Thermostat. First time I put it on it leaked so I made sure to clean off all of the old gasket and then used blue RTV silicone. It doesn't leak now.

However, now the car overheats and smokes within 20 minutes of normal driving. The smoke and vapor is now coming out of a ?vacuum hose? that connects to the Cold Air Air Intake I put on 3 years ago (no issues with it till now). This hose was part of the original intake system and the new one had the attachment for it.

The engine now idles poorly and with vapor coming out of it and INTO THE ENGINE I'm highly concerned. I can't even figure out why vapor I assume is cooling fluid is now going into my air intake?

Help please. Thanks
Why would you do something so stupid? Alumimum heads will warp when overheated.

Headgasket, and have the heads checked......
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Unread 01-03-2011   #7 (permalink)
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+1 on above. It seems very short sighted to drive the car with a non working fan. AND running the AC knowing the fan doesn't work?

Did you follow the V6 coolant re-filling procedures? The V6 WILL overheat unless all of the trapped air has been removed from engine coolant vent.

The symptom of trapped air in the coolant is motor overheating and NO heat from the heater.

Never run the motor with the coolant vent open.
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Unread 01-03-2011   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shinerstang View Post
Why would you do something so stupid? Alumimum heads will warp when overheated.

Headgasket, and have the heads checked......
I did turn the A/C off before it overheated.
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Unread 01-03-2011   #9 (permalink)
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I think that perhaps it is a trapped air issue. I was unable to find anything on the exact procedure for refilling my radiator. If anyone has that resource I'd be greatful. As for letting the engine overheat. It hasn't ran more than 20 minutes overheated total and that was non-continuous. Just enough to check it and get it back to the house so a few minutes at a time max.

Last edited by Stanton49; 01-03-2011 at 11:21 AM. Reason: grammar
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Unread 01-03-2011   #10 (permalink)
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Trapped air wont make it smoke
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Unread 01-03-2011   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanton49 View Post
I think that perhaps it is a trapped air issue. I was unable to find anything on the exact procedure for refilling my radiator. If anyone has that resource I'd be greatful. As for letting the engine overheat. It hasn't ran more than 20 minutes overheated total and that was non-continuous. Just enough to check it and get it back to the house so a few minutes at a time max.
Still think 20 mins is too long! Listen to shinerstang's and wmburn's suggestions. Basically, with no fan - there's no good way to cool the engine. So then it overheated, warped the heads, wrecked the head gasket. Now you are probably getting coolant blow-by into the intake, which is venting out the PVC line to the intake (that's the little tube you were talking about). All bad things...

You need to change the headgasket and get the heads checked/machined/replaced. Then refill coolant properly like this: http://www.allfordmustangs.com/forum...ml#post2340959

^^That procedure needs stickied!!!
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Unread 01-03-2011   #12 (permalink)
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Added coolant to the system and ran it with the heater on full with the pressure cap off. Noticed immediately that water was coming out the tailpipe. Head gasket it is.
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Unread 01-05-2011   #13 (permalink)
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That sucks.

OBTW, why did you change the T-stat in the first place? Was it overheating? If so, likely the head gasket was already hurt.

If it ran fine before the change, then this has to go down as one expensive T-stat repair lesson. Likely that air was trapped after the T-stat change. The caused the motor to overheat. Driving while hot couldn't have helped. The overheating has warped or cracked the heads leading to a coolant leak.
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Unread 10-23-2012   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advise guys. I went ahead and had a replacement engine put in since the original engine alreay had over 250,000 miles on it. Its been working great with no issues.
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Unread 10-24-2012   #15 (permalink)
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Wow, thanks for the update. Better late than never.
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