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Hammer Time
Hammer Time, L1 Master Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4942
Experience:  ASE Mastertech with Adv level Engine performance cert.
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96 mustang gt: water pump..high side (borderline overheat)

Resolved Question:

have a 96 mustang gt. Just changed water pump last week. car is running on high side (borderline overheat) after 30 minutes of driving.
Upper and Lower radiator hoses are very full and tight. Even without the thermostat in teh system. What can be holding such pressure> Is my radiator or pump bad?
Thanks in advance,
John LLorens
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Hammer Time replied 8 years ago.
The pressure is regulated by the radiator cap. You can't run without a thermostat on these modern engines. It's very important to have one. Is the cooling fan coming on and what happens to the temp when it does?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Hammer Time's Post: The fan does come on and teh temp still goes to the high side of Normal (almost to the edge).
I had an issue 2 weeks ago where my overflow tank saw pressure and spilled fluid (violently) from the cap.
I took my car in to the dealer and they replaced the water pump.
I checked the hose this morning, engine cool, no Pressure.
After 20 min of driving, engine mid normal, hose has pressure. Is there soemthing that is heat activated that could hold such pressure in the intake manifold, head, engine???
Expert:  Hammer Time replied 8 years ago.

It's supposed to run under pressure. That's engineered into the system because it raises the boiling point of the coolant when it is under pressure.


You say borderline oveheat. That's pretty normal too. The cooling fans on most of these vehicles aren't even programmed to come on before about 225deg. Watch you gauge and the cooling fan. If the fan comes on before the temp reaches the red and the temp immediatly starts coming down and comes down enough for the fan to shut off, the car is normal.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I appreciate the responses, but I don't think I have an answer that I can action.

I understand the car runs under pressure and the thermodynamics of the coolant.

Is the hose (upper / lower) supposed to be so tight that it feels like you are trying grip a football?
It's hard as a rock, no squeeze allowed.

Quick Maintenance History
1998 - Recall (Failure)Intake Manifold (Plastic)
2001 - Replace Radiator
2002 - Replace Heater Core
2003 - Replace Cooling Fan
2004 - Replace Improved Int Manf(some metal)
2002 - Replace Heater Core
2005 - Replace Upper Radiator Hose (Burst)
2005 - Replace WaterPump(Ovrflow tank pressured)

Guess that's why I'm still fishing for more info.
Is there some other type of thermal limiter for the fluid in the engine?
Does my manifold have a problem?

I have read that when the car gets to Hot (whatever that means) the car goes into Thermo Protect mode and the power drops, car has been feeling 'weak'.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Hammer Time's Post: I appreciate the responses, but I don't think I have an answer that I can action.

I understand the car runs under pressure and the thermodynamics of the coolant.

Is the hose (upper / lower) supposed to be so tight that it feels like you are trying grip a football?
It's hard as a rock, no squeeze allowed.

Quick Maintenance History
1998 - Recall (Failure)Intake Manifold (Plastic)
2001 - Replace Radiator
2002 - Replace Heater Core
2003 - Replace Cooling Fan
2004 - Replace Improved Int Manf(some metal)
2002 - Replace Heater Core
2005 - Replace Upper Radiator Hose (Burst)
2005 - Replace WaterPump(Ovrflow tank pressured)

Guess that's why I'm still fishing for more info.
Is there some other type of thermal limiter for the fluid in the engine?
Does my manifold have a problem?

I have read that when the car gets to Hot (whatever that means) the car goes into Thermo Protect mode and the power drops, car has been feeling 'weak'.
Expert:  Hammer Time replied 8 years ago.
I told you in the very first response that the pressure is regulated by the cap. The caps have a specific pressure printed on them and are designed to release anything over that. It's usually around 16-18 lbs. The cap can be tested for accuracy but if you have any doubt just replace it.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Hammer Time's Post: So I guess all that I typed did not matter about the changes I have done ($$).
You think I should just sit back and watch the gauge and my cooling fan to kick on and off while my engine appears to be on the high side and that there are really no other problems?
Does that about cover it? Look at this sketch.

\\\ N O R M A L ///
              ^
             ^

Figure I sketched is how my car's temp has been for the past few weeks.
Hammer Time this can't be normal, keeping in mind my series of part changes on this car?
Expert:  Hammer Time replied 8 years ago.
Why can't it be normal. Nothing you did changed the program the car was engineered to run on. Temps of 225deg is expected in these engines. They program the fans that high because they want the engine to run that high. As long as the fan comes on before the danger zone and the temp starts to drop immediatly with the fan, it's normal and it will never be a problem.
Hammer Time, L1 Master Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4942
Experience: ASE Mastertech with Adv level Engine performance cert.
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