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EMRSR
EMRSR, Master Certified Service Manager
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 3010
Experience:  20 years with Ford, Master Certified
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E-150: temp gauge..van..with the 5.0 engine to read at the upper end

Customer Question

Is it common for the temp gauge in my 1991 Ford van E-150 with the 5.0 engine to read at the upper end of "normal" area close to "Hot?"
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  EMRSR replied 4 years ago.
Is it actually still staying in the NORMAL range bracket tho ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes. Maybe it's the 90+ degree weather we're having here in Portland OR. I've known the gauge to read mostly at about half way in the "normal" range but today it's close to the upper end but not out of the bracket. Even so, makes me think it's going to overheat.
Expert:  EMRSR replied 4 years ago.

Two things i would look at that might have you on the edge. First make sure the fan clutch is operating correctly. Second, get to a local car wash that has a pressure washer, pressure wash the AC condenser up front, get all the debris and bugs off, make sure you pressure wash well enough to clean that area between the condenser and radiator. This really simply sounds like a lack of airflow over the radiator. The factory issued a TSB on the inspection of the fan clutch, I have included it.

 

 

Engine - Cooling Concerns and/or Vibration

 

9235ford02

Article No.
92-15-14

 

09/15/92

^COOLING SYSTEM - OVERHEATING - ENGINE FAN CLUTCH NOT FUNCTIONING PROPERLY

 

^ENGINE COOLING FAN CLUTCH - DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURE

 

^VIBRATION - ENGINE FAN CLUTCH NOT FUNCTIONING PROPERLY

 

LIGHT TRUCK:1987-92 BRONCO, ECONOLINE, F-150-350 SERIES 1988-92 F SUPER DUTY

 

ISSUE:
A comprehensive diagnostic procedure has been developed for determining if the engine cooling fan clutch is functioning properly. A fan clutch that is not functioning properly may cause engine cooling concerns and/or vibration.

 

ACTION:
Use the following diagnostic procedure to determine if the fan clutch is functioning properly. A fan clutch that is not functioning properly should be replaced.

 

CAUTION:
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MODIFY THE BI-METALLIC COIL ON THE FACE OF THE FAN CLUTCH.

 

DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURE

NOTE:
PROCEED ONLY AFTER COMPLETING THE ENGINE COOLING DIAGNOSIS PROCEDURE IN SECTION 03-03 AND THE ACCESSORY DRIVE BELT TENSION PROCEDURE IN SECTION 03-05 OF THE APPROPRIATE SERVICE MANUAL.

 

1.Turn off the air conditioner, heater-A/C fan and radio.

 

2.Check for viscous drag...

 

a.Before starting the engine, rotate the fan and clutch assembly by hand. It should have some viscous drag, but it should turn smoothly during the full 360~ of rotation.

 

b.Replace the fan clutch if it does not turn smoothly or does not turn at all. Refer to the Dealer Master Parts Catalog for correct parts usage. Refer to the appropriate Service Manual, Section 03-05, for service details.

 

c.Replace the fan if there are any cracks.

 

d.If this is not the concern, go to Step 3.

 

3.Check for lack of viscous drag...

 

a.If the fan clutch spins with no viscous drag when it is cold, and it has not been run for an hour or more, it should be replaced. Refer to the Dealer Master Parts Catalog for correct parts usage. Refer to the appropriate Service Manual, Section 03-05, for service details.

 

b.If this is not the concern, go to Step 4.

 

4.Check for excessive fan clutch bearing clearance (cold fan clutch)...

 

a.Hold the tip of the fan blade between the thumb and forefinger.

 

b.Lightly pull toward the radiator, then push toward the engine.

 

c.Repeat the motion several times.

 

^The total rocking movement at the end of the fan blade should be 2/10" (5.1 mm) or less when no more than eight (8) ounces of force is applied.

 

^A force greater than eight (8) ounces may deflect the fan blade with erroneous results.

 

d.Replace the fan clutch if more than 2/10" (5.1 mm) of movement is observed. Refer to the Dealer Master Parts Catalog for correct parts usage. Refer to the appropriate Service Manual, Section 03-05, for service details.

 

e.If this is not the concern, go to Step 5.

 

5.Install a temporary engine tachometer if the vehicle is not equipped with a tachometer.

 

NOTE:
DURING THE FOLLOWING TESTS, BE SURE TO MONITOR THE ENGINE COOLANT TEMPERATURE BY THE TEMPERATURE GAUGE IN THE INSTRUMENT CLUSTER. SHUT OFF THE ENGINE IF THE TEMPERATURE RISES ABOVE THE MAXIMUM RECOMMENDED LIMIT FOR THE ENGINE OR IF COOLANT IS DISCHARGED OUTSIDE THE SYSTEM. THE TESTS CAN BE RESUMED USING THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURES AFTER THE COOLANT TEMPERATURE DROPS TO A NORMAL OPERATING LEVEL.

 

NOTE:
IF THE HOOD IS LEFT OPEN, THE FAN NOISE MAY BE EASIER TO HEAR.

 

WARNING:
DO NOT STAND IN LINE WITH THE FAN.

 

6.Start the engine.

 

7.Check for fan disengagement and be aware of the following operational characteristics.

 

^The fan clutch may be engaged when the engine is first started. This will be apparent from the noise level of the fan which has a distinctive roar.

 

^The fan clutch engagement is due to the viscous silicone fluid draining back and filling the gap between input and output components.

 

^Running the engine at a constant speed of about 2000 rpm should pump the fluid back to its reservoir, disengaging the fan clutch after no more than five minutes.

 

^As the fan speed declines, the noise will drop off to a level inaudible to most observers.

 

a.Continuing the test, if the fan clutch does not reengage after five more minutes at 2000 rpm, the fan clutch should be replaced. Refer to the Dealer Master Parts Catalog for correct parts usage. Refer to the appropriate Service Manual, Section 03-05, for service details.

 

b.Repeat the test procedure after fan clutch replacement to confirm the fix and to assure customer satisfaction.

 

c.If this is not the concern, go to Step 8.

 

8.Stop the engine.

 

a.Cut and install a piece of cardboard large enough to cover the front of the radiator with a six inch diameter hole in line with the fan clutch.

 

b.If it is not possible to install the cardboard directly against the radiator, attach it to the A/C condenser.

 

9.Start the engine.

 

a.With the gas engine at 2700 to 3000 rpm or diesel engine at 2100 to 2300 rpm, the vehicle temperature gauge will rise steadily as the engine warms and then appear to level off for a short time when the thermostat opens.

 

b.Make note of the temperature gauge position when the thermostat opens. The engine coolant temperature will continue to rise until the fan clutch engages.

 

10.Check for fan engagement...

 

a.Continue to observe the coolant temperature gage. As the fan clutch engages, the fan noise will continue to increase and then level off at full engagement. The fan clutch may cycle off-and-on a few times during the initial engagement.

 

b.If the fan clutch does not engage before the maximum indicated safe operating engine coolant temperature is reached, it should be replaced. Refer to the Dealer Master Parts Catalog for correct parts usage. Refer to the appropriate Service Manual, Section 03-05, for service details.

 

c.Repeat the test procedure after fan clutch replacement to verify the fix and to assure customer satisfaction. The rate of rise of the coolant temperature will slow down after clutch engagement, but it will continue to rise as long as the radiator remains covered.

 

d.If this is not the concern, go to Step 11.

 

11.Check for fan disengagement...

 

a.After completion of the above tests, shut off the engine.

 

b.Remove the cardboard cover from the front of the radiator.

 

c.Restart and return the gas engine to 2700 to 3000 rpm or diesel engine at 2100 to 2300 rpm, continuing to watch the coolant temperature which will begin to decrease. The fan rpm will drop to a reduced noise level where it was before the cycle began which indicates that the fan clutch has disengaged.

 

d.If the fan clutch remains engaged and the coolant temperature has dropped below the thermostat opening temperature (as noted in Step 9) for at least five minutes, the fan clutch should be replaced. Refer to the Dealer Master Parts Catalog for correct parts usage. Refer to the appropriate Service Manual, Section 03-05, for service details.

 

e.Repeat the test procedure after fan clutch replacement to confirm the fix and to assure customer satisfaction.

 

 

EMRSR, Master Certified Service Manager
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 3010
Experience: 20 years with Ford, Master Certified
EMRSR and 10 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the Service Bulletin and your answer itself. I will first try that at a car wash where I can use a high pressure hose. I did look under the hood while the engine was running at idle and found the radiator fan turning. But I haven't heard a loud whirring while driving with the engine revving up while accelerating. Well, again I'll try spray cleaning the condensor and radiator first.
Expert:  EMRSR replied 4 years ago.
Thanks !

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