2.5 coolant system issue


Rangerblue

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I have a 1999 2.5

Engine temp gauge is fluctuating between normal (half ) and 3/4 to 7/8 toward hot , doesn't make a difference if at a stop or under load just randomly fluctuates when driving.

Fan is spinning "freely" by hand when cold and hot , just had it idling in my driveway up to 3/4 on the gauge and fan is spinning the whole time. When idling it's almost pegged at 3/4

I removed the radiator cap and started the truck and had slight bubbling , nothing too much but it would bubble intermittent. It really settled down and I put the cap back on but the gauge was still pegged at 3/4

Running full heat does not effect the gauge reading.

Switching to ac or defrost mode makes it bubble more.

Level is good in coolant overflow tank at cold level.

When cold starting the gauge still reads at half (normal) instead of cold but it is very hot here?

What do I need to check next or replace ? Sending unit issue? Air in coolant system? Previous owner replaced lower rad hose recently , I don't know what else they did or of they boogered something up.

Thank you
 
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Rangerblue

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Fan should have resistance from the clutch when the engine is warm, it does not , that may be an issue but I'm not as familiar with how that works as yall , like I said it was running all the time while idling
 

sgtsandman

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Does the coolant look like it is flowing through the radiator? If I remember correctly, the cap is situated in the middle so you can see if coolant is flowing. I'm wondering if the water pump impeller is working or has worked loose from the pulley shaft, so isn't pumping properly but well enough to keep the engine from overheating.
 

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Radiator cap is on on the far passenger side on mine , are there any checks I can do to ensure the water pump is working right? I just ran into town and got on it pretty good, didn't seem to effect the temp gauge at all regardless of what I did , it still fluctuated randomly though as I described.

The fan is still spinning freely by hand after warming it up driving around.

The engine is not actually overheating though

These parts aren't much even for the good motorcraft , I am going to order a sending unit , thermostat, but wonder if I should go ahead an get the fan clutch.
 

sgtsandman

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Being on the side presents a bit of a problem. I can't think of a way to check the pump without making a mess and taking stuff apart.

The fan clutch does need to be addressed but that is an additional problem and not the root problem.
 

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Yea only thing I can think of for the pump is the typical whine or fluid leakage from the weep hole but I am not experiencing those issues.

When I got home the temp gauge was at 7/8 , I popped the hood and there wasn't any bubbling in the overflow resivour

It just doesn't seem that hot but I may definitely be wrong
 

sgtsandman

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I've had that before on an old Toyota Celica. The impeller came right of the shaft but the filler neck on the radiator was in the middle, which made it easier. There was enough thermal circulation to move the coolant but the temp ran high.
 

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I appreciate the advice keep it coming and thank you for your service, my dad retired as a first sergeant in the us army with 29 years of service, I definitely appreciate all you folks do.

This truck is not a daily driver just my spare hunting/fishing truck so I can tinker at leisure, I'm gonna swap sending unit just in case and do some more testing, if it's the water pump no big deal to swap that, I need to replace the fan clutch as well only 35 bucks on rock auto
 

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You'll need to remove the clutch to do the job anyway. For some reason, I think there is a big nut in there somewhere that may or may not require a special wrench. I think I was able to skate by with a small pipe wrench I already had on hand.
 

tomw

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I would wiggle the connector on the temperature sending unit. Located above the oil filter, and a bit rearward, single push-on wire connector. If loose, you'll get various readings that confuse.
If you ground the connector with the key ON, the gauge should swing quickly to full HOT. Just touch it, don't leave connected.
There is a regulator on the back of the cluster that provides a steady voltage to the gauges, including the fuel gauge. If the regulator is going out, any and all gauges would be affected, so if the fuel gauge works fine, the regulator is likely fine.
The fan should tend to get much harder to turn when it has hot air from the radiator flowing over the fins. When you turn off the engine hot, the fan should come quickly to a halt. If it seems to spin for a while at shutdown, it's likely worn. If easy to turn, worn.
Search the web for a replacement once you find the part number. Some want more than is reasonable for the same part.
The 2.3/2.5 is easy on radiators as it doesn't produce a lot of heat. Just moving down the road at 30+ should provide enough airflow over the radiator to keep it happy even if the fan was removed.
The 'Big Nut' version, with left-hand thread was used on the V6 engines, I think. At least older models had that setup.
tom
 

Rangerblue

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I'll try to wiggle that in a few minutes, fuel gauge works fine , when cold starting first thing in the morning the temp gauge reads slightly above half so I'm leaning toward the sender
 

Rangerblue

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Well the sender on the 2.5 is not on the engine block like the 2.3, it's actually right next to the coolant sensor on the thermostat housing, this is is my first 2.5 so I didn't know , Haynes says it's on the block as well.

Gauge is good when testing the wire by grounding it, cleaned the contact and it's trying to work correctly now but I have a new sender coming in the mail, and sensor just gonna swap both and the thermostat while I'm messing with it.
 


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