How to get 2.3 engine to warm up?!?


venuspie1

Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2008
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.3
Transmission
Manual
I've just picked up a 95 ranger 4 cylinder. It has a good many miles on it so I thought I'd do some routine maintenance. After t-stat install, I can NOT get it to warm up to anything warmer than 175(temp gun). I flushed out radiator, heater core and all hoses. I can't even burp the system or add anymore 50/50 other than what I put in the radiator because the t-stat won't open. Dummy gauge reads low but I always check it in various places with a temp gun to be sure. I've seen others with this problem and wonder what is going on? I had a 180 t-stat and thought that was the problem so I took it back apart and installed a 192 degree one. I saw where the housing could be the issue and that water could get past the t-stat even when it is closed. I installed an extra o-ring to push the t-stat hard against the housing. With the extra o-ring, I can't blow air past the t-stat now so I KNOW it is sealed. You would think riding around in 95 degree weather with the A/C on would warm it up. When I stop and raise the hood, the temps drop down to the 160's. I know cardboard in front of the radiator may help but what is the real problem? I know this truck didn't do this when new?
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 248EE46702D889 Expires: October 1, 2019

Shran

Junk Collector
Supporting Member
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
4,250
Reaction score
89
Points
48
Location
Rapid City SD
Does it have the tiny, thin 4 cylinder radiator? They're maybe 3/4" thick or so. I've installed 4.0/auto radiators in a few vehicles where a thinner radiator was originally installed and it made a dramatic difference. They stayed cooler quite a bit longer, I think just because of the extra coolant capacity.

Fan clutch? Is it stuck on (will be quite loud) and over cooling?
 

venuspie1

Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2008
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.3
Transmission
Manual
Does it have the tiny, thin 4 cylinder radiator? They're maybe 3/4" thick or so. I've installed 4.0/auto radiators in a few vehicles where a thinner radiator was originally installed and it made a dramatic difference. They stayed cooler quite a bit longer, I think just because of the extra coolant capacity.

Fan clutch? Is it stuck on (will be quite loud) and over cooling?
It does have the 4 cylinder radiator. Very thin and small. I haven't noticed the fan clutch being overly loud. It seems to spin normal and spun with normal resistance as I was installing it. Maybe I should remove it and see. I'd love to heat it up enough just once to open the t-stat and burp the system. No way it has enough coolant in it from just topping of the rad after install
 

Shran

Junk Collector
Supporting Member
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
4,250
Reaction score
89
Points
48
Location
Rapid City SD
I usually burp them by removing the radiator cap and starting the engine, while cold... then open the throttle and keep it at 2500rpm or so while adding coolant. The water pump will suck the radiator down enough to add some, or a bunch. Put the cap back on and let it idle down. Then fill the overflow tank to the cold fill line. It will suck coolant from there if it's still low. This method almost always gets it perfect in my world.

If you don't think the fan is overly loud it's probably not the issue. I've had several fail and they are LOUD.
 

RonD

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
13,475
Reaction score
343
Points
83
Location
canada
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
192deg is correct thermostat

Yes, it did this new, 2.3l Lima engine doesn't generate alot of extra heat, one of the complaints in colder climates when trying to get HOT heater, lol.
And where blocking air flow thru engine bay came in, i.e. cardboard in front of radiator, and some use 205deg thremostat

Yes the mechanical fan could be the problem, take it off and drive it
Electric fan gives better horse power and MPG, and...............you can control it better than mechanical fan

Also the temp sender for dash gauge is at the rear of the block, drivers side, so doesn't show true temp, always reads lower
 

venuspie1

Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2008
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Vehicle Year
1991
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.3
Transmission
Manual
Thanks for the responses. I'm worried if it doesn't heat up in this hot weather, I may not have any heat when it gets cold. I will remove the fan and see what it does.
 

RonD

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
13,475
Reaction score
343
Points
83
Location
canada
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
It should stay almost the same temp in the winter

Check if upper rad hose is heating up a bit that means thermostat is opening so there is "some" extra heat
In winter it probably won't open very often, it at all.
The radiator is just there for extra heat, most engines do generate extra heat every time they run for more than 5 minutes.

There is no reason the radiator should be used on any engine if there is no "extra" heat, the cooling system is the water pump circulating coolant thru engine and block and thats it.
The thermostat will route some coolant thru radiator when it detects "extra" heat

Thermostat should open/close within +/-3deg of rating, but it doesn't open fully until 10-15deg above rating
 

Shran

Junk Collector
Supporting Member
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
4,250
Reaction score
89
Points
48
Location
Rapid City SD
My old '96 had excellent heat... same truck as yours, 2.3, 5 speed.

My current 2.3 powered '88 has the worst heater I've ever experienced. Actually all of the first gen trucks I've had, have had awful heaters, but this one is far worse than any. Everything in the cooling system is new and my theory is that the new style aluminum heater cores do not work as well as the factory brass/copper ones. My '86 is V8 swapped and has the same heater core, and it's awful too, but wasn't bad before I changed it.
 

RonD

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
13,475
Reaction score
343
Points
83
Location
canada
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
My old '96 had excellent heat... same truck as yours, 2.3, 5 speed.

My current 2.3 powered '88 has the worst heater I've ever experienced. Actually all of the first gen trucks I've had, have had awful heaters, but this one is far worse than any. Everything in the cooling system is new and my theory is that the new style aluminum heater cores do not work as well as the factory brass/copper ones. My '86 is V8 swapped and has the same heater core, and it's awful too, but wasn't bad before I changed it.
Yes, I would agree

Replacement cores have a straight pass thru in most cases, so hot coolant doesn't have to flow thru the whole core to get out.
While is would prevent a complete blockage of flow, lol, it doesn't make for an efficient heater core
 


Top