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2.3L ('83-'97) So.... Still Need Help..... Freezing My Thighs Off Every Time I Drive


SadieJ709

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Alrighty guys, and suggestions as to why Rudy's heater decided to randomly desire to not work anymore?
I usually can laugh it off but this morning my thighs literally felt like some nice Round cuts of meat...
that just got pulled out of an ESKIMO'S DEEP FREEZER
....ughhhh.... please help me be warm in my beloved truck once again
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 70D65189E6D8FF: January 5th, 2022

Uncle Gump

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First thing to do is ensure your coolant level is full.
 

Mechrick

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Random could be low coolant. Low coolant could be a leak, or worse case a blown headgasket/cracked head.

Be careful removing the radiator cap. Best to do that when the engine is cold. Hot, scalding coolant in your face is never good.

-Give the coolant a sniff. Combustion gas in the coolant has a distinct, acrid odor. Once you rule that out, look for leaks...
 

Dirtman

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2.3s have terrible heat to begin with. They are waaaay overbuilt and take forever to warm up so I'd be inclined to make sure that it's simply not a case of the engine not being hot enough to make heat before tearing too much into it.

Like unclegump said check coolant first. Then once the truck is hot, turn heat on full blast and feel the heater hoses. Both should be hot, if only one is hot the heater core may be plugged or the control valve may be stuck (if you have one).

Also could be the blend door, I'm not 100% sure if they used the electronic blend door in 97 but the 98-2011 rangers had a notorious problem for the blend door motors failing. No blend door means no heat.
 

Uncle Gump

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I'm a victim of blend door failure on my 06... it failed the day before my trip to deer camp Thanksgiving week. Not exactly sure if it is a failsafe position for blend door actuator but mine failed in full heat position.

I have a new blend door actuator in the garage... but since it's stuck on heat... I will probably wait until spring to change it.
 

tomw

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A dying thermostat can also result in low heat. With the engine cold, start it up, and check the temperature of the upper radiator hose, the one from the thermostat housing to the upper tank. It should be cold, and remain cold. When the coolant in the block reaches 190-ish, the thermostat should open and the hose all of a sudden start to heat up.
IF the hose starts heating slowly as the engine warms up, it is allowing coolant flow. It should restrict flow until operating temperature is reached. Many times thermostats will fail 'softly', in that condition they will not pull the 'damper' closed all the way to restrict flow, but will have a gap, even when cold, and allow coolant to flow.
If you have that problem, replace with a brand thermostat. Motorcraft, Stant, Robertdshaw, AC-Delco, and good brand. No point in replacing with one from Bob's Pizza and Thermostats as they will work as good as the pizza likely tastes...
Keep the coolant at a 50:50 mix with clean drinking water and it will work better and last longer.
Having a working thermostat will also improve fuel mileage over that achieved with a failing stat. The engine will get hot faster and maintain a stable temperature with a good functional thermostat.
tom
 

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I'm a victim of blend door failure on my 06... it failed the day before my trip to deer camp Thanksgiving week. Not exactly sure if it is a failsafe position for blend door actuator but mine failed in full heat position.

I have a new blend door actuator in the garage... but since it's stuck on heat... I will probably wait until spring to change it.
Definitely not a failsafe position, mine failed on full cold lol. I think they just die in whatever position they were in last.
 

scotts90ranger

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My wife's explorer failed in full heat, which really confuses things with the auto temperature setting mess higher end Explorers had... I really should dig into that...

My '97 only has good usable heat output above 50F outside temperature, I've been meaning to dig into that too... probably has something to do with the heater core on mine.

On yours I think they're right, either heater control valve (It's over the exhaust manifold if you have one) or blend door being it changed suddenly.
 

Uncle Gump

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Definitely not a failsafe position, mine failed on full cold lol. I think they just die in whatever position they were in last.
So you've fixed it I take it... how bad was it to do?

I looked at for a minute and there is like zero room... did you have to roll the dash to get at it. Did you also have to replace the door itself?
 

Dirtman

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So you've fixed it I take it... how bad was it to do?

I looked at for a minute and there is like zero room... did you have to roll the dash to get at it. Did you also have to replace the door itself?
Yea I did it several years ago. It's not horrinle to replace just extremely tight. If you got big hands you're screwed.

just drop the glove box door, cover your hands in KY, and get in there with the tiniest ratchet you can to remove the 3 bolts above the hvac box. I think they are 6 or 7mm?
 

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I'm screwed... I didn't think at the time there was anyway I was getting in there.

I guess I will have a look in the manual and see how Ford says to do it.
 

racsan

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my 2.3 heater isnt that great and Ive got most new parts, water pump, thermostat, heater core, coolant. I block off 3/4 of the radiator with cardboard if its below 50 out. I tried adding a auxiliary electric heater between the seats in the cab, “back seat heat” it’s called. Its a waste of time & money. The next thing I want to try is foam slip-on insulation (like pool noodles) over the heater hoses, maybe Im getting heat loss in that 4/5 ft of hose. Id suspect no heat at all to be a blend door issue.
 

Dirtman

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If it's below 50 you should cover the radiator with some cardboard. We've ran 2.3's with no cooling system at all in the demolition derbies and they work just fine lol.
 

massacre

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I recently had this problem and it ended up being a stuck open thermostat
 

ThatOneGuy

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Im not sure what year truck you have, but in all 3 of my 1st gens, the factory never installed radio antennas, it was either an after thought or dealer added option. In one 83 it looked like a torch was used to burn a hole to pass cable into the cowel, and in another 83, and an 85 they broke a hole into the side of the heater box and pulled the cable into the cab that way. Each method left 3-4 sq .inch hole to suck cold air through. Not sure if this is adding to your issues, but sure affected my trucks.
 


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