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Discussion Starter #1
i recently ran into some overheating problems in my 1990 fsb with a 302. i instantly replaced the thermostat and the gasket and went a a 10 minuate drive to see if the problem was fixed. about 6 minuates in it started overheating. the check engine light then came on and white smoke was billowing from the engine bay. the smoke did not smell like coolant, there is no white smoke coming from the exhaust and there is no combination of coolant and oil in the crankcase. correct me if im wrong but i think one of those symptoms would show up if the headgasket blew. im thinking the water pump blew. if anyone has any insight please share.
 

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well make sure your hoses aren't vacuuming and you got the right thermostat and didn't install it upside. check the simple things that are easily to overlooked. when its cold pull off the radiator cap and check it you have enough coolant too. always start with the simple And then work you way up.
stick a flattened catboats box in front of the radiator and make sure your fan clutch is working too.
 

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Ya, I think your thermostat is in backwards. I doubt you overheated it after 10 minutes if it was started when COLD, if it was cold, I'm sure it was just some condensation already in the cylinders
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i started it up this morning and a bit of white smoke came out of the exhaust on the startup and went away shortly..... i think it might be the headgasket now, god this is horrible.
 

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Pull your spark plugs and look for a white-ish to light brownish deposit on the tips; that is usually a sign of coolant entering the combustion chamber.
 

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yea.... headgasket is blown. this is awesome. do you guys suggest resurfacing the the cylinders while i have the head off? or do you think the cylinders are fine if they are not cracked.
 

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yea.... headgasket is blown. this is awesome. do you guys suggest resurfacing the the cylinders while i have the head off? or do you think the cylinders are fine if they are not cracked.
I just blew a headgasket on mine. Pulled em off had them milled, magna fluxed and a valve job. I talked to a guy that worked for anderson ford motorsport. He told me about how many head gaskets he blew and which kind worked best. Also about how thin the walls of the 302 are and how they warp easily. Make sure you use the felpro gasket kit. They have the graphite head gaskets that he says work the best for the 302. He has plenty of experience blowing head gaskets with his fox bodies. Then you should check all the other things. Like the radiator and fan clutch. Good luck! Check out my build thread for some pictures of the radiator and the head job.
 

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If you're going through the trouble of pulling the heads, unless its been rebuilt recently, I'd have them resurfaced and get a valve job.
 

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First if you fire up the engine, radiator cap off and the coolant starts "racing" immediately or shortly thereafter like boiling water it's a sure sign a head gasket is blown especially if there is a burnt smell in the radiator neck to include oil mixed with the coolant right there and that being the case I would do BOTH gaskets assuiming the heads don't need to done.

I'm curious as to the where the white smoke was coming from in the engine bay....leaking somewhere or what...?

Most engines will emit some white "moisture" smoke out the tailpipe at cold start, hot air over cold pipes then dissapates...NBD.

If you fired it up cold and everything was fine with no over heating issues you may have dodged a bullit but I would change the oil and filter immediately just to be safe and then I would put a pressure gauge on the radiator neck and check for any leaks, definately make sure the thermostat is in correctly with the designated OEM degree, mine is 195* thermostat for a stock 302/5.0L EFI.

The way to tell if the thermostat is working properly would be where the upper radiator hose should be hot and you run and shut off the engine otherwise it's in backwards.

Make sure all your fan belts have the correct tension so the fan blade is working optimum.....

However if this overheating persists then you have a decsion to make $$$$$

Good Luck ~ :thumbup
 

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Discussion Starter #11
i wish it was just from a cold start, however it is emitting white smoke at all times while running. im pretty sure i mildly blew my head gasket. the new felpro gasket itself is inexpensive, and shouldn't be that bad to replace..... i just hope i didn't crack any cylinders in the process. the t stat was properly replaced fyi, the temperature coil was placed facing the firewall. i think the t stat wasn't a factor in overheating. i think my water pump was out causing it to overheat ultimately blowing the head gasket.
 

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White smoke = coolant mixed with the oil in the cylinders "steaming" it and pushing out the tailpipe, that's unfortunate so pull both heads, replace head gaskets and don't forget to change the oil and filter because the oil no has lost it's viscosity and ability to protect the engine internally but hopefully it will come back but don't keep running the engine any more......:rockon

Let us know how you make out...:doh0715:


Good Luck ~ :thumbup
 
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