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Sayulita Layta!
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Discussion Starter #1
Drove from Arizona (115°) to California (65°) today and had quite the stress watching the temperature gauge move around.

Usually in California the gauge sits steady at the N/O mark in “Normal”. This has been the standard up to 95° in recent weeks. During my trip to Arizona, the gauge jumped to M/A in “Normal” and occasionally hit the L on long hills.

Does this sound normal in the hotter temperature areas? Honestly never drove the truck in temperatures this high (up to 123° the other day). Or should I look for a blocked radiator or stuck t-stat?

* I should add that the radiator is an all aluminum 3 pass radiator from Summit Racing. Electric fan is a big 4000 CFM unit from Derale. Doesn’t have problems cooling at stop lights but temps definitely climbed while driving highway speeds in the heat *
 

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Certainly not an expert but feel that altitude and the almost 100% temperature increase could have something to do with it. As long as it didn’t boil over. Did you check water/coolant level after drive?
 

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Sayulita Layta!
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Discussion Starter #3
Certainly not an expert but feel that altitude and the almost 100% temperature increase could have something to do with it. As long as it didn’t boil over. Did you check water/coolant level after drive?
Overflow tank was about half way full, which is where it started the trip 9 days ago. Opened the cap and the radiator is full to neck, with no bubbles coming out with engine warm and heater on.

I didn’t measure to be sure, but I imagine roadway temps were close to 200°. The heat was going through my shoes!
 

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MidlifeCrisisUndrWay
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How old is thermostat?

How old are the radiator hoses?

What's the radiator fluid mixture percentage?
 

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1994 EB 5.8 E4od with manual T case.
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I live in AZ and have noticed the exact same readings that you describe. Around town it stays N/O but once on the high way it will get up to the A and even close to the L of NORMAL.
Cooling system is in good shape as everything have been replaced in the last year or so.
What my fix was is after noticing what looked like plastic push pins to hold some sort of air dam in place under the radiator support behind the bumper I made a new one and secured it inder there, my theory is it forces more air through the radiator than under it.
Drove it up to crown king in 118 degree weather pulling a side by side and the needle stayed straight up and down.
 

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Out of idle curiosity, no search done here, but has anyone ever run both a digital gauge and retained the stock gauge and found correlation in the temperatures at any given stock gauge needle position?
 

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Man of endless projects
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on my bronco and f250 which are OBD-II i run stock guage but use OBD-II reader to see live data. the problem is that aftermarket sending units dont always have exact resistance curve as OEM. my F250 at 195* shows low on stock gauge, but bronco shows perfectly centered. now that i have a 180* in my f250, guage shows very low. my bronco is dead so i cant show it

also have to account for the air temp into the engine itself, not just radiator. using said reader i can view my IAT temps at the MAF sensor and there usually about 20* higher than ambinent air when moving, alot higher when at idle. will be even higher once air goes through intake and in cylinder. so the engine looses that cooling effect which will also make it run warmer
 

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this brings up a question I have. I am currently running the stock oil pressure and a wet gauge. not an issue, have it in a pipe nipple and a 'T' fitting to put in both.

But, how could I run two temp gauges? the stock and an aftermarket? this is on an 86, so there's no diagnostics. is there another place I could put in a temperature sensor besides the intake? for ref, temp gauges need to be in the flow stream to be accurate, if they're branched off the side they will typically be of a significant margin.
 

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Man of endless projects
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you can get an adapter that screws into intake for heater hoses and some have threaded port for a sensor, some can be drileld and tapped for one.



some thermostat housings have a bung for a sensor but im not a big fan of that.




could run an in-line adapter for the heater hose or radiator hose, they use those for e-fan installs but can also be used.

 

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Charlie don't surf..
'92 Ford Bronco XLT
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I have a 3 core aluminum radiator, new flowkooler waterpump (supposed to keep temps down by as much as 30 degrees), 195 degree stat, along with an aftermarket temp gauge plumbed into the t-stat housing and a heavy duty fan clutch..In the summer we're regularly over a 100 degrees here and my temps on the factory gauge stay pretty close to dead nuts in the middle..the aftermarket will jump to 210 if I'm cruising at highway speeds and then come to a stop, but it cools off pretty quickly..Keep in mind, I'm also turning 37 inch tires so the engine is working a bit harder..

What you're seeing is probably a byproduct of the excessive temps, but if it's not boiling over I'd say you're ok.
 
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Sayulita Layta!
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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all of the responses! Love seeing this forum still producing good content as it did 10 years ago.

Since I'm '96 and OBD2, I purchased a ScanGauge2. Gives me 15 metrics plus a few others you can add in yourself, including water temperature, trans temperature, and intake temperature. I learned that on my truck, N/O in Normal is running about 180º, while M/A is about 210º.

So moral of the story, get a proper gauge and don't try to pull data from the stock dummy gauges - all of my worrying over the road trip were unnecessary!

This also means that my electric fan controller was turning on too aggressively too soon and preventing the engine from getting into proper operating temps.
 
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