97 Taurus Vulcan 3.0 overheating.

Hi, all. New here, so please forgive. I did a search of the group to see if any of the previous topics were relevant, but didn't find one that fit "just right."
I have a 97 Taurus GL sedan with a 3.0 vulcan. My wife drives it as her daily car. About 30 miles a day. Suddenly, it starts running hot and spitting fluid from the recovery tank. Found and patched the pinhole...)
I had replaced the water pump about 10 months ago. (did the work myself. My time is only worth $18 an hour, not $60...) So I assume that that isn't the problem.
Clues have me confused. 1) Brownish Rad Fluid, that continues to get brown, even after a flush... 2) No water showing on oil dipstick. 3) No heat. 4) Fans and circulation _seem_ fine. 5) As mentioned above, new-ish water pump. 6) Rad. fluid (water alone, until I get this figured out...) does not show signs of oil. No foam, no slick feeling to it. 7) No steam from the tailpipe, unless the outside temp is below dewpoint, and the engine runs like a top. Plenty of power, and no stalling/rough idle.
Swapped out the thermostat for a new one, and it only seems to have helped a little. Still behaving like it wants to overflow at the recovery tank. (Pressure cap seems to be doing its job...) Gauge reports that the temp is good. (lower third of the scale), but it's still building up what I consider to be an abnormal amount of pressure in the system.
Running with the pressure relief cap off the recovery tank, it makes this rapid fire gurgle sound when it reaches operating temp. The fluid level will rise and fall. I've never heard any such noise from any car before... (Who's bright idea was it to make the recovery tank the only way access the radiator fluids without tools?)
I have read here about some type of heater core bypass kit, but wouldn't know it if it leapt out of the engine compartment and bit me... From what I can see under the hood, it sure looks like there are "T" junctions on the heater hoses, but, I'm no expert. (This raises the question of whether or not I have the flush kit installed in the right place...)
Wonder if any of you have run into this before, and if you might have some advice for a self-taught driveway mechanic whose last engine rebuild was a Olds 350 Rocket, 20 years ago. I've been buying "Cheap" cars, and keeping them going well past the "Sell By" date for many years, but this one has me stumped.
Thanx in advance.
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Rob wrote:

radiator hoses not collapsing? Radiator not plugged?
Bob
-
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Bob Urz wrote:

Oouch, Classic Brown Coolant condition that these cars were prone to. There was a Campaign (non safety recall) on these cars for just that condition. It took a caustic flush and addition of bypass hoses in the heater lines to (supposedly) remedy the problem. Sounds like this one didn't make it in for the campaign. The reason you are overheating is because the vanes on your water pump have eroded away. The water pump impeller will be little more than a spinning disk. I doubt the Campaign is still in effect, but have your mechanic call the Ford dealer and get the proceedure for the flush (along with the chemicals), and the added bypass line kit. Have him replace the water pump also. Don't be surprised if you have leaking core plugs (freeze plugs) soon. That's where the brown gunk (rust) comes from. Don't just replace the pump, the problem will keep going in other areas and lead to major repairs.
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lsrx101 wrote:

Yes, Isrx101 knows what he's talking about. I found out the hard way, blown head gasket. Here is the info on what you need to do:
http://blizzard.zmm.com/waterpump/BrownCoolant.pdf

Right. It takes a really thorough flushing with the freeze plugs removed, new freeze plugs, and you also need to install a bypass kit which increases the circulation of coolant thru the engine when cold.
It's not a trivial thing. -Paul
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On 23 Sep 2006 15:10:08 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@egine.com wrotF:

I had this EXACT same experience with my 96 Sable Vulcan 3.0, word for word line by line. (If the owner replaced the pump then the impeller blades should be OK.) I took my car to a reputable repair shop. They said the problem was inherent with this engine. The solution: Special by-pass kit. Cost me several hundred $$ but it's something I couldn't have done myself.
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