Cooling Woes in 1987 Thunderbird

Hello. Please allow me to provide some background information first. I have a 1987 Ford Thunderbird. In the past few weeks, I have been having cooling system trouble. It was overheating, and the analog temperature
gauge showed the temperature to be barely above cold. In the past week, I have replaced the radiator, fan clutch (no electric fan on this car), water pump, thermostat, Engine Coolant Temperature sensor, coolant switch, hose to reserve tank and radiator cap. The hoses are less than a year old, and the heater core is bypassed since it died about 9 months ago. I believe the cause of my overheating was due to the original radiator being somewhat clogged. My overheating stopped after I swapped the radiator, fan clutch and water pump all at the same time. After installing a new ECT sensor and coolant switch, the gauge started working well again. Unfortunately, my temperature gauge shows me as running warm. I am halfway between normal and hot. As best I can tell, there is no coolant loss due to cracked head/block, coolant in motor oil, motor oil in coolant, ATF in coolant, white exhaust, etc. I have only driven it a couple of times since I changed everything, but isn't the radiator cap supposed to be real hot after you get through driving? Also, isn't the upper radiator hose supposed to be full of coolant after it has been running for 15 minutes? I could tell there was little. It was easy to squeeze the hose. I just replaced the thermostat, thermostat gasket and radiator cap on Tuesday, June 24. The guy at Auto Zone suggested I take it to a radiator shop to get the actual temperature of the coolant taken. Can I just lower the coolant level some by draining it a little, then test it with a meat thermometer from the kitchen?
Thank you, Jason Whorton
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Re-check your thermostat. Sounds as if it's stuck closed. The empty upper hose is the clue. Also, too much antifreeze (> 50/50) can cause it to run hotter than normal, since ethylene glycol doesn't transfer heat as well as water.
Jason Whorton wrote:

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Hi.... I have had exactly the same problem on my 88 E150 van. 302 EFI engine. The problem is now solved. It happens to be a voltage regulator to the instrument panel. When the service manager told me to look at the fuel gauge and voltage gauge and oil gauge when this happened I saw that all the gauges went a little bit up, but most up the temp gauge. The rest of the gauges could nearly notice the difference, but it was a little difference. When I changed the regulator everything is exactly in the middle and problem is solved. Mvh, Tor Elling Rustad.

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Hello. Thank you for the advice. Where was this voltage regulator located for you? Just for the record, my high dollar Fel-Pro gasket leaks, even after I tapped the bolt holes and ran the bolts through a die, then torqued them properly and evenly. I'm impressed.
Thank you, Jason Whorton

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"Jason Whorton" <jasonatmicroxl.com> wrote

Oh, and did you have the heads checked first?
I HIGHLY doubt FelPro made bad gaskets.
Tape the thermometer to the heater hose.Wrap insulation over it.
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