Engine overheat and cool air -thermostat?

Yesterday coming home from work in -10 C, a 26 km drive,
I was getting just cold air through the heater. I was watching the temp
guage all the way home and as I got near my home about 20 minutes in,
the temp guage on my pickup was at the red line.
Once parked in driveway, I noticed the rad pushingbubbling fluid into the overflow and could smell hot antifreeze.
I have noticed the past few weeks that the temp guage has been rising but then would suddenly start to go down esp. if I turned on the heater
and it seemed unusual at the time so I have been watching it. --yesterday was the first time, it did not go down. I went for a little drive later that evening and this time, the temp rose even faster -7 minute drive to move temp guage close to red and still no heat from heater.
I assumed/read that you would have one or the other, that is, engine overheats so thermostat is stuck in closed position No heat in car so thermostat is stuck in open position.
I seem to have both scenerio's going on.
Any thoughts -is it even the thermostat? if so, I know the thermostat is relatively inexpensive? should I buy 3rd party or from dealer and finally, how long/shop time to replace one (I am assuming one hour or so) and is it worth trying to do it myself?
Many thanks in advance
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Check the lower radiator hose--it may be collapsed. You could have a shot head gasket as well.

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My bet is either small hole in your radiator hose, but I would seriously consider that it could be a leaking head gasket.
My 1994 Ford Taurus GL with a 3.8L V-6 engine had a shot head gasket 2 years ago and the symptoms you described were the symptoms my car had.
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it is a 1988 toyota p/u 22re engine
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Did you try posting here? alt.autos.toyota.trucks
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Yes I did, posted it in a few places as there are many varying opinion
Thank you
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

OK, I have a '90 with the same engine; very easy to work on. Your radiator may be gone, or a hole in a hose, or the water pump's dying, or the belt's slipping, or the thermostat is stuck closed, or the coolant just dropped below a critical level. Change the thermostat first - that's cheapest - or have the system pressure tested to look for leaks.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Well, we all have to start somewhere... but this is not an "applied logical thinking" group, this is a Ford group.
There is a specific model and engine ford that would have a unique possible cause for exactly your problem. That is why you should concentrate on Toyo owners' opinions.
My suggestion... bite the bullet, get references and take it to a local shop.
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Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
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LOL!
I had a 22R engine in my '79 Celica GT.
God did I have fun with that little bitch...
I miss that car. (coupe, not hatchback, when I smashed it into a '76 Montecarlo, it was at 150HP (stock about 96), could take curves *way* better than my '95 Contour.
5-speed, rear-wheel drive, limited-slip differential, 650 CFM Carb, modified head, etc...
I'm now hesitating between a 1984 Celica Supra (inline 6), or a supercharged mid-eighties MR-2 (I'm pretty sure a Camry V6 can fit in those)
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It's probably more complicated than just a thermostat...
First what vehicle and engine?
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

looking for a leak? did ye?
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Thermostat
First one to check/change...
look up the specs on your thermostat, put it in a glass bowl along with an old-school thermometer. Make sure none are touching the bowl.
boil the water, and watch when the thermostat opens, then turn the heat source off, and note when it closes.
mine (Contour, very expensive bitch to fix) costs about 18$ CA, and that's the Failsafe version (if it fails, it will stay open)
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