My inherited 1992 Taurus wagon with the 3.0 liter engine overheated last Friday
while I was sitting at KFC waiting for my order. I got it home without causing
any apparent damage as the car cooled down almost the second I got it moving
again and the gauge never quite pegged even at its hottest. The upper radiator
hose was no more than warm but on the bright side the oil dipstick didn't show
any evidence of antifreeze.
I got a new thermostat and removed the housing to get at the old one. I scraped
the old gasket off the side of the engine with a sharp piece of oak and polished
it up (engine side only) with a scotchbrite pad. After I installed the new
thermostat and gasket, I tightened things up and tried it. The upper radiator
hose gets plenty hot now after a few minutes but there was a little squirt of
sweet smelling fog blowing out the side of the thermostat housing where the
gasket is supposed to seal it. I tightened things up as much as I dared. The
fog is gone now but there is a definite hissing coming from that same area when
I stop the car. I see a small stain on the driveway after it's been parked.
Coincidentally, I found the radiator fan was disconnected but that is corrected
now and is apparently functioning correctly.
I have driven it several miles in stop and go traffic and the temp is completely
normal now. Which leaves me with the leak. Was I supposed to squirt some
sealant on the gasket before I placed it? I don't see how I can seal this up
otherwise. Maybe I should have scotchbrited the housing too (it didn't seem
like it needed it)?
You were on the right track, you just stopped a little bit short. When new,
surfaces will seal with just a gasket. At this age, the scotchbrite treatment is
good idea on both surfaces and a smear of RTV sealer on both sides of the gasket
ensure a good seal. Look very close at the engine gasket surface. It's really
"polish up" a piece of the old gasket and make it hard to see.
That's the information I was looking for, all joking aside about KFC. Do I need
any special high temp RTV? If I'm going pull this apart again I want to get it
right the next time. I have a talent for turning an hour's worth of work into a
three day ordeal.
Just any regular RTV sealant is fine.. I prefer the Black mid temp for general
such as cooling systems and most anything else. Blue or clear would be fine for
particular application, but of course, I prefer the black.
Silver and Gold RTV are for very different and specific applications. They would
really well for your thermostat, but would be Waaaayy overkill for that
Make sure the sealing surfaces are clean, install the 'stat in the proper
shmear the gasket with clear, blue, or black RTV on both sides and bolt it
Morgan Spurlock must be amazed. McDonald's and Wendy's are both coming
out with bigger burgers. If I heard correctly, Wendy's new burger combo
has 1600 calories. Most Americans will be dying of diabetes so fast
they won't have time to call for a grease injection. It would be
redundant anyway. ;) I thought maybe the movie Super Size Me would slow
them down a bit. Heh, dreamer.
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