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