2003 Lincoln LS V8 Overheating Problem Solved

Lincoln LS

  1. SeaPro

    SeaPro Active LVC Member

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    Story:

    The car was working fine until it sat for about a week. I Went to drive it and 5 minutes later it threw codes P1285 (Cylinder Head Overtemperature Condition and P1299 (Cylinder Head Overtemperature Protection Active). The engine temp shot up and the car went into protection mode. I got home, parked the car and went to bed. The next morning It drove perfectly, as if nothing happened. I drove for two weeks (about 500km) with no issues.

    The car sat for another week and all of a sudden I encountered the same problem - 5 minutes down the road it overheated. This time it didn't go away. It overheated almost instantly. I thought it was a faulty thermostat so I opened up the housing and removed it (hoping it would at least be drive able). This didn't solve the problem however while I had it apart I noticed the inside of the housing was severely deteriorated and the original thermostat was not sitting properly. Plastic bits had actually broken off all over the place. Now I began to think the radiator was clogged up with plastic because of how quickly it would overheat at idle.


    Solution:

    I ordered a complete thermostat and housing from rockauto for $90 CND (Ford wanted $350 for these parts). I drained the entire system of coolant then removed the old housing and reverse flushed the radiator with a hose. I didn't remove the radiator, just attached the hose to the upper radiator hose using duct tape and ran lots of water through it. Then I connected to the bottom hose and did the same thing. The radiator flushed perfectly so I was confident there was no blockage, however I used a strainer to filter the water coming out and noticed a few very small plastic pieces (nothing too large though). I installed the new thermostat and housing. While I was at it I changed the water pump because it's very accessible with the thermostat taken off and hoses out of the way. I was worried one of the plastic blades of the impeller may have broken off and clogged the radiator (yes I realize this is very unlikely).

    Once the water pump and housing were back in place, I reassembled the air intake and ran water through the thermostat housing (with the radiator still disconnected). I started the engine with the heat on and flushed the rest of the system.

    Once that was all done, I blew out as much of the fresh water from the system that I could and put everything back together. When I tried to fill the system back up with Prestone green premix coolant (adding a bit of concentrate for any residual fresh water) I could only pour about 4 liters in. I Started the car and poof, it overheated instantly. The heating system also stopped working at this point. It was cold and dark out so I decided to give up for the night.

    The more I thought about it that night, I realized there was likely air in the system and that I had probably bled it wrong. The next day I went back and bled the system properly following the exact proceedure found in the manual and here and everything was fixed. No more overheating. I've driven for a week with no issues. So far so good!



    Conclusion:

    I know most of you insist on changing all plastic parts (and I'm sure this will come back to bite me in the ass eventually) but upon inspection of all hoses and plastic components, they seemed fine. It was only the plastic thermostat housing that showed any real wear. The base of the thermostat was the largest piece of plastic broken off / missing.

    I'm not totally sure what caused the overheating to occur in the first place. I feel like the faulty thermostat could have caused the problem, but am not totally convinced. The original water pump was fine upon removal, but it was only a matter of time before it went. I didn't find any large chunks of plastic in the system however they may have slipped past me. I find it unlikely there could have been air in the system before all of this happened. The real test will be that of time, but for now the car is running perfectly (famous last words). Hope this helps somebody!


    lin1.jpg lin2.jpg



    Home flushing system. I was quoted around $250 to get a system flush, this took 5 minutes.


    lin3.jpg

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    lin2.jpg

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  2. RigsLS

    RigsLS Dedicated LVC Member

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    Good fix. It's the plastics deterioration process that fails the LS cooling system. It's when the black plastics over time turn brown and brittle from the inside out.

    Some LS'es you look at and original plumbing looks good and clean under the hood. Exterior of plastics are still a nice black/grayish.

    As it begins to rot from the inside outwards, it takes on a rusted browning appearance.

    This is this known repetitive heat cycling over time failure concept.

    You dd it every day in hot summer in Chicago traffic it'll cook out that plastic system quicker as driven by an elderly person twice a week to church and bingo.
    There is that difference right there ... It's not that you can't get by with simple one or two part repair, it's the time these parts age at. Make it stronger here, weakens it else where.

    The wisdom was, replace all plastics at same time, thereby doing so the entire system is refreshed and would last equally functional for the next 100K.

    Part by part is very doable as long as it can become and remain air tight it can be bled. Which part then goes later or soon there after is the gamble.

    ~ great write up and repair!
     
  3. Andrizzle

    Andrizzle Dedicated LVC Member

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    I would say the small plastic elbow that connects to the thermostat is the part most susceptible to rot (other than degas bottle). Mine was definitely flaking off from the inside when I removed it. Although it lasted like 130K, so you are probably only replacing it once over the lifetime of the vehicle.
     
  4. elephantrider

    elephantrider Dedicated LVC Member

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    just loosen the coolant cap and run no pressure. that will save most of your cooling bits. :N
     
  5. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    He might not realize that as the inside joke that it is...
     
  6. Robot

    Robot Dedicated LVC Member

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    Yeah, don't do that. It really sucks these cars have no cooling margin whatsoever. Too bad it couldn't be air cooled. Thinking about it, the air cooled Porsches are not made any more. It's all about emissions nowadays.

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  7. LS4me

    LS4me Dedicated LVC Member

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    You'll be back...
     
  8. SeaPro

    SeaPro Active LVC Member

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    Trust me, since I've owned these cars I've never left :p
     
  9. RigsLS

    RigsLS Dedicated LVC Member

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    SeaPro, I'm calling Bullsh!t on your mileage per tank in your sig.

    2005 Lincoln LS v6 - Roughly 1000km highway per tank

    I don't think so !!!

    450-520Kms per tank MAX !!!
     
  10. Robot

    Robot Dedicated LVC Member

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    I can get 750 per tank in mine. The problem is the sweet spot is faster than the speed limit.

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  11. LS4me

    LS4me Dedicated LVC Member

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    You'll have to prove tht to me. Even with the EPA's 25 hwy mpg the max mileage would be about 450; and that's using the entire 18 gallons! Your math woks out to over 41.6 mpg! I say NO WAY!!!!!!! The 4 being next to the 7 I easily believe 450 miles.
     
  12. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    I assumed he meant 750 km (466 miles, 26 MPG).
     
  13. Tommy B

    Tommy B LVC Member

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    SeaPro- what you did is exactly what I did last month. In my case the car wasn't overheating, it just was not getting up to O T as quickly as usual. The ear holding the thermo in place had broken off so it was always half open. Replaced same assembly, backflushed and bled, and it's all good now. Never did find that broken off piece, I hope it's in the bottom of the block and will stay there. Also 2003 V8.
     
  14. Robot

    Robot Dedicated LVC Member

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    That's right. 750 KPG. Big is in Canada. Now, I've got pics to prove it. This pic was taken on a run avg about 80-85 mph on the way home from a funeral I did about 26.7 mpg from Waycross, GA to St Petersburg, FL.

    48a6150ecbca5b7adf14f8a1394e66c1.jpg

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  15. SeaPro

    SeaPro Active LVC Member

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    1000 is a stretch, but the following is true.

    I drove from Halifax Nova Scotia to St. Francis Maine to look at a 69 Cougar this summer. I averaged between 120km/h - 130km/h on the highway never slowing or stopping. I left with a full tank and didn't fill up until I reached Grand Falls New Brunswick on the way back. The drive to St. Francis was 750km and I went another 120km to Grand Falls on the way back. I couldn't believe it. I was literally running on fumes because I was trying to see just how far I could go before running out (pretty nervous near the end). I said 1000 because my speed was not optimal. It blew me away. 68 liter tank, 91 octane, V6 with no emmision hardware.

    ~ 870km honest to god.

    I changed 1000 to 850 lol, didn't think anyone would ever notice it. Seriously though, the economy on the v6 makes it my favorite car ever. I currently own a v8 too, but it's depressingly expensive to drive. The low end torque is fun but seriously, a well tuned v6 is in a lot of ways a better car.
     
  16. Robot

    Robot Dedicated LVC Member

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    e30a403fe050b9235a8bc771a291e9b6.jpg

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  17. SeaPro

    SeaPro Active LVC Member

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    Thanks for sharing that Tommy. I'm glad you managed to get it with minimal trouble! It's a bad feeling knowing you've got a cooling problem and then coming to this forum trying to diagnose it lol. Lots of horror stories around here with this car :/ Sounds like we both got lucky! (cough cough)
     
  18. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    You'll both be replacing the other parts too. The only questions are when and if you will go ahead and get all of the rest of them next time.
     
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    • LS4me

      LS4me Dedicated LVC Member

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      But bleeding is so much fun!!!!!
       
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      • RigsLS

        RigsLS Dedicated LVC Member

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        Don't think I've ever ran any on my LS'es on highways long enough to understand best milage per tank.

        Mixed city driving I think best would have been 480ish kms. Wife does a bit better as she's on the highway everyday for 20min at a time. She can stretch a tank but then again she drives pretty slow.

        Me, I'm foot in oil pan kinda driver. A to B in a hurry. Pull up to pumps and open wallet. Don't even look at prices. Gets premium Shell each time.

        Now my 01 Sport, somehow I've managed to stretch a full tank going on two years ... it's not a deep garage, driveway not too far.
         
      • 02LincLS

        02LincLS Dedicated LVC Member

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        I'm pretty much all Mobil 93. For giggles on the way to work today, I went 80mph and hit the reset button while going down a slight hill. The car is pushing so much air, the economy average for that short time peaked at 21, and otherwise stayed below 20, and dropped like a rock going up the slightest hill. From someone who has achieved over 30 mpg in perfect conditions and no traffic, I'd say its just outside of possible to get 26mpg while going 85mph. My average speed to get 30mpg was about 60mph. I would say 450 miles/tank is easily possible as I've done slightly less on my commute, but no way if I was going 85mph, and certainly not in the winter.
         

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