Cooling system problem

AmsterDutch

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OK took for another test today. Now I think I have two problems.
Put new degas cap on (from other LS been running great.) Not Fomoco.
Started at 90 degrees C ECT. Got to same spot as yesterday where boiling had begun and all was fine. Temp about 103C. Fan at 10% or so.
Drove hard mostly uphill to store about 7 miles. All good all the way until stopped. Temp went up to 116C (241F). Temp gauge crept up above 1/2 to nearly 5/8. Fan said it was at 100%. Coolant did not boil or leak out but did expand. Came out of store. All same. Started and fan went straight to 100% and temp began to drop. Drove home and gauge was just a hair above 1/2 most of the way. Got home and all was well with ECT=103 and no boiling. Did not expand.
So obviously I got a bad degas cap from Ford. This one in there now prevented boiling up to 116 where the other boiled at 111. I noticed that bad cap went on very easily and just merrily went click click click when tightening. This better one is harder to put on and tough to tighten to get a few clicks.
Then there is another problem which causes the ECT to climb to 116. I was thinking thermostat? But when I checked forscan at home I found the FANVAR parameter said failed. Hmmm. I did not notice this on the drive. Not sure when it failed and under what circumstance unfortunately. Fan seemed to work but something thinks it isn't working properly. Variable says "Cooling fan driver fault." So gotta attack that. Not sure how to get more info on it.
Reading this thread makes me wish I never would've sold my V8 LS the transmission had the dreaded P0741 code but it hadn't effected the drivability in the least ...even the mpg was back to 24 on Highway ...really kicking myself in the ass now ...what kind of radiator do you have on this V6?
 

Broseph

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OK took for another test today. Now I think I have two problems.
Put new degas cap on (from other LS been running great.) Not Fomoco.
Started at 90 degrees C ECT. Got to same spot as yesterday where boiling had begun and all was fine. Temp about 103C. Fan at 10% or so.
Drove hard mostly uphill to store about 7 miles. All good all the way until stopped. Temp went up to 116C (241F). Temp gauge crept up above 1/2 to nearly 5/8. Fan said it was at 100%. Coolant did not boil or leak out but did expand. Came out of store. All same. Started and fan went straight to 100% and temp began to drop. Drove home and gauge was just a hair above 1/2 most of the way. Got home and all was well with ECT=103 and no boiling. Did not expand.
So obviously I got a bad degas cap from Ford. This one in there now prevented boiling up to 116 where the other boiled at 111. I noticed that bad cap went on very easily and just merrily went click click click when tightening. This better one is harder to put on and tough to tighten to get a few clicks.
Then there is another problem which causes the ECT to climb to 116. I was thinking thermostat? But when I checked forscan at home I found the FANVAR parameter said failed. Hmmm. I did not notice this on the drive. Not sure when it failed and under what circumstance unfortunately. Fan seemed to work but something thinks it isn't working properly. Variable says "Cooling fan driver fault." So gotta attack that. Not sure how to get more info on it.

I’d like to see what Joe’s take is on this. I’m not sure on the v6 (or really the v8 since it’s been so long since I’ve done it) but it definitely sounds like an air lock or thermostat issue.

I’d check your thermostat, IIRC it might be possible to put it in backwards. Also, I’d check the fins on that water pumps as Joe said too.

Once you get up to 35-40ish mph, the fan really doesn’t help much with air flow.

To me, your coolant is boiling because it’s not moving properly (air block or flow) I’d check the thermostat and pump first, replace if necessary. Bleed according to precedures to a T and then report back.

Eliminate those two things (stat and pump) then it’s only a few more possibilities.
 

milehighmikey

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Hi George,

If your hydraulic fan is running correctly, it should be quite loudly moving air. If it is not, then you know your problem is within the solenoid actuator assembly. I would hate to see you lose your nice rebuild over this silly piece.

However comma, your bleeding results are not good and I can tell you my story about that exact thing. My engine baked one day due to a bad water pump. The plastic aftermarket impeller equipped water pump had failed, and while troubleshooting, I went from just a bad water pump to a cracked head, cylinder, or blown head gasket in 2 hours. This was after 276K miles. After finding a lower miles engine the next day for $400, I extracted the old engine and moved all the sensors, etc to the new one. I had not yet realized that my lifetime warranty Autozone water pump was the culprit for this entire incident, and like a dummy, I moved that water pump to the new engine since it was lifetime warranty. After running it and seeing the degas bottle overflowing, I wasn't sure what the problem was, but went and bought a water pump and a DCCV. I changed the DCCV first, no change, then I pulled the water pump and low and behold, it had loose parts inside, and sure enough it was the impeller that precipitated the whole problem. Since Joe had suggested that the pump impeller could have something to do with your flow issues, you may want to bite the bullet and pull that water pump. My air purge procedure had the exact same symptom as yours with no impeller, namely, the flow out of the heater bleed was negligible. In fact, it would only flow with 2K rpm or so, which at the time, I was not able to know why, before learning about the impeller falling off. You obviously still have an impeller, or the car would not be driveable, but the vanes may be angled in the wrong direction as if it was built to be used on a FWD 3.0 engine, if that is even a possibility. But check the fan speed first, it should be very loud when it gets over 210.
 

heyjewel

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Hi George,

If your hydraulic fan is running correctly, it should be quite loudly moving air. If it is not, then you know your problem is within the solenoid actuator assembly. I would hate to see you lose your nice rebuild over this silly piece.

However comma, your bleeding results are not good and I can tell you my story about that exact thing. My engine baked one day due to a bad water pump. The plastic aftermarket impeller equipped water pump had failed, and while troubleshooting, I went from just a bad water pump to a cracked head, cylinder, or blown head gasket in 2 hours. This was after 276K miles. After finding a lower miles engine the next day for $400, I extracted the old engine and moved all the sensors, etc to the new one. I had not yet realized that my lifetime warranty Autozone water pump was the culprit for this entire incident, and like a dummy, I moved that water pump to the new engine since it was lifetime warranty. After running it and seeing the degas bottle overflowing, I wasn't sure what the problem was, but went and bought a water pump and a DCCV. I changed the DCCV first, no change, then I pulled the water pump and low and behold, it had loose parts inside, and sure enough it was the impeller that precipitated the whole problem. Since Joe had suggested that the pump impeller could have something to do with your flow issues, you may want to bite the bullet and pull that water pump. My air purge procedure had the exact same symptom as yours with no impeller, namely, the flow out of the heater bleed was negligible. In fact, it would only flow with 2K rpm or so, which at the time, I was not able to know why, before learning about the impeller falling off. You obviously still have an impeller, or the car would not be driveable, but the vanes may be angled in the wrong direction as if it was built to be used on a FWD 3.0 engine, if that is even a possibility. But check the fan speed first, it should be very loud when it gets over 210.

Update:
This past week I replaced the thermostat and the degas cap (again) this time with a brand new genuine Motorcraft cap. I also bled the cooling system as well as I ever have. Jacked the front up 8 inches or so cause it makes sense to me that the air if any would flow to the front and more would come out the engine bleed. Some may disagree with doing this but I had to change something.

So yesterday I took it for two rides to drop off in AM then pickup my daughter at school in PM. Car drove great on both trips. Trips are 70% highway, rest traffic lights and some traffic then 10mph 1//2 mile trip down my dirt road. Temp gauge read exactly at 9 o'clock the whole time on both trips.
Problems - both times when I got home I checked the degas while the engine was running. Both times the coolant had expanded about normally I think going from the cold max line to just a hair above the hot max line. BUT both times I could see the coolant boiling a little. Some bubbling and movement - not like before when it would fill the degas, boil like crazy and usually spit out some coolant. Worse - I've also been trying to get the A/C system charged. So I turned the A/C on full blast. After just a few minutes the car began the usual crazy boiling and full degas. The gauge went up a hair. So bad performance at idle with A//C on. Says fan to me?

So I think I'm almost there. I dont think the boiling is normal. I think what I'm going to replace now is the hydraulic actuator - the thing milehighmikey mentions above. It is in the path of controlling the fluid flow to the fan and therefore has a large influence on the speed of the fan. The fan appears to be operating normally but since the problem occurs seemingly at slow speeds and at idle Im thinking this is it. (Better be cause there aint much else left - I guess joegr's water pump idea would be next on the list) Now this little actuator thing screws into the pump and costs about as much as the pump - around $200 depending on source. But there happens to be a manual tranny LS at the local pik'n pull so I'm going to grab that one today and hope it works. Planning on driving there and back in my LS. Wish me luck.
 

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... I also bled the cooling system as well as I ever have. Jacked the front up 8 inches or so cause it makes sense to me that the air if any would flow to the front and more would come out the engine bleed. Some may disagree with doing this but I had to change something...

I have tried to bleed it with the front up on ramps before (because I was working under it), and that's the only times I have had problems doing it. Now, I get it off the ramps and point the nose down the slope of my driveway. I have no problems that way. You want the air to move to the degas bottle. Air wants to go up, so if the nose is down, the degas bottle is up.
 

milehighmikey

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Hi George, I would not bother with a junk yard actuator. My original failed in 2010 and failed again in 2017 on a new one. You have no idea if the previous owner had to change the one on that car, and if you get the dreaded unit internally separating problem while removing the used on at the pick and pull, it's going to be junk even if it was good to begin with. My new one from 2010 came apart after it had failed when I tried to remove it and what happens is the inside of the actuator stays in the pump due to its threads having a stronger connection to the pump than the actual actuator housing and the metering jet tends to fall apart. I paid $210 which was dealer cost for mine.
 

heyjewel

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Hi George, I would not bother with a junk yard actuator. My original failed in 2010 and failed again in 2017 on a new one. You have no idea if the previous owner had to change the one on that car, and if you get the dreaded unit internally separating problem while removing the used on at the pick and pull, it's going to be junk even if it was good to begin with. My new one from 2010 came apart after it had failed when I tried to remove it and what happens is the inside of the actuator stays in the pump due to its threads having a stronger connection to the pump than the actual actuator housing and the metering jet tends to fall apart. I paid $210 which was dealer cost for mine.

Ouch. I was going to put the pik n pull actuator in today and see what happens. I suppose a new one would be a better bet but $200 for that little thing frosts my a$$. eBay this AM has one for $186. Also has a pump with the actuator for $285. Also has a hydraulic hose for $147. I was able to pull the pump, hose and fan with shroud all still screwed together as a unit from that LS. So I got some spares.
Mikey - what exactly are the failure symptoms for this thing? And how bad is the fixup if one gets the dreaded internally separating problem?
The actuator I pulled out came apart just fine and seems to be solidly together.
 

milehighmikey

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Ouch. I was going to put the pik n pull actuator in today and see what happens. I suppose a new one would be a better bet but $200 for that little thing frosts my a$$. eBay this AM has one for $186. Also has a pump with the actuator for $285. Also has a hydraulic hose for $147. I was able to pull the pump, hose and fan with shroud all still screwed together as a unit from that LS. So I got some spares.
Mikey - what exactly are the failure symptoms for this thing? And how bad is the fixup if one gets the dreaded internally separating problem?
The actuator I pulled out came apart just fine and seems to be solidly together.

You should be all set then. Try it and see. As stated previously, the fan should be very loud when the engine is passing into the overheating territory. With the hood lifted, you should be feeling a lot of air movement if the engine is past set point and climbing in temperature. If this is already happening, then the problem lies elsewhere. Your earlier report of barely any flow through the heater core bleed valve does seem to point a the water pump. On flat ground, you should be able to see a steady flow of coolant through that bleeder. If this is not the case, start looking at the water pump as the problem (as long as you have good heater output -- this means that coolant if passing through the DCCV). The heater working but barely any flow to the highest point of the system with the bleed valve open would indicate a problem with the water pump. If the 3.0 water pump is interchangeable with engines used on FWD cars, it may be possible that the vanes are not correctly oriented for the LS, since the pump's unique mounting method could in theory be spinning it the opposite way that a FWD 3.0 has it spinning. Just a guess, but the heat put out by the combustion process needs a lot of active flow through the engine and this being incorrect could significantly reduce coolant flow.

First things first, make sure your fan is making good velocity. If it is not, start there. Again, lots of noise and air movement should be present when the heat is building up in the engine. You are using 50/50 coolant, correct?
 

heyjewel

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You should be all set then. Try it and see. As stated previously, the fan should be very loud when the engine is passing into the overheating territory. With the hood lifted, you should be feeling a lot of air movement if the engine is past set point and climbing in temperature. If this is already happening, then the problem lies elsewhere. Your earlier report of barely any flow through the heater core bleed valve does seem to point a the water pump. On flat ground, you should be able to see a steady flow of coolant through that bleeder. If this is not the case, start looking at the water pump as the problem (as long as you have good heater output -- this means that coolant if passing through the DCCV). The heater working but barely any flow to the highest point of the system with the bleed valve open would indicate a problem with the water pump. If the 3.0 water pump is interchangeable with engines used on FWD cars, it may be possible that the vanes are not correctly oriented for the LS, since the pump's unique mounting method could in theory be spinning it the opposite way that a FWD 3.0 has it spinning. Just a guess, but the heat put out by the combustion process needs a lot of active flow through the engine and this being incorrect could significantly reduce coolant flow.

First things first, make sure your fan is making good velocity. If it is not, start there. Again, lots of noise and air movement should be present when the heat is building up in the engine. You are using 50/50 coolant, correct?

Yep, pre-mixed Prestone coolant.
When A/C was running in my shop and car was heading towards overheat, the fan was making some noise. I wouldn't call it very loud but there was no doubt it began moving faster when compressor clicked on.
The DCCV is new. The water pump is new. Ever since I learned to bleed the car there's been the same weak flow out of the heater bleed.
Yeah water pump is still a possibility. Wouldn't be the first part I received that was for another Ford 3.0 Wont have any chance to get to that for month or two. I'm having knee replacement surgery tomorrow so will be out of commission for at least 4 weeks they say.
 

milehighmikey

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Yep, pre-mixed Prestone coolant.
When A/C was running in my shop and car was heading towards overheat, the fan was making some noise. I wouldn't call it very loud but there was no doubt it began moving faster when compressor clicked on.
The DCCV is new. The water pump is new. Ever since I learned to bleed the car there's been the same weak flow out of the heater bleed.
Yeah water pump is still a possibility. Wouldn't be the first part I received that was for another Ford 3.0 Wont have any chance to get to that for month or two. I'm having knee replacement surgery tomorrow so will be out of commission for at least 4 weeks they say.

Oh man! Well good luck. The fan would be making a loud woooooooo noise on overheating if it was getting the correct fluid flow. The last times that my actuator failed, the fan was turning but not with any force. It also didn't seem to ever change speed.
 

heyjewel

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Oh man! Well good luck. The fan would be making a loud woooooooo noise on overheating if it was getting the correct fluid flow. The last times that my actuator failed, the fan was turning but not with any force. It also didn't seem to ever change speed.
Hey - the actuator that's in my pump on the car been there for years is loose. I reached the connector and the device rotates quite freely but only til it hits some pipes. Wonder if this could've caused my problem?
 

milehighmikey

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Hey - the actuator that's in my pump on the car been there for years is loose. I reached the connector and the device rotates quite freely but only til it hits some pipes. Wonder if this could've caused my problem?

No George, this is the way they are built. If they didn't allow that movement, you'd not be able to unbolt it, since the bolt needs to spin freely inside the actuator to back off the threads from the pump housing.
 

heyjewel

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No George, this is the way they are built. If they didn't allow that movement, you'd not be able to unbolt it, since the bolt needs to spin freely inside the actuator to back off the threads from the pump housing.
So I dont torque the crap out of it?
 

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OK I see i'll be turning the inside not the case with connector. Got it
Mikey:
I was able to pull the actuator out of my car yesterday. So I now have 3 of them here - my old one, the one I pulled at pik n pull, and a brand new one. Guess what? My old one is the only one whose external cylinder case rotates, and it rotates fairly roughly. The other two do not rotate. I'm thinking you were right and this will solve my problem. Still have to wait tho til I can do more with these knees.
 

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