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2005 TBird mystery overheating

Discussion in '2002 - 2005 Ford Thunderbird' started by jsobczak, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. My dream 'bird is a nightmare. I have taken to a dealer and consulted two friends that are mechanics and all I seem to do is lose money besides what I owe on the car (bought used, August '13).

    It overheats, and now it doesn't seem to get decent heat from the vents inside the cab and will lose heat as it gets driven. I let it idle and get to norm temp and it can't even make it around my block twice without overheating.

    What I've done? New coolant reservoir, New radiator, New water pump, New thermostat, New housing that the thermostat closes on. As far as I can tell there are no leaks and the dealer also said the heater core is fine. The fan also works, runs very loudly on high but works as it should.

    Is it possibly a sensor issue? Is there a sure way to get all the air out of coolant system? would having air in the system cause it to constantly overheat? Help.
  2. There are issues with the cooling fan possible tsb from ford for concern.
    Did the dealer check for any?
  3. cdf912

    cdf912 Active Member Lifetime Donor

    Have you searched through the NHTSA site? Search your year and 2004 as well.
  4. Took Bird back to dealer this morning. Service writer looked into my issues more in detail with his colleagues around the country as apparently the new birds are something that rarely come in around my town.

    He says they need to "vaccu-fill" the coolant system with a special vacuum type tool to ensure zero air is in it. If this doesn't work, he suspects the head gasket is involved.

    He did say they always check the TSBs when they get cars in and there wasn't anything regarding mine, but thank you for your response and educating me on that potential issue.

    I'll keep you guys posted when I hear back about everything.
  5. cdf912

    cdf912 Active Member Lifetime Donor

    Wait. head gasket?? Thats gonna be expensive. Before they go that route, just guessing, perhaps try another shop. Get other opinions. When I go to the dealer and they are just guessing one thing after another I go somewhere else. They are not all the same, thats for sure.

    Also their is a Coolant Control Valve that has I think 3 hoses that come off of it, One if for the heater core, the others for the coolant circulation. Have they replaced that yet?
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  6. Having just purchased my '04 TBird, I was asking the owner about any problems that he had had with the car. He said that when it was new it would overheat. He would have to park it for a short time and that it would drive OK for a while and then overheat again. He took it to the dealer and they replaced the throttle body and he never had a problem again.
  7. cooling issues

    I've had several issues as well, one of which took a month to find-- it was the sensor. I had to wait to get one as they were backordered and the one they originally sent was a little too long. Also, the neck of the radiator cap had a crack in it (it is plastic and this is a known problem). The hairline crack was hard to find. Replacing it solved the problem.
  8. Overheating issue

    I had to have the thermostat replaced on my '05. The local Ford dealer did it for me. A year later, the car was overheating again and the electric fan was running all the time.

    I took it to a local garage. They replaced the'stat again and told me that the Ford dealer had installed the replacement thermostat backwards. There is a small spring inside the unit that has to be in the correct position.

    No more overheating and the electric fan only comes on when it is supposed to.
  9. George

    George Passed Away July 25, 2015

    I believe the 'goose neck' that the thermostat is in, is plastic or some sort of a composite material that cracks, FYI
  10. Hey guys, sorry I've been away from the thread for a while. I've actually been enjoying the he'll out of my bird now that it's been fixed.

    So, what was the problem? Antifreeze. Apparently only the GOLD colored antifreeze is permissible in our Birds, NOT THE GREEN that I bought it will and continued refilling it with. The green stuff becomes granulated and can erode thermostats, radiators, coolant reservoirs and any form blocks in hoses. So, don't buy green antifreeze and check if there's any salt-like grains in your parts, because that was my problem causing my parts to fail. Not one overheat since changing of deteriorated parts and coolant.

    Thanks everyone.
  11. Got to love the " Local Garage Guys" never a positive comment from them, just trying to tear down someone else.
    Before I get told I don't know anything about cars, I hold over 50 ASE certifications and have a few years dropping wrenches. First there is no way to install a 3.9 engine thermostat backwards. Spring in backwards? Only to ways to replace the thermostat in a 3.9 buy just the stat, or buy it installed in a new housing ( I prefer the latter) The stat is fully assembled in both cases. So how did the spring get reversed and if it did, how would it cause overheating?
  12. Before you spend thousands replacing head gaskets, you may want to ask the mechanic a few questions about how he arrived at that. There are a number of ways to confirm a bad head gasket: Water in the oil, steam from the exhaust?
    None of these? Now you have to do a little more research
    Borrow a pressure tester from autozone, cold engine pump the pressure to 5 psi start the engine if the pressure starts to rise right away, you have combustion gases entering the cooling system. Now my favorite trick, buy a cheap electrical meter from harbor freight, set it to Volts DC place the red lead into the overflow tank black lead to a good ground .5 volts your ok over.5 you need to flush the cooling system, 1 volt or more combustion gases entering the cooling system.
  13. 50 ASE Certs? unbelievable..lot of computer controlled sensors ,switches and external valves.as a ASE master tech with..12 certs and 30yrs with dodge most cooling system problems can be quickly duplicated or sensor monitored for quick diagnosis. T birds are a wide engine,small compartment, small radiator car that are prone to over heat.getting a good tech to diagnose your vehicle at a dealership today quickly is becoming harder to find.young minds have very little experience. As seen with the responses here.process of elimination..with me a test light and a pressure tester.

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