It appears you have not registered with our community. To register please click here ...

Author Topic: 1997 Ford Escort Thermostat Housing cold engine Woes!  (Read 19453 times)

J dot Miller

  • Show Car
  • Nascar
  • ***
  • Posts: 3842
  • Karma: 104
    • The Cougar Roar!
1997 Ford Escort Thermostat Housing cold engine Woes!
« on: November 25, 2006, 10:00:13 PM »
My winter beater this year is a 1997 Ford Escort.  as some of you know I like to buy used cars less than 10 years old at or below trade in price.  then I fix the car up and drive it throughout the winter.  last years car was a 1999 Hyundai Elantra.  It was too embarrassing  :-[ for me to have a ricer in my driveway so now my Dad has it...   :-X

A few months ago I started to notice that the thermostat indicating on the dash board showed that the car was cold.  Ah It must have been the thermostat right?  Whelp, I tried to throw one in and the car still ran cold.  This is annoying considering the fact that my heat does not work because the engine temperature is too low. To add insult to injury if you drive the car long distances it throws a low coolant temperature code!!!

Do I did a little homework and found out that a guy that had a 1994 Escort had the same problem over at Ford Escort Owners Association.  But that guy had a different engine.  So I hit the books...

The engine warmed up to normal operating temperature with the fan off and sitting still...

1)  The heater core inlet and outlet hoses were hot.
2)  Temperature gauge was correct.
3)  When I turned on the fan the the temperature dropped.


I checked my Ford CD:
"The thermostat ensures rapid engine (6007) warm-up by restricting coolant flow at lower operating temperatures. It also assists in keeping the engine operating temperature within predetermined limits. The thermostat housing has a float/seat de-gas system that improves coolant fill when the thermostat is closed."

So I called Max at 5 Star Ford and he sent me over the following schematic.


Part # 8A580 is the float!!

So I ordered the thermostat housing kit from max.  Ford part number # F8CZ-8592-AA, list $120.36, club discount for less.  This is a good kit.  It comes with the housing, gasket and hardware...  Sweet!!!



Time to get to work.  Disconnect the battery...  Remove the radiator cap....  Yikes!!!  The old housing is way down here...


Remove the ACT sensor and disconnect the inlet tube and bend it over as show below.


Remove the top half of the air filter box and flip it out of the way.


Place a bag over the air filter...


Place a catch bin below the engine and remove the bottom thermostat hose.  Then take the 6mm socket to the coil packs.


Remove the three bolts that hold the coil pack mounting bracket!


Finally the housing.  See the red where the hose was connected.  Well, it looks like burnt rubber to me.  So I purchased a new hose from the radiator to this part...  the housing is connected with three bolts.  The bottom one is the biggest pain.  I loosen the small hose that goes to the heater core.  Remove the housings bolts.   Then twist the housing around removing the heater core hose and getting better access to the two temperature sensors that are now easy prey for a small flat head screwdriver and some finger action!


Here is the old housing.  Before I put in the new on I did some comparing and discovered that if I shake this housing it makes no noise.  But if I shake the new one you can hear a ball bearing sound rolling back and forth!  The new housing has a plastic slider valve where the old one melted when the engine overheated!


Before you install the new housing you have to remove the old silicone...

Do not forget to wipe it off too...


A thin layer of silicon is recommended and when working with aluminum I always use anti-seize!


Here is an example of how to silicone the engine side.  You need to do the same on the housing side of the gasket...


Here is the housing installed...   Ford says to torque to 96-144 in-lbs....


Just reverse the removal process for installation....


None of that sissy 50/50 stuff for me.  A jug of concentrate and distilled water is all you need.  Do not use tap water on engines with Aluminum radiators...


A flash light and a funnel are required to get the mix in the radiator....

Drive her around a little and keep an eye one it for a day or two...

Now the car heats up quickly and the heater works...  :o
« Last Edit: December 02, 2009, 10:42:36 AM by J.Miller »
The 5.4 swap has been called a bad idea, and considered an underpowered considerable waste of time, since 2007.

Nice to see that most donít think that anymore.
Bondfreak13 07/28/09 09:05 PM

J dot Miller

  • Show Car
  • Nascar
  • ***
  • Posts: 3842
  • Karma: 104
    • The Cougar Roar!
Re: 1997 Ford Escort Thermostat Housing cold engine Woes!
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2006, 10:04:33 PM »
Tools used:
3/8" ractchet, 6" extensions, 8 & 10mm sockets.
1/4" ratchet, 6" extension, 6mm socket.
Channel locks
fl;at head screw drive medium
funnel
flash light
 >:D
The 5.4 swap has been called a bad idea, and considered an underpowered considerable waste of time, since 2007.

Nice to see that most donít think that anymore.
Bondfreak13 07/28/09 09:05 PM

J dot Miller

  • Show Car
  • Nascar
  • ***
  • Posts: 3842
  • Karma: 104
    • The Cougar Roar!
Re: 1997 Ford Escort Thermostat Housing cold engine Woes!
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2009, 10:43:11 AM »
Image links corrected today.   ;)
The 5.4 swap has been called a bad idea, and considered an underpowered considerable waste of time, since 2007.

Nice to see that most donít think that anymore.
Bondfreak13 07/28/09 09:05 PM

FASTFREDDIE

  • FAST FREDDIE A.K.A. THUNDERROAD
  • Moderator
  • Nascar
  • *****
  • Posts: 2489
  • Karma: 106
  • I own 6 T-Birds! NEED 1 MORE HAVE 1 FOR EACH DAY
Re: 1997 Ford Escort Thermostat Housing cold engine Woes!
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2009, 09:52:04 AM »
JUST DROP AND OLD 460 IN IT  :surr:
LETS GO CRUISING!!!!

grand5

  • Match Box
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma: 0
Re: 1997 Ford Escort Thermostat Housing cold engine Woes!
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2010, 01:47:14 AM »
Would a 94 escort have the same slider valve in the thermostat housing?

J dot Miller

  • Show Car
  • Nascar
  • ***
  • Posts: 3842
  • Karma: 104
    • The Cougar Roar!
Re: 1997 Ford Escort Thermostat Housing cold engine Woes!
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2010, 06:35:08 AM »
The 97 Escort has the 2.0L SOHC engine where the 1991-1996 Escort has a 1.9L SOHC.  Both have a plastic check valve that melts when the thermostat fails and the engine is overheated.  When the engine overheats the check valve melts the fluid bypasses the thermostat forcing the engine to run cold 100% of the time.  In the meantime, your temperature sensor will be low in the winter and the heater will not work.

You will hear a rattle if the bypass check is still in the housing.  Shake your housing and if you hear nothing it is not there.  At which time it is recommended to replace both the thermostat and housing with new OEM parts.

Chances are that if the thermostat check melted your engine overheated at one time or another.  This will lend me to believe that you may have issues with your head gaskets.  It is recommended that you perform a compression test to insure that the head gasket is still good.

To do a compression test, you remove all the spark plugs, disconnect all the wiring to the spark plugs.  Disable the ignition coils to prevent them from firing. The throttle body is to be forced 100% open.  You will then install a pressure gauge in one spark plug socket and crank the engine.  Take note of the highest reading of the pressure and repeat for all cylinders.  Note wether or not the engine is hot or cold.

The pressure should be approximately 150-200 psi with no more that a ten(10) percent variance between cylinders.  If the test fails then it will be recommended to get the cylinder head rebuilt to the latest specifications.

Please note that there are other reasons where a compression test can fail.  I am only looking at it with the thermostat point of view.  Consult a maintenance manual for more information.
The 5.4 swap has been called a bad idea, and considered an underpowered considerable waste of time, since 2007.

Nice to see that most donít think that anymore.
Bondfreak13 07/28/09 09:05 PM

solarcat

  • Match Box
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma: 0
Re: 1997 Ford Escort Thermostat Housing cold engine Woes!
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2010, 07:37:08 PM »
Many thanks for the detailed instruction. Especially the nice PICTURES step by step and the TOOLS needed. I found this post through Google. I'm learning to DIY on the car from the beginning.
Good things is I have the same problem with my 1998 Ford Escort.
Not good thing is when I was working on the three bolts on the thermostat house, the small bolt was broken... The nut cover was off, while the body still sitting inside:(


FASTFREDDIE

  • FAST FREDDIE A.K.A. THUNDERROAD
  • Moderator
  • Nascar
  • *****
  • Posts: 2489
  • Karma: 106
  • I own 6 T-Birds! NEED 1 MORE HAVE 1 FOR EACH DAY
Re: 1997 Ford Escort Thermostat Housing cold engine Woes!
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2010, 07:15:48 AM »
:miller:,s GOOD WITH BROKEN STUFF :afto2: HE ONCE HOOKED UP A OLD TOASTER TO HIS ELECTRIC BLANKET .  THAT WAY HIS COULD COOK HIS TOAST IN BED, AS WELL AS HAVE HIS WIFE POP OUT WHEN IT WAS DONE!!! SO SHE COULD BUTTER IT. :clap: :doh: :afit: :meeting: :king: :pilot: :bow1:
LETS GO CRUISING!!!!

J dot Miller

  • Show Car
  • Nascar
  • ***
  • Posts: 3842
  • Karma: 104
    • The Cougar Roar!
Re: 1997 Ford Escort Thermostat Housing cold engine Woes!
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2010, 04:42:04 PM »
You are welcome.  Do not let :freddie: put it down.  He had me diagnose his car yesterday.  Some T-Bird expert.   :king:
The 5.4 swap has been called a bad idea, and considered an underpowered considerable waste of time, since 2007.

Nice to see that most donít think that anymore.
Bondfreak13 07/28/09 09:05 PM

FASTFREDDIE

  • FAST FREDDIE A.K.A. THUNDERROAD
  • Moderator
  • Nascar
  • *****
  • Posts: 2489
  • Karma: 106
  • I own 6 T-Birds! NEED 1 MORE HAVE 1 FOR EACH DAY
Re: 1997 Ford Escort Thermostat Housing cold engine Woes!
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2010, 01:17:04 AM »
  HE CHECKED WITH A  :hide: HAMMER AND SCREWDRIVER SAID THE PLUGS WERE OUT OF TIME :doh: :afit:
LETS GO CRUISING!!!!