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1997 Ford Escort Thermostat Housing cold engine Woes!

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J dot Miller:
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

J dot Miller:
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
flash light

J dot Miller:
Image links corrected today.   ;)


Would a 94 escort have the same slider valve in the thermostat housing?


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