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  #1  
Old 10-06-2016, 11:31 AM
maddogs89 maddogs89 is offline
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Default Need help with heating problems on my 89 Ranger

Hey everyone and in advance, I'm happy to be a member of FRF, I seem to be having trouble with my cooling system in general, but my heat more specifically. My daily "get to work" car is an old 89 Ranger with the 4 cylinder. 140 2.3 I believe. My heat is not working, infact it is ice cold! I put in a new thermostat today (165 f*) but to no avail it still has the same symptoms, I'm wondering if that's too low for the onsetting winter . I'm starting to think that the heater coor is jammed up woth rust and after seeing the condition of the thermostat housing, I definitely wouldn't rule it out. But the other thing that's puzzling me is the fact that it runs so super cool. It doesn't even get to half way even after an hour or so of driving around town or highway. I'm really stumped on this one folks and any info is much appreciated. Thanks, -Matt
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2016, 12:13 PM
Mike In Bama Mike In Bama is offline
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I think you need to start by replacing the thermostat. My 2005 uses one rated 195*. A quick look at Rock Auto Parts shows that you should be running with a 190* thermostat.

Rangers are picky about some of the parts they will play with. The thermostat being one of those where you need to use a Motorcraft part only. Here is the part you should use. We'll better be able to help diagnose the problem when you slap one of these in there.



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  #3  
Old 10-06-2016, 02:40 PM
jdhicks jdhicks is offline
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Default Re: Need help with heating problems on my 89 Ranger

You can prove whether or not the heater core is the culprit by disconnecting the hoses at strategic points and attaching a garden hose to flush it.
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  #4  
Old 10-06-2016, 03:46 PM
maddogs89 maddogs89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike In Bama View Post
I think you need to start by replacing the thermostat. My 2005 uses one rated 195*. A quick look at Rock Auto Parts shows that you should be running with a 190* thermostat. Rangers are picky about some of the parts they will play with. The thermostat being one of those where you need to use a Motorcraft part only. Here is the part you should use. We'll better be able to help diagnose the problem when you slap one of these in there.
Thanks for the advice Mike, will probably throw in a hotter one in the weeks to come but flushing the heater core out with a garden hose seemed to help a lot!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdhicks View Post
You can prove whether or not the heater core is the culprit by disconnecting the hoses at strategic points and attaching a garden hose to flush it.
Yeah Jd, this seemed to help a lot. It's actually getting hot as t should. Thanks a lot!
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  #5  
Old 10-07-2016, 08:38 AM
tomw0 tomw0 is offline
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Default Re: Need help with heating problems on my 89 Ranger

Two thoughts. You can likely improve the heater core function even further using a 'flushing tee' that is spliced into the heater hose. They allow you to use full flow(don't use full pressure!!) through the core, and backflow through the engine block.
You would do this when you had no or low antifreeze protection, or drain the system and keep the drained coolant if it is good and fresh.
Connect the garden hose to the tee, turn on the water, and start the engine at idle. You should see sludge and sediment flush from the block and heater core. Run until the flow is clear.
Second was that you can use other brands than Motorcraft for the thermostat. I have used Stant withouth problems, along with RobertShaw, I think. I would avoid the hecho in China versions if I wanted the stat to work for more than a week. Nothing against them, but I do not trust their quality. I would also get a 195F stat as I think it is factory recommended. Don't bet the paycheck, but that's the temp I have in memory.
Once you have finished flushing and stat replacement, close the radiator drain pet****, and pour in 1/2 the total capacity of un-diluted antifreeze-coolant. Add clear, clean, fresh, drinkable water to fill the radiator. Squeeze and manipulate the hoses to burp out as much air as possible(bubbles will form at the 'top' of any high spot, so depress them so the bubble will head 'up' to the radiator cap).
Install the brand new radiator cap, and run the engine up to normal temp. Feel both heater hoses. They should be so hot you cannot keep your fingers on the for more than a few seconds, repeat BOTH. If not, there's a blockage in the heater core.
If you do not get heat, you may find that the heater core is 'air locked' and has a large bubble of air trapped. You can get it out by loosening the radiator cap(NOT WITH PRESSURE INSIDE - Do it cool), and then loosening the TEE hose clamp. Make the Tee such that you can disconnect/re-connect easily. Start the engine and disconnect the tee to allow air to escape. Once you get coolant, jam it back together and tighten the clamp. You should then have the bubble out, and good coolant flow through the core.
tom
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:27 PM
maddogs89 maddogs89 is offline
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Tom thanks so much for the input sorry for not getting back sooner. I actually did flush the radiator but not the flushing t route but one that worked pretty good. The way I did was using a garden hose with a smaller male nozzle attachment, then hose clamped the nozzle to the (still attached) outlet heater core hose and blasted all that gunk to kingdom come with the high water pressure lol. That seemed to work but now my heat was pretty weak so I decided the current (165 f) with the (195) hopefully that will help it run hotter and be cozy warm. The only thing I am confused of now is if the radiator plastic box is just and over flow tank or reservoir that actually gives or takes?
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  #7  
Old 10-11-2016, 02:34 PM
Bachelor-house Bachelor-house is offline
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Default Re: Need help with heating problems on my 89 Ranger

The reservoir is not just for overflow. It puts coolant back into the system when needed.

When temps get cold some people cover 10-50% of the radiator to keep the engine warmer, depending on how cold it is.

You really need that higher temp thermo stat. If you can find a 195 that might even be better.
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  #8  
Old 10-11-2016, 06:52 PM
maddogs89 maddogs89 is offline
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Ok so today I installed the 195 which I might add fit loosley in the housing because it was a crumby off brand thermostat and I couldn't find motorcraft at my local store (ugh) anyway my heating problem seems to be worse! The engine doesn't run even anywhere even near midway operating temperature, I have to block the radiator with a tin foil covered piece of cardboard just to run hot enough to get "ok" heat, I disconnected the output line off the heater core and coolant shot out good when I revved it, but my mechanic's logic was telling me that coolant should ALWAYS be more or less flowing and not just while revving it to about 2800-3000 rpm, I'm starting to think that the output valve within the water pump itself that pumps coolant up to the heater core might be worn out and causing me trouble. Any thoughts?
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  #9  
Old 10-11-2016, 07:05 PM
02nick 02nick is offline
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Default Re: Need help with heating problems on my 89 Ranger

well first of all i wouldn't use an off brand for a thermostat. thats something that should be motorcraft. i had an issue with my old f150 that sounds similar. i assume the ranger has the same setup. the heat would only work sometimes. sometimes it worked perfect sometimes not at all. it ended up being the heater core door( i dont know the real name for the part) its a plastic door that opens and closes. and the plastic hinge broke so the door wouldnt open when it was supposed to.
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  #10  
Old 10-11-2016, 07:27 PM
maddogs89 maddogs89 is offline
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Definitely could be possible, thanks Nick!
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  #11  
Old 10-11-2016, 11:28 PM
bjurke bjurke is offline
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Default Re: Need help with heating problems on my 89 Ranger

i used to have a 2002 ranger with a 2.3 liter. always ran cool. only warmed up to1/4 into the running temp range. always had a piece of plywood blocking rad off or ran too cool in winter. changing thermostat did not help and i used a ford one.
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  #12  
Old 10-12-2016, 06:20 AM
maddogs89 maddogs89 is offline
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Lol this actually makes me feel better bjurke thank you for the info
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  #13  
Old 10-12-2016, 06:25 AM
tomw0 tomw0 is offline
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Default Re: Need help with heating problems on my 89 Ranger

quote:I installed the 195 which I might add fit loosley in the housing because it was a crumby off brand thermostat

That is your problem. No matter the brand or quality, it will NOT work unless it fits tightly into the housing. From memory, they have two 'legs' that position the stat, and a rubber gasket that is supposed to fit snugly against the housing. The legs can be bent and re-positioned to make sure the stat sits squarely against the machined surface of the outlet(inside the housing, of course). The rubber should fit snugly and seal. If it doesn't seal, the coolant will be flowing all the time the engine is running. It will warm up slow, and not reach designed temperature. You'll have poor heat and more fuel consumed than normal.
Either take it out and make it fit snugly, or spend another few bucks on a good Stant or Motorcraft. You don't have to buy the most expensive one with the 'fail safe' pellet, but a decent thermostat will make a big difference.
One last reminder, both heater hoses should get so hot you cannot leave your paws on them. Both.
If you install a good thermostat, you should be rewarded with better performance, better fuel mileage and a warm cab on cold days. Less than $10 for all that! A bargain.
tom
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  #14  
Old 10-12-2016, 09:50 PM
maddogs89 maddogs89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomw0 View Post
quote:I installed the 195 which I might add fit loosley in the housing because it was a crumby off brand thermostat That is your problem. No matter the brand or quality, it will NOT work unless it fits tightly into the housing. From memory, they have two 'legs' that position the stat, and a rubber gasket that is supposed to fit snugly against the housing. The legs can be bent and re-positioned to make sure the stat sits squarely against the machined surface of the outlet(inside the housing, of course). The rubber should fit snugly and seal. If it doesn't seal, the coolant will be flowing all the time the engine is running. It will warm up slow, and not reach designed temperature. You'll have poor heat and more fuel consumed than normal. Either take it out and make it fit snugly, or spend another few bucks on a good Stant or Motorcraft. You don't have to buy the most expensive one with the 'fail safe' pellet, but a decent thermostat will make a big difference. One last reminder, both heater hoses should get so hot you cannot leave your paws on them. Both. If you install a good thermostat, you should be rewarded with better performance, better fuel mileage and a warm cab on cold days. Less than $10 for all that! A bargain. tom
Thanks a lot Tom, it all makes a lot of sense and will try to grab one tomorrow on my off day!
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  #15  
Old 10-13-2016, 01:00 PM
maddogs89 maddogs89 is offline
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UPDATE! So they didn't have a motorcraft Thermostat but they did have a good Stant "Statpro" in stock so I bought that. Sure enough it fit nice and snug in the housing but to cover all my bets and to be safe, I coated the rubber gasket of the thermostat with RTV sillicone so that it would fill in some of the pitting and rust erosion within the housing seat. Put that on and than ran a garden house through both outlets (at separate times lol) while it was rubbing through I lightly tapped every angle of the heater core with a rubber mallet and I was surprised at how much rust/muck came out. Long story short, put everything back together and fired that baby up, and within minutes I have heat that can nearly burn your fingertips! Looks like she is back working how she should! Thanks to everyone for all the help!

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