Ranger won't maintain temperature.
I have a 1997 Ford Ranger that was recently in an accident in which my truck took some pretty heavy front end damage. The bumper, header panel, headlights, fans shroud, radiator support, ac condensor and radiator were all damaged but I decided to go ahead and try to repair the vehicle myself despite having no experience with vehicle repair except general maitence.
Maaco pulled out my old radiator support and put a new one in. I replaced the radiator myself and then the thermostat as it was stuck open. I went again at popped in a new fan clutch because it was suggested to me. I decided to forego the ac condensor as it is out of my expertise. I have also replaced the header panel, the lights, the grille, and put in a new fan shroud. I have not put on a new bumper yet.
I noticed that my truck was having a hard time heating up to normal temperature, so I changed the thermostat again. At that point, it would warm up to normal temperature at idle with some help from giving it gas, but would cool down again when I would start driving at low speeds. At highway speeds it will maintain a normal temerature, until I slow down, then it will drop again. If I turn on the heater after warming it up, the temperature will drop again, way low, until I turn off the heater and the guage will begin to climb again. I thought that I may be pulling air in from somewhere, so I went ahead and changed all the hoses to the cooling system but still it had a hard time maintianing temperature. I then changed the coolant temperature sending unit, which is now showing that the car is warming up normally, but again, when I drive my truck will fluxuate when I slow down. If I turn on the heater I get the same results as before.
The only external part I have not replaced has been the water pump, but before I change that I'd rather be sure that I've exalted all other problems.
I've been told by someone that the fact that I don't have a bumper could be a part of the problem, causing too much airflow to the radiator.
Everyone keeps telling me to replace the thermostat again, but when I heat it up to normal temperature with my 192° thermostat, I get a tempread with a thermometer of 180° which I believe is normal.
I have bled the air to ensure it isn't just an airbubble caught in the system.
So what the hell do I do now!?