New to Ranger Forum; overheat problem of late
Hello if you are reading this.
I was going to post a while back when my truck started overheating but after reading through the posts relating to overheat problems I decided to wait until I had it figured out and fixed, and then post about what I learned.
This post does not fulfill my plan because I am not sure I have it figured out yet, despite just having finished replacing the head gaskets (water was in the oil) and today, upon completing reassembly, the truck started right up. Warmed it up, then had to shut down for the evening.
Here's my rig: 2000 XLT with the Extra Cab, 4-door, and the V-6, 3.0 L, flex-fuel engine, with California emissions control package.
I was unable to drive it just yet due to the large stack of firewood that got dumped in my carport behind the truck, which I'll move in the morning before the first test drive.
What worries me is the strangeness of the overheating episode I was going through for a month, before the head gasket finally began leaking water into the combustion chambers. I went through this progression: replaced the thermostat, seemed to be the cure for a couple days. That was not to be. Next, I replaced the water pump despite no obvious signs of failure, although I must admit to not servicing the cooling system for a couple years (but have only put 6000 miles on the truck in that time). I read somewhere the pump may not show failure externally if the impeller was corroded away. Such was not the case, the old pumps impeller was the color of rust but no corrosion or pitting. Of course, I completed the change to the new pump I bought. This seemed to cure the ailment for a few days but again no.
That brings me to where I am at right now. I figure a blown head gasket is a symptom of an overheating issue and not the other way around. Therefore, I am somewhat nervous about a road test. Even though the temp gauge rose to and stayed at the "normal" level I know putting a load on it will be the real test.
I have flushed the cooling system and now have a 70-30 mix of anti-freeze and distilled water. But, in the back of my mind what I suspect may be the real culprit: the cooling fan clutch going awry. Sometimes it performs normally and other times it fails to be engaged when the truck is up to highway speed, or at least my theory goes.
I hope I will be able to post about a new, clean bill of health for my Ranger as soon as tomorrow but we'll see.
I did gain great confidence in working on that engine, utilizing a Chilton's book as my main source of procedures. I have replaced a head gasket on a car before, but that was in 1990 or so. Just looking at the engine was intimidating to me before but, by taking my time, and pictures, and notes the job went very smooth. Hope it was not all for naught.
Thanks for your time if you have read all this. I am willing to share any detailed knowledge I have relating to the disassembly and reassembly of this engine.