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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Okay, just to start off I bought this car to flip it. I knew it had an overheating problem and thought it was a heater core issue, as the heater core was not working and film was deposited on windows. the water pump timing belt and thermostat and the "radiator cap" have been replaced and were still overheating this is where I bought the car. so far I have flushed to the cooling system taken the radiator out and flushed that, after that, I replaced the heater core. after replacing the heater core I took it on a drive and it overheated. when I remove the thermostat the car runs fine and doesn't overheat at all I have tried 2 OEM spec thermostat as well as a lower temp thermostat and each of them will not open when in the car. I have tested each of them in boiling water and each works. I have replaced the ECT sender as well. Does anybody know what could be wrong? The strangest thing, in my opinion, is that the thermostat and the ECT sender are next to each other, how could the ECT sender say it is way to hot and overheating without the thermostat opening even just a little.


A couple of bits of information. when the thermostat is out the radiator heats up regularly, but when the thermostat is installed the radiator is cold. I have attempted to bleed the system countless times and spent hours doing it. some of the methods discussed here have worked, but there is always some air in there. and most of the time I come back from a drive where it overheats to discover another small air pocket.

Edit:
I am going to be replacing the water pump. as I didn't replace it myself I can't be too sure. the cooling system is not building any pressure and there is no coolant in the oil.
 

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On my 95 3.5 I did have a blown head gasket that I fixed but it still overheated on the gauge but never got hot enough to boil coolant even thought the gauge was pegged at the top. I did all the tests and found the PCM was also reading the ECT as high. I put a PCM in it and it still read high but not as much as before, but still above the half way mark and also floating up and down. I then put the old sender and thermo stat back in and it was fine. My original symptom was air in the thermostat area that was causing the original ECT to read hot and the thermo not to open, The thermo needs to be submerged to operate correctly and all the air has to be out. This air was caused by the blown gasket, go to Autozone and rent the tester, it will show if you have a blown HG, After I fixed the leaking head gasket it still got hot and I did what you did, changed the thermo to a lower temp that did nothing, that is when I put the old ECT and Thermo back in and it was fixed. Drove it 150 miles today and the needle never moved above 1/3.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
On my 95 3.5 I did have a blown head gasket that I fixed but it still overheated on the gauge but never got hot enough to boil coolant even thought the gauge was pegged at the top. I did all the tests and found the PCM was also reading the ECT as high. I put a PCM in it and it still read high but not as much as before, but still above the half way mark and also floating up and down. I then put the old sender and thermo stat back in and it was fine. My original symptom was air in the thermostat area that was causing the original ECT to read hot and the thermo not to open, The thermo needs to be submerged to operate correctly and all the air has to be out. This air was caused by the blown gasket, go to Autozone and rent the tester, it will show if you have a blown HG, After I fixed the leaking head gasket it still got hot and I did what you did, changed the thermo to a lower temp that did nothing, that is when I put the old ECT and Thermo back in and it was fixed. Drove it 150 miles today and the needle never moved above 1/3.
Good to know. I haven't seen anything to indicate a blown head gasket. but I have seen oil in the lower intake, nothing in the throttle body or in those upper tubes, which I believe to be a valve cover gasket. These things sure are a pain to bleed. I also can't get the crank off with the pulers I have, so time to get one from the zone.
 
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