Engine 94 5.0 Overheated And Caused A Mess Of Problems


Jul 1, 2016
Lancaster, Ca
Hey everyone new here just wondering if anybody can offer some help on some issues.

So a couple weeks ago my car overheated on a really hot day during a 2 hour road trip from picking up my sister from her moms. I was about 45 minutes from home and my car went from O on "normal" to the red zone in like 2 mins? I couldn't pull over right away due to a semi truck sitting behind me and no side streets to get on to. So I finally pulled over after a couple minutes and let my car cool down and added in some water (Not good I know). The car finally cooled down and I took off again to get home. It kept overheating within a minute or two of take off. I limped the car home due to not having road side assistance and it sat for about 2 weeks. I did a couple starts and there was problems starting it. I would crank it and it would try and fail about 2 or 3 times then finally catch and it would sound like crap and there was also a "tick tick tick" sound. My grandpa who has been a mechanic for 40+ years told me to replaced the thermostat and get an oil change and see if that takes away "tick tick tick" sound due to the oil thinning out from overheating.

So Wednesday I changed the thermostat due to the old one only opening about a couple cm. I replaced it with Mr. Gasket(160 it was recommended). I got an oil changed today. The ticking sound didn't go away. So I replaced the spark plugs, wires, distributor, and the rotor. My dad and I thought maybe it jumped a tooth so we check that and nothing. We did the timing also because it was off and now it makes a popping sound( bad timing gonna take it in since we can't see the marks".

So my question is could the "tick tick tick" be the exhaust leak or the lifters? I don't wanna take it in to a shop till I can do everything I can with living in an apartment complex lol.

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I have no idea what to check on next.
Thank you :)
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5 Year Member
Aug 11, 2013
Cleveland OH Area
Exhaust, lifters, valves, cam, bearings, blown head gasket all come to mind as possibilities. Rapid overheating as you describe probably wasn't caused by a partially opening thermostat, it will be important to figure out what actually caused it. Set the timing and do a leakdown test - until you can get it running properly diagnosing will be hard to do. I wouldn't put parts & money towards it until you know what went wrong. It could be something minor or it could be done for.


Jul 1, 2016
Lancaster, Ca
Went out this morning and tightened my exhaust headers since I forgot that the last owner didn't torc them. So I tightened them again and was gonna torc them but my torc wrench won't fit. But I started it and the "tick tick tick" was gone. The car stalled after 20 seconds maybe? Enough time to hear for the "tick tick tick". So I cleaned the HB(I think its called) marked the 10 and 14 and went to start the car to time it and car won't start. It try's its hardest but just won't catch. I double and triple checked everything I played with yesterday and everything was right. I checked the firing order and found out I switched the 7 and 8 spark plug wires by accident oops:eek:. Fixed that and still the car refuses to catch. I'm lost on what's wrong:bang:


Jul 1, 2016
Lancaster, Ca
Just a little update. Replaced the coil. Tested it a spark test and a light test and it wasn't showing spark. So I tested it with a multimeter and it wasn't even registering. Took into Auto-zone and had them test it and nothing with them either. So I put the new coil it and and still refuses to start. My dad thought it might be the Ignition Switch so I put mine in his and his car started so its not that. In the morning I'll test the TFI and PIP :mad:

Update. Tested the TFI and PIP with a multimeter and found out the TFI was bad. Replaced and car roared back to life. If anybody is having issues they suspect is the TFI or PIP grab a multi meter and grab the black wire and shove into the TFI wire harness on number 6 wire. Grab the red wire and touch the battery post or clamp and the MM moves the TFI is bad. If it doesn't move the PIP is bad. That's how I figured out mine :)
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