running hot, ****ty gauges, running like poo.

alright, sunday night monday morning i was coming home and i was drivin the car kinda hard. when I was half way home i notice my temp gauge was inbetween the "MA" in normal. then when i was almost home it was at the "L"! But once I got home i just let my fan run for like 10-15 min. what temp is that? Also tonight i was coming home and it was back at the "MA" but it didnt rise anymore after that. It used to run around the "NOR" area!!! whats happening? So any body know what approxamate temp the letters are? cause these gauges are ****in stupid. what was ford thinking making gauges that dont actually ahve hte temp that say normal? good job FoMoCo!

Also on another note. Car was running pretty ****ty today but only when i gave it some gas. if i was just driving normally it was fine. I cant exactly think of how to describe it. but it felt really slow and you could hear the engine studder or lag or I cant even think of the word to describe it. But im going to blame hte weather because it ran fine later in the evening when it wasnt sooo damn hot and humid out.
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i would get a real gauge - the stocker is too inaccurate to even try to interpolate. the puter pulls timing at 226*. also hot intake charge slows the car down, and the increased heat encourages pinging. knowing real temps would allow ya to further diagnose what, if anything, is wrong in the cooling system. good luck.
HISSIN50 said:
i would get a real gauge - the stocker is too inaccurate to even try to interpolate. the puter pulls timing at 226*. also hot intake charge slows the car down, and the increased heat encourages pinging. knowing real temps would allow ya to further diagnose what, if anything, is wrong in the cooling system. good luck.

Well I dont have a computer to pull anytiming. And when the car was running like crap it was around the normal temp its always at. :shrug:
Well real gauges are on my list of things to get, i guess I will just ahve to hold off on the battery box and cutoff switch :notnice: I really wanted to get my car to the track

Thanks for the help though.
ok, im confused. what is your set up exactly (did not see a sig). sorry for the inaccurate info - i was confused about the reference to a '79, but '88 in your username. my bad.

generally speaking, crappy runnin while hot could be the FP goin out (esp when hot, and at higher RPM). the pick up gets pooey when hot and runnin higher RPM. the TFI normally leaves you high and dry.

i would say to pull codes, but i guess that is not an option. LOL.
my random thoughts. good luck.
born in 88? [email protected]'m getting old!....lmao

speaking of temperature........whats the outside temp ( radiated heat ) of an engine compared to what its running inside??? i see these pyrometer temp deals are getting cheaper and was wondering if those are at all any good for determing under hood temps etc....
TW, you aint kiddin - he is a baby! barely old enough to drive. :)
Michael, im not real conversant with the differences between your 79 and later foxes, so take this for what it is worth.

you are still carbed, right? (i have dial up, and loading pics kills me). easy to tell if you got pressure. i run clear fuel filter right before the carb to tell if fuel is supplied (on my carbed stuff) - you can rig one with a filter and a small piece of line, for testing purposes. or use a gauge if you have one.

i dont know if duraspark was around then - im really useless to help you. it could be an ignition shortfall, but i dont even know where to steer you. i know someone will.

sometimes it can be good to note on your title that you are so old (your car). something like :'79 running hot' - the guys with the older stuff are very knowledgable and can help you more than i can (i would have ideas, if i knew what came on the older stuff).
on a simple note, is your t-stat opening?
oh yeah, TFI is thick film ignition. it is the module on EFI distributors. does not apply to you, i dont think.
sorry to not be of more help. good luck.
I have a clear filter I will check it later on today.

I have a duraspark ignition. I plan on getting a new ignition ( thinking about a msd 6al.), made a thread but no1 replied. what do you suggest?

I'm not sure if my t-stat is opening, i will check later today. If that does happen to be the problem would it be a ok to run without it for a while?

My current setup is:
302 bored 30 over with TRW Forged Pistons 10.5:1, Crane Cam (270* in 280* Ex Duration)(448 in 472 Ex Lift) Edlebrock Performer RPM Intake, Holley Double Pumper 650cfm Carb, Port & Polished Heads, Shorty headers.

Sorry for all the questions in 1 thread but i really need to get this stuff sorted out. And also you are atleast pointing me in the right direction to getting it fixed. which is greatly appreciated! :nice:
i personally have read enough unsatisfactory things about the MSD, that i would likely run a Crane or maybe a Petronix. i have read up on the crane and it is a good price, and has the features i want. no pills, like some MDS's too. i think the MDS's have more features, esp necessary if you are gonna run a blower or juice (timing retard,etc).

but the Crane is my choice for now.

i think i said it, but get a real gauge for now. even a 15 dollar parts store unit will be leagues better than the stockers.

i really like the Mr Gasket t-stats. fully balanced, open fully faster, bleed hole, and flow a little more - for 10 bucks. if you dont remember doing it, replace it (IMHO).

get a new cap - if your is not holding pressure, that lowers the boiling point. cap is like 5 bucks.

neither of those may be your problem, but i think they are good maintenance.

in reading all your posts, im not sure what else to recommend. if you think the carb is dialed in and is getting enough fuel, i would discount that. do check for enough at higher RPM. also try to know if you could be runnin the bowl low at higher RPM. unlikely, but im tryin to think of stuff.

that leaves ignition really. i dont know snot about duraspark. if it was running funky in the heat, it could be the coil or whatever the trigger for the ignition is, or any modules. stuff that has not totally taken a poo is hard to diagnose.

sorry i dont have better ideas for you. good luck and bump. (i bet some of the older guys have some good stuff for you).
ok, i just got back from driving it. It wasnt running hot at all, temp gauge stayed where it normally stays.

Still runs pretty crappy if I give it more than 1/4 throttle. But it only does it if I'm in gear. If theres no load on the engine and I give it gas it revs fine, no problems.

I checked the fuel filter and when ever i gave it gas it seemed to be flowing fine, but I wasnt able to drive and check, which seems to be the only time its running like that.

I will be making a run to napa or advanced auto soon to get the t-stat, cap, and most likely a temp gauge.
What are you using for a fuel pump? I've seen faulty mechanical fuel pumps cause symptoms similar to what you're experiencing. It sounds to me like more of a fuel problem than anything else; although since you say it ran better when it cooled off it would be wise to try replacing the cooling system items you mentioned previously.
Musclecarfan88 said:
I have no clue what I have as far as fuel pump. I've never changed it, and I'm not sure If any of the previous owners did. It could be the stock turbo 4cyl one for all I know.

Good call, I completely forgot to mention that. Musclecarfan88, if you're running a mechanical fuel pump you would see it mounted on the side of your timing cover. Simply follow the fuel line from your carb and see where it goes. If you have headers on your car check and see if the fuel lines are close to the headers/exhaust in any tight spots. If this is the case, the suction from the fuel pump and the high temperatures from the exhaust are probably vaporizing the fuel inside the line; hence the term "vapor lock". I your car is indeed experiencing vapor lock, the easiest way to fix it is to reroute your fuel lines away from any heat sources. Or better yet, move the fuel lines and install an electric fuel pump at the rear of your car. With an electric fuel pump mounted at the rear, the fuel is being "pushed" towards the carb instead of pulled by the mechanical pump; the result is that you are far less likely to experience vapor lock.

You can pick up a decent electric fuel pump at NAPA for about $40. Installing this would eliminate the possibility of both a defective fuel pump and vapor lock, might not be a bad idea to consider. I have used the NAPA pumps to feed a 750cfm carb on a 446 cid engine; I think they're fuel output would more than meet your needs.

also, what t-stat should i go with? 180* or 160*?

I read a study once that tested identical several engines with different thermostats to see what the effects were on ring wear and power output. The 180 degree tstat proved to be the best combination. Unless you're having detonation problems, I would stay away from a 160.
180 t'stat. The turbo four had a high pressure fuel pump for injection -- it won't work with carb unless someone has installed the correct back-pressure regulator with return line. To check for vapor lock, it's helpful to have a fuel pressure gauge where you can see it while driving. Look at your front cover behind the water pump. Off to one side cam-high, is there a mechanical fuel pump sticking out - I think on the driver's side? Vapor lock usually occurs after the car's been driven for a while, gets hot, then you shut it off. The residual heat under the hood vaporizes the fuel in the lines or the carb bowls making it difficult to start and contributes to poor running if the fuel bowls can't be kept full. Does your carb have the heat shield that came from the factory? You're gonna have to find out a bit more about what you've got if we're gonna be able to help you. Mechanical or electric pump - what kind of shape is it in - miles - oil consumption - recent tune up - what's the timing curve like and what's the initial timing set at - does it have vacuum advance -- lots of questions to be able to help.
It is a mechanical pump. Engine was rebuilt about 2500 miles ago. doesnt consume any oil, just has a small leak at the rear main seal and 1 towards the front of the engine, doesnt leak all the time though. :shrug: I have not done a tune up on it since i bought the car (was going to change plugs, wires, cap, new distributer when I upgrade my ignition) Ive changed the oil once (around 2000 miles on engine) Timing ?? dont have a timing gun. distributor does have vac advance. I can try to answer all your questions to the best of my ability.
you are getting some great advice from everyone. cause im stupid, i have a question (im not sold that it is a fuel issue) - it bogs when you give it gas. does this happen at any RPM, or only higher RPM? if only at higher revs, i would not disregard the ignition still. some of the older ignitions are finicky. in my personal experience with older, carbed (low pressure fuel systems), if the car starts running funky all of a sudden, it has been more likely to be ignition related, esp at higher RPM's.

Michael is right on about vapor lock - and when it occurs. highly unlikely that it occurs while driving. more likely is that the diaphram in the pump is weak, and when hot, is not pullin fuel as it should.

ive done a mech to elec swap - euro car. i was lucky - the fuel lines exited the tank in the trunk. i removed the spare and installed the pump in the trunk. i ran my own output line from the tank and ran it to an inline filter, then to the pump input. i then connected the original ouput line to the elec pump output. very easy.

i chose to not run a relay on the new pump. it was a 20 buck 6 psi unit which draws very little juice. i simply wired the pump to a key on 12 volt source, and put a switch inline (hidden). the car has not acc position, so i did not want to run the pump while sitting and listening to the radio.

a relay could be used, but i still feel it is one more part to fail (i would keep a switch nonetheless).

my two cents if you decide to do the elec swap. ill leave the particulars on accessing the lines and plumbing for your application to you and others.

good luck.