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Unread 12-18-2014, 04:38 PM   #1
Marauder_Pilot
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Ford 5.4L-won't warm up

So, I bought a Ford E350 5.4L with a 4WD conversion to build an overland camper with. It's been sitting for 3-4 years, so first order of business was draining all the gas, oil and coolant and replacing them with fresh fluids.

Afterwards, it runs, idles and drives just fine, but the engine doesn't seem to heat up at all. The temperature gauge is always pegged just a hair off the bottom, and there's barely any heat coming out of the heater. There's a CEL, but it's noting a bad injector, nothing related to the cooling system.

I've never run into anything like this before, anyone know where I should start?

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Unread 12-18-2014, 05:20 PM   #2
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Stuck thermostat.
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Unread 12-18-2014, 10:36 PM   #3
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Is there even a T-stat in it?
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Unread 12-18-2014, 11:00 PM   #4
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My first taco did the exact same thing, went to check the tstat and found it to have been removed. Put a stat in and immediate overheat, cracked head that was pumping exhaust into the coolant system, hidden by the missing thermostat. 1st place to look.
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Unread 12-19-2014, 05:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indy View Post
Stuck thermostat.
This.

Even when you fix it, keep in mind that Ford's are notoriously slow to heat. My dad used to let his '64 Mercury warm up in the driveway for 15 minutes, before going anywhere in the winter... in NC!

I've owned;

- '68 Mercury Monterey
- '79 Ford Bronco
- '89 Country Squire Wagon
- '93 Mustang GT (purchased NEW!)
- '95 Mercury Gran Marquis

Different eras, different engines, and they were ALL slow to heat up! My '92 Ramcharger has a stuck blend door (a/c blows great, heat DOESN'T) and it still gets warmer, faster, than those 5 above COMBINED!!!

So when you fix it, and it's STILL slow to heat, than it's working JUST fine.
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Unread 12-19-2014, 09:49 AM   #6
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Don't worry, I know how long an E-Series takes to warm up-I drive them every day for work too (Electrician). But after driving 20 minutes down the highway and it hasn't moved, that's a pretty good sign it's a problem.

I'll pull the thermostat today and see what's happening there.
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Unread 12-19-2014, 11:20 AM   #7
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By the time I hit pavement in my tacoma I have a warm engine and good heat. My mustang, I'm 1/2 way to work and the needle hasn't budged yet
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Unread 12-21-2014, 03:57 PM   #8
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Thermostat needs replacing.
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Unread 12-21-2014, 07:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marauder_Pilot View Post
Don't worry, I know how long an E-Series takes to warm up-I drive them every day for work too (Electrician). But after driving 20 minutes down the highway and it hasn't moved, that's a pretty good sign it's a problem.

I'll pull the thermostat today and see what's happening there.
Do you know how to test it when you have it out?

If you put in a new one... ALWAYS test it before installing it!

Hint--- pan of water on the stove and a thermometer---
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Unread 12-24-2014, 06:36 AM   #10
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Pressure test the radiator cap, if it doesn't hold pressure the coolant will not circulate correctly.
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Unread 12-24-2014, 08:42 AM   #11
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Pressure test the radiator cap, if it doesn't hold pressure the coolant will not circulate correctly.
My 5.8 did that. Turned out one of the block plugs is leaking. The only way to get at it is to pull the engine out. I may end up doing that.

The 5.4s tend to be really tight systems. The T-stats are finicky though. My Expedition did what his E350 did. Stone cold while driving around. But mine started to creep up only at fast food drive throughs.

Changing one is easy. Pull the radiator hose off. There's two bolts that fasten the housing down. One accessory bolt needs removed also. Once the bolts are out, you'll have to get a big screwdriver and insert the handle into the housing and rock it back and forth. These things are lightly pressed in. WD40 should help. After walking it off, the stat is exposed.

When buying one, buy the o-ring seal! New stats don't come with one, and the old ones are almost always damaged coming off. Clean everything around it! The seat will catch a lot of junk. Clean everything off.

When the stat is installed, put the housing on, and run the bolts down. I use a bit of antiseize compound because on Fords, bolts that are anywhere near the cooling system tend to get a bit, flaky. Use the bolts to drive the housing back down.

The T-stats are like $6 and the o-ring is somewhere around $2. The time frame for the job is less than 30 minutes.
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