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Australia Chapter Join Chapter , Leader: ChunderDownUnder

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  #1  
Old 11-25-2012, 04:05 AM
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tinybuck tinybuck is offline
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Location: Lismore N.S.W Australia.
Posts: 13
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My 1989 F-250 Ex Ambulance

Hi everyone
I'm new to the Chapter, so I thought I'd introduce myself before I badger you all for some help.
I'm Mike (40) and originally from the U.k. I'm new to trucks, New(ish) to Australia and pretty new to driving period.
I met an Australian girl while she was travelling around britain, we dated, got married and moved to Australia about 4 years ago.
While in Britain I never actually learned to drive, instead I got public transport everywhere. I soon learned that,
that was not going to get me very far in Oz, so I took my tests and finally got rid of my Ps in August.
A member of the family offered me his old vehicle. And I was totally amazed when it turned out to be a big ol Ford Pickup. How lucky am I? I was told it was a 1989 F-150 Ex Ambulance dual fuel with a 351 windsor under the hood, I have since found out that it's an F-250 with a 302 windsor.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
And people tell me when they pop the hood is, boy does
it need some work. The truck was so unreliable, I wouldn't trust it to get me to town and back without coughing, spluttering, backfireing and dieing. But a trip to the mechanic and a replaced Throttle Position Sensor seems to have sorted that.
Having learned to drive so late in life, I find that I'm a 40 year ol man with a teenagers enthusiasm!!
unfortunately also a real beginners level of knowledge too. But I'd like to turn my truck into an ongoing hobby so my learning curve starts here.
Thanks for having me in the chapter, I look forward to chatting with and learning from you all, and please excuse me in advance if I ask any stupid questions.

Now for the cry for help.
The truck is overheating. the cooling system checks out ok as far as coolant, leaks thermostat ect... But the fans won't come on. I say fans plural, all my manuals show a single radiator fan but my truck has 2 side by side, is this normal as in stock?

Click the image to open in full size.

there is also a rather bodgy load of silicone around the upper radiator hose and closer inspection revealed a copper type of sensor shoved inside it this inturn is conected to a small dial type selector. Could this be where my problem lies? it doesn't look very professionally done.

Click the image to open in full size.

Has anyone else experienced this problem, can anyone help me. your advises are very much welcome.
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2012, 04:39 AM
SSSimon SSSimon is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Hi Mike, welcome to the Aussie chapter! My son has just moved to the UK and really likes the option of getting places via fast rail links!

The good thing about your truck is that it is solid and rebuildable. But it also has history and what you're looking at is not stock, it's an 'upgrade' from a Previous Owner.

From your photos and write up it looks like the **** is the temperature control for a termastatic switch for the fans to cut in. If it is still working it might be just a question of letting the truck get hot, and while running, just turning the dial until the fans cut in. That's the 'happy scenario'.

The 'not so happy scenario' is that something has died in the system and it's going to be yourself that has to figure it out. E.g I can see a relay near your index finger in the bottom pic. The relay uses a small switching current, in this case coming from the thermastatic switch, to switch a larger current, in this case the current driving the fans.

Things to check:
1) is there a fuse between the relay and power supply (the relay probably has a wire running to the positive terminal of the battery). If so, is it blown?
2) Get a circuit tester and connect the positive terminal of the battery to where the while wire in your pic is connected to the relay. Do the fans come on? If so, you have by-passed the thermastatic switch and triggered the relay manually. This would indicate that the therastatic switch is not triggering the relay for some reason.
If the fans do not come on, then there maybe a problem with the relay.

A circuit tester would be a worthwhile purchase if you are going to be chasing electrical problems.

Let us know how you go and ask any questions.

General advice for a P-plater on their first vehicle:
1) check radiator coolant level and ensure that it is at the correct level - under normal operating conditions the coolant should not require topping up;
2) check engine oil level on the dip-stick - ensure the oil level is correct (markings on the dipstick). Do not overfill. If you can't determine how long ago the oil was changed then plan to do an oil and oil-filter change;
3) make sure the brake-fluid level is correct - the brake fluid being toward the bottom marking can be an indication that the brake pads are worn down;
4) make sure the fluid level in the battery is at the correct mark, top up if required with distilled/demineralised water;
5) see if you can determine any service history - if none can be found assume a full service is required - replace engine, trans, diff oils, brake fluid, flush and replace coolant, check brake pads, check & grease front wheel bearing, prop-shaft universal joints.
6) check your jack, spare tyre, & wheel brace to make sure you can change a flat tyre if you get one.
7) if it is going to take time to do the service stuff, carry some spare fluids to get you home should a problem arise.

Best of luck with the truck!
__________________
MODS: Hutch,ICboots,plenum inserts,IH uppies,G2WW,HPx,AIH delete,EBPV delete,hi flow outlet,CCV mod,OCR,Zoodad,6637,4" TB exhaust,JW VB,coolant filter,FRx,'05 HD lights with switch bypass relays,B20 ready fuel system(3 filters).Stratos truck seats,rear head rests,LED running lights, 285-75-16s. Gauges:EGTx2,Boost,Trans temp,Fuel pressure,Eng oil temp, Coolant temp, Edge CS, PHP tuner
NOT done: big oil, big brakes, big turbo. Next Mods? None - I'm done!
Australia: where Mechanics use spanners & Plumbers use wrenches
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  #3  
Old 12-04-2012, 04:24 AM
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tinybuck tinybuck is offline
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Thank you So much SSSimon

Thank you So much SSSimon
Your clear advice, allowed me to locate the problem, a faulty thermo switch, a quick trip to Autobarn for a new switch and some selastic and now my truck runs cool as a cucumber. (well the engine does anyway). The cab is like a sauna! the average day in Oz is like the height of summer back home. Gotta get that air con looked at.

Thanx again mate, I owe you a cold frosty one.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:31 AM
SSSimon SSSimon is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Good news Tinybuck! Welcome to motoring down under. You are lucky because you have the sort of vehicle where you can actually figure out what and how to fix without all the expensive computer diagnostics that mechanics have to rely so much on with newer vehicles.

Next thing to look at is the Max A/C mod. Many of these vehicle are not fitted with an on/off valve between the coolant and the in-cab heater core. So even with the a/c on, or the temp set to min, there is still hot coolant running through the heater core in the cab.

It should be possible to trace the rubber coolant hoses going from the engine to the firewall where they will connect to the heater core. Check to see if there any any sort of tap, valve or switching device on either of the lines. A PO may have put a manual one on. There may be an electrically operated or vacuum operated valve. If so, see if it operates.

I suspect that there is no valve on either of the two lines. In that case it's another trip to the local Autobarn to get a manual coolant valve for you coolant hose diameter and a couple of hose clamps. Merely cut the line and insert your valve in some convienient spot. It will just be a tap with a summer position (off) and a winter position (on). In the off position you should get a cooler cab. At the start of winter you'll have to open the bonnet, or 'pop the hood' as our US bros would say, and turn the tap on to have heat in the cab.

All the best!
__________________
MODS: Hutch,ICboots,plenum inserts,IH uppies,G2WW,HPx,AIH delete,EBPV delete,hi flow outlet,CCV mod,OCR,Zoodad,6637,4" TB exhaust,JW VB,coolant filter,FRx,'05 HD lights with switch bypass relays,B20 ready fuel system(3 filters).Stratos truck seats,rear head rests,LED running lights, 285-75-16s. Gauges:EGTx2,Boost,Trans temp,Fuel pressure,Eng oil temp, Coolant temp, Edge CS, PHP tuner
NOT done: big oil, big brakes, big turbo. Next Mods? None - I'm done!
Australia: where Mechanics use spanners & Plumbers use wrenches
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:31 AM
 
 
 
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