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Your 94 engine has separate coolant temp sensor and gauge sender. The 96 engine incorporates both in the engine coolant temp sensor. The coolant temp sensor is near the t-stat, below the throttle body. Check to see how many wires are in this plug. If it only has two, you may be able to use the plug from the 96 motor and wire it into the wire where the original sensor was. You should be able to just color match. Not sure if you can get away with this but the 96 plug should have a third wire, and it's woth a try.
locate your radiator ( usually bolted to the front of the car under the hood) and look at the bottom and find a little plug that screws off and take it off. Make sure and have a bucket cause there will be a lot of coolant that comes out. then take the bottom radiator hose off of the radiator ( not the water pump) and there may be some more coolant that comes out there and that should be it. If the coolant is really dirty i recommend just taking it to a shop so they can perform a coolant flush and get all the dirt and grime out of your engine before it clogs up.
Have 96 burb and had similar issue. Mine was finicky about starting sometimes and thought it was the neutral safety switch. Turns out, it was the starter solenoid. Not positive yours is same issue, but it is worth checking.