Question about 1989 Ford Thunderbird

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Car dying after 30 minutes of driving

I am trying to confirm my hunches on a 89 Ford Thunderbird SC. I have replaced the thermostat and radiator cap and the coolant system has been flushed. The Thunderbird will not start up until 20 minutes after the car dies.

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  • yungun001 Jan 25, 2009

    where would the fuel relay be located on the 89 Ford Thunderbird SC



  • Harold Case Jr.
    Harold Case Jr. May 11, 2010

    your fuel relay is overheating on fuel ingction or your fuel system is in "vapor lock" carbrator

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Car will not turn over when key ignition is turned on.

Posted on Oct 16, 2013

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I had the same kinda prob,but when it died,it acted like a dead battery. But after 20 mins,would start rt up! Turned out to b the mega fuse @ the cables! >

Posted on Jan 25, 2012

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Sounds to me like the computer is acting up on you. i would have it checked

Posted on Jan 25, 2009

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We have a 49 chevy with a carburetorated 2.8L V-6-new aluminum radiator, over heats and dies after about 20 minutes of driving-new intake manifold gasket, coollant recovery system, new thermostat-what


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Is not heating


  • Raise and fully support the hood on the ford Remove the radiator cap and place a coolant drain pan underneath the radiator.
  • Open the drain-**** on the radiator and completely drain all of the coolant from it. It should take 10 minutes to fully drain. After this time close the drain-**** securely.
  • Locate the thermostat housing on the side of the engine below the alternator. It's not necessary to remove the hose from the thermostat housing. You can access the thermostat easily once the housing unbolted.
  • Slide your coolant drain pan directly beneath the thermostat housing. This way any coolant that comes out of the housing will go into the drain pan and not on the ground.
  • Remove the two bolts holding the heater core housing to the engine with a socket wrench. Pull the housing away from the engine and take out the thermostat.



  • Install the new thermostat just as you removed the old thermostat. Your new thermostat should have a rubber seal already installed on it, if not you have the wrong replacement part.
  • Position the thermostat housing back into its original location and then return both of its bolts by hand to insure they thread correctly. Set your 1/4-inch drive torque wrench to 89 inch-lbs. and completely secure both bolts in place.
  • Refill the radiator with fresh coolant or with the coolant from the drain pan if it's less than three years old. Return the radiator cap and then start the engine on the Bravada. Check for leaks every five minutes until the engine reaches normal operating condition. Take the truck for a test drive once you've determined there aren't any leaks present.



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    dear friend:if the thermostat is suspect then replace it,i will not advice to drive without a thermostat,if you look at the radiator you should be able to see threw it,see if you got proper circulation,if the viscous fan is working,and if the system holds 13psi pressure,all so check the radiator cap pressure,

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    89 thunderbird - 3.8 Car dies


    i had this problem on my 88 t-bird 3.8L. not exactly sure of the cause but to remedy mine... it seems the computer was not telling the fuel pump that the car was running. so the fuel pump would quit pumping. run a wire from your battery to the positive line going to the fuel pump (temporary). if this solves the problem (and you don't mind solving it this way) make the wire run clean and hook it to a switch so you can turn it on when you wanna drive. this is not the way a dealership would fix it but its also not gonna cost you more than you probably have invested in your car. hope this helps

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    Overheating Thunderbird


    The first thing to do is have is the radiator cap checked, if it's alright then check to see if the thermostat is opening. You will need to remove the thermostat housing to remove it. The temperature the thermostat is suppose to open at is stamp on it. Heat a pan of water a few degrees above what it is suppose to open at and put the thermostat in to see if it opens,

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    I have a 89 thunderbird with overheating problems


    If you have a metal radiator take it out and have a radiator shop repair it. If it plastic/aluminum you might be able to have a radiator shop replace the tank or you will need a new radiator. NOTE!!! Epoxy will not work!!

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