Question about 1989 Lincoln Town Car

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Presure builb up in cooling system. - 1989 Lincoln Town Car

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Sounds like the thermostat is stuck closed. Check this and repalce first, if the thermostat is in working condition, the radiator may need to be flushed or replaced.

Posted on Oct 06, 2010

  • Billy R. Nicks Oct 06, 2010

    if the thermostat is working properly there should be some pressure when you squeeze the upper radiator hose, but it should not get tight. If ti gets tight while the engine is running, then most likely it is stuck in the closed position. let the engine cool and replace it with a new thermostat and seal.



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Are your electric fans working properly? Nothing retricting air flow through the radiator? Proper thermostat? Right size radiator cap? All of these will effect the way your cooling system operates. If all of these are good and you still are getting high presure in your radiator, you could possibly have a blown head gasket causing compression to enter the cooling system.

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My van started shooting water into the overflow. it was more like a blockage problem to me so here is what i have tried so far with no luck. i removed the thermostat to one make sure it was not stuck and...

Your right that there is not much to a cooling system when you only look at the cooling system without noticing the other components, not really something you do much on aircraft engines cooling systems.

A water pump can have a broken or coroded impeller making the coolant flow too slowly to carry the BTU's that needs to carried off. This usually would allow the user to operate the vehicle for the normal amount of time it would take to reach thermostat opening tempurature, so if it builds presure too quickly or overheats very quickly this may not be the problem. The normal amount of coolant flow through the system depends of the speed of the waterpump at that time, and the position of the thermostat. An egine turning 3000 and a thermostat wide open would produce a flow of about 2 - 3 quarts per 10 seconds. More for larger engines like, say, a v-10 viper.

Or there may be too many BTU's for the system to contend with, like for example, a leaking cylinder head gasket, cracked head/block or something like that which would allow very hot combustion gasses to enter the coolant stream adding huge BTU values to the system as well as increasng the coolant internal presures forcing the radiator cap to "pop" and relieve the system presure into the overflow bottle. In essence, a leaking headgasket acts like a cutting torch shooting hot combustion gasses into the coolant. The amount of time it takes for the system to overpresurize or over heat is a good indicator of coolant being exposed to combustion gasses. The cooling system can be checked for combustion gasses.

Or perhaps the heat being carried is not being effectively removed from the coolant. A radiator can become "sludged" up with stuff and litterally not be able to cool the coolant in the amount of time that the coolant is in the radiator. Sometimes a coolnt flush can help this, but it is only temporary. If the engine is normally producing, say, 250,000 BTU's per minute then the radiator must be able to carry at least twice that amount away durring heat exchanging.

Here's some clarifying questions we could use to help find the problem; (be specific and descriptive)

How long can you run the engine before it either overheats or starts overflowing the coolant?

Does the system presure increase very much when the engine is first started cold?

Is the radiator cap relieving the presure at the specified value?

Do the radiator fans work when needed? If the engine overheats rapidly when started I don't think the fans are an issue unless that is why the engine overheated in the first place taking out the headgaskets.

Also, if you wish to follow up on these questions let us know what model, year, and engine you have.

Always here to help, just ask away!

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could be a freeze plug or a heater hose. get it up on a lift and take a close look. idle time at muffler shops can be put to use, just ask them.

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