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Old 09-28-2019, 05:35 PM   #1
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Random problem need help

I have a 1999 bounder with a v10. The engine runs great. The problem is that the water gauge will peg also the oil temp warning light comes on. I pull off to the side and shut the engine off. Restart it and it is fine. This is a completely random thing it may do it 1time a day or a week or two goes by before it dies it again and you may have to restart several times before it stops. I figured it was th computer so I put one in, same problem. Does anyone know what the problem could be?

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Old 09-28-2019, 05:40 PM   #2
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Gage sending unit, clogged radiator, bad coolant, bad thermostat, bad connection somewhere. Heck there could be a dozen or more things causing your problem. Its a process of elimination, and could be costly if your paying for it. I would start with the fan clutch and thermostat.

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Old 09-28-2019, 06:29 PM   #3
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I'd use my thermo gun (you have one right ) on the bottom of the radiator to get an more accurate reading to make sure it's not the gauge that's bad. and go from there
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Old 09-30-2019, 08:59 PM   #4
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Do you restart it immediately (more or less) after you have shut it off or wait several minutes? If you can restart it almost immediately after you have shut it off and the gauges read normally again (or do after several restarts), it sounds like a problem with the gauges or the sensors (since if was actually overheating the gauges should still show high temperatures). If you have to wait a while for it to cool down before the gauges read normally, then yeah, a cooling system problem...
I like the idea of using the thermo gun to set a baseline temperature when it's running normally, then checking when the gauges indicate overheating to see if there is really a temperature spike.
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Old 10-01-2019, 09:22 AM   #5
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Ditto on the heat gun. You need to determine if it is:
-an actual overheating of the engine (temp. gun)
-a wiring short coming into the instrument panel (test for short as you wiggle/move, heat, the wire loom from back of panel to sensor connection)
-a bad instrument panel (signals are good at rear of panel)

That's my $0.02
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Old 10-01-2019, 09:31 AM   #6
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This information may or may not help but it is somewhat new information. We had a poster on these forums report these facts regarding the V-10 engine display gauges: coolant temps, oil pressure & alternator output. If you notice those gauges basically have two positions off and on. In other words once the oil and water heat up the red dial is in the middle. The same with the alternator gauge. They are like an on/off switch. They do not give us any real idea of actual temps or pressures.

My Scan Gauge gives me coolant and alternator outputs which do vary but the display gauges only move from off to on. I don't know the electrical set up behind the dash gauges but it appears there's something that will switch them on and off after they reach a certain point.

I have never driven one of these V-10 when they overheated. Maybe at that point they will move to another point only higher as yours did. The infrared temperature sensor would really help with that as a poster mentioned.

As with other potential problems when troubleshooting it is always smart to verify the problem. Just because the temp gauge went hot is it really hot.

Traveling over the last many, many hundreds of miles from AR to ME and now back, our coolant temp (Scan Gauge readings) sets right around the mid point of 175#. It varies a few points above and below but has never reached even 180#.
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Old 10-01-2019, 09:45 AM   #7
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I don't know if your Bounder has an electronic instrument cluster but...

I doubt that you have two different senders going bad at the same time causing your problem.

I was experiencing similar problems on my Explorer Sport Trac (yeah, I know not a real truck) and intermittent instrument cluster problems are common on a lot of Ford trucks (google it). In my case I could get normal operation back by banging on the dash cover with my hand or by pulling over and turning off the truck and restarting it. Sound familiar?

I pulled the cluster and sent it off to Circuit Board Medics (Google again). They repaired it and sent it back the next day. Everything now works fine. There are several companies out there repairing these clusters. I have no affiliation with any of them, just a satisfied customer of this one.
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Old 10-01-2019, 10:53 AM   #8
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You sure its a OIL temp light ? Never seen one on mine.

If its water temp, then you have a bad connection or failing sender on the engine.
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:23 PM   #9
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Thanks to everyone it has helped me a lot. I think I am going to send the instrument cluster in because it is definitely not overheating.

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Old 10-02-2019, 07:51 AM   #10
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We had a similar problem with the gauges on our 2001 F53 chassis. Fortunately it was under warranty when the problem occurred, so we took it to our local Ford garage. Apparently many Ford products use a voltage regulator or stabilizer for the instrument cluster. In our case the stabilizer was defective and would cause erratic readings on the gauges.

Once the stabilizer was replaced all gauges worked properly.
2013 Adventurer 32H
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Old 10-02-2019, 08:59 AM   #11
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Read the values with an OBDII scanner and the Torque app..

I use a blue tooth scanner plugged into the OBDII port,


Then monitor the engine values with my android smartphone running the Torque App.


You should be able to see coolant temperature. If it looks OK on the Torque, then its probably a bad instrument cluster (or wiring )

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need help, problem

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