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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy all!

My names Joe, and I'm fixing this car for my girlfriend. I'm an Aerospace engineering student and a shadetree mechanic/restorer. I usually work on aircooled VW's though I have experience with waterpumper Jettas, Mercedes Benz trucks, and your run of the mill honda toyota appliance sedan. I say this so you guys can assume I know the basics of engine repair and have a full roster of tools to work with. [8D]

Heres the rub:

gf is driving the car (I'm not around) and her multi function warning light comes on, according to the manual its an exclamation mark (!) with a circle around it, indicating the coolant is in the red. (again, I wasn't around or I would've noticed the temperature gauge going into the red but... blondes and cars ya know)

It went into its fail-safe mode, at which point she panicked and called me.

I had it towed home, hoping to reduce any damage that might've been done, but I did watch the temps come down on the gauge when I left the ignition on (engine off) and the interior fans on full hot while we waited for the AAA guy.

When I got to the car initially, I touched the upper and lower hoses and both felt very hot to me, so I'm assuming (perhaps wrongly) that the coolant is flowing. At this point, I'm not suspecting the water pump. The belts are on and fine.

The coolant level was also normal, not a drop leaked or anything. Opening the cap, its a filthy brown color. I immediately started thinking "head gasket" but I'm praying thats not the case... no "chocolate milk" under the oil cap, a good sign. The coolant thats drained since I removed the thermostat is the same brownish color, though it apparently started life green. it doesn't have an oil sheen or smell gas-y

I thought maybe the thermostat was faulty, so I removed the old one (looks ok) and got a new one with a new donut seal. The new one lacks the air bleed valve -- is this going to be a problem? (I'm replacing it since its a cheap part and has likely never had it done)

So I come to you Fordheads to ask, have I covered my bases here? Is there anyway to know what caused it to overheat? The radiator is my next target -- testing the fan switch and making sure its not clogged or anything. Is this hard to remove/test/replace? Are there any other parts or wear items I should be replacing "while I'm in there" ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Bump and update:

drained all the coolant out and flushed it, inspected the insides of the hoses (they were fine) replaced the thermostat after verifying it does have the air bleed valve, just not in the stock location, and reinstalled everything.

added new coolant

went to start the car, and before I even tried I cleared the code with my OBD2 reader. I attempt to start the car, and I just get some clicks and nothing.

Checked the battery, its at 9v, and when I hooked it up to another car battery that was fully charged it did the same thing. I tried a hard reset of the ECU by taking the negative terminal off the battery, and I was just rewarded with more random clicks when I turn the key. the lights and wipers turn on fine....

its not even trying to start. Any ideas? I still have the CEL on, even though my reader says 0 codes....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
when I turn the key, it just clicks rapidly and doesn't stop. all the dash lights and everything flashing. cliclicliclicliclicliclic incessantly. it has power for the lights and radio... I tried jumping it and no change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
101 views and no bites?

I checked all the fuses, none are blown. battery is charged, and connections clean and tight. rocking the car in gear and jumping make no difference, just the same rapid machine gun fire clicking that never ends when you turn the key, all the instruments flashing and the needles jumping everywhere.
 

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It sounds like there are multiple problems here.

The low voltage sounds like an issue with the voltage regulator on the alternator, which is a common problem. That could be why your car isn't starting, but since you got it jumped and it still didn't turn over it could be more serious. Are you able to remove the spark plugs and turn the engine by hand?

The overheating could be a number of things, but it needs to get started up before you can explore them.
 

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Doesn't sound good to me I'm afraid to say.

When you say you cleared the fault codes were their any registered, if so what were they, this could be crucial because they wont register again until you start it!

You cannot rule out the water pump as you haven't started it from cold you have only tested it from when it 1st overheated.

The reason its not starting now could be serious damage to the head and I am inclined to say that the engine may of ceased, as stated above I would check that it turn over manually. Take out plugs and rotate engine. If this is the case then the clicking will be the starter motor trying to turn the engine over but not able to as it could be ceased, their for you will then burn your starter motor out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
the code I got was p1299 -- cyl overtemp protection -- this focus has a "failsafe" when it overheats, and it did indeed kick on and I had it towed, so i don't think the engine could have seized -- for one thing it didn't even get hot enough to boil over, for another after the failsafe came on the gf shut it down and i never bothered to try and start it again after that until I'd swapped the t-stat and coolant.

this whole thing smells electrical to me, or something with the starter/solenoid but I can't seem to chase it down. I'll pull the plugs and rotate it manually.
 

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Hopefully shouldn't of damaged head then. I am not familiar with fords, yet! but I know on some other makes their is a button that can be pressed to unlock the fail safe mode rather than it actually being a matter of clearing the ECU.

I will look on my data laptop tomorrow to see if theirs any mention, but I am sure someone in here would know if their was such a button for the Ford's.

I find it hard to understand something like the solenoid failing due to overheating issues unless its a coincidence.
 
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