Engine Temperature readings

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Mar 8, 2005
Memphis, TN
After installing a mechanical water temperature gauge, I got these readings:

Around town with a/c on in stop and go traffic for 10 minutes: hovered around 200 degrees, probably around 197-199. Dropped down to 195 only a few times after continued movement at 40 mph but didn't stay there. Any stops- redlights, stop signs etc, and the temp would move back to 200.

Highway with a/c: read 200 degrees on flat surface going 60-70, any incline would send it above 200 to around 205. I couldn't find any long, steep hills to test it on, but a pretty weak, half-mile long incline made the temp go up to 210. Undoubtedly would have risen higher if the hill was longer/steeper.

Idling with a/c for 3 minutes: 210 degrees.

Weather: 80 degrees outside and Sunny.

Also, when it is like 60 degrees or hotter outside, my fan clutch never disengages. It is ALWAYS on. Highway, in town,
idling whatever.

I've got a new water pump, radiator flushed, new fan clutch last summer.

Between the fan clutch being on all the time and the temp readings, I'm thinking theres a problem somewhere.

Last edited:
Hot cruiser

I found a couple of things helpful. I upgraded to a 4 row radiator even though I had had my radiator flushed - it ran hot till I changed it out. I also noted that keeping the engine oil full (I mean full) helped with 20 W 50. That was it. It was fine after that.
I guess what I'm asking is what should the normal operating temperature be for the 3fe? And what is normal fan clutch operation?

What brand radiator did you install Troopy? If I need to get another one I was thinking of going the Performance Radiator route. Read they are almost identical to OEM but cost less.

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