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New Owner, One Day Old And Overheated. Need Help!

Guest Jtomo

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Hi and welcome to the club.


I feel your pain through a similar depressing experience. I bought my first 2B and within 4 miles of driving it home, smoke started coming out of the bonnet and it stopped running. Turns out the bottom radiator hose had come away and it overheated obviously as there was no coolant at all. Cylinder head gasket had gone and the wife towed me home. I didnt know the first thing about cars, so took it to a garage who fixed it for £200. Pinto`s being Pinto`s meant I had to learn to fix my own head gaskets, after being shown how to by club members.


You have already done 2 things correctly.

You have got yourself a kit and you have joined the best club in the world (especially when it comes to help and advice)



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Welcome to the club, I am the Hants & Dorset Area Sec & live down the road at West Tytherley. Rather busy this week as I have a windmill to strip down, if your troubles persist keep asking questions, like tea or coffee/ how many sugars/bacon crispy enough. Hope to see you soon, I'm not a mechanic so cannot add to above suggestions.

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Basic stuff first before you start spending any money.


1) Check that the fan is either pushing aire through the rad (If it's mounted in front of the rad) or pulling aire through the rad (if mounted behind it.)

The fan needs to be as close as possible to the radiator core, big gaps make it do it's job very poorly.

2) Remove the thermostat as is suggested, (Only for trail purposes) but as you take it out, check how it's been put in see http://nw.rhocar.org/thermostats.htm the 'spring' bit needs to be towards the engine, NOT into the thermostat elbow.

3) block the gaps around the radiator so that the air coming through the nosecone HAS to go through the rad, not around it.




Without being able to see which radiator you have fitted, i can say that in the early monocoque cars, RH gave a single cored Cortina radiator, this was just about adequate for normal driving with a standard engine if everything else was correct, for the 2B, they gave out a Coleman radiator, this was slightly better, again, standard engine and if everything else was sorted out correctly. But if you decided to press the pedal hard and 'give it some' neither rad could keep it cool without letting it have regular rests. yours is an upgraded engine, so would suggest that a radiator upgrade from 'normal' may need to be done if not already done.

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If it was mine, that header tank would have to go and something different and less obstructive, it's blocking half the radiator! i also think that is the old 'Cortina' type radiator, it's definitely only single cored.

The oil around the dizzy may not be coming from there, but from the rocker cover and running down, there may be a problem with the engine breathing, especially as it's been overheating. You need someone to have a look at it that knows what they're talking about.

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As an aside, you have an interesting front suspension layout with a rocker arm, very unusual. It doesn't help your problem though but hopefully someone nearby will be able to lend a hand with some basic checks.

Not sure if that is a header tank is may be just an overflow tank for the spit and suck system, there is a good explanation of pinto cooling on Dave Andrews old site http://dvandrews.co.uk/ look at the oil and water control section.

Edited by Peter Bell
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Guest mower man

Fan is controlled by a switch on the dash rather than a stat, no idea why? It was defibately on and running before during and after the overheating!


There is now a small oil leak under the dizzy. The coolant obviously evapirated!, left spray marks on the engine!


Engine will still start, but have not done so since just after the breakdown. The engine is a reconditioned 2.1 pinto, rebored to 2.2 i believe. Oversized inlet and outlet valves. It was apparently using running in oil so i know that is due a change. Does that help?


As you can guess i am mechanically a numpty! I am not affraid of getting stuck in, but would rather this ge under instruction!


Interested in a new rad, any recommendations with links?


How do you duct the air to force it through the rad? Do you need to buikd up a frame or anything? Any recommendations?


Sorry, lots of questiins!

Source an rs 2000 alloy radiator [ straight bolt in fit ! ] ,I ran one on my warm 2.1 [ 145 hp ] no probs , 2 small fans covered most of rear of rad hardly ever came on many other tips but don't want to put your head into overload mick

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Source an rs 2000 alloy radiator [ straight bolt in fit ! ] ,I ran one on my warm 2.1 [ 145 hp ] no probs , 2 small fans covered most of rear of rad hardly ever came on many other tips but don't want to put your head into overload mick

coolex had them at stoneleigh for £180 which i thought was a good price

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Guest Bobbers

I would be having a chat with the previous owner see if he can advise on the issue , he new it got hot . Maybe he could help with the cost of getting it right

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Guest lotusPaul

Guys. Before we splash out on a new rad etc, have we worked on basics? Is the water pump working? Have you flushed out the system yet? Is stat working? Are there any blockages etc?


Yes flowing or directing air to the rad will help, as will a new bigger rad with electric fan help, but is this not potentialy masking another fault that.must be fixed first?


I still say to run it with no stat in and see if it performs any differently. And for the price, new water pump, £25 on flee bay currently for a new one. Ensure the cold and hot flows are as best as you get BEFORE a £250 rad and fan combo is purchased.


On the rad, in the pics its looking tilted rearwards, optimal flow through it will only occour when the flow of air is linear with the gills.

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Quick starts:

Just out of interest, is it coolant in the system or just water?

My first kit just had 5 years worth of water in it (nice muddy colour), and this would not help matters at all.

I quickly flushed it through and replaced it fresh coolant to make sure its running correctly.


Then there's the thermostat test (mentioned previously) to make its operating correctly and opening up at the correct temp.


Basically listen to the guys above run some tests and fix it at the cheapest cost and drive the car for the season.

Arrange help and after advice maybe look toward ripping out the old cooling system and replacing it with the a new one in the winter months.


we also had a manually operated fan temperature switch. But remembering the switch was painful and eventually it will catch you out and the engine will overheat or a flat battery.

I basically shopped around during the summer months (whilst Nikki drove it everywhere) :) and changed it all in the winter months - never once jumped above 90 degrees since changing the cooling system.




Just to help out with bits n bobs and to work out any costs.


Quick search on net shows:

Alu rad for £97 - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3Rows-Core-Aluminum-Racing-Radiator-For-Ford-Escort-Auto-Manual-1971-1980-/262958290314?hash=item3d3989158a:g:~CIAAOSwjqVZA~w7

Big 14" fan for front £18 - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UNIVERSAL-PUSH-PULL-12V-RACE-RALLY-DRIFT-ELECTRIC-RADIATOR-8-12-14-16-FANS-/351184375919?var=&hash=item51c438506f:m:miX6FLxbKFOuupYHOFaxrKA

Standard 88 degree thermostat & gaskets etc...£9 http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ford-OHC-Pinto-Thermostat-1-6-1-8-2-0-Capri-Cortina-Sierra-RS2000-Transit-/142279550990?hash=item212085a80e:g:aD8AAOSwax5YpDR8


better still a 82 degree thermostat £8 - http://www.burtonpower.com/thermostat-82deg-ford-cvh-sohc-pinto-2wd-cosworth-qth371.html



Thermostat & Temperature switch (2x different things):

The thermostat will activate and flush the engine with coolant whenever the temperature reaches a set point (88 or 82) and keep engine running at optimum temperature.

On top of this you will require a temperature switch fitted into the top radiator pipe and wired back to a relay and temperature gauge to tell the car when its to hot, activate the fan to cool down the coolant that flushes the engine.


Some online manuals (look around and you can download the PDF versions), or beg, steal borrow from a member:

Sierra manuals: http://manuals.co/workshop/ford/sierra



A bit of aluminium sheeting cut to make cowling around the Rad will help, but is not necessary with newer radiator if everything else is done correctly. approx.. £20 for a huge sheet


Hope this helps towards the cause...

Edited by Dino
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Guest mower man

^^^^ has covered most of the recognised tweeks one more is waterless coolant [ not the stupid expensive stuff but agricultural / commercial stuff circa £25 for 6 litres I ran it in my 2 .1magic 82 statis good too mick

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