Water Temp Gauge Issue

tt96cobra

New Member
Sep 11, 2008
19
1
0
Indiana
Needle on water temp gauge in dash cluster is always buried to the left showing COLD. Does the temp. sensor on the left of the motor (two wire connector) need to be replaced or does the temp switch on the right of the motor (single Red/White wire) need to be replaced? If I wanted to test the electrical connections at the sensor and switch connectors, how would I do that and what Ohm levels am I looking for out of each of the connections, left and right?

I am not too technical, but I can replace these items if needed and test Ohm levels I think if necessary. Thanks for your help on this...... Car has very low mileage and I am thinking that it is an electrical short instead of sensor or switch, but you just never know with automobiles..
 
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tt96cobra

New Member
Sep 11, 2008
19
1
0
Indiana
ok everyone. I have changed the sensor and the switch at this point and the temperature gauge needle is still buried to the left on the gauge. At one point in time, the gauge was working fine, so I am hesitant to think that the gauge is bad. Are there electrical tests that i can run on the switch or sensor connectors to insure that power is getting to them?
 

tt96cobra

New Member
Sep 11, 2008
19
1
0
Indiana
tonytaylor85;
Thank you for the ohm readings, but what am I supposed to test? Should I put the ohm tester on switch, sensor or connectors to them?

Am I correct in stating that the switch that is located on the right when looking at the motor is the part that controls the temp gauge itself? The sensor on the left only controls the cooling fan correct?

tt96cobra
 

twogts4us

15 Year Member
Apr 1, 2004
4,185
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Dunedin, FL
I'm going to take a different angle at the issue...do you have gauge overlays? (IE White Face Gauges) If they were installed incorrectly the needle can get hung up and not move into the range you'd expect to see...
Secondly, have you checked fuses...it doesn't sound like a fuse issue, but worth investigating now that you've ruled out the sensor itself.
Quite possibly a bad ground...
 

tt96cobra

New Member
Sep 11, 2008
19
1
0
Indiana
I need help....do not know what to do next!!!!

twogts4us;
Here is what I have completed so far and at this point, I am completely stumped.....

1. Installed new temperature switch. Right side of motor when looking at it and it has a threaded stud coming out of it. After change, no difference.

2. Installed new temperature sensor. Left side of motor when looking at it and it has a couple connector going to it with two wires. After change, no difference and new switch still installed.

3. Checked fuses on the right side of motor under the hood just to make sure no blown fuses.

4. Checked owners manual and found that fuse 15 in seating area under dash controls "Gauge Cluster". Viewed fuse 15 and it was fine with no issues, also looked at all other fuses with no blown fuses.

History of vehicle: 1996 ford cobra, triple black convertible with 3258 miles at this time. Purchased last year with 1100 miles. A original other than lower springs and after market exhaust. When I got the car, the gauge was working fine until about 500-600 miles it started to work intermittently and just stopped working completely.

Since I have changed both the sensor and the switch at this time, I removed the cluster from the dash and currently have it out of the vehicle. What should be my next steps? People say to replace the gauge, but I do not see how to replace it our how it could be the gauge itself because the cluster looks really new and very basic in design. I need help because I cannot figure this damn problem out. This car has electrical wires all over the damn place and I am not sure where to start or what to do next...... :shrug:

Oh and sorry, to answer your question....I have white faced qauges.. No changes have been made to vehicle inside at all. All original.

Please help!!!!!!

tt96cobra
 

tt96cobra

New Member
Sep 11, 2008
19
1
0
Indiana
Help???

StangNet Users;
I know there are a great deal of educated individuals on this forum that can assist me with this issue.....I have detailed the things that I have done and where I am at currently, can anyone assist me with my next steps or what I need to do??

Thanks,
tt96cobra
 

Brute03

Member
Mar 20, 2006
232
0
16
just to add to the pot, my gauge instantly jumps the "normal" range whenever i start up - even when the car is stone cold :shrug: i'm begining to think it's an issue with the cluster itself
 

tt96cobra

New Member
Sep 11, 2008
19
1
0
Indiana
Fixed!!!

"One man's junk is another man's pleasure"

That indeed is the best saying ever. Went to the local junk yard and picked up two temp gauges from 1995 Ford Explorers that worked like a charm in my 1996 Cobra. Gauges were exactly alike and the gauges even had the same diode on the back as my original gauge. Swapped the gauges, warmed the motor to the point where the fans kicked on one time and turned off, then installed the dial on the gauge at the midpoint and it is working like a champ.

Ended up being the gauge was bad and I needed to replace it. For those looking for a temp gauge new, it is really ugly. It costs $180 and you get two gauges (temp and fuel with white faces) from Ford. Also they are now discontinued and Dobbs Ford in Tennessee was the only place that had one. Buy it fast. Junk yard is the best place to get parts.......cost me $17 and I was able to get two gauges from different Ford Explorers.

Now I can take back the sensor and switch that I bought because they were not the problem at all.