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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2003 ranger xlt automatic with the 2.3. The truck has 286k miles on it. Got it from a buddy who's dad bought it new so I know the history. He gave it to me with a new radiator, fan clutch, and thermostat housing installed. He got all the parts from autozone so they're probably garbage.
I just changed the coolant pipe that wraps around the back of the block and is a nightmare to do. I flushed the system with an additive. Refilled with ford coolant.

There are 2 issues I'm having. When I'm driving on the freeway, 65mph most of the time, the temp gauge will suddenly and rapidly spike to max temp and the red "check gages" warning lights up. This goes on for about 5 seconds, every 2-3 minutes, along a 45 minute drive. I Then it drops rapidly back to normal temp. This does not happen with city driving and I put about 30 miles a day with back and forth, short trips. Now as far as I can tell it is not actually heating up, there is no loss of engine power and there is no loss of coolant.
The other issue is that the thin coolant hose that goes from the top of the coolant resvoir to the top nipple on the metal coolant tube next to the block never stops spitting air into the reservoir. Is this normal? Where is this air coming from? I just changed the spark plugs and they all have even, dark buildup across the 4 and the compression test was similar across all 4 cylinders. So I wouldn't guess it to be exhaust gas getting into the system.

At first thought I would think it's a sticking thermostat, but it's new. Could it be bad or could it be the sensor? And whats up with the air bubbles constantly shooting out of the line at the reservoir?
 

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94 xlt 5 speed, 2010 xlt extended cab A/t
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You might have a slight head gasket leak into the coolant system. There is a dye detection kit for checking the presences of combustion contaminates in your cooling system .You can purchase the kit at a parts store or take it to a repair shop so they can do the test . There are other ways to identify that pesky condition but try that first.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You might have a slight head gasket leak into the coolant system. There is a dye detection kit for checking the presences of combustion contaminates in your cooling system .You can purchase the kit at a parts store or take it to a repair shop so they can do the test . There are other ways to identify that pesky condition but try that first.
I already did that. I have an auto shop. I did the dye and a compression test even leak down before I started doing all the maintenance and this was still happening.
 

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94 xlt 5 speed, 2010 xlt extended cab A/t
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Have you pressure tested the cooling system ? If so how long did you leave it on and under what pressure? On rare occasion it wont show up with a normal compression test procedure. Have you checked the flow of the water pump? There is another test you should perform with the pressure tester if you have one available.
 
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