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OK, I appreciate any help here. I have a 2002 T-bird. Some time ago, I fixed the grounding issue that usually causes the temp light to come on. But more recently I took care of some of the usual oil leaks, and it required moving a coolant tube, thus I drained out a lot of coolant. I got everything back together, and forgot to add coolant. So I went on a 160 mile ride with no problems, but got to town and the temp light came on for several minutes before I came to my destination. I thought it was probably the ground issue again at the time. I drove it the 160 miles home and then realized the coolant issue. Now every little thing makes me worried that I really toasted the engine - I hear a "ting ting" in the left exhaust and think "either it's one of the loose nuts rattling in the exhaust as I heard some do at times, OR did I burn a valve?" And this morning the one coil didn't want to work - the tach went to zero and it ran like crap for a couple minutes, then suddenly was fine. And I think, "OK, maybe the coil connections need tightening (I have nologys) or I fried something when it overheated...." Also, I wonder if there is low coolant, does the sensor for the light even work, or could it have overheated more and longer than those few minutes the light was on? Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!
 

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Kind of hard to tell. In a liquid cooled engine, I think the piston rings would go before you burned up an exhaust valve but stranger things have happened.

The temperature sensor should still work however, it's no longer surrounded by water and will activate once the air temperature rises which means that engine is way hot.

The only thing I can do is to suggest you fill the cooling system and run the bike. Keep an eye out for coolant leaks and watch your oil level to see if you're burning any oil which will be an indicator of bad piston rings or burned up valve guides....if these engines even have valve guides...I don't know.

You might also want to do compression test on the engine.

Good luck!
 

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On the loose muffler nut possibility: are any of the rear securing bolts spinning loose instead of gripping? If so, the simplest way to eliminate the possibility is to take off that side of your exhaust system (DON'T undo it at the mounting point on the passenger footpeg, of course) and give that sucker a good shake. If it rattles, unfortunately that doesn't mean your engine is definitely not making noise, though.
Good luck!

Just thought of another possibility that caught me (and others) out: have you had your exhaust off recently? You can get caught thinking you have tightened up the headers to torque, but the mounting plate can be jammed so that it's not seated properly. Then, when you ride, it shakes loose and rattles with a suspicious tinging sound.

Incidentally, your no.1 cylinder not working on startup, along with the tacho, then suddenly starting minutes later is exactly the issue I'm having at the moment. I installed Nology coils a few months ago, too. I was putting it down to a dying battery. I definitely haven't cooked my engine. So you probably have 2 (or 3) different things going on here! I don't know if that's consoling or exasperating!
 

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Incidentally, your no.1 cylinder not working on startup, ... then suddenly starting minutes later is exactly the issue I'm having at the moment.
That happened to my Suzuki. Turned out to be bad piston rings. That could easily be tested by measuring the compression. First dry and then with a spoon of oil added to the cylinder. If no compression dry but good comp. wet it are probably bad piston rings.
 

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a piston not firing and the tach not working and this occuring intermittenly suggests to me your ignition/black box could be going out. In my case, I ended up replacing with an Ignitech ignition. This would have nothing to do with your having run without coolant.

Good luck
 

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He just put in an Ignitech unit (ask me how I know!), so that shouldn't be it, unless it is defective.

I'd fill the coolant, check the oil, and give it another shot and see how it runs.

BTW, welcome back Toller!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey, everyone, thanks for the input.... Since I originally posted this, I did replace the stock ignitor with the Ignitech unit - that took care of the miss.... (thanks again, BigAl for programming it for me!:bow) the ping in the exhaust was simply a loose bolt, and there seems to be no lasting effect of the overheating other than my own wounded pride for being so stupid! So, I guess "all's well that ends well" as they say.... Now, let's see...., what other trouble can I get into with my Tbird over the winter...... :Chopper
 
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