Originally Posted by numberthree
Started driving the other morning, had very little power and then watched my temp gauge drop all the way down. I then discovered a rats nest and wires to the fuel filter chewed clean through. I made a hasty repair to the wires, for they were chewed right up against the housing making it nearly impossible to splice, not to mention the $200 price tag on the water sensor assembly alone, witch is what was damaged beyond repair. Since then driving conditions are normal though, the temp gauge will rise ever so slightly above the 160 mark and not much more. I'm having difficulty wrapping my head around any trouble shooting process. Any and all knowledge would be much appreciated!
The coolant temperature probe for the gauge is almost always on the drivers side of the engine, just underneath the exhaust manifold at the front. It may be a pain to get to.
New probes only run about $20 if you want to replace that too, and it's nothing but slicing and rewiring it to your existing gauge wiring, if you can find some usable wire to splice to of course.
If not, look into an aftermarket gauge, as they are fairly cheap. I went with a manual gas type coolant gauge on my 6.5 truck until I can add a second electrical gauge into the second port mirrored on the passenger side at the rear of the engine. That will be going in when I replace my exhaust though, so I have room to get in there.
Being your type of van, just accessing anything in there will be a pain. Good luck. I know the engine fairly well, just not the van that is around it.
Feel free to bombard us with more questions, and pictures always help to assess the situation and give good advice.