Mustang Temperature Sending Unit Install

Mustang Temperature Sending Unit Install

Last Updated January 11, 2024 | Kevin Brent

Maintaining optimal engine temperature is one of the most important factors that ensure your engine lasts for years to come. Your Mustang's temperature sending unit is responsible for letting you know if your engine gets too hot, so it's vital to make sure it's working properly. If the gauge cluster in your Mustang isn't showing the correct temperature, the temperature sending unit might have gone bad. The good news is that swapping out your 1965-1995 Mustang's temperature sending unit is a cheap and easy repair.

Check out our step-by-step instructions below for a comprehensive installation guide. With a few simple tools and less than an hour, you'll be back on the road with a functional Mustang temperature sending unit.

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Ford Mustang 302 Coolant Temperature Sensor Location

For this install, we chose a direct-fit replacement temperature sending unit that fits 1965-1995 Mustangs. Before you begin, make sure the part you have is compatible with your Mustang's year and model. To start installing your new Mustang Temperature Sending Unit, make sure the engine is off and at a cool temperature. Disconnect the positive battery cable while you are working on the electrical system.

Tools Needed:

  • Teflon Thread Tape
  • Pipe Thread Compound
  • 11/16-inch Flex Head Gear Wrench
  • 11/16-inch Six Point Deep Well Socket & Ratchet
  • Container for Coolant

Step 1: Drain Coolant

Place a clean container under the radiator drain plug. Drain at least one gallon of coolant to ensure the coolant level is below the temperature sending unit. The temperature sending unit of a 289/302 Mustang is on the intake manifold between the distributor and the carburetor.

Draining Mustang coolant

Step 2: Remove Old Sending Unit

Remove the old temperature sending unit wire by pulling straight up. Use a 11/16-inch box end wrench, or 6-point socket & ratchet to remove the old sending unit by turning counterclockwise. Remove any debris left behind from the old sealant.

Removing Mustang temperature sending unit

Step 3: Install New Sending Unit

Prepare the new sending unit by adding four turns of Teflon tape in a counterclockwise direction, then apply pipe thread compound over the Teflon tape. Thread the new sending unit into the intake by hand, being careful not to cross-thread. Then, tighten the connection with a wrench or socket.

Reinstall the new sending unit wire in the same location as the old unit.

Installing new Mustang temperature sending unit

Step 4: Refill Engine Coolant

Refill the radiator with clean coolant. If you choose not to reuse the coolant you drained, make sure you dispose of it properly. Start the engine and check for leaks. After the engine has reached operating temperature, shut it off and let it cool, then recheck the coolant level.

Upgrade the Rest of Your Mustang's Radiator

Installing a new temperature sending unit on your classic Mustang is a simple way to ensure your Mustang's cooling system stays functional. A functional sending unit will keep you informed if your Mustang's engine temperature gets too high, allowing you to prevent damage caused by excessive heat.

The temperature sending unit isn't the only part of your Mustang's cooling system though. If you're looking for more ways to upgrade your Mustang's cooling potential, check out our options for aftermarket Mustang radiator parts.

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.