Coolant temperature sensor


Old 07-10-08, 01:53 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Syracuse, UT
Posts: 43
Coolant temperature sensor

I had to replace the coolant temp sensor in a 79 camaro with a 350. All the replacement parts were a blade terminal, but the OE had a button terminal. I went to the local salvage yard and found an older chevy pickup and pulled the sensor. It looked different for the original, but the vehicle it came from had a temperature gauge so I figured it would work. After installing the sensor on a newly rebuilt engine the temp gauge showed very hot. I am wondering if the sensor is incorrect or if there is something going on with my cooling system that is causing the engine to run hot.

The original had a tip that looked like this

The one I pulled had a tip that looked like this

Are they interchangeable?


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Old 07-10-08, 02:32 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Eastern Georgia
Posts: 486
jdawg, I do not think they are interchangeable. I did change one in an 85 chevy truck with a 305 in it and it showed the temp much hotter than it actually was. I installed a manual gauge in mine to check the sending unit that is how i know it was wrong.
Old 07-10-08, 03:03 PM
Unclediezel's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northeastern PA.
Posts: 2,230
The sending units are definitely NOT interchangeable. The parts guy will need to know the Temp readings printed on your gauge to match something.....

Where did you get it from????? The one On the side of the head, above the exhaust manifold, serves a different purpose than the one on the Intake manifold, and they react differently to temp changes. One is varaible resistance for the gauge, the other is on or off to operate the "HOT" lamp. The blade or Button only makes a difference in Connectors . if you are willing to swap the connectors and "Shells"...
Old 07-11-08, 03:10 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Syracuse, UT
Posts: 43

I removed it from the head on the drivers side. It was located almost even with the exhaust manifold. I don't have another sensor located in the intake, just on the driver's side head.
I am going to order a new replacement. If I can't get the button type connection I will just cut the existing connector and crimp or solder on a female connector to accept the blade.

Thanks for the advice


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