I seem to be in the same boat as you. I seem to be a little further in my troubleshooting though. I have a 1995 Contour V6 5speed that I bought at an auction on Sat. Temp was going straight to red when u turned the key on before even starting the car. Replaced the temp sensor and it fixed that problem. Gadge reads correct now. Start the car and rev it at 1500 rmps for about 5 min and the temp is to the "L" in normal. The fan kicks in right when it hits the "M" everytime. I also replaced the overflow cap. While the old one was holding, I questioned how much pressure it was holding after reading other peoples posts. I also have the problem with it getting really hot with no heat coming out the vents. No heat would lead me to believe that it is a heater core but the over heating almost sounds like the water pump. I have done a flush with prestone flush kit and a flush with viniger. Neither seemed to help at all. I am working my way up the value in the parts list. Starting with the cheapest and working twords most expensive. t-stat and gasket $12, temp sensor $26, overflow cap $8. I am going after the waterpump tonight because it seems to be alot less labor intensive than the heatercore. Please anyone if you feel I am wrong stop me before I do this! Priced the water pump w/ gasket and belt just under $50.