Hi, I just did all this same work on my Car. It's 98 Sable, but I can tell you from experience, given I've also got one of those, that your water pump is probably broken. If it's not circulating the water, then the thermostat won't do squat. Thus your car will over heat, and kaboom!
Also check the ECT Temperature Sender. Its the one that looks like an old style Propane tank connection, not the cylinder one. Careful taking it off, as it might be brittle. This is likely why the fans won't come on.
Lastly take your car to a Valvoline or Jiffy Lube, and have them pressure test the vacuum to see if there is any leaks. For me the cause was over time, the R-134 leaks through the hoses, the system held vacuum for 20 mins, and pressure for 30, so the "free test" was worth it. Then they put in the proper coolant and oil, and the cold air made the $143 worth it.
See this question for additional details with pictures. http://www.2carpros.com/questions/2000-mercury-sable-fuse-located-fan-on
Thursday, July 12th, 2012 AT 1:54 AM