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trying to cool off in new orleans

Discussion in '4 Cylinder' started by tacogriz, May 8, 2012.

  1. tacogriz

    tacogriz [OP] Member

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    hey there everyone. just drove from california to louisiana. drove with the heat on all the way....had one break down...alternator in the middle of the desert....kept the heat on so as to keep the engine cooled.......now i can drive the thing for about an hour in town before its starts to overheat a bit....all the hoses seem to be good....
    so.
    1. is there a way to tell if a thermostat is bad?
    2.radiator cap?
    3.replacement of radiator.
    4. water pump?(puuukkkeeee)
    5.any other suggestions????????


    thanks yall!
     
  2. DeeKay21

    DeeKay21 Lieutenant Dan.

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    Sounds like thermostat to me but it could be a couple other things you listed. I'm not super mechanically inclined so I'm not that big of help. :( I'm sure someone will chime in. Good luck!
     
  3. Hard

    Hard Well-Known Member

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    Lots of things could lead to overheating.

    How is your coolant level?
    How old is your coolant?
    How many miles on the truck?
    Do you see any coolant leaks?
    Does your exhaust smelly funny?
    Hows the engine power?

    If your coolant isnt low then I would change out the thermostat and radiator cap with a coolant flush. If this dosent solve the problem you can check the radiator. Waterpumps dont normally stop pumping water when they go bad, they make noise from loosing a bearing or start leaking, so if no noise and no leak, there shouldnt be a problem.

    The real big problem is a headgasket but if you arnt loosing coolant and exhaust dosent smell funny and the truck runs well hopefully this is unlikely. If you overheated it real bad it could be the headgasket.

    If you aren't seeing the signs of a headgasket then start with the thermostat and radiator cap with a flush. When the radiator cap is off look in your radiator, there will be a little crap (corrosion) in there but as long as it dosent look totally plugged you should be ok.

    Good Luck and let us know what you find.
     
  4. tacogriz

    tacogriz [OP] Member

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    hey there,
    coolant is to the tip top and is god damn new because i had to put a half a gallon in the radiator about a month ago..(.but did not do a proper flush)....she got about 200,800 miles.....remilled head about 6000 miles ago....because my dumb ass overheated it...had a photo of my ex-boyfriend over the temp gauge...smart one....no leaking......smells a little burnt......engine has great power....going to put in new thermostat today and then do a proper flushing of the radiator...,,,
    its so wierd that it leaked just the once....it was from the bottom left of the radiator......the cap seems to fit on tightly....could be tighter i guess...is this that big of a deal?...i never let the temp go to high when driving it across the country...i kept the heat on and kept the temp down much to the discontent of my dog and i.....three thousand miles later.......
    -griz
     
  5. Hard

    Hard Well-Known Member

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    If the radiator is leaking, or leaked it might have to be replaced. Do you think that is where all the coolant went? Sounds like you have a new headgasket, that is good, but even new ones can be bad. Do the 3RZ's need to have their heads re-tourqued after a head gasket job?

    As far as the thermostat and radiator cap it is not whether they are on tight but the condition of the spring. On the radiator cap it is supposed to maintain a certain pressure at a certain temperature so as to open and close letting coolant expand and contract as needed. The thermostat is supposed to open at a certain temperature to allow the coolant to flow through the system. Below that temperature it closes off the flow through the radiator so that the engine can warm up. These two can go bad and it is a cheap and easy way to ensure your coolant system is working properly.

    It would concern me that you lost coolant but as long as it hasnt continued and you saw a leak then you can move on to other things. Have you tightened all of the hoseclamps to ensure that it stops leaking, that is only if somone pulled off the nice spring-loaded factory clamps.

    Good luck, I hope you find the culprit.
     
  6. tacogriz

    tacogriz [OP] Member

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    just put new thermostat in......still overheating....coolant level normal...hose clamps secure, hoses all extremley hot, engine has normal power...radiator feels cool to the touch(which is bizzare i think) when engine is hot, radiator cap secure, ......radiator?????needs to be changed??... not making any wierd noises...no serious smell or change....just the temp is sky rocketing...even used high temp liquid gasket maker to ensure that itd be good...but the thermostat came from autozone and yall know how they suck a big one.....
     
  7. Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    If the radiator is cold with the engine up in the "hot" range, that still points to a bad thermostat.

    I've gotten brand new thermostats out of the box.
    ALWAYS test a thermostat in a pan of water on the stove with a candy thermometer.

    Beyond that, it could be the water pump, but that doesn't make sense since your heater is blowing hot... bad water pump you would not get hot water into the heater except by convection.

    Finally... do you KNOW that the engine is actually hot?
    Maybe the temp sending unit has gone bad and is falsely reporting overtemp.
    Stop off at Harbor Freight or a similar shop and pick up an infrared thermometer and shoot different areas of the engine and cooling system, particularly the water outlet.
     
  8. Ga tacoguy

    Ga tacoguy Well-Known Member

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    :) From reading what you have posted, your thermostat is not your problem. If the radiator is original and you have over 200 thousand miles on it and you did not do any proper flushing, You have a clogged radiator. You may be able to take it to a radiator shop and get the radiator rodded, but that is not done much any more and most people buy a Chinese radiator and go on from there.
    If your thermostat is opening and the top tank of your radiator is not warm to the touch, then the radiator is clogged and your fastest solution is a replacement. If you have the time, the cheapest radiators are on E-bay and would cost half of what most auto shops want for one. If you are in a hurry, then Auto zone or Advance will be the cheapest. Good Luck.
     
  9. wolftree

    wolftree Well-Known Member

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    Before spending lots of money, try blowing compressed air back through the radiator from the engine side to the front to rid it of dead bugs and debris. Unlesss this has been done before, you have 15 years of dead bugs clogging your radiator fins. Some of the other ideas are good, but try the cheap things first.
     
  10. Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    She says the radiator feels cool... she's not getting coolant circulation.

    Ya, the radiator likely needs to be cleaned, but it doesn't sound like that's the immediate problem.
     
  11. wolftree

    wolftree Well-Known Member

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    Rich,

    I must have been typing when she entered about "cool radiator". I agree, more than just clogged fins, time for a replacement radiator. I don't think they can boil out today's radiators.
     
  12. Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    Not with the aluminum cores and plastic tanks crimped on.

    Sucks too... the new ones aren't good quality either.
    Put a new one in my '95 Suburban and 4 days later a tank blew at the crimp.
    Towed it back in and the replacement held.


    They used to remove the tanks, rod out the core, solder any leaks, solder the tanks back on, and paint the whole thing.
    That was if the core tubed were really bad.
    An acid bath would do the job if it was a minor blockage/cleaning... not with aluminum cores and plastic tanks.
     
  13. tacogriz

    tacogriz [OP] Member

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    clogged radiator!!!!......bought a replacement radiator from a really nice 50 year and running radiator shop....also replaced the fan clutch for the hell of it....figured it was already opened up...why not....but then get this,.........was driving down the street a couple blocks from my house and the damn ball joint comes off...and i skid across the road on my axle!!!!! goddddammmitt!!!!!! pretty sure i got this one....constant velocity joint and ball joint (lower) (and hopefully not upper as well)......when it rains it pours...hanging in there.......
     
  14. Country101

    Country101 Well-Known Member

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    ouch. Glad you atleast got one thing fixed.....
     
  15. Rich91710

    Rich91710 Well-Known Member

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    OUCH!!!!!!!!!

    Ya know... lose a ball joint and I'd seriously replace all 4.
    Even if it was just the lower, when it went, it put some serious stress on the upper, as well as the control arm bushings and steering components.

    I lost a front wheel bearing on my '69 Camaro. Needed a new spindle and hub. Since it was that far apart, I just went rotor to rotor and rebuilt the front end with performance parts.
     
  16. wolftree

    wolftree Well-Known Member

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    tacogriz,

    Well, I am glad you got the cooling issue corrected. It is a good thing you were not at highway speed when the front end let loose.
     
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