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Boiling Over Ex'

LStoudenmire

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I'm having a little trouble with my Ex' boiling over.

A little history.

Thermostat was replaced about a year ago. During drives in summer, after driving for 20 or 30 minutes, would park and water and coolant would beguin to boil out of overflow reservoir. Decided to flush the cooling system and did so with water only, no chemical flushes. (I had heard that using the chemical flushes could potentially loosen some deposits and cause leaking.) Replaced with new coolant and distilled water.

Over Christmas on a 250 mile trip, the Ex' began to overheat. Got to my destination and tried to drain the radiator, but nothing would come out of draincock. I suspect the earlier flush may have loosened some deposits and clogged it. So loosened lower radiator hose and flushed well, then did Prestone Flush and flushed more. No more overheating, however, now, it has started to boil out of reservoir again.

Any suggestions or tips? Thanks.
 
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mrboyle

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First, check the radiator and condensor fins for blockage. Also check the fan clutch to be sure it is working. The easiest way to tell if it is bad is to start the engine then shut it off. If the fan continues to spin for more than a second or two it is bad.
 
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StickmanC

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For the little money you would spend I would change the thermostat again. The problem sounds exactly like what happened when mine started sticking.
 
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jimbo74

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i once had a problem i couldnt figure out with overheating... turned out that i had no acc drive belt... it broke off?!
 
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LStoudenmire

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The radiator appears to be clean. However, I will check the clutch and the thermostat. The belt is definietly there because when I did the last flush, I also replaced the power steering pump. Had to replace the entire pump, because the seal around the brass fitting that goes in the bottom of the reservoir had rotted.

Thanks for the tips.
 
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Maniak

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I didn't see the Radiator Cap being changed. Over time the spring gets weak and then can't hold the pressure. When it releases the pressure it lowers the boiling point of the coolant. Normally the first sign you need to replace the cap is boiling over once you park.

Many replacement caps are only 13psi, but a 16psi cap is much better to use. You could actually go up to 19psi before you start to worry (according to Stant).

~Mark
 
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jgilbs

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i would check your tstat just as stickman said. bad new thermostats are somewhat common. when u buy a tstat, boil some water, and srop the tstat in. you should see the valve open. im 90% sure this is your problem.
 
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LStoudenmire

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Thanks for pointing that out Maniak, as I did fail to mention that I changed the radiator cap in the last six months.

Thanks jgilbs, I beleive I will check that ou this weekend.
 
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LStoudenmire

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Well, after I barely got home from work last week because of my Ex' overheating, thought it might be good to finally change out my thermostat.

So between a 30 degree Friday and a sleeting and freezing sunday, monday and tuesday, Saturday at 65 degrees was a perfect day to do it.

I swapped out the thermostat with no problems (other than needing having to grease my hand good to get in the small spot). However, I decided in the process to go ahead a flush the system again. I started to untighten the hose clamps around the heater hoses, and the plastic joiner split into about three pieces, so I prayed all the way to the local parts store that they would have one in stock without having to go to the dealer parts counter (Dealer Parts is not open on Sat.)

They did have it and I changed it out, flushed the system and everything is working great. It hasn't run this cool (no higher than the O in NORMAL) in a long time. So the thermostat must have been bad. Thanks guys for all of your suggestions and help.
 
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StickmanC

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Glad ya got it solved:)
 
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LStoudenmire

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Well, I thought it was resolved..... the problem has reared it's head again. On a recent trip, it would start boiling over again through the reservoir and the gauge was running between the R and M of Normal. Any new suggestions? The only other thing I know to replace would be the water pump. Thanks.
 
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MrShorty

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Did you ever check the fan clutch?
 
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LStoudenmire

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Havent Checked that yet? How would I go about checking? Also, failed to mention a another big part.... I replaced the raadiator about three months ago after developing a leak, I'm supposing from the flush.
 
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Bronco638

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I'm wondering if maybe you don't have a head gasket problem. It's possible for the compression of the engine to pressurize the cooling loop and force all the coolant out thru the overflow tank.

But, I cannot account for the 5 month gap between incidents. Maybe you could do a compression check at some point?

Hope this helps - Dave.
 
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MrShorty

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MrShorty said:
Did you ever check the fan clutch?
Best test I've found for the fan clutch:
1) Remove fan clutch
2) Disengage the outer end of the thermostatic spring on the front of the fan clutch from it's notch and rotate the spring 1/4 turn CCW
3) Reinstall fan clutch and test drive. If overheating problem is resolved, fan clutch is bad. If overheating problem remains, fan clutch is not the cause.

Theory behind the test: Basically, you are disabling the ability of the fan clutch to respond to changes in temperature. With the spring disengaged and rotated, the fan clutch will spin the fan at it's maximum all the time, more like a traditional fan without a clutch would behave.
 
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LStoudenmire

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Just thought I'd post an update. After running around in 95 degree weather last week, I continually had to add antifreeze/water mix to my radiator and reservoir, so thought it was time to move forward with the next step. So I replaced the fan clutch and the fan. The fan had about 6 cracks around the blades so felt it was necessary to change, esp. since I was going to replace the fan clutch anyway.

The replacement of both went without a problem (except that the dingbat that had borrowed the fan clutch removal tool from the local parts store had actually stretched the wrench a whole 1/8 of an inch so it kept slipping onthe nut) But after beating it back into a more precisely needed size, it worked..

Also, while I was working under the hood, I found that the hose from the radiator filler neck to the reservoir was slightly cracked and not sealing properly. After cutting off the bad part, I slipped it back on and it appears to be working better. Apparantly, when the engine would heat up it would start sucking air from the crack instead of water from the reservoir. So we'll see what happens..............
 
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LStoudenmire

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Well, I guess I spoke to soon. Once I got home last night from work, it started boiling over again. I guess I'm going to have to have it looked at, because I've exhausted everything I know of.
 
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EBInterceptor

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Reading this is giving me flashbacks. The smell of coolant just makes me sick. I even had a nightmare one night that involved overflow problems and flushing coolant.
 
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LStoudenmire

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Thought I would give an update on the boiling over issue.

Been rather busy lately (changed jobs to the better and also just completed building a house), but have checked in occasionally to see how everyone was doing.

After doing all of the above and still continuing to have the same problem, I decided I would replace the thermostat again. Thought I may have gotten a bad one.

Checked on the site yesterday for the proper degree thermostat and found a thread that mentioned about the hole in the thermostat needed to be facing the top. I did not remember ever seeing this before and I know that when I installed it previously, I didnt specifically install it as such. The only way it would have been installed correctly, would have been by chance.

So I installed the new thermostat with the hole on the top and also found that the one I installed previously, did have the hole located on the bottom. While riding to work this morning, I found the temperature to be running much cooler than it has in a year. So I feel sure the thermostat being installed with the hole on the bottom was the problem.

I did go through alot to remedy the problem, but the money I saved by doing it all myself allowed me to be able to replace the radiator and do the flushes. So I still came out on the better end of the deal. Just took a little longer than I wanted.

Not sure if this thread qualifies as a sticky note, but it certaily may save someone else the trouble that I went through.
 
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