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Overheating Saga Continues... * FIXED *

doonze

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City, State
Fayetteville, Ar
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 X Sport
Ok, so I thought I had my overheating issue fixed. After I replaced the thermostat all had seemed well. On my 14 mile trip on the freeway back and forth to work it had never gone higher then O. Even after the 14 mile trip home and another short trip right after back into town of about 10 miles in traffic never rose much above O, maybe flirted with R a little but fell again once moving. Then today I get ready for my Bi-monthly 100 mile trip and I drove the 14 miles home on the freeway then picked up the family and headed back out on the freeway, and before even 7 more miles the temp started to rise. By 20 miles it was touching A. So I pulled off at an exit, sat at light for a min and it rose to L, then headed back home to pick up our other car, the whole freeway trip it stayed on A. Then once I got to the last 2 miles from home, that's a 45 MPH zone, it dropped quickly to M then between M and R.

So it now behaves NORMAL unless I'm at freeway speeds, and once I get down to 40-50 MPH cools right off. Only two things I can come up with is the water pump isn't moving enough water, or the radiator is too clogged up to flow enough water. Any other ideas?

Also when I changed the thermostat the radiator was still draining out of the drain hole on the bottom after I had finished (about an hour or so). Is it normal for it to drain that slow? If not does it mean my radiator is bad?? I had the wing nut all the way out, to the point some coolant was coming out the end where the wing nut goes too, but it was just slowly draining.

I'm thinking of trying to flush the radiator, haven't ever done it so getting ready to do a search on here. I that doesn't work I'm going to get a new water pump next weekend and put it in. Can't think of anything else to do...
 



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mrboyle

I Drive By Brail
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Overheating at highway speeds is typically due to a clogged radiator. You can try flushing it, but more than likely it will need to be replaced.
 






nitro71

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Draining very slowly is normal. Is there any anti freeze weeping out of your steering pump. This indicates the pump is shot. How is your fan? Does it come on?
 






Robrt32

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antifreeze and steering pump???????? I'm POSITIVE those 2 don't go together...HA HA
 






doonze

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Well, the flush helped. After the flush loaded the family up and went for a drive. Went about 25 miles on the highway, 55 mph speed limit. Stuck on O like a champ, then hit the freeway. At 74 it hovered around O for a bit, rose to R/M on the hills, fell back to O/R once flat. Ended up driving it all the way back to the point it had hit A the other night(by this time I'd been driving about 35 miles more then I had the night it last hit A). It finally did rise to M and stay there, stopped falling back to R. Turned around and came back home, once on the 45 mph road again it fell right to O/R. So it improved quite a bit with the flush, but still not trustworthy enough.

So, a new water pump is in the plans next weekend. My thinking is the water pump is $55 verses $130 or more for a new radiator. And a 16 year old water pump with 160K miles on it needs replacing anyway, just for good measure. This is going to be a daily driver that needs to be able to make 2 200+ mile trips twice a month. So I don't mind replacing stuff like a water pump even if I'm not 100% sure it's the main problem.

No oil in my water, nor water in my oil. So I'm thinking it HAS to be the cooling system...
 






doonze

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'93 X Sport
Draining very slowly is normal. Is there any anti freeze weeping out of your steering pump. This indicates the pump is shot. How is your fan? Does it come on?

I'm guessing you meant water pump? The answer is no, I can't find any leaks really at all. There seems to be a tiny one coming from where someone has cut both the heater core hoses(then spliced them back together with connectors) . Turns out they did me a favor, all I had to do was take one of them apart for my flush T. I noticed the other one has a tiny leak today when I was under the truck getting ready to flush it. Just a drop, that' s all. I did tighten the clamps a little bit on the leaking one, but didn't bother taking it apart and redoing the connections. That's a project for when I replace the water pump, think I'm going to just replace that hose all together. And yes, the fan seems fine. But I would think even if I didn't have a fan that 75 MPH should move enough air to cool the truck, my problem then would be the slower speeds. But the truck does fine there.
 






burgundy1994xlt

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Same thing mine did before but I had a leaking radiator and possibly a bad temp sender. So I replaced the radiator, rad cap, thermostat and the temp sender (top left, top right is the temp sensor). What I did wrong was tap on the sender boot to get it to go on because the new senders tip was slightly larger. Mistake. Broke the ceramic away inside so I was getting the high readings on the guage. Put another new one in that had the correct size tip for the boot, problem solved. I was freaked thinking my head gasket was blown or something.

If you have the money, replace all the hoses as well as the radiator and the thermostat and a new 16lb rad cap. Might as well while yer in there replacing the pump.

You'll need a set of fan clutch tools. Most parts stores "rent" them to you for the full price (around $80) then give you all the money back when you return the set. I had my daughter make me a set in shop class after that. There are alternate ways to do it I just prefer the correct tools.

Good luck on burping the system once you are finished. There are plenty of posts on here about that.
 






Explodr94

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You can change the water pump if you want to, but it is probably not the issue. Pay $55 for a rebuilt one that went bad, for one that is working is not the necessarily insurance. I would take out your radiator and have it pressure tested. It sounds like your flow on the radiator is restricted, by your comments on draining it. The radiator drains faster if the cap is off and you did not state if you had the cap off, I am assuming you did. Another possibility, and this happened to me, is that the a/c condensor is clogged, because your tranny cooler lines are leaking and engine gunk builds up on that. This constricts airflow and the symptom would being running hotter. To check that, pull your grill and look behind your transmission cooler. Many members on these boards have had that issue. If that checks out, you can get a replacement radiator from RockAuto.com for about $115 shipped to you. Otherwise, the thermostat you bought is crap and you can go buy a different one and try that. Just my two cents.

Thanks, Matt
 






doonze

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Well, tried something tonight. I was flushing the system again, this time with the "super radiator cleaner" not just the flush. My thinking is, I want the head water channels, and any other part that is not going to get changed to be as clean as possible before I put a new radiator in. Don't want to run cleaner in a new radiator, and don't want gunk from the rest of the system to clog up a new radiator.

I decided while I was messing with it that I would just bypass the heater core, to see if maybe the core was clogged up. Someone had already been nice enough to cut the hoses and splice them back so it took all of like 60 seconds.

During the drain and refill noticed a couple of things. I had back flushed the system last week, and had put in fresh water and anti-freeze. Already it was so brown with rust it didn't look much like anti-freeze anymore. Then when I was burping the system I noticed the water was already so brown you couldn't see the sides of the funnel through it. And this was fresh clean water when I put it in! That brown in just minutes! Course I had added the cleaner already too.

So anyway, decided to take it out and see if bypassing the heater core had done any good. I didn't feel like driving the 40 miles it takes to get it to start running really hot on the freeway so just decided to drive with the A/C on. It was already dark and quite cool outside, so I thought I'd have to work it to get the temp to rise...

I was wrong, drove the 2 miles to the interstate, and with the A/C on it was at about the low side of R, most of the time on normal roads it runs the middle of O. No biggie I thought, I can live with that with the A/C on. So hit the freeway. And by the time I got off the ramp and onto the highway it was at M/A. I leveled it out at about 65 to see if it would cool off and it kept rising, so turned off the A/C and it held steady at A, pulled off the freeway and returned home the back way that's 45 MPH, by the time we got home it was back on O.

So my lessons for today were that the heater core is ok, and that I have one DIRTY A$$ cooling system ><.

I also learned a good way to burp the system (finally), so now I just need to figure out if it's the radiator or water pump or both that's the problem. Seeing how much rust I'm getting out of it I'd say the radiator is a pretty good bet, but when I squeeze on the upper radiator hose I can't feel a thing. I mean I can tell there is water in there, but I don't feel any pressure build up like others have stated you do with a good water pump. Then again maybe I'm just expecting it to be stronger then it is. I don't know.

Anyway, nothing can be done about any of it till maybe the weekend after this one, when I'm either going to try a new radiator or a pump...maybe both if I can swing it.

Oh yeah, gotta hook the heater core back up too, so the cleaner can get at it also this next week.
 






nitro71

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"Steering pump" LOL! Nitro(powered by natural light) G'luck on getting this fixed. Sounds like you're well on your way to getting it done.
 






doonze

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Ok, so I think I might be getting somewhere with this problem. I'm going to post a "How to" because the way I finally got some headway with it was a way of flushing I've never seen mentioned on here, and others might like to try it if they want to try and fix a clogged Radiator on the cheap! Today I was able to cruise around town with the A/C on and it didn't rise above O that whole time. When I did get on the Freeway it did rise to M with A/C and going uphill, and the hilly freeway around here did keep it at M but it never rose to A like it has in the past(even with A/C off). It's still not 100%, I think I should be able to be on the freeway with A/C on and not be on M the whole time, but if I do what I did today a few more times I should be able to get this knocked out I think. I'll keep updating this with my progress, and I'll write up my Ultimate flush How to in the next few days or so.
 






ld50

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Sounds like you are making progress, but one other issue you could have is a buildup of old leaves and junk between you radiator and A/c cooler.
Mine just seemed to run hot all the time and when I finally gave up fiddling and bought a new rad, I found when I pulled the old one I saw all this crud in there that had been blocking airflow, almost like dirt or soil caked right in there.
 












jd4242

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i also had a tons of stuff in between them when i pulled my ac off it ran much cooler after than but never was over heating,also go ahead and replace that cap if you dont feel pressure,good way to test is fill it all the way up and pull the over flow hose off and squeeze the main hose and see if water comes out the overflow hole.all so try flushing it from the heater hose,pull both off the heater core and put your garden hose in one of the heater hoses end and plug up the other , seemed to flush the motor better for me
 






jeremyb

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seattle
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97 explorer
i got 97 explorer keeps overheating changed pump and thermostat only dose once in a while. actually changed the thermostat two weeks ago and just over heated today. doesn't give any warning. just starts boiling into the reservoir. any help or advice would be great?
 












fixxxer

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Doonze, since you are seeing that much rust in the system, I would actually point out that the radiator is plastic and aluminum, the rust has to be coming from the water-jacket passages and the water pump.
 






dansnyder22

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your fan clutch might be worn out. this happened to my buddy's x.
 






mixellmaster

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I've read each of your comments and i'd bet my paycheck your problem is solved with a new radiator. Replace the pump if you want, it won't hurt. But a pump is such a simple part, you can likely tell if the shaft is loose or impellar is bent. This is definately a restriction, and the pump doesn't have small orifices like the radiator. If that brown crap is coming from the pump you could see it with the pump off.
When you flush the system it gets better, but your water is filthy so there must be more stuff in your system. How long have you had this vehicle? A prior owner could have dumped cheap antifreeze, and leak sealant crap (which I am against) in the system and never changed it.
Another option could be that it isn't even hot. Does the engine actually overheat when the gauge is on "a"? Maybe your sending unit is going bad.
I feel your pain. Iv'e been in the same position but my pump did go bad. The bearing went bad and the shaft slid into the timing chain cover, grinding a hole through it allowing water into the crankcase and oil into the water pump!

GOOD LUCK. At least you are limited on what the possibilities could be. If you fix them both you'll likely solve the problem.
 



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mixellmaster

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And great job getting your daughter to make the fan wrenches in shop class. I fabbed tools for the same thing at work a couple years ago when I had to take the fan off.
 






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