Car overheated

povertymobile
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Car overheated

Postby povertymobile » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:28 pm

So I was driving my car on the highway for about like 30 miles wasn't pushing it too hard but then when I got into the parking garage it started smoking, I immediately stopped the car and popped the hood to allow it to cool down. Coolant was everywhere and the radiator is very hot, the reservoir was low. I was able to start the car and drive it on to the street where I waited to get the car towed back to my house. The tow truck driver checked the radiator fans and found out they only run when the air is on. I did not know this and I am guessing this is why my car overheated. When I bought the car the guy was always running the ac during test drives, I only thought it was to showcase the ac but now I see. When I got home I tried to refill the radiator it didn't leak but when I started to fill the reservoir it started leaking everywhere. I touched the reservoir and the plastic just caved in. I'm pretty sure the reservoir is cracked in other places. So I at least need other one of those, do I need to buy one off another ae86 or does anyone know where I can get one online or any other toyotas I can get one off in a junkyard. I cant think of any other ideas why it would overheat. I do not really want to drive it until I replace the broken coolant reservoir. Thanks for the advice!

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Re: Car overheated

Postby Red » Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:49 am

"The tow truck driver checked the radiator fans and found out they only run when the air is on"
Sounds like the PO screwed up the car by removing the original engine-driven fan and kludging in some electrics without hooking them up to a proper thermostatic control.
So for now, either you run the AC all the time, or temporarily rewire those fans to a relay on the ignition hot wires, or look for one of the old threads with a schematic showing you the proper way to install an additional thermo sensor and relays so the fans will be driven properly.

If that all sounds like greek to you, any competent auto electric shop should be able to fix it, maybe $100 or two hours of labor.

And if you find the guy who hooked the fans up that way, you're allowed to break all his fingers, one joint at a time, three joints per finger.Some people just should not be allowed to work on cars.
-- Original owner, 1985 GT-S

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Re: Car overheated

Postby allencr » Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:58 am

Fan/s is completely unnecessary when moving over 10mph, make that 15 with the AC on, so an overheating problem can't be caused by a fan unless it is at standstill for 5+minutes, or it really has another problem like clogged radiator, low coolant level or a bad HG.

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Re: Car overheated

Postby povertymobile » Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:21 am

allencr wrote:Fan/s is completely unnecessary when moving over 10mph, make that 15 with the AC on, so an overheating problem can't be caused by a fan unless it is at standstill for 5+minutes, or it really has another problem like clogged radiator, low coolant level or a bad HG.


I was in stop and go city traffic for about 15 minutes before pulling into the parking garage where this started to happen, I didn't have my ac on the for the whole time I was driving...So the fan was not cooling the engine. I feel like this just aggravated something that was already there.... Allen, you think It could be a bad head gasket? Now there are also light white clouds of exhaust smoke now coming out of the back of the car that I wasn't aware of yesterday. Car didn't leak any coolant after leaving it out all night and she isn't overheating when I warm it up with the fan on (didn't run it off) but I am kinda worried to drive it because I do not want to make this problem worse.

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Re: Car overheated

Postby Red » Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:10 am

", I didn't have my ac on the for the whole time I was driving...So the fan was not cooling the engine. I feel like this just aggravated something that was already there.... "
Aggravated? Maybe. But the point is, some bozo planted a land mine in your engine compartment. By wiring up the fans to the AC instead of a proper fan control, Bozo GUARANTEED that your engine would overheat at some point, even if nothing else was ever wrong.

White smoke out the back (white versus gray is a hard call) usually means head gasket damage, which could be expected from having no fan. That's why I say Bozo left you a real nice land mine, guaranteed to cause a bad day. If the head gasket is damaged you'll know soon enough, from coolant being sucked out, or water in the oil, or any of the other indicators that are listed in every sevice manual. Check out any service manual for any car, the diagnostics for a damaged head gasket are all the same.

And since the AC system can and will shut itself down if there are any number of problems (low compressor speed, low freon charge, bad compressor clutch) and even under the best circumstaqnces it does cycle on and off...You really want to fix that fan wiring ASAP.
-- Original owner, 1985 GT-S

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Re: Car overheated

Postby povertymobile » Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:05 pm

Yeah, basically couldnt have put it better myself. Bozo, left me with a reallly nice land mine. I was just looking over my manual and I see how to replace/check the head gasket. Looks pretty extensive but I have been wanting to get my hands dirty so this will be my first experience working on an engine..I have a buddy who can look it over to make sure I am not doing it completely wrong, I should have a Garage bay thats free in about a weeks time so I guess until then I'll leave it alone. The other options I saw were a cracked cylinder head or a crack in the deck of the engine block....I hope that this is not the case.

I guess I am going to start preparing to take the engine down step by step. I would like to replace the gaskets and seals while I am in there if nothing is cracked in the engine deck or cylinder head.

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Re: Car overheated

Postby Red » Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:01 am

IF you can...take advantage of having the head off, if you find out you need to pull it. See if you can find someone to port and polish the valves, and cc the cylinders at the same time. That's a good way to get some extra power, mileage, and a smoother running engine and the only way to do it, is while you've got the head pulled.

And if the manual says to "replace do not reuse" on any of the studs, do what it says. Studs that are meant to be torqued up only once are not the same as studs designed to be re-used, so follow the manual on that one, and follow the torque sequence and instructions for retorquing after it breaks in. A lot of folks find out the hard way, you can't cheat on that stuff, they're really not just trying to sell more studs.
-- Original owner, 1985 GT-S

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Re: Car overheated

Postby allencr » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:13 am

What's the compression???????????
Water in the oil, oil in the water or lottsa bubbles that smell like combustion/exhaust coming out of the radiator?

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Re: Car overheated

Postby Red » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:35 am

" bubbles that smell like combustion/exhaust coming out of the radiator?"

Now that's a horrible thought. My antifreeze smells like billowing clouds of fresh cherry blossoms falling in the spring. Doesn't yours?
-- Original owner, 1985 GT-S

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Re: Car overheated

Postby povertymobile » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:51 am

allencr wrote:What's the compression???????????
Water in the oil, oil in the water or lottsa bubbles that smell like combustion/exhaust coming out of the radiator?


Should I run the car with an open radiator cap to see if this is the case? I have not tested compression either I would have to buy a tester and do that today.

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Re: Car overheated

Postby Red » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:54 am

You can run without a radiator cap to look for bubbles. But a real parts shop should also be able to sell you a dye check for that. You add the dye to the a/f and if there is exhaust getting into it, it will change color. There are also pressure testers that replace the radiator cap, you may be able to get one of those loaned to you for free from one of the chain stores. They'll show the change in pressure as exhaust gas gets into the system.
-- Original owner, 1985 GT-S

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Re: Car overheated

Postby povertymobile » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:08 pm

Red wrote:You can run without a radiator cap to look for bubbles. But a real parts shop should also be able to sell you a dye check for that. You add the dye to the a/f and if there is exhaust getting into it, it will change color. There are also pressure testers that replace the radiator cap, you may be able to get one of those loaned to you for free from one of the chain stores. They'll show the change in pressure as exhaust gas gets into the system.


Sounds good, I will look into getting one of these tests to perform after I get out of work. The pressure tester sounds easier, I will have to see if they will lend it out to me. Also I bought a compression test that I should be able to pick up locally at some point today to check that.

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Re: Car overheated

Postby Red » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:31 pm

" Also I bought a compression test that I should be able to pick up locally at some point today to check that."

If you've got a chain like Autozone or Pep Boys around? They'll loan you the compression kit, free, so you can save your money for the repair parts.
-- Original owner, 1985 GT-S

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Re: Car overheated

Postby povertymobile » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:09 pm

Red wrote:" Also I bought a compression test that I should be able to pick up locally at some point today to check that."

If you've got a chain like Autozone or Pep Boys around? They'll loan you the compression kit, free, so you can save your money for the repair parts.


Ah well I figure its a good tool to have in my arsenal.

update on the car. I was able to run the car today and the radiator got pretty hot, it could have been leaking from the radiator as well but I was running it with the cap off so I am not sure. However there were no bubbles in the radiator and it didn't smell like exhaust gases. In addition there was no white smoke from the exhaust today. Still leads me to believe a bad head gasket. I am waiting on my tool set to be delivered so I can have an extender bar to get the spark plugs out in order to test compression. Also when testing compression, where is the cold start injector connector/ injector connectors? I am assuming they are along the fuel rail(?) to the left side of the engine block from looking on. And would disconnecting the distributor cord from the ignition coil just be removing the spark plug wires from the distributor? Thanks !

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Re: Car overheated

Postby Red » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:19 pm

I'm not sure that you'd need to worry about disconnecting any of the injectors for a compression check. In theory, yes, but in reality, I don't think so. Especially the cold start injector in this weather.<G>

When you disconnect the spark plug wires, that should be enough, but if you also unplug the central wire (coil wire) from the distributor, that way there is only one high voltage wire to keep away from grounds (and you!) instead of four. And while you're unplugging the wires, if they are OEM they have a date code printed on them, but while you are in there you might as well unplug the opther end (one wire at a time so you can't put them in wrong) and do a resistance check on each wire. There are specs in the manuals but offhand, under 5,000 ohms is good, under 20,000 is still serviceable, and somewhere past that, it is time to replace the wires. OEM are good enough for most of us, do use a little ignition wire grease on every contact so you don't weld them in, old or new.
-- Original owner, 1985 GT-S

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Re: Car overheated

Postby KonaTrueno723 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:12 pm

^^x2
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Re: Car overheated

Postby allencr » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:50 pm

Remove the wire going from the coil to the distrib. cap at the cap and then ground it. don't pull it out of the coil. 30,000+ volts will find a way out of the coil any way it can & can break down its insulator if you don't leave a direct path for it.
Pull the efi fuse if you want to.

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Re: Car overheated

Postby povertymobile » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:03 am

Red wrote:I'm not sure that you'd need to worry about disconnecting any of the injectors for a compression check. In theory, yes, but in reality, I don't think so. Especially the cold start injector in this weather.<G>

When you disconnect the spark plug wires, that should be enough, but if you also unplug the central wire (coil wire) from the distributor, that way there is only one high voltage wire to keep away from grounds (and you!) instead of four. And while you're unplugging the wires, if they are OEM they have a date code printed on them, but while you are in there you might as well unplug the opther end (one wire at a time so you can't put them in wrong) and do a resistance check on each wire. There are specs in the manuals but offhand, under 5,000 ohms is good, under 20,000 is still serviceable, and somewhere past that, it is time to replace the wires. OEM are good enough for most of us, do use a little ignition wire grease on every contact so you don't weld them in, old or new.



I'll have to get a Ohm-meter...Probably another good tool to add to my arsenal. I am still waiting on all of tools to come to I guess I will seek one of these out today so that way I can at least test the wires. Can you get ignition wire grease at any auto parts store?

allencr wrote:Remove the wire going from the coil to the distrib. cap at the cap and then ground it. don't pull it out of the coil. 30,000+ volts will find a way out of the coil any way it can & can break down its insulator if you don't leave a direct path for it.
Pull the efi fuse if you want to.


I will be sure to do this. Efi fuse should be easy to find with a diagram so I will look into that. And to ground it I would just have to attach it to some metal on the car, correct? haha sorry im such a noob

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Re: Car overheated

Postby Red » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:22 am

" And to ground it [coil] I would just have to attach it to some metal on the car, correct? haha sorry im such a noob"

I got started wrenching after a highly trained, certified, qualified, motivated, etc. mechanic put my front brake shoes in backwards. Couldn't figure out why the car kept pulling to the side with "new" brakes and after #2 explained it to me, I decided I couldn't do much worse doing it myself. Asking questions, reading manual, occassionally giving blood sacrifice to sharp bits of engine...good way to start.

When you screw it up yourself, at least you know where that idiot was working, and which idiot did it.<VBG>

To make a good ground you can buy a couple of alligator wires (jumpers) usually sold in a 5-pack or 10-pack at Rat Shack for a couple of bucks more than they should (and somehow, cheaper even with the shipping on ebay, hint) and connect one jumper from the metal inside of the coil wire, to a convenient bare nut or other bare metal part of the body or engine. The jumper wire will give you a solid gorund connection, but if you just get the metal contact from the coil wire within a hair's breath of a body part, the spark will jump it and make ground too. The jumper wire is a better way to go, also makes sure the wire stays put, and you will use them for troubleshooting other things in the future.

The ohm meter will be a multimeter (ohms, amps, volts) and the ones for $25 at WalMart or Target are often the best bargain. Not as good or durable as the $100+ Fluke meters, way better than the $5 Horror Fright meters, and just as good as the ones that sell for twice the price at Home Depot and Rat Shack. Again, something you can buy from "brand X" online as well.
-- Original owner, 1985 GT-S

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Re: Car overheated

Postby povertymobile » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:56 am

Sounds good. I got all my tools yesterday so I should be able to test compression today. My funds are running a little low so I will probably have to hold off on the voltmeter and alligator wire until my next paycheck. I am not driving the car at all right now so its not really a pressing matter ( the garage will not be available until next week so I will probably hold on testing the spark plug wires until then). Actually a funny sidebar, My SC MR2 is just about fixed (bent the lower control and the suspension is almost back) and will come out of the garage and the corolla will go in!

Hopefully I will get in there today to check compression. Any tell tale signs when I am in there that I should be replacing my spark plugs? Thanks! Hopefully I will come back with a compression number tonight!

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Re: Car overheated

Postby Red » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:13 pm

If you have OEM plugs or equivalent plugs, they are platinum tipped and typically good for 50,000 miles. Take a look online for pictures of what clean plugs look like, and fouled ones. If your plugs look good, no visible defects, no cracks in the insulator, then I'd say to just check the gap and regap them if needed. Some folks prefer to replace them and the box always says "platinum tipped, do not gap" but that's a batch of malarkey, they can be gapped like any other plug. (And since my OEM plugs always came preset to the wrong gap, I always have regapped them.)
-- Original owner, 1985 GT-S

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Re: Car overheated

Postby povertymobile » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:59 pm

What do you mean by regapping?

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Re: Car overheated

Postby Red » Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:26 pm

As plugs age the gap between the electrodes can grow. Not so much on the new platinum tipped plugs as the old copper ones, but you'd still use a tool to measure the gap, confirm it is to spec, and then reset it if it is not. Which is done by carefully bending the electrode.
-- Original owner, 1985 GT-S

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Re: Car overheated

Postby povertymobile » Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:32 pm

So I was able to get in there and test the compression cylinders 1, 2 and 3 were all good at right around180 psi. Then I got to the last cylinder which I noticed was covered in oil. The spark plug was doused in it as well. When I tested compression there was a weird white smoke or mist I am not sure what it was and it was around 200-220. I checked the resistance of the spark plug wires and they were all right around 3-4 ohms except one was at between 2-3ohms. Those could probably use replacing but what is going on with the fourth cylinder. When I started the car after putting everything back there was a huge white burp from the exhaust that I could clearly see. I feel like the head is cracked.... Any suggestions?? Thanks!

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Re: Car overheated

Postby Red » Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:41 pm

3 ohms? You sure you're reading the meter right? That would mean non-stock wires, normal wires are "resistance wires" and 3000 might be more normal for a very new wire.

A cylinder with oil fouling means a problem, either rings or head gasket or in the worst case, the block. White exhaust would indicate ware in the cylinder, probably a blown head gasket.
-- Original owner, 1985 GT-S

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Re: Car overheated

Postby Deuce Cam » Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:54 pm

povertymobile wrote:Then I got to the last cylinder which I noticed was covered in oil. The spark plug was doused in it as well.


It's probably just oil leaking from the valve cover (i.e. you need new gaskets). What was pooled up around the spark plug probably just leaked into the combustion chamber when you removed the plug for the compression test.

Mine leaks a fair amount of oil in the same spot.

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Re: Car overheated

Postby allencr » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:15 pm

povertymobile wrote: I feel like the head is cracked.... Any suggestions??

Suggestion, You've got no F'ing clue & and your feelings mean nothing.
//
//
What does the inside of the radiator look like when drained? Clear & open passages down into the dozen or so tubes that are visible?

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Re: Car overheated

Postby povertymobile » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:05 am

Deuce Cam wrote:
povertymobile wrote:Then I got to the last cylinder which I noticed was covered in oil. The spark plug was doused in it as well.


It's probably just oil leaking from the valve cover (i.e. you need new gaskets). What was pooled up around the spark plug probably just leaked into the combustion chamber when you removed the plug for the compression test.

Mine leaks a fair amount of oil in the same spot.



Yeah the oil was pooled up.. When I went to go take off the spark plug there was about an inch of oil on the socket when I pulled it off the plug.

allencr wrote:
povertymobile wrote: I feel like the head is cracked.... Any suggestions??

Suggestion, You've got no F'ing clue & and your feelings mean nothing.
//
//
What does the inside of the radiator look like when drained? Clear & open passages down into the dozen or so tubes that are visible?


fair enough. I will try to drain the radiator to get a look inside this weekend. Am I just looking through the cap?

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Re: Car overheated

Postby Red » Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:40 pm

Allen, I'd be reliuctant to tell a new guy to clean inside radiator tubes. First there's the nylon petcock drain, which needs little excuse to get brittle and break off after all these years. Then there's the tubes, it might be easy to puncture old tubes while trying to clean them. Some places should be poked very gently if you're going to poke them, no?

Poverty, that plastic cover in the middle of the engine top comes off, you can undo the bolts to get it off and clean in there. It makes things look pretty but it also allows water to pool (if you've been washing the engine) and oil, so it can be worth pulling it off the clean and check for leaks. And get easier access for compression testing.
-- Original owner, 1985 GT-S

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Re: Car overheated

Postby povertymobile » Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:52 pm

Red wrote:Allen, I'd be reliuctant to tell a new guy to clean inside radiator tubes. First there's the nylon petcock drain, which needs little excuse to get brittle and break off after all these years. Then there's the tubes, it might be easy to puncture old tubes while trying to clean them. Some places should be poked very gently if you're going to poke them, no?

Poverty, that plastic cover in the middle of the engine top comes off, you can undo the bolts to get it off and clean in there. It makes things look pretty but it also allows water to pool (if you've been washing the engine) and oil, so it can be worth pulling it off the clean and check for leaks. And get easier access for compression testing.



Yeah I actually took it off yesterday to check the compression. I will get in there this weekend and clean it out a little bit. I know for a fact when I removed it getting the gasket back to where it was supposed to go was pretty hard. I got it where it looked right but I am not sure if it was serving its purpose anymore.

Is the next step for me to start preparing for a tear down of the engine? I would like to get this problem straightened out and it seems I am going to have to dig deeper to find the real problem in the fourth cylinder. I will keep you guys updated. Thanks again for all the help and advice.

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