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Continuing cooling issues and general frustration!!

 
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Old 03 Jan 2013, 08:54 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 31
Default Continuing cooling issues and general frustration!!

Hi all, Happy New Year, I've posted before about cooling issues I've had with my son's 2001 Ltd with 156K. It's been off the road for about 8 weeks now because of limited time to work on it.

So far the radiator,fan and thermostat have all been changed with no effect on the overheating. I also ran (three times now) a check of the coolant for combustion gases (all negative).

Yesterday, I decided to recheck the thermostat as I was concerned it wasn't seated properly and may be letting air in, I also decided to replace the water outlet too. I did find that the new thermostat gasket was slightly torn and did not seat well in the housing. The water outlet was a Chrysler part but appeared to be crack free however I changed it for a Dorman unit. I also re-fitted the old thermostat and gasket (the thermo was working ok after checking it) and noticed it fitted a little snugger and was flush with the tower (the old tower with the new thermo and gasket jutted out and was a pain to tighten down when I swapped it out several weeks ago).

I refilled and bled the system and this time very little air came out and was mostly fluid, the temp gauge never went beyond half way.

I let it cool down and checked it today, topped off some HOAT and put the rad cap back on. My son took it for a test drive and after 15 mins brought it back but had said the gauge moved to the 3/4 mark but it had not overheated. We switched it off and opened the hood to check for leaks everything looked ok so we decided to see if there was any more air that could be bled out.

The car would now not start, it cranked and sounded like it wanted to fire but didn't. I also noticed that when he was cranking it that there was steam coming from the back of the engine but there were no drops of fluid visible dropping on to the manifold. It looked like the steam was coming from underneath the heat shield that is on the manifold.

I removed plugs 1 and 4 (as they were all I could get to with stripping of the intake). Plug 4 was dry, plug 1 had some fluid on it which did not evaporate and did not smell like gas. Cranking the engine and some liquid blew out of the hole.

So despite what the combustion gas test says, I think the head gasket is a goner. The starting problem might be fluid in the cylinders preventing proper ignition of the fuel, i sure as hell hope so!

Are there any core or block plugs on the engine near the exhaust manifold that could cause the steam when cranked?

Much as I like the look of this car and they way it drives, when it drives, I'm beginning to regret buying it. I've owned Fiats and Alfa's and never had these issues with any of them .

Does anyone know a reputable mechanic in the North County San Diego area by chance that won't charge an arm and a leg for his work??

cheers

Blair
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Old 04 Jan 2013, 05:15 am
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,354
Default Re: Continuing cooling issues and general frustration!!

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Originally Posted by panjammer View Post
Hi all, Happy New Year, I've posted before about cooling issues I've had with my son's 2001 Ltd with 156K. It's been off the road for about 8 weeks now because of limited time to work on it.

So far the radiator,fan and thermostat have all been changed with no effect on the overheating. I also ran (three times now) a check of the coolant for combustion gases (all negative).

Yesterday, I decided to recheck the thermostat as I was concerned it wasn't seated properly and may be letting air in, I also decided to replace the water outlet too. I did find that the new thermostat gasket was slightly torn and did not seat well in the housing. The water outlet was a Chrysler part but appeared to be crack free however I changed it for a Dorman unit. I also re-fitted the old thermostat and gasket (the thermo was working ok after checking it) and noticed it fitted a little snugger and was flush with the tower (the old tower with the new thermo and gasket jutted out and was a pain to tighten down when I swapped it out several weeks ago).

I refilled and bled the system and this time very little air came out and was mostly fluid, the temp gauge never went beyond half way.

I let it cool down and checked it today, topped off some HOAT and put the rad cap back on. My son took it for a test drive and after 15 mins brought it back but had said the gauge moved to the 3/4 mark but it had not overheated. We switched it off and opened the hood to check for leaks everything looked ok so we decided to see if there was any more air that could be bled out.

The car would now not start, it cranked and sounded like it wanted to fire but didn't. I also noticed that when he was cranking it that there was steam coming from the back of the engine but there were no drops of fluid visible dropping on to the manifold. It looked like the steam was coming from underneath the heat shield that is on the manifold.

I removed plugs 1 and 4 (as they were all I could get to with stripping of the intake). Plug 4 was dry, plug 1 had some fluid on it which did not evaporate and did not smell like gas. Cranking the engine and some liquid blew out of the hole.

So despite what the combustion gas test says, I think the head gasket is a goner. The starting problem might be fluid in the cylinders preventing proper ignition of the fuel, i sure as hell hope so!

Are there any core or block plugs on the engine near the exhaust manifold that could cause the steam when cranked?

Much as I like the look of this car and they way it drives, when it drives, I'm beginning to regret buying it. I've owned Fiats and Alfa's and never had these issues with any of them .

Does anyone know a reputable mechanic in the North County San Diego area by chance that won't charge an arm and a leg for his work??

cheers

Blair
If the gasket is cracked, blown etc and there is coolant on the plugs, there is coolant in the combustion chamber, meaning coolant is also entering the lower manifold and being blown out the rear, hence the smoke coming from the exhaust heat shield, probably has a small manifold leak form the manifold gasket and is letting the smoke escape from there.

Or.....it is leaking from the rear of the head gasket where the head and block meet up, trickling down the back of the motor and seeping onto the exhaust.
I can guarantee that if you get it to start up, and rev it to 3500 you will create your own white weather system in your driveway from the tailpipe :/

Sorry for the bad news but, you need a head gasket and probably to have the block and head planed too :/
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