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Overheating mystery

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Old 23 May 2011, 10:23 am
Young Cruiser
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 68
Default Overheating mystery

I have read the numerous posts about overheating, so the word "head gasket" doesn't make me feel too comfortable.
I replaced the turbo, put everything back together, fired it up and it purred like a kitten. I let it idle for about 15 minutes to bring it up to operating temperature and the needle was at the half way mark and steady.
Excited that all the effort paid off, I started to take it for a road check.
Within less than a 1/4 mile, the gauge shot up to the top end, and steam was coming out from under the hood. I pulled over and shut it down, popped the hood, and water/antifreeze was coming out of the rad cap. I let it cool down, and got back to the house, and it was at the top end again.
This morning, I took out the thermostat, placed it in boiling water at 210 degrees for about 10 minutes, and checked to see if the thermostat valve was open. You could see a tiny space where it seats but hardly anything. There was no activity in the overflow surge tank, and the level had not changed.
With the thermostat out, I added about 3 quarts of water to the rad/block.
Everything was 100% fine with the cooling system before I changed the turbo, so the head gasket possibility really confuses me.
I am considering replacing the thermostat housing without the thermostat and see if there are any bubbles in the water. The fan comes on, so that doesn't seem to be a problem.
Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.
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Old 23 May 2011, 10:44 am
cruserdad1976's Avatar
Obsessed Cruiser
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: st james mo
Posts: 8,217
Default Re: Overheating mystery

I*m sure some will say not to but try running it with out a thermostat and see what happens Id almost bet it will not get the the half way mark and if its got the right anti freeze Hoat it should run ok

My thermostat is stuck open right now and the car runs fine no issues just a warning light that the water temp is low
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Old 23 May 2011, 11:04 am
RaineMan's Avatar
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: SL,UT
Posts: 271
Default Re: Overheating mystery

Replacing the thermostat is a pretty cheap way to determine whether or not that is the problem. Modern thermostats are designed to fail only in the full-open position so you usually don't see them get stuck closed.

As far as the head gasket goes. Any choking/sputtering from the engine? Any coolant in the oil/oil in the coolant? Those would be classic signs of head gasket failure.
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Old 23 May 2011, 03:20 pm
Young Cruiser
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 68
Default Re: Overheating mystery

Thankfully, the engine purrs along just fine. No sputtering or misfire and no water in the oil, which was one of the first things I looked at.
Unfortunately, I live outside of the US, and parts are not easy to come by here, so I will need to buy online and park it until I can get a thermostat.
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