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Guest Message by DevFuse

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ea82 cooling system confusion

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12 replies to this topic

#1 jkinz


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Posted 01 April 2014 - 10:50 PM

ea82 spfi, I have been having a problem with the cooling system for some time. The main annoyance is that whenever I drive the car, as it warms up the temp gauge creeps up past normal operating temperature and stays about 3/4 of the way up but still out of the red, then eventually drops down to a quarter of the gauge like it normally runs. during the time it's reading hot, the heater is lukewarm so I figure the thermostat has not opened.


Here's what has been done:

new OE thermostat, <- maybe I didn't line up the bleed hole properly?

radiator of unknown condition taken from parts car after sticks jammed through old one and it dumped. Seems to have been working ok since I installed it. I don't know if the coolant temp sensor is working right but it seems to read the same as the other one.

coolant flush

new water pump and hose


I did all this work during a short period of time so I'm not exactly sure when each symptom occurred. I do remember having difficulty burping the coolant system after replacing the radiator. when it was supposed to open the thermostat and the coolant level should have dropped, instead it would start overflowing and coming out of the radiator.There is some coolant loss while driving but not very much. Exhaust isn't very telling, no white smoke. 


I hear gurgling noises from dashboard and the overflow container especially when turning the car off after driving for a while.


no mixing of coolant in the oil


some crud on the radiator cap and in the tube but I'm not sure if it's a significant amount


passenger side head has a noise similar to a belt slipping, sounds like the valve train or cam. Not sure if head cracks or gasket leaks can be heard. It does seem to run rich and miss a little so I might have a valve issue?


I figure I should start by inspecting the thermostat and passenger side valves, and I suppose eventually the head if nothing else rules out the issues.


Any advice would be appreciated,





#2 Idasho


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Posted 01 April 2014 - 11:20 PM

Sounds like you just have air in the system.

#3 scoobiedubie


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Posted 02 April 2014 - 01:29 AM

tighten the cylinder head bolts.  recheck the timing belt pulley position

Edited by scoobiedubie, 02 April 2014 - 01:30 AM.

#4 silverback


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Posted 02 April 2014 - 04:04 AM

You have air in the system. Find a steep hill, park and idle to let the thermostat open (keep the hood closed). The radiator cap may be weak. Replace it.  Is the radiator from the parts car a single row or double row?  Is your coolant the proper mix or did you water it down for the radiator re-fill?

#5 l75eya


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Posted 02 April 2014 - 07:19 AM

That gurgling sound means you definitely have air in there. It's not going to stop until you fix the leak, ask me how i know; My loyale has had two small leaks in the cooling system for over a year now. When the air makes its way t through the cooling system my temp gauge will creep to 3/4 but i pay no mind to it because i know it's going to go back down. Either fix the leak and fill the cooling system properly (no air), or just deal with an occasionally hot engine. Make sure you keep it topped up.

#6 Gloyale


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Posted 02 April 2014 - 09:19 AM

tighten the cylinder head bolts.  recheck the timing belt pulley position


Don't do this.


Youd notice more issues than just running hot if it was a Cam timing issue.........


And retorquing heads with god knows how many 100k miles is not a good idea either..........big risk for the amount of work invovled to even get to the head bolts....a retorque could seal a small leak......or it could move the gasket and make it gush instead of seep.



To the OP....sounds like a combo of a cheapo thermostat (slow to open.....resticted flow).....and air in the system.


Park on a slope.....nose up......let it cool off......fill radiator, fill overflow.  Cap it and run it til its' warm........then let it cool off again til you can open it without steaming out.....then fill again.

#7 ivans imports

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 09:46 AM

I do retorque on ea82s when do a used engine install no problems yet and most of the time there are loose ones is worth doing but time consuming. My money is on plugged rad / headgaskets take the air out by cracking the thermo housing bolts and let bubbles flow out

#8 MilesFox


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Posted 02 April 2014 - 09:53 AM

fill the block thru the upper hose or the thermostat housing. sometimes if there is an air pocket, the radiator will geyser out the coolant as the air pocket tries to escape. from there, add coolant.


Be sure that an internal HG failure is not pushing combustion gasses into the cooling system forcing the coolant out.


I have resorted to filling the block from one of the heater hoses. IT might not be a bad idea to add a flushing port on the heater hose for fill/burp purposes.


Subarus always have been tricky to fill completely, often times holding the rpms past idle and babysitting it for 30 minutes as you slowly add coolant.

#9 jkinz


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Posted 02 April 2014 - 11:32 AM

Thanks for the replies!


The thermostat is from the dealer but I suppose it could still be sticking


I filled it as much as possible from the heater hose after back flushing several times, and had it parked on a hill, not SUPER steep but seemed enough, I'll try another hill. I think I took out the prestone flush tee, but I guess I'll try that for burping again.


been through 2 radiator caps, I started with the kind with a lever on top so I could park it on a hill and bleed out the air. seemed to work for a time but it was pretty crappy so I went to another which looks about as funky as all the rest I've seen but still appears to hold pressure.


I might try cracking the thermo housing and see how that works, maybe re seat the thermostat while I'm at it


It might be combustion gases from the head considering the odd noise, I always noticed a sort of "swooshing" sound from the cam pulley or somewhere behind it. I've had to take off the timing belts a few times, I wonder overtightening the belt at one point could have screwed up the bearings or alignment?



#10 jkinz


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Posted 19 April 2014 - 10:06 PM

I think I found the problem. Air pocket definitely caused by combustion gases, coolant is being pushed out of system into overflow and smells strongly of gasoline....  time to pull the heads I guess. or try sodium silicate, has anyone had success using it on the ea82?

#11 mudduck


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Posted 20 April 2014 - 10:20 AM

I think I found the problem. Air pocket definitely caused by combustion gases, coolant is being pushed out of system into overflow and smells strongly of gasoline....  time to pull the heads I guess. or try sodium silicate, has anyone had success using it on the ea82?

Sounds like what mines was doing. Pushing coolant out of the system. And coolant smells of exhaust bad.  If your gonna fix it, do it right and replace the head gaskets, don't dump head gasket in a bottle crap in there.

#12 briankk


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Posted 20 April 2014 - 01:08 PM

I've had exactly this problem for some time.  I've replaced everything in the cooling system but the heater core, i.e., all the hoses the radiator (brand new) the cap, new from Soob, the t-stat, (twice), the coolant several times, and block seal... Nothing worked until I accidentally found a plastic elbow in the smog system totally blocked with goop, which I dug out with a pocket knife.  The ell is between the driver side PCV hose and the crankcase, has a small third leg off to the base of the EFI throat.  since cleaning that thing out, oil loss/leakage has near to stopped and the engine has quit using water, I don't have to top off the rad every morning and it runs nice and cool. 

temp ges about half way up in the morning, returns to normal level for the rest of the day.  Car makes boiling noises in the coolant tank when I shut down, but it always has.


This doesn't make much sense to me, but what the hell, it works.




428 thousand miles and counting...

#13 jkinz


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Posted 29 April 2014 - 12:48 PM

Someone mentioned that little ell hose was an issue and hard to get to, I'll check it out. I doubt that has been my problem but I might as well check every possible point of failure. I like this engine, even though it has been having trouble it still runs like a champ. Especially after I found and removed a severely kinked section of exhaust pipe after backing into some train tracks...  I had it parked but then had to use it due to other vehicle issues so I took a friend's advice and put a 3 gallon gas can under the hood and ran the radiator overflow into it. I removed the thermostat again because the air pocket was not allowing it to get up to temp at the right time. Now as I drive the coolant gets pushed into the gas can but the engine doesn't overheat, and when I shut it down the excess sucks back into the engine... Not very elegant but seems to be effective! At least for now.

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