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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Beginning to Overheat!!??

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9 replies to this topic

#1 jxavierf


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Posted 02 June 2005 - 01:38 PM

I've noticed recently that my '87 gl hatch temp creeps up to near red....though never in the red and not near enough to make me pull over. Mostly, if not always, occures when I'm stuck in traffic (stop and go) or sitting idle. The fan does eventually turn on and cool it down a bit. Its just getting nervously close to red all the time.......these are the symptoms.....what the diagnosis????


#2 critical_max


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Posted 02 June 2005 - 04:07 PM

Look out for a couple more symptoms:

1) does your oil look like oil? or milky with coolant?
2) exhaust smell sweet?
3) adding coolant all the time to keep it full?

The above tends to indicate maybe blown head gasket, or cracked head.

If none of that is going on, you might have a bad coolant temperature switch, thermostat, radiator cap, etc. Let us know more details if possible. How many miles on the engine?

Or maybe the radiator is clogged and needs flushing... there are lots of possibilities based on what you've said.

MOST IMPORTANT: Find the problem soon. If you drive the car when it's in the red zone you can probably kiss the engine goodbye.

#3 jxavierf


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Posted 02 June 2005 - 04:16 PM

None of those.......I'll first try the radiator cap....then flush


#4 critical_max


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Posted 02 June 2005 - 04:24 PM

If the radiator cap/thermostat/radiator flush doesn't fix it, you might want to check your coolant temperature sensor - it's down on the bottom corner of the radiator, passenger side IIRC, and a very cheap part.

If you find that the radiator is just no good (damaged/rusted out/whatever) and you want to replace it, make sure you get a twin-row radiator ... they work a lot better. I've never seen my temp gauge over a tad over halfway, even after hours on the freeway, with a new twin-row radiator.

#5 idosubaru


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Posted 02 June 2005 - 04:28 PM

this needs to be fixed now unless you want an excuse to buy another car. the motor won't last long if you don't do anything.

have you checked the coolant level? is it full?
when the fans come on, does it stay at normal temp?
radiator could be shot as well.

#6 jxavierf


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Posted 03 June 2005 - 07:47 AM

Coolant level is fine. When the fan turns on, it does go to near normal (a hair above the second line). PS.....the temp is not affected by whether I have the AC or the heat on.


#7 edrach


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Posted 03 June 2005 - 09:00 AM

Make sure the radiator has clear access to cooling air; there shouldn't be anything in front of the radiator, or any dirt or mud stuck near the bottem. Radiators on the early EA82 cars are just barely able to disperse the heat when new; older ones just tend to be less efficient. I would spend the money toward a new radiator (around $110 mailorder from www.radiator.com); spending $30 or $40 for a flush is just a waste of money that would go a long way toward the price of a new radiator. The tipoff to the rad being bad is to get out on the highway and watch your temp guage. When the engine is warmed up and you're cruising at around 55, the temp needle should be around the middle of the guage and it'll stay there no matter how fast you go....60, 65, 70 or more. If the car runs hotter at the higher speeds, it's time to replace the radiator. Pretty definitive test and pretty reliable. If you're still going to replace the thermostat, go get one from a dealer; for some reason the OEM thermostats work better than most of the aftermarket brands. The little item on the lower passenger side of the radiator is a temperature switch. It's only purpose in life is to turn on the fan when the engine gets hot and you're not moving and running cooling air through the rad, like waiting at the traffic light. If the fan doesn't turn on when the temp guage shows 5/8th, I'd think about replacing that switch also. Also make sure that there is a solid connection to the temperature switch; sometimes the fan doesn't come on because of a faulty connection. If you have the single terminal switch in that location, make sure the grounding wire from the radiator to the frame is present; if not, that's another reason the temp switch might not always turn on the fan. Good luck with it. If you're in a hot area of the country a double row rad would be the best, otherwise a new single row rad will serve you well.

#8 RickOregon


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Posted 03 June 2005 - 09:46 AM

All good advice here. I've followed these approaches, and they've worked. New twin row radiator, if it'll fit in your car sounds like a good idea. One thing I did, because I didn't like the temp switch delaying until water got hot, was to install a manual switch, so I could turn on the electric fan whenever I wanted. On our '86 Suburu GL wagon, EA82 N/A engine, we have two fans. One is driven by a belt connected to crank pulley and other engine accessories. The other is electric and sits behind the A/C condenser. That electric fan comes on whenever A/C is operating or when the coolant temp reaches a preset limit. I like to turn on the electric fan and just leave it on whenever my temp gauge shows more than half way up. I know the temperature switch should be sufficient, but somehow I like to be able to control it myself, if needed. I got the switch, believe it or not, from a '73 VW van. It's green colored, and was used to control the rear window defroster. I installed it in the little storage space just to the left of the steering column oriented so I could turn on the fan by reaching down and pulling the knob out to the left. Works great. Just my 2 cents worth... Good luck bringing that engine temperature down. Rick

#9 jxavierf


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Posted 04 June 2005 - 07:08 AM

Ok....one more thing I've just noticed that is baffling me....without a doubt, as my temp guage indicates, my engine runs cooler when I have my AC on and hotter when my heat is on????????? Am I missing something????

#10 Skip


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Posted 04 June 2005 - 07:41 AM

"Am I missing something????"

Possibly, a Subaru TSB (Tech. Service Bulletin) published in the late eighties
spoke of a ground connection at fault when this occurs.
This ground point is under the front pass. side intake manifold bolt.
It is the ground for all dash related entities.

Second, all the flushing products methods on the planet will not do anything
except make your wallet lighter.
The problem with your radiator is external not internal
The fins connecting the coolant passages have delaminated from the tubes
and therefore are not "wicking" the heat away from the tubes.
Here is what you will likely find if you take the time to remove your rad.
Posted Image
If you want to fix this follow the advise above and get a new twin row.

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