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22re suddenly overheating after about an hour on the road


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Hi all, 

New problem. Was about to leave for a 4th of July trip. About 1 hour 15 min in and going uphill, I saw that the temperature was getting up and towards the red (outside temp was around 70 degrees). I slowed down and once it hit the red, I pulled over and stopped. Some steam came from under the hood and some yellow coolant was coming out from the overfill Reservoir. Waited a couple of minutes and popped the hood. Coolant was boiling and took about 10 minutes or so until the boiling in the Reservoir stopped. Waited about 20 min and continued to the next town which was 3 minutes uphill. Within that time it again went from a medium temp to hot. Stopped at the gas station and bought some collant and refilled. Saw that it was on the low mark but I assume this was to the amount that was blown out when the car was overheating and the coolant came out of the overfill Reservoir. (BTW collant in the Reservoir was sucked back in the system after I started the motor again after a while. Anyways after refilling the coolant, I drove around for about 5 minutes to see if anything changed. Temp went down while going downhill but went up to almost red when going uphill. Decided to stop and called roadside assistance. Now waiting to be picked up. Wanted to check what you all think it is and how much it'll cost approx. Appreciate any thoughts. 

 

OH btw I don't see any leaks under the hood. See a few drops somewhere under the driver seat. 

Also was driving for about 45 min on the highway and about 30 min uphill before the issue accursed. 

 

Thx

Nico 

Edited by KonCon
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I had the same type of cooling problem. Seemed to run fine except when under stress like going uphill. Replaced thermostat and checked fan clutch but they were fine. Flushed radiator a couple of times and it looked like water went through it with no problem but issue continued. Finally my son checked the radiator with a thermal tester. The whole center of my radiator wasn't getting coolant flow so it wasn't able to keep up with cooling under stress. Replaced radiator and all was fine. I think you need a radiator. Not too expensive and if you can get it home you can do it yourself easily. Get at least a 2 row and better yet if you can find a 3 row. I put in a  row because the 3 row were backordered but this would have been my choice 

1986 TOYOTA PICKUP CSF Radiator 2314 CSF All-Metal Radiators | Summit Racing

CSF are the only radiators I will ever buy

Linda S

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Decided to give it a shot and drove home. Temperature stayed normal downhill and on the highway. In the city went up a little higher, not sure if unnornal. Does this rule out any of the suggested issues or confirm any? It sounds a lot like what Linda says. That being said a couple of weeks ago drove from Oregon to California over grants pass which is pretty significant incline and it was hot but Motor never overheated. Today just after 20 minutes up it was boiling and outside temp was not hot. 

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 It's hard to diagnose a problem like this over the internet. Many possible issues were mentioned and it could be any of them. These units have many years on them and things just go bad. Could be as easy as a thermostat or as hard as a blown head gasket. It could be your belt is slipping. You might need a new water pump or radiator. With an overheating issue there are many possible causes. 

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I had a similar issue that was finally solved by replacing the fan clutch. Made all the difference. This was after a top engine rebuild due to a head gasket leak, and new water pump and radiator.

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I'm kind of leaning towards a head gasket. Quick check is a shop with an exhaust gas analyzer to sniff the coolant.

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KonCon you can QUICKLY verify if it is or isn’t the head without complex tools or even taking it to a shop.  But, check belt tension first. 
 

A head gasket on these isn’t a hard job, if you have the tools and basic experience. But once you get in there, you are going to need to change basically EVERYTHING you touch. Doing it yourself, about $300 in parts. I could do it in 3-4hrs. A shop would charge about $600 for parts, and about 4-6hrs labor. Possibly a head deck, maybe 150-200. So anywhere between $800 with hopefully a ceiling of $1500.  Any shop quoting more than $1200, doesn’t really want to do it. 

 

To check the head-gasket, go to Autozone and borrow or buy a block tester kit. Watch a couple YouTube videos, it is super simple to use. If you buy one, the kit and fluid won’t set you back much more than $50.  
 

Although another consideration is that most shops won’t (likely) charge more than $99 for a cooling system diag….  They have the tools on hand to quickly look at everything and narrow it down. 
 

If you brought it to my shop, I would check in this order. 
 

1) belt tension, quick check of fan clutch when cold

 

2). coolant level in tank and radiator 

 

2) if level is low, pressure test system and check for leaks

 

3) warm up, verify thermostat operation. 
 

4) look at radiator with a thermal camera (not a tool most shops have, EXPENSIVE. A laser thermometer can be used, but camera gives a better picture.). 

 

5) check fan clutch hot

 

6) block test for head gasket
 
If you happen to have the original copper radiator and decide it is the radiator, find a shop that can rebuilt or re-core it.   MUCH better and more efficient radiators than the new plastic and aluminum ones. 

 

 

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Common issue but it needs to be confirmed before going over board if there is CO in the radiator it's leaking, a compression test is in order regardless. Depending on mileage it could need a chain and guides the head will have to planed if the gasket is leaking any way, there is a reason for the leak. Now why is the head gasket leaking? Yeah over heat but it seem the OP has been watching the temp (good practice) it maybe flat age and aluminum. For about 20 bucks you can buy a lazar temp gun they work just ducky and pretty accurate go around pointing at things it will tell you a story.

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Hi all and thank you very much for all the answers.

I will look what I can do myself. Regardless great input and I'm learning a ton along the way.

Repairing the head gasket myself definitely would be above my skill level so I would never do that myself. I have never worked on an engine before so chances that I will break something are very high (and I'm pretty good at breaking stuff I'm trying to fix).

 

So the car was parked since Friday. I just came back and took another look (as well as a few pictures). Wanted to post them here before I take it to a shop some time this week (given that I find a shop I trust).

 

  • I am not a mechanic but I have a engineering background so I have a basic understanding and this basic understanding tells me that the fan actually is missing 🙈
  • Some drops below the driver front of the car. Could be that it is just remaining liquid that slowly dropped down after the overheat had sprayed the liquid everywhere but I would guess it is more a leak.
  • When I look under the hood above the leaking on the floor, I see this oily piece with a yellow hose. IDK what that is but the piece looks quite oily.
  • Also the whole block behind the fan looks very oily. Not sure if this is oil or coolant.
  • Also took a picture from below and again it is very easy to see the significant amount of oil
  • radiator level was low as well as the reservoir. Definitely more coolant missing than is on the ground. I would guess this is the case because the motor now is completely cold.
  • I don't know how the belt tension is supposed to be but it seemed pretty strong. But then again the whole fan seems to be missing so.....

 

Not sure if this indicates anything to anyone of you but still wanted to share.

 

Nico

 

Missing Fan:

Fan .jpg

 

Drops under car

oil under car.jpg

 

Oily block behind the fan

oily motor .jpg

 

Oily piece above the drops outside

oily piece 2.jpg

 

oily piece above the drops outside 2:

oily piece.jpg

 

picture from below (upside down)

oily view from below.jpg

 

low radiator fluid level

radiator fluid level.jpg

Edited by KonCon
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considering the missing cooling fan, i would suppose you have blown a head gasket.  what is the oil level on the dip stick? what happened to the fan?

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Don't worry too much about the head gasket yet though overheating the engine over and over will do it in; do not drive it. The fan is crucial to your cooling system and it is interesting it is not there. The missing fan will definitely lead to the overheating condition you have been experiencing. You would have heard it rattling and banging into things while it was spinning before it fell off.   Your motor was washed in coolant if the hood was down initially when it was boiling over so it will be hard to identify where all of the drips are actually coming from. Get it towed to a mechanic who can evaluate what all your cooling system needs. Mechanic will also be able to determine whether the head gasket will need replacing. My water pump looked oily, greasy, and nasty like yours after an over heat when I first purchased mine. A filthy engine washed in coolant makes it difficult to see what is what. 

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Well those are interesting pics. Random thoughts, blown front crank seal, easy fix, if you have a big breaker bar.

The fan is plastic, if it lost a blade then a big imbalance and the water pump seal is gone. Then the fan comes apart. Lucky no damage to radiator.

Result new fan and water pump.

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Age is enough of a reason for the fan to come apart.  But it looks like it was possibly just removed...  I don’t see the center section at all.  If the fan came apart, something “should” be left of it... 

 

If it were me, I would drive it to the shop, considering how much a tow for an RV costs.  But my shop is less than a mile away from the house and I have the ability to repair any further damage that could occur, and the experience to know before I am really getting in trouble making choices like that. 

 

With even very basic tools, a water pump, fan, and clutch really aren’t hard to do on that.  As for the rest of the mess, inspect and replace what is needed, or replace all three to be safe then you should be safer to drive it to the shop for further inspection.  If you’re uncomfortable giving it the green light.  

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Look and see of the center is still bolted the fan clutch. I agree with WRE the crank seal can leak a lot of oil! and from the looks it has been for awhile it's not uncommon on the 22re's because the engine oil pump is right behind the seal. If I remember correctly the fan had lock tabs on the bolts so it's unlikely it just fell off. I'm going to say you are lucky it didn't take out the radiator. By the way a mile drive or so from dead cold is about it with no fan.

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I’ve had my crank seal fail. There’s no in between. The first few drops of oil (usually on the ground) directly below the crank pulley is followed by 2 or more quarts dumping out rapidly. If it was a failed crank seal, the oil pan would be close to empty.

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