Thread: So your car is overheating? Look here for potential solutions

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  1. #1 So your car is overheating? Look here for potential solutions 
    Wes's Avatar
    Wes is offline I have a Haggard Swagger Sideways officer?
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    So lately, I've seen a ton of threads about overheating problems that have been covered countless times. I figured I should make a write up with some steps you can take to diagnose your problem.


    Main parts of the cooling system on an S-chassis.

    Thermostat: $10>
    Water Pump: $40>
    Radiator:$120> for a brand new one.
    Hoses: $30> for upper and lower.
    Radiator cap: $12 or so.


    Alright. So you're POS is overheating.


    The first, and easiest thing to check is if there is air in your system. Alot of people have different methods. I do this. Remove rad cap, fill with water, crank car. Set the heater on hot, and the mode on foot/defrost, and let it run and add water until you dont see any bubbles at all at the cap in the radiator, then crack the bleeder screw, and wait for strait water to come out, then close that, and put the cap back on, and you shouldn't have any air in the system. Some people swear that you need to have the front end elevated, I've done it either way, with the same results. And just for the record, I always do a 50/50 water/coolant mixture. Alot of people like different ratios, but I've never had a problem with a 50/50 mix.

    One of the easiest thing to check is the tension on the Water pump belt. S-chassis have belt driven water pumps, on SOHC KA's, the tension comes from the alternator, on DOHC models, the tension is from the PS pump.

    I bought my first hatch and it kept overheating even after I'd replaced the thermostat, rad cap, and saw no bubbles in the system. Anyways, I finally went to get a water pump for it, and upon removing the pulley, I realized the belt was slack as shit. So, I tightened the belt, and blam! No more overheating. Its a simple thing that can be commonly overlooked.

    If your belt tension is good, and you see no leaks from the weep hole in the water pump, go to the next step.

    Check your fucking hoses.
    You'd be surprised how much coolant can leak or how easy a car can overheat if your hoses aren't tightened down properly, or if they are over tightened.

    Next step.
    Check your thermostat. If your car takes forever to warm up, or just never gets to the middle of the temp gauge, then you may not have one, so that wont be your problem. On a KA, the thermostat is where the lower radiator hose goes to the motor. Unbolt the 3 bolts, and see if you have one, if so, go ahead and replace it with a new one. You can test your old one with the boiling water trick or whatever, but Id just rather replace it, they're less than $10, and I like peace of mind.

    After the thermostat, if you're still overheating, then its possible your waterpump is fucked.

    I did a timing belt and water pump on a Civic recently, and when I took the old water pump out, the propeller literally fell off, like, to the groud, somehow it had seperated from the rest of the water pump. I've never seen that happen on an S-chassis, but I saw it on that Civic, and it made me start to think, as usually I don't replace a waterpump until necessary on a 240, just cause its a 45 minute job that wont really hold me up too long.

    And check your radiator. I've never used a plastic radiator in an S-chassis just because I tend to have bad luck when I take one of the hoses loose from it and it cracks. If you get a big crack in your radiator, dont JB weld it or whatever, it usually never works. Get a new/used one.


    And always make sure, that anytime you do anything involved with the coolant system, to bleed the system. Dont bleed it, then put in a thermostat or water pump, and then just think "Oh, I bled it before, it should still be good. The cooling system is very similar to the brake system. IF you don't bleed your brakes properly, your car stops liked shit. I basically totalled my first S14 due to a mix of shittily bled brakes and driving too fast. Just like you could easily blow a motor by dogging out your car and not bleeding the coolant right.



    Anyways, if you go through all of that, and still have overheating problems, you probably have something worse than simple maintenance items. Either a BHG, or a leak that you just dont notice somewhere. I had a bypass hose on my old SOHC leak, and it took me forever to pinpoint it.


    I'm no professional, but I've never had alot of overheating problems, and these are all the things/methods I do.

    Hope this helps.
    -Wes
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    great DIY thanks wes!
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  3. #3  
    BlackMage's Avatar
    BlackMage is offline Member Men with guts attack those corners...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wes View Post
    I'm no professional, but I've never had alot of overheating problems, and these are all the things/methods I do.
    QFT!!

    Hell I ran the 2nd largest GREDDY IC core and _NEVER_ had overheating problems.
    Quote Originally Posted by whatever210 View Post
    its not a 1000.....i want a bike not a big wheel
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    what does the ic have to with overheating ?

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    can block airflow

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    BlackMage's Avatar
    BlackMage is offline Member Men with guts attack those corners...
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCato View Post
    can block airflow
    Which is especially important when your not running any fancy pants plates and such to divert airflow to said radiator. PS Allum Rad's are the shit if you have to replace your stock one I recommend the purchase of one instead it's a nice $300 insurance policy.
    Quote Originally Posted by whatever210 View Post
    its not a 1000.....i want a bike not a big wheel
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