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'88 Aries 2.5 - past 2 days running hotter all of a sudden

Discussion in 'EEK! - Every Extended-K Car' started by tomlct, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    Weather permitting (I have to do this outdoors), I hope to install the new rad tomorrow. It arrived yesterday.
     
  2. pt006

    pt006 Active Member

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    The old Acclaim 2.5 never had a cooling problem for 9 years. Every oil change I would check the coolant level using the radiator cap. It was always up to the top. Year 10 it started to over heat at times. The coolant level was now down 2 inches below the radiator cap. The end result was a head gasket leak between the cylinder and the water jacket. Got the head planed smooth and drilled/cleaned the plugged holes between the cylinders [6 mm], ran it for another 9 years. A good car.
     
  3. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    Next year I will be retired, and I might want to try to do a head gasket replacement myself, or else have it done. I have read somewhere (maybe here or Bobistheoilguy) and I think someone did a quicky job by leaving the exhaust manifold attached to the head and jacking up the exhaust pipe, to raise the head enough to slip the old gasket out & new gasket in.
    The rad replacement looks like it will be basically an easy job, but I have to do it outdoors, and there is still a light drizzle falling. I am waiting for that to stop, today I hope else tomorrow AM - can't wait!
     
  4. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    That's called the "slip 'n slide" method. Not recommended as the flatness of the head is not checked and you don't know if it is truly flat. I've heard of some having no problems, but why chance it.

    I've replaced the radiator on an AƧclaim. It's really not that hard.
     
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  5. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    So the drizzle stopped & the new rad is installed. I took it for a drive & then extended idle. It's cooler than with the previous rad which was not original, but probably around 15 years old.
    At hot idle, the temp of the t'stat water box got to around 215 and then the fan came on & dropped the temp quickly. Just before the fan, the top of the rad was around 195 or a few degrees more.
    The fan really does not run that much when the A/C & defroster are not used, I guess. So the gauge travel is now up to around 1/3 or just a bit more while driving, and if idling for a long time, the gauge will get to around 2/3 of the travel & then the fan comes on.
    I would think if the A/C was on full time, with the fan running, the gauge would not change as much.
    And the rad install was not difficult, but with 1 surprise. The lower hose did not fit at first, until I found that there was a removeable rubber sleeve on the outlet. I guess that model is designed for 2 different lower hose sizes.
    With a 30 year old car, I'm glad that a lot of parts are still available.
     
  6. neon98rt

    neon98rt Well-Known Member

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    when you filled it and ran it with the cap off did the fluid seem to flow fast? Too bad they dont make clear hoses. For one it would look cool until it got dirty inside.
     
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  7. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    I did have the cap off until it was warm and poured coolant in a few times, and the level dropped quickly a few times, and I squeezed the upper hose a few times, to get the level in the rad to drop, so I could pour more in. It has been a while since I have refilled an empty rad, but I think it was about what I expected.
    The coolant was probably pretty clean to begin with, because I had the water pump replaced < 1 year ago, so it took around 5-6 quarts to replace what I lost.
    The heater core was warm in what I think is normal time. I think (hope) there is a good flow now.
     
  8. Doug D

    Doug D Virginia Gentleman

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    Keep checking the coolant level for a few weeks. It may take a while for all the air to burp it's way out.
     
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  9. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    OK thanks I will. I don't take it to work, but sometimes during the week, I am home in time to take it out for maybe a 1 hour round trip, so I will be watching the level, and carrying a jug of premixed antifreeze for a while.
     
  10. pt006

    pt006 Active Member

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    There is a pipe plug in the top of the cylinder head that can be used as a bleeder to get the air out of the head. It is difficult to get out sometimes. The head should be hot while attempting to unscrew it.
     
  11. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    Update - this is what I think was happening. I tested the antifreeze concentration with a cheap little tester, 4 floating balls, and they all sailed right to the top. So I figured maybe the reading is not so accurate, so I bought a better tester - centering arrow at the top, and it sweeps up to show the concentration. This one also sailed right to the top. So I think that earlier this year, when I had the original water pump replaced, the garage (knuckleheads) might have used containers of straight antifreeze, which mixed with whatever was left in the system.
    I drained around 3 1/2 quarts from the rad and refilled with distilled water, and the reading on the scale shows freeze protection at around -40 degrees F, so it does not sweep all the way to the top of its range. It is definitely running on a less concentrated mix now.
    So tonight, I took it for a stretch of 60 MPH driving followed by a stop in a parking lot, and let it idle. Now, when the gauge is still below 1/2, the fan is coming on for a short periods.
    When the fan came on, the IR thermometer, pointed at the t'stat housing, was up to around 185 degrees and then the fan came on for a while. Before, when the gauge was getting up around 3/4 of its range before the fan would come on, the temp of the t'stat housing was showing around 215 degrees or a little more.
    When that happened I was thinking, if only the ECU would tell the fan to turn on, things would be OK. My guess is that with this over-concentrated mix, the reading at the coolant temp sensor was not where it needed to be for the ECU to turn the fan on.
    Anyway, the fan behavior was more like what I think is normal. And it has an nice new rad that cost me < $50, so I don't really mind that.

    Does that sound feasible - too concentrated a mixture would not trigger the coolant temp sensor the way it needs to work?
     
  12. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    The coolant temperature sensor measures temperature. It makes no difference what the particular temperature would be due to different fluid / antifreeze mixture concentration.

    I believe what you are hinting is that the HEAT CAPACITY and ability of the cooling system to reject heat / transfer heat is different with a high concentration of antifreeze to water versus a lower concentration or straight water. And the answer is yes but not that much difference (lower heat capacity) to cause your issue.
     
  13. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    Another update - I bought 1 of those kits that tests for the presence of CO2 in the coolant (UView 560000). If it detects CO2, the blue liquid turns green then yellow. I tested it 2 times today, 1st when cold (after sitting overnight), then after a drive & cool enough to work with. Both tests say no CO2 found, the liquid stayed blue. In fact, the liquid was drawn into the lower of the 2 tubes, because (I think) I was creating a vacuum, when I squeezed the bulb. I saw in some of the YouTube videos of this kit when the head is really leaking, that there is so much air in the coolant that even after it is primed, bubbles still keep rising, like soda bubbles.
    There were very few bubbles, and it seemed to be all from squeezing the bulb.
    And it really will turn yellow. I used an old 2 litre Diet Coke bottle to hold the used test liquid. I had rinsed out the visible soda first, but as soon as it was poured into the bottle, it turned that yellow like in the videos.
     
  14. 85lebaront2

    Level 2 Supporter

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    That's called the "slip 'n slide" method. Not recommended as the flatness of the head is not checked and you don't know if it is truly flat. I've heard of some having no problems, but why chance it.

    When the 2.2L first came out in 1981, they had 10mm head bolts and possibly a poor head gasket. I was working for Tysinger Motor Company in Hampton VA at the time on Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and MG with occasional Dodges, mostly 4WD trucks and carburetors. The two primary Dodge techs would do exactly that on the HG warranty jobs as Chrysler's labor times were real low and there were enough of them that a tech would lose his butt doing them by the book. Since the engines were pretty new it was a pretty safe bet it would work.
     
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  15. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    If the slip-n-slide doesn't work you know the head wasn't flat...
     
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  16. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    Not only flatness, but the head-to-block surfaces must be cleaned and prepared for a lasting head gasket job. I use a 3m Roloc bristle disc to put a 'swirl' finish on the surface as scraping or sanding isn't suggested due to the directional scratches (you are only preparing pathways for future leaks). The manifolds can stay on and make good 'handles' for lifting the head on and off the block.
    I have not had good luck with Fel-Pro head gaskets on these engines. The more expensive and premium MLS (multi-layer steel) gaskets may be the last head gasket that you need. The swap from fiber to MLS virtually eliminated early Neon head gasket issues:
    Cometic-Dodge 2.2L & 2.5L SOHC Head Gaskets (at http://raybarton.com/parts/index.php/cometic-dodge-2-2l-2-5l-sohc-head-gaskets.html )
    The next best head gaskets are the graphite coated Corteco 20032CS head gasket.
    I have seen minor warping and never seen a cracked 2.2L/2.5L head. The biggest issue that starts a leak is aluminum pitting at the combustion sealing ring of the gasket. This usually happens from old coolant that becomes acidic and begins to eat the aluminum.
    A 'lift and slip' won't address this issue and the gasket will fail again shortly. The combustion pressure pushes gases into the water jacket and pushes the coolant out of the engine:
    head_gasket_corroded_surface_area.jpg
     
  17. tomlct

    tomlct Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I have a feeling I won't need a head gasket replacement, at least I will see how I do when the warm weather returns. See my recent post - it is # 33 above. The UView tester (presence of CO2 gas in the coolant) came back negative. The dyed liquid stayed blue, in 2 different tests, and I found it was hard to squeeze the bulb more that 3 times, it seemed I was creating a vacuum in there, which would be reasonable if no exhaust gases are being added to the coolant.
    The info on head gasket type is good, and I am going to copy/paste that to a document that I will keep. If I can keep this car long term, and maybe drive it more after I am retired, I might end up needing a head gasket.
     

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