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Discussion Starter #1
My cousin's van with the 3.3 overheated on her and was spraying coolant every where. She brought it to me and we found a split in one of the cores. I replaced the radiator,upper and lower hose, thermostat and cap. It was all original so we decided to replace it all. I refilled the coolant started it up and waited for it to burp out some air before placing the cap on it. I put the cap on it and let it idle for about 10 minutes. It started to over heat. I pulled the thermostat and boiled it to make sure it opened and it did. I put it back together and drove it. The temp gauge started to rise to the 3/4 mark. I quickly drove it back and shut it off. The fans come on and seem to work well. I crawled underneath while it was running and grabbed the lower hose and it was cool to luke warm to the touch.The top hose was hot. Could the water pump be bad also ? It doesn't seem to be leaking or making any noise. She did drive it overheated. I hope she didn't damage the head or head gasket. There is no antifreeze in the oil . Any ideas ? Thanks in advance.
 

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if there is air in the system, it will turn to steam when it is hotter( hot air rises), sending a higher than normal signal, you could burp out the air by leaving the radiator cap off and look for it to cycle through,more than one cycle while running the heater in high mode..never open a hot radiator wait for it to cool first..
there is a possibility that the radiator cap is n/g, it is supposed to relieve excess pressure in the system, usually anything over 16lbs. the rating will be on the cap..
is the anti freeze reservoir full?
 

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is it full at the cold level or the hot? when the engine is cold..
did you reburp the system making sure the heater was in the on position to burp the air out of the heater lines?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I forgot to run the heater. Do the vans have a valve ? I know some vehicles just have a door and the hot water always circulates. I just remembered this thing has rear heat and ac. I may try to reburp it again.
 

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it is a known issue..having air in the heater lines relating to gauge temp up and hoses warm..Steam is created giving a false signal to the sensor..(air pocket)
some models of different years do have purge valves but they would be located in the engine compartment

I am aware of the spider heater manifolds,( 1 bad leaking line due to a rotted coating on the tubes, known issue )dealing with front and rear heat and a/c lines.. i had a 1999 Chrysler T&C LXi and i did not have a purge valve, i had to wait and cycle the system for at least 1/2 hour before the last of the bubbles purged out..

the gauge hit critical temps may times , but the fans cycled on and off as normal so i ignored it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A new water pump solved the problem. The impeller was in about 6 pieces when I removed it. I think it was a chain reaction of failures. First the water pump, then the cap didn't relieve the excess pressure, then the original radiator split open from the pressure. That's my guess any way.
 

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Glad that it's fixed. No pump-no circulation. I bet the pump went first.
I have found broken/detached plastic w/pump impellers.
 
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