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75 Cordoba Overheating

7030 Views 39 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  valiant67
Hey all, I've had a 75 Cordoba for a while now and have battled overheating issues the last several years. I've replaced the water pump, radiator hoses, thermostat (and boiled to check, it's working), had heater core redone and cleaned, had radiator repaired and cleaned (told it's in very good shape by reputable radiator shop), did the paper test to check fan (it pulled very tightly on radiator), replaced intake manifold gaskets, two different new radiator caps, timing is dialed in to proper spec (both mechanical and vac advance), air/fuel seems to be good, done full block and radiator flush kit (did get a lot of crap out of it), have OE shroud and good OE fan on it, and have ensured all air is out of the system, extensively burping any and all air out of it... I'm basically at a loss of what to do. I can drive the car 5-10 miles before the temp gauge gets to over half, and if I turn around and go home that far, I am pegged out on a warm day. Thermometer to intake/radiator shows upwards of 250-260 coolant temp when pegged so I know the gauge is correct, though I rarely let it get that high. Even blasting full heat (hotter than the surface of the sun) the car will still overheat. The car runs great aside from the overheating, I'd love to take it on longer trips but am unable to due to the issue. I've covered all the things I can think of that would cause the overheating, but the issue persists. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Tyler.
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I do have a 76 Gran Fury Sport Suburban sitting out back, I didn't really want to rob parts off it but I may grab that radiator and put it in the car to test.
Make sure that it's the same radiator, or at least that it lines up with the hoses and fittings.

I second Bob's recommendation to remove your block plugs to drain the coolant more completely. When I did this on my Dakota, it wasn't as congealed as what Bob described, but it came out brown for several flushes. Even if you can only reach one side, that's far preferable to leaving all of the gunk inside to potentially clog your system after you drain it. It's easier to get to mine from under the vehicle, so you might want to try that.

$118 plus shipping from Rockauto.com
The latest radiator for my Dakota was $120 plus tax at Advance, and they had it in stock. If you determine that the radiator needs replacing, research for the best price.

If you remove the thermostat, replace it. Make sure it's the temperature that your owner's manual calls for.
 

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Might cross-threading the block plugs have caused a leak that eventually caused your cooling system to run hot?

Removing even such a small amount of scale is an improvement. You don't want any of it lodging in your new radiator and causing a similar problem. I'd also recommend a procedure that was described a few years ago on another thread here: disconnect the hoses to your heater core, attach two cut yard hoses to each end, and pour water through one of the hoses, aiming the other to a drain pan. You can attach another hose from the outdoor tap to the cut ones, but don't run the water pressure too high. You want to remove as much crud as possible before installing your new radiator, and the heater core is one of the places it can accumulate.
 
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