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Discussion Starter #21
My driveway is on a incline, is that high enough? Something my brother just told me about the heater. He said he changed a valve on the firewall. I have no idea what he means, but he said he didn't think he put it in correctly. Any idea what that is?
 

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The valve on the firewall should be the little slider on the heater control with the blue on one side and red on the other side. The red, of course, is hot. If the valve was installed, but not hooked up to this slider, which is a cable that controls it, guess what? You have a constant air pocket right there, which will cause the almost overheating all the time because you have an air pocket in the cooling system. I don't know how much of an incline your driveway is, so, if you put a level on the engine, the radiator top being an inch higher than any other part of the engine or upper radiator hose will do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I'll check incline steepness. As for the valve and constant air pocket, this was happening before he changed the valve; he was trying to fix the problem, and I'm sure someone he talked to told him to try installing a new valve.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Something weird and new. I took my sister to her monthly doctor appointment. It is 9 miles to and from that place. The needle never moved up and stayed in the warm zone, just above cold the whole time. This afternoon, in fact just a few minutes ago, I went to a store not more than a mile from my house and the needle again, never moved. Is it fixed with the new cap?
 

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Well, at this point I would keep an eye on her for a few days and see what happens. You just may have accidently burped the system properly without realizing it, along with the new cap that may be working properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Yeah, I'll continue to keep an eye on this. I'm not sure if this had anything to do with it or not because I didn't do it until I started back home from the doctors office. I pushed the heater slider all the way over in the red zone, and pushed the button for panel. I once had a Datsun B210 that I had to leave the heater on all year to keep it from running hot, but that is different from this car because this car never got hot.

I have another problem with this car that has to do with the alternator and I'm wondering should I ask here or start another topic?
 

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That's up to you. Turning the heater on may help purge the system. Check the fluid level at the radiator cap next couple days, because if there is a large air bubble that is working its way out, there may be more air near the radiator top and she has to push all the air through the overflow tube, etc., and it can be a close call sometimes until it is slowly helped.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Ok. The other problem I am having is a high pitched squeal. It's not the belt because that was changed in April. It's loudest at first startup but continues until I shut the car off. There is no problem with charging. The alternator works fine for that. I've been told it's the bearing inside the alternator or it's that the bushings are worn. Any ideas?
 

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Entirely possible, or it may be and idler pulley. If it is definitely the alternator, you gotta kind of pull them apart to grease the bushings.
 

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Entirely possible, or it may be and idler pulley. If it is definitely the alternator, you gotta kind of pull them apart to grease the bushings.
Where is the idler pulley located? My book doesn't show any reference to Idler Pulley in its index. And how would I fix that? On the alternator, I was thinking just to replace it. Local parts house has one for less than $100.

Thanks Mark. I didn't see your post until I posted the above. I think those are the ones that were mentioned as could be the problem, not the ones inside the alternator. How hard are they to replace?
 

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Yours is an '89, so there isn't one for the belts. You have regular fan belts, not the serpentine belt, right? I had to go back and check the year, yours is a couple years before the single belt and idler pulleys. My mistake. The bushings sounds like a good idea, not difficult to replace, but have to remove the alternator to do them.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Yes, mine is a '89 model. I didn't look inside under the hood to see which belt/s I have. Where are the bushings located? I have a little car knowledge but not enough to know these things. And there is not one person in my immediate family who knows about cars. And just replacing the alternator wouldn't solve this?
 

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The bushings would be where the bolts that mount it to the engine go through the alternator.
I don't know if they come with a new alternator or they expect you to reuse the ones you have. It would be easy to tell if an auto parts place could open up and box and let you see it.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Okay thanks.

On the other, the needle moved today. After driving 4 miles, the needle moved up about half way between hot and cold, then dropped a few minutes later riding just above cold for the rest of the driving time. Is this the right way it works or is there still a possibility of air still being in the system?
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Well, so far so good on this problem. I check the water everyday, and haven't had any overheating problems. Though I do have the heater turned on but this seems to help. I did see a bubble the other day, I had been out and about, left the car sitting a few hours then checked water level again, when I removed the cap there was like this big bubble that burst. Does that mean it will eventually work the air out?
 

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Sounds like you are getting things under control, continue to watch for bubbles a little longer, driving on the highway for about an hour at this point would probably finish off whatever air you have in the system, idea is to get the rpm up around 3000rpm and allow it to circulate the fluid faster, preventing overheating because the engine is running cool enough that making more air in the system isn't possible. Keeping the heater on allows extra fluid to move around in the block more, which really seems to be helping.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Thanks Dana. I do not know of any place I'd drive to for an hour. Most everything around here is less than 30 minutes away.

I wanted to ask something about those bushings on the alternator too. Would it hurt it if I sprayed lithium grease on them or would it not matter if it didn't hurt to do this, would it temporarily fix the squeal.
 

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Would not make a difference. The issue is the alignment of the alternator pulley, which relies on bushings in good condition, mounted properly. They do not come with new alternators, the dealer has them for about $3.50 each, described as "isolator, alternator",
 
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