Cooling System Questions:

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Okay I have been through every component in solving my cooling system problems up to the water pump. It's a cheap fix but a pain in the ass to do(94 Ford Tempo 4cyl 2.3). I wanted some opinions on symptoms before I did:

1) Every other time I have diagnosed or replaced a water pump its been obvious that the pump was out and completely NOT working. The bearings were either shot and it squealed like hell or you could put your hands on the radiator intake / outake hoses and tell there was no flow.

A) I've got flow by touch from the intake hose. It starts slow and increases in pressure as the engine warms (no thermy...yanked it).

B) I flushed the system manually last weekend (no hose to t flush with) and the ratio of coolant / water got obviously weaker when I filled the radiator with it so clean water had to be coming from the block.

C) There is circulation that I can see from the radiator when the cap is removed but its not like what I would see in straight blocks that I am used to. It is more a glub-glub than a steady flow. Someone told me this is normal though in newer engines and front wheel drives as the radiator cap needs to be on for full pressure on the cooling system (?? :screwy: ??).

2) The engine does not technically 'overheat' but it struggles once it gets hot. But it has an electric fan which I've never PERSONALLY had (on anything but a brand new vehicle that NEVER HAD probs) that seems to do a kick ass job and a 50/50 mix of 5w40 Lucas in the block that of course I have always found to be like engine magic.

3) I just took it for a good trip (bout 45 miles) today and it did die at idle like it over heated and when I did recrank it for the next round it sputtered like it was misfiring from a fouled plug (and I know that my oil mix has burned up lost viscosity way faster than it should have). It started pouring rain so I couldnt check the plugs but I could tell one was misfiring like it was fouled cuz it would stop doing it if I reved the piss outta it.

Okay I guess bottom line is: Can a water pump start to 'die' without being shot and cause problems like this? Like I said to me a bad water pump is the next logical step but its a pain in the ass to get to and every other time I've dealt with a bad water pump it has been way more obvious than this. If I pull the damn thing and it doesnt turn out to be the prob I'm gonna be on fire like way pissed.

Opinions anyone?

(Wiffout pissing contests please play nice ya smart car bastids ~ I said opinions)

THX! :mrgreen:
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posted by  Blue_Frog

So you are saying the engine is overheating? I guess the normal drill of questions have to be asked:

Have you flushed the radiator?
Do you have any soft hoses that could be collapsing under suction pressure?
Does running the cabin heater reduce temps?
Is there a chance you have a cracked head and/or gasket?
Are you loosing water?
Is the thermostat opening fully (drop it in some near boiling water)?
Is your timing too advanced or fuel mixture a bit on the lean side?

posted by  Wally

Not knocking you Wally and I trust your opinion...please re-evaluate what I've said n tell me what you think. I think I'm dealing with something that seems to be beyond the mechanical and into diagnostic but yet its so tempting to try that last thing. I dont want to waste my weekend and $30 replacing that pump and find out its some sort of sensor or relay I cant mechanically diagnose if it aint so.

Bottom line question I guess I could say is:

(Ignore my details)

Can a water pump 'start' to go bad and just under perform or something? That I guess is what I'm asking. All I have ever seen is water pumps bottom out.

posted by  Blue_Frog

ive seen alot of chrysler waterpump problems where the impeler shears off the shaft, but will still spin sometimes and slip others causing alot of problems, if you do go into yours and pull it out, it might look ok but try to hold the pully and turn the impeller(sp?)

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

Thanks Banff thats exactly what I was wonderin...can a water pump 'sorta' work. I've never seen nuffin but them totally be blown.

posted by  Blue_Frog

Does your coolant temp gauge say that the coolant is over-heating? Though, even with a partially working pump it shouldn't over-heat without the thermo.

You should pop a thermostat in it, thermostats are there for a reason, they keep the engine warm, and increase fuel economy, also makes it easier to test things like this. Hose will be cold until the thermo breaks open, then when it does, you know your pump is good.

Is your waterpump making any-sort of grinding or other odd noise?

Did you bleed your cooling system after you flushed it?

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

No the temp gague never goes hot but since it finally shut down on me today as IF it were overheating I totally dont trust it. C ---normal----H dont really tell you what your op temp is you know?

I bled it by intake / outake HOSES UNATTACH..crank fill...ATTACH..crank fill..UNATTACH...crank fill...(repeat)

Till it ran clean.

No the lack of or part of thermy aint the problem. I know what they are for but if you have an obscure cooling system prob they are the first thing in the way know what I mean?

And NO the water pump is not makin any noise...or grinding pulling or anything. Thats just the point...its the only problem I can see as the next step yet it SEEMS to be working fine. Like I said any other time I could point out a water pump as a problem it was obvious by noise or busting belts or something.

Can a water pump 'sorta' work as it is going out????

posted by  Blue_Frog

sure it does, it should be in the cold-middle area usually, just as long as it doesn't get near the "H" you're good. Since you took out the thermostat it probably won't get very hot.

It won't be the water pump. Well, I shouldn't say won't, but, almost a 0% chance of it being that. Unless the pump is jammed on something and just won't turn at all, but if it's even turning a bit, it's enough when you don't have the thermo.

It's starting to sound like a computer problem to me...

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

You scare me but you are prob right...something in the computer diagnostic system aint playing right. Oxy (SYN) (SYN) sor..or some kinda chit cuz I pulled the intake hose on the radiator even though I didnt have the $3 for a replacement clamp and cranked it. Aint the water pump...bitch pumped the radiator dry....

OH MY GOD I MAKE MY MONEY OF COMPUTERS.....

OH MY GOD I AM NOW THEIR WHORE....

Does anyone see where this goes???? :banghead:

Anyways yah thanks guys...it aint mechanical......

posted by  Blue_Frog

haha, no prob. see if you can find a computer from an autowrecker, they go for like 15 bucks if you go to a decent wrecker, so even if it's not the computer, it's not a big loss.

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

What you dont get..somethin on that computer is reading a temp over! Oxegen sensor looks good and is well lubed...all relays DONT look blown or act blown (elect fan~ect;). Its bumfuggled...a car you can drive for 35-40 mph (a go kart)) then it goes nutz.....sit it in idle all night and you can still touch the block....its crazy I tell ya. Gotta give some 'hellyeahs' to them computer thinkers if they happen to figure it out. Tell ya in a few days.

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posted by  Blue_Frog

Hi all
I have a leak coming from the hose that connects to the bottem of the waterpump on my 1992 Chevy Caprice.

Currently I do not have the finances to take it to a repair shop...
I want to try and fix it myself, with the help of a few friends.

Because the leak is slow ( but steady) I have been using Wndshield Washer Fluid mixed with Water in place of Anti-freeze ( W.W.F is much cheaper as you know, and with the alcohol base my thinking was that it will keep my Block from freezing until I can get the proper repairs done)

Am I harming my Radiator and/or Cooling System by th doing this?

Thanks in advance
Pure Amature

posted by  Pure Amature

u stated "runs better after i reved the piss out of it". have u checked plugs and wires? it was raining when u reved it, could be ur wires. u can check em with an ohmeter, resistance should NOT be over 7500 ohms roughly. check that out. also, when was the last time fuel filter was replaced? and yes, put a thermostat in the biatch. a new one if ya can afford it. :2cents:

posted by  Carcass

well, as far as i know, washer bubbles up unlike anti-freeze. so yes, i'd say there is a chnce u will damage something, i.e: over-flow container to ur rad. i don't recomend it, it's for cleaning, not cooling.

posted by  Carcass

Not the best of ideas, one of engine coolant's functions is to keep the block from rusting, iron block, iron is probably the most easily rusted metal out there, you're rusting the inside of your block, not a good idea. Coolant is also designed to take higher temperatures, which washer fluid is not, you're going to hurt something.

Just tighten up the hose clamp or cut a bit off the hose if it's cut then replace it.

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

Thanks alot guys. :thumbs:
I appreciate it the advice.

P.A.

posted by  Pure Amature

What you are doing is very, VERY, bad. Anti-freeze is glycol based which in addition to being difficult to freeze also acts like a lubricant for your water pump. Washer fluid is a cleaner/solvent and being in your cooling system is cleaning all of the lubrication off of your waterpump and causing a premature failure, in addition it is FLAMABLE! :screwy:

posted by  srober32

"[COLOR=MediumTurquoise] A) I've got flow by touch from the intake hose. It starts slow and increases in pressure as the engine warms (no thermy...yanked it)."

This statement is the crux of your problem. The cooling system needs the themostat in place to slow the flow of coolant enough to transfer heat from the engine block to the coolant which then goes to the radiator and transfers the heat to the air (through the radiator tubes and fins). Without the themostat the coolant just whips by the hot engine and does not have time to remove the heat. The engine will remain cool to the touch when idling because there is no excessive heat generated like while driving. I am hoping that you have not done any damage to your engine by overheating the cylinder walls. :smoke:

posted by  srober32

No.... It keeps the motor cooler without the thermo. Thermo's there to keep the motor warm to increase economy (more power when cold) and to give the driver some heat. It doesn't matter whether water is moving or not to absorb heat, it's always in contact with the cyl. walls so it's always absorbing heat, and it's always cooler also since it's constantly making the big trip around the motor to the rad, so it cools it more.

Think of it this way, you have a hot steamy piece of metal and dunk it in a bucket of water, it cools instantly. Another hot steamy piece of metal and dunk it in water and spin it really quickly, it'll still cool instantly, if anything, it'd cool faster due to the fact that it's comin in contact with cooler water.

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

Yes, and no, the themostat reduces the flow rate through the engine to alow the coolant effective heat transfer by remaining in contact with the hot cylinders inside the engine for a slightly greater period of time it also allows the coolant to stay in the radiator longer to radiate more heat from the coolant. I had a problem just like this with my '74 Nova when I removed the thermostat. It would run colder while idling and would over heat while running at about 65 MPH, until I replaced it with a new thermostat and amazingly enough the temp stayed the same at idle and at freeway speeds.

posted by  srober32

The flowing coolant radiates more heat than stationary coolant, im sure you know anything moving cools faster than something just sitting there. For instence, I popped mine out of my GP because of over-heating problems, it never got over 50 degrees, and it was getting cold outside so.. that's when i decided to replace it, now it goes up to 110.

The radiator is more effective when it's in contact with warmer coolant, I'm sure you know this too. What I mean is... once the coolant in the rad is cool (with a thermostat) the rad is no longer really doing anything, because the coolant has already gotten pretty cold. Without the thermo it's constantly in contact wit the warmer coolant out of the motor so it cools it effectively. Here's an example of what I mean because I can't think of an easy way to explain that haha. Okay, you bring a cup water to it's boiling point (100) and one to half that (50). The water at 100 is going to cool a lot faster than the one at 50 at room temperature. After 1 minute, the one that was at 100 may be at 50 now, while the one that was at 50 is now at 35. You know what I mean?

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

Whatever anyone's rash reasoning behind all of this Jibba Jabber, the ford motor company didn't spend millions and millions of dollars on research and developement just for someone to tell them they don't need a thermostat inside the motor they designed, Bluefrog just put the damn thermostat back in, really..... it's thier for a reason. and whoever try's to say it's not really isn't helping you out.

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

You don't need it though. All it does is keep the motor warm for better fuel economy and so the motor will last longer obviously.

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

Interesting statements to say the least.

BTW the thermostat is there to ennsure the lower temperature limit is achieved. The radiator fan is there to ensure the higher temperature limit is not exceeded.

Now here is your first and final warning: if you run without a thermostat you risk the engine being too cool. If you run an engine too cool your bore and ring wear will increase exponentially. You will also sludge the oil. There you have been warned.

posted by  Wally

Exactly. It's not a SURE thing that your bore will increase, especially on an older motor that has already had it's bore slightly increased due to normal use. May even keep it closer to what it should be on an older motor.

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

Since it is not my engine, I cannot tell you what to do regarding the thermostat. What I said about replacing the themostat is standard procedure and should be followed, however, if you insist that your car does not need it...no skin off of my nose. No hard and fast rules there, no law saying you have to like with catalytic converters and such. Just giving my opinion in the spirit of the board. :banghead:

posted by  srober32

BTW....What are some tell-tale signs of a damaged or blown head gasket in my 1992 Caprice?

posted by  Pure Amature

White smoke from the tailpipe, loss of coolant, loss of power, water in motor oil, oil in coolant, engine not turning over, engine overheating, engine misfiring.

posted by  srober32

Thanks again.
Got a chance to look at it up on the rack today...the coolant is leaking straight out from beneath the WaterPump....so I guess I found my "leak"

PA

posted by  Pure Amature

my 86 escort did that. i put a new radiator cap on it and it was fine ever since. :)

honestly.

posted by  carls47807

that little hole on the bottom of your water pump is one of the first signs of a failure, if coolant is coming outa there, you need a new one... period

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

Ummm... No. That's the sign of a bad gasket. Or since it's leaking from beneath the waterpump, not saying it's coming from the waterpump itself, it could just be a hose too.

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

:screwy:

posted by  srober32

The hole is called a weep hole and when coolant starts to weep out of it. CHANGE THE GODDAMN PUMP. it is the seal for the waterpump shaft and when the seal starts to leak, means either some foriegn cause deteriorated the seal or in most cases the bearing has play and the shaft is starting to walk and the seal is no longer working at that point, if it's a hose... it'll leak at the hose, if it's a gasket it'll leak at the mating surface, if the pump itself is f-ed up it'll leak out that hole

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

Calm down Banff, and read my signature. Because he ain't worth gettign pissed over. :mrgreen:

posted by  srober32

Oh I thought you were talking about a hole on the mating surface, my bad.

posted by  88GrandPrixSE

im not gettin mad it's just whenever coolant has been leaking out of that hole i tell the customer and all they say is oh i know, or sum BS, or i even give them a full estimate for the pump job and they snub there nose, what do i know i'm just some punk kid, the industry has gotten such a bad name from bad shops, and everyone just thinks your trying to soak them for money, i wish darwins theory of survival of the fittest still applied today cuz most people would be dead. thats why i phrased it REPLACE THE GODDAMN PUMP, don't kid yourself you need a new one.

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

Umm humm

posted by  srober32

Well BanffAutoSpa_ap you were right.
My pump totally failed yesterday. I am planning on replacing it in the next day or two. I live in Northeast Ohio....any tips on how much a New Water Pump should cost...as opposed to geetin one from a a junkyard?
And I would imagine there might be other expenses like a gasket or seal?

Thanks in advance for any insight

PA

posted by  Pure Amature

Well, in south east Michigan they run about 35 bucks rebuilt. Take off the old one first and take it with you to make sure it is the correct part, and to exchange if there is a core charge. :thumbs:

posted by  srober32

Thanks for the tip~
Im finding 35-50 dollars is about the quotes Im getting.

Toughest part is Ive started taking the parts that need removed Shroud, Fan Hoses etc...) and Im using a small Space Heater...and its 19 degrees with snow flyin' here in good ld Ohio!!! :ohcrap:

I am truley a PURE AMATURE.....................LOL :laughing:

posted by  Pure Amature

I feel ya, that is the snow we just missed, lol! :ohcrap:

posted by  srober32

I should have made a Video of my work today in my Garage.
I bet it would be the Box-Office Comedy Hit of the Year! :hi:

I have a greater appreciation for Techs now.....it is knuckle bustin, back bending, wrench dropping, bolt losing and samll confine space work Ive ever done :doh:

I backed into my space heater and burned my ass....

Once I figured out that it was a 10 mill socket I needed ( metric for a Chevy?)
the tool Kit I had went in the following order 7,8,9,11,12..etc...
Thats right...for some reason they SKIPPED a 10 mill socket!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No empty holder...it wasnt a mistake...they just figured they could leave out
Number 10! :cussing:

Fortunately I had a wrench.

Did I mention my hands are bloody? My back aches from bending over...
and it was STILL 20 degrees outside. :doh:

Im tellin ya...it would have made a great Comedy.
No wonder mechanics cuss and drink alot after work......

PA

posted by  Pure Amature

LOL well good work buddy, now you will be one of those people who doesn't nit pick and argue every little penny on your bill(assuming you get some work done ) some people don't appreciate what we do they think tools and time should be free or at least dirt cheap, it's 2005 for god sakes this aint your grandpa's old chevy, and it doesn't cost 25 dollars for a tune up, anyway, i don't drink and the stress level is very minimal, the only thing that chokes me is customers who just need a reason to bitch and complain, a guy asked me if i'd check a coolant leak for him i said sure, and promptly drove the car into the shop, pressurized the cooling system(that tool was at least 150$) and looked and looked and finally found the heater core leak(about 10-20 mins of total time) so then i even gave him an estimate and everything he snubbed his nose at me and asked for his keys(it was a 500$ job because the entire dash had to come out) in the end he was about to walk away when i gave him the bill for the minimum shop charg which was 25.00$ i even saved him 10 bucks cuz i didn't put it down as a cooling system pressure test..... i thought i was being nice he was like WTF i didn't know it would cost me just to look at it, i was furious and calmy asked what do you do for a living, he was a doctor or sum BS and i asked do you work for free, are your tools free and READ THE GODDAMN SIGN minimum charge for f-sakes, either way i told him to take it somewhere else cuz i didn't wanna look at his stupid face anymore, so he drove away and hopefully siezed his motor shortly after, anyway that was my rant bad customers are few and far between but they sure make you wanna freak out and stab someone when they do that.

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

oh and the bloody hands will stop after a few years... the skin gets pretty thick :mrgreen:

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

LOL! :laughing:

I feel better today......I removed the serpentine belt and the 4 bolts holding in the Old Water Pump ( all without stripping the bolts I might add) :clap:

Just finished my lunch...so Im going back at it now.

I did break a ratchet on bolt # 2...and no, my tools are a gift set, so they are not Craftsman :banghead:
Luckily I DID find an old Craftsman as a back up so I can finish the job

So add my name to the list of Craftman Tools For Life..

PA

posted by  Pure Amature

it is amazing how many folks don't understand the first statement Wally made.

Another reason the cars thermostat needs to operate is the coolant temp. is an input to the engine management computers and will impact ignition timing, and other variables and possibly engine performance.

posted by  tbaxleyjr

Thanks again for the help.
Finally finished the job Sat Night. :clap:

I had to do it twice because I didnt line up my gasket and seal it properly the first time :ticking:
But....I anyone needed the practice it was me.
So everythings running fine with plenty of heat and my wife has her van back
When the wife's happy...EVERYBODYS happy :mrgreen:

P.A.

posted by  Pure Amature

Excellent! :thumbs:

posted by  srober32

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