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  #41  
Old June 19th, 2006, 03:01 PM
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Christian Gunther
'94 D90
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Help

I am having a similarly weird problem. Here are the details:

Symptoms:
1. Overheats after driving on freeway for longer distances (>1 hour) once I stop or hit traffic. While on highway at speeds, it is fine. When stopped for first time after driving for a while, the overflow reservoir spits coolant.
2. Guage pegged > 250 3 times this past weekend and then immediately went back to @220. One of the 3 times was while on a trail. I turned on the heat at 220 each time, but didn't have fast enough effect.
3. Seems to cool fine after travelling for some time at slower speeds.


What I have done so far:
1. Radiator re-core.
2. New Thermostat
3. New viscous fan
4. New VDO guage with actual temps

What I am planning:
1. Check for Head gasket.
2. Check new core for plugs

Is there anything I should do? Any suggestions. The original poster didn't post the solution to their issue.
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  #42  
Old June 19th, 2006, 03:59 PM
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Tony Fannin
'94 D-90 #491
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGunther
I am having a similarly weird problem. Here are the details:

Symptoms:
1. Overheats after driving on freeway for longer distances (>1 hour) once I stop or hit traffic. While on highway at speeds, it is fine. When stopped for first time after driving for a while, the overflow reservoir spits coolant.
2. Guage pegged > 250 3 times this past weekend and then immediately went back to @220. One of the 3 times was while on a trail. I turned on the heat at 220 each time, but didn't have fast enough effect.
3. Seems to cool fine after travelling for some time at slower speeds.


What I have done so far:
1. Radiator re-core.
2. New Thermostat
3. New viscous fan
4. New VDO guage with actual temps

What I am planning:
1. Check for Head gasket.
2. Check new core for plugs

Is there anything I should do? Any suggestions. The original poster didn't post the solution to their issue.

I had the exact same symptoms last summer and doing the head gasket fixed mine.
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  #43  
Old June 19th, 2006, 04:05 PM
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Christian Gunther
'94 D90
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crud

That makes me sad. But at least it will run better afterwards.
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  #44  
Old June 20th, 2006, 05:56 AM
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Ray Bone
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well mine was fine after I recore the radiator, but i had the head gasket done as well. it was expensive
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  #45  
Old June 20th, 2006, 10:32 AM
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Tony Fannin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGunther
That makes me sad. But at least it will run better afterwards.
To clarify, I also tried the things you already have, except a new gauge, before I did the head gasket.
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  #46  
Old June 20th, 2006, 12:20 PM
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Christian Gunther
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The Plan

Since I don't have the space to do the head gasket, I am taking it in. While it's there I'll have the new core checked as well as one issue that I didn't mention. When I brake, the temp guage jumps a hair. So, I'll be double checking the new guage too just make sure it was installed properly.

The mechanic I go to seems to think it isn't the head gasket but is going to do a hydrocarbon test to make sure. From what I have read, I'd need some good odds to bet against the owners who've written here.

I'll post the solution. Probably next week.
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  #47  
Old June 21st, 2006, 11:51 PM
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Trevor Tarr
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Christian, who's your mechanic?
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  #48  
Old June 22nd, 2006, 10:27 AM
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Christian Gunther
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Mechanic

I go to Four Oaks in Santa Monica.

Larry is good, listens to my theories, and politely explains when I am totally wrong. We'll find out on Friday what this issue is.

I ran into a guy on Tuesday with a black fastback that was having the same problems I am. We both have appointments at Four Oaks tomorrow. It'll be interesting to see if the solution is the same.

Do you have any other recommendations? Also, I am moving to Austin in a few weeks. Anybody there?

Thanks.
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  #49  
Old June 22nd, 2006, 10:57 AM
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Arthur Maravelis
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Another possibility: I brought in my Tdi radiator for a recore the other day and my mechanic mentioned that a common problem with radiators is the build-up of "crud" acting as an insulator on the internal surfaces. Flow rate is unaffected but the coolant simply passes through the system without any heat transfer.

This was/is common on a Mercedes model or two (forgot which ones).

Now, a cleaning would be the obvious cure but he said there's no cleaner to do this. Mercedes never solved this problem - they just replaced radiators. I would think running steam through it should work.

I do recall looking into mine I did notice some pinkish crud but did not check for it lining the surfaces. I did put Water Wetter in it way back (which is pink) and now I wonder if that was a good thing. The WW wasn't the cause of the radiator going south but the crud was there.

Finally, you must use distilled water to keep things clean. I know most probably don't but this and annual flushes should keep the inside in as good shape as possible.

Really finally, I posted a pic on a similar thread on radiators of a Corvette single core type radiator. When I need to do my 90 I will most likely experiment with this design and have one made. It will be aluminum.

This is touted as one of the best radiator designs and is only 1.5-inches thick. I have been told that part of the overall design may the fact that Corvette radiators are inclined to the airflow, allowing air to hit more fin surface area. Another crtical design element is fan/shroud layout. This must be properly determined to ensure airflow is at maximum efficiancy. It is not enough to have air drawn through. The flow should be correct - that is, with low turbulence so as to not be thrown back into the incoming stream.

In the end, the stock setup is barely adequate if in perfect shape. I really think a better radiator is needed to ensure a greater degree of safety. At the very least, a 3-core aluminum.
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  #50  
Old June 22nd, 2006, 08:10 PM
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Andy Radlgruber
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It may be retorical, but maybe you have a vapour lock, a large bubble of air in your cooling system that prevents coolant from moving through the system. I know you have had enough work done on this thing that SOMEONE should have known how to fill the radiator. The work that was done never required a complete draining of the system aside from the big radiator, just top ups, which are usually done when cold and the thermostat closed. This will prevent coolant from filling all the chanels in the block due to air holding it back. You said the system is not presurising and you could squeeze the top hose when the engine is hot, which means there is no fluid in the hose, just air. There should be no air in the system. This will cause overheating at low speeds. At higher speeds the air flow will keep the temperature stable but when the pump needs to pump it just spins up a frothy mess doing nothing. In the past I have removed a rad cap and looked into a hot, visually empty, radiator. But when cold it was full. Fill the rad when cold, start it up and let it get hot. Remove the fill cap and keep filling when the thermostat opens until you can't fill any more.
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  #51  
Old June 23rd, 2006, 07:31 AM
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Al Janneck
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qqqqq

Follow-up Post:

Aloha,
Sorry about the above mistype. I have been reading this thread since my 95 Con Green Soft top has been running hot and would have overheated if left on its own for the past month or so. Here is the situation...I am located on Maui an have no automotive training so thanks to the D-90 source I decided to diagnose the problem myself after 2 unsuccesfull shop visits....I found the breather/overflow tube from the coolant resevoir was clogged. When I removed the tube (initially) the resevoir spit...not flowed coolant. Hope this helps.

Al Janneck
95 st con grn
97 st aa yel
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  #52  
Old June 23rd, 2006, 10:58 AM
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Christian Gunther
'94 D90
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Vapor Lock

There is definitely air in the system somewhere. The issues is how its getting in. The truck is going in today to have the head gasket checked with the exhaust sniffer (saves me the cost of the hydro carbon test), and I will be discussing the possibility of a system flush as well.

Over the past few days I have filled the overflow reservoir twice and checked it this morning to find it empty again. Starting to think that if head gasket is blown, it is a result of air in the system and possibly not the original cause of it.

I'll let you know what happens. Thanks for all the guidance. I am new to this stuff, and learning a lot faster than I would like.
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  #53  
Old June 27th, 2006, 06:17 PM
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Christian Gunther
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Solution to my issue

Well, it looks like the problem is being caused by the head gasket...in a strange way though.

Driving around town, everything is fine. It doesn't overheat, and stays right around 180 (VDO temp guage). Once I get on the highway and cruise for an hour it overheats when I get into traffic or pull off into stop and go traffic. While at speeds it creeps up over time. What's happening is when the engine is running at higher RPMs for extended periods, the emmissions (hydrocarbons) are building up in the engine causing air pockets and some back up in the system. This causes the engine to technically overheat, although its misleading because its reading air not coolant temps. Once the blow off valve on the overflow cap lets off some of the pressure, coolant circulates and the temp drops. Not good. Usually, it blows out a quart of coolant prior to this.

I am having the gasket replaced this week (not enough space/knowledge/time to do it myself), and have another trip planned for the weekend after next. I will post how the repair holds up.

If anyone wants specifics about the list of repairs I tried prior to this, PM me.
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  #54  
Old June 29th, 2006, 11:30 AM
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Christian Gunther
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Just to hammer this topic

Okay, so after spending time talking with my mechanic, he said that he recommended not fixing the head gasket yet. He checked the coolant after driving and idling for a while and came up with only 500(?) hydrocarbon in the coolant. He said typically he will do the head gasket at 1200(?). (I think it was ppm - parts per million, but not sure what the measurement unit is)

My question is, should I go somewhere else? Am I asking for trouble still driving around? It only overheats on long trips, and it seems like if I let the pressure out of the system when I stop, and make sure the coolant is topped up I should be okay.

Any tips? I am getting pretty aggravated.

Also, I am moving to Austin in a few weeks. Any recommendations for a shop down there?

Thanks again,
Christian
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  #55  
Old June 30th, 2006, 10:51 PM
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Stephen Whitaker
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Christian, about two weeks ago my '94 90 started displaying the exact same symptoms you described and after reading this thread I thought I had better do the head gaskets. It just so happens that I had a new radiator lying around, so I installed that just in case and the problem seemed to go away. Being a bit paranoid due to this thread I took the truck to a dealer in Indianapolis and they checked the head gasket and said their tests did not indicate any problems. I have driven it on the freeway several times in the last week with no problems (knock on wood).

At present I might question whether, despite the re-coring, your radiator is cooling adequately. Of course, I am heading off to Moab in two weeks, so I will really put my cooling system to the test. After that trip I can say with a bit more certainty whether the radiator was the only culprit in my case.
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  #56  
Old July 6th, 2006, 05:38 PM
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Brett
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Anybody know what an avarage price on getting a head gasket job done would be. Thanks
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  #57  
Old July 7th, 2006, 01:26 AM
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Doug Walker
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With a valve grind, $1200 to $1500?
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  #58  
Old July 7th, 2006, 11:44 PM
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Stephen Whitaker
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The Land Rover stealer in Indianapolis quoted me $1800 with a valve job (I declined). A good independent mechanic who knows Land Rovers would be cheaper.
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  #59  
Old July 7th, 2006, 11:56 PM
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Christian Gunther
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Wow

I was quoted A LOT more. But that included having the radiator serviced. Still, I am glad I didn't have it done. Just deal with it in Austin.

Should I cancel the trip I was going to do this weekend?
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  #60  
Old July 11th, 2006, 12:50 AM
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Brian
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After overheating... resevoir coolant is cool to the touch!!!

I've read most of the threads on overheating issues and not one 90 owner has mentioned the symptom that I have. A ticking noise that occurs when the temp needle reaches the red. From talking to various folks here and elsewhere about it I have come to the conclusion that it is a pre-ignition condition. I replaced the thermostat with a stock one and test drove it.... still overheated with the ticking sound. Turned off engine and opened resevoir. I got a little puff of air (the system depressuring??) but here's the weird thing. Stuck my finger in the resevoir and the coolant was COOL.... literally cool to the touch. How can this be? Plugged radiator or what? Other than t-stat nothing else replaced. The 90 just decided to start overheating one day. Thanks in advance, Brian
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