Help! Overheating and sputtering! - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 26th, 2006, 06:20 PM
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Kurt Harvey
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Help! Overheating and sputtering!

The other day I went through some muddy water and about three hours later I was driving and the car started to overheat. I let the car sit to cool down and then I drove it home about five miles while the temp gauge was a little below the H and when i stop the car the oil pressure light flickers. I drove the car the next day to the mechanic and i turned the heat on, and the car drove fine the whole way over there. I take it to the local mechanic and he tells me that the radiator is clogged solid and he replaces the radiator, thermostat, and the hoses. when i pick it up to drive it home, he tells me that it is now sputtering and stalling and that the cats need to be replaced for another 900 dollars. I drive it home and it runs pretty shitty. Lots of sputtering and black smoke, there is also a sulfur smell in the cab. I go to the gas station to fill it up because it is running on near empty and I fill it up. When i go to start the car again it starts and then dies. It did this about ten times before it finally started up and i drove it a half and a mile home. If i let it sit it starts of fine but then runs really crappy.

Can anyone suggest what is wrong and what i need to get fixed before i have to spend another grand on a new y-pipe with cats.
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  #2  
Old June 26th, 2006, 06:30 PM
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steve
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first...change your fuel filter
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  #3  
Old July 3rd, 2006, 12:51 AM
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Kurt Harvey
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got the new cats installed and it has been running great no stalling or overheating. but sometimes every couple of days when i am idling my engine for a couple of minutes the oil pressure light flickers. Now i have only noticed this when i have been sitting in a drive thru and then the flickering goes away when i drive off. what is the problem?
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  #4  
Old July 3rd, 2006, 01:11 AM
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Could be that the oil is old and thinned out. Happens to me when i'm overdue for an oil change, or used too thin of a viscosity.

-Hans
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  #5  
Old July 4th, 2006, 12:20 AM
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Kurt Harvey
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i just had the oil changed by my mechanic and i am not sure what grade he used, it is pretty hot down here in florida about 95 during the day in the summer and gets to about 32 in the winter. what would be a good brand and grade of oil to use year round?
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  #6  
Old July 4th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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$900is too much for cats, you can get them much cheaper (for just the cats) from summit racing and just have the local shop weld them in for you.

I would suggest running 10W40 or 15W40, if this does not solve your oil light flickering problem it might be time to rebuild your pump. But chances are that when they changed the oil they put 5w30 in it and it probably had 15w40 in it before the oil change.
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  #7  
Old July 4th, 2006, 12:27 PM
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Yeah, 5w30 is definitely too thin. The oil sytem on the 3.9's was originally designed in the days before multi-viscocity oils. I generally use 10w30 in the winter and 15w30 in the summer. Shell Rotella has been highly recommended by numerous mechanics and folks on this website for it's deteregency. It's intended as a diesel oil, and helps keep the engine from sludging up.

-Hans
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  #8  
Old July 6th, 2006, 04:51 PM
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Hey Kurt, did you find out whats wrong??? My 90 started doing every thing yours is a few months ago and I have changed the cap, rotor, plugs, wires, fuel filter,Battery, coolent, and an oil chage and it still runs hot and crapy, engine sputters, oil light flickers, idles very low when stopped some times, some times wont start.it seems like it is not getting gas Could it be the fuel pump?? any body have an idea

Thanks Brett
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  #9  
Old July 6th, 2006, 05:46 PM
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Robert Ragland
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Water temp sensor failure can send the engine into running rich. This will cause poor starting, heavy exhaust, rough idle, etc. The effect is much worse than when the O2 sensors fail.

Personally, I would be somewhat leary of a mechanic who keeps coming up with big repair suggestions. Unless, of course, the truck needs a thorough overhaul. From the sounds of the original post, the truck may be new to the owner. My advice would be this. Stay away from the trails for a while and put some miles on the truck with typical driving. Get to know the vehicle and what elements seem to be on the verge of going out. Learn about what to expect with a 10 year old Defender, the usual issues, the typical part failings, and so forth. Know your truck, then go off-road. Off-roading with a less than healthy vehicle is a sure fire method to cause real damage to expensive systems.

For instance, if you really did have a bad radiator, the engine could have over-heated beyond the point of no return. Maybe it wasn't something everyday driving would have triggered, but off-road might. Also, most cats that fail often rattle first. Not always, but often enough to where you would be clued into their condition. Second hand trucks that are heavily off-roaded right away, and then get taken straight into the shop are targets for heavy billings. Too often the owner can't tell what's been damaged from what simply wore out over time. The mechanic looks at the owner like he's some idiot beating up this expensive truck. Not to mention, they hate working on a truck still covered in mud.
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  #10  
Old July 7th, 2006, 12:40 AM
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Kurt Harvey
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well i got the cats redone and it runs fine now brett with the excpetion of the oil pressure light at idle every couple of days, and robert you are very correct, i should of waited to see what the truck was capable of before i would of just gone out there and screwed my truck up. It is all good now, but it was a very expensive lesson that i learned. i have had the truck for about 6 months but i guess going through that five foot deep mud hole with the water going over the hood wasnt such a good idea, hell you live and learn, and i think i take it easy until i get to know the truck better. Thanks robert!
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