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87 caravan


jim millett's Avatar
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09-11-03, 03:59 PM   #1  
87 caravan

as i was driving home the car overheated. the gauge was pegged .and the oil gauge would go from low to ok at idlethe poil was pegged at low ,rev it up would go to ok (middle of gauge) when running it would fliop fom ok to low i checked the oil ,it was full. water was almost out ,filled water and watched for water movement after the thermo opened looked okl?????is this an oil problem or a water problem is ther something wrong with the water which causes the oil gague to go crazy or is it an oil problem which causes the water to overheat?????

 
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09-11-03, 06:36 PM   #2  
OK, you overheated. The first thing to address is this. Check for leaks, proper fill and fan operation. Next when you overheat you put undue stress on the other components in the engine because they are not running under optimal temperature. You probably ran the engine so hot that you thinned the oil which caused the condition with the gages. Get the overheat problem fixed, change your oil and then see where you are from there. Change the thermostat while you are there if you overheated as bad as it sounds like you did because you toasted it anyway.
Hope this helps ya,
Billy

 
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09-11-03, 08:11 PM   #3  
Joe_F
Agree with Billy. Which engine size in the van?

None of the engines used that year were particularly stellar....

 
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09-13-03, 09:38 AM   #4  
when i went to fill the water i decided to wash out radiator fins to see if blocked . well low and behold what fins .what little was left just washed away it looked good from the front because of another radiator for the transmission replaced the radiator .now that i have seen post will change oil and thermostat then give it a tryout tks guys for the help

 
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09-13-03, 10:23 AM   #5  
I would change the tranny fluid also before running the car again, you probably overheated it also.

 
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09-13-03, 10:48 AM   #6  
If the copper fins in between the water tubes are gone then the engine will indeed overheat. We had a '90 Caravan that did the very same thing. But, as Billy mentioned you already may have caused some irreversable damage if the motor ran overheated for very long as it probably has an aluminum head on it.

I purchased a radiator new wholesale from an outfit in Mass. for around $125 delivered. If you want they're number reply back and I will post it here.

By the way our van was a 2.5 Liter.

 
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09-13-03, 03:52 PM   #7  
ok .changed the oil and filter. replaced radiator $80.00at advance auto, replaced thermostat,put in new antifreeze. car runs at idle and temp ok but the oil gauge goes to off,then if i rev up motor i get hi oil presure.let off gas it goes back to low could i have cooked the sender or is this another problem. also i notice that the motor has a surge in it .the motor idles slow then fast then slow then fast etc.while i had the hood open i had changed the spark plug wires was going to do it a year ago but you know how that goes,lol.had to take off air filter box to get at rear plugs. there are two hoses 1/2, that goes to the filter box one goes to the oil cover ,but could not find a spot for the other it looks like it just hangs there .if the second hose goes somewhere that might explain the surges,or maybe not.will drain and replace tran fluid.anything else i should do this is starting to be a drag if it wasnt my work van i would say the heck with it.but cannot aford another right now. tks for any help

 
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09-13-03, 06:00 PM   #8  
next step would be to check oil pressure with a mechanical guage to see where it really is may have did some damage to the engine when overheated that increased bearing clearances and lowered oil pressure, the tube on the air cleaner doesnt go any where it is just a vent tube. might try cleaning the throttle plate to see if that helps the idle surge.

 
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09-14-03, 07:19 AM   #9  
Joe_F
I agree. How long did you drive this overheated? Sounds like the vehicle hasn't seen much maintenance recently .

 
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09-14-03, 10:25 AM   #10  
mike from nj
oil pressure usually follows the engine's rpm, it depends how high and low the engine is surging. if it is about to stall, the idle could be so low that it isn't producing enough oil pressure


fix the idle first, like stated already, it could be a dirty throttle body(inside)

let us know

 
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09-14-03, 11:09 AM   #11  
joe,i have tried to keep up the maintenance. it just was when my stepdaughter used the carshe said she saw arking at night under the hood .so i bought the wires and placed them on the counter,but since i am also remodeling the house ,slow and rought . house build in 1890 and in bad shape. my wife moved the wires and they were forgotten by the time my stepdaughter brought back the car ,a few months later.as for the over heating as soon as i noticed it i put the heater on full blast and the temp came down but by that time the oil gauge was doing its thing . ,after i changed everything the oil preasure was great it took about ten minutes for it to act up at idle but the temp was fine.the surge mellowed out some but sill was faintly there. will try and clean the throttle plate if i can find it in the book dont forget im a backyard mechanic not a pro takes me longer to figure things out and look things up i come here when its new or im stuck or cannt find it in the manual.you all have been great help in the past and present tks

 
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09-14-03, 11:29 AM   #12  
Joe_F
Ya don't have to tell me about projects, I've got two houses to maintain and 7+ cars, plus another 10 I service. LOL.

Maintenance is always cheaper than new parts and and a new engine. A little time spent now means more trouble-free driving later.

I'm not a professional mechanic either--I only play one on Diy.com. LOL

 
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09-14-03, 06:33 PM   #13  
The hose on the filter housing should NOT be an open vent. I have never seen a vent on a filter housing that wasnt connected to something. I think Mike can elaborate on this. But I believe you will find that line is possibly causing your surging problem. I cant find a picture on Alldata to confirm this however. What weight of oil did you put in the engine?
Billy

 
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09-14-03, 08:39 PM   #14  
mike from nj
billy, since he never said what engine he had, i'm assuming it's a 3.0L(based on the statement of the 'back' plugs)

there's 2 hoses, one goes from the top port of the airbox to the valve cover(pcv make-up air) and the other is a drain for the crap that accumulates under those breather filters--the lower port on the airbox, a 90 degree hose and pointed down. either hose off wouldn't cause a problem right now

good thinkin though

 
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09-15-03, 06:54 AM   #15  
Joe_F
Original poster:

Which engine is in this van???

 
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09-16-03, 05:25 PM   #16  
engine 3.0,after looking and looking and not finding a spot for the hose i had put in down at a 90 so i lucked out . as for the the surge it has mellowed out. the oil gauge now seems to stay hi while driving but i keep forgetting to check at idle stop get out and in the house then i remember and say ill check it when i start it up ,dont you know forget till im driving to check the oil preasure. but right after i write this im going down to check it out... tks for the help sofar will keep you posted

 
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09-16-03, 08:04 PM   #17  
mike from nj
your 3.0L is about the most reliable engine i've ever seen in terms of oil pressure. i think i've replaced one in my lifetime for bad bearings. smoking out the tailpipe is a different story, they're notorious valve stem seal eaters. we even tried to blow one up, by pouring a gallon of pure antifreeze into the oil, after an hour of revving it, it wouldn't break. took it all apart and the bearings were still clean, reliable in my book! if it made it this far, it's ok with the oil pressure. any engine without oil pressure usually doesn't last more than a few minutes, and it's normal for the gauge to go up and down with engine rpm.

 
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09-17-03, 07:41 AM   #18  
Joe_F
Also, have you tried to measure the engine oil pressure with a handheld gauge? That will confirm/deny oil pressure problems.

 
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09-17-03, 04:26 PM   #19  
well the oil gauge seems to be working again no more drops ,got 65 miles on it and motor not banging yet . when i was calling around for a new sending unit i asked for a machanical gauge to check the oil preasure and all four stores said they had nothing to fit my motor. dah...... one said i would have to go to a speciality shop. i would think there must be a testing gauge at the auto parts stores but what the heck do i know. dah!!!!!!!! the only thing left is to change the tran fluid just to be on the safe side. due anyways

 
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09-17-03, 05:51 PM   #20  
Jim,
The best thing to do for an oil pressure tester, and it is real inexpensive, go to the parts store and purchase an aftermarket oil pressure gage, with the cute little chrome bracket, just hook it up temporarily to check and then unhook again. These places sell a pressure tool, but obviously the kid you asked probably didnt have the first clue what you are talking about. Check on the tool isle and see what you can find. It is always better to go look yourself than to call and ask.
Billy

 
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09-18-03, 06:55 AM   #21  
Joe_F
Yea, or hit a GOOD parts store and they should have the gauge and the proper adapters.

A GOOD Autozone should have a good kit you can rent free of charge. Ask to speak to the manager.

 
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09-18-03, 09:52 AM   #22  
redneck
Overheating will wreak havic on sensors. I overheated a 3.1 chevy once and the temp. guage always ran high after that! Did not have an oil press. guage so I don't know about them.

 
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