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Van running hot!


aja8888's Avatar
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05-13-05, 02:43 PM   #1  
Van running hot!

I have a 1996 Chrysler T&C Van with the 3.8 L V6 auto/AC with 169000 miles on it. I bought it last fall and as the outside temps got hotter around here (Texas) the van ran hotter and hotter. Both electric cooling fans work well and the system is tight with no loss of coolant. Today, I decided to put a 180 degree thermostat in it to see if things would improve. I pulled the gooseneck and ! NO THERMOSTAT! Well that made me step back and think about you good folks.

Perhaps the radiator is corroded and the previous owner pulled the T-Stat to cool things down? Water pump impellers going away?

Any ideas or experience with these vans with this much mileage on them?

Thanks,

Tony

 
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05-14-05, 05:44 AM   #2  
EclipsemanUSA
Well Tony,

It could of course be a number of things, I would start off by running the engine with the radiator cap off and see if the coolant is flowing. If coolant is not flowing then it could be a blocked radiator or a bad water pump. The water pump on the 3.8 is fairly easy to change and they do have a tendancy to go bad. I just repalced a bad water pump on a 3.8 engine with only 42,000 on it..

Hope that helps!

 
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05-14-05, 06:13 AM   #3  
grimreaper
This person obviously had problems with over heating before he sold it to you. So..if it were mine, first I would check the oil, and make sure there is no coolant in it.
If that is clear and clean..then I would start it COLD..dead COLD. Pull off the radiator cap, then LOOK to see if the coolant is circulating in the radiator.( NEVER DO THIS IF THE CAR HAS BEEN RUNNING AT ALL!!)
If so, odds are the water pump is probably moving the water,to some degree anyway. Because you dont have a stat in it to hold it back, it SHOULD be moving right away without having to warm up. If not, it could be the water pump.
My next step would be to change the coolant, and see that it is mixed to the specs to fit that vehicle. It could probably use it anyway. Be sure to TOTALLY DRAIN the entire system. As the problem may be that it has an air bubble in the heater core, or some other part of the motor. So be sure to feel the inlet and outlet hoses, and see if they feel the same temp. If not, you may be able to locate the blockage pretty fast.
With that many miles on it, it can be a lot of different problems causing this..so you have to take them one at a time, and keep going until you find the answer. Or take it to a good mechanic, and let him test it for you. It MAY cost you less in the long run.
Good luck with it.

 
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05-14-05, 12:50 PM   #4  
suggest installing a stock thermostat and taking to a shop and have it scanned to see at what temp the engine is actually running at you never really stated in your post that the van has ever overheated or blown any coolant out of the system just that it seems to run hotter in warmer weather wich is usually common, and as long as the fans are cycling on and off when the a/c is off it is a good indication the engine is running at a temp range it was designed to run at.
the fans running all the time or not cycling off very often usually a minute or less after kicking on would indicate a problem that should be looked into and a good possibility that the radiater may be restricted.

 
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05-15-05, 10:20 AM   #5  
Overheating

Yes, the car overheated to the point where coolant blew out. Yesterday with it cold, I removed the radiator cap and started the engine. There was virtually no coolant moving throuh the radiator. I will be pulling the water pump later today. Thanks for the ideas. I'll be back.

Update: The water pump is shot (i think). I ordered a new one and a new radiator, hoses etc. I will put it all back together next weekend. Thanks for all your help.

Tony


Last edited by aja8888; 05-23-05 at 03:34 PM. Reason: spelling, more info
 
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05-23-05, 08:40 AM   #6  
Update and need advice!

Replaced radiator, water pump (the old one was not shot like I assumed), thermostat (180 degree, tested in a pan of water), hoses and clamps. Filled system with gooseneck off, put in thermstat, finished filling system. Drove the van a mile untill the temp was through the ceiling. Upper radiator hose was hot as the termostat opened, but the lower radiator hose was cool. I guess there is a blockage in the engine/heater system. The heater blew hot air during this time. Does this seem like a plugged heater core as there is no flow throught the system?

Looking for some fresh advice.

Thanks, Tony

 
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05-23-05, 10:08 PM   #7  
ttt Help! I need an opinon, thatnks.

 
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05-24-05, 07:39 AM   #8  
youve already replaced most of the cooling system components maybe you should see a shop for diagnostic of the cooling system most shops can detect a bad headgasket that may not be leaking to the point where it is obvious but can cause overheating problems. they will also be able to scan the computer and get a much more accurate reading of the coolant tempature.

 
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