Re: Overheating: thermostat OK, radiator OK, so WHAT'S WRONG???



Cooling fan? Greg
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Yeah, my '89 had troubles with the electric fan. I bypassed the computer and now control it manually.Plus, there is an air dam underneath which was torn away. Hmmmm... I gotta remember to find a replacement for that......... Maybe arrange to get a second opinion from a cooling systems specialist?
-Merius.

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"Merius" wrote: > Yeah, my '89 had troubles with the electric fan. I bypassed > the computer and > now control it manually.Plus, there is an air dam underneath > which was torn > away. Hmmmm... I gotta remember to find a replacement for > that......... > Maybe arrange to get a second opinion from a cooling systems > specialist? > > -Merius. >
> > &nbsp;> > My car overheats rather quickly. I can drive only a > few miles before > &nbsp;> > the gauge points all the way to the red. Twice, I > have stopped the > &nbsp;> > car, opened the hood and seen coolant exploding out > of the coolant > &nbsp;> > overfill cap. > &nbsp;> > > &nbsp;> > > > > > > > Cooling fan? > > Greg > > > >
Wellllll, when I originally saw coolant explode out of the coolant overflow cap, I was at home. However, I took the car to a "reputable" repair shop, they simply refilled the coolant for me, then let me drive it. About 20 minutes later, I was back at the repair shop. Only this time, I took one of their employees outside to watch the coolant exploding. He was like, "Yes, that is an explosion." :?
You know what they did the second time? A computer diagnostic. "Oh, we cant find anything wrong. So, well charge you $190 to replace your thermostat." :x
The car still overheated. My mechanic (my NEW mechanic) found that the gear on the outside of the water pump has a small gear shaft attached to it that needed some cleaning. He was hoping that was the problem. Unfortunately, the car wouldnt even start yesterday. So, now we have to make it start before we can find out if the overheating problem has been solved.
To be honest, Im so frustrated with my car now. I REALLY hope I just have a car that was neglected and that most other Firebird Trans Ams arent as difficult to work with.
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LiMa wrote:

First, you MUST run the car until it gets to or a little over temp with the hood open and make sure that the fans come on. Also turn the AC on and make sure that they come on with the AC. If the fans don't come on the car WILL overheat all the time. That is always the first thing to check. It sounds like the relay might have gone out. Then again it could be anything in that line, but the first thing is to see if they are coming on, because if they are not, then all the other stuff you are doing is a waste of time and money.
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'95 LT-1 engine, with the Opti-spark ignition under the water pump? Now that your mechanic screwed with the water pump, which my bet was ok, he probably also screwed up the ignition. ARE THE COOLING FAN(S) RUNNING???? Greg
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Check :
The lower radiator hose for collapsing while someone revs it to 3000 rpms . Clean and flush the system using Prestone Product and flushing Tee and open the block drains too. Add seals to the sides of the radiator/condensor so all the air goes THRU them not around them. Check 'actual' temp with a lazer thermometer pointed at the thermostat housing on the block end. Power wash the radiator and condensor fins back and front. Are you missing the fan shroud ? Try running no more than 25% coolant with water ; water is the best coolant -- Add a bottle of Water Wetter also. If your water pump is old...get a new 'Stewart' hi flo pump for your application -- it really moves the water around .
Until you figure out whats causing the overheating...remove your thermostat if youre going to be driving it . It will run much cooler if you do, but, do this as a temporary measure.
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Recommendation #1. Replace the air dam, there is no way for air to get up to the radiator without it. Do a google on overheating F-bodies, you'll find it all over the place.
...Ron -- 68' Camaro RS 88' Firebird Formula 00' Mustang GT Vert
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If Your fan is old, it will overheat. If you buy a crappy fan from some places, it will overheat. If your bottom air dam is gone...IT WILL OVERHEAT. I buy fan from GM, last I remember, $100. BUT IT WORKS ! If Your fan relay is bad, it will overheat. If your fan does not come on, it will overheat. I would NOT bypass the relay switch with a rigged setup. You could put a manual override switch in to bypass the relay if the relay leaves you stranded. If Your temp sender is not working, it will overheat. I don't like the 3rd gen cooling system. If you bypass switch and keep fan on all the time, it will probably - OVERHEAT- since it cannot cool down, and it will drain your battery and kill your alternator. When all things are fixed, it will work. If you have all things fixed but the air dam is gone, --- it will overheat---. You notice this when it is hot.

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"standrew16" wrote: > If Your fan is old, it will overheat. If you buy a crappy fan > from some > places, it will overheat. If your bottom air dam is gone...IT > WILL OVERHEAT. > I buy fan from GM, last I remember, $100. BUT IT WORKS ! > If Your fan relay is bad, it will overheat. If your fan does > not come on, it > will overheat. I would NOT bypass the relay switch with a > rigged setup. You > could put a manual override switch in to bypass the relay if > the relay > leaves you stranded. If Your temp sender is not working, it > will overheat. I > don't like the 3rd gen cooling system. If you bypass switch > and keep fan on > all the time, it will probably - OVERHEAT- since it cannot > cool down, and it > will drain your battery and kill your alternator. When all > things are fixed, > it will work. If you have all things fixed but the air dam is > gone, --- it > will overheat---. You notice this when it is hot. > > > >
> > > > > My car overheats rather quickly. I can drive only a few > miles before > > > > the gauge points all the way to the red. Twice, I have > stopped the > > > > car, opened the hood and seen coolant exploding out of > the coolant > > > > overfill cap. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > Cooling fan? > > > Greg > > > > > > > > > >
So, it has been a really long time since I started this post.
Right now, my car has spent about 2 weeks at the local Pontiac dealership. They CANT figure out how to make the car stop overheating. Theyve suggested that I take the car to another dealership, where I suppose the mechanics should have more knowledge and experience.
Is it normal for the dealership to not be able to figure out something like this? :?:
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http://www.autoforumz.com/Camaro-Firebird-Overheating-thermostat-radiator-WRONG-ftopict119930.html
Watch it wind up being something silly like the fins on the backside of the A/C condenser mashed flat from mishandling. I know my '88 had about 1/4 of theirs flattened from a previous idiot attack.
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"LiMa" wrote: > My car overheats rather quickly. I can drive only a few miles > before the gauge points all the way to the red. Twice, I have > stopped the car, opened the hood and seen coolant exploding > out of the coolant overfill cap. > > My car is a 1995 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, V8, 5.7 L, 134,000 > mi, 6-speed. > > I had the thermostat replaced. Then, today, my new mechanic > checked the radiator for leaks and blockage and found none. > He looked at the water pump, which he said seemed fine. > > My mechanic is wondering if there may be a problem with the > (his words) "water pump connector to timing chain output." He > also wonders if the heater core may be the culprit. As a > worst case scenario, he wonders if the cooling jackets may > need to be replaced. > [b:36a299f8c7] > ANY INFO IS MUCH APPRECIATED[/b:36a299f8c7]. I've searched > the internet, but I am not finding a general consensus about > why my Trannsy is overheating.
Fans are OK. In fact, they were the first thing my mechanic checked. I simply didnt mention them in my original post, b/c I figured it was so obvious that wed checked them first. HOWEVER, we didnt leave the car running for a long time. Perhaps the fans start when the A/C is on, but somehow dont start when the car begins to overheat?
The air dam, which Ive also heard people call the "spoiler," is fine and in tact, too.
For not starting, it seems to be the ignition switch, so far, but I am worried about the Optispark. Ive been reading a lot of negative stuff about Optispark on the web. Fortunately, the 95s had an "improved" Optispark installed that was supposed to not be as easily affected by moisture as the previous years Optisparks. . . . Well see.
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LiMa wrote:

The fans coming on at temp, and on with AC are different issues. One can work and the other not. You need to watch as temp is reached (about 210 - 240 and the fans should come on. If not, there is likely a sensor problem that is causing this. The temp guage on the dash, and the one the computer uses, are seperate so you can think things are normal when they are not. Since the computer turns the fans off and on, it may be the computer is not seeing the engine get hot and so the fans never come on. This would also cause other performance problems since the computer would be trying to run an engine that is hotter than the computer thinks it is.
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The only way you could properly check to see if the cooling fan is working is by running the engine up to a temperature where the fan is required to see if it comes on by itself. The fact that it works when a current is applied does not mean that the cooling fan SYSTEM is working. The electric fan at the radiator has to come on when the temperature is somewhere between 210 and 240.

Are we sure we're talking about the same thing? Around here a spoiler goes at the back of a car and looks cool, but an air dam goes under the car and forces air up towards the radiator.
Good luck.
-Merius
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I've heard the front bumper GFX referred to as a spoiler (or a "chin spoiler") but that's another part entirely.
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Hi SBlackfoot,
Wednesday May 18 2005, SBlackfoot writes to All:
> I've heard the front bumper GFX referred to as a spoiler (or > a "chin spoiler") but that's another part entirely.
Are you sure?
Kevin snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca
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Merius wrote:

    A front Air Damn is at times refered to as a spoiler. If it is correct to do so is another matter. Charles
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Have you checked the timing?
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"Bruce Chang3" wrote:
> > > My car overheats rather quickly. I can drive only a few > miles before > > the gauge points all the way to the red. Twice, I have > stopped the > > car, opened the hood and seen coolant exploding out of the > coolant > > overfill cap. > > > > My car is a 1995 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, V8, 5.7 L, > 134,000 mi, > > 6-speed. > > > > I had the thermostat replaced. Then, today, my new mechanic > checked > > the radiator for leaks and blockage and found none. He > looked at the > > water pump, which he said seemed fine. > > > > My mechanic is wondering if there may be a problem with the > (his > > words) "water pump connector to timing chain output." He > also > > wonders if the heater core may be the culprit. As a worst > case > > scenario, he wonders if the cooling jackets may need to be > replaced. > > > > ANY INFO IS MUCH APPRECIATED. I've searched the internet, > but I am > > not finding a general consensus about why my Trannsy is > overheating. > > > > -- > > Have you checked the timing?
Bruce Chang, what do you mean by timing? . . . the timing belt?
Anyhow, the ignition switch is fine. :( There is a wire that is not sending a signal. The possible culprit may be the factory security system. Unfortunately, my mechanic is not an expert with electrical wiring. Were going to ask a local Pontiac dealership for help.
Sadly, Im out of money (poor college student), so I must wait at least a month before going to the Pontiac dealership.
Ill keep you all posted. Im really thankful for your suggestions. :)
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No, I meant the ignition timing meaning the position of the distributor. Does the Opti have timing you can set?
As to your ignition switch, if you have VATS (a key with a little resistor chip in it), if the factory security system is giving you a problem, the "security" light should be lit. If you have any engineering friends or ones that work on cars or stereos, have them take a look at it. You can bypass the VATS and if the ignition switch is fine, you can get your car back on the road and replace the ignition switch (because it contains the VATS "sensor") later at your convienence and when you have money.
-Bruce
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"Bruce Chang" wrote:

Hey, I bought a repair manual. It says that the base timing is set, that no adjustments are possible and that the PCM controls the ignition timing.
Ta da! I can quote a book. . . I may not know what it means, but I can quote it.
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