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#1 Old 12-09-2004, 12:01 PM
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87' Overheating Problem

I have random overheating problems. The overheating seems to occur after I have driven at highway speeds (~80mph) for a decent amount of time (20+ minutes) and then slow down in traffic or tolls. The needle used to get into the red, but does not anymore... just really close. I have replaced the fan, fan clutch, thermostat, & flushed the coolant, cleaned the exterior of the radiator thoughougly. Has anyone else experienced this problem? Is this forshadowing of a head gasket disaster?
What's next? Replace radiator? Water Pump? Could it have something to do with the intercooler? Are there relays that aren't kicking on? Any electric fans?
I can't figure out why it's such a random problem. The weather doesn't seem to have much to do with it. It is now winter in Chicago and I'm still having this problem every now and then. Obviously in the heat of the summer it was worse when it happened and harder to get it cooled back down. When I regain speed the car cools back down.
Oh, I am 99% sure it's not just my gage... coolant overflow occurs when I check under the hood when it has overheated, so I think the gage is accurate.

Thanks for any help.

Ryan
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#2 Old 12-09-2004, 12:23 PM
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That actually sounds like a BHG in the making. Either that or a clutch fan failure and those would be odd to occur on freeway driving and not in the city. If you overheat (go into the red) just once with an aluminum head you can warp it further promoting a blown head gasket.

Personally, I'd do a compression test ASAP. That'll give you a good idea what your cylinders are looking like. A leakdown test would be better, but they're tougher to come by.

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#3 Old 12-09-2004, 03:44 PM
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Take your radiator out and flush it really well. It might be clogged. I'd also check the water pump to be sure.

You mention you have an intercooler. How much increase in boost did you install? That might be causing the overheating (increased boost/pressure = more heat).
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#4 Old 12-09-2004, 04:22 PM
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boost

I'm all stock as far as the turbo and intercooler goes.
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#5 Old 12-09-2004, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeeves
That actually sounds like a BHG in the making. Either that or a clutch fan failure and those would be odd to occur on freeway driving and not in the city. If you overheat (go into the red) just once with an aluminum head you can warp it further promoting a blown head gasket.

Personally, I'd do a compression test ASAP. That'll give you a good idea what your cylinders are looking like. A leakdown test would be better, but they're tougher to come by.

Yep. Team Bad Gasket may have struck again


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#6 Old 01-12-2005, 01:37 PM
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Ryan

RE: "87' Overheating Problem"

Replace your radiator, your fins are plugged and you can't tell by looking at it. I had a similar problem. In the summer, with the a/c on, and going up a hill, my car would overheat. I tried all the cheap fix as you have done and the problem came back. When I finally got my rad rebuilt the problem was solved!

Another new problem developed about 6 months later, fliud leaks started in the gasket area of the rad core and the top plastic. I got it fixed under warranty, but the leaks came back again and I just left it as it was such a hassel. I finally got fed up, spent some more $ and replaced the leaky rebuilt rad with a new all metal one, could be either brass or aluminum, after market one and the problem was permanently fixed. So my advice, don,t go cheap as I did, get a new all metal rad and you will be a happy camper!
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#7 Old 01-31-2005, 08:54 PM
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It happened... BHG :( Looking for a good shop

Well... you were all right. It was a blown head gasket in the making. I still love the car and have decided to cough up the money to get it repaired. Does anyone know of a good engine rebuilder shop in the Chicagoland area? Or, a shop that specializes in Japanese engines. I imagine with all of the modified Japanese cars out there lately there are shops that specialize strictly in upgrading and overhauling engines. Any ideas?
Thank you very much.
I'm frustrated and bummed, but hopeful that I can be back on the road with a new bulletproof engine soon.
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#8 Old 02-01-2005, 01:40 AM
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dude you can change the headgasket yourself easy jsut need one or two days of working on it yourself or maybe w/ a friend. it is totaly doable on your own and you can save soo much money. i bought my supra when i was 16 and i did the head gasket swap not knowing how to change the oil. just gotta take it slow keep it organized and keep it metric. a tip would be to go ahead a invest in a metal head gasket if your considering any upgrades to your car just to have it out of the way and avoid doing this again. changing it isnt that hard.
first if you donit think your going to remember exactly where each vacume line is going to go or the tps sensor is do what i did and raid you moms nail polish and use it to color code as you dissasemble it makes it soo easy its like a paint by numbers.
then its just simple dissasembly, throttle body alternator, valve covers, fan wires, cams, head, and you pay a few bucks to get the head surfaced no biggy. clean off the block and reassemble. its no big hurdle you can do it yourself mine ended up costing $600 for all my parts and two 8 hour days. you can do it and it will definatly help you learn allot more about your car. i went from not knowing how to drain tranny fluid to being able to strip engine down to block, and put it together again.

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#9 Old 02-01-2005, 08:16 AM
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Timeframe

Thanks for the tips. I want to fix it myself and it's very tempting to me... I've done clutch's, water pumps, brakes and other fixes, so you're right, I could probably fix it myself. Although, this is my only car and I need it for work. I'm borrowing a car right now and need mine back as soon as possible.
You said it's a weekend job. Won't I most likely have to have the head machined once I remove it? That'll probably stall me a couple of days. Are there any parts that were hard to find or were long lead times in getting to you?
If parts are $600 and I can have a professional fix it for $1500-$2000 it might be worth it to me. Also, for resale value I thought a prospective buyer would want to know it had been replaced by a professional... maybe that's not true at all.
Anyway, if I do decide to do it myself, is a two weekend job more realistic? One weekend to disassemble, find out what's wrong, order parts... the week in between to get the parts and have the head machined... and the following weekend to reassemble? That might be doable for me.
Thanks again.
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#10 Old 02-01-2005, 05:27 PM
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americanjebus is quite a bit overzealous and has some wrong information. While you can do the headgasket w/proper tools and documentation w/little knowledge, it's a very bad idea to do so. It's also incredibly difficult to do with only a weekend and lacking said previous knowledge. And yes, to avoid blowing the headgasket immediately, you must get it machined. Parts shouldn't run you $600. ARP Head Studs ~$90, Fluids, Gaskets, seals, etc ~$60-100, Head gasket no more than $100. Adding in machine work, you still should be a good deal shy of $600.

However, putting on a metal head gasket w/o having the motor decked (machined) is a horrible idea. 85% of those that try a Metal head gasket with only the head machined have it pop quickly there after. However, if you want the assurance of knowing you'll never have to touch it again, Machine the head and bottom end, get a good Metal Head Gasket (Cometic makes time proven one, IIRC) and ARP Head Studs. Torque it to 80-85ftlbs and if you did it right, you should ever have to worry about it again.

On top of that, a proper manual is a requirement. If you detorque the head, or torque it in the wrong pattern you can warp it, and if you're installing it, that's a very bad thing.


Otherwise, I agree. Do it yourself, save hella money. If you want an interesting number, ask that show how much they're charging Just in labor. This is no simple 4 hour job.

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#11 Old 02-02-2005, 10:59 AM
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While I'm at it...

Since I'm going to have everything apart and replace the head gasket, have the head and bottom end machined, etc. I should be good for quite a bit more pressure/power. Do you have a recommendation on a new turbo that would give me more power and less "lag"? Also, if I get a new more powerful turbo, will I be forced to do the same with the fuel pump/system? If it's possible at a reasonable cost and without creating future reliabilty issues I would like a little more power out of the engine. The car is stock aside from exhaust (cat back), but I don't think that adds much power anyway. The car is a lot of fun to drive, but I think it'd be a lot more fun to drive with just a little more power. Also, as this is my daily driver I'm looking out for MPG as well... I don't want to turn it into a guzzler.
Thanks again for your input.
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#12 Old 02-02-2005, 11:50 AM
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shim the waist gate actuator with 3 flat washers or get a manual boost control and bump up boost a couple of lbs.
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#13 Old 02-02-2005, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeeves
85% of those that try a Metal head gasket with only the head machined have it pop quickly there after.
Interesting, that confirms what I've thought, then. But on a 7M that I've heard about, the bolts seemed to back off and lose quite a bit of torque - even with thread sealer (good to 75ft-lbs, apparently) and 72 on the ARP bolts, the bolts were at not much more than the factory 55 +/- 3 ft-lbs after the gasket blew.


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#14 Old 02-02-2005, 12:13 PM
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Without thread sealer and only using 72lbs, I have yet to encounter one 7M that backed off again...

Bob
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#15 Old 02-02-2005, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrieger
Without thread sealer and only using 72lbs, I have yet to encounter one 7M that backed off again...

Bob
Same here. I actually reqtorqued mine and I only had one that the torque wrench didn't just immediately click on.

Quote:
Since I'm going to have everything apart and replace the head gasket, have the head and bottom end machined, etc. I should be good for quite a bit more pressure/power. Do you have a recommendation on a new turbo that would give me more power and less "lag"? Also, if I get a new more powerful turbo, will I be forced to do the same with the fuel pump/system? If it's possible at a reasonable cost and without creating future reliabilty issues I would like a little more power out of the engine. The car is stock aside from exhaust (cat back), but I don't think that adds much power anyway. The car is a lot of fun to drive, but I think it'd be a lot more fun to drive with just a little more power. Also, as this is my daily driver I'm looking out for MPG as well... I don't want to turn it into a guzzler.
Thanks again for your input.
You won't find a more powerful turbo with less lag. Those are opposites almost. If you want more power, you'll spool later. There's a reason the Mk4 Supras that make 1000+ RWHP have tiny ass power bands.

The only real upgrades you could do would be something similiar to the Turbonetics 60-1 Turbo upgrade. It involves putting different stuff in your turbo as is, so they'd need your turbo to build on. It's not a whole new turbo. Even then, you'd need something more that the stock injectors and fuel control. Other than shimming the wastegate or getting an MBC there aren't many good options for keeping mpg, low lag, high power, etc daily driver.

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