99 3.4l v6 Tacoma (5vz-fe)
I'm getting no cabin heat. I checked the heater valve and the cable is fine, tested turning the switch from hot to cold and it pulled the cable + valve from one end to the other. No leaking from the valve, also.
3 years ago I swapped out the original radiator with this one:
Everything was going smoothly until about a year ago when I noticed a pretty consistent drip coming off the lower radiator hose at the thermostat housing end. It also over heated once. After noticing that, I replaced the thermostat and upper/lower hoses/clamps and drained/filled/burped.
Now, about a year later, my heat isn't working. I can hear fluid rushing around the dash when driving every once in a while. I did a little research and found that it most likely means theres trapped air in the system (I know that this could also be indicative of a head gasket issue, but I doubt that's what my issue is). I have burped multiple times and I still have no heat, and still hear the rushing fluid sound. In addition to that, I have noticed coolant splatter on both ends of my upper radiator hose, as well as on the thermostat housing end of the lower radiator hose. The other day, I noticed a small drip coming from either the inlet or outlet hose(I'm not sure which is which) for the heater core (the drip is coming from the left hose in the picture). It only started dripping after I barely touched the hose on the left (pictured). In addition, my overflow tank keeps getting drained. No overheating this time, though.
It seems to me that coolant is being sucked into the cooling system, not returning to the overflow tank, causing the cooling system over-pressurize, and the excess coolant is escaping out of the hose ends. Everytime I open the radiator cap, the coolant is full, but the reservoir is empty. I was thinking that maybe my radiator cap is bad. But, why would it allow coolant to be sucked into the system, and why would it leak out of the hoses, instead of the cap if the cap were the issue? My logic might be flawed, because I'll admit I don't have a full grasp on how it all works, but thats what makes sense to me.
My first thought is that my heater core is plugged. Would that cause the system to over-pressurize? But, if it did over-pressurize, wouldn't the cap allow coolant into the overflow reservoir?
Here are some pictures:
So, from my understanding, the inlet hose should be the one connected to the heater valve, right?
If so, that means that the hose on the right, is the inlet. The hose on the left is the one thats leaking. If not enough coolant is getting through the heater core because its plugged, then why would the outlet hose be leaking?
I'll probably do a flush on the heater core with CLR. Anyone got experience doing this with the 5vz-fe? Any tips?