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Discussion Starter #1
Yes! A big, smoky overheat. Noticed it when the temperature needle started to peg, the. did peg. Car started right up after cooled down so I think I am okay, engine-wise.. but, somehow, it put a crack and hole by the neck of the radiator.

I wonder some possible reasons why this could occur? I'm thinking old radiator, probably was clogged.

Needless to say, the new radiator is ordered and will go in soon, car sitting while it waits to arrive...
 

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1997 Corolla
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3,573 Posts
It could be that the radiator cracked and leaked coolant then it overheated, not the overheating causing the crack.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It could be that the radiator cracked and leaked coolant then it overheated, not the overheating causing the crack.
^ That actually is a likely scenario, seeing as how I had noticed steam coming from what I thought was the cap for some weeks before this, paired with the coolant level in expansion tank going slightly down. So eventually it must have leaked or boiled out (due to the leak, steam) to be low, which then got low enough to make my temperature gauge fluctuate.. until ultimately having enough air and not liquid volume to make a larger hole, and then overheat, as happened.

Though, my engine was able to start back up after each cool-down. Surely, this means my engine is likely okay and in essence got a good steam cleaning, since any extra pressure has a vent point of somewhere that wasn't the head gasket? (The vent point was the crack, followed by hole, in the radiator.) I should mention my car was running rather perfectly before this happened.

Just old radiator? I do think this was the original one on the car, and we had our first real cold snap these past few. Hmm.. (I did have a 60/40 antifreeze/water mix in there.)

Also, how big a deal is it to do a timing belt and water pump on a 4AFE, since this is the first real part replaced in awhile? The entire exhaust is still "new," installed brand new two years ago. Probably plus hoses, even heater hoses, and thermostat and another cap.. ?
 

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1994 Corolla DX
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4,153 Posts
See these DIYs for a sense of effort:

Short answer is it's very doable, but take your time.
 
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