88 XJ overheating - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 12 Old 05-13-2007, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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1991 YJ Wrangler 
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88 XJ overheating

My Xj has been overheating and i want to be sure of what the problem is before i start throwing money and parts at it. It overheats very slowly, even at freeway speeds it will overheat.When stopped at a light, if you rev the engine, this seems to make it go slightly cooler. Its had a new thermostat and new coolant tank and cap put in, as well as the coolant changed, and it still does it, however not as bad as before. I dont want to put in a new water pump and find out that it was the rad that was the problem, or vice versa. any help? also, both fans are working

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post #2 of 12 Old 05-13-2007, 02:00 PM
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1994 XJ Cherokee 
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Could be several different things. Does the electric fan come on at all? Make sure that works. And it could very well be the water pump. I have heard of the vanes inside rotting off and the pump doesnt leak, but it won't push the water like it should. Maybe a blockage in the radiator.

1994 Jeep Cherokee 4x4
4.0 HO, Auto, 4dr., NP231, 8.25 rear
6 inches of bastard pack lift, 35/12.5/R15's
Aux. fan switch, homemade BPE's
moved intake, OEM towhooks
Rear disc brakes, JKS disco's
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-13-2007, 02:56 PM
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Check the clutch on the fan while the engine is off and hot. It should have good resistance when you try and rotate it. If not it may time to replace it.

Try turning the heater on while driving and see if that cools it down a bit. If so then maybe coolent flow is being restricted and you need a flush.

I would also pressure wash the radiator fins and make sure air is flowing through them properly.

Good Luck


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post #4 of 12 Old 05-13-2007, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Does it have to be hot to check the clutch? Im not driving it right now cause of the overheating? I checked it just now, it was cold though, and it felt like there was a fair amount of resistance. The electric fan also works
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-13-2007, 07:03 PM
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I had the same problem with my 88. I chased the problem and fought the plastic tank war until I finally broke down and converted the system to a conventional open system with a new radiator. Once I did this all of my cooling problems went away. Well worth the money.
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-14-2007, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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If i planned to keep it for a while i might do this, however, i am going to sell it as soon as i get it fixed, so i just want to spend as little as possible on it. Im selling it so i can put a new engine in my YJ
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-14-2007, 05:01 PM
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I also have an 88 and i have had my share of cooling problems. When water pumps go bad, cant you usually hear them? Are you loosing any coolant? any spots when you get into your car in the morning? but i think it sounds like your aux fan isnt kicking on.

97 XJ 4.0 Auto D30/29 Sp. 8.25. Yukon 4.10's
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-14-2007, 05:03 PM
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if your cooling system is properly working, you dont need an aux fan under normal driving conditions.

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post #9 of 12 Old 05-14-2007, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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it was for a little while making a noise that sounded like a belt slipping, but it has been parked for a bit, and when i started it up the other day the sound was gone, so that is possible. the coolant in the tank looks mostly green, but at the bottom of the tank it looks kinda brown, so maybe thats a problem?
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-14-2007, 10:57 PM
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FWIW XJ's are notorious for overheating, the stock cooling system is barely adequate when new. So, you are probably looking at replacing most (if not all of) the cooling system to keep things cool. I replaced all of mine and eventually went to a 180* t-stat which made a bigger difference than everything else combined. I read a lot about gas mileage dropping with the lower temp t-stat, but that hasn't been the case so far(about 1.5 yrs now) the only side from the 180* t-stat is that my cherokee doesn't overheat anymore.

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post #11 of 12 Old 05-14-2007, 11:06 PM
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Sounds like you're losing pressure in your closed system to me, I was having the same problems with mine and it was that stupid coolant tank, I know you said you replaced it and the cap but are you sure that the cap is on nice and tight? Are you seeing any boil out anywhere or any leaks at all? If it is getting that hot truly then you would see some type of boil out or something somewhere. I would also look into maybe replacing your temp sending unit to make sure that it is properly functioning. I just went to pick n pull and grabbed all the parts i needed to swap to an open system, since it was over new years they were having a 50% off sale and I did the entire swap for around $80.

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post #12 of 12 Old 05-16-2007, 02:34 AM
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replace the radiator and backflush the heater core, if your coolant was or is rusty. the sediment has most likely collected and clog the rad.
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