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post #1 of 12 Old 04-12-2017, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
inFamousKC
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Coolant problem

Hey guys. I'm new the forum and this my first jeep.

I'm going to give the history of what ive done. I bought a 97 Jeep Cherokee 4.0 4x4 4 door. The guy seemed pretty straight up with me and didn't think twice. So I do the first parts by replacing the wheel bearing, tune up, plugs, oil, air filter what not.

First night of problem day later after buying jeep. Had drove fine no issues and I'm sitting in the drive thru getting dinner. I pull into parking spot and eat then about 2 minutes later my coolant light comes on. I shut off jeep and see steam coming under the hood. I pop hood and notice no antifreeze in resivore. Let it cool down run down the street grab antifreeze and fill it up.

Next day take it to our mechanic and he does a coolant flush and changes thermostat. Now this antifreeze was pretty much rusted color. We flushed for 2 hours.

Got jeep back drive around no issues. Day later driving with buddy. Pull up to stop light coolant light comes on again. Shut it off til light changes then drive to cool it down.ligjt doesn't come back on.

Now it was missing the electric fan so I go ahead and order the electric fan, but after doing research heard it could be the clutch fan. So i pick up a clutch fan from store and put them both in. Electric fan wasn't coming in early as I'd like so I threw it on a 35 amp toggle with 10ga wire. After putting fan clutch on let it idle for 30 min light never comes on so I'm thinking I fixed it.

Next day driving around it's about 76 out. Drives fine no issue. Hit a little stop and go traffic and I get to Wal-Mart and hear bubbling noise coming from under hood. Pop hood and see that the resivore is completely full to the top and antifreeze is coming out of radiator cap and resivore. Let jeep cool down and go to the store and say screw it. Replacing everything. Pick up water pump, upper and lower radiator hoses, new radiator cap, new thermostat again and install it last night. Flushed system once again because of the rust. Heater core was clogged again so blew it complete out.

Today I decide to test her out again. 78 today. Drive around no issues. Let jeep sit and idle for about 10 min, resivore doesn't fill up so thinking maybe I fixed it. Drive back I hit a little stop and go and pull into KFC. Pop hood and it wasn't as bad but the overflow was starting to fill up again. Was at the low side and now was getting slightly above full line and could hear bubbling lightly in the radiator cap. I feel like if I would've let it sit just a little longer idling or stop and go it would've boiled over again.

Guys I'm at a lost for words and I know these jeeps are bullet proof but can I catch a break for once lol before I bought this jeep I bought a 98 dodge ram 2500 from this dealer gave him 1400 down and 2 days later I lost all oil pressure in the motor and motor knocking. Dealer won't respond now and I pretty much lost 1400. This Was 3 weeks ago and I bought the jeep last week. I've spent more time fixing this thing than driving it. I already have a feeling people are going to say head gasket.

Now I did do a block test after the first over heat 3 times. Blue fluid in bottle and put in radiator and watch it bubble if it turns yellow signs of gas in antifreeze. Stayed blue through all 3 tests. I do not have any white smoke out of my tail pipe or any antifreeze in oil.

https://youtu.be/wIjJbwE6xDk

I recorded a video today of what it was doing.


Last edited by inFamousKC; 04-12-2017 at 02:42 PM.
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-12-2017, 06:03 PM
bluejunior
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Welcome!

What's the reading on the coolant temp during this behavior? Does the gauge show overheating or normal? 4.0's run hot compared to most engines so ~210 is normal, 210-220 is just a bit warm, over 220 I'd consider it an actual overheat.

If normal, this really just sounds like too much coolant or a lot of air in the system. If it's overheating we need to track that down.

4.0's and AW4's are pretty bullet proof, everything else on an XJ, from the cooling system to the body to every sensor bolted to the 4.0....well sorry to burst your bubble but not so much.

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post #3 of 12 Old 04-13-2017, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
inFamousKC
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Thanks for the reply. My jeep is equipped with the dummy light so no idea where it's standing at. I will say when it did the boil over I looked inside the vehicle and the gauge was not on. The first day the temp light did come on. I kinda agree with you as either air problem or something else because it feels so intermittent. One day works one day not but knowing my luck it probably is the head gasket. What worries me is this though. If it's already doing this at 70 degrees, I can't imagine the headache I'll have when. Its 100
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-13-2017, 10:19 AM
bluejunior
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If the head gasket was blown you'd be seeing signs of oil and coolant mixing, I think the boil over and it burping itself explains your loss of coolant since that hasn't happened.

One thing you can do to encourage good burping is to wait for it to get nice and cool, take off the rad cap and then massage the upper rad hose, squeezing and releasing and all that. Should encourage any air in there to bubble out after a bit of work.


If that doesn't do anything we need to start diagnosing an overheat, it would be a really big help if you could pick up an infrared thermometer and take a reading from the thermostat housing next time it does this. That's the same place the factory sensor reads, so it should give you a pretty good idea of the state of things.

Jeeps typically overheat one of two ways:
A) Under any significant load
B) Only at low speeds (40-), or during frequent stops and such

In the first case, you've got an issue like a water pump with a rotted impeller not pushing coolant, a stuck closed thermostat, clogged radiator, etc.... Something with the coolant flow is what I'm getting at. The remaining thing to check here is probably the water pump, usually they start leaking slowly from the weep hole when they're bad because the seals typically fail before the impeller itself, but it's still possible and your flush and what not should have covered other issues pretty well, at least enough to change the behavior some. OH and the hoses themselves. If they get old and soft enough they can collapse under pressure and cut off flow.

In the second case, it's usually a bad mechanical fan clutch, the fan shroud or the e-fan not coming on when it should (by default, it runs any time the A/C is on, or when the temps top a certain threshold, something like 212 or 215, I can't remember). Basically something with getting air over the rad properly when you're not moving fast enough for that to happen on its own. sounds like you already replaced the mechanical fan clutch and have a switch on the e-fan, so this should be down to the fan shroud being attached properly unless you got a DoA clutch somehow.

It's always harder to diagnose on a forum, but hopefully I've given you a couple things you can do to diagnose this. Also: you'll probably want to replace the rad cap after multiple boil overs. They're cheap and it's a good policy. Plus an old one can fail to let a system self-burp properly before it reaches full boil over and forces the issue.

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post #5 of 12 Old 04-13-2017, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
inFamousKC
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Well as of now I have replaced the following.

Water pump
Upper and lower radiator hoses
Thermostat twice
Fan clutch
New electric fan
Flushed system twice now
And overflow resivore

I had done all this before I posted this on the forum.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-13-2017, 04:51 PM
bluejunior
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inFamousKC View Post
Well as of now I have replaced the following.

Water pump
Upper and lower radiator hoses
Thermostat twice
Fan clutch
New electric fan
Flushed system twice now
And overflow resivore

I had done all this before I posted this on the forum.
I'm down to a bunch of air getting in the system during all those replacements then. That or something clogged so badly the system isn't circulating even after the flush, which seems unlikely.

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post #7 of 12 Old 04-13-2017, 09:11 PM
tmhyer
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Spend $65 for a new radiator and drop that in

2001 XJ 3" RC lift 31x10.5x15 MT Deegans
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-13-2017, 10:42 PM
anony
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I would look around for a cooling system pressure tester or find one available to rent for a few dollars

Pressurize the cooling system when the engine is off and cold. Look for any leaks in the entire cooling system. Internal leaks such as the head probably won't show up or be easily detected. Visual inspection and a leak down test is usually necessary to test the head and head gasket for leaks. However if you pressurize the cooling system up to ~30 lbs, observe no visual leaks and the pressure gauge falls, indicates an internal leak(s) such as the head or head gasket.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-14-2017, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
inFamousKC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluejunior View Post
I'm down to a bunch of air getting in the system during all those replacements then. That or something clogged so badly the system isn't circulating even after the flush, which seems unlikely.
When we flushed the system the first time we had to flush for 2 hours to get all the rusty antifreeze color out. We had cleared the heater core but about 4 hours later the heater core was clogged again. Did another flush and blew out the heater core with air. I feel like it's not the head gasket since I have no signs. I haven't done the pressure test yet but I did do the block test with the blue fluid. All 3 tests came out negative for gas mixing in.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-16-2017, 08:36 PM
ShadowSentry
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So i have a 99 XJ i picked up last july that i was having overheating issues with. New everything, (t-stat, W/pump, hoses, radiator) That rusty antifreeze was the problem in the end. After 4 flushes the coolant would stay green, and all the new parts would kinda help but still ran up to 220-230 when slow moving. tada Blew the head gasket out with no warning.
With the head removed most of the water jackets/coolant holes in the head and half of them on top of the block were completely blocked with the rusty neglected antifreeze gunk. New head gasket, lots of cleaning and all is well again.
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post #11 of 12 Old 04-25-2017, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
inFamousKC
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Update.

After driving the jeep around for about a week there was no overfilling of the resivoir.

Was driving today for a bit on the highway then all of a sudden my overheat light came on and I could smell antifreeze. Pulled over and checked under hood and sure enough the resivor was completely full again and antifreeze was coming oit the radiator cap.
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post #12 of 12 Old 04-25-2017, 04:11 PM
PiKapp504
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In all your replacing of parts, did you ever replace the radiator cap? If it's not holding pressure, the system WILL boil-over. Replace it with a Stant or dealer radiator cap; do NOT get a cap with the lever on it...I've had nothing but bad luck with those caps. I looked at your replacement parts list and didn't see a new radiator cap. Try the cap, top up the system, and see if that helps.

Jeremy
97 XJ - 4.0L, Auto, NP231, Zone 3" lift, 30" tires
2005 Dodge Magnum RT - DD/Beater
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