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Unread 09-30-2012, 04:34 PM   #1
BlackPearl
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Scottsdale, Az
Posts: 40
HELP! Age old overheating-I'm lost

Okay so to start I have read through several threads and have done everything I can think of but at this point I'm lost.

So here's what my '96 XJ, 4.0 is doing. When starting it cold it will warm up to about 200*, temp will drop as the T-stat opens to about 185-190, then the temp will just continue to slowly rise and when it hits the line right before redline I shut it down. While sitting it will take about 20 minutes to get to redline, driving a bit less. The temp won't even drop while driving 65 on the freeway, it more-or-less just doesn't go up. I have a 4.5in Rubicon Express lift, 32in BFG All Terrain Tires, stock 3.73 gearing, Random Technology catalytic converter maybe three years old, Borla cat-back exhaust 3 years old.

I made a rookie mistake and let a friend borrow my Jeep about a year ago and he let it overheat and blew the head gasket. Since then it hasn't been staying cool, runs really smooth, just won't stay cool.

The work I've done:
- New Head gasket
- replaced heads with reman head
- new water pump
- three new 185* t-stats(first two were bad out of the box)
- new three core CSF steel radiator
- new rad cap
- new hoses; Lower hose has a spring in it
- new temp sensor at the back of the cylinder head
- clutch fan replaced with three e-fans covering 90% of radiator; I have a switch on my dash to work the fans manually so I don't have to rely on temp sensor
- aux cooler for transmission
- Cooling system has been flushed and pressure tested
- cooling system has been properly burped with the heater running.

So I've done all this work progressively throughout the past year and like I said I need help...I'm at a loss. Any info would be beneficial. Thanks a lot in advance guys

- Chris

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Unread 09-30-2012, 04:44 PM   #2
ShaysXJnc
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Did you do all your freeze plugs? The one on the back of the year went out on mine and it overheated... Just a thought. Also check your radiator and rad hoses.
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Unread 09-30-2012, 04:47 PM   #3
BlackPearl
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Scottsdale, Az
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaysXJnc View Post
Did you do all your freeze plugs? The one on the back of the year went out on mine and it overheated... Just a thought. Also check your radiator and rad hoses.
I haven't checked the freeze plugs. But I can do that.
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Unread 09-30-2012, 05:48 PM   #4
djb383
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: The Republic of TEXAS
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What did the 3rd stat do or not do different from the previous 2 stats? Were temps hot prior to rad and rad fan change?
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Unread 09-30-2012, 05:52 PM   #5
BlackPearl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djb383 View Post
What did the 3rd stat do or not do different from the previous 2 stats? Were temps hot prior to rad and rad fan change?
The first two t-stats wouldn't open. They were defective from the factory.

I had a CSF 3 core radiator before with the three fans and it ran fine until my friend let it overheat and the radiator ended up getting a leak in it as well as the head gasket going out.
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Unread 09-30-2012, 09:08 PM   #6
djb383
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
The first two t-stats wouldn't open. They were defective from the factory.

I had a CSF 3 core radiator before with the three fans and it ran fine until my friend let it overheat and the radiator ended up getting a leak in it as well as the head gasket going out.
A head scratcher here. The 3rd stat opens but the motor still overheats???? "It ran fine until my friend let it overheat"????? Did anything else change after installing aftermarket fans but before letting a friend drive it?
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Unread 09-30-2012, 09:13 PM   #7
GetLifted
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: SoCal
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Is it losing coolant at all? Bottle even a little low?
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Unread 09-30-2012, 10:01 PM   #8
BlackPearl
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Posts: 40
It's not losing coolant any where. At least not visibly, I've let it sit in my completely dry driveway and didn't see any dripping anywhere. The overflow bottle is at the full line.

I know the t-stat opens because when the engine is just warming up I can watch the temp gauge drop, but yes it still overheats...well wants to but I never let it get that far.

When I let my buddy drive my Jeep it already had a CSF 3 core radiator with the e-fans, with the manual switch on the dash. I told him repeatedly about the switch but I'm pretty sure he never turned the fans on when he was driving it. He let it get so hot the lower hose blew off and that's when the head gasket went. I replaced the head, the head gasket and did the other stuff progressively. This is why I'm here asking you guys because I am at a loss. I have no idea what to do.

I was told by one of my clients to check some vacuum lines?? Anybody know what vacuum lines he might be talking about?
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Unread 09-30-2012, 10:24 PM   #9
bobthecatkiller
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What's the cfm them fans are putting out? When you replaced the head did you put everything back together the way it's suppose to be? check your t stats in boiling water to make sure they are working. you've checked your coolant for loss but have you checked its color and consistency? have you checked your oil?
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Unread 09-30-2012, 10:26 PM   #10
shobie2000
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Try measuring the temps with a Infrared thermometer and verify your overheating. It could be that your actual gauge is bad.
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Unread 09-30-2012, 10:32 PM   #11
BlackPearl
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I was going to get an infrared thermometer to check the actual temp, but when the engine is about to redline, you can smell that the engine is hot. Also I jut changed the hoses last week and the coolant looked like I just put it in that day and it's been in the engine for a few months. It's been ran and if something was wrong there it wouldn't look new.

I have an oil change coming up soon so I'll be doing that in the next week or so
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Unread 10-01-2012, 03:48 PM   #12
djb383
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Think about what has changed/what's different. Big tires, little fans, different radiator and triple digit ambient temps will be a challenge for even a stock OE XJ cooling system. Some folks have had good luck with the 3 row copper/brass rad but there have also been plenty of posts stating disappointment as well.
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Unread 10-01-2012, 03:53 PM   #13
BlackPearl
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Scottsdale, Az
Posts: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by djb383 View Post
Think about what has changed/what's different. Big tires, little fans and triple digit ambient temps will be a challenge for just about any XJ cooling system. Some folks have had good luck with the 3 row copper/brass rad but there have also been posts stating disappointment as well.
The tires, lift, fans, radiator, gearing is all the same. It's always wanted to run hotter in the summer; hovering around 210 when the outside temp is well over 100, but it hasn't ever consistently wanted to overheat. I had a talk with a mechanic today and he told me to pull the water pump and double check to make sure it's spinning the proper direction, counterclockwise if I'm not mistaken...so that's my next step this weekend.
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Unread 10-01-2012, 04:02 PM   #14
djb383
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U don't have to pull the water pump to see which way the belt turns the pump, but u do have to pull the pump to see if it has a "R" (reverse rotation) stamped on the impeller. Seems like I've seen it post both ways......"all years have a R".....or "some years have it, some don't".
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Unread 10-01-2012, 05:02 PM   #15
BlackPearl
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Scottsdale, Az
Posts: 40
That's what I meant, pull it to see if it has the "R" on it. Do you know if the 1996 XJ should have the "R" or not?
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