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Unread 08-10-2011, 08:32 AM   #1
Taylorwoodham
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HELP!!! Coolant boiling in "puke" tank!

So I've got a weird cooling problem that I can't figure out. I have a 1984 Cherokee and the coolant is boiling in the resovuir tank after a good drive. It's not the thermostat as it has been taken out on the problem persists. My water pump seems to be operational as my coolant has a flow to it. Coolant is at the correct levels. I'm scratching my head on this one and would greatly appreciate any input you guys might have. Thanks in advance for the help.

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Unread 08-10-2011, 10:14 AM   #2
Paradise XJ
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You need a new cap. Check your bottle for cracks. Burp the system of air.
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Unread 08-10-2011, 12:22 PM   #3
JRT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradise XJ View Post
You need a new cap. Check your bottle for cracks. Burp the system of air.
2nded - I had a similar problem on my 1988 about 2 years ago, and it was a crack in the overflow tank.

That said - I had never seen a "closed" system like this before this car, had never even heard of one, and after much fighting and burping and hose checking and fitting and refitting, I replaced the whole mess. IMHO, that system is a piece of kit best left in the scrapheap. Especially in La, you're probably gonna wanna make a change sooner or later. I hear it gets hot there.

I ended up switching from the pressurized ("closed") burp tank to a recovery / overflow tank and "modern" "open" system using the directions on this site:
http://www.olypen.com/craigh/cooling.htm

(I put open and closed in quotes b/c to my mind, they're backwards as commonly used - but apparently thats how the community understands them. The pre-92 system where the overflow tank has no recovery method and has a pressure cap is "closed" - this is what you describe and what scared the bejebus out of me when I saw it boiling in my XJ. The newer system as found on most other cars in existence ever, where the overflow tank is not pressurized (eg cant boil) and serves as a recovery resevoir, is "open".)

Worked like a champ, and he was right on the money for cost/time/effort even though the page is a bit dated. Cost about $250 and took all day Saturday and half a day Sunday for me and my GF, so not exactly Michael Schumacher's pitcrew.

Last edited by JRT; 08-10-2011 at 12:51 PM..
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Unread 08-10-2011, 02:36 PM   #4
cruiser54
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If it's an 84 like in the OP's signature, it had a conventional open cooling system with an overflow tank.....
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Unread 08-10-2011, 06:57 PM   #5
Reptile
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Agree with those guys, more likely a bad rad cap. The cap probably doesn't hold the pressure required to lower the coolant's boiling point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRT View Post
I had never seen a "closed" system like this before this car
It's not a car it's a JEEP.
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Unread 08-10-2011, 06:59 PM   #6
cruiser54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptile View Post
Agree with those guys, more likely a bad rad cap. The cap probably doesn't hold the pressure required to lower the coolant's boiling point.


It's not a car it's a JEEP.
Yep to both statements.
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Unread 08-10-2011, 07:20 PM   #7
djb383
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I thought the cap held pressure to increase the coolant's boiling point, no?
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Unread 08-10-2011, 07:26 PM   #8
Flyordie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptile View Post
Agree with those guys, more likely a bad rad cap. The cap probably doesn't hold the pressure required to lower the coolant's boiling point.


It's not a car it's a JEEP.


Well, maybe not.

When mine boiled like that it was a bad radiator. Even a new radiator cap didn't solve the problem.
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Unread 08-10-2011, 07:31 PM   #9
Reptile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djb383 View Post
I thought the cap held pressure to increase the coolant's boiling point, no?
Right increase it, prevent it from boiling. Got it mixed up.
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Unread 08-10-2011, 08:50 PM   #10
djb383
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I knew u did.....just funnin' ya.
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Unread 08-10-2011, 09:09 PM   #11
cruiser54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptile View Post
Right increase it, prevent it from boiling. Got it mixed up.
I understood what you meant, too.

Anyway, the OP could have the radiator pressure tested, have the cap pressure tested etc. But, I'd try the cap for $5 first............
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Unread 08-10-2011, 09:18 PM   #12
tangofox007
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Anyway, the OP could have the radiator pressure tested, have the cap pressure tested etc. But, I'd try the cap for $5 first............
Some parts stores have pressure testers in their loaner inventory. Put 15 psi in the system and the leaks will reveal themselves promptly. Checks caps as well.
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Unread 08-10-2011, 09:26 PM   #13
cruiser54
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Originally Posted by tangofox007 View Post
Some parts stores have pressure testers in their loaner inventory. Put 15 psi in the system and the leaks will reveal themselves promptly. Checks caps as well.
That would certainly narrow down the problem.

But, since he mentions no leak other than the recovery bottle catching coolant, I would suspect the cap. That, and they're cheap and certainly don't last forever and are frequently neglected when it comes to maintenance.

It it were me or you, we would most likely go out to the garage and test it with our own pressure tester.
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Unread 08-11-2011, 01:33 AM   #14
BBJeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylorwoodham View Post
So I've got a weird cooling problem that I can't figure out. I have a 1984 Cherokee and the coolant is boiling in the resovuir tank after a good drive. It's not the thermostat as it has been taken out on the problem persists. My water pump seems to be operational as my coolant has a flow to it. Coolant is at the correct levels. I'm scratching my head on this one and would greatly appreciate any input you guys might have. Thanks in advance for the help.
Dude put your thermostat back in WTF?
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Unread 08-12-2011, 09:21 AM   #15
Taylorwoodham
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Thanks for all the replies

Alright finally got a day off work so it's time to knock this baby out. Thanks for all the replies. It is an 84 as some of y'all were wondering and there is a new development in the case! There is a BIG hole in the resovuir tank now so that will have to be replaced but anyway, off to snag a radiator cap (preferably with a higher threshold, I believe mine is 14 lbs right now). Thanks again for all the help and I'll let y'all know how it goes
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