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Unread 11-16-2010, 08:28 AM   #1
sainmatt
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89 YJ Overheating when Stopped or Slow

Hey Guys,

I'm having some trouble with my 89 overheating. It only does it when I'm stopped or driving slow and it never really goes into the red, but it will get about halfway between 210 and 260 (red). When I take off and get going it will get below 210, but it runs around 210 most of the time... even at cruising speeds.

I've searched around on the forum a lot and I can't seem to find any real solution. A lot of people expressed problems but the thread never resolved with any sort of solution. Also, I'm having a few problems so I'll just outline them all to see if anyone has ever experienced anything similar.

Problems:
1. Overheating (90% of the time) when driving slow or stopped.
2. Reservoir loosing fluid (either boiling over or leaking somewhere)
3. Radiator has some "congealed" antifreeze on the fan side.
4. When the engine is shut off the temperature with rise to 240-250 deg.

At one point, I bought a fan clutch. But from what I read, if the fan clutch has resistance when it's cold and less resistance when the engine is hot, then the fan clutch is probably fine. I also have a thermostat which I'll probably install either way.

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Unread 11-16-2010, 08:56 AM   #2
Xtremjeep
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Start with the small stuff, change Thermostat, check water pump. If your loosing fluid somewhere, make sure it's not going into your oil. (milky sludge in valve cover) if so it's a head gasket or cracked head. . If your radiator is leaking change it. The engine always warms up when engine is off.
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Unread 11-16-2010, 09:07 AM   #3
rivalarrival
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1. When you do get the problem solved, come back here and tell us the solution. I have the same gripe - threads often die without a verification of the resolution.

2. Do you have any reason to suspect a bad head gasket? For instance, oil in the coolant, coolant in the oil, lots of white smoke in the exhaust?

3. Check the thermostat - drop it in a pot of boiling water. It should pop wide open almost instantly.

4. Hose off the antifreeze congealed on the radiator - it's blocking airflow and reducing cooling capacity. (Probably not enough to cause the symptoms by itself, unless the entire radiator is caked in it)

5. Check for cold spots on the hot radiator. If a cross tube gets blocked, a row will be cold, and the radiator will have lost a lot of its cooling capacity.

6. The fan clutch should have more resistance while it's hot and less while it's cold. The hotter it is, the less it should slip.

7. Check the blades on the water pump. If they've corroded away, you'll have less coolant flow, which will be especially noticed at low RPMs.
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Unread 11-16-2010, 09:09 AM   #4
Louie4
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If it's not cooling down the highway then it sounds like you have an air flow or coolant flow issue. So you're either not getting enough coolant through the rods to take away the heat or not enough air is passing through the fins to take the heat away. Also a fan clutch has more resistance when hot (thus pulling more air to cool) and less resistance when cold, if you have a thermal fan clutch.

But of course you could have a leaking head gasket and or radiator. If you know the radiator is leaking I would replace it then see what happens since you'll have to anyway.
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Unread 11-16-2010, 09:28 AM   #5
sainmatt
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How do I check for a bad head gasket exactly? Occasionally my oil pressure will drop. It seems like it drops when it's overheating. Although, the two could be unrelated.
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Unread 11-16-2010, 09:41 AM   #6
rivalarrival
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sainmatt View Post
How do I check for a bad head gasket exactly? Occasionally my oil pressure will drop. It seems like it drops when it's overheating. Although, the two could be unrelated.
You said it overheated at low RPMs - your oil pressure will drop at low RPMs as well. They are correlated like that, but one isn't likely to cause the other.

There are a number of symptoms of head gasket failure. Pop the radiator cap. Is there an oily sheen on the coolant? Open your oil cap. Is there any milky-brown gunk present in the valve cover? that would be coolant mixed with oil. With the engine having run for awhile, check the exhaust. Is it significantly whiter and more pronounced than the exhaust of other vehicles on the road? (Starting up from cold, your exhaust will be whiter - until the condensation inside the exhaust system boils off. You can only check this with the engine hot)

You could perform various compression tests as well, but those signs and symptoms would indicate coolant and/or oil leaking to where it doesn't belong, and the most likely cause of that leakage would be a blown head gasket.
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Unread 11-16-2010, 09:54 AM   #7
1998zj
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Do you have a fan shroud? If not get one.
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Unread 11-16-2010, 09:55 AM   #8
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More than likely you just have a clogged radiator; you have massive airflow through it when at high speed, and very little at low; only the draw of the fan while sitting. Try a flush and see if that helps. A bit of caution though; you have dried coolant on the radiator now, a flush could open that old leak back up!
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Unread 11-16-2010, 10:03 AM   #9
sainmatt
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I'm going to go check her out. I'll post some pics up here too. Don't judge though, I've got a dirty engine compartment at the moment. I'm on the road with a band a lot. So, I don't get a lot of time to show my jeep lovin.
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Unread 11-16-2010, 10:17 AM   #10
sainmatt
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I checked it out. The oil looked normal. Also, when I've changed the oil it hasn't appeared milky either. The radiator was low. I couldn't even see the fluid from the top.

I snapped a pic of the radiator. I think there is more build up than yesterday. Now that I look at the pic, it almost looks like the coolant may be coming from the top of the radiator. Thoughts?
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Unread 11-16-2010, 11:05 AM   #11
bazz
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you need to replace your radiator.. looks like its bleeding to death.
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Unread 11-16-2010, 11:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1998zj View Post
Do you have a fan shroud? If not get one.
I don't have a fan shroud... and it runs cooler.
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Unread 11-16-2010, 11:08 AM   #13
UltimatE
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That picture made me literally say "OMG" out loud. You sir, need a new radiator, and wouldn't hurt to flush the coolant while its out.
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Unread 11-16-2010, 11:21 AM   #14
sainmatt
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Yeah. It is much worse today than it was. So, where is the best place to get a radiator. I don't need anything high performance. Just the best deal for something that will last.
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Unread 11-16-2010, 11:25 AM   #15
bazz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sainmatt View Post
Yeah. It is much worse today than it was. So, where is the best place to get a radiator. I don't need anything high performance. Just the best deal for something that will last.
I picked up a replacement from Pep boyz for about $120. if you want something more bling then check out Be Cool Be Cool - Direct-Fit Series Radiators
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