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Unread 05-24-2014, 09:55 AM   #1
bilr514
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2003 KJ Liberty 
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Bentonville, AR
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Overheating on fresh rebuild

Guys - need a little advice here. I recently pulled my 3.7 on my 03 KJ Renegade and had it rebuilt. Put it back in and it started right up. Let it run a bit while working through a few issues. Took it around the block and got about a mile away from the house and looked down and noticed the temperature gauge was nearly in the red.

I immediately pulled over and popped the hood...Didn't notice anything out of the ordinary...No smoke...the coolant hoses were hot to the touch, but that's too be expected. I let it cool down for 10 or 15 minutes, got back in and rolled all the windows down, turned the heater on high and drove back home...The needle never got above the half way mark on the drive home which surprises me as it was just under the halfway mark when I started it (already warm) and I drove the same distance to get back home.

I put on a new thermostat, water pump and upper and lower radiator hoses. Topped off with recommended coolant...Kind of at a loss trying to diagnose the problem.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Thanks,
Bill

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Unread 05-24-2014, 10:42 AM   #2
olliehopnoodle
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Did you notice the temp before you drove it? It's possible you had an air pocket, there is a bleed for it. I never bought into that theory but I am not 'all knowing'.

At some point someone will tell you that 'new engines are tight and they run hotter'. This is bunk.

Does you Liberty have both a mechanical and electric fan?
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Unread 05-24-2014, 11:03 AM   #3
bilr514
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Hi Ollie. No mine only has an electrical fan. Yeah I looks at it before taking off and it was about half way. Anything I should do before giving it another try? I'm thinking that next time I'll just keep circling the block so that I stay close to home.
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Unread 05-24-2014, 11:42 AM   #4
olliehopnoodle
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If it was me I would check the fluid level and then do exactly what you said. First I would let it idle for a bit until it was in the normal temp range. Make sure the electric fan has kicked in. And let it sit there a bit longer to see if it overheats while parked. If it doesn't, then drive it around the block and watch it close.

You might double check that you have the accessory belt on correctly. It seems unlikely that it could get routed wrong but it wouldn't hurt to take a look.

Before you start it again. Check the oil. Make sure you are at a good level and also see if it looks a little milky. Did you put the front timing cover on or did the shop do this for you?
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Unread 05-24-2014, 11:56 AM   #5
bilr514
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I'll give that a try this afternoon. The shop put the timing cover on. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks!
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Unread 05-24-2014, 12:05 PM   #6
bilr514
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Should also mention that when I pulled over and popped the hood I could hear a gurgling sound coming from the upper radiator hose by the bleeder on the timing chain cover.
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Unread 05-24-2014, 01:51 PM   #7
bilr514
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So I jumped through al these hoops. Thermostat never got above halfway idling in garage fan kicked on under load of ac. Took it around the block 3 or 4 times and the needle got up close to 3/4. Parked it and popped the hood again. Gurgling sound coming from upper radiator hose. I'm starting to think that it needs to be bled but would like opinions. And if so, how do I do it?
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Unread 05-24-2014, 03:15 PM   #8
olliehopnoodle
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There is a bleed on the right side as part of the timing cover. If I remember correctly it is a hex nut.

I have never had to bleed my system to get it to work correctly. That's me. The bleed is there for a reason, car companies don't just add stuff in for fun and expense. I think it is a hex head.

Are you sure you put the termostat in correctly? I am trying to remember if it can be put in the wrong way. I don't think so but it has been a while.
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Unread 05-24-2014, 03:30 PM   #9
02blue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olliehopnoodle View Post
There is a bleed on the right side as part of the timing cover. If I remember correctly it is a hex nut.

I have never had to bleed my system to get it to work correctly. That's me. The bleed is there for a reason, car companies don't just add stuff in for fun and expense. I think it is a hex head.

Are you sure you put the termostat in correctly? I am trying to remember if it can be put in the wrong way. I don't think so but it has been a while.
Depends on the thermostat. Mopar can't, Stant can. Trust me I've been there.

Does sound sort of like air in there. I've used the bleed point on the TC cover, usually just remove the plug and fill until it runs out with engine off. That's all I had to do. Last time I did a complete fluid replacement I didn't even need to do that.
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Unread 05-24-2014, 05:27 PM   #10
TwoBobsKJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02blue
Depends on the thermostat. Mopar can't, Stant can. Trust me I've been there. Does sound sort of like air in there. I've used the bleed point on the TC cover, usually just remove the plug and fill until it runs out with engine off. That's all I had to do. Last time I did a complete fluid replacement I didn't even need to do that.
Given the symptoms I would bet the thermostat is in backwards. The 3.7 and 4.7 thermostats don't install in the direction your intuition tells you. First time I did a coolant flush, new hoses & thermostat I put the thermostat in backwards. Engine would overheat when driving around then cool back down when I let it idle.

Double check it before tearing into anything else.

Bob

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Unread 05-24-2014, 06:23 PM   #11
02blue
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I'd go with Bob and definitely check the T-stat. It's an easy check for piece of mind.
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Unread 05-24-2014, 10:11 PM   #12
bilr514
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Guys thanks for all the help. It is much appreciated. It was definitely the thermostat. Drained the coolant and pulled the thermostat. Sure enough I had it in backwards.

Glad it wasn't something more serious.

Thanks again.
Bill
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Unread 05-30-2014, 09:32 PM   #13
TwoBobsKJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bilr514
Guys thanks for all the help. It is much appreciated. It was definitely the thermostat. Drained the coolant and pulled the thermostat. Sure enough I had it in backwards. Glad it wasn't something more serious. Thanks again. Bill
Good new! Many others I have put the therms in backwards so don't feel bad.

Now go enjoy your new/old Liberty! ;-)

Bob

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