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Thread: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

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    Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    Hey guys,

    Iíve been driving around my Ď84 van with my newly rebuilt engine and started noticing my temp gauge is sitting at 3/4 the gauge when at full operating temperature.

    I replaced the temp sensor and fan clutch, and am still getting the same results.

    I have also been using my infrared thermometer and clock the engine at 195-206 degrees F at full operating temperature.

    I read on the forum that many peopleís gauge sits around half way, so I would like to ask help on if my gauge reading is normal or an issue, and more specifically, of the engine running up to 206 degrees F is an issue.

    Any input put would be very helpful!

    Thanks,
    Hugh

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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    Welcome to the club, Hugh

    So, first off, that thing on your dash is at best a representation of whats actually going on in the engine.
    Usually they are fairly accurate but they have been known to read incorrectly. Failures are rare enough that I wouldn't jump to that conclusion until I ruled out everything else, repairs are too expensive to be gambling on things like hot engines.

    For the record there are 2 temperature senders, one for the gauge and one for the ECU, I only mention as I have seen people repeatedly replace the one trying to solve a problem, only to find out later, its the other they are after all along.

    206* shouldn't cause any trouble, however you're only reading the external metal temperature, not what the coolant is doing inside the motor
    One does not always correlate to the other.

    I'd start with replacing the T-stat, I know you just had it rebuilt and they probably changed it, but unless you KNOW they put OEM in, change it as a matter of course.
    There have been a litany of failures with A/M stats, with most of them showing weird behaviour as opposed to total failure.

    Sometimes the only way to know where you're at is to get up close and personal with all the bits involved, as you work through the system in a methodical manner, eliminating things as you go. That way you know EXACTLY what you have and where you need to spend your money, effectively.

    When you get to the end you will either have solved the problem or eliminated a whole pile of possibilities.
    Knowing exactly the condition of the bits involved is so much more satisfying than "well the person working on it told me it was all good"
    I have been burnt by that phrase more times than I care to count.
    I don't care how good a tech is, few will care as much about the vehicle they are working on, as the owner of said vehicle will.
    Also, if you run into something while you're in there, many techs (at least flat rate techs) may conveniently ignore that other issue.
    Either because its a pita to address, it hasn't been authorized, they won't get paid or because they know they'll have more bills to pay again next month
    (aka "return for more work")

    Caveat - there are some shops out there that go the extra mile, take care of their clients and consider customer satisfaction more important than the bottom line.


    BB

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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    Quote Originally Posted by Burntboot View Post
    Welcome to the club, Hugh

    So, first off, that thing on your dash is at best a representation of whats actually going on in the engine.
    Usually they are fairly accurate but they have been known to read incorrectly. Failures are rare enough that I wouldn't jump to that conclusion until I ruled out everything else, repairs are too expensive to be gambling on things like hot engines.

    For the record there are 2 temperature senders, one for the gauge and one for the ECU, I only mention as I have seen people repeatedly replace the one trying to solve a problem, only to find out later, its the other they are after all along.

    206* shouldn't cause any trouble, however you're only reading the external metal temperature, not what the coolant is doing inside the motor
    One does not always correlate to the other.

    I'd start with replacing the T-stat, I know you just had it rebuilt and they probably changed it, but unless you KNOW they put OEM in, change it as a matter of course.
    There have been a litany of failures with A/M stats, with most of them showing weird behaviour as opposed to total failure.

    Sometimes the only way to know where you're at is to get up close and personal with all the bits involved, as you work through the system in a methodical manner, eliminating things as you go. That way you know EXACTLY what you have and where you need to spend your money, effectively.

    When you get to the end you will either have solved the problem or eliminated a whole pile of possibilities.
    Knowing exactly the condition of the bits involved is so much more satisfying than "well the person working on it told me it was all good"
    I have been burnt by that phrase more times than I care to count.
    I don't care how good a tech is, few will care as much about the vehicle they are working on, as the owner of said vehicle will.
    Also, if you run into something while you're in there, many techs (at least flat rate techs) may conveniently ignore that other issue.
    Either because its a pita to address, it hasn't been authorized, they won't get paid or because they know they'll have more bills to pay again next month
    (aka "return for more work")

    Caveat - there are some shops out there that go the extra mile, take care of their clients and consider customer satisfaction more important than the bottom line.


    BB
    Burnbot, I really want to thank you for taking the time reply and help out here! I went through every single item I knew to look at on my own, and finally took it to the local specialty shop for their input.

    After pressure testing, the guys found the radiator had a small leak, causing the system to never get up to full pressure to cool properly. Sounds about right to me since I personally installed the t-stat, water pump, fan clutch, and coolant temp sensor and felt pretty confident in these pieces.

    We couldn't find a replacement radiator, so we pulled it and took it to a specialty shop here in Atlanta where they could rebuild and repair my existing radiator.

    Fingers crossed I get back on the road soon!

    Thank you again!
    Hugh

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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    I agree with Burntboot. With all you've invested, I just wanted to add emphasis on making sure you put in the Toyota brand T-stat. The 4y engine requires a specific range of T-stat movement to cool properly. There are several aftermarket brands that are sold for the van that will fit properly, however, their range of movement may not optimize flow and engine cooling. I had ignored warnings by others and used a "high end" Japanese brand aftermarket thermostat on my van (even had a jiggle valve), and that ended up causing me a lot of head-aches. I replaced a lot more parts before I came back to the T-stat and replacing that with the Toyota brand solved the issue. Tim

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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    I agree with Burntboot. With all you've invested, I just wanted to add emphasis on making sure you put in the Toyota brand T-stat. The 4y engine requires a specific range of T-stat movement to cool properly. There are several aftermarket brands that are sold for the van that will fit properly, however, their range of movement may not optimize flow and engine cooling. I had ignored warnings by others and used a "high end" Japanese brand aftermarket thermostat on my van (even had a jiggle valve), and that ended up causing me a lot of head-aches. I replaced a lot more parts before I came back to the T-stat and replacing that with the Toyota brand solved the issue. Tim
    Thank you very much Tim!

    I scanned this forum while rebuilding the engine and saw this tip that you and many others gave across the site. I definitely used the Toyota brand T-Stat and obsessively ensured the jiggle valve was at the 11 o'clock position when installing...so if this radiator doesn't fix the van running hot, I'm absolutely purchasing another Toyota brand T-Stat and replacing to make sure.

    End of day, the radiator is one of the few items I didn't touch, so I'll feel more confident having it validated by the pros before I get back on the road.

    I'll keep you all posted soon!

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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    If you are still running hot after the radiator fix, be sure to check your timing and idle speed since these can make the engine run hotter also.

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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    Don't forget about checking your fan clutch...make sure it is engaging properly.

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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    Quote Originally Posted by Cali Cruiser View Post
    If you are still running hot after the radiator fix, be sure to check your timing and idle speed since these can make the engine run hotter also.
    Good point. Also, electronic timing advance issues can make it run hot. After checking the timing, pull your jumper and use your timing light to verify the timing changed from set-point. The most common cause of an electronic advance fault is a failed TPS (Throttle Position Sensor). A search will render much more detailed information on this in the TVT forum.

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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    Quote Originally Posted by Cali Cruiser View Post
    If you are still running hot after the radiator fix, be sure to check your timing and idle speed since these can make the engine run hotter also.
    Incredible insight Cali Crusiser & Tim. Thank you both...I'll check the timing regardless of how the radiator fix turns out with that info.

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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    Good point. Also, electronic timing advance issues can make it run hot. After checking the timing, pull your jumper and use your timing light to verify the timing changed from set-point. The most common cause of an electronic advance fault is a failed TPS (Throttle Position Sensor). A search will render much more detailed information on this in the TVT forum.
    Alright Tim and team, hereís the latest.

    I got the rebuilt radiator back in and had the shop double check my timing and my temp gauge is still sitting a little bit above half way. Iím thinking this is still too hot for the van to be running so I would definitely welcome your input on next steps.

    Here is what Iíve done so far:
    -Rebuilt radiator
    -Timing set
    -Throttle linkage adjusted
    -New fan clutch
    -New temp sensor
    -New water pump (Toyota)
    -New radiator cap (Toyota)
    -New thermostat (Toyota)
    -New coolant

    Here are my thoughts on next steps:
    -I bought another Toyota thermostat and gasket in the off chance my last install didnít have the jiggle valve installed at 11 oíclock. Still waiting on the shipment
    -Is checking/replacing the TPS the next step? If so, what does ďpull your jumperĒ mean in your post above, Tim?

    Do you all have any other thoughts on items I should be checking? Or am I just being too obsessive about the temp gauge sitting just over half way??

    Any input is greatly appreciated.

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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    sometimes newly rebuilt engines may run a bit warmer before theyre broken in...theres alot more friction going on before things find their home...
    the other thought is some other drag in the drivetrain or accessories? recently i had a power steering tensioner pulley go bad and when the belt was removed i noticed a drop in the temp gauge.

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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    All,

    Thank you for your help so far!

    Boogieman
    - Great input, thank you for the tips. The strange thing is my engine ran at normal operating temp for the first 1,000 miles, including two 4 hour long driving sessions, and this temp increase popped out of nowhere. I checked my belts and the alternator tension was a little tight for my liking. Other than that I couldn't find anything else to tune up.

    Tim - I think I know what you are saying now with "jumper". My van is an '84 so the vacuum advance is via vacuum hoses instead of the jumper. I checked the timing with and without the vacuum advance hose connected and found the advance is working properly. Additionally, I pulled the engine codes and found Code 1, showing the system running as Normal.

    To me it seems my only other item is to replace the thermostat again. I personally replaced the first thermostat with a Toyota brand thermostat, and remember ensuring the jiggle valve was set at 11 o'clock.


    I'm really at a loss of what to do here...and even have the specialty shop down the street stumped.

    Any other thoughts Toyota Van Tech nation?

    Here is my gauge after driving in stop and go traffic for 4 miles...

    Name:  IMG_4612.jpg
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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    Are you sure you have the right fan clutch for a 4 x 4? You might put fresh oil in that clutch

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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    The fan clutch is a good point and more likely than the OE T-stat you already installed.
    I noticed from your list that while the fan clutch is new, it isn't specified as to brand.
    If not OEM or at least Denso, it is suspect

    See one discussion here

    Fan / fluid coupling (fan clutch)

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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    Quote Originally Posted by Burntboot View Post
    The fan clutch is a good point and more likely than the OE T-stat you already installed.
    I noticed from your list that while the fan clutch is new, it isn't specified as to brand.
    If not OEM or at least Denso, it is suspect

    See one discussion here

    Fan / fluid coupling (fan clutch)
    Thank you Burntboot and Dennis! I went ahead and purchased an ASIN fan clutch since the one I bought was AM, Duralast.

    Fingers crossed this works!

    Also, shout out to Tim on the thread Burntboot posted above...I bought the ASIN fan clutch on RockAuto for less than half the Toyota boxed ASIN fan clutch.

    -Hugh

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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    Quote Originally Posted by hughdawgmmkay View Post
    Tim - I think I know what you are saying now with "jumper". My van is an '84 so the vacuum advance is via vacuum hoses instead of the jumper. I checked the timing with and without the vacuum advance hose connected and found the advance is working properly. Additionally, I pulled the engine codes and found Code 1, showing the system running as Normal.

    To me it seems my only other item is to replace the thermostat again. I personally replaced the first thermostat with a Toyota brand thermostat, and remember ensuring the jiggle valve was set at 11 o'clock.


    I'm really at a loss of what to do here...and even have the specialty shop down the street stumped.

    Any other thoughts Toyota Van Tech nation?

    Here is my gauge after driving in stop and go traffic for 4 miles...

    Name:  IMG_4612.jpg
Views: 726
Size:  85.2 KB
    Sorry for the late reply. Sometimes I get behind and the Van-Tech issues need to take a back burner to money jobs . Yes, you are right, I was referring to the 86 - 89 vans with electronic advance (sorry I didn't check your profile for the year van). On yours you would set the timing with the vacuum line pulled and plugged from the distributor diaphragm, then you would hook the vacuum back up and verify a change with the timing light. Always a good idea to also apply a vacuum to that diaphragm (with your mouth or a mity-vac) to make sure it's pulls in and does not have free-flow (leak).

    I would also be concerned if I saw my temp gauge that high, but you need to verify coolant temp at the fill port (be careful as it can be dangerous removing the cap when hot). If the gauge is accurate, I would expect to see it ~220. If it shows to be normal (180 - 195), then I'd make a mental note this gauge location is normal for your van. Better yet, put a more accurate modern temp gauge in so you don't need to wonder.

    I didn't have a chance to read everything (I'm running late), but make sure your fan shroud is intact (lower piece is installed) and if you haven't already done so, I would also recommend replacing the clutch part of the fan with an OE quality unit (Aisin). Tim

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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    Sorry for the late reply. Sometimes I get behind and the Van-Tech issues need to take a back burner to money jobs . Yes, you are right, I was referring to the 86 - 89 vans with electronic advance (sorry I didn't check your profile for the year van). On yours you would set the timing with the vacuum line pulled and plugged from the distributor diaphragm, then you would hook the vacuum back up and verify a change with the timing light. Always a good idea to also apply a vacuum to that diaphragm (with your mouth or a mity-vac) to make sure it's pulls in and does not have free-flow (leak).

    I would also be concerned if I saw my temp gauge that high, but you need to verify coolant temp at the fill port (be careful as it can be dangerous removing the cap when hot). If the gauge is accurate, I would expect to see it ~220. If it shows to be normal (180 - 195), then I'd make a mental note this gauge location is normal for your van. Better yet, put a more accurate modern temp gauge in so you don't need to wonder.

    I didn't have a chance to read everything (I'm running late), but make sure your fan shroud is intact (lower piece is installed) and if you haven't already done so, I would also recommend replacing the clutch part of the fan with an OE quality unit (Aisin). Tim
    Thank you for the very detailed response Tim!

    I'll double check the vacuum on the vacuum advance and go ahead and change out my fan clutch with an Aisin unit.

    I checked my temps at the fill port and I was around 212, so sounds like I'm definitely running hot. I'll also be getting a modern temp gauge so I can know the exact temps from in the vehicle.

    Thanks again,
    Hugh

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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    Remember that the 3Y engine (1984-1985 vans in US) is timed @ 8 degrees BTDC, not 12 degrees as for the 4Y. Might not be the problem, but worth verifying.

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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    Quote Originally Posted by llamavan View Post
    Remember that the 3Y engine (1984-1985 vans in US) is timed @ 8 degrees BTDC, not 12 degrees as for the 4Y. Might not be the problem, but worth verifying.

    Gwen
    Thank you Gwen! I had the engine timed at 12 degrees when I first noticed the van running hot, but timing it correctly to 8 degrees didn't fix the problem.

    Definitely a good and important point thought...as I'm running much smoother after adjusting!

    Thanks again,
    Hugh

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    Re: Temperature Gauge at 3/4

    i think making sure its hitting maxium advance might be an important test..how does the new engine feel compared to before the rebuild? a retarded engine will run hot... not having enough time to burn the charge, it transfers it to exhaust valves, manifold, and head..

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