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Thread: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

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    Forum Newbie Rossco's Avatar
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    Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    Hi guys, new member and new to the Toyota van community. I recently purchased a 88 4x4 le and am in love with it. Previous owner had put in a new engine about 10k miles ago...which brings me to th issue. I've been driving it for about a month with zero issues. Runs and sounds awesome and the temp gauge hovers a little below 50% up to 45-50 mph. Today I took it out towards Walden and was driving around 65-70 for about 10 miles and then my temp gauge went to the no-no red zone. Pulled over immediately and looked at the engine. Coolant overflow was boiling over and shooting out the bottom. This makes me think head gasket? Obviously that's worse case scenario and it seems strange I'd be having a head gasket problem with a new engine...I do have The service records for van and I'm suspecting that when they replaced the thermostat it was not a Toyota one. If it's a t stat problem would I be having the crazy overflow issue?Just want to know where to start looking before I send it to a mechanic for a head gasket. Thanks!

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    Forum Newbie Rossco's Avatar
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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    Radiator light just turned on. Hmmmmmm

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    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    Hi Rossco,

    I wouldn't immediately assume head gasket. What you're describing sounds more like a fan clutch and/or maybe a thermostat. There could also be a flow problem with the radiator (external air flow and/or internal coolant flow). There are lots of helpful threads here to guide you through this issue (check links below). I would recommend replacing with OE t-stat regardless (because it's cheap an easy) and I'd also check out the fan clutch. If the fan clutch is good, yet you're still experiencing a problem, I'd remove the radiator and take it to a radiator shop for flow testing and/or service. As always, make sure your radiator shroud is 100% there and intact. Tim

    http://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/s...g-(fan-clutch)

    http://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/s...rmostat-issues

    http://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/s...n-s-thermostat

    http://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/s...gasket-failure

    PS: Regarding your radiator light. There is a float switch in your coolant overflow reservoir that illuminates the radiator light (in the cluster) when coolant level is low. Since the van was boiled over, it makes sense you would be low on coolant. That light should go out after you've brought the coolant back to the correct level.

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    Forum Newbie Rossco's Avatar
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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    tim, thanks for the reply! i have lurked around these forums for awhile and your knowledge and help is unmatched.

    i did quite a bit of research before diving into the toyota van world and bought an oem toyota t-stat the day i bought the van, just havent had time to install it with my work schedule (actually the t-stat is locked in my glove box and i broke the key that unlocks it the other day AWESOME)


    Fan clutch is also something i will look at tomoro or tonight. i "popped the hood" while the van was running in the red on the side of the road today and dont remember noticing the fan spinning, i'll investigate that further....but i also was mostly focusing on the coolant bubbling and steaming out of my poor baby.

    the radiator is pretty dirty, but has a new cap with a good gasket/good pressure so thats nice. radiator re-core is way better than a head gasket!

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    Forum Newbie Rossco's Avatar
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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    so the van is still on the side of the road and needs coolant to limp it back home. im not sure if it uses red or green as i havent flushed/changed it out since owning it. was gonna do all that when i replaced the t-stat.

    since i am flushing it, am i gonna run into trouble if i guess the wrong color? or should i get ghetto with it and just use water to limp it home?

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    Van Enthusiast zak99b5's Avatar
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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    Plain water would be fine to limp home.

    Just do a complete flush and fill after you get it all sorted with the proper coolant.

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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    Yes, water is okay in emergencies (actually cools better), but it doesn't take long to start corrosion issues and doesn't lubricate moving parts, so don't leave it in there for very long. I use extended life Prestone 50/50 mix in all my rigs, but there's other things that work just fine too. Tim

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    Forum Newbie Rossco's Avatar
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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    Thanks guys. Just made the 25 mile limp home just barely. Started to boil over right when I pulled into the driveway.

    Tim, any coolant recommendations for extreme cold? I'm in south Wyoming and the winter gets well into the negatives on a regular basis.



    Thanks again guys, glad my baby didn't get towed after being stranded for a few days

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    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    I think the premixed -34 stuff is good anywhere, but if you use that it's important to completely drain out any water before putting it in. This means opening the block drain under/behind the alternator..........and that's a PITA (but possible). You can find out more about it's location and find pics if you search the forum. Use key words like "brass block drain extension". Tim

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    Forum Newbie Rossco's Avatar
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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    Cool. The engine block drain is that brass plug right? Seems like a toughie!

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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    ok i cant for the life of me find the radiator petcock...i found a picture you posted Tim, but im having a really hard time deciphering where the vantage point the pic was taken.


    i just need a point of reference to go from to find this petcock. over, under, around, inside, through? need snake arms for this van...

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    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    The radiator drain petcock is on the lower rearward passenger side of the radiator. The radiator in the picture is not installed (just laying in a parts van, front side down, without a fan shroud attached to it (other parts and hoses laying around it). The drain petcock is easier to spot on the van if you remove the plastic splash guard under the van. It's held on with 2 bolts (one on each side) and is located immediately behind the radiator. Tim

    PS: That picture is all I have left of my stack of 4wd radiators. There were 5 or 6 of them piled up in that van. Shortly after I took that picture metal thieves stole all of them.....BASTARDS!!!

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    Forum Newbie Rossco's Avatar
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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    thanks tim, found it! coolant is draining right now, not much is coming out at all. not much in there to begin i'd assume, considering the rough few days the van has had.

    time to search for the engine block brass bolt.

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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    alrighty heres a pic of the roflroflroflrofl that came out...mostly water i presume, not very viscous. but it seems there are small shavings floating around in there. water pump issue?

    :(

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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    replaced t stat, yup there was a poooped out aftermarket one with a bad gasket

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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rossco View Post
    ....it seems there are small shavings floating around in there.
    Since it only has 10K on a rebuild, the metallic shavings may be remnants from the machine work when it was rebuilt. Things like the block and head are flushed after machining but it's likely some bits would remain.

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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    took it for a ride around town, temp needle is staying much lower than before. i was consistently at 50% cruising around up to 45-50. its staying a little bit above 30% now. very happy! we'll see how well it does on the highway

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    Forum Newbie Rossco's Avatar
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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    Quote Originally Posted by originalkwyjibo View Post
    Since it only has 10K on a rebuild, the metallic shavings may be remnants from the machine work when it was rebuilt. Things like the block and head are flushed after machining but it's likely some bits would remain.
    hmm thatd make sense. im under the impression its a brand new engine with 10k but im starting to second guess that after investigating everything myself.

    i called the shop where the previous owner got the work done and they told me it was a "new" engine. the receipt has a core exchange rebate like they traded in the other engine to whoever supplied the "new" one, so i dont think its an original to the van engine. who knows what actually happened, i didnt get to speak to a mechanic, just the receptionist who looked up the work from 2 years ago. fingers crossed!

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    Forum Newbie Rossco's Avatar
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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    ive put around 200 miles on the van since the t-stat replacement and havent had an overheating issue yet, . still just town driving (50mph).

    a new problem(s) has surfaced though. the van is sputtering and accelerating terribly like its out of gas. its doing this whether the engine is hot or cold and it only seems to sputter in first and second gear. it idles fine when in park, but not in gear. had it die on me in reverse yesterday.

    it was spitting some crazy white smoke (coolant?) while i was waiting for it to warm up the other morning too, first time thats happened since owning it and it didnt last long...

    i checked the air tube to throttle body and did the squeeze test, just fine. like i said, idles perfectly when it park.


    anybody have ideas? ditributor? rotor? ecu temp sensor? or should i be checking into o2 sensors, catbacks, exhaust stuff etc...

    thanks in advance!

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    Re: Coolant everywhere! (Overheating, duh)

    Have you checked for codes?

    Gwen
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