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HELP,, Overheating and searched threads but no answer
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stlouisvan
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:28 am    Post subject: HELP,, Overheating and searched threads but no answer Reply with quote

Hi, I"m new and signed up for some help. I have an 86 vanagon and keeps overheating. The water pump, thermostat and all fan fuses have been replaced. I've bled the system, even jacked the front end way up to bleed the radiator, and all seems fine for coolant levels. The radiator fan never kickes on, thinking it's the radiator fan switch, but, when I tripped the fan to come on, let it run with the fan on, the engine still runs way too hot. all the way up to the highest temp reading on the gauge. If I let it go too far, a hose blows, of which I've replaced 2 different hoses so far. It seems like the radiator doesn't get hot to the touch after its at it's highest level reading. What gives? It doesn't leak any oil, doesn't leak any fluid whatsoever. Engine runs really strong, but what is my problem... PLEASE HELP ME FIGURE THIS OUT... thanks
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rolfsky
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try running your front and rear heaters at full blast. If that helps, then your radiator is probably clogged/blocked. It wouldn't be unheard of since your radiator is now 23 years old and likely never been replaced.

Since your radiator isn't even getting hot, there's something stopping fluid movement in your radiator loop. That's either before, in, or after your radiator.

Best of luck! Let us know how it turns out!
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sagebus
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the radiator not getting hot, it is a good indicator the radiator is full of sediment and will need to be replaced.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason the fan isn't kicking on is the radiator temp switch isn't getting any hot coolant to it.

That section of the radiator is plugged.

No coolant to the switch--no signal to the radiator fan.

Get a new radiator installed and your problems will be solved.
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stlouisvan
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy Cow, thanks for the advice. I ran the heaters and sure enough, the temp gauge never got hot. Drove it around the block to get it heated up and still never overheated. Got back home and felt the radiator.. still cold. Thanks for the help. Now I need to find a radiator....
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Williamtaylor33
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

make sure that your coolant system is bled properly.
Its probably a clogged radiator but make sure of the simple things first.
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keylock
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Better check your thermostat too ! If it is stuck closed it wor't
allow coolant to flow to the radiator.
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deprivation
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stlouisvan wrote:
Now I need to find a radiator....

I got mine at Bus Depot - I don't remember the price but it was the best deal I found. The job itself isn't technically difficult but it's definitely no fun. The higher up you can raise the front, the easier it is to work underneath. I used a pair of pretty butch six-ton jackstands.

Have fun. Wink
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your looking for a brand new radiator--check out E-Bay.

There's a guy selling BEHR radiator's for $159.00.

Real good radiator at a real good price.
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stlouisvan wrote:
.... Now I need to find a radiator....


Not as good a price as the one TK found, but I got mine from CIP up here in Canada. If you can't get one on eSchmay.....

http://www2.cip1.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=VWC%2D068%2D121%2D253%2DE

Mine was a Behr. Double check manufacturer if you buy from CIP.

The fins are delicate. Inspect fins when you pick it up.

Keep an eye on fins as you install rad.
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stlouisvan
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again for all the replies... I just bought a radiator through Bus Depot for $149.00. So, when it gets here I'll update if it fixed the problem... thanks again for all the input. You guys ROCK.....
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ftp2leta
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have an 86 vanagon and keeps overheating. The water pump, thermostat and all fan fuses have been replaced. I've bled the system, even jacked the front end way up to bleed the radiator, and all seems fine for coolant levels.


Welcome.
How did this happen? I mean suddenly? Slowly? after some engine work?

When you bled the rad and fully open and remove the bleed screw, you never felt hot coolant coming out of the bleed hole? Was it pouring out of the hole? If yes you have coolant circulation!

Rad was cold? everywhere? Heat start at the bottom and sometime stop in the center or/and cold spot can be felt.

The next time you post, try to give more detail.

Rad, not sure.

Ben
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Zero419
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a problem for years. I had all the same symptoms. replaced all the same stuff.
Ended up being the new T-sat.

The bypass disk was too large. I replaced it with the correct new one and solved years of overheating problems
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Dogpilot
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So true, all thermostats are not equal. I recommend checking new ones in hot water to ensure they open fully. I have had a couple recently that didn't.
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Zero419
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, a new t-stat should fit in the housing without having to compress the top of the housing on during installation.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<I ran the heaters and sure enough, the temp gauge never got hot. Drove it around the block to get it heated up and still never overheated. Got back home and felt the radiator.. still cold.>>

Gentlemen.

Predicating upon this information I would bet a left nut that it's the radiator.

A bad thermostat ( which was already replaced with a new one ) is a long shot at best.

I think he's making the right move replacing the original radiator to get the coolant temps down to normal.
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Zero419
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that the radiator should be replaced. If it does not fix the problem, its good preventive maintenance.

Like I said, I had all the same symptoms, including successfully using the heat to bring the temp down (for a year or two) followed the advice here, replaced my radiator, to no avail.

Fact:
The wrong size bypass disk on a T-stat will give you all these symptoms.
There are suppliers out there that will sell you the wrong T-stat.
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Dogpilot
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't get any of us wrong, I assumed he was getting a new radiator from the posts above. It is a big duh on new radiator for most of the cooling issues on the Vanagon. They have about a 5-8 year lifespan before becoming a cement block. Folks over agonize about this too any times when it is the obvious answer. @ $169 it is a deal, but seems out of reach to many (the one for my Land Rover ticks in at $699 from the discount supplier). However, there are bad thermostats out there as well. I have personally been shipped two by suppliers I trust. In fact, it was not until I installed the third that my cooling woes settled down (with a new radiator already installed). It was kind of fun sitting in the kitchen with a big pot full of thermostats watching them all open up like clams in a steamer, unfortunately, all at different temps and different amounts (I would have preferred to be watching a big pot full of lobsters steaming, but thermostats was fun (god my life is pathetic!)).
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stlouisvan
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, Thanks for all your input. The radiator is the only thing that I can think of. Like I said, the radiator was still cool to almost cold after running the van around the block a few times. Now, I'm no master mechanic, but I'm not dumb either.. the radiator should be getting hot. Hence the radiator fan never kicking on and it overheating. Thermostat was replaced as was the water pump. At $149 for a new radiator, I'll take the chance of just replacing the darn thing anyway. Can't hurt, and go from there.
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Zero419
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

go for it.

don't want to sound like a broken record.
I had all the same symptoms.

Including a cold (new) radiator.

If you open up your T-stat housing (you won't lose much coolant at all) and you try to pull out your t-stat and its wedged in there and doesn't pull out easy, you have the wrong one.
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