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Old 04-22-2014, 11:02 PM   #1
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Engine overheating

hello im tom and i have a 2002 jeep wrangler with the 4.0 5 speed 90k miles,
i have been having this problem for about a month and i have never had a problem with my wrangler since new.

my radiator blew up about a month ago, i replaced it with a thermostat, upper and lower hoses. it is running hot over 210 and suddenly pegs over to 240 and the check gauges like comes on. if you continue driving it goes right back up to where it started. so i don't think my engine is actually overheating. also,
i have no heat, if you squeeze the top hose it feels like no coolant is traveling through. I've flushed the system, and also tried to burp it on a hill. any suggestions?

anyone know how to burp the system well?

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Old 04-23-2014, 12:26 AM   #2
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Hi tom, welcome to WF!

Cold upper rad hose is an indicator that your t-stat isnt opening up.. I think. But then again, you said you replaced your t-stat... My guess would be your water pump. If your rad blew up, there's obviously a problem.. I know because the same exact thing happened to me, and my rad's upper tank blew up.

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Old 04-23-2014, 12:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jherrington View Post
Hi tom, welcome to WF! Cold upper rad hose is an indicator that your t-stat isnt opening up.. I think. But then again, you said you replaced your t-stat... My guess would be your water pump. If your rad blew up, there's obviously a problem.. I know because the same exact thing happened to me, and my rad's upper tank blew up.
Welcome I was confused at your problem after reading all you did I thought man that's what I would do. I read above quote and thought impeller fell off water pump. It opens my eyes I think he's dead on. Good luck brother.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:20 AM   #4
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With your overheating issue along with no heat, it really sounds like a clogged heater core. I would suggest doing a good flush with a Prestone flush kit from the autoparts store. Very easy/cheap to do and may resolve your issues. If this doesn't help, I would next suspect possibly a bad fan clutch.(Also easy and cheap to replace). Burping is simply running the engine with the cap off until it warms and the Tstat opens. Keep it running until no air bubbles come out of the cap. Just make sure you replaced the T-stat with a 190 degree one.
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:13 PM   #5
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I have had my share of overheating problems with my Jeep and others.

I am not sure what you mean by "Blew Up" I can assume you meant you opened the cap and water shot out. I am not sure you will ever feel water movement in a radiator hose, only pressure.

#1. Check the obvious, water level, fan belt, clutch on fan working properly, collapsed hoses and radiator cap. If your radiator is low, check the radiator cap, it should seal with pressure, but allow water to be sucked back from the expansion tank when the engine cools. You can test this by blowing or sucking on the radiator overflow hose.

#2. When cold, check the water level, place your wife's meat thermometer in the radiator water. Start engine and watch the temp, when the thermostat opens you will also see water movement and an increase in water temperature. Water movement means your thermostat and water pump are working properly and that your radiator isn't blocked.

You can test your thermostat by removing from the engine, placing it in one of your wife's sauce pans filled half way with water and a meat thermometer. Put the pan on the stove and set to a boil, if the thermostat is good, you will see it open at the preset temperature and can verify by looking at the thermometer.

You can check for a radiator blockage by removing the lower radiator hose and see if a large amount of water rushes out and the radiator empties quickly.

My Jeep had a standard 1 row radiator and would slowly drain, she was partially blocked, I replaced my stock radiator with a 3 row.

Note, Probably not a good idea to tell your wife how you tested your jeeps cooling system.
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:20 PM   #6
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Where the TJ is concerned, cooling efficiency can be lost by going from the OE 1 row to a 3 row radiator. The number of rows does not necessarily equate to how well it cools. The factory actually changed the TJ's original 2-row to a 1-row design around 2001 to help with cooling. The big desert radiators are 1-row designs.
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Old 04-23-2014, 03:26 PM   #7
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Where the TJ is concerned, cooling efficiency can be lost by going from the OE 1 row to a 3 row radiator. The number of rows does not necessarily equate to how well it cools. The factory actually changed the TJ's original 2-row to a 1-row design around 2001 to help with cooling. The big desert radiators are 1-row designs.
Jerry,

I always agree with you .... except for keeping my 97 4.0 Jeep cool, my 3 row works, a single didn't.

The original had flow issues, I replaced with a MOPAR replacement from my dealer. Still on warm days (warm below 90) she would over heat, I changed to a 3 row at the recommendation from a fellow Forum members, and even on the hottest days, 100+ degrees here in Georgia/Florida, I can run my AC on the highway, in traffic or waiting for the wife in the parking lot.

The needle never moves anymore, she stays planted over the -2- on 210, she stays on 192 degrees!

Couldn't before.
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Old 04-23-2014, 04:04 PM   #8
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Strange because most of us who wheel here in the desert where it gets hotter than Florida typically run 1 row radiators which are known to cool better due to their larger water channels. I crawl in 4lo, often with my A/C on, with no overheating. Something else was wrong, your overheating was definitely not caused simply by the radiator being a single row design. As said earlier, radiators designed for local desert wheeling are single row designs.
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:21 PM   #9
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Jerry, I'd agree with you, I figured Jeep could take any heat, I had tried everything, changed cap, thermostat, hoses and water pump and she gets 20 mpg on the highway, I have had the 3 row in for better than 100,000 miles and I have 275,000 on the Jeep now, if I had other problem, they would have surely shown up by now.

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