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Old 05-02-2013, 10:25 PM   #1
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Question TJ running warm

I've read through dozens of threads on this forum and several others, but have a situation not covered in any of the threads I've read. My TJ runs with temps well south of the 210 mark at slower speeds (below 55) but when I run higher than that, the temp gauge runs north of the 210 mark. If I get off the Interstate and back onto slower roads, it will eventually cool back down.
Here's more specifics to aid in your guidance: It's an 04 TJ "X" with 70,000 miles, the 4.0 liter in-line 6, 5-speed manual, 4.56 gears with 32" BFG Mud-Terrains, A/C, winch. Here's what I've already done: Had the radiator out and to a radiator shop where they (supposedly) cleaned it out (it's a composite so they couldn't do the boil out/rod like in the old days), all new radiator and heater hoses (all OEM), new Stant radiator cap and I put in a Stant SuperStat 180-degree T-stat, new serpentine belt. While the radiator was out I got foaming air conditioner cleaner and cleaned out the A/C condensor as much as possible - I can see through it quite well. No leaks anywhere, not losing water. Fan clutch has roughly the same amount of resistance whether hot or cold. Upper radiator hose has quite a bit of pressure when hot. When I warm the engine with the radiator cap off, I can see what appears to be pretty good flow. When it's running down the highway the temp gauge is north of 210 but not near the red - maybe 220 max?
I've been on smaller forums but haven't run into that 'one person' who's 'been there and fixed that,' hopefully this huge forum has someone on it with a similar past experience.
Thanks!

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Old 05-02-2013, 10:30 PM   #2
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i find that since i put my winch mine stays hot i have the same jeep as you 02 x with 97k and i stay at 210 or north of it never below it

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Old 05-02-2013, 10:35 PM   #3
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I have the same thing going on, I also put hood louvers on mine to allow the heat to escape the engine bay to no avail. Will be following this thread, hope we get some good ideas.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:08 PM   #4
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Drove it to work today - 12 miles one way - some at highway speeds except that it was snowing like nuts, so below 50 the whole time - it got north of 210 early on - then after about five miles went south of 210 and stayed there. Weird. Sending unit issue? Temp guage? Air in the water? Coming home tonight, still cold outside (33-degrees) and it behaved all the way home. Maybe I have a Bermuda Triangle Event hanging under my hood???
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by GreenTJ4JC View Post
I've read through dozens of threads on this forum and several others, but have a situation not covered in any of the threads I've read. My TJ runs with temps well south of the 210 mark at slower speeds (below 55) but when I run higher than that, the temp gauge runs north of the 210 mark. If I get off the Interstate and back onto slower roads, it will eventually cool back down.
Here's more specifics to aid in your guidance: It's an 04 TJ "X" with 70,000 miles, the 4.0 liter in-line 6, 5-speed manual, 4.56 gears with 32" BFG Mud-Terrains, A/C, winch. Here's what I've already done: Had the radiator out and to a radiator shop where they (supposedly) cleaned it out (it's a composite so they couldn't do the boil out/rod like in the old days), all new radiator and heater hoses (all OEM), new Stant radiator cap and I put in a Stant SuperStat 180-degree T-stat, new serpentine belt. While the radiator was out I got foaming air conditioner cleaner and cleaned out the A/C condensor as much as possible - I can see through it quite well. No leaks anywhere, not losing water. Fan clutch has roughly the same amount of resistance whether hot or cold. Upper radiator hose has quite a bit of pressure when hot. When I warm the engine with the radiator cap off, I can see what appears to be pretty good flow. When it's running down the highway the temp gauge is north of 210 but not near the red - maybe 220 max?
I've been on smaller forums but haven't run into that 'one person' who's 'been there and fixed that,' hopefully this huge forum has someone on it with a similar past experience.
Thanks!
Fan clutch should be different, cold vs hot
My guess is the fan clutch, cheap fix $50 or so. That was the issue with mine...started with thermostat, then rad cap, finally fan clutch...WAALAA no more issues
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:12 PM   #6
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I put in a Stant SuperStat 180-degree T-stat,
Should be a 195 I believe.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:34 PM   #7
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Drive around the block before doing the cold test on the clutch. The silicone will settle overnight locking the fan and give a false resistance test. I'd rule out the fan clutch first just because it's so easy but I don't think it's the clutch.

Mine was doing the same thing when my system wasn't holding pressure. I did everything at once (flush, stat, cap, tighten hoses) so I can't say which one solved the issue but it's either the cap or hoses. I switched out all the factory clamps for worm clamps and cinched those babies down. Pressure tested good after that and stays a needle width below 210 on the highway.
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:30 AM   #8
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Should be a 195 I believe.
Yep. It should be a 195 tstat.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by GreenTJ4JC View Post
I've read through dozens of threads on this forum and several others, but have a situation not covered in any of the threads I've read. My TJ runs with temps well south of the 210 mark at slower speeds (below 55) but when I run higher than that, the temp gauge runs north of the 210 mark. If I get off the Interstate and back onto slower roads, it will eventually cool back down.
Here's more specifics to aid in your guidance: It's an 04 TJ "X" with 70,000 miles, the 4.0 liter in-line 6, 5-speed manual, 4.56 gears with 32" BFG Mud-Terrains, A/C, winch. Here's what I've already done: Had the radiator out and to a radiator shop where they (supposedly) cleaned it out (it's a composite so they couldn't do the boil out/rod like in the old days), all new radiator and heater hoses (all OEM), new Stant radiator cap and I put in a Stant SuperStat 180-degree T-stat, new serpentine belt. While the radiator was out I got foaming air conditioner cleaner and cleaned out the A/C condensor as much as possible - I can see through it quite well. No leaks anywhere, not losing water. Fan clutch has roughly the same amount of resistance whether hot or cold. Upper radiator hose has quite a bit of pressure when hot. When I warm the engine with the radiator cap off, I can see what appears to be pretty good flow. When it's running down the highway the temp gauge is north of 210 but not near the red - maybe 220 max?
I've been on smaller forums but haven't run into that 'one person' who's 'been there and fixed that,' hopefully this huge forum has someone on it with a similar past experience.
Thanks!
OK, now it's getting downright frustrating. New water pump, because I had heard of impellers that could go bad. it made sense; bad impeller, poor flow, runs hot at high speed, but still cooled off in town. Took many hours, new OEM water pump. Stayed the same. Then went for the 3-day chemical flush. Ran OK in town, hot (well, warm) again on the highway - no change. So this morning did the power flush (with the Prestone T-fitting thing) until clear water ran, then installed the manufacturer's HOAT (Zerex G0-5) with distilled water and - wait for it - it now runs hotter than before!!!! What the heck is going on with this TJ???? The ONLY thing I haven't changed out on this cooling system is the fan clutch. And by all accounts that shouldn't account for the hotter temps at highway speeds anyway. Someone help!!!!!
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:03 AM   #10
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Have you cleaned out the radiator fins? Hose it from front and get all the dirt and bugs out. My 04 LJ got a bit warm at similar at highway speed. My air conditioner condenser "radiator" in front of the actual radiator was just dirty and not letting air flow thru. Garden hose with spray nozzle took care of it
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:09 AM   #11
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What size tires on what gears? The reason I ask is I was good with 33's and 3.73 gears. I recently put 35's on and it seems to run warmer on the highway. I have not linked the two yet just something I've noticed.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:12 AM   #12
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First, are you absolutely positive all of the air that gets trapped in the cooling system whenever it is opened up has been burped out? An easy way to insure no air remains trapped is to install the proper 195 degree thermostat with an air bleed hole in it, with the thermostat installed so the bleed hole is positioned at the top.

If your thermostat doesn't have a bleed hole like is shown below, you can drill your own in the same location. A 1/8" hole in the flange in the same location as below is fine.

And a winch does not reduce air flow enough to cause the engine to run hotter, unless the cooling system has a problem and is marginal to begin with. We run winches on the fronts of our Jeeps that we wheel in the hottest imaginable desert conditions without overheating problems. My high profile winches with top mounted solenoid enclosures have never made my cooling systems run any hotter.
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:35 PM   #13
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Have you cleaned out the radiator fins? Hose it from front and get all the dirt and bugs out. My 04 LJ got a bit warm at similar at highway speed. My air conditioner condenser "radiator" in front of the actual radiator was just dirty and not letting air flow thru. Garden hose with spray nozzle took care of it
Good idea; actually was one of the first things I did. Took the radiator out and had a shop clean it out (I'm presently questioning the quality of that work...) While radiator was out, I used the foaming cleaner for air conditioners and got the condensor very clean. I don't believe that's the issue, but good thought...
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:36 PM   #14
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What size tires on what gears? The reason I ask is I was good with 33's and 3.73 gears. I recently put 35's on and it seems to run warmer on the highway. I have not linked the two yet just something I've noticed.
I've got 4.56s in the axles and I'm running 32" tires; have the 5-speed manual. The engine's running 2250 at 60; not straining at all - I never have to downshift for hills...
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:43 PM   #15
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And a winch does not reduce air flow enough to cause the engine to run hotter, unless the cooling system has a problem and is marginal to begin with. We run winches on the fronts of our Jeeps that we wheel in the hottest imaginable desert conditions without overheating problems. My high profile winches with top mounted solenoid enclosures have never made my cooling systems run any hotter.
I'm in full agreement with this; the winch shouldn't be causing this. I had the winch on this many years ago and it wasn't until recently things started getting warm.
I've been methodical through all this, starting with the radiator cap, then getting the radiator cleaned, then on from there. Now that everything (everything except the radiator!) is new and it's still doing exactly the same thing, I've circled back to focus on the radiator. When I drain it, it takes about 5 minutes to fill a 1-gallon jug. I read on another forum of someone else that had similar issues, replaced his radiator and all was well again. With this thing draining so slowly, I'm about 90% convinced that whatever service the radiator place did (assuming they did anything at all) was ineffective. Once I get a new radiator in, I'll know for sure whether or not their work was worth the $65 I paid them. That $65 was supposed to save me a bunch of money; if I paid that, then assumed that my radiator was 'good as new' and continued to spend money and time chasing a problem that didn't exist (except in the radiator!) I'll be really really bummed.
I tried ordering from Radiator Express. Salesman provided bad information. Problems with shipment as a result. I'm not happy with RadEx right now...
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:03 PM   #16
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How hot is your transmission running? Your trans cooler is running through your rad.and that will cause the coolant to run hotter.
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:52 AM   #17
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How hot is your transmission running? Your trans cooler is running through your rad.and that will cause the coolant to run hotter.
He has the 5-speed manual transmission, not an automatic.
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:32 AM   #18
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Updates on your issues?
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:20 PM   #19
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Updates on your issues?
Thanks for asking. I picked up the new radiator today. I'll be putting it in tomorrow. this time tomorrow evening I'll know if my troubles are behind me; or just beginning anew!
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:26 AM   #20
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Make sure to only use distilled (!) water to mix with the fresh coolant. Zerex G-05 would be a good choice after thoroughly flushing all of the old coolant out of the block.
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:49 AM   #21
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Make sure to only use distilled (!) water to mix with the fresh coolant. Zerex G-05 would be a good choice after thoroughly flushing all of the old coolant out of the block.
Jerry,

Do you use distilled water for the flush? I never have before. I always just used a garden hose, but as I get older, I think distilled water would be better for the cooling system. Your thoughts?

Chuck
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:33 AM   #22
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Jerry,

Do you use distilled water for the flush? I never have before. I always just used a garden hose, but as I get older, I think distilled water would be better for the cooling system. Your thoughts?

Chuck
I just use a garden hose to flush with, I don't see the small amount of tap water being left in the engine block as significant enough to worry about. It gets filled up with 50:50 distilled water/Zerex G-05 though, I'm comfortable enough with that procedure. I'm anal about never adding tap water after that though, I always have several gallons of distilled water in the garage for the radiator & my trailer battery.
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:52 AM   #23
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Garden hose flush and then use distilled water
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:15 PM   #24
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Thanks for asking. I picked up the new radiator today. I'll be putting it in tomorrow. this time tomorrow evening I'll know if my troubles are behind me; or just beginning anew!
Here's the update -
The radiator was the issue. You may ask (as did I) Why??
Readers may recall that I've been fighting hotter-than-normal temps with my TJ since last Feb, when it "burped" all over the driver's fender and fender well. First replaced the radiator cap. No better. Then removed the radiator and had to decide whether to take it to a professional radiator shop and have them flush it, or buy a new one. Decided to do the flush. They pronounced it 'good as new' because it held pressure and there were no flow restrictions. Also replaced the thermostat and all hoses at the same time. Still no better. Several forums later (and a few mechanics later) had me convinced the water pump impeller could be damaged. Replaced that (all OEM). While I had it off I could see inside the engine's water jacket and there was a red-brown fine-grit sandpaper appearance. But the old water pump looked OK and the new water pump didn't fix it. Next did a Prestone chemical flush - the 3-day drive, with a 15-minute back flush (I caught all the anti-freeze and only water went into the sewers - T-fitting is not leaking). Installed the genuine HOAT stuff (Google "ReCycool" and read up on the different anti-freeze kinds - VERY informative!) using distilled water. This actually made it run hotter until I thinned out the mix to -10 (a 50/50 mix had it at -40). Now it's back to the way it was, which is to say still running hot on the highway. So circled back to the radiator. The pros had pronounced it 'good as new.' But it was the only thing left! So I popped for the OEM radiator (yep, there are cheaper ones available after-market, but this one was exactly the same as the old one and went in super-easy, so it's worth it to me!), put it in the morning, and the Jeep's finally back to its old self. I tested it running it pretty hard down the highway for over 30 minutes. The temps are in the mid-90s, the dew points are in the mid-70s, and just to really test it, I ran with the A/C on. It did great.
So why did the new radiator work better than the professionally-flushed and then Prestone back-flushed old unit? Here's my hypothesis - and I encourage ya'll to kick this around, and if at the end of the day this hypothesis holds water, then all my time and money will save someone else the heartburn.
The hypothesis - even though the old radiator held pressure just fine, and it flowed without restriction, I saw the same red/brown fine-grit sandpaper appearance in the top of the radiator core that I saw inside the water pump area. (See photo.) It's my belief that, even though there was adequate flow the whole time, this little bit of corrosion was sufficient to prevent the radiator from doing its primary job - acting as an effecient heat exchanger! The cure? Change the radiator fluid regularly!
During the course of all this, I discovered that anti-freeze does more than just prevent freeze ups and boil overs. It's designed to control corrosion in the water system. The old-style 'green' (Prestone, for instance) adds stuff to their ethylene glycol that does just this. But I learned that the additives are actually "consumed" during the process. That means that after a period of time, there's no more additive left to do its secondary job of preventing corrosion. The Jeep-recommended HOAT (Zerex G0-5 - I found mine at Advance Auto Parts) is a Hybrid Organic Acid Technology and has a useful life of perhaps five years, rather than the two years of the regular stuff. This Jeep hasn't been changed out for far too long, and hence the corrosion in the water system.
Acting now can save you my cost and aggravation. Change out the antifreeze regularly, and if your Jeep (or any other car, for that matter) is running hot at highway speeds, a radiator flush may not be enough to restore the radiator's ability to effectively get rid of heat.
The attached photo is of my old radiator. It really doesn't look that bad, does it? But evidently, that's all the corrosion that was needed to cause my problems, because that corrosion is in all the little heat-exchanging passageways, too.
Happy trails!
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:47 AM   #25
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Glad you got it worked out.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:39 PM   #26
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Appreciate the post. Your difficulty's will help others that are pulling their hair out with similar situation.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:45 PM   #27
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Glad you got it worked out.
Me too!
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:50 PM   #28
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Here's the update -
The radiator was the issue. You may ask (as did I) Why??
Readers may recall that I've been fighting hotter-than-normal temps with my TJ since last Feb, when it "burped" all over the driver's fender and fender well. First replaced the radiator cap. No better. Then removed the radiator and had to decide whether to take it to a professional radiator shop and have them flush it, or buy a new one. Decided to do the flush. They pronounced it 'good as new' because it held pressure and there were no flow restrictions. Also replaced the thermostat and all hoses at the same time. Still no better. Several forums later (and a few mechanics later) had me convinced the water pump impeller could be damaged. Replaced that (all OEM). While I had it off I could see inside the engine's water jacket and there was a red-brown fine-grit sandpaper appearance. But the old water pump looked OK and the new water pump didn't fix it. Next did a Prestone chemical flush - the 3-day drive, with a 15-minute back flush (I caught all the anti-freeze and only water went into the sewers - T-fitting is not leaking). Installed the genuine HOAT stuff (Google "ReCycool" and read up on the different anti-freeze kinds - VERY informative!) using distilled water. This actually made it run hotter until I thinned out the mix to -10 (a 50/50 mix had it at -40). Now it's back to the way it was, which is to say still running hot on the highway. So circled back to the radiator. The pros had pronounced it 'good as new.' But it was the only thing left! So I popped for the OEM radiator (yep, there are cheaper ones available after-market, but this one was exactly the same as the old one and went in super-easy, so it's worth it to me!), put it in the morning, and the Jeep's finally back to its old self. I tested it running it pretty hard down the highway for over 30 minutes. The temps are in the mid-90s, the dew points are in the mid-70s, and just to really test it, I ran with the A/C on. It did great.
So why did the new radiator work better than the professionally-flushed and then Prestone back-flushed old unit? Here's my hypothesis - and I encourage ya'll to kick this around, and if at the end of the day this hypothesis holds water, then all my time and money will save someone else the heartburn.
The hypothesis - even though the old radiator held pressure just fine, and it flowed without restriction, I saw the same red/brown fine-grit sandpaper appearance in the top of the radiator core that I saw inside the water pump area. (See photo.) It's my belief that, even though there was adequate flow the whole time, this little bit of corrosion was sufficient to prevent the radiator from doing its primary job - acting as an effecient heat exchanger! The cure? Change the radiator fluid regularly!
During the course of all this, I discovered that anti-freeze does more than just prevent freeze ups and boil overs. It's designed to control corrosion in the water system. The old-style 'green' (Prestone, for instance) adds stuff to their ethylene glycol that does just this. But I learned that the additives are actually "consumed" during the process. That means that after a period of time, there's no more additive left to do its secondary job of preventing corrosion. The Jeep-recommended HOAT (Zerex G0-5 - I found mine at Advance Auto Parts) is a Hybrid Organic Acid Technology and has a useful life of perhaps five years, rather than the two years of the regular stuff. This Jeep hasn't been changed out for far too long, and hence the corrosion in the water system.
Acting now can save you my cost and aggravation. Change out the antifreeze regularly, and if your Jeep (or any other car, for that matter) is running hot at highway speeds, a radiator flush may not be enough to restore the radiator's ability to effectively get rid of heat.
The attached photo is of my old radiator. It really doesn't look that bad, does it? But evidently, that's all the corrosion that was needed to cause my problems, because that corrosion is in all the little heat-exchanging passageways, too.
Happy trails!

One thing I noticed was the mix you achieved after the flush. I've mentioned this several times and it seems to get ignored, but it does make a difference.

After I get the flush done and am running fresh water through the system, I do the last one with distilled water to dilute the tap water down as far as possible because there is no easy way to get all the water out of the block.

Then when I do my coolant + distilled water mix, I try to get about 60% coolant and 40% distilled water going due to the amount of water left in the block. If you have a coolant tester and use it, you will find that if you start with a 50/50 mix after a water flush, it will no longer be 50/50 by the time you get it full.

I also have the same experiences with radiators and what was supposed to be "known" good wasn't, even though I could find nothing wrong with it and it was much cleaner looking inside that the pic you put up.
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:00 PM   #29
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Des Moines
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Took a bit of a road trip today to the wheeling area. Temps were perfect the whole time. It was definitely the radiator. Glad to have this problem 'licked.' Wish I'd just bought it on step #2 several months ago; but then I wouldn't have learned as much as I did. Thanks to everyone on this forum for your part and role in this learning adventure!
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2004 TJ, lifted, skidded, winched, ECTED on 32s. DD with a weekend attitude!
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:20 PM   #30
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Final chapter - through all this I wound up with two new radiators. The OEM is in the TJ and the one from Radiator Express finally arrived (two weeks late) so I have a new radiator - in a box - that fits my 2004 TJ and don't need it. If anyone needs or wants a radiator the first $100 takes it. (I'm taking a loss, but less of one than I would if I sent it back...) I've posted up in the 'for sale' area....

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2004 TJ, lifted, skidded, winched, ECTED on 32s. DD with a weekend attitude!
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