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Old 03-29-2014, 11:09 PM   #1
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88 yj overheating

I just bought an 88 YJ with a straight 6 only so I can join this club. Well it was driving great on the way home until I got into the city and had to slow down. My temp gage instantly maxed out and when I got out to look there was no leaks and only overflowing in the overfill resevoir. After adding coolant and got back on my way, started to overheat again until I got on the highway and went back to normal operating levels. When I got off the highway again, overheated again. I am going to assume my thermostat went out or is it possible just to have air bubbles? One more thing, the person I bought the jeep from had it sitting for 5 years.

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Old 03-29-2014, 11:13 PM   #2
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Could be a bunch of things. But first I would look at the fan. Make sure its turning on when it should. And take the radiator cap off and let it run till it gets hot. You should see fluid running through it. If you dont it could be clogged, the thermostat is stuck shut, or the water pump is bad.

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Old 03-29-2014, 11:16 PM   #3
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Fan was working and no leak from the water pump. The water was making it to resevoir. Then again it has been 15 years since really had a vehicle I had to do work on. I am certain it is thermostat. Other than overheating it ran perfect.
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:57 AM   #4
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So we are not sure of your mechanical abilities at this point so do not get offended if we challenge any responses or over simplify things.

Having said that how are you sure the thermostat is bad just sitting for years will not necessarily make that happen? It certainly does not help.

I have the same model year and engine and had the same problem my issue was not easy to diagnose bit with help from this forum and some time I got it worked out.

So the first step is to check for leaks like you did.

Next is to check for water flow like the other poster stated.

Then the thermostat and clogs air pockets dirty nasty water that has clogged the radiator is the fan the correct fan? Or is it going backwards though since it cools at 55mph I doubt the fan is running backwards.

Point is could be many things eliminate them all then you may have us stumped for a short time!

Let us know everything you try and post pics to help us.

So do you have AC? Also have you turned on the heater while driving? Anything different when you did?

Chief
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:14 AM   #5
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I had a water pump go bad that would only work when driving around 2000 rpms. As soon as I would sit at a light or driving in city it would jump up on temp gauge. Would have to sit at the light in neutral and keep engine revved to allow coolant to circulate. That or a Tstat would be my guess.
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:26 PM   #6
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I did change thermostat, it didn't even have one in, but not the problem. Still have no leaks. Burped it and when I was checking radiator, water looked dirty. It didn't bubble for air pockets. Saw it cycling through, but was smoking. Going to try to swap out water pump. My mechanical skills go as far as simple pull and replace. Bought this to try to tune up my skills expecting problems. Just not on the first day.
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:45 PM   #7
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When the water pump impeller wears out it does not circulate water good at idle or running for that matter, I would pressure test radiator to make sure you don't have blown head gasket, you said was smoking, was that coming from radiator or exhaust? Also check the heater at idle after warms up, if its not very hot you still have air pockets
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:47 PM   #8
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Also don't have ac, tried turning heat to full, didn't help at all
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:49 PM   #9
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Smoke from radiator. No milky color water.
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:53 PM   #10
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Sounds like your water pump impeller is rotted away or broken, especially if been sitting for years, I'd change water pump and flush out entire system for rust, might even be clogged radiator any engine sitting for long period of time is not a good thing,
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:56 PM   #11
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How did you burp the system?
Did your thermostat have a hole in it? That helps a lot. Next time you have it apart, drill a 1/16" hole about 1/4" in from the end and make sure you position the hole at the top.

If it were a head gasket, you would have oil in your coolant and or coolant in your oil. The oil would look kind of like a chocolate milkshake.

How did you test your fan? If it's a clutch fan, and not an electric fan, you should be able to move it really easily when cold. And
Once warm, it should have some resistance to rotate it.

I would bet your problem is old coolant and a bad pump. Normally when pumps go, they leak. But jeeps are never normal.
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Old 03-30-2014, 06:03 PM   #12
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Did the fan test. I'm going to swap out water pump. I'm sure it sucks and can't hurt. Did the park on incline thing to burp her. Once again I am dumb on this stuff. Thank you Chiltons and you tube
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Old 03-30-2014, 06:07 PM   #13
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Just want to add, blown head gaskets don't always mean milky water or oil, if you have a blown head gasket out the exhaust side you won't see any milky water or oil but you will see water bubble up from radiator when you hit the gas.
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:19 PM   #14
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Would it have been able to drive fine on the highway with a blown head gasket?
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:24 PM   #15
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Not really drive fine, will overheat no matter what, It sounds like water pump, I'd start there and good flush. When you do the radiator flush, make sure there is nothing clogging radiator. Also check hoses for dry rot. Due to sitting.
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:35 PM   #16
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Also read when you replace the water pump, to change out fan clutch to. Is that just to sell more parts? I understand I will be replacing a lot of stuff with this ride for a while before it is sound.
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:24 PM   #17
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No it's good to do it because you have to remove all of that to do water pump, if its not a new fan clutch I'd replace both. Fan and fan clutch, they are inexpensive.
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:06 PM   #18
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I haven't replaced my fan clutch with my pump ever. Fan clutch always tested good.
What color is your exhaust? Blown gasket will leak coolant into the exhaust and turn it white.
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:15 PM   #19
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Everything is normal color. No white at all. I am ruling out head gasket. I am probably going to replace the fan clutch, just due to how old it is and if I have it off, why not. Seems as if it will be a little harder than I replaced it on my old 86 Ranger.
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:30 PM   #20
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Monster96 There is no exhaust side to a head gasket. You have coolant ports all the way around the head and cylinder walls and your oil ports are right next to them. The only reason you get coolant in your exhaust is when it blows into the compression chamber and leaks coolant into the compression chamber burns it and sends it out the exhaust, thats a minor blown head gasket, it still runs but you get coolant in your exhaust and compression in your coolant. The only time you oil in your coolant or coolant in your oil is when it blows completely and usually it won't run at all because your not getting any compression for it to fire. I really don't think its your head gasket if the exhaust isn't white or smell sweet, and it runs perfectly. I would defiantly say that your water pump is bad and quite possibly your fan clutch because at 55 your getting a sufficient amount of air into your radiator to cool it without the fan but in town your not getting any air.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yjJunkie18 View Post
Monster96 There is no exhaust side to a head gasket. You have coolant ports all the way around the head and cylinder walls and your oil ports are right next to them. The only reason you get coolant in your exhaust is when it blows into the compression chamber and leaks coolant into the compression chamber burns it and sends it out the exhaust, thats a minor blown head gasket, it still runs but you get coolant in your exhaust and compression in your coolant. The only time you oil in your coolant or coolant in your oil is when it blows completely and usually it won't run at all because your not getting any compression for it to fire. I really don't think its your head gasket if the exhaust isn't white or smell sweet, and it runs perfectly. I would defiantly say that your water pump is bad and quite possibly your fan clutch because at 55 your getting a sufficient amount of air into your radiator to cool it without the fan but in town your not getting any air.
That's the broken down version but what I was tiring to come with is you can't always think oil in water or water in oil, you will get the engine fumes out radiator cap from coming out exhaust.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:06 PM   #22
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I feel as this one is a stupid question. When I was trying to install my water pump, I got it all screwed in, but the two bolts would not align to the power steering bracket. I swore, and cried and swore. Loosened everything up to try to get them to align and no luck, so pretty sure I need a new gasket now, but anyway. As I was sitting here pouting I thought of something. Could I have loosened the bracket on the power steering to get those two to align?
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:50 PM   #23
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Well, the water pump was bad, put in new one and water is circulating. Now one thing I wasn't thinking of when I bought this was the rust inside components. I have been trying to do a flush on this for a while and I live in an area where I can't just leave the water running, but I have been running the car with water, until it cycles through and draining over and over. The rust color is going away slowly. Is there anything out there I can buy to try to fix internal rust? I know there won't be a 100% fix.
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:17 PM   #24
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Any radiator flush will work fine I had to do mine twice to get rid of all the crap in fact when I replaced my water pump I used a garden hose and sprayed up in the hole to wash out all the lose stuff.

Chief
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Old 04-01-2014, 03:25 PM   #25
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I used a garden hose and had to do it. Took me a good 4 hours, but no more rust coming through and passed a road test. Now on to the next thing that breaks down. Everyone that gave assistance, thanks. I will be using you and abusing ya'll until I learn this YJ.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:10 PM   #26
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Glad you got it going, you will see from hands on that these are very easy to work on, not too many crazy issues to deal with, most are all known problems with few straggling ones from time to time. Have fun with it and enjoy.

John.
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Old 04-05-2014, 05:37 AM   #27
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ck your radiator for solder bloom (yellow crusties inside radiator) if you have it replace radiator and all hoses. top main radiator hose is known to collapse when its old.if you are running a 4.2 go with a cooler stat

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