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Old 06-29-2011, 05:42 PM   #1
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Water with bubbles, but temp under 200

About a month ago, I finally rebuilt the cooling system in my faithful old 1990 YJ. The water pump was leaking coolant out it's weep hole last fall, so I stored it over the winter, and then, starting in April, I replaced the water pump, radiator, all the belts and hoses, bypassed the heater, and left the thermostat out.
After all of that, there are NO leaks, no water in the oil, or oil in the water, and the highest that the water temperature ever gets, using a mechanical water temp gauge, is 190 degrees, after running into the teeth of 50 mph West Texas winds, at 60MPH, with the little 2.5L 4 Banger.
I'm wondering if I have a blown head gasket. Some of my friends suggets that I just pour brand XYZ liquid cork into my radiator, claiming that the stuff will cure everything.
I'm thinking that the only thing that will FIX it will be a non composite, metal head gasket, what do you guys think??
(By the way, don't let the gender fool you, I have been twisting wrenches on my stuff since I was sixteen, and I'm 61 now. Brie

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Old 06-29-2011, 05:53 PM   #2
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if you are positive there is no coolant in the oil id try the simple things first like putting in 190 thermostat, main causes of overcooling are faulty thermostat or faulty temp gauge and you say you are using a mechanical gauge to test it, id definetly toss a $10-20 thermostat in there to see what it does first before taking the head off to replace the gasket, especially since you are lacking the main symptom of a bad head gasket

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Old 06-29-2011, 05:54 PM   #3
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BTW ive tried some of the radiator "stop leaks" and they work great.. for about 50-100 miles
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:02 PM   #4
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My grandpa always says "you can't get a mechanic in a bottle" don't gunk up your new cooling system to find a quick fix. My $.02
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:26 PM   #5
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if 190 is what you got going into a 50mph headwind doing 60mph i wouldn't worry, thats like doing 110 in a jeep. i realize w/o a t-stat it shouldn't heat up that high but you were working that lil 4 cyl over time.

the only thing i could suggest is to make sure the fan clutch isn't going bad.
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:03 PM   #6
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I had the pedal all the way to the floor, and in fourth instead of fifth, to get it to that. I held it for fifteen miles like that to test the engine and cooling system for leaks, and then backed it of where it would be an 85 MPH indicated air speed. (Remember, I'm a pilot). once I backed out of it, the temp dropped to 165-170, but when I parked it, there was a LOT of pressure in the cooling system, the same as when I take it easy on the aerodynamic loading. There a BUNCH of bubbles in the coolant, and it always releases the pressure into the coolant recovery tank, 95% pressure, and only a small amount of coolant. Brie

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if 190 is what you got going into a 50mph headwind doing 60mph i wouldn't worry, thats like doing 110 in a jeep. i realize w/o a t-stat it shouldn't heat up that high but you were working that lil 4 cyl over time.

the only thing i could suggest is to make sure the fan clutch isn't going bad.
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:36 AM   #7
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I. (Remember, I'm a pilot).
well theres your problem! lol (im an airline mechanic) lol, did you get a new radiator cap with the radiator you put in? could be something as simple as that, get it pressure tested (the cap) or just toss a new 18lbs cap in, btw where are you seeing bubbles? in the overfill? and where did you test the temp
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:04 PM   #8
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The bubbles, a lot of them, are visible when I have the cap off, and the engine is running and below operating temperature. (I have the thermostat removed, so I can see what is going on right away).
Sometimes there is a fair amount of "foam" that is blown into the overflow catch tank, that is carried there with the pressure bleed, but no real liquid.
The sending unit for my mechanical gauge is where the original electric sender was,on the front of the intake manifold to measure the intake water jacket temperature. (I HATE electric gauges, so I replaced the oil pressure, and water temperature with mechanical Sunpro's). Brie


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well theres your problem! lol (im an airline mechanic) lol, did you get a new radiator cap with the radiator you put in? could be something as simple as that, get it pressure tested (the cap) or just toss a new 18lbs cap in, btw where are you seeing bubbles? in the overfill? and where did you test the temp
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:19 PM   #9
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i think the bubbles your seeing are the pump pulling fluid out of the radiator, normally with the thermostat in it will just circulate the fluid in the block until it reaches the temp the thermostat is set to open and then it will pull fluid from the radiator, meaning if you had the thermostat in you would not see any "bubbles" or swirling in the fluid at the radiator untill the it was at around 190F, since you dont have a thermostat in yours it is pulling fluid from the radiator at all temps
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:45 PM   #10
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T stats are used to help get the engine to operating temp faster and to slow the coolant down long enough for the radiator to do it's job.

When you put a tstat in make sure you completely bleed the air out of the system before driving it. I like my radiator funnel. It allows for coolant expansion and faster air bleeding without losing coolant.
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:08 PM   #11
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Thanks folks, I'll get a new t-stat and 18 pound rad-cap tomorrow, and report back about what happens. Brie

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