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Discussion Starter #1
Hey! On my 89 Dodge Spirit ES 2.5 T1 the gauge always read from 1/3 (where the t-stat opened) to 2/3 where the fan kicked on...

Well on my 87 LeBaron Convertible with 2.2 T2 freshly rebuilt 200 miles ago the engine temps seem to be a bit odd. I replaced the waterbox Coolant Temperature Sensor and attempted to replace the gauge sending unit as well but the one from AutoZone did not have the right size "screw" on the end for the connector so I had to return it.

Anyhow when I start the car it goes up to 1/2 fairly fast - and if I am driving it stays at 1/2 and sometimes flickers up to one notch past half and back down.

If I sit still the temp will go up to what appears to be about 3/4 maybe a little higher and the fan will eventually come on and bring it down to about 1 notch above half and it kicks back off.

I am just trying to find out if it's operating in the normal temperature range and I am just not used to the digital dash or if my dash's sending unit is bunk. I posted this on Allpar.com as well and was told by somebody that they had a problem with their heater core or their heater bypass valve and what was happening was the engine was reading 160 at the waterbox but 250 at the head sending unit and water was basically bypassing the head or something like that because the valve or heater core was clogged. I'm fairly certain my heater core is in good shape because it puts out roasting heat - but the valve I am not too sure about - or the radiator either.

I also noticed that when I came to a stop once (this is what alerted me really) that I smelled something REALLY hot so I got out of the car and popped the hood and the engine was SUPER-HOT - I mean the coolant was full and the thermostat was opened and it was flowing so I'm 99% sure it didn't overheat - but it seemed really hot to me personally. I had been doing fairly stop/go driving on US 31 between my town and Indy just at the beginning of rush-hour traffic.

With the car bone-cold the valve cover gets so hot I can't touch it in under 2~3 minutes... I thought it took longer than that for these engines to warm up???

Any input on the readings of my gauge and things I can/should check would be GREATLY appreciated!

Also - would a high concentration of antifreeze and low amount of water cause the car to run hotter? I noticed that when I drained some coolant to replace the CTS that it seemed to almost be super-green. So when I filled the system back up I added only water to it.

Mike
 

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What your describing is a car after some _heavy_ use.
What got rebuilt? Did the guys clean out passages? ... heh, water pump turning?
Is coolant flowing into the overflow tank and back? Are you losing coolant?

This could be related to your other problem if the car is running real rich.
Either that or you forgot to mention the 20' yacht your towing.
 

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mike have you took a temp. reading of the engine? i use a laser temp guage to check when i want to check different parts of the engine for temp. i have found this to really help me when i'm trying to see actual temps when questioning the guage. i hope this helps
scotty
 

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SCotty, we need more power!!!!!!!

Just Kidding!!!!!!

anyways, I agree with Scott....

I never trust an electric gauge or sending unit..... only a warning light....

I would try to install a mechanical water temperature gauge with a capillary tube and verify the true water temp.... and see if you new sending unit and gauge are just a bit ostentatious in their readings....


I used to have an oil pressure gauge/ sending unit in my 1989 turbo omni that would start going down rapidly as rpm and throttle position increased... scaring the crap out of me....

I finally got pissed and wanted to know what was really happening.... I installed a mechanical oil pressure gauge....

the truth was that there was obviously some short in the sending unit or the gauge because my oil pressure did nothing but increase with rpms, even when holding the engine wide open for a long stretch.... oil pressure stayed high and consistent....

Factory gauges suck...

RYNO
OMNILET
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well I'm fairly certain it's ok - I just don't want to have to replace the head anytime soon because it's getting too hot.

Where would I get a laser thermometer like you said? Could I borrow one from somewhere? Sounds like it'd be EXPENSIVE!

And yes coolant is flowing - new water pump - when I turn the engine off if I leave the key on the temp RAPIDLY climbs up to the point that the fan kicks on but it doesn't go any higher than that, if I turn the engine back on (Water pump starts pumping again) the temp rapidly drops down to about the 1/2 mark again.

Mike
 

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was the entire engine rebuilt? if so, who did the rebuild? it is possible that the head gasket popped that early, especially if a cheap gasket was used. if its getting that hot that quick, it wouldn't suprise me if that was the case. also, was the head planed? if it was installed warped, then obviously it wont seal from the begining...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It was a mopar high performance gasket - and the head was installed flat.

I'm not losing any coolant anywhere either - no milky oil and no bubbles in the overflow.

I'm fairly certain my dash gauge is reading incorrectly - or just differently from the analog dash I am used to from my spirit.

I need to see how 3/4 on the analog compares to 3/4 on the digital and 1/2 on analog to 1/2 on digital.

It's about 60~70 degrees out lately and it warms up fast - sitting still it takes 3~4 minutes and going down the road even less. The valve cover is getting so hot I can't keep my hand on it - but it always did that on the spirit before.

Just this one time I pulled over when I said it smelled hot something was smoking off of the engine - but with it being a relatively new fresh rebuild who knows what that could have been. Could have been the paint I put on the intake and valve cover curing =)

Mike
 

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180 degree thermostat???? new thermostat???

timing advanced toooo far will cause this kind of heat....

bleed hole on thermostat?

eef
 

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Discussion Starter #9
192 Thermostat (Stant) brand new with 1/16" bleed hole

Timing is at 12degrees BTDC (at 5psi non-intercooled I'm getting up to about 1375 degrees on my EGT under full boost for about 15 or so seconds)

Mike
 

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buy a antifreeze/anti boil checker.......($5)....then you rule that out...why not try the 180.....i love it...supposed to help head gaskets live also....

you have an egt guage...sweet

eef
 

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if your egt is fine, then it aint overheating badly... i would try an aftermarket temp gauge, or even as posted before, one of those laser thermometers, i've seen them for sale at my local Napa for like 50bux. no loss of coolant, no bubblies, maybe the switch to a 180 stat wouldn't be a bad idea too...
 
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