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hobbie2k
04-05-2005, 02:19 AM
Okay, I recently bought a 1986 Buick Regal with the 5.0L V8. Even before I got it home it overheated and blew the water pump. I replaced the water pump (and put in a new thermostat) and limped it home. It started running fine. A few days later it started overheating again. This time I found a very leaky hose and assumed it must be low on coolant, so I replaced the hose and refilled the radiator. Once again, it ran fine afterward.

A few more days later it started again. So I replaced the thermostat a second time. It ran fine for about a day, then began overheating again. This time I decided the radiator was clogged so I replaced the radiator. The car ran fine for a couple days, and has now started overheating again...

I don't know what could be the problem. I've replaced everything, it seems.

Everytime it starts overheating, my first indication is the heater stops working. Shortly thereafter the water temp light comes on. If I feel the radiator (even the brand new one does this) the top is burning and the bottom is not even lukewarm.

It seems like every time I take the system apart to replace something, it works fine for a little while, then stops...

Punisher
04-05-2005, 03:03 AM
You really don't see what is going on here do you? When you replace these parts you obviously top the coolant off.. which is why the car runs fine for a few days...

I'm betting the head gasket is shot... Errr, I should say, one of the HG's is shot..

hobbie2k
04-05-2005, 03:30 AM
I really, really hope you're wrong...but the coolant was full and I ran the car for a while, so I'll check it tomorrow morning...I really hope it's still full...

Schmleff
04-05-2005, 04:09 AM
Unfortunatly, I vote HG also

the easy way to tell if it is the hg is to let it get stone cold. Start teh thing and run if for a few min. Squeeze the coolant hose. Is is hard and under pressure? if so, its a good chance it is a hg

schmooot
04-06-2005, 12:02 AM
If I feel the radiator (even the brand new one does this) the top is burning and the bottom is not even lukewarm.


The only thing restricting coolant from circulating is the thermostat (unless all the holes in the headgasket are plugged but even then you would still get flow) The thermostat could have been a dud, or it is in backwards; but that is where I believe the problem lies, you could try eliminating the thermostat just for the sake of a test drive and then see if the bottom rad hose is heating up.

Another thing I just thought of is you might have a large air bubble in the system that needs to be purged, just a thought

hobbie2k
04-06-2005, 06:20 AM
The only thing restricting coolant from circulating is the thermostat (unless all the holes in the headgasket are plugged but even then you would still get flow) The thermostat could have been a dud, or it is in backwards; but that is where I believe the problem lies, you could try eliminating the thermostat just for the sake of a test drive and then see if the bottom rad hose is heating up.

Another thing I just thought of is you might have a large air bubble in the system that needs to be purged, just a thought

The problem is that it operates fine for a little while, then stops working at all, and it seems to be associated with whenever I top off the coolant.

Last night I topped it off, ran the car a bit, cooled it, then checked again. About 30 minutes of running dropped my coolant level by about half a gallon. Plus now that I'm thinking about it, I remember quite a bit of white smoke pouring from the exhaust on two seperate occasions...so now I'm beginning to think HG too... :(

Son of a Bitch.

Punisher
04-06-2005, 06:50 AM
What the fuck do you want for an "american" car?

schmooot
04-06-2005, 08:58 PM
well it makes sense if there is an air bubble in the cooling system, you top it off thinking its full, it actually isnt, then it overheats. This can actually trick your thermostat into staying open or closed depending on the conditions

hobbie2k
04-07-2005, 05:34 AM
What the fuck do you want for an "american" car?

My '93 Toyota Camry spun a bearing at 82,000 miles. My '94 Nissan 240SX blew a tranny at 108,000, my '91 240SX overheated and blew the motor due to timing chain guide disintigration. A friend's '95 Corolla is on it's third engine and only has 120,000 miles...

My '89 Chevy Celebrity (with a new owner) now has 184,000 miles and is still running strong.

I've learned that with a used car you risk getting a bad car no matter what you buy, japanese, or american, or european. But I am on a very limited budget, you try finding a japanese car in moderately good shape with less than 150,000 miles for less than $1000 in northern Minnesota.

Here, if you want a foreign used car in the $1000-$6000, you'll be paying almost twice what it would cost for a similar "American" car. So don't chastise for purchasing what appeared to be a financially viable vehicle.

hobbie2k
04-07-2005, 05:40 AM
well it makes sense if there is an air bubble in the cooling system, you top it off thinking its full, it actually isnt, then it overheats. This can actually trick your thermostat into staying open or closed depending on the conditions

...okay, no tracable leaks in the system...since I put in the new radiator, I have put over 12 gallons into the system over the course of a few hundred miles, and it's still low...

When I top off my coolant, I also remove the heater core hoses, which allow most large air bubbles to escape...

I know you're just trying to make me check the easy solution before diving into the hard one...but the evidence seems to back up the hard one...

Punisher
04-07-2005, 08:26 AM
Well, it is also how the person drove the car.. if the engine wasn't properly broken in when it was rolled off the lot then it's headed for a life of trouble.

Your headgasket(s) are shot..

Just learned a lesson through my family about buying american cars.. they are generally headaches. I've owned 2 toyota's so far and haven't regretted either of them.. I paid 700 for an excellent condition '89 corolla SR5 coupe for my first car.. I just bought 3 months ago my '90 5spd celica, and I learned with that that previous owners are generally complete motherfucking morons that either have idiot mechanics or try to do things themselves but don't know jack shit and fuck it up in the long run and then they pass it on to us poor shmucks.. Such is life.

I don't regret my celica either.. just needs some TLC and I'm giving it to her. One or more piston oil rings are going bad.. burns a tiny bit of oil.. but oh well, it isn't Toyota's fault one bit.. just that the original owner was a dumbass and didn't break the engine in properly.. As for your headgaskets who knows.. Previous owner could've been a real dumbass and beat the shit out of the engine or overheated it .. etc..