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overheating problem

2280 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  MoShadeTree
Before I turn to head gaskets, want to rule out some things first. $138K miles, 2001 Diso II. Yesterday on way back from beach, started to overheat. Pulled over, notice it was belching coolant from the around the base of filler cap. Let it cool off for an hour, added fluid, continued on. I could drive for about 5 mins and temp would stay level, but no hot air coming from vents with heater on. Then after five minutes temp would slowly rise. I stopped, fluid spilling from filler cap and let it cool off. Proceeded forward again with same result at which point I called for a tow home. I did notice the top two hoses from thermostat were rocket hot, but buttom hose from radiator was literally cool to the touch. Today I replaced the thermostat (old one was only a year old). Just went on a test run and got the same result; level temp on gauge for five minutes, then it slowly starts to rise. Once stopped, fluid continues to leak from filler cap until cooled. Running to get a filler cap now. Any chance the water pump (only 1.5 old) is malfunctioning?
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Ok, added new expansion cap and think I now got up to eight minutes of running at perfect temp before it started to climb upward. But in the end same result, starting to overheat and still no hot water to coils.
Wish it was just an air bubble. I took off bleed screw, raised the expansion tank out of its cradle and added fluid until it came out of the bleed screw. Should have enough fluid now, but still not getting heat to heater core when warmed up. And top two hoses from thermo get warm, but bottom hose from radiator to thermo has yet to warm up. Not hearing anything terrible out of water pump, but any chance its not spinning? If warm fluid is truly flowing to the core, how come I'm not getting heat into the cabin.

Mike: How mechanical? I've rebuilt drive shaft, replaced pwr steering pump, water pump, bearings, brakes and similar.
First, thanks Mike for help in trying to diagnose problems. As always, a wealth of info and goodwill. Ended up taking Disco to shop because I just didn't have time.

Shop said radiator was in bad shape, so replaced radiator, throttle gasket, and water pump. They also did a chemical test and determined that heads weren't perfect, and were beginning to seep, but were not thought to be the cause of my overheating under load.

After those repairs, rig still behaves the same; temp is fine at idle, but as soon as its put under load, overheats within minutes. Shop says its a sleeve or crack. Basically have a boat anchor as Mike says.

So now what? Absolutely love the Disco, its my daily driver. Intended to drive it "forever". Quoted a rebuilt engine out the door in the $4K range. Its 2001 w/ 138K miles. I have asked shop to assess condition of everything else. Speaking on pure practicality, I need a car. Is it worth putting in the $4K? Where do you get a used vehicle for $4K that you absolutely love? If a perfect world and installation of rebuilt unit went well, any idea what I could get out of the vehicle going forward? Lots of questions. Heartbroken. Welcome anyone's advice. Thanks everyone.
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