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post #21 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Aug 2011
Vehicle: 1973 280 w144 m110
Location: Wheeling, WV/Pittsburgh, PA
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What Could It Be?

To recap: New hoses, new coolant, clean radiator, new radiator cap, new thermostat. Still overheating. The temp climbs within minutes of the car starting until the coolant is boiling. This all started after an oil change, which at this point seems purely coincidental.
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post #22 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Aug 2011
Vehicle: 1973 280 w144 m110
Location: Wheeling, WV/Pittsburgh, PA
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Of the car isn't cooling at all, could it be a water pump issue? How can I check to see if the water pump is functioning properly?
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post #23 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 05:15 PM
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I see why you would question the water pump. that would be my next check, too. If the pump isn't pumping, the heat would stay in the head. Did the radiator get hot? If not, I would suspect the pump.

Just to say it because I've seen it happen: Did you put the thermostat in the correct way? The spring side should go toward the engine side. Experienced mechanics have gotten them in wrong, being distracted at a critical point, so it may be worth checking.

When you burped your cooling system, did you have the heater on? Something I didn't mention in my post, as I've bypassed my heater core due to leakage problems. Sometimes air from the core will get into the pump, and with nothing to "chew" on, it won't circulate.

Is there a small hole on the rim of the thermostat? If there is, it needs to be at the topmost position.

Did you ever get the bit about the oil not mixing worked out? there could be something there.



Just a bunch of ideas, from a long ways away.
Scott

Remember: It's not just a car. It's an Adventure.
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post #24 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Aug 2011
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The radiator does indeed get hot. When burping the system I had my heater on but there is no hot air, only neutral temperature air. So no action in the heater core? I did install the thermostat correctly but thanks for the tip. I understand how the simple mistakes can bring about big problems. I did work out the oil issue. Oil is nice and clean and the car is running better than ever...until it overheats.

Thanks for the help. It means a lot.
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post #25 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 08:37 PM
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You could check the thermostat by putting it in a pan of hot water. Bring the water to a boil and the thermostat should open. If the thermostat is o.k., you might do a drive test. If it overheats when idling, but cools o.k. at 40 m.p.h., then the problem is likely to be the radiator. If the radiator shop only charged you $25 for the first service, then they probably did nothing more than flush it out. This won't fix a radiator that is blocked with debris or coated with thick scale. The options are a new radiator or putting a new core in the old radiator. Cost will be around $300 for a recore. -G.
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post #26 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 09:37 PM
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Going to jump in here. If the heater is not getting hot, then there may not be circulation. I had a problem with my 200, where the water passage at the block was clogged. Had exactly the same symptoms that you mention. This was caused by the PO not changing the coolant at regular intervals, a no-no with a aluminum head. If there is lots of corrosion, then that is a sign.

Hope that helps.

-- brett
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post #27 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Aug 2011
Vehicle: 1973 280 w144 m110
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Found the problem(s). Rapid overheating was due to a failing water pump. There was a squealing sound that I thought was a belt but it was actually coming from the water pump itself.

Also, the fan clutch is almost shot. I thought it was fine but my mechanic, in all his bravery, was able to stop it from running by pressing his thumb against the spinning blades.

Both were orginal parts from 1973. The job will cost between $300-$400.
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