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Overheating -- Solved
- Subject: Overheating -- Solved
- From: Jason <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 03 Sep 1998 16:23:00 -0400
For those of you who have been listening to me bitch about my outrageously
high underhood temps, I'm glad to announce that the problem is solved.
The symptoms: Now that the summer is in full force, the temperatures under
my hood have been getting dangerously high. Everything is fine as long as
I'm moving, but as soon as the car's speed drops below 10mph, the needles
start to climb. Two weeks ago, I sat in 4 hours of stop and go traffic in
90-100'F weather, and I thought for sure the car would never make it. My
water temperature stayed pegged at the top line, and the oil temp between
115'C and 120'C, the highest its ever been. I pulled over after 3 1/2
hours to give the car a break, and to get out of the traffic. When I came
back an hour later, the car was completely dead- all I got from the starter
was a click. I opened the hood, and *one hour later*, everything was still
way too hot to touch. There was almost no windshield washer fluid left (it
had actually boiled away), and the battery was so hot I couldn't even touch
it. I push-started the car and made it home with no problems.
Sure enough, it was hot enough under there to permanently fry the battery.
All of the little pieces of masking tape I had left on the wires from my
Euro Lights and Relay conversion had turned brown and crumpled, and the
inline fuse holders are now brown. Clearly I had to do something..
The remedy: Mark Davison sent me a low temp thermoswitch for the cooling
fan, which turns on low at 87'C and high at 93'C, compared to 95' and 102'C
of the stock switch. (Obviously my 1st stage wasn't working before). The
switch cost me $11 (The battery was $50 and the new wiper fluid pump was
$18). After 3 dats of driving in hot city temps, my needle hasn't moved
off the top of the LED. The fan runs almost constantly when I'm in city
driving, and turns off pretty much any time I'm moving over 20mph or so.
Obviously, it hasn't had to come on "high" at all. The fan turns on
low-speed just as soon as the needle is about to leave the top of the
LED... exactly what I needed to keep the underhood temps in line.
So, Mark, thanks again for your expertise and incredible prices, and list;
replace the switch... NOW! (See below for procedure)
And by the way, I didn't reatach the cold-air scoop thingy, and my car may
be sucking hot air, but it sounds f**ing awesome. :)
87 16v, cool and happy.
Here's how I did it:
Make sure engine is nice and cold. Jack up front of car slightly for
easier access. Under air dam, remove 1 bolt and wire for horns. Remove 2
phillips-head screws for airbox intake box thing with cold-start warmup
tube. Move thick wires out of the way by pushing them behind the bracket
that the horn bolted on to.
Locate thermoswitch at bottom driver's side corner of radiator. Prepare
new switch for quick entry. Remove 3-wire plug from old switch. Using
pliers, unscrew old switch (mine, and everyone's I've talked to were not
tight at all). As soon as the old switch pops out, plug the new one in. I
lost only about a cup of coolant doing the switch. Assembly is the
reverse. Top off coolant level.
Estimated Time: 10 minutes.
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