Van Troubles (Yeah, I know...) - OT

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happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 17, 2013 - 06:32pm PT
1990 Ford Econoline E150
5.0 Litre V* Engine

Issue: Running Hot

As may be recalled, the van had an overheating issue last fall. After much help in the forums, I got coolant system check which indicated the radiator cap was bad, and it was replaced. It was strongly suggested I replace the Thermostat as well, and though I procrastinated(greatly) I DID get that done.

Left Joshua Tree with the van running normal temps, for about 100 miles, and then slowly crept up into Hot range. I pulled over, cooled down and continued. Went again, running 100 miles and then getting hot. It seemed to be exacerbated by mountainous uphills, and kicking down when gear shift needed.

Unfortunately last night I was on a bad pass, and the needle was right at the top of "normal" when I was able to stop - about a half gallon fluid came out. I refilled with water, and got to Flagstaff (40 miles) with temp at normal range. Then, parked, walked Teddy and half hour later drove less than 10 minutes to a park. Didn't notice it happen, did not notice the temp being high(but may not have looked, since the van had been sitting and I had driven such a short distance) but there was a BIG puddle.

This morning got new fluid and put in about 3/4 jug. Drove a bit but not far enough to get warm. Then got in van and drove a few hours later, on cold engine. It took normal amount of time to begin registering temp, but once it did, it climbed right on past middle range normal. Pulled over. Waited maybe 20 minutes, started again and normal temps.

At any rate - I am in Flagstaff now, and know the issue is not going to go away. Will be calling mechanics first thing tomorrow.

How to proceed....?

From a person's help earlier:
 There is no obstruction in front of radiator
 The oil is not milky.
  I was told to see if the fan is running, but I cannot see into the shroud, and cannot discern which noise it would be making.
 Seems to be no leaks coming from engine or hoses. No spills on ground(except the spill from overflow tube)
 I looked at a link about water pump failure, but I cannot see much of the pump, much less the weep valve(it says to look at that to see if drips or drains coming from it. I DI notice a rhytmic sound coming from somewhere around there. It is a 2 part, not really a squeek but sort of. Have not noticed that sound before today.

Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Apr 17, 2013 - 06:44pm PT
Sell that POS to a mechanic for $1000, ship your stuff home and hop on Amtrak. The Southwest Chief eastbound stops in Flagstaff around dawn. Catch the Lake Shore Limited in Chicago, that'll get you to New York.

Good luck!
hillrat

Trad climber
reno, nv
Apr 17, 2013 - 06:58pm PT
Have a mechanic check for a blown head gasket- this should be fast and cheap. Our shop uses a type of fluid that changes color, from yellow to blue when combustion gas passes through it. A small leak can cause excess pressure in the cooling system, and thus leakage/overheat, without getting coolant in the oil. That,ll help you eliminate that possibility.

Sometimes too, if coolants getting in the cylinder, you can pull the spark plugs and tell. One or more wet with coolant is a dead giveaway, but that doesnt always happen.
WBraun

climber
Apr 17, 2013 - 07:01pm PT
Also check the fan clutch and make sure it's not slipping.

Yowza!! .... so much trouble is not fun ......
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Apr 17, 2013 - 07:05pm PT
^^^THAT is the attitude I told you to watch for. ;-> Gary has no idea who you are or where you are going now does he?

You should be able to tell if the fan is going by the air it moves. Drop a handful of dirt right in front of the radiator while it is running (if it's not windy) and see what the dirt does. The dust coming off it should move, FAST, toward the van. OR, get brave and stick something like a long piece of straw in there, you'll know.


Go ahead and laugh guys, yes, this is how women's brains work. I KNOW how hard it is to take a shroud off, which is what most guys would say, right?


Anyway, your van is not cooling. Big bummer. Keep checking your oil. Get familiar with the level. I had a small head gasket leak in an old car once and the only sign, until it went all the way, was overheating and the oil level seemed to increase. It did not change color or look different until the gasket went all the way. I hope to God that is not what it is.
A fan clutch is a much better diagnosis. One that is going out will make funny little noises too. Then quit. Ugh, old cars.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Apr 17, 2013 - 07:08pm PT
Thermostat stuck or leaking?
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Apr 17, 2013 - 07:11pm PT
RON, well maybe. She did have that and the cap replaced last year. Aftermarkets go bad and original equip is old at this point, so yeah, maybe.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Apr 17, 2013 - 07:11pm PT
so sorry to hear that you having problems with your van.

hillrat.... is correct. Time to figure if you have a blown HG.

If exhaust gas is blowing into the coolent, the stuff boils fast...

good luck....
Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Menlo Park
Apr 17, 2013 - 07:17pm PT
Perhaps air trapped in cooling system? Does your heater work?

This was the case during a radiator flush and refill in my Toyota , I had to get the engine pointed uphill to get coolant into heater core ...
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 17, 2013 - 07:34pm PT
The thermostat is one of those Fail Safe ones, so if it failed, it failed open, and it was bad to begin with, since it is only recently put in.

The guy who replaced the old one said that one WAS bad. The little nipple thing was sticking out the side of the little cap at the top(non-technical jargon, for those who may not comprehend), instead of seating centered and beneath it, and so I assumed that was how he could tell it was bad).

While it could be a faulty thermostat, I don't know that it is likely. The "behavior" WAS seen last fall. I have only driven into Yucca and back, and once or twice into the park, so it never went a good number of miles since then and now.

I am making notes of the things you guys say, so I wil have it as needed when I talk to mechanics.

Julia, I will look for the air movement, I guess I could probably feel the air it if I put my hand over the space between the radiator and shroud. Will try it next time I start.

Heater works.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Apr 17, 2013 - 07:56pm PT
If you're going to live in your vehicle, you need a vehicle that works. I hope you can patch the van up enough to finish your trip. But start looking for something better. If it's your portable home, you need something that works.

I suggest a used Toyota Tacoma with a camper shell. Tacomas just keep trucking... Those Americans in Peru that were attacked (or not depending who you believe) that just about everyone here pissed on and laughed at--they may have made mistakes, but their choice of vehicle was not one of them.





Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Menlo Park
Apr 17, 2013 - 08:02pm PT
Yup , there's a reason the 1st gen Tacomas with the V6 and rear Elocker hold their value so well , and it will get you up so many gnarly 4x4 trails...
john hansen

climber
Apr 17, 2013 - 08:16pm PT
You may know this already, and it will not fix the problem, but if you run your heater at full volume, with the fan on its highest setting, it does help mto take heat out of the engine.

I once limped home using this method. Still had to stop every 100 miles and cool it down but it helped. Sraying water on the radiator while parked at a gas station with the motor running and the heater on cools it down even quicker.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 17, 2013 - 08:26pm PT
Thanks for the advice. I tried the heater on high, but didn't notice a quick enough cooling to make it worth continuing onward. But that is how I know the heater works! Especially out in the middle of the Mojave on the bright and sunny day before yesterday.....

So - if any Flagstaffers are reading this-any mechanics you would suggest, or avoid? I asked at O'Reilly's when I bought coolant this morning, and the guy pointed to the two across the street, and one around the corner, and when I asked "So you feel these guys are all good, reputable mechanics?" he said yes, but I didn't get the feeling he was really doing more than pointing out the nearest ones I had seen driving into the lot....
saltandgranite

Trad climber
Yosemite, CA
Apr 17, 2013 - 08:37pm PT
Not to get off topic, but if you do buy an old Toyota Dapper Dan there was confusing the V6 with the 22R/E. Buy the 4 banger, the V6 (3vze) blows head gaskets every 2,000 miles or so. Although, I just blew a hg on my 22R...

As far as the overheating goes - it might be something as simple as air in the cooling system. With all of the filling and refilling of fluid, have you "burped" the system? When the engine is cold, simply open the radiator and fill it up. Start the engine with the heater on high and let it idle for 20 minutes. Every time the coolant in the radiator drops, fill it back up. You will see it bubbling and "burping" over if there is air in the system. Once you fill it up and it doesn't drop anymore (and you can see the coolant moving fast in the radiator) you should be free of air. Oh yeah, and make sure you're doing it on level ground. Maybe it's that simple.
John M

climber
Apr 17, 2013 - 08:41pm PT
Go to a shop that can pressure test the radiator cap. Some auto parts stores will do this for free. Even new caps go bad. I once went through 3 caps before I found one that would hold.
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Apr 17, 2013 - 08:48pm PT
^Good point. Unless that radiator cap holds pressure you are going to have problems.

Plaid
Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Menlo Park
Apr 17, 2013 - 08:58pm PT
The 1st gen 'Tacoma' (as I said) used the stronger 3.4 liter V6 , no rampant HG problems .

The earlier Toyota 'Pickups' or 'Hiluxes' had the 22r and the 3.0 liter V6 that had the HG problems you stated . Sorry to hear about the HG on your 22r, I have a 90' 4runner , 22re that has been solid for me so far .

^ x3 radiator cap holding proper pressure . Keeping coolant under pressure allows it to have a higher boiling point , insufficient pressure = easier for your coolant to boil out ...
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Apr 17, 2013 - 09:07pm PT
Good Luck Happy,
Can't offer advice but I 'm hopeful your trip home is a safe and fun one.
Hey post some pics from places you travel thru if ya can.
Happy Trails to you,
Tad
saltandgranite

Trad climber
Yosemite, CA
Apr 17, 2013 - 09:16pm PT
Oh right, you said Tacoma.
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Apr 17, 2013 - 09:28pm PT
I don't know why I'm bothering to reply since you will just ignore all advice anyway... maybe as a former van dweller... I dunno.

 Have a pressure test. If you are leaking coolant and can't maintain pressure of course it's gonna run hot. Last time I had one done it was like $10. You need to pinpoint the leak.
 Fix the leak. If it's something really heinously expensive (ie not a hose) use alumiseal. There is NO point in you trying to guess where the leak is.
 If it's running at the top of normal, it is still "normal". In older vehicles radiators become less efficient. Puddles of coolant on the ground, obviously not normal.
 It's not rocket surgery. It's a leak.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 17, 2013 - 10:51pm PT
Khanom -I don't know why you had to take the wanker route when responding. Maybe next time, consider to refrain.

The pressure test was suggested last fall when this issue started. The pressure test was done. My first post even mentions that to recap the issue. You're right - it's not expensive, comparatively. It was $40 when I had it done.

The "top of normal" ISN'T normal when the car overheats and boils over at that level(which is what happened yesterday). The "top of nomal" isn't normal when previously the gauge ran at less than halfway up.

You're right- it isn't rocket science. But it does not make me a dumbass and deserving of vitriol that I don't know how to diagnose automotive issues. I have read every post ever made in a thread where I asked for help, and I followed through whenever I could. Sometimes, believe it or not, I was simply unable to follow every suggestion made. It wasn't that I ignored anything.


I did the "burping" thing, though we did run it after the thermostat change. There may very well be air in it now, but I have to think that was not what's causing it to run hot.

So, it took quite some time to heat to normal, and once it went to about the A on the word, it started gurgling. Slowly at first and the level rising up into neck and then sinking. Then it started to really gurgle, over. I was stupid, and didn't lay down anything to capture the mess(I would have needed a huge sized dish anyway). I was not in an area where it would be considered acceptable to pollute like that, another thing I hadn't considered. But as it was gurgling, it began making some banging sorts of sounds. I did not continue, because like I said, I was in a place where it would not have been cool to have someone come over and ask why the hell I was letting coolant drain all over the place. So, I stopped.


Oh, and the fan is circulating. The dust thing worked - thanks Julia!
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Apr 17, 2013 - 10:59pm PT
Just got on board here but I have learned to listen to hoss julia. :D Hope things go well Happie. Will you be at Face Lift? I guess not if yo driving all the way to the east coast. Best, lynnie
Captain...or Skully

climber
Apr 17, 2013 - 11:00pm PT
Never turn the heat off. This gives just a bit of extra cooling for the engine. Khanom is right. If it leaks, the whole system is compromised.
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Apr 17, 2013 - 11:51pm PT
Will you be at Face Lift? I guess not if yo driving all the way to the east coast. Best, lynnie

Especially since she can only drive 100 miles at a time.

Happie, seriously, ditch that piece of junk. It's done. I have experience in this arena. If you want to get back East, that thing ain't going to do the job.

My advice? Get a job in Flagstaff. It's a cool town, great location, beautiful area. You could do a lot worse.

Best of luck.
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Apr 17, 2013 - 11:51pm PT
If I'm a wanker for pointing out that you're about as thick as a brick, then at least I'm in good company.

There is no mention of a coolant pressure test in your OP but in truth I can only stand to read about every other word of your babble so I may have missed it.

You have coolant spilling on the ground yet you say the temp gauge is not shooting up into the max range and/or you are stopping soon. Assuming it's working you are not "boiling over". Again, if there is a leak and the system can't maintain pressure it will run hotter than normal. Do I need to repeat that for you? There are a very limited number of ways coolant can escape the engine and end up directly on the ground. Hoses being the most obvious, water pump and timing chain cover being less so.
You may have had a pressure test but clearly either it wasn't done properly or this is a new problem. Or more likely you decided to ignore the problem.

You do not have the expertise to determine the cause, and nobody here on the inner-tubes can hand you the neat, specific diagnosis you seem to be expecting. Pretty much whatever any of us says concerning possible causes is a shot in the dark. But unless your description of the temp gauge or the gauge itself is way off, you have a leak. Air in the system can cause the gauge to shoot up and act irratically, but will not cause coolant to spill on the ground. A boil over will force coolant out but you have to be really freakin' hot for that, and probably not have a 50/50 mix either. But hey, I'm not a mechanic. I could easily be completely wrong.

Get another pressure test, hopefully without over-paying this time, and have the mechanic tell you the specific cause. Get it fixed or ignore it and limp back to NY so you can sell the van and buy another junker next year.


Edit: Gary, the van could make it just fine. But you have to actually solve the problem first.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 18, 2013 - 12:04am PT
As may be recalled, the van had an overheating issue last fall. After much help in the forums, I got coolant system check which indicated the radiator cap was bad, and it was replaced.

There has been NO leaking while the car sits, no dripping when it is running and standlng. It overflowed - as I wrote- when it went right to the top on a hill and I could not get safely off the road before it hit the line.

The coolant ON the GROUND has EACH TIME(twice) come out of the overflow hose.
I have SAID I am calling mechanics TOMORROW MORNING. I SAID the reason I was asking for advice was to aid me when I speak with the mechanics. I never said I expected anyone to perform a telepathic diagnosis.



Dude - seriously. F*#k off. If reading my thread raises your blood pressure so much that you cannot control the way you speak to me, then do yourself a favor and don't click on the thread.
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Apr 18, 2013 - 12:10am PT
(WTF is Eric's problem?)

Reading comprehension, meh, it's a lost art, but really?
ruppell

climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 12:10am PT
WOW. Just WOW.

BUY A BETTER VEHICLE or LEARN HOW TO FIX THINGS YOURSELF.

I'm hoping the caps makes that clear. I wish you the best of luck but this is a recurring theme with you and your vehicles. You know they do have vehicle forums out there in cyberland. Maybe ask those folks as well.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Apr 18, 2013 - 12:13am PT
Whew, girl. Take a deeeep breath. Sorry to hear.
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Apr 18, 2013 - 12:27am PT
eh well happie you got some great advice before this turned into an I-told-you-so chest thumping fest.

Seriously? "Just buy a newer better vehicle" I think if someone were to tell me that over my 22 year old car, I would punch them.

ya think I'd be drivin this junker if I could afford anything else?

Damn, bunch of rich pussies who don't know, never did, or forgot what it's like to REALLY dirtbag. On your own, with no back up. I personally would love to have a Tacoma with a HARD SIDED SHELL (Bears)but have never even been close to affording one.


When my trusty Accord finally dies, I will NOT have the money to replace it, and plan on asking my Mom or brother to co-sign a used car loan for me. If I can find steady enough work I can stand, and that is a big if.

GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Apr 18, 2013 - 12:31am PT
Sooo why be mean to Happie???

She has a beater van and she's trying to fix it.

Jeez. No reason to attack her.

Happie, overheating is diagnosable. Toughest thing is finding a good shop... Ask around.

Best of luck to u
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
Apr 18, 2013 - 12:38am PT
There has been NO leaking while the car sits, no dripping when it is running and standlng. It overflowed - as I wrote- when it went right to the top on a hill and I could not get safely off the road before it hit the line.

It overflowed b/c it overheated.

"leaking" isn't always visible. Sometimes it's a drip onto the ground, sometimes it's a drip onto something hot which then evaporates, sometimes it's "steam" straight out of a hole (not visible steam, but evaporation directly from a hole in the system).

"leaking" could be going into the interior of the van from the heater core -- invisibly onto the floor, into the heater fan box, etc.

So, it could very well be "leaking" invisibly when the car sits, when it is standing, and / or when it is running.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Apr 18, 2013 - 12:41am PT
Okay all you troubleshooters, I heard this van running just before she left on the road. The engine sounds good. Actually it sounds great. Throaty, even and strong as it should. It started instantly with authority and it sounded perfect with no trace of a misfire. I highly doubt that she has a head gasket problem.

100 miles before it starts to heat up? Hmm...

I haven't turned wrenches for a while but I would suspect a combo of a clogged up radiator and a leaking water pump shaft seal (at the point now where it leaks under pressure.)

Good luck and safe travel Terrie.

Edit in response to above: It's not really a beater van. Looks good and sounds good. As I recall Terrie told me it was a new engine when she bought it.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Apr 18, 2013 - 01:01am PT
How is your oil looking, water in the oil will turn the oil into a milkshake light brown color. Look at the inside of the oil cap on the engine, water evaporating from the oil will leave a milky ring.

This sounds like more of the same problem from your trip out west, hard to believe a head gasket would be the problem, but if you did not drive too much over the winter it could be. A trip across country will certainly reveal the problem, hopefully near civilization.
ruppell

climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 01:11am PT
Seriously? "Just buy a newer better vehicle" I think if someone were to tell me that over my 22 year old car, I would punch them.

hoss

I don't know you and you don't know me. So before you call me a rich pussy how about getting some facts you arrogant sh!te. i never said "new" I said better. There's a big difference. I drive an 88 Toyota with 330,000 miles on it. I would drive it coast to coast any day. But I also know how to fix the things that go wrong with it. I've been a dirtbag living on the road for over 1/4 of my life on this planet. So how's that foot taste.
jabbas

Trad climber
phx AZ
Apr 18, 2013 - 02:03am PT
Ok - couple of ?? Running a v8 - right ? 2nd - how long after your 1st overheat episode did it overheat again? It sounds like you found the problem, got and used good advice and fixed your van in the past ( before JT) and are now again overheating( after JT }. Is this correct? Think back to when your steed did not give you problems at all( time wise). Engine cooling is one of two items; 1: coolant and sufficient volume thereof and 2: flow of coolant past required parts that heat up and need cooling down to avoid material failure. I always look to make sure radiator is full and water pump is pumping( engine running after a bit of running and look into top of radiator with cap off, you should see coolant sorta moving about to the left or right -- turbulence . If the radiator is clogged up or the water pump is not pumping you will not see any turbulence when you look into the opening of the radiator. Thermostat must be good also (opening of thermo allows water to circulate in the system. Overview -- coolant , sufficient -- good, Waterpump and radiator, working and providing adequate flow -- good. Thermostat opening allowing flow of coolant --good. Hope this helps
John M

climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 02:10am PT
Edit: wasn't talking about you jabbas



Ease up. Julia just gets tired of people bagging on Terri. Why do people have to be pissers on these threads. If you don't want to help Terri, then how about just shutting up. She first bought a beater vehicle. It gave her a bunch of trouble and died pretty quick. She saved her money and did her due diligence and bought a much better vehicle. She doesn't know that much about vehicles and hopefully some day she will learn. She is learning, But she lived in NYC for years without needing a vehicle, and now has some catching up to do.

Good luck Terri with fixing it. Hopefully yourfinancial situation will improve soon, so these little adventures aren't quite so trying.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Apr 18, 2013 - 02:50am PT
If you're going to live in your vehicle, you need a vehicle that works

This was my knee jerk....any chance of offloading the non-mobile mobile unit for an on-purpose non-mobile unit?

From my POV as a fairly solvent/FT employed DINK, the van plan has always seemed really spendy every time I've priced it. Is there a cheaper way to rent/find temp. housing and run a cheaper and more reliable economy rig (or so close that it's not needed) and ditch the unreliable albatross? Not trying to be judgey...just a nudge if you're looking for one. I've not really tried to walk that walk.
John M

climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 03:10am PT
I was going to suggest a summer job at one of the national parks, but she still has the pooch and those don't go to well in national parks. Without the dog they can be a great way to make some money as many jobs come with housing. Tuolumne Meadows is fabulous in the summer. The Grand Canyon is pretty danged hot, but oh so gorgeous. Summer job.. get laid off at the end of the summer with some money in your pocket.
Juan Maderita

Trad climber
"OBcean" San Diego, CA
Apr 18, 2013 - 05:54am PT
Happie,
Thanks for opening your OP with year/make/model/engine. Bonus points for following with "Issue: Running Hot"

There are many possible sources of the problem. And it may be more than one problem, which compounds the difficulty of diagnosing.

I'm also reading the issue as running hot. The temp gauge reads high when it seems there is sufficient coolant in the radiator. It seems that the boil over is when you shut off the engine, subsequent to running hot.

Re-read the old thread from your previous problems. Lots of info in there. Coolant to water ratio in excess of 50% will cause running hot. Ethylene glycol doesn't dissipate heat vety well. You have added coolant, so re-check the ratio with a hydrometer. If you haven't already purchased one, a hydrometer is under $10. A refractometer is more accurate and some shops will be able to test your coolant with that.

Improper ignition timing can cause running hot. Not a likely cause in your case, and you would have probably noticed other symptoms such as loss of power/performance. Check to see that the distributor is clamped tight. It should not be able to rotate when you try to twist it with your hands (don't twist on the plastic cap).

A partially clogged radiator is a likely culprit on an old van. If you get that diagnosis from a shop, you could have it chemically flushed, which might get you by for a while. With labor prices through the roof, it's often best to replace the radiator. About $200 - $300. Look for one with metal core and metal tanks (not aluminum core and plastic tanks). If the standard OEM tank is two-row, then look for one with three rows for more cooling capacity.

You still haven't added an overflow/expansion tank. That results in spillage, which after a while leads to an unknown/unreliable coolant ratio, possible overheating, etc. And unless you check the radiator level before startup each time, you never know if it is full. Re-read the old thread - I wrote that you can use a Gatorade bottle if you can't afford the $20 - $30 for an aftermarket kit.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
Apr 18, 2013 - 09:40am PT
The Peruvian pinata crew does have a sweet set up.

Happie needs to find herself a combination itinerant dirtbag mechanic slash ropegun.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 18, 2013 - 10:13am PT
I will be going to the mechanic's this morning.


John Beck - The oil is normal. The inside of oil cap is normal.

Juan Maderita - Thank you for your response. I did review the old thread as you suggested, as it seems to ME this issue is the underlying one which was not caught the last time.

Regarding the leak suggestions, and this is rhetorical, since I will be at the mechanics before anyone has a chance to reply - Wouldn't a leak have been detected by the pressure test which had been done?

The engine is not new, as KSolem thought I had said. But the van had only 65K miles on it when I bought it. It is old, 1990, but it is in no way a beater van.

So- I will let you know what happens, and I thank those who have been patient and generous with their time.

NON-VAN RELATED
I am sorry that I got mad with Khanom's abusive words(and anyone who thinks that was not abusive maybe ought to think a little bit about the way they themselves treat others). I was emotionally exhausted after a day of fear, communicating over the issue with friends, selling gear, dealing with a town I don't know in a van that is in trouble.


Why ask here instead of a care forum? Because I have SEARCHED the car forums, and the response rate is fairly slow. Because I know, in person, many of the people on this forum. Why would it be okay to post threads about "creating the van set up" but not this? If someone cannot figure out how to do THAT, and people gladly step up offering all sorts of suggestions, why would THIS trip triggers in some of you???? Really? Ask yourself why you have to be a f*#k to another person... It might improve your life, if you can bear to look long enough at what is making you so volative and take actions to change.
ruppell

climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 10:31am PT
Happie

It's a pattern from you. It might just be bad luck but that doesn't change the fact that this happens everytime you travel anywhere. If you broadcast your problems in life publically expect some people to respond in a negative way. In my mind it basically boils down to this:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein
patrick compton

Trad climber
van
Apr 18, 2013 - 10:42am PT
I love it that she is trying to fix a $1000 van and people keep telling her to buy a Tacoma.

Wouldn't a leak have been detected by the pressure test which had been done?


Not a pin hole size leak. This may have already been covered, but I've used Barr's leaks for small coolant leaks and if the hole is small enough, it will work instantly.

climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Apr 18, 2013 - 10:56am PT
It really shocks me that some folks on a climbing board of all things are being so rude as to kick someone while down. She is not asking much from us just some good advice. She makes her way selling the occasional items fairly. I simply see nothing to dislike about this. So many people want to live the life and there is a price to pay for it. Car problems are just part of the deal and not one to look down on.

I don't get it. Advice to buy 50thousand dollar new setups or at least 10K used ones in order to avoid the occasional $50 car problem? LOL

I have lived most my life with crappy cheap old vehicles. Much worse than this van. I even lived out of some of them for months during my early climbing years. Those were adventurous and good times with many breakdowns along the way lol.

I have become fairly proficient at fixing vehicles due to this. I have not contributed to this current thread because the best advice has already been given and we need to see what happens once some things are checked out.
pvalchev

Social climber
Mountain View, CA / Calgary, AB
Apr 18, 2013 - 11:45am PT
As for finding a reputable mechanic near you: look up customer reviews on Google maps and yelp.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 18, 2013 - 11:53am PT
What's the good word Hapi?
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Apr 18, 2013 - 12:01pm PT
Hey!! You guys need a new punching bag. I got a couple of threads, why not pick on the cripple for awhile?? I can take it.

Jeeze..
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Apr 18, 2013 - 12:18pm PT
Hope you got your van figgered out there, happi.

DMT
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 18, 2013 - 12:48pm PT
Plugged Radiator -he is calling for quotes now. Has made 3 calls so far, and explains it is conversion van, heavy duty, and such. So am waiting to see what he comes up with.

Edit: They showed me the radiator - hopefully what they showed described is accurate information... They shined a light at the cores at top of radiator and I could see what looked like whitish and darker colors corrosion, like calcium deposits. The centers of cores were very thin, maybe 1/32 of an inch, and he said that they should be spotless and wide open centers. He shined the light on some further away and they looked almost completely corroded closed.
bobinc

Trad climber
Portland, Or
Apr 18, 2013 - 12:54pm PT
Good news. I hope the quote is reasonable.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 18, 2013 - 12:59pm PT
$400....
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
SLO, Ca
Apr 18, 2013 - 01:02pm PT
Please don't leave Flag without doing some local cragging- lots of fun stuff!

How is a climber asking about a fix for a rig off topic??
bobinc

Trad climber
Portland, Or
Apr 18, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
For new van radaiator and labor, $400 seems reasonable
Evel

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
Apr 18, 2013 - 01:13pm PT
Yeah, I've been sorta waiting to hear clogged core. $400 installed is a deal.

Bon Voyage Happi! Say hello to the Trapps for me.
patrick compton

Trad climber
van
Apr 18, 2013 - 01:17pm PT
Not hard to do a DIY chemical flush yourself. Then, if that isn't enough to clear it, you can drop $400.

I have done a similiar job on a 79 F150 in the parking lot of Autozone in under 30 minutes.

http://www.ehow.com/how_5249784_repair-clogged-radiator.html

I sound like a broken record but seriously, whatever course you take, put in a $4 bottle of Barr's leaks in the new fluid. It will save you against this sort of thing in the future.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 18, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
Thanks for that vote of confidence Bobinc and Eval.


So....I need to sell some more gear... The link where I listed is here: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=2115054&msg=2117564#msg2117564

As well - and I KNOW I will get some shite for this one... I sell really quite nice hair accessories and beaded jewelry.
 Talisman Studios, ponytail holder (and some earrings/necklaces) made form Vintage buttons and beads, at https://www.etsy.com/shop/TalismanStudios
 Talisman Too, beaded jewelry with a romantic aesthetic, at https://www.etsy.com/shop/TalismanToo

I have made a coupon code which can be applied, for 25% off on orders over $10. The Coupon Code is TRAVEL25, and you enter it during the check out time.

canyoncat

Social climber
SoCal
Apr 18, 2013 - 01:58pm PT
1. I don't believe for a second that people are picking on OP just because she's female. Itinerants and mechanically challenged folks come in both genders.

2. I do think it's time that OP takes responsibility for her bad choices. If you persist in traveling thousands of miles in a junker, sh#t is going to happen and it's generally not going to be good sh#t.

3. Continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting different results does not make you a cool dirt bag. It makes you a tiny step above a bag lady. The difference is your shopping cart has a motor, albeit not a very reliable one.

Please tell me you will now stay in one place long enough to earn enough to support yourself and the dog, and pay for reliable transportation.
saltandgranite

Trad climber
Yosemite, CA
Apr 18, 2013 - 02:07pm PT
Holy crap, I don't know who you are Happigirl, or why everyone is picking on you - but the people on this forum suck. I live in Yosemite and probably 60% of my friends live in vans. And you bet all of them break down all of the time between bishop, the creek etc. We're constantly calling each other and raiding forums trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with our rigs. Use any resource you have when you need help, your friends should understand this. And no way we're ever going to settle down and get real jobs to support ourselves or whatever... I think the above poster is someone's mom using their account.

As far as the self flush goes, I agree with it. I just bought some chemical flush from napa for like fifteen bucks. It's super simple. Drain your old coolant, poor the chemical flush in and then fill the rest of rad with water. Run the engine with heater on for 20 mins, drain, cool repeat with water and you might clear all of that gunk up for fifteen bucks. Your rig has 65k on it. For a 1990 that means it has sat for a long time, so it makes sense that it's all gunked up. My '87 has 35k miles on it and still has the original radiator... but you bet I had to chemical flush it.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 18, 2013 - 02:43pm PT
Any #4 camalots?
Onewhowalksonrocks

Mountain climber
In the middle of the ocean
Apr 18, 2013 - 02:44pm PT
Hey,

HG good luck with everything. Please write some more once you get on the road again and are having a good time.

C-Ya
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Apr 18, 2013 - 02:54pm PT
Hey Terrie,

missed running into you this season.

When all this started back when I was suspecting a partialy clogged radiator.

As previously mentioned try the flush first.

You can have the mechanic do it and then check the core visualy again to see how effective it was.

The flush should be done anyway to clear all the gunk out of the block and plumbing so it all doesn't end up in your new radiator.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 18, 2013 - 03:08pm PT
No #4's Jaybro

Thanks, TGT - It seemed from the way he spoke that a flush was not going to remove the buildup sufficiently. At any rate, I have given the go-ahead for the work.

Canyoncat - You have already been shown to be just another coward regular on Supertopo who either hasn't got enough character to post under their known profile, or have made the CanyonCat profile to bolster their positions written through primary profile.

"Promise" you? Like you care one whit's about me...

How about YOU show who you are, instead of hiding under the anonymous character. At least I have the strength of character to post the truth about who I am, what I am doing and where I am struggling. At least if I want to tell someone what I think, I will do it under my own, verified, profile.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Apr 18, 2013 - 03:09pm PT
Reads like you need a new radiator, for sure. Sadly, you'll want to have the guy stick in another thermostat as well. Same reason as last time - thermostats do not survive overheating. Also - a chemical flush won't do sh#t. $400 sounds okayish, might sound better if I knew what sort of refurb bullshit they are planning to install. Price it out on your own at NAPA and insist they use at least that quality level, or you'll likely be back here in a few months. Just say "fuq no" to "Cardone" rebuilds - dog$hit.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Apr 18, 2013 - 03:22pm PT
You can get one through Amazon quickly (they usually ship from Phoenix) for about 150 bucks if you can find someone to install it.

Skip the flush, bad idea
ncrockclimber

climber
The Desert Oven
Apr 18, 2013 - 03:22pm PT
Canyon cat, you are a total dick.

Happie, good luck!
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Apr 18, 2013 - 03:22pm PT
make you a cool dirt bag.

Oh blech....barf...cough...ha ha...
The last thing Happie has ever tried to do is be "cool". She a genuine, caring person who lives a nomadic life style with limited resources. She does it to follow her heart...hardly to be "cool". If it bugs you that she frequently needs van help input get over it.

Please tell me you will now stay in one place long enough to earn enough to support yourself and the dog, and pay for reliable transportation.

She also doesn't need to tell you a GD thing about how she is going to live her life...when did you become her overseer? What pompousness.

Go walk a dog, flush a toilet, get your mail...something useful.

Happie has the guts a lot of us wish we had...hugs to Teddie, Hap, sounds like you won't be in the Valley this fall...will miss seeing you two!

Susan
Juan Maderita

Trad climber
"OBcean" San Diego, CA
Apr 18, 2013 - 03:25pm PT
Happie,
Not surprising at all that the radiator core is clogged. A chemical flush might increase cooling the efficiency enough to work for a while.

Start saving up for a new radiator. You will likely need one. A chemical flush will give some improvement, but it's not going function like a new one. Is your radiator core a two row? Spend the extra $50 or so and get a 3 row, (w/ metal tanks).

$400 for a new radiator, installed, sounds about right.

Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Apr 18, 2013 - 03:26pm PT
So let's run this scenario:

$4 Benjamins for a new radiator. How long before the water pump goes? Has it been replaced already? It's a simple job...but so is pulling and replacing a radiator. Cheap if you do it, not cheap to pay someone to do it. They frequently wear out and leak at the shaft or seize, and domestic water pumps are not known for especially long life IME.

At some point it stops making sense to put more money in a rig. It's one thing when you are actually doing the labor and diagnostic work yourself, because parts are pretty cheap and abundant as rebuilt, salvage, etc. But when you are paying $60/hr labor, that's a different ballgame.

Flag is a nice town. I'd lay down roots and get stable for a while, get some cash in the bank, and forget the northeast for the time being. Who wants humidity and bugs anyway? Or sell the beaterbucket to the salvage yard and put toward a bus/train ticket. But that's me.

Once you start buying a new used rig every year with a net outlay of $1000 once you've sold/junked the prior one, you might as well be driving a newish car. Gas and maintenance savings alone will pay for the car if you're willing to go with a car rather than van. That's the calcs I ran when I decided to park the '98 Sable and get a lightly used Prius.

Adventure comes in all flavors I guess, just chalk this up as one of them.
Captain...or Skully

climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 03:29pm PT
I don't read some of these guys as "picking on you", either. Facts are facts.
Road trips demand a certain amount of mechanical know how, or at least some "afro-engineering" know how.
Good luck.
jabbas

Trad climber
phx AZ
Apr 18, 2013 - 04:11pm PT
I'm glad you found the root of the van problem . Always a menagerie of joy and sorrow with older ( read no car payment) vehicles.
Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Menlo Park
Apr 18, 2013 - 04:25pm PT
edited ...

Good luck with your van .

happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 18, 2013 - 04:56pm PT
No offense, but any guy who tells another guy they are "dumb as a brick" is being an as#@&%e. Picked on - no. There have been some other ashole comments, but in general, most people have been nice, even when they are saying things that are uncomfortable to read.

Unless I am remembering wrong -
This van has had ONE issue I have discussed with this board, before this. And this turns out to have been the root cause(we sure hope!) of that same problem.

The old van had a problem with the fuel pump, which I discussed with this forum. And on the way home from last trip, it started running poorly, and I posted about it.

So, this is the "repeatedly" that is annoying at least a few people.


There is nothing I can do, if someone wants to be an ass. or if someone wants to suggest I ought to do something that would work for them, even though it doesn't for me. Or if someone wants to point out what they see as my flaws. I can assure anyone here - I am fairly well aware of my flaws. And guess what - I have several more that have never even been mentioned here. Just like each and every one who has pointed their fingers at me.

I do take things to heart - you tell me you think I am (whatever)- I feel it. More than most people do. Whether that is an accurate assessment or not. I am tired - very tired- and I would like to ask for the kindness that, instead of accusing me of being stupid,irresponsible and the like - take a look around yourself and see if there is someone you can hold a door for, move out of the way on the sidewalk for when they are carrying a cumbersome load, have difficulty in movement, or are managing children, or let the person trying to turn onto the road in, instead of edging forward to "f 'em". I can guarantee you, it will feel much better than berating me.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Apr 18, 2013 - 04:58pm PT
Good on ya Terrie. Canyoncat is a troll and a b!tch. Read her history. She has never had a single positive thing to say. She should be deleted. Fvck off Canyoncat. We don't need sh!theads like you around here!

Take these guys advice and get the water pump and the termostat done too while you're at it. I know you had thermostat done allready but they don't survive overheating. you have allready told us your temp gauge doesn't work anymore. (Overheating on normal)

Edit maybe but it presents it's self as a woman if you read it's history
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 18, 2013 - 05:01pm PT
It's rather probable that CanyonCat is a man.

Edit: I have seen CanyonCat's posts - they "do" present as a female. But others have mentioned that just cause it says it's female doesn't make it so. Bitter about females, more likely.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Apr 18, 2013 - 05:03pm PT
See edit
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Apr 18, 2013 - 05:07pm PT
Ya crimpie sent me a nice letter but she won't hang around here anymore. We need all types people!
locker

Social climber
Some Rehab in Bolivia
Apr 18, 2013 - 05:14pm PT


Terrie and I have had our moments here...

That said, I see ZERO reason to give her ANY sh!t...

She's already in a LOAD of it, so why the fuk feed that flame???...


My ONLY advice here (Nothing to do with the Van) is that you DON'T "Slip"...

Stay STRONG!!!...

jabbas

Trad climber
New River, AZ
Apr 18, 2013 - 05:18pm PT
I wonder how you would be perceived if you drove a 1963 VW double cab or a 70 VW Van and asked for help?
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Apr 18, 2013 - 05:22pm PT
AA club is the first person to call.

hang in there!

don't use this as an excuse to drink :)
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 18, 2013 - 05:46pm PT
I am not going to drink(so far as I can tell). That was "lifted" as they say in AA.

I am also really lucky that I recognize the things that a body screams to do for relief when that f'ing AA ruins the drinking(said with all the love for AA in the world).

But the feelings are still there.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Apr 18, 2013 - 05:50pm PT
I'd put a new radiator in that beast for sure. Good call to get an extra row of cores if possible - ie 3 or 4 instead of 2 - let the thermostat compensate. You're obviously marginal with whatever is in there, bet it's a 2 core or a totally trashed 3 core. I'd also consider ordering it and having a friend install. This is another piss easy 30 min (max) repair for someone who knows wtf they are doing.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Apr 18, 2013 - 06:47pm PT
I can get you one through Amazon Prime (free shipping, Priority Mail too, have it in a day or two I bet)
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 18, 2013 - 07:17pm PT
Hopefully the radiator will do the trick. When you get it out maybe you
can fix it up nice like this one...

Credit: Reilly
Evel

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
Apr 18, 2013 - 07:46pm PT
Happi, If it's any consolation to you at all, I was just 'gifted' a '78 Dodge camper van. Yeah I know it's a cool gift. BUT. I get to rebuild pretty much the whole thing before it'll be road-worthy. Thanks for the project,Evan!

And for what it's worth I wouldn't screw around with a flush job. You're getting a good price for the new set-up. Make sure it's a 3 or even 4 core radiator. [Heavy-duty model]

Happy(er) Trails to You

SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Apr 18, 2013 - 09:07pm PT
If she is feisty she's f*#ked.

Oh Sully, you do cut to the chase..I so love it.....get that knee healed up so we can hook up wid ya for some climbing!
Miss you!

Susan
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Apr 18, 2013 - 09:32pm PT
Jon Beck what is "Amazon Prime" please?

DMT
WBraun

climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 09:34pm PT
Amazon Prime

For $79 annually, you get unlimited movie and TV streaming, one free borrowed e-book per month, and
automatic two-day shipping on nearly everything you buy (with no minimum dollar amount).
Curt

climber
Gold Canyon, AZ
Apr 18, 2013 - 09:35pm PT
I have Amazon Prime too. You pay $79 per year and get "free" second day shipping on anything you buy that ships through Amazon. I think it's a good deal.

Curt
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Apr 18, 2013 - 09:39pm PT
Thanks, men. I will check it out.

DMT
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Apr 18, 2013 - 09:42pm PT
I'm really glad you did not do the chemical flush. I ruined a Subaru motor that way. Ate right through a head gasket. Which was probably on it's way out anyway.
In fact, I think my other beater 4x4 wagon, a really cool Toyota, probably had a clogged radiator and before I could address it, blew a HG.

Too bad I wasn't there, I could help you install a new radiator, I've done it. It would probably take us all day and some bashed knuckles, lol

$400 sounds pretty good, but I know I'd choke on that right now too.

She makes really nice jewelry people, and it's very reasonable.

My ignore button is working again. ;->

Some folks just jealous of us gypsy's eh happie? Outraged a lurker enough to get him to post too! Yeah.


SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Apr 18, 2013 - 10:33pm PT
I have Amazon Prime too


Thread drift. Yes I have prime also. Great shipping turnaround and if you return something you can print a pre paid ups label...convenient...an amount will be deducted from your refund, but I've found it to be even slightly less than what a UPS store would charge.

Good luck, Happie, yes Julia, I like the gypsy analogy!

Susan
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Apr 19, 2013 - 01:52am PT
I buy a lot of car parts through Amazon now, most of the Prime items are fulfilled through an Amazon warehouse, mainly Phoenix because Amazon avoided California for years to avoid sales tax. Incredibly fast shipping. Sometimes I order in the morning and get the item the next day.

Autozone is spamming me almost daily with coupons and discounts, they must be getting squeezed by Amazon and eBay. Amazon must get some huge discounts on shipping because there is no way a casual seller paying full price for shipping could make money at the prices they are selling for.

I looked at radiators on Amazon at radiators and they had some good deals. If I was driving cross country on a shoestring I would take advantage of being stuck in a cool place and fix the problem the cheap way. Flagstaff is a little cool at night now, but the days are nice.

I buy so much on Amazon that when I tried to return an item recently Amazon just refunded the purchase and told me to keep the item. Might have been because sellers pay Amazon monthly to store items. If the seller decides to quit selling on Amazon they have to pay to have Amazon ship everything back, a lot of them just tell Amazon to keep the stuff. Returns might be the same deal, it is cheaper for the seller to have the buyer keep the item because I am sure Amazon charges them to restock the item.
silentone

Mountain climber
wisconsin
Apr 19, 2013 - 07:14am PT
Another lurker here..............
Wishing Happi good luck
Shake it off like water off a duck
Hope you make it through
Shine on
S.O.
Paul
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Apr 19, 2013 - 12:17pm PT
Happi......

Good luck with your van.

Have a bitchen summer

come back next year

thanks for helping out "vertical" when they needed it the most.

GK
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 19, 2013 - 04:22pm PT
JLP - I did get to the garage.

I KNOW the boilover is bad. I stopped as soon as possible, but was on a damned mountain pass.

The engine has had the compression test.

The radiator and thermostat have been replaced.

I am now waiting to continue onward, but need to take care of some matters before doing so.

I am exhausted. I think we can call this thread closed now.
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