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3800SC runs hot on only with A/C on MAX setting by PaulJK
Started on: 06-14-2014 01:11 AM
Replies: 28 (419 views)
Last post by: Joe 1320 on 09-02-2014 05:57 PM
PaulJK
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Report this Post06-14-2014 01:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PaulJKSend a Private Message to PaulJKEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
86GT w/ 1999 regal 3800SC and 4 speed auto trans. A/C is converted to 134a. I am running about 60 / 40 antifreeze to water with a bottle of HyperCool additive (boilover should be more than 265 degrees). Also have vent in the hood to help remove radiator heat.

Drove from LA to Las vegas last Monday night. Had my A/C on MAX setting. Temp. gauge reading 208 and Temp warning light comes ON. I was going about 77 mph. I turned OFF the A/C until the warning light went out and waited a little while. Put A/C on BI-LEVEL and slowed to 70 (speed limit changed). No more problems. Temp gauge went to about 195 and stayed there.

Is there something about the MAX A/C setting that could make my car run 15 degrees hotter ?
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olejoedad
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Report this Post06-14-2014 06:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
MAX setting recirculates cabin air. Don't see that causing a problem....
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Chelo Fiero
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Report this Post06-14-2014 07:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Chelo FieroClick Here to visit Chelo Fiero's HomePageClick Here to Email Chelo FieroSend a Private Message to Chelo FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Verify your grounds and alternator. The problem may seem like an amp draw causing the fan to run slower.
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Report this Post06-14-2014 08:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PaulJKSend a Private Message to PaulJKEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by olejoedad:

MAX setting recirculates cabin air. Don't see that causing a problem....


Actually i thought the MAX setting just shut a damper door for outside air flow (?) but the car definitely runs hotter when in MAX. i don't know enough about the HVAC control - i wonder if it's the problem ?

In LA, i like to keep the dirty hot air out so i like to run in RECIRC but BI-LEVEL is nice and cold too.
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PaulJK
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Report this Post06-14-2014 08:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PaulJKSend a Private Message to PaulJKEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

PaulJK

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quote
Originally posted by Chelo Fiero:

Verify your grounds and alternator. The problem may seem like an amp draw causing the fan to run slower.


MAX setting draws more amps than BI-LEVEL ?
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Report this Post06-14-2014 08:34 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CsjagClick Here to Email CsjagSend a Private Message to CsjagEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I think its because the max setting changes the airflow thru the radiator and less fresh air is sucked thru. When you have the a/c on the normal setting more air is sucked thru the radiator, especially at highway speeds.
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Report this Post06-14-2014 11:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Csjag:

I think its because the max setting changes the airflow thru the radiator and less fresh air is sucked thru. When you have the a/c on the normal setting more air is sucked thru the radiator, especially at highway speeds.


The coolant fan comes on in any A/C setting. MAX setting has absolutely NO effect on the front airflow.
MAX setting closes a damper in the HVAC housing in the dash and kicks the blower fan on HIGH.

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Report this Post06-14-2014 11:15 AM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

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Check the water pump inlet hose for softness. I have seen hoses suck closed at higher rpm. Fine at 60, suck closed at 75.......go figure!
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Report this Post06-14-2014 11:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mitchjl22Click Here to Email mitchjl22Send a Private Message to mitchjl22Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I don't know how you're running RECIRC, since I don't have that option on my Fiero HVAC, but basically the A/C controller works like this.

MAX AC Opens a flap in the drivers side footwell that sucks in cabin air right next to the accelerator pedal.
NORM Puts conditioned air through the vents and Pulls air inside the car from the cowl at the bottom of the windshield
BI-LEV Distributes air on floor and vents, also pulls from outside cowl

Vent only vents air over the heater core. Pulls from outside cowl.
HTR only heats through the floor vents. Pulls from outside cowl.

Defrost, Pushes air out by your windshield. Gets air from cowl, also runs fan and A/C compressor to lubricate the system in the winter.

To address your issue, it seems like a fluke to me. I can't see any way running in MAX would change the load on the engine, or change its cooling efficiency. I've been having some cooling/heating issues with my swap, or so I thought. I bought a cheap bluetooth OBD II scanner and the torque app, my car has never seen temps above 208 degrees. My gauge has read anywhere between 220-MAX when my coolant temp really is only 208.

-Mitch
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Report this Post06-14-2014 05:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for olejoedadClick Here to Email olejoedadSend a Private Message to olejoedadEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by mitchjl22:

I don't know how you're running RECIRC, since I don't have that option on my Fiero HVAC, but basically the A/C controller works like this.

MAX AC Opens a flap in the drivers side footwell that sucks in cabin air right next to the accelerator pedal.

-Mitch


And recirculates cabin air over the evaporator........

Thanks for a good explanation. I was doing the abridged version.
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MstangsBware
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Report this Post06-14-2014 10:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MstangsBwareClick Here to Email MstangsBwareSend a Private Message to MstangsBwareEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by olejoedad:

Check the water pump inlet hose for softness. I have seen hoses suck closed at higher rpm. Fine at 60, suck closed at 75.......go figure!


Or the front lower radiator hose.. Drove an 88 Formula back from Cali that gave us hell from the get go for that exact same issue I mentioned. Took 3 states and a full coolant R/R to finally figure it out.
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Chelo Fiero
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Report this Post06-15-2014 12:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Chelo FieroClick Here to visit Chelo Fiero's HomePageClick Here to Email Chelo FieroSend a Private Message to Chelo FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just do a simple test. Start the car with the ac off and let it raise the temp so the cooling fan comes on, then turn the ac on while watching
The rad fan and see if it change the speed. Sometimes is the fan motor itself that are broking down.
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PaulJK
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Report this Post06-15-2014 02:38 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PaulJKSend a Private Message to PaulJKEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by olejoedad:

Check the water pump inlet hose for softness. I have seen hoses suck closed at higher rpm. Fine at 60, suck closed at 75.......go figure!



 
quote
Originally posted by MstangsBware:

Or the front lower radiator hose.. Drove an 88 Formula back from Cali that gave us hell from the get go for that exact same issue I mentioned. Took 3 states and a full coolant R/R to finally figure it out.



Sorry you had a problem.

On all the fieros i've ever had, i've never done anything to the hoses unless they started to leak. i think you guys are teaching me something here. I'll check the hoses to see if they're soft. i also wanna make a few runs at the same speed / rpm and see if the MAX and BI-LEVEL settings change the coolant temp.

I'll also try to verify my temp guage reading.

thanks all.

[This message has been edited by PaulJK (edited 06-15-2014).]

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Report this Post06-16-2014 11:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for darkhorizonSend a Private Message to darkhorizonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The max button also turns your cooling fan on via an override... it could be playing badly with you in some way?
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Report this Post06-16-2014 06:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Darth FieroClick Here to visit Darth Fiero's HomePageClick Here to Email Darth FieroSend a Private Message to Darth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by olejoedad:

MAX setting closes a damper in the HVAC housing in the dash and kicks the blower fan on HIGH.


MAX A/C setting has nothing to do with the blower motor speed. Selecting MAX A/C on the Fiero HVAC panel opens up a door inside the car to allow for HVAC system inlet air to be drawn into the system from the passenger compartment instead from outside (where it will draw from in ALL other selections), and this makes the blower motor sound louder. It doesn't actually change the blower motor speed.

With the system set to MAX A/C, there should be the least amount of cooling load put on the A/C system once the cabin temperature drops below that of outside air temps because the A/C system is only trying to remove heat and humidity from cabin air in that setting, which has already been cooled and dried after the system has been running for a period of time. The highest A/C system loads occur when you try to cool and dry hot and humid ambient air.

The stock Fiero HVAC control panel is designed to activate the radiator fan any time MAX A/C, NORM A/C, and BI-LEV A/C is selected. I suppose it is possible something could have burned up on your HVAC circuit board that could be causing it to not activate the radiator fan when MAX A/C mode is selected. But the PCM should be turning on the radiator fan anyway once the engine coolant temp gets high enough. It certainly shouldn't get hot enough to turn on the engine overheat lamp on the dash.

In any case, it is a mystery why your engine only seems to overheat when the MAX A/C selection is made on the HVAC control panel. If there was a cooling system problem created by the extra heat load put on the system when the A/C was on, it should be overheating in all A/C modes, not just in MAX. And like I just said, the least amount of cooling load put on the A/C system occurs when MAX A/C is selected on the HVAC panel AFTER the air in the passenger cabin cools off some. Obviously, if you are rolling down the road with the windows open and the A/C set to MAX with the blower on HI, there is still going to be a high cooling load put on the system.

-ryan

------------------
OVERKILL IS UNDERRATED

Custom GM OBD1 & OBD2 Tuning | Engine Conversions & more | www.gmtuners.com

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Darth Fiero
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Report this Post06-19-2014 01:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Darth FieroClick Here to visit Darth Fiero's HomePageClick Here to Email Darth FieroSend a Private Message to Darth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Let's come at this from another direction. Do you have a set of A/C manifold gauges? If so, hook them up to your A/C system, try MAX, NORM, and BI-LEV settings each for 5 minutes, and write down what both the high side and low side pressures do on each of those settings. Basically what we are looking for here is if any A/C setting results in the high side pressure running much higher in one setting than the others.

The high side pressure reading can tell us the heat load the A/C system is putting on the cooling system.
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Report this Post06-19-2014 05:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Lambo nutSend a Private Message to Lambo nutEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by PaulJK:

86GT w/ 1999 regal 3800SC and 4 speed auto trans. A/C is converted to 134a.


If you had left the factory engine along with the factory transmission in the factory 86GT, you wouldn't be having any of these problems now would you? Man, can't even follow your own advice. Factory only is what you said in the past.

Kevin
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Report this Post07-02-2014 01:20 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PaulJKSend a Private Message to PaulJKEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Lambo nut:

If you had left the factory engine along with the factory transmission in the factory 86GT, you wouldn't be having any of these problems now would you? Man, can't even follow your own advice. Factory only is what you said in the past.

Kevin


You have posted this same useless comment before in my threads, so you must want my attention - ok, now you have it. You're a dick, kevin.
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Report this Post07-02-2014 01:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PaulJKSend a Private Message to PaulJKEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Darth Fiero:

Let's come at this from another direction. Do you have a set of A/C manifold gauges? If so, hook them up to your A/C system, try MAX, NORM, and BI-LEV settings each for 5 minutes, and write down what both the high side and low side pressures do on each of those settings. Basically what we are looking for here is if any A/C setting results in the high side pressure running much higher in one setting than the others.

The high side pressure reading can tell us the heat load the A/C system is putting on the cooling system.



I like this suggestion but i don't have access to gauges. I guess i'll have to pay someone who does. I think that's gonna tell us what the problem is (see below).

Something interesting though.

When i turned on the a/c (regardless of MAX or BILEVEL), the coolant temp climbs to 253 or so, then the engine goes into OPEN LOOP / DECELERATION / ENGINE LOAD. It loses power so i pull over, shut it off and wait for about 5 minutes. Turn a/c off, restart and it runs like crazy again (?) Outside temps are near or over 100, so no a/c is tough but that's the way it's gonna be for now i guess.
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Darth Fiero
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Report this Post07-02-2014 03:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Darth FieroClick Here to visit Darth Fiero's HomePageClick Here to Email Darth FieroSend a Private Message to Darth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It just sounds to me like you've got a cooling system issue in general going on.

In my turbo 3800 swapped Fiero, I have working A/C and I am running a 180 deg t-stat. The engine coolant temp usually runs about 185 deg F or so without A/C on. With A/C on, and if it is also about 90 deg outside, I may see it get as high as 195 deg F. There was one time it was about 105 deg F outside and I saw the coolant temp get to about 210 max, but that was after I pulled off the highway and let it idle in a parking lot for a few minutes with the A/C still going.

From the sounds of it, you may not have either adequate airflow across your radiator (check for dirty radiator core/a/c condenser core or restricted air flow thru those two). I find both the A/C condenser and radiator cores where the air flows thru them tend to accumulate a lot of dirt and small stones after years of driving which can restrict airflow thru them. Also, do you have the factory air dam installed under the core support, don't you? This is essential for not only kicking air up into the radiator but also creating a low pressure area behind the radiator to help draw air out at highway speeds. If you don't have an air dam installed, this could be causing problems.

GM also made different radiator cooling fan motors for these cars. I've noticed the ones made for the V6 cars that had factory A/C seem to move more air / spin the radiator fan faster than those made for 4cyl cars.
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Report this Post07-02-2014 06:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PaulJKSend a Private Message to PaulJKEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Darth Fiero:

It just sounds to me like you've got a cooling system issue in general going on.

In my turbo 3800 swapped Fiero, I have working A/C and I am running a 180 deg t-stat. The engine coolant temp usually runs about 185 deg F or so without A/C on. With A/C on, and if it is also about 90 deg outside, I may see it get as high as 195 deg F. There was one time it was about 105 deg F outside and I saw the coolant temp get to about 210 max, but that was after I pulled off the highway and let it idle in a parking lot for a few minutes with the A/C still going.

From the sounds of it, you may not have either adequate airflow across your radiator (check for dirty radiator core/a/c condenser core or restricted air flow thru those two). I find both the A/C condenser and radiator cores where the air flows thru them tend to accumulate a lot of dirt and small stones after years of driving which can restrict airflow thru them. Also, do you have the factory air dam installed under the core support, don't you? This is essential for not only kicking air up into the radiator but also creating a low pressure area behind the radiator to help draw air out at highway speeds. If you don't have an air dam installed, this could be causing problems.

GM also made different radiator cooling fan motors for these cars. I've noticed the ones made for the V6 cars that had factory A/C seem to move more air / spin the radiator fan faster than those made for 4cyl cars.



I was thinking that too but right now i'm thinking my a/c is putting too much load on the engine when i turn it on. i have removed the radiator, had the side tank removed and the cooling tub.es cleaned by hand. I did not check out the condensor. The coolant is fresh and hypercool added - i wish i had changed the thermostat. I'm not worried about overheating because the coolant (60/40) and the hypercool should be good for more than 265 degrees, maybe closer to 290.

I have a vent in the hood behind the radiator and the factory air dam is there too. i have an aftermarket fan installed rated at 3000 cfm which should be much more than the stock fiero fan.

i think i just need to get the car on a/c guages as soon as i can find a good place and afford it. Since the a/c system was re-charged wih a new compressor about a year and a half ago, i'm hoping it will be something easy and inexpensive. Maybe the a/c pressure is building too high and putting too much load on the engine (?) The vent air is nice and cold - maybe outside temps in the 100s are just too much for the system (?).

[This message has been edited by PaulJK (edited 07-02-2014).]

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Report this Post07-02-2014 07:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CsjagClick Here to Email CsjagSend a Private Message to CsjagEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just throwing this out there but could the combination of the recirculation setting and the radiator hood vent be affecting airflow thru the radiator enough to cause the overheating? I am for sure no expert and not nearly as knowledgeable as most on here but you could test this idea by blocking off the hood vent and taking a test drive to see if there's any difference.
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Report this Post07-03-2014 02:55 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Darth FieroClick Here to visit Darth Fiero's HomePageClick Here to Email Darth FieroSend a Private Message to Darth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by PaulJK:


I was thinking that too but right now i'm thinking my a/c is putting too much load on the engine when i turn it on.


Honestly, if the A/C system was putting enough load on the engine to make the engine itself run hot, you should be burning up serpentine belts like crazy.

Basically you can boil this issue down to 2 basic causes:

1) Inadequate air cooling of the radiator.

2) Inadequate coolant flow thru the engine / cooling system.

Have you checked your Fiero's coolant tubes to make sure they weren't kinked like happens all-too-often?

Check that condenser core to make sure it isn't plugged up with dirt and debris. If it is, I don't care what fan or hood mods you do - you aren't going to get much air flow thru a condenser core plugged up with trash. Also check for bent fins on the front of the condenser, this problem is quite common.

[This message has been edited by Darth Fiero (edited 07-03-2014).]

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Report this Post07-03-2014 03:05 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PaulJKSend a Private Message to PaulJKEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Darth Fiero:

Honestly, if the A/C system was putting enough load on the engine to make the engine itself run hot, you should be burning up serpentine belts like crazy.



I think i'm glad to hear this because it sounds like it shouldn't be too much to fix. i got the engine load idea when the car went into OPEN LOOP and lost power.

 
quote
Originally posted by Darth Fiero:

Basically you can boil this issue down to 2 basic causes:

1) Inadequate air cooling of the radiator.

2) Inadequate coolant flow thru the engine / cooling system.

Have you checked your Fiero's coolant tubes to make sure they weren't kinked like happens all-too-often?

Check that condenser core to make sure it isn't plugged up with dirt and debris. If it is, I don't care what fan or hood mods you do - you aren't going to get much air flow thru a condenser core plugged up with trash. Also check for bent fins on the front of the condenser, this problem is quite common.



i'll check the tubes and hoses and condensor. thank you.
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Report this Post07-03-2014 06:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for CsjagClick Here to Email CsjagSend a Private Message to CsjagEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A local to me Fiero owner with a 4.9 swap was having trouble with occasional overheating. When he checked the radiator he found it to be 1/3 blocked. Our cars are very old now so I am sure all of the original radiators are performing subpar, especially cars that sit parked for extended periods.
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Report this Post07-03-2014 02:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Darth FieroClick Here to visit Darth Fiero's HomePageClick Here to Email Darth FieroSend a Private Message to Darth FieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by PaulJK:


I think i'm glad to hear this because it sounds like it shouldn't be too much to fix. i got the engine load idea when the car went into OPEN LOOP and lost power..


The engine going into open loop and losing power was probably a RESULT OF the PCM detecting an overheating engine.
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Darth Fiero

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quote
Originally posted by Csjag:

A local to me Fiero owner with a 4.9 swap was having trouble with occasional overheating. When he checked the radiator he found it to be 1/3 blocked. Our cars are very old now so I am sure all of the original radiators are performing subpar, especially cars that sit parked for extended periods.


I've certainly seen radiators plug up to the point coolant couldn't flow thru all their cooling tubes. But that's only 1/2 the equation. The other 1/2 is airflow. And more often than not I've seen a lot of nasty dirt, dust, leaves, and who-knows-what plugging up the cooling fins, preventing air from being able to flow thru and cool the radiator. Since the A/C condenser sits in front of the radiator, it usually accumulates more of this crud.
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Report this Post08-23-2014 02:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PaulJKSend a Private Message to PaulJKEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Update; i have not had the money or time to do anything about this problem. BUT the weather has cooled down to less than 100 degrees daily and the problem seems to have gone away. I now drive through town, traffic light to traffic light, without any problem. Hopefully I'll get some $$ together soon and have the A/C looked at and look at the cooling system myself. Thanks to everyone that responded. I'll keep updating as i get new info.
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Report this Post09-02-2014 05:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Joe 1320Click Here to visit Joe 1320's HomePageClick Here to Email Joe 1320Send a Private Message to Joe 1320Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Something to keep in mind......

The a/c is a heat exchanger. The coolant is compressed, which heats It up. The condenser radiates the heat ( which is located in front of the radiator).... So in essence, the more the a/c is cranked up, the hotter the condenser becomes which means the hotter the air running though the radiator. There is a possibility that the radiator just can't quite deal with the superheated air flowing across the condenser.
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