Another overheating Problem!!!!


I have a Fourtrak 87 and i seem to be having fun and games with the coolant/radiator.

My Expansion tank is full with the correct mix, but it never seems to change quantity. is this the norm? (well, at least i think it is the expansion pack!!)
Also, when driving, my temp guage will go up and down at will, sometimes it will stay high for a while, other times it will just stay on the halfway mark.
Ether way, when i park up, i can hear "bubbling"
Earlier i only took the car for a 30 second drive and when i got out there was smoke/steam coming from the engine.
Please can anybody tell me what im doing wrong here??


over heating

Is it smoke or steam?

you say the expansion tank is correct, is the radiator correct?





Hi H,As far as i know, the

Hi H,
As far as i know, the radiator is ok. Unknw
If i had to chose, i would say it was more than likely steam.

I know how to drive 'em, race 'em, crash 'em! just not how to fix 'em!

Ok guys heres the latest.

Ok guys heres the latest.

I have cleaned all pipes and everything, flushed out the rad and refilled.

The temp guage is now behaving itself, staying just below the halfway mark. YAY!

Or so i thought!!

I took it out for a quick spin but when i pulled up back at home, guess what!

Yep, it was steaming, although the temp guage still read below the midway.

I popped the bonnet and took a look, and saw what seemed like water dropping on to the radiator. thus creating the steam.
On further investigation i located the source!!!

Its from the upper part of the radiator, but not from the main body itself. Its where the round top part joins the rest of it.
is this an easy problem to fix?

Thanx for all the help you guys have given me on the road to righteousness!!!
Much appreciated.

I know how to drive 'em, race 'em, crash 'em! just not how to fix 'em!

try this ..

I would expect the leak is below the radiator's cap and at the joint between the top-box and the radiator core. Thats where the weak point is located. It gets pulled/stressed by the top hose and engine shake.
The water on the radiator could be loose radiator cap [took me 12months to discover even throught the cap was screwed tight!] or a radiator hole/split seam problem.
1. First remove the radiator cap. Inside the cap you will see two lugs that tighten the cap onto the radiator. The lugs become slack and the cap gets 'loose' although it appear to fit tight. Either squash the cap's lugs with pliers so the cap fits very tight onto the radiator. [Think before you squash!] Alternatively cut a new rubber seal from an old inner tube and position it inside the radiator cap. Re-fit the cap and make certain it screws very firmly onto the radiator. What might be happening is the water pressure forces the cap off its spring and the steam condenses on the radiator. It looks like a leak but it might only be the cap is not tightly seated.
2. If the above doesnt stop the leak then get the radiator re-cored. I soldered mine several times but it proved a waste of time. Constant emptying/soldering/anti-freeze is too consuming. Get it out [easy] and take to your local motor-rads [phonebook]. Costs about £90 and will be as good as new. Takes about 2/3 days.
NB ..If you try to solder the radiator, the radiator will need to be removed from the car. Its impossibly to solder unless the radiator absolutely dry and clean.
I would also replace the termostat while the radiator is out and thoroughly flush the engine block.

Leaky radiator

Hi it is obvious that MACE is well placed to help you. Suggest you email him direct with a couple of photos of the areas you are referring to. I see the risk that you may not precisely understand each other. Tricky!

Now that the cold weather is about (I assume you are in UK) your problem may to be easing. Beware! I thought I was a bright technical guy but it took months for me to understand and fix overheating in my '93 Daihatsu Applause.



Thimk Mace's comments are right, you could find a garage that could pressure test the system, after trying his suggestions. A word of warning !!!!!, beware second hand rads. My truck had a secondhand rad fitted before I purchased it, it would seem all the clag inside sets solid after it was drained and sitting in the resellers store. Untill I purchchased a new rad, (could not afford the downtime awaiting a recore),I had continual overheating problems. Oh yes ,put in a new thermostat,and make sure it's the the right way up, and new jubblie/hose clamps along with replacement hose's if you have any doudts due to increased preasure in the system also rad cap (they get tired).

Edward (ews) '92 Fourtrak 2.8 TDX

Expansion or screen wash?

You wont get anywhere with this problem until you clarify that your looking into the radiator expansion tank/reservoir. You might be looking into the screen wash tank!
1. Is it steam or smoke? If its steam then you have a water leak. If there is a leak, the radiator expansion tank will certainly go lower and lower. Have you tried viewing the location of the escaping steam?
If its smoke [does it smell of oil/plastic] get a fire extinguisher.
2. Bubbling whilst the engine is hot indicates an air lock in the coolant circulation. There is a blockage. This could be an air lock, a blocked hose, blocked cylinder,blocked radiator, or a stuck thermostat. With a stuck closed thermostat the water will boil/bubble and likely to escape as steam from the radiator cap or will force a hose to become disconnected - hence loads of steam. Faulty thermostat sounds a possibility if the temperature gauge is fluctuating, engine bubbles, but expansion tank remains full.
3. A more worrying possibility is a damaged cylinder head-gasket [repairable] or cracked cylinder head [expensive]. Symptoms will be loss of water from the expansion tank, AND white 'smoke' coming from the exhaust whilst the engine is at normal temperature, AND/OR steam billowing from the hot engine when you open the bonnet.
4. Check the oil .... is it contaminated with water. The dip stick or oil filler will show white/yellow gunge or obvious water content. This is an indication of a cylinder head problem - gasket or crack.
Look into the radiator expansion tank.Can you see any bubbles whilst the engine is running and hot. Take a sniff into the expansion tank ... does it smell of exhaust fumes? This is an indication of a cylinder head problem - gasket or crack.

Wow, thanx for the info there

Wow, thanx for the info there. Much appreciated.
Definately steam!!
The problems fits in to option no.2.
Is there anyway i can "unstuck" the thermostat?

I know how to drive 'em, race 'em, crash 'em! just not how to fix 'em!


I would suggest replacing the thermostat.....the chances are it has given uo the ghost.

Milners will post to you..





white smoke

My rocky is great to start and have changed the Glow plugs. I have white smoke when idle and the first pulling away then it clears. i have been told it could be the cold start, what is your thoughts? The water is getting low, tonight i had to fill the rad completely up but a little bit of water was in the expansion tank. The smoke it awful, embarrassing too!!! nobody can see behind me and is getting dangerous. My Rocky goes ok well appears too.

if you can help it would be great. I have done so much work on her already just need an inexpensive time.

Any cheap ideas welcome!!

thanks jim