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Old 03-22-2010, 06:39 AM   #1
jeffpritchard
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Default Got My Supra! ... and a problem. :)

Howdy all!

The Good:
I got my Supra! 1989 Turbo. Has the removable top. White, burgundy interior. In pretty darn good condition (maybe not as good as I thought, though. More on that in a second). I've had it about two weeks now.

My dad had one of these when I was little. My little brothers made him have to trade it in on a minivan. I've always had a special place in my heart for this car, and to finally have one is AWESOME.

I took the top off yesterday, went cruising around, absolutely beautiful. Arizona weather couldn't have been better, and I love the way the car feels.


Aaaaaand the bad:
So, on the freeway (70mph) this morning I notice hot air coming out the vents. Then I notice the temp gauge is going very, very high. I stop using the gas, set the heater on high, and coast off the freeway. When I open it up, it's completely out of coolant because all the coolant has shot out the overflow on the reservoir.

Apart from what's sprayed all over the front of the car, there are no obvious leaks of coolant. I check the oil level, its fine. I fill it back up with water, wait for it cool for 30 minutes, start it back up.

It starts just fine. Thank God. The idle is fine. Nothing coming out the engine at a noticeable rate. Sounds fine. So, I'm thinking, maybe there is a slow leak in the coolant, and it just ran low enough that it got really hot and shot the rest of it out? Fingers crossed pretty please?

Nope. I got about a mile before it got really hot again. Pulled over. I can hear the boiling coolant. Nothing else sounds or looks odd though. :/ I got it home a half mile at a time, pulling over every time I felt the air out of the heater start to get hotter then normal. Took forever waiting 20 minutes between half mile runs, but I really want this turn out OK in the end. The coolant levels are still fine, because I don't let it get hot enough to overflow again.

As far as I can tell, there are three possibles here. The worst one is a blown head gasket. Thankfully, there is nothing in my oil but oil (I had it changed when I bought it, it's still nice and clear), and no smoke out the back. The car idles just as smooth as it did a week ago. So maybe, just maybe, I can rule that out?

Second, my friend (who has a VW) says he went through the exact same thing 6 months ago, and it was the water pump. That kind of makes sense to me. Coolant just sits in the engine for a half mile before it gets too hot. Seems reasonable.

Third, my cousin says it could be the thermostat. I don't know how that would cause this, but might as well include it.

So, any ideas for me? I'm not sure how I would check the water pump to see if works or not. And are there any ways for me to rule out the head gasket for sure?
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:33 AM   #2
reydio
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Congratulations on your purchase, sorry about your problems. But aside that, did the owner changed the HG yet? If not, I suggest you do it right away. What is the cars mileage?

Also another point of view, is that the cooling system has air pockets and needs to be purge.

The car is over 20 years old, so you will need to replace the parts that are ready to go out. I hate to say it, but this will drain your pocket pretty quick if the previous owner has not done anything to it.

Read on and do your searches, Good Luck and Congrats.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:05 PM   #3
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u can always get a compression chek to see if its a bhg,
but i would change thermostat and flush my radiator they are usually gunked up good over 25 years...
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:28 PM   #4
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The previous owner took really, really good care of it. I've got this huge stack of receipts for the various jobs he had people do. I'll look through them and see if I can find a head gasket replacement. I'll probably try replacing the thermostat and flushing the radiator first, as that's the cheapest and easiest way to proceed.

The car has either 104k or 170k, depending on if I believe the letter from a dealer about how they had to replace the dash, including odometer. Either way, the car looked great.
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:52 PM   #5
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try the thermostat and water pump. i had no idea how big of a deal it was until mine started over heating too. same symptoms. just got the thermostat, took two seconds and bam. good to go
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:41 PM   #6
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While you're at it I'd replace the radiator cap as well. A weak cap will allow coolant to expand into the overflow tank more easily, causing the remaining coolant to heat up quicker and a lot of it being purged out the tank when it's full
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:06 AM   #7
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Looooookie what I found:

http://img682.imageshack.us/img682/9707/img0007wd.jpg

I certainly hope that's all the problem. I'm waiting for it to cool down from the final radiator flush.


Edit:
Yep! That was the problem. Back in business!

Last edited by jeffpritchard; 03-23-2010 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffpritchard View Post
Looooookie what I found:

http://img682.imageshack.us/img682/9707/img0007wd.jpg

I certainly hope that's all the problem. I'm waiting for it to cool down from the final radiator flush.


Edit:
Yep! That was the problem. Back in business!

wtf? thats the thermostat right? cant really tell but it looks like it from the washer.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:50 PM   #9
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Yea, that's the T-stat.

Replace it... of course.
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:43 PM   #10
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Awesome, now, make sure you use Toyota Red for your coolant. This will make your engine last without the gunks.
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