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Old 05-06-2011, 05:23 PM   #1
DutchOven
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Default Coolant Overflowing out of Overflow reservoir

Hey guys, need a little help with trouble shooting.

Whenever I'm on the track, coolant keeps overflowing out of the overflow tank (the plastic, translucent tank on the drivers side). This has happened on two separate occasions now, and I've already gotten a compression check with positive results. I do not have a aftermarket coolant gauge yet, but the stock coolant gauge never moves past half way.

Could the coolant be boiling, causing excessive pressure, pushing liquid into the overflow tank? I noticed air bubbles coming out of the overflow tank at the end of the session. I also always do a 5 minute cool down after each 25 minute session.

Perhaps I should get a coolant gauge before I can diagnose the problem.

Thanks in advance.

Notes:
-Stock radiator
-Coolant mix: 12.75% coolant, 87.25% distilled water/water wetter.
-No oil cooler
-Stock motor & Turbo with minor bolt ons. (intake/turboback/protune 301 whp)
-i shift at redline
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:03 PM   #2
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Your heads are lifting off the block and pushing combustion pressure into the cooling system. Common problem on tracked 2.5 Subarus. Replace the head gaskets and install ARP head studs.

http://www.iwsti.com/forums/2-5-lite...d-gaskets.html
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:57 PM   #3
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are you ****ing kidding me??

thanks for the link!
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:41 PM   #4
02fastWRBLUE
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was having this problem on my 500whp turbo S2000. ARP studs, 3MM headgasket, stock rad, etc.
pulled the motor, stroked it to 2.4L and used a stock metal headgasket and ARP studs and have not had the problem since.


the only thing i am worried about is that my completely stock '08 did this a couple weekends ago for a second
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Old 05-07-2011, 02:45 AM   #5
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Had the same problem tracking my STi. Put in a new OEM headgasket, koyo radiator, with ARP headstuds problem solved (knocks on wood.)
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Old 05-07-2011, 08:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchOven View Post
are you ****ing kidding me??

thanks for the link!
I wish I was kidding. It's one of the unfortunate reasons I don't own a Subaru anymore.

Good luck.
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Old 05-07-2011, 12:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastcoastbumps View Post
I wish I was kidding. It's one of the unfortunate reasons I don't own a Subaru anymore.

Good luck.
+1
Same reason I got rid of my 05 STi a few years ago.
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Old 05-07-2011, 03:06 PM   #8
garageGT
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How much were you boosting on that stock turbo ?
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Old 05-07-2011, 03:51 PM   #9
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18psi.
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Old 05-07-2011, 04:01 PM   #10
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You should also check to ensure all your coolant hose clamps are tight. Even a small leak will introduce air into the system and cause the symptoms you describe. It's certainly worth checking before assuming you have a HG issue.

Duncan
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:24 AM   #11
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Not necessarily a head gasket. I had the same problem and thought it was a head gasket for sure. Turned out I just needed a more capable cooling system. After upgrading the radiator and putting a high pressure cap on the upper coolant reservoir, the issue went away. You're probably getting localized boiling in the system.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastcoastbumps View Post
Your heads are lifting off the block and pushing combustion pressure into the cooling system. Common problem on tracked 2.5 Subarus. Replace the head gaskets and install ARP head studs.

http://www.iwsti.com/forums/2-5-lite...d-gaskets.html
After going through this thread, I'm afraid this matches most of my symptoms. I was experiencing detonation from a previous tune and drove on it for 4 track days and 7 months.

I'll get a Koyo radiator for the next track day and hope it really is insufficient cooling. Otherwise I'll have to plan for a motor rebuild.
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:14 PM   #13
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Good plan as you'll want the koyo and cap either way if you're tracking it regularly. When mine acted up it would push the coolant out and then overheat only on the cool down laps during track days. On the street and autoxing it was fine.
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boost junkie View Post
Not necessarily a head gasket. I had the same problem and thought it was a head gasket for sure. Turned out I just needed a more capable cooling system. After upgrading the radiator and putting a high pressure cap on the upper coolant reservoir, the issue went away. You're probably getting localized boiling in the system.
I'd agree with this statement before thinking your heads are actually lifting.....I'd also get a 160 degree thermostat. I'd put $20 down that this fixes your issues, especially at your power levels.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:17 PM   #15
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The worst case scenario is that you have a blow head gasket but you need to check the basics first. On my 08 WRX street class race car I would fill the OEM overflow bottle to the absolute top after every track session but it would suck it all back in when the engine cooled down. There was no mechanical issues just too much heat for the OEM cooling system to handle. If you are not sucking the coolant back in then you need to check for air leaks (replace oem spring clamps with screw clamps...all of them!). This could also be a sign of a bad radiator cap or even mixing the two radiator caps up so double check this.

I've had plenty of blown head gaskets and a sure sign is that car will hesitate at light load and misfire at light load. Under boost it just blows the coolant out so it's hard to tell.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:20 PM   #16
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I tracked my 09 WRX twice a month for two years without any cooling issues at all...
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:00 PM   #17
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Let me state my 08 WRX was up to 400 whp.
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:24 PM   #18
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I would attack the situation with new koyo rad, silicone hoses, new termostate, new coolant & check water pump. You need them anyways.
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:49 PM   #19
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I was having this happen... turned out I had clogged coolant lines...

The system would boil out under load then the lines wouldn't allow the coolant to suck back in upon cool down.
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:42 PM   #20
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which line was clogged and mileage ?
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:00 PM   #21
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Update: My motor blew in july of 2011 from ringlands. Apparently the headgasket was the least of my worries. It was rebuilt with new head gasket, ARP head studs, new koyo radiator and oil cooler, and no more cooling issues. Car still runs a little hotter than I'd prefer, but it's still fine.

Max coolant temp I've observed while on track: 217F, Max oil temp: 235. Coolant gauge is tapped into the top radiator hose, oil temp probe is tapped into the sump.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:46 PM   #22
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ok im bumping this up for some added info, and for another data point.

i also have a 2010 WRX. now with 103,000mi and counting.
most of my driving is highway. only stopped if there's traffic and
stock cooling system
coolant flushed and refilled by IAG at 30, 60, and 90k during service.

i started having overheating issues when the car was stationary. but it would go away once i started driving. it was very intermittent and never happened while cruising. i also noticed the overflow tank being very full with bubbles coming out.

then today it started to overheat even while at a constant speed. so i pulled into walmart, let it cool down, and grabbed a gallon of water and topped it off. it was about 1qt low on coolant. it was very obvious at that time that the coolant tank is filling up to the point of overflowing, and hence causing a lack of coolant, and hence overheating. after topping it off i havent had an issue. but ill keep an eye on it.

what i dont understand is why its overflowing in the first place.

maybe the radiator is degrading?
maybe the water pump is degrading?
maybe one or two of the radiator caps isnt working right?
maybe the thermostat isnt working properly or up to par?
maybe a combination of these?

I already have an appointment with IAG to get my 105k service which will replace most of these and a coolant flush.

so im thinking about trying to bump my appointment up to as soon as possible. and also have them replace the stock radiator with something like a mishimoto along with a higher pressure cap.

sound like a good start?
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:39 AM   #23
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Could be headgasket. Did your stock coolant gauge move at all? Your radiator fans might not be working either, which may explain why you were overheating at a stop. Perhaps that caused your head gasket failure, which led to over heating while moving.
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:32 AM   #24
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Fans are working fine.

Stock gauge did move. Got very close to the red.

It was over heating because of low coolant. After topping it off. It does not overheat. But it's still pushing coolant into the overflow. And if left unchecked, will again cause a lack of coolant, which will again cause overheating.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:03 AM   #25
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More.

Particularly cool this morning. I checked the coolant overflow and all of the excess had drained back into the system. The level sat halfway between full and low. So I opened the main cap and topped it off with some more water.
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