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Old 05-03-2012, 04:24 PM   #1
BigAir
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Default 08 WRX Overheating after new T-stat

Looking for help before I give up and take it to the dealer.

2008 WRX 33,000mi Coolant change at 29,000mi by me and no issues
AEM CAI, Perrin DP, SPT catback, Perrin TMIC all this installed at 12,000mi and Pro-tuned.

Last Sat, I was at a HPDE and when I came in and popped the hood to cool, I saw coolant spray around the overflow tank and high levels in the tank. Temp gauge was normal.
I took it out in the next session for a 3 laps to see if it would do it again and nothing happened. Then after the last session, I again had overflow. This time the temps started to climb.

With help (I'm not a wrench), got the T-stat out and hacked it apart so it was fully open. This seemed like the only option late at night and 80 miles from home. The car ran fine on the way home with 130F temps.

I installed a OEM T-stat. Then refilled, burped and burped and burped. The next day my car was still overheating. After reading more forum posts, seemed like more burping is needed. Just did it for the 5th time and no change. Fans kick on at about 207 F read from my AP and then temps will start climbing up to 230ish.

Top radiator hose is hot and bottom radiator hose is cool. Could this be a faulty new T-stat or water pump issue.

There is no white exhaust smoke and nothing in the oil that I can see.
Thanks for the help. Sorry for the long post
Tim
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:35 PM   #2
BigAir
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Anyone with any thoughts?
Thanks
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:30 AM   #3
recce02
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Try filling the engine through the top hose. Fill it slowly and I mean slowly. This will allow any air to be displaced as you fill the engine. After that top off radiator and then fill very too tank (the one on the intake manifold) 3/4. Then squeeze bottom radiator hose to pump any air trapped out.
Try that and see how it works. Also it helps a little if the front of the car is on a small incline.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:35 AM   #4
BigAir
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Are you saying I should drain and start over? Currently, I can not add anymore coolant. I have burped the system 5 times. I may try new radiator caps or see if my local garage can pressure test the caps for me.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:56 PM   #5
BigAir
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I went to the dealer today to get new caps. None in stock and they said they don't see many failures with caps. The mechanic had time to look at it. He thinks the head gasket is leaking internally. I not quite sure I buy this yet. He said a leak down and/or compression test will not necessarily tell you about HG. He said my car behaves like the 2.5's that have had blown HG's that he has seen. I still don't see any coolant in oil or oil in coolant nor white smoke out of exhaust.
How can I be sure it's a HG issue without opening the motor?
Do combustion leak test kits really work?
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:08 PM   #6
z
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Did you have the heater on to make sure coolant is going in and out the heater core while bleeding the system of air?
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:27 PM   #7
BigAir
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Yup, every time
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:34 PM   #8
RussianStyle
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Sell it and buy a toyota
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:59 PM   #9
BigAir
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You mean a Gt 86 right?
Seriously, any other suggestions? Should I take the new T-stat out and test it?
Compression test radiator? Keep trying to burp? All of the above?
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:02 AM   #10
BigAir
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Still looking for some advice, please. I continued the burping process after getting the car back home from the dealer. There were a lot of air bubbles and they were foamy when the car was first started. Then the bubbles ended as the car warmed up. This happened the next two times.

I couldn't use the combustion tester as no matter how much coolant I took out of the radiator, it would still expand and hit the tester tube.

I took the new OEM T-stat out to test and it opens fine in hot water. I'm not sure if its my imagination, but the car does seem down on power.

Should I have a compression test or leak down test first before committing to a HG repair?

Also, if the HG is blown, how do I know the cause. I'm assuming the original T-stat failed then the engine overheated. Do I need to test for any other coolant system problem?
Thanks,
Tim
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:11 AM   #11
BigAir
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Wow, seems like I'm the only one here. My post count is going up though.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:34 AM   #12
fastnoypi
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go to napa and buy a block test kit
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:42 AM   #13
BigAir
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I did the block test yesterday and it was negative. I pulled out and tested the new OEM T-stat and it works fine. Just tested my radiator caps and they were not holding pressure. I hope this is the only problem. I still can't get all the air out of the system. Is this a sign of something else or because the caps are bad?
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:54 AM   #14
fastnoypi
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after you get new caps, drive around for a while and let the car cool down and check your top coolant tank again and top off. The drive should force all the air to the top. If you have a pinhole leak somewhere that is introducing air, you can perform a coolant system pressure test to find the leak.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:15 PM   #15
BigAir
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Obsidian Black

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OK, problem seems to be solved at the moment. The radiator cap was holding to about 108Kpa which is what the cap near the turbo reads. I put that one on the turbo/filler reservoir and put a new Autozone cheapie on the radiator.

Bingo, couldn't get the coolant temps above 180F in the garage even with the heater off. I took the car for a test drive and no temps above 187F and temps come down when I get to faster speeds. Back at home and idling the temps went to 201, then fans kicked on high and temps started back down.

I had some coolant burning off at the cross pipe and thought the T-stat housing was leaking. It was not. I think that all the overflow and draining/re-filling just loaded it up.

I hope this is it as I have been pulling my hair out for the last week, thinking I was either fix it and sell or build the motor. I do want to build, just not this year.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:38 AM   #16
recce02
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Nice! Thanks for the update.
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