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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a suspicion that the radiator in my 81 turbo car is blocked. I've checked the thermostat (it's an 82 C version and working) and the thermoswitch for the fans (it's an 82 C version and working also), and coolant flows how it should through all the hoses.

However when driving it recently, I've noticed that the fans are running for a much longer time than I'd expect them too, and the temp gauge is hitting 3/4 and staying there during normal driving.

The coolant is good (changed not long ago), and there aren't any appreciable leaks from where hoses, etc. attach. I believe the water pump is working (otherwise the engine would overheat fairly quickly).

Is there a good way to check if the radiator has a blockage? When I get the chance I'll take the car to a good radiator place that a few people have recommended. I don't have a spare radiator unless I salvage one out of another running car (not ideal).

Any other suggestions? I'm planning to disassemble the front of the car at some stage to give the front member a complete treatment for surface rust and a repaint though if the car continues to exhibit overheating the radiator could need work sooner.

Craig.
 

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If it gets hotter when you go faster on the highway, you need a new radiator. Don't waste your time flushing the old one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for the replies! I will run the engine up to temp today and shut it off (plus disable the fans!) so I can 'probe' it in various spots to feel what might be going on.

It certainly seems like a rad issue as I've mostly eliminated problems elsewhere. The water pump is almost new (replaced by last owner during a big overhaul when the engine was rebuilt!), and the coolant is good.

Now to track down a nice copper/brass Nissens rad. I sold a brand new one on Ebay about 6 months ago (before I had the 81 turbo car)! Doesn't that suck! :cool:

Another thought - could the issue by oil not coolant related? I have noticed the engine is using up oil more than it should and I might look at all the oil cooler hoses, etc. just in case. I filled the oil up just a couple of weeks ago and it was down almost to the low refill point the other day. No leaks at the back out of the crankshaft seal and the turbo isn't blowing any smoke. Seems a long-shot though. Blocked rad is much more likely.

I've been for a short drive to take my 4 y/o boy off to his pre-school and the temp gauge stayed more or less where it should, but I wasn't driving hard, or very far. About 15 km round trip. I've left the car sit for a while to cool off (since I'd burn myself otherwise) and just re-started the engine to move the car under a tree to get it out of the sun. The bottom radiator hose (which goes to the water pump) didn't feel like any of the still hot coolant flowed through it, but all the other hoses did. That might just be due to the thermostat not heating up enough again to allow coolant through the radiator but next time I drive it I'll check the bottom hose as well and see. The car has an in-line ATF cooler so if there was no coolant flow in that bottom hose the ATF wouldn't be cooling either. hmm.

Craig.
 
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