Small overheating problem

General information about the first-generation Nissan Maxima in the US. What was the Datsun 810 became the luxury leader Maxima in the US in 1981.

Moderators:plenzen, goglio704, glenlloyd, Nissan_Ranger

Post Reply
User avatar
kassim503
Posts:1027
Joined:15 years ago
Location:Stony Brook, NY

#46

Post by kassim503 » 14 years ago

Actually, I havnt measured temp from other means- and this is coming from sombody that thinks factory gauges are crap.

Ive been thinking about installing a autometer water temp gauge, so I can have accurate readings all the time- but I gotta rig up a system so the factory gauge still works.

I dont have a infra-red reader but I do have one of those "meat thermometer" instant reading stick kind of ones- the ones used in cooking and stuff. I think ill try testing the temp through the fill cap later.

This morning I opened it up on the freeway- for about 60 miles nonstop, a/c on max, and the needle didnt budge from the halfway mark, I guess the car only heats up due to a problem with the airflow or it just dosent like traffic.


Also I might want to add that the connector on the radiator that connects to the upper hose was damaged at one point and was soldered back together. But I have looked at it very closely and it dosent leak, not even a drip an hour.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

User avatar
kassim503
Posts:1027
Joined:15 years ago
Location:Stony Brook, NY

#47

Post by kassim503 » 14 years ago

Got home, pressure tester waiting at door. Nice rusty and old but I think its fine- right now im currently letting the car cool down and testing the tester for leaks. Ill hook it up overnight and see if any pressure dropped down .
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

User avatar
kassim503
Posts:1027
Joined:15 years ago
Location:Stony Brook, NY

#48

Post by kassim503 » 14 years ago

Well the tester seems to have a slow leak to it, either that or the gague. But it leaks so slow I doubt I would have a problem testing for leaks. While testing the car I did notice there was no serious leaks, because it held up to pressure for about an hour without problem.

I do remember back in the 80's when this car was my dads, I did remember the car got a little warm at the lights with the a/c on. I think it was about the same as it is now, so I guess this small overheating is caused by a design fault or the rad/fan system wasnt doing a great job from the start. Anybody experience this? I guess this only applies to people with gassers and who like to run the a/c and drive in ambiant temps around 80-100F
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

User avatar
kassim503
Posts:1027
Joined:15 years ago
Location:Stony Brook, NY

#49

Post by kassim503 » 14 years ago

Found the leak, after the coolant being pressurized overnight the engine developed hydrolock- which scared the crap out of me because I never felt the engine kick that hard and I thought I bent a connecting rod. there is a pinhole leak in the head gasket between the piston and the coolant. What is the downsides of not fixing this leak immediatley? Would it possibly harm my cooling system? What about rust in the combustion chamber? Im planning on doing this job a week or 2 from now and I dont want to get the cyl walls all rusty if I waited.

Im thinking about replacing the valve stem seals while im at it too- they leak slow so the car smokes on startup, but I dont think im going to have any surfaces machined or anything.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

User avatar
kassim503
Posts:1027
Joined:15 years ago
Location:Stony Brook, NY

#50

Post by kassim503 » 14 years ago

New thought came to mind- could the head gasket possbly blow do to the mild overheating that I guess plagued the car since the start? It is alumn head/cast iron block so the extra expansion and contraction could of helped it along, and after the summer heat kicks in it snapped. I guess I should get to the source of my overheating quickly.

Also what is the brand that I should go with for the head gasket?
Fel-Pro (napa) or OEM (nissan) or the random brand from the "other" parts stores. I only want to do this once and not again a few years down the road
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

User avatar
asavage
Site Admin
Posts:5351
Joined:15 years ago
Location:Duvall, Wash.
Contact:

#51

Post by asavage » 14 years ago

kassim503 wrote:Found the leak, after the coolant being pressurized overnight the engine developed hydrolock- which scared the crap out of me because I never felt the engine kick that hard and I thought I bent a connecting rod.
I've bent a rod due to hydrolock before, SBC.
there is a pinhole leak in the head gasket between the piston and the coolant. What is the downsides of not fixing this leak immediatley? Would it possibly harm my cooling system?
Yes, it could. But with as small a leak as you have, I think it would be a good gamble.
What about rust in the combustion chamber? Im planning on doing this job a week or 2 from now and I dont want to get the cyl walls all rusty if I waited.
If you have antifreeze mixed with the water to make coolant, there will be no rust.

There do exist "head gasket in a can" type fixes that do work somewhat, if you aren't too concerned with reliability.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

redmondjp
Posts:204
Joined:14 years ago
Location:Redmond, WA

#52

Post by redmondjp » 14 years ago

kassim503 wrote:Found the leak, after the coolant being pressurized overnight the engine developed hydrolock- which scared the crap out of me because I never felt the engine kick that hard and I thought I bent a connecting rod. [snip]
Son of a gun!! :oops: In my earlier post I was going to warn you about the possibility of this (pushing liquid into cylinder with the pressure tester), but decided against it, figuring that if the leak was big enough that it was going to hydrolock, then it would happen after shutting the engine off while hot (and there is still residual pressure in the cooling system for some time).

How do you know that you didn't slightly bend a rod? I've seen VW 1.6 and 1.9 diesels that had the same thing happen either due to liquid or chucks of hard carbon in the combustion chamber (usually broken off of the intake port runners while cleaning out the intake passages). Maybe these SD22 diesels are tougher, I don't know.

I still think you should at least get your radiator flow-tested, as you still may have a problem there. Often there is a cause - effect relationship going on between clogged radiator and leaking/blown head gasket (coupled with chronic moderate to severe overheating). If you simply replace the head gasket and you have a plugged radiator, you're likely to be doing another head gasket in the near future. Unfortunately not a lot of people understand this (and even a lot of shops are clueless, but are more than happy to charge you to change your head gasket every year).

OT but related--I was basically given ($50) an '86 Civic a couple of years ago, due to PO thinking that the head gasket was blown. It came with a stack of receipts for over $2K of work from various Honda dealers where it had been for (among other things) the radiator fan running constantly and finally failing. So they changed the fan motor, and of course then changed the radiator temp switch becuase it "had to be stuck on", causing the fan to run all of the time. And a new thermostat was installed as well. What was the real problem? Well, the water pump was leaking, causing a low coolant level. And the radiator was old and clogged, and wouldn't cool the car properly. Head gasket was perfectly fine. Two different Honda dealers couldn't figure this out :roll:

New water pump, timing belt, and radiator (and other misc. tune-up items) and it was running like new! My mother-in-law is now driving that car and put 35K miles on it since I gave it to her. Now, the head gasket is really failing (at 220K miles), so I'm going to swap in a lower-mile motor as it uses a fair amount of oil too.
1982 Datsun 720 King Cab, SD22, 86K miles (sold)
1981 Rabbit LS 4-door, 1.6D, 130K miles (sold)
1996 Passat TDI 4-door sedan, 197K miles

User avatar
kassim503
Posts:1027
Joined:15 years ago
Location:Stony Brook, NY

#53

Post by kassim503 » 14 years ago

asavage wrote: I've bent a rod due to hydrolock before, SBC.
Why me too! SBC 305ci, But this time I felt like I could hydrolock because I didnt see a lake of coolant under the car so I let go of the starter the moment I felt the engine jam.

What kind of cooling system damage can I get? Besides some kind of radiator failure, the old one is going to part from the car soon clogged or not.
redmondjp wrote: How do you know that you didn't slightly bend a rod? I've seen VW 1.6 and 1.9 diesels that had the same thing happen either due to liquid or chucks of hard carbon in the combustion chamber (usually broken off of the intake port runners while cleaning out the intake passages). Maybe these SD22 diesels are tougher, I don't know.
I have the L24e (Gas) not the SD series. How do I know I didnt slightly bend a rod? I dont know! :lol: Only thing I know is the car is running the same as before and there is unusual noises coming from there, and im not pulling the oil pan to find out.

I want to upgrade both the fan (if possible) and the radiator. Are there any mech fans that are worth upgrading to? Like something with more cooling power, and I guess I can do away with the clutch while im at it. Ill google around for one tonight. I want to replace the radiator with a fancy aluminum one and put in a seperate trans cooler w/thermostat so I can dump the factory style in tank ones.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

User avatar
kassim503
Posts:1027
Joined:15 years ago
Location:Stony Brook, NY

#54

Post by kassim503 » 14 years ago

Went to http://www.flexalite.com, my favorite brand for automotive cooling acessories, and I noticed this fan http://www.flex-a-lite.com/auto/html/13 ... -flex.html
My local NAPA carries these in all the sizes I can think of so mabye its worth trying, ill think about picking one up.

Hey if it dosent cool better, at least itll look soo cool. I think this is the best piece of engine dress up that this car would ever see! (Until the l24 explodes and itll give me a excuse to put a 350 in it)


...what rotation is our engines supposed to run as, clockwise or counterclockwise. Is it a reverse rotation? I know the fan spins counter if you where inside the car but it would spin clockwise if u where in front of it. I cant rememebr which one was the right place to think about it.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

User avatar
asavage
Site Admin
Posts:5351
Joined:15 years ago
Location:Duvall, Wash.
Contact:

#55

Post by asavage » 14 years ago

kassim503 wrote:what rotation is our engines supposed to run as, clockwise or counterclockwise.
Covered in this thread.
What kind of cooling system damage can I get?
If your leak becomes great enough, the combustion gasses can raise the cooling system pressure fast enough that the radiator cap cannot control the system pressure. In that case, you get seams blown on the radiator.
redmondjp wrote:How do you know that you didn't slightly bend a rod?
A very good question. The only semi-foolproof way without teardown is a compression check. The bent rod's piston will not come up as far, so the affected cylinder's reading will be low. I have not personally diagnosed this problem in an engine before, but I've read about it.

When you have the head off, check the deck height of each piston in turn. If you have bent a rod, it will likely be obvious: one piston will come to TDC more than 1/8" lower than the rest.

My bent rod was in a '69 Impala (327, PG). I rolled it: I put it into Reverse at 50 MPH and stood on the loud pedal. On asphalt, downhill. Locked the diff permanently, ass came around, nose went into a bluff, rolled the sedan. Engine continued to run until I reached up and turned off the key. I did manage to not hit anyone or anything else.

Next day, after having it towed home, I tried to start it, and one cylinder fired -- it always was an eager runner. Bent the rod on the hydrolocked cylinder. Sad end to a good engine, I scrapped it.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

User avatar
philip
Posts:1494
Joined:15 years ago
Location:Southern California, USA

#56

Post by philip » 14 years ago

kassim503 wrote:Went to http://www.flexalite.com, my favorite brand for automotive cooling acessories, and I noticed this fan http://www.flex-a-lite.com/auto/html/13 ... -flex.html
My local NAPA carries these in all the sizes I can think of so mabye its worth trying, ill think about picking one up.
Stay away from these flex fans.

1) They take quite a bit more HP to run than a viscous drive clutch fan because of their deep "bite" and because they run at full engine speed all the time.
2) They are noisier.
3) In some cases, the deeper "bite" of these fans will contact the crankshaft pulley or the closest fan belt.
-Philip
Passed 08May2008
My friend, you are missed . . .

1982 Datsun 720KC SD-22

"Im slow and I'm ahead of you"

User avatar
kassim503
Posts:1027
Joined:15 years ago
Location:Stony Brook, NY

#57

Post by kassim503 » 14 years ago

philip wrote: Stay away from these flex fans.

1) They take quite a bit more HP to run than a viscous drive clutch fan because of their deep "bite" and because they run at full engine speed all the time.
2) They are noisier.
3) In some cases, the deeper "bite" of these fans will contact the crankshaft pulley or the closest fan belt.
I do know it uses up more HP to power- I had one in one of my cars back in the day. But I need the extra hp to run it because I want to move more air, and the majority of HP loss is usually around 1k-3k rpm, after that itll flex and taper off- for the most part. I know what you mean about the HP loss. There would be a little to no chance that I want to run a electric fan, im not a big fan of them, too pricey, too complicated, sounds horrible, alternator would hate them too

On the contrary of most people, I like the sound of a mechanical fan, sounds cool 8)

To compensate the deeper "bite" of the fan im probably going to run a fan spacer- ill see how long it has to be whenever I get one, I think ebay is a good source of cheap fans, they are around a 1/4 the price of the retail stores'

I want to run either a flex fan preferrably or a solid steel fan if the flex dosent cater to my needs

Also I guess I would "swap" fans, one for winter and one for summer, clutch fans are great for fuel economy

The fan is a 17 inch right? I measured but I just draped the measuring tape across the hub
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

User avatar
philip
Posts:1494
Joined:15 years ago
Location:Southern California, USA

#58

Post by philip » 14 years ago

kassim503 wrote:
philip wrote: Stay away from these flex fans.

1) They take quite a bit more HP to run than a viscous drive clutch fan because of their deep "bite" and because they run at full engine speed all the time.
2) They are noisier.
3) In some cases, the deeper "bite" of these fans will contact the crankshaft pulley or the closest fan belt.
I do know it uses up more HP to power- I had one in one of my cars back in the day. But I need the extra hp to run it because I want to move more air, and the majority of HP loss is usually around 1k-3k rpm, after that itll flex and taper off- for the most part. I know what you mean about the HP loss. There would be a little to no chance that I want to run a electric fan, im not a big fan of them, too pricey, too complicated, sounds horrible, alternator would hate them too. SNIP
Go find out why FORD discontinued their flex fan program about 1979.

The power it takes to drive one of these things does not taper off with increasing RPM except when compared to a fixed blade fan of equal blade # and pitch.
-Philip
Passed 08May2008
My friend, you are missed . . .

1982 Datsun 720KC SD-22

"Im slow and I'm ahead of you"

User avatar
kassim503
Posts:1027
Joined:15 years ago
Location:Stony Brook, NY

#59

Post by kassim503 » 14 years ago

Cant find a reason why they stopped the program, is it some kind of safety issue or a horsepower issue?
I really dont care about power that much, but if its some kind of thing where the flex part makes contact with some stuff or something I dont want a part of it.
I did run this on my 77 chevy 1500 p/u, but that was a chevy and this is a datsun- they are similar but so different at the same time.
If ford stopped doing something- it must of been a really bad idea
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

User avatar
asavage
Site Admin
Posts:5351
Joined:15 years ago
Location:Duvall, Wash.
Contact:

#60

Post by asavage » 14 years ago

I think I'd be looking at trying to transfer more heat out of the coolant via increased heat transfer surface area, rather than increased airflow. Clutchless fans are noisy, all the time. But then again, I like electric fans, they are a lot more efficient for typical driving conditions.

Considering the condition of your coolant, I'd do the head gasket + radiator first (ie fix what you know is bad first), then see if there is still anything left to deal with.

Earliest mass-market car to use electric radiator fan? Subaru, I think. My pumpkin-orange '73 GL (1200?) had one . . . and electric fuel pump, too, all stock.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests