Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
Joined
·
6,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My Wednesday Project - radiator removal

I've been having increasing amounts of trouble with overheating. Yesterday it was so bad that after filling the system cold, I could only drive 15 minutes before the temp gauge was pegged on H and steam was coming out from under the hood. The top of the radiator was extremely hot to the touch, and the center was as cold as the rain that was falling. Not good...

So today I removed the radiator, and took it to a shop (should be ready for me in about 2 more hours). While I had it out, I inspected the accessory drive belts - still the originals after 81Kmi. They were starting to crack, so I thought I might as well change them out since access would never be easier.

Now, will cleaning out the radiator solve the overheating? I don't know if this is the sole source of trouble, but even if it isn't, having a working rad can only help.

I hope to have the car up and running again before the afternoon is over, so once I've test-driven it I'll let you know if there is any improvement.

(edited to add) The removal is not difficult. Open the drain, which seems to flow like a blocked prostate. Remove the overflow bottle, and disconnect both hoses. Be ready for a good splash when you disconnect the lower hose.

You do not need to remove the fans first, and it may be easier to unplug them after removing the two bracket bolts and shifting the radiator so you can reach the plugs more easily. Once unplugged, the whole assembly lifts out. Then remove the fans and the plastic top cover, and you have the rad.

I replaced both clamps on the lower hose, as one of them had frozen and the bolt head sheared off instead of loosening.

The drive belt tension is controlled through two screw-driven tensioners - one locates a pulley, and the other lowers the alternator to slacken the belt. Even so, I had trouble getting the new belt on.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Good luck, hope you get it sorted out.
 

·
Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
Joined
·
6,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The results are not encouraging. It still overheats as it did before. This morning I entered "outback head gasket" into google and got plenty of hits. The best one is a guestbook started by one person who did the job himself:

http://mysite.verizon.net/vze730qe/guestlog.html

I seem to have the same symptoms as many of the other people there. Actually, some of them seem to be worse off, with newer cars at lower mileage.

So I'll try driving it again today (got to take my other half to work) and I'll see how it behaves. But it seems I'll be talking to the dealer to see if the warranty extension to 100,000 applies to my OB.

Otherwise, I don't know what to do. I'm unemployed, I have nothing in the bank, I have no place to perform this repair myself. Meanwhile, my other car died earlier this week.
 

·
Registered
2003 Subaru Outback 2005 Ford Ranger
Joined
·
352 Posts
Sorry to hear about this.:( Hopefully the warranty extension will apply to your car. If the dealer won't do the work you may have to just get a credit card for the time being until you get on your feet again. You could at least get the sube fixed. I just got a Chase MC with 0 % apr until March of next year. Something like this would be perfect for the time being. Best of luck with everything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Alex, good luck with the dealer. As mine was at 140K I knew that was out of the question. Now, as soon as mine is done I am sure I could give a helping hand if you need to do yours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
well, have you checked the thermostat, maybe it is stuck closed, that might cause the symptoms, since it would be blocking the flow of the radiator fluid... not sure, but give it a try
 

·
Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
Joined
·
6,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Nope, thermostat is fine, the engine will run a long time at the normal temp - why a whole ten minutes, easily! Water pump is working, too, I get a lot of heat out of the vent system.

I also noticed that stopping at a light can start a temp spike, so I thought maybe the fans don't work. But the fuse was OK. (That was one reason wehy I went with cleaning the rad, I thought maybe the fans are running but the rad isn't conducting heat.) When I re-installed the rad, I let it idle up to temp - it held there for several minutes, and both fans turned on at the same time.

But even so, it was overheated in only five minutes of driving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Sounds very much like the headgasket. Did not want to say that out loud on the weekend as I did not want to jinx you. Well, at least we know what to do if yours needs to be re-done.
 

·
Super Moderator
2007 Outback H6 LL Bean - Champagne Gold Opal
Joined
·
6,009 Posts
Def. sounds like a head gasket.

I blew 2 of them in my old '90 Dodge Shadow. The first time I noticed when my heater stopped working one morning and that night the car overheated and seized up.
The 2nd time I blew the relpacement while driving on I-76 to Philly to catch a weezer concert. I heard a "clank" then the car lost all power and I manuevered it to the shoulder. I'm not convinced it was actually the head gasket, probably the timing belt or something, but the shop outside of Philly could have told me anything, they knew I was stranded. I figure they told me it was something extra expensive/time consuming to repair that way I would ditch the car and send them the deed/etc, then they could fix the real problem and turn around and sell it. I had to ditch the car there and take the bus back home to Rochester, NY. Not cool. But we got the last laugh when we donated the car to the Kidney Foundation. I loved that car even though it gave me SO many problems.
 

·
Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
Joined
·
6,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, no doubt about it, the max travel I can get before overheating is 15 minutes.

Dang, and this weekend is the 8th annual Hotluck & Firey Foods Fest at the Thomas Family Winery in Madison, IN. I have been there every year since the first, and now I have to miss a year. Oh well, no car, no money, no trip.

Btw, the twisty-road fans among you would dearly love to drive Indiana Rt. 62 from Rt 421 to Rt. 50 - I was once told that the Corvette Club of America rated this as their third-favorite road in the 48 states. It is also known as the Chief White Eyes Trail.


Madison 2002 Hotluck
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top