Overheating Problem [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum

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pushnfords
03-08-2005, 04:12 PM
I bought a '92 Grand Am with the 3.3L from a soldier about to be shipped out. He said it overheated on his wife on the way to the store and they had parked it while he was in Iraq...now he is headed to Germany so I bought it "as is". He said the heater quit blowing cold right before the overheating started.

I brought the car home and replaced the water pump, heater core, thermostat, and all of the heater hoses. The pump and core came with the car so I figured I might as well install them. As soon as I got that stuff installed I let it run in the driveway and it started going above 220 after 30 minutes and was getting close to the red after 45. The coolant is full, reservoir cap is fine, and no signs of a blown headgasket. I've also checked for blocked or collapsed lines and couldn't find anything wrong. I'm thinking it is the radiator but don't want to put a lot of money in it since I just bought it to resell. Any other ideas on what to look for?

Thanks,

Derek

Licit
03-08-2005, 08:23 PM
It sounds like a pressure test would be a good start. If the cooling system is losing pressure then you know there is still a leak somewhere. If a gasket is slowly leaking then a compression test should show it. I've had both tests done in the past and they resulted in my getting fixed what needed fixed. Both tests are inexpensive.

pushnfords
06-15-2005, 04:15 PM
I worked on the '92 Grand Am on and off over the last couple of months. Put in a new radiator, heater core, water pump, thermostat, heater hoses, bypass hoses, etc. I tried driving it and tried bleeding the air out of the heater lines by loosening the clamps and pushing in a screwdriver but it kept overheating. So then I changed the head gaskets...still overheated. By then a friend who had been holding a truck I wanted told me it needed to be paid for and picked up soon so I decided not to mess with it anymore. I ended up selling it on eBay for $350. The guy that bought it spent a week working on it and put in another thermostat and water pump and also tried to bleed out any trapped air. Then he found the problem:

When I put in the new radiator it had an extra nipple on the right side at the top. Since I'd bought the rad. off of eBay I figured it had been listed wrong and wasn't actually for a '92 since my factory rad. didn't have the nipple. To get by I'd just capped the nipple off. Well, the new owner pulled off the cap and a lot of air hissed out...problem fixed. So if anyone has a mystery overheating problem...focus on trapped air in the radiator (vs. the hoses) if everything else checks out.

In all I figure I had about $700 in the car so I lost right at $300...but I used the $350 I sold the car for to buy a '93 Ranger and the guy threw in a car dolly. The truck is in good shape and the only problem it had was it was out of gas...owner thought it was the timing belt. So all in all I'm happy.

Derek

gobraves02002
06-17-2005, 07:35 PM
huh, now that i think about it ever since i had my radiator replaced my car seems to overheat. would this problem keep going on for like a year or would that trapped air of released itself? where this cap you are talking about that he took off to release it?

pushnfords
06-18-2005, 10:46 AM
huh, now that i think about it ever since i had my radiator replaced my car seems to overheat. would this problem keep going on for like a year or would that trapped air of released itself? where this cap you are talking about that he took off to release it?

I drove mine and let it idle for quite a bit and it never released itself so could be your problem too. On the new radiator I got the nipple was on the passenger side on the side near the top. It was almost hidden by the radiator support when you were looking down at it. If you don't have a nipple there, might have to get creative to figure out how to bleed the air out.

Derek