Frontier overheating? - Nissan Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old Aug 22nd, 2004, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
265k miles and counting..
 
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Frontier overheating?

My 1998 Frontier King Cab (KA24DE/5speed) with 214,000 miles seems to be overheating. After driving it any long distance, the coolant starts bubbling inside the overflow tank as soon as I shut it down. However, the temp gauge never goes above the halfway mark and it drives fine. I have the proper mixture of anti freeze to water, it isn't leaking water and the water pump was replaced at 190,000 miles. Any ideas? I need to figure this out as it will be pressed back into duty soon as I will be selling my Sentra and it will see 100-150 miles a day!

1998 Nissan Frontier XE/2wd/5spd 1 owner, 264k miles
1985 Olds Cutlass, 350 Chevy, owned for 14 years
WANTED: 1968-1973 Datsun 510 or 1991-1994 Sentra SE-R
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post #2 of 8 Old Aug 22nd, 2004, 05:09 AM
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Sounds like your thermostat is not working properly. Or there could be air in your cooling system.
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post #3 of 8 Old Aug 22nd, 2004, 11:56 AM
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I would replace the t-stat first. It's cheap and easy to eliminate. Then move on to the more expensive radiator if that doesn't work. By 214K, unless you've had super radiator maintenence (annual flushes and only using distilled water) there's probably enough scale build up that you need to just replace it as maintenence. Overheating can be the quickest killer of an engine, so I wouldn't waste much time getting it resolved.

You must use your truck for a business - that's a lot of miles! [edit: just went to your site - pizza delivery - lots of miles. You might just let it die and do that SR20DET swap, I'd like to see that!]

Heath

1997 Nissan XE Truck - 133,000 Miles
1990 Infiniti Q45 - 91,000 Miles
2005 Infiniti G35 Sedan - 34,000 Miles

Last edited by 1997XETruck; Aug 22nd, 2004 at 12:03 PM.
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post #4 of 8 Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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Well, the radiator has had almost annual maintenance and was replaced after an accident at 160k miles. What I am wondering is if they replaced the radiator cap at the same time? If not, the spring may be weak and leaking coolant past the cap and into the overflow. I am only driving it 1-2 times a week (100-200 miles) , on my days off, as the Sentra is now a daily driver.
As for a SR20DET swap, it probably won't happen. Instead, I am now researching either a SR20DET Datsun 510 or a Honda VTEC engined old Austin Mini (looks like the Mini is most probable as of now as I am working a deal for a free drivetrain) to be used as a daily driver and pizza car.

1998 Nissan Frontier XE/2wd/5spd 1 owner, 264k miles
1985 Olds Cutlass, 350 Chevy, owned for 14 years
WANTED: 1968-1973 Datsun 510 or 1991-1994 Sentra SE-R
http://www.myspace.com/junkyardengineer

Last edited by himilefrontier; Aug 23rd, 2004 at 03:07 AM.
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post #5 of 8 Old Aug 23rd, 2004, 01:39 PM
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Sounds like a normal condition if you are losing no coolant. The water left in the head will become overheated on any engine due to the loss of flow across the hot metal. It then expands enough to overcome the cap and burps into the overflow tank. The cap may be letting more through due to age and replacing it might eliminate what you are hearing/seeing. But it will not stop what is happening. It will just happen slower. Folks with turbos ect have installed electric water pump drives to keep coolant circulating through the block after shutdown. This helps with the heat soak you mention, but they are preventing the oil from coking the turbo. Theoretically, it would be better for all engine parts to cool evenly preventing hotspots. But the cost/gain normally isn't worth the hassle on a NA engine.

Aaron Ford
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post #6 of 8 Old Aug 24th, 2004, 07:42 PM
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I agree with aaronford,
If you really want to cool down the temps, do what Volkswagon has done for decades. . . . get a timer fan to blow on the front or back of the rad for 2-3 minutes after shutdown or the thermo switch fan. This will cool the fluids, help the engine last a bit longer and remover your worry.
Also, do not add more coolant next time you are low, add Water Wetter by Redline.
I do not even run a fan in my Silforty and have not for almost 5 years. And I live in Texas and drive across the states for shows.
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post #7 of 8 Old Aug 25th, 2004, 06:30 PM
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Easy fix, radiator cap . Have had this happen on a few different cars. The spring pressure fades over the years/heat cycles. $4.99 should get you going.

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post #8 of 8 Old Aug 25th, 2004, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B R
Easy fix, radiator cap . Have had this happen on a few different cars. The spring pressure fades over the years/heat cycles. $4.99 should get you going.
Yeah, after reading all the symptoms (and actually READING it this time), a new radiator cap is in order. The coolant is under pressure, and won't boil under pressure (each pound of pressure adds 3*F to the boiling point). A leaky radiator cap will allow coolant at 220*F or whatever it is to escape into the overflow tank, and all of a sudden it's not under pressure anymore...and it boils.

Jason Adcock
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1995 4x4 XE King Cab - 189,000 miles
1997 Cadillac Seville - 141,000 miles
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