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Old 05-17-2019, 11:06 AM   #1
Josh22a
 
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Default Coolant temperature slightly above half

Hey Guys Iím new to the page. But had a question. So I bought a 1994 Nissan HB for 500 not running checked all the basics ended up being timing chain guide broke. Put a timing chain kit and water pump and thermostat. She runs great no issue at all only thing is the coolant temperature gauge sit a little above half way. Idling or driving. Doesnít over heat or any coolant leak. Yes I bleed the system correctly. But did notice when I rev up engine and keep it rev up until thermostat opens up. Temperature goes down just a hair. Oh and thermostat is for 170 degrees gates. Didnít know if I could have a bad coolant sender? Or bad coolant temperature sensor? Cooling fan clutch seems to be working fine. Thanks in advance
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Old 05-17-2019, 11:48 AM   #2
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If you want a temporary summer fix because you aren't sure about the engine slightly overheating or not...ditch your thermostat. Then see how the gauge goes. It shouldn't come up much at all, and will take twenty miles before the heater really works.

If you do this, and the gauge still reads the same after a few minutes of warm-up, your temp sensor might be bad. If it is, install a new one and replace the thermostat back into the truck. Check your connections on the temp sensor as well. They could be weak or rusty at the sensor. Or covered in oil, all of which will affect it.

One thing you can do to sort of check everything beforehand is to warm up the truck and then turn on the heater full blast to see if the gauge goes down, too. If it does, but it still reads above 1/3 the gauge travel...I would look at the coolant sensor for sure.
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Old 05-17-2019, 01:18 PM   #3
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My recommendation would be to replace that thermostat with an OEM thermostat. I’ve had issues with aftermarket thermostats. It should run about a needle width below half scale in my experience.
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alabama_lowlife View Post
My recommendation would be to replace that thermostat with an OEM thermostat. Iíve had issues with aftermarket thermostats. It should run about a needle width below half scale in my experience.
Yeah...those aftermarket thermos are often junk. I forgot about that. I had to replace the 'new' one in my old 89 truck with an OEM too.
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:00 PM   #5
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I found that when engine is hotter at higher speeds it is often the radiator is clogged, cheap and simple to replace
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:53 PM   #6
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I've been running this exact temp in the black truck for about 2 years now. As far as I am aware, no damage has been done and I've come close to overheating (as in steam coming out) when my lower return hose went for a holiday once.

Soon, I will be replacing the radiator as I have not done this since I lived out west over 8 years ago, and those were rough conditions. I know for a fact I've got junk in my radiator/engine and needs a proper professional flush and subsequent radiator sock.

Also, now this is just anecdotal, but there are four main problems I've experienced with aftermarket thermostats in these trucks:

1 - They stick. So they will open when you test them, but plonk them in and you just know they aren't opening up when they should,

2 - They dont open at all (even after you tested it),

3 - They work initially, and maybe even for a year or so, but then they just... dont,

4 - They can be manufactured 'hotter', whether intentional or not.


The thermostat problem was so bad over here that most trucks you would buy didnt have a stat in them at all, and probably hadnt had one for about 20 years.

All in all, we have solidly determined on this forum that the normal operating temp is about 1/3 to about just under half, depending on your exact guage and what your perspective is.

Another thing to keep in mind is that these little trucks seem to need a strong water pump too. Ive noticed the flow on my black truck is not as strong as on my white truck. The water pump can be changed fairly easily too.

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Old 05-17-2019, 11:51 PM   #7
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Mine will run a little more than halfway on warm days, But I also run a 75/25 mix of coolant and water. The last two winters here have actually been brutal from a wind chill standpoint. There were several nights it got to -40 or so with the wind chill. Seeing how I had to leave for work at 1:30 am in those temps, I decided to thicken the mix a little bit to be safe.
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Old 05-18-2019, 03:25 AM   #8
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Aftermarket thermostats are hit or miss. I bought one that wouldn't open at all, but have had good luck with all the others, including the one that's in it now. To echo all the others it should sit a little past a third of the way up, maybe up to a hair below the halfway point. A little bit of fluctuation is normal, I will get up to a little before the halfway point going uphill with a load in the back, but as soon as I crest the hill and shift up it drops back down almost immediately. That's running a 50/50 mix of water and old school green coolant FWIW. A lot of newer cars have a dead spot in the middle of the temp gauge so that it does not move once you get up to operating temp.

Here's one that might fit the bill. A lot of the time these are rebadged OEM parts:

https://www.amazon.com/Beck-Arnley-1.../dp/B000CAZXQO

Also if the water pump is looking really old or sad replacing it is never a bad idea so long as you've got all the coolant drained out. This company is not the OEM for nissan vehicles but IMHO they make excellent water pumps and it runs about $15 cheaper than an OEM one.

https://www.amazon.com/Aisin-WPN-059.../dp/B008EEZ3JM

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Old 05-18-2019, 05:27 PM   #9
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The right way to check everything is to remove the thermostat and boil it to see when it opens, also would have to check radiator and fan clutch. then if you add in the heater core possibly being clogged causing issues..........no one wants to spend the time and headache checking everything.

first thing i would replace is the coolant temp sending unit for the gauge. (single wire spade connector, not the sensor for the ECU)
Its under $20 (last time i replaced once, but that was several years back) and really easy to get to. Just get a good named-brand, not some no-name $3 special off Ebay

Its a cheap part to swap out and see if the gauge still reads in the same spot
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:21 PM   #10
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if you need a new radiator and the truck has the KA in it, get the V6 radiator, it's thicker and fits right in.


Did you test the fan clutch? It should spin fast when started and engine cold.
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