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Old 02-20-2021, 12:42 AM   #1
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Default 1995 3.0L Overheating

Hi Guys,

I could use some help. Two weeks ago, my D21 started overheating when I was out getting groceries. If I drove it slow (less than 30mph) the needle on the temp gauge would quickly rise up to the red line. I let it cool off for about 20 minutes, then drove home on the highway (60mph) and the temperature stayed normal. Driving up a steep hill to get to my house, the temp shot up again.

I've replaced the thermostat, but am still having the same problem. I checked the following today:

- Top radiator hose gets hot, bottom stays cold.
- Cooling fan turns as expected
- Heat works

Don't know where to go from here. What should I check next?

Truck has 92K miles on it, in case that matters.
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Old 02-20-2021, 12:45 AM   #2
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When you added water/coolant after the t-stat, did you start the truck and let it warm up until the t-stat opened then add more water/coolant? Also, make sure the t-stat is allowing coolant to flow?
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Old 02-20-2021, 12:58 AM   #3
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Make sure you have enough coolant, the thermostat is in the right direction and you have properly bled the system.
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Old 02-20-2021, 01:46 AM   #4
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Fan clutch sound suspect to me. Could also be a small leak that won’t allow pressure to build in the system.
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Old 02-20-2021, 07:14 AM   #5
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Just a suggestion:

Run the engine with some big cardboard underneath it to check for leaks.

If there are no leaks, but the engine is still overheating...you may have a stuck thermostat. Everyone here will tell you that these engines do NOT like anything but stock Nissan thermostats. The aftermarket ones just don't seem to work half the damn time and I couldn't tell you why.

If nothing else, and you have no leaks...I see you live in Hawaii. Just pull the thermostat out and see if it stops overheating. Not like you need big heat over in Hawaii.

If it stops overheating after you pull the thermostat out and turn it into a 'free flow' system...you might need a stock Nissan-made thermostat.
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Old 02-20-2021, 04:53 PM   #6
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How can I tell if the thermostat is allowing coolant to flow?

I have added more coolant after warming up the engine, but I think there's room for more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdswan View Post
When you added water/coolant after the t-stat, did you start the truck and let it warm up until the t-stat opened then add more water/coolant? Also, make sure the t-stat is allowing coolant to flow?
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Old 02-20-2021, 04:54 PM   #7
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Thermostat is in the correct way. System needs more coolant, I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deerhurst View Post
Make sure you have enough coolant, the thermostat is in the right direction and you have properly bled the system.
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Old 02-20-2021, 04:55 PM   #8
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How do you tell if the fan clutch is failing? Will check for leak today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alabama_lowlife View Post
Fan clutch sound suspect to me. Could also be a small leak that won’t allow pressure to build in the system.
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Old 02-20-2021, 04:57 PM   #9
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Will try the leak test today, after topping off the coolant.

Interesting hack, removing the thermostat. Will try that. Also ordered an OEM Nissan thermostat from EBay because the local shops only carry cheapos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XoXSciFiGuy View Post
Just a suggestion:

Run the engine with some big cardboard underneath it to check for leaks.

If there are no leaks, but the engine is still overheating...you may have a stuck thermostat. Everyone here will tell you that these engines do NOT like anything but stock Nissan thermostats. The aftermarket ones just don't seem to work half the damn time and I couldn't tell you why.

If nothing else, and you have no leaks...I see you live in Hawaii. Just pull the thermostat out and see if it stops overheating. Not like you need big heat over in Hawaii.

If it stops overheating after you pull the thermostat out and turn it into a 'free flow' system...you might need a stock Nissan-made thermostat.
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Old 02-20-2021, 05:44 PM   #10
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I've had more overheating issues with vehicles without thermostats than anything else. No thermostat can allow too much flow which means poor heat transfer in the radiator. Not only does heat transfer require a ∆T but also time.



Check your fan clutch by sticking a rolled up newspaper into the fan. It should be engaged for a short time when you first fire up the truck. In that time see if you can stop it. If you can easily stop it with a rolled up newspaper it's bad. When it is disengaged you should be able to stop it with a rolled up newspaper but when engaged it should be quite difficult to stop.
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