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Old 03-28-2018, 12:51 AM   #1
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Default Issues after installing a new timing chain kit

Sorry this is a little on the long side. Last week I disassembled the front of my engine so I could change the timing chain, guides, tensioner, water pump and thermostat on my 97.

Today I reassembled it, double checked everything, removed the air bleeder bolt, filled the radiator with coolant until it shot out the bleeder port, reinstalled the bolt.

Turned the key, she fired right up and purred like a kitten, no timing chain slap. Idled at 1200, then settled in at 800 rpm, I'm a happy camper.

I'm watching the water level in the radiator, waiting for the thermostat to open so I can add more coolant. I have the heater valve open so coolant can circulate thru the heater core. I have the bleeder bolt loosened hoping to purge any air in the system.

After about 5 minutes, the engine starts to make a sound like it's laboring and there's a tapping noise that's getting progressively louder. I take off the oil cap and see oil splashing around everywhere so the oil pump is working. I touch the upper radiator hose and it's blistering hot, the lower hose is still cool. I check the temp gage and it's about 1/4. I shut off the truck.

I remove my new thermostat and test it in a pot of hot water on the stove and it works. I reinstall the thermostat, button everything back up and try it again, same result.

I'm not sure where to go from here, any ideas? Thanks

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Old 03-28-2018, 01:05 AM   #2
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Did you have the radiator cap off the whole time?
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Old 03-28-2018, 01:09 AM   #3
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Hmm...

From what you've described, I can determine a couple of things.

You did the chain setup correctly. Otherwise when you first started it, if it were off by even a tooth either way, it would backfire, or run like crap. So the chain and oil pump setup is okay.

Okay...sounds like your thermostat is good, but I hope you didn't use an aftermarket one. The reason is...those aftermarket thermos are notoriously unreliable for these trucks.

Does the tapping noise sound like it's coming from the front cover area, and not up near the valve cover? If it's coming from the front cover area, I would definitely suspect the water pump. Sounds like coolant isn't flowing. The tapping noise is from overheating...IF it IS coming from the valve cover area. You did good to shut that engine down quick, because aluminum heads warp fast if you don't.

(Side note: On these trucks, if you are on the freeway and start overheating, for God's sake STOP and shut down the motor. Do NOT try to make it to the next exit or you will probably blow your head gasket.)

Water pump: Several possibilities here. Slightly wrong pump maybe. I would double check to see if pump for 4WD and 2WD are a bit different. You know...it might install for you, but not be quite the right one. (There are experts here that would know this better than I do.)

If noise IS coming from front cover area, and not from on top...then it could be a bad water pump they sold you...IF it IS the right one.

Could be debris in water pump itself, causing it to not work properly, but that's a long shot and the belt would probably squeal. I know it's a PITA, but if the tapping is coming from front cover area, you should probably think about pulling the cover and taking a look.

GOOD NEWS: There is a test you can do BEFORE deciding to pull the front cover. Take out the thermostat and just put it back together without one. Fill up radiator. Try starting again. If it overheats and does the same damn thing...it's probably your pump, or you have a blockage somewhere in the cooling system. Maybe the heater core. Maybe elsewhere. If you are sure the tapping came from the front cover, and pulling the thermostat doesn't help...pull the front cover and look.

If it runs okay and stops overheating...go get a factory thermostat.
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Old 03-28-2018, 01:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alabama_lowlife View Post
Did you have the radiator cap off the whole time?
Hey...that's right! Can't run it like that. I forgot. You need that pressure you get with the cap on.

(Leave it to the Admin to ask the Occam question)

LOL...I was thinking when I saw that post that if you live in Phoenix, probably don't need a thermostat anyway. It's already so damn hot there you could go free flow and probably be fine.
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Old 03-28-2018, 01:19 AM   #5
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I have had better results from the truck and the lexus while the nose was in the air on ramps. Air will work to the highest point. So after I did the timing belt and water pump on both vehicles, I filled the system and let them idle with the cap off and my eye on the temp gauge. Once it started rising past the normal range, I checked the coolant level again, then held the engine at 1500 rpms. Then after 5 minutes or so, the air has usually burped out.
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Old 03-28-2018, 01:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillacdude1975 View Post
I have had better results from the truck and the lexus while the nose was in the air on ramps. Air will work to the highest point. So after I did the timing belt and water pump on both vehicles, I filled the system and let them idle with the cap off and my eye on the temp gauge. Once it started rising past the normal range, I checked the coolant level again, then held the engine at 1500 rpms. Then after 5 minutes or so, the air has usually burped out.
Yeah...I went into all that detail back there on this or that...and it could just be he left the cap off too long. I don't know. I've never had one do that to me. I wonder how long the engine was idling (if it had the cap off) before it started tapping and overheating? Usually I just look down into the fill for the radiator and keep adding coolant until there is no more air. Never had one overheat quickly or anything.

I don't think I would loosen the radiator drain plug while doing this, though. Could suck air in or something. I dunno...
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Old 03-28-2018, 01:59 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the great responses. I had the cap off for most of the time, I'm assuming now that I need it on the radiator in order to build pressure?

Parts are from Rock Auto, thermostat is a Stant. I'm confident the thermostat is working. I'll elevate the front end the next time I try.

SO, I should remove the bleeder bolt, add coolant to the radiator until it's shooting out the bleeder bolt port, install bleeder bolt but don't tighten it? Put the radiator cap on, start engine. Leave the bleeder bolt open until it's not purging anymore air.

That sound right?

Why is the upper hose getting really hot while the lower hose stayed cool?

I was thinking the water pump might be defective.

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Old 03-28-2018, 02:06 AM   #8
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Once coolant comes out of the bleeder you can tighten it.
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Old 03-28-2018, 02:09 AM   #9
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I usually fill up the radiator, then open the bleeder screw while the cap is still off. Once the coolant is running out of the bleeder I reinstall it and top off the radiator again. I install the cap and then run the truck until it warms up completely. I shut it off and let it cool, then top
It off again. I don't run it without the cap installed. I forgot I had the cap off once and it sprayed a geyser of coolant all over the place lol.

You can be a tooth off and it will crank and run just fine. Only way to know for sure is to put the timing light on it. Make sure the truck is up to operating temperature and the TPS is disconnected when you set the timing.
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Old 03-28-2018, 02:10 AM   #10
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The rest of the bleeding process is done with the cap off. Run it till the t stat opens. I use a large yellow funnel that fits right into the rad neck keeping a level of coolant in that until I am done. The funnel has a plug I can insert so it doesn't spill when I remove it. Made by leslie.
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