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Discussion Starter #1
I've replaced the radiator (had a 5 inch or so crack in it), thermostat and water pump. If I drive it for about 10 minutes or so and the temp guage goes from mid-way to redline. Turn off van and I can hear gurgling in radiator. I checked the oil and no water in it (yet). Could it be a blown head gasket or something else? Thanks in advance for any ideas.
 

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Sounds like you haven't purged all the air from the system yet. When driving, make sure you have the front and rear (if equipped) heater on full blast to help aid in moving the air out of the lines. Also, keep an eye on the level in both the overflow and the radiator; top off as needed in both.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Fans are coming on just fine. If you turn the radiator cap it releases the pressure and the guage goes back to normal, but once you tighten the cap again a few minutes later it's redlining again. I could remove the thermostat and see if that's what is causing the problem.
 

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I would remove the tstat as you said. If the temp stays below midline in traffic and lower while moving, it is faulty. I'm not sure what you used, but never use the "failsafe" ones. They seem to fail more than the old school kind. And drilling a tiny hole in the flat part helps bleed air more easily and doesn't change warm up time any noticeable amount.
 

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Definate air-lock me thinks....
 

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Another question we forgot to ask is whether the van was overheating before you replaced these components? That will tell you where to look.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was able the air out of the system but it's still overheating. As far as I know it wasn't overheating before. My mechanic friend says the thermostat appears to be working just fine, and he looked at the old radiator and thinks that pressure is what caused the 4 inch crack in the plastic. He says to go to a shop and have it pressure checked. He thinks either something is plugged up or a blown head gasket.
 

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If the system is constantly bubbling while running, then the gasket is blown. You can pull the front 3 plugs easily to see if the front gasket is bad. One plug will be cleaner than the others if water is getting in.
 

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might be a bad radiator out of the box. The upper and lower hose are on the same side of the radiator, the tank is separated by a baffle. If the baffle breaks, coolant will not flow through the core, it will just pass right through the passenger side end tank on the radiator.
 

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This might sound silly, but check out the serpentine belt routing. IIRC it is possible to bypass the water pump pulley and still have enough tension to turn the belt properly (I did it the first time I changed the belt). If you missed the pulley, the engine is going to overheat really fast with no circulation. Then when you pop the radiator cap, the built up pressure might be circulating some fresh coolant to the block.

Just a thought......

If you red-lined you might have damaged the HG at that point....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Took it to a repair shop and after a compression check came back okay, they were able to determine that it was fans and fan relay were not working to specs and working intermittently. The tech noted that the fans shut off after about an hour when they should have remained on. So once they replaced those parts, and a third thermostat, and the problem is no more.
 

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The tech noted that the fans shut off after about an hour when they should have remained on.
What? You mean just stopped activating I presume? Never had fan/s run even close to an hour on any of my vans.
 

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If Lyon lives in Arizona or Nevada that may be a reality!
 
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