FJ60 water temp gauge spiked / heater blows cold

Joined
Nov 26, 2007
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Hailey, Idaho
All, I was hoping for some perspectives on troubleshooting my 60:

Yesterday I installed a new CityRacer radiator (nice stuff) plus the uppper and lower hoses.
Filled w new coolant (~3.5 gallons, I did not drain the block), filled the overflow and burped it with a funnel kit.
I let the engine run for ~15 minutes til the bubbling stopped.
I did NOT run the front or rear heater during this step before buttoning things up. (In hindsight, I think I shortchanged the process.)
Did a short drive from my shop to home (less than 5 miles), all was good.

Today, I took the truck for a 30-40 mile drive, coolant temp gauge good, air temp cool/light rain, etc.
Then, I notice the heater was blowing cool air.
Then, I see the water temp gauge was pegged to red.
I let the truck cool down and because I was in an area of no cell service, I try to limp my way back to civilization.

Truck starts/runs well, but I pull over after 5 miles or so after the temp gauge climbs back to red, and heater still blowing cold.
Under the hood, the radiator was cool to the touch, upper hose warming up, oil pressure good.
Wondered if the gauge was off/not working. Tried to carry on, but pulled over 5 miles more down the road to check temps again.
Engine stalled as I pulled over and I heard what sounded like the water pump was letting go.
Called AAA.

Stripped back to the block, the water pump had a very slight burn smell but not terrible, seems to spin freely in my hand, it didn't seize/belts are good. Pump is 5+ years old, thermostat is fairly new.

It can't be a coincidence the water pump fails right after a new radiator and coolant fill? Assuming I burped it incorrectly, would air in the system cause the pegged temp gauge and no hot air symptoms, then cause the water pump to fail? Or, are the gauge and heater symptoms suggesting something else?

Thanks if you've read this far!
Jason
 

micruz60

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Truck starts/runs well, but I pull over after 5 miles or so after the temp gauge climbs back to red, and heater still blowing cold.
Under the hood, the radiator was cool to the touch, upper hose warming up, oil pressure good.
Wondered if the gauge was off/not working. Tried to carry on, but pulled over 5 miles more down the road to check temps again.
Engine stalled as I pulled over and I heard what sounded like the water pump was letting go.
What was the sound of 'water pump letting go' ?
If radiator was cool to the touch, I suspect the air bubble phenomenon, where the sensor at the top of the head was reading hot due to incomplete burping / air bubble giving false reading. If you've got the pump off, no harm replacing with new and repeating the process, but with both front and rear heaters wide open.

(edit) Is the radiator cap new?
 
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Thanks Micruz60,

I could hear what sounded like the waterpump vanes spinning down when I opened the hood. There was heat/smoke from the pump area. The rad cap was new.

Thanks for the detail on the air bubble/sensor. I wasn't sure how/what was (potentially) going on.

I did mean to note, I'm getting the new parts on order, didn't want anyone to think I would consider reusing that pump.

I'll put it back together with new bits and follow the correct fill/burp process...fingers crossed,
 
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Completely drain the system down and refill it using a vacuum refill kit. If you've got a Harbor Freight around you they have a pretty cheap one that works well. It'll suck the air out of the system and refill it with coolant. Hopefully it was just an air pocket at the coolant temp sensor.

 
Joined
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Thanks timexlost,

I don't have shop air, but will see if I can work something out (EDIT, looks like some other kits come w a hand pump...)
 

ChaserFJ60

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I agree with the incomplete burp. I had this happen to me as-well where I topped off with coolant but had a huge air bubble.
It helps to park the truck on an incline. As a fail safe I would drain the entire system then measure how much fluid you put back in to be sure your system has the correct ammount
 

mongoose2231

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When burping the system, find the steepest incline you can and get the truck pointing up. Run the heat full blast to allow trapped bubbles to move along. I have done this several times with absolutely no issues.
Must have heat on otherwise it's a futile exercise.
 
Joined
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Hailey, Idaho
Thanks Mongoose2231,

Parts are coming in and its going back together tonight. I'll find a slope or jack up the front during the burp process, I also rented the pressure test tool as well, to confirm it's holding tight.

Fingers crossed,
 

OSS

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The heater valve/slider in the cab only needs to be pushed over all the way to the Red zone. The fan doesn’t need to be on.

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Joined
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Location
Hailey, Idaho
Update,
I wasn't able to drain the entire block, but the new pump is in place and buttoned back up.

I refilled the radiator and burped the system with the engine running and both heaters on/in the heat position until air stopped coming out. I tried the hose squeeze trick too to help things. I then pressure tested the radiator at 13-14lbs pressure. The watertemp gauge settled at middle of the range and the heater was blowing hot.

I then drove the rig for 30+ minutes w heat on and then parked on a slope to do another burp process. Got a little more air out, not a significant level but worth the peace of mind. Temp is still mid range, heat works and no leaks.

Thank you for the help and insight regarding the gauge spike/no heat symptom and a thorough refill/burp process. Much appreciated!

Jason
 

Old Nick

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Update,
I wasn't able to drain the entire block, but the new pump is in place and buttoned back up.

I refilled the radiator and burped the system with the engine running and both heaters on/in the heat position until air stopped coming out. I tried the hose squeeze trick too to help things. I then pressure tested the radiator at 13-14lbs pressure. The watertemp gauge settled at middle of the range and the heater was blowing hot.

I then drove the rig for 30+ minutes w heat on and then parked on a slope to do another burp process. Got a little more air out, not a significant level but worth the peace of mind. Temp is still mid range, heat works and no leaks.

Thank you for the help and insight regarding the gauge spike/no heat symptom and a thorough refill/burp process. Much appreciated!

Jason
I love a happy ending. Thank you for posting up your results. A new radiator is in my not too distant future and this thread, and the advice in it will be very helpful!

Glad you got your truck sorted out.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Hailey, Idaho
Glad this was helpful Old Nick,
I've got a few hundred miles on the rig since the repair and no cooling issues.

If/when you are planning the new rad, the only thing I'd suggest is to do a full audit of parts/hoses to replace while in there and get them on order. It took multiple vendors to get all the hoses, water pump, radiator, etc. I hate having to stop mid-process...(don't forget lower/upper radiator rubber mounts).

I only had the radiator on the shelf and needed to swap sooner than expected, so I reused what I could, and had to overnight ship other bits...
Good luck!
 

Old Nick

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Glad this was helpful Old Nick,
I've got a few hundred miles on the rig since the repair and no cooling issues.

If/when you are planning the new rad, the only thing I'd suggest is to do a full audit of parts/hoses to replace while in there and get them on order. It took multiple vendors to get all the hoses, water pump, radiator, etc. I hate having to stop mid-process...(don't forget lower/upper radiator rubber mounts).

I only had the radiator on the shelf and needed to swap sooner than expected, so I reused what I could, and had to overnight ship other bits...
Good luck!
This is all good advice and I appreciate it. I’m not going to touch my radiator just yet, but I know it’s going to go at some point. I’ll start squirreling away parts.
 

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