Engine Cooling problem
1997 Dodge Neon 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Manual 123000 miles
I have a 97 dodge neon that is driving me crazy. Here's the situation:
I just replaced the headgasket because of an overheating issue. The engine had been rebuilt at 100,000miles (clean, port, polish, new timing, head gasket, waterpump, ect). At 123,000 miles the headgasket failed, leaving tons of oil/water in the radiator. I had a shop machine the head and repalce the gasket set. The car would randomly overheat before the replacement, and after finding the oil I decided it was caused by the headgasket. I also replaced the coolant lines, temperature sensor, cap, and radiator at the same time.
Driving home from work (about 70mph) in cool weather (50-60*) the car started to over heat again. The fans couldn't be the problem because they normally wouldn't even run at this speed. I had the full system flushed, thinking it was just a clog (the heat would also go out when it overheated). The system ran completely clean, and didn't overheat again for a few days. Now it does it regularly. It doesn't always get all the way hot (enough to trip the overheating sensor) but it will get to about 3/4 of the guauge, which is too hot for me. I've looked in forums and talked to every person I could think to, and this is a last resort.
the only other thing I can say is that when it gets hot, it only seems to be during a steady, low rpm speed, never when accelerating, and if it gets all the way hot, if I turn the car off (while moving) and kick start it with the clutch (turn it back over) it drops back to normal temperature. Thanks for any help!
Have you tried replacing the thermostat? Are the fans coming on when they are supposed to while the car is at idle in park? I see you replaced everything but the thermostat. It is located under the plastic neck on the engine side top radiator hose. Remove the plastic neck and it will be under neath that. There is a rubber gasket so be careful removing the neck so you can reuse it if it is in good condition. If not it does not come with the thermostat so you will need ot buy that also. Good luck! MORT