1999 Jeep Cherokee Radiator Replacement & Heater Proble

Tiny
BAMAMOM22
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 JEEP CHEROKEE
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 130,000 MILES
When driving my Jeep a foamy white liquid started blowing out from under the hood/grill area. I immediately looked at temp guages and they were normal. I immediately pulled over and turned off engine. Normally I would send it to the shop but lost job so had it towed home for repair. Radiator had a long split. After replacing radiator, the heater doesn't work and radiator boils. We had a mechanic friend come over to help because it was a big project just to get radiator out. Water pump was replaced a few years ago. We had noticed a bass whining kinda like a loud hum (not shrill or high pitched) noise the day before it broke down when it was put it Reverse. There had also been a clicking when we turned on the heater for awhile which sounded like the fan bumping against something under the passenger side dashboard. This would stop when we turned the heater/air off. We though the antifreeze was good? And it had antifreeze in it. Any ideas as to why the radiator cracked and why replacing the radiator isn't fixing it. Boils and no cab heat - fan works but blows cold air. After the mechanic installed the new radiator he reved the engine to warm it up. I noticed today that there was leakage from tailpipe. I'm hoping this is because of the engine revving. Any help is greatly appreciated as I can't afford the "let's repalce this and see if that's the problem" and "okay, that didn't work so let's replace." Sorry, but can't donate much right now. Thanks so much! Lin
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Thursday, January 7th, 2010 AT 10:55 AM

11 Replies

Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Ok let me start off with saying as a mechanic I don't like replacing parts to see if that fixes it as this is what I call a parts replacer not a mechanic. Now with that said tell me what color what the foam and what color was the anti freeze that was in it? You do know what these systems are hard to burp out the air so you may need to remove a heater hose to get antifreeze through the system but we will get to that later. If you can include a pic of the antifreeze color. Now I would also like you to check the transmission fluid for color and the engine oil too. Let me know what you find and we will take it from there.
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Thursday, January 7th, 2010 AT 11:03 AM
Tiny
BAMAMOM22
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your quick reply. When the radiator initally spewed out it was white foamy with a green tint. The oil looks normal (not creamy and no sign of water). We change the oil reguarly. The transmission fluid looks fine too - red. When this happened there was no smell of burnt oil and the engine area under the hood had no smoke. I had turned the car on to warm it up for about five to ten minutes and then had only driven about four miles. I am thinking getting the flow going again (air out) may be the problem. Which hose needs to come off and how do we "burp" the system to get the pressure back in the system? Thanks sooo much!
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Thursday, January 7th, 2010 AT 2:04 PM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Ok let me ask a couple of questions first. Is the radiator staying full at this time? Did you replace the radiator cap and what pressure is the cap? Have you had a chemical test done on it? A chemical test will check to see if there is a head or head gasket problem. Most shops will do this call around and check pricing. What the shop will do is connect a tube to the radiator and put a chemical in it and start the Jeep and if the chemical changes color there is exhaust gases pressent meaning head or head gasket problems. I would also do a pressure test first however to see if the system holds pressure. Let me know what you find.
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Friday, January 8th, 2010 AT 9:56 AM
Tiny
BAMAMOM22
  • MEMBER
Hi again! Okay, the radiator is staying full. I have not replaced the cap - haven't got that far yet. I really think the system needs to be burped and since I'm desperate to get my car back I just tried it. The cars temp guage stopped rising at 210 degrees but the collant didn't start flowing through the system. This is what I tried -
1. Filled the radiator to top
2. Filled the over flow reservior with water to the to full line (will drain some later and add some 100% coolant to fix this - don't have a way to the store to get coolant today and need to get this going).
3. With the radiator cap off started the engine.
4. Keeping a close eye on the engine temp guage watched for air bubbles and to see if flow started.

Even though the temp gusge stopped at 210, I was afraid to run the engine too long.
This is what I saw. The coolant overflowed from the top of the radiator after about 3 minutes (the cap was off). It did not boil over just overflowed some. I noticed a few air bubbles. Then the fluid dropped down into the radiator. I added a little more when this happened. It overflowed a little again. I could see the coolant go up and down and some small dime and quarter size air bubbles. The engine temp stopped rising at 210 but the fluid did not seem to be circulation through the system. The cab heater did not start blowing hot air and the water in the overflow resevior did not drain out (the clear water stayed in and was not replaced or mixed with the green coolant from the radiator). We have already replaced the thermostat (a few days ago). I'm wondering if I didn't run it long enough to get the coolant flowing? I'm planning to let the engine cool and try it again with the front end of the car raised. I have not checked the pressure or had a chemical test done to check the engine. Is there any danger in damaging the engine by doing this if the I watch the guage close? Does the engine need to run longer to open the thermostat valve? You asked about the radiator cap - do I need to do any of this with the cap on? Thanks so much!
BamaMom 22
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Friday, January 8th, 2010 AT 12:14 PM
Tiny
BAMAMOM22
  • MEMBER
Hi RaceFan - I'm getting a little desperate. See my last message. No progress here! Help! By the way is 966 a Porsche? If so have you been to the Barber's Track in B'ham? Nice!
BamaMom22
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Friday, January 8th, 2010 AT 7:04 PM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Ok the engine is made to run about 209, the aux fan isn't made to come on till 218 this is normal for Chrysler. My Jeep with the 4.0 runs at 205. The fluid going up and down with the cap off is normal. So with that I would put the cap back on and if the temp stays about 210 and don't go past 218 then you are ok, if it still worries you then go to a shop and have them use an infered thermeter and make sure all it ok. Now as for the heater that is another problem I would check the vacuum lines for the heater first. If all looks good then I would suspect the heater blend door or blend door motor. When you are ready we can check that it is over in the passanger side near the glove box area. To answer you last question 966 is last 3 of my birth year the avatar is from the Mustang club I am part of as a Mustang enthusiast. Here is a pic of the blend door motor.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/249564_Graphic_179.jpg

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Saturday, January 9th, 2010 AT 8:50 AM
Tiny
BAMAMOM22
  • MEMBER
I'm having the pressure checked in the coolant system around noon today. The two heater lines running along the valve cover to the heater core never get hot. The main big hose going into the radiator (on top) doesn't feel pressurized - no flow. Maybe that once the radiator/coolant system problem is fixed the heater will blow hot (blows cold now).
If I try the burping process again will the engine melt or get damaged even if the gauge doesn't go into the red zone? Does the gauge measure the coolant temp or the actual engine temp? If there is no coolant circulating through how do we know how hot the engine is?
BamaMom22
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Saturday, January 9th, 2010 AT 9:13 AM
Tiny
BAMAMOM22
  • MEMBER
Found the problem! The impellor in the water pump failed. The water pump had been replaced a few years ago but that is what it was. A few of the plastic blades were broken. When we were looking at the coolant yesterday we noticed a rubber substance in the bottom of the container. It looked flat like a piece of a gasket or seal but it turns out it was pieces of the pump's impellor. Replaced the water pump so the coolant is now circulating through the system. The heater in the cab is working now too! Thanks for your help! BamaMom22
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Sunday, January 10th, 2010 AT 11:26 AM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Wow that don't happen to often. I think in my year of mechanics I have found this problem only once before. It was on a car that didn't have enough antifreeze so the it started to freeze up as it would go down the road and cracked the impeller. Anyway glad it is fixed and great job. If there is anything else you need just ask.
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Monday, January 11th, 2010 AT 10:00 AM
Tiny
BAMAMOM22
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your help! I just left you positive feedback and 6 points (all I had).
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Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 AT 1:24 PM
Tiny
RACEFAN966
  • EXPERT
Thanks for you vote and you patience too. If you have any other problems just let me know.
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Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 AT 10:06 AM

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