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2.4 overheating can't figure out why..Updated Fixed


Old 08-18-2007, 11:31 PM
Dutch is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 33
Default 2.4 overheating can't figure out why..Updated Fixed

Hi everyone,
I'm new to this forum and site but I've been reading posts here for a while.

I need some help with this car, but first a little background history.

Got this 98 Stratus 2.4L DOHC given to me back in the beginning of 05 by a friend. The engine was shot cause his family never changed the oil for aleast a year.
I swaped the engine with an identical 2.4L from the wreckers that supposedly had 115,000 km on it.
Before dropping it in I changed theWater Pump, Rad hoses, T-Stat, Timing belt, etc.

I've done regualar matainence and tune ups on it ever sinceI put it on the road late in 05.

Recently I've had the car overheat on me multiple times.
After the first time overheating, I popped the T-Stat out and ran it like that for a week (to see if it was the T-Stat) before it started to overheat again.

The Rad fans are turning on when they should, the Water Pump, Tenstionerand Timing belt looklike new(only 30,000km's on the pump and belt). The Rad looks in good condition.

I even pressure tested the cooling system before I took it apart (with a special tool in place of the fill cap) to see if the head gasket was leaking, and nothing just constant pressure at 16 Psi.

This problem has me stumped. The only thing I can think of is maybe that the Head Gasket is done but I'm not quite convinced because there is no evidence of this (leaks, fluid loss, fluid mixture, etc.)

As of right now the car is up on stands and I have a new Rad, Water Pump, T-Stat and Coolant Temp Sensor ready to be installed.

I don't want to have to tear into this again or have the car start overheating after putting her back together.

Any suggestions, ideas or help would be great,
Thanks in advance,
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Old 08-19-2007, 01:32 AM
tomthedog is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 636
Default RE: 2.4 overheating can't figure out why, help please

you could try the cool sys press test (again) or a clydr press test to rule out a head gasket before you tear into the motor. i'd check the rad first, i've heard a story (1st gen neon-on this site)about the cooling fins debonding from the cooling tubes, the coolant can't transfer enough heat to the fins and the car overheats. this was found out by spraying a waterhose on the rad to try and clean out the "junk" built up between the fins. the fins broke loose from the rad as he was spraying. if the rad is the only old part in the sys it's prob the weak link. happy motoring.
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Old 08-19-2007, 01:55 AM
Dutch is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 33
Default RE: 2.4 overheating can't figure out why, help please

Thanks for the suggestions and the quick response.

I have more than one car and I forgot what I've done to which car as I've been working on all three lately (bad luck this summer).

Your suggestions just jogged my memory.
I already did a compression test onthis carbefore I dismantled her and pressure was even across all four cylinders at around 40. So it can't be the head gasket right ?

My other guess as to the problem was that the AC condensor that sits in front of the rad(under the cross brace)is not letting enough air flow through to cool the rad.
The condensor looks pretty good not to much build up (I can still see through it), but I think I'm going to wash her with the hose before reassembly.
The old rad also has good flow in both directions so at this point, I'mthinking your right it has to be the fins not disipating the heat properly. It's the original Mopar rad so its possible.

Any other ideas or suggestions ?
Thanks again,
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Old 08-19-2007, 01:55 AM
Dutch is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 33
Default RE: 2.4 overheating can't figure out why, help please

So here is an update for anyone who reads this.

I took the Rad and A/C Condensor (AC Rad)to a Rad shop to have them checked and just as I suspected, no leaks both look good and have good flow.

So since everything checks out I stopped at the "stealer" tospeak with the Service manager & Shop Lead hand (who I'm friendly with).
They told me thatcompression testing and cooling system pressure testing, does not always reveal a blown headgasket or a crack in the head.
Theyalso mentioned that they started using a special die that you add to the cooling system to detect combustion gases or exhaust leaks.

After thisI spoke with one of my friends at Napa and he told me that they can get the die for around $50 for a multi use jug.

So after hearing all this I decided rather than buying the die to test, I might as well tear into the engine and see for myself. The headgasket is roughly the same price as the die, and this is the only thing left that is unchecked.

Currently I got the head off saw that it already had the multi layer gasket on there.
I decided to take the head to a good rebuild shop, to have it pressure tested for cracks and level (warping).

So thats where I stand right now, just waiting for the results from the shop.

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Old 09-08-2007, 01:22 AM
Dutch is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 33
Default RE: 2.4 overheating can't figure out why, help please

So I got her all back together what a PITA.

No more overheating.

I decided to take no chances and to cover all my bases.Every part of the cooling system is new and I decided to do the head gasket just to be certain that it was not the problemand would cause any future problems.

All in this job cost me approx. $850 in parts, as I did thelabour myself. Could have saved $200 but the crank pulley broke trying to get it off.
The $850included the following:

$130 Pressure tested the head for cracksand had it straightened for slight warpage
$180 New Rad
$200 Crank Pulley Dampener (Broke the original trying to get it off)
$130 Water pump with extended warranty
$150 Head gasket set (incl. Intake, exahaust, cams, spark plug, gaskets)
$60 Coolant temp sensor
Plus odds and ends

Thanks for the help and suggestions,
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