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Offline TrichelleHutten

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1976 Wagon Overheating
« on: March 08, 2014, 11:43:03 AM »
My little wagon is overheating. I took it to a shop and they fixed an oil leak and did a few other small things and told me it was good to go. But 2 days after, it overheated again. A heater hose had a pinhole leak so I figured that was causing it to overheat. I thought the shop must have overlooked the leaky hose so I replaced it myself. After I replaced the hose and added coolant I drove about 5 miles, parked, popped the hood and the car was overheated. Coolant was running out overflow and the engine was hot to touch. After sitting for about 5 min ANOTHER hose sprung a leak. Why is it overheating and why do random hoses keeping popping leaks?  And why did the mechanic I took it to not find any of this before he returned it to me? I  really just need information so I can go back to the shop informed and hopefully be taken more seriously. I love this car it doesn't even have 100,000 miles on it.  Please help.
BTW, The oil looks fine and it is not blowing white smoke.

Offline Rob3865

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2014, 11:58:25 AM »
I don't like internet troubleshootin g, but if I had to GUESS, I would say the heater core may be stopped up. It sounds like something maybe causing a little pressure buildup making those hoses leak. The stopped up heater core could account for the over heating and hose leaks. Nice lookin car. You're a cutie too. Love the flower. Good luck.

Offline ToniJ1960

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2014, 12:57:14 PM »
 Im wondering if it could be the water pump if it overheats in only 5 miles. If it was the thermostat stuck I dont think it would overflow the radiator?

 My brother in law once told me you could leave the radiator cap off and look down into the radiator with the engine running, once it warms up enough you should see the water churning if it doesnt the water pump is bad. Are the belts tight and not real old?

Offline tbucketjack

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2014, 02:48:40 PM »
I would start by replacing the thermostat.

Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2014, 03:04:39 PM »
Change the thermostat 1st. It's cheap & easy. My wagon ran hot & instead of playing the guessing game I changed the thermostat, water pump, radiator, hoses, coolant & flushed the heater core. I also installed a 12" flex fan to reduce drag. Total cost was under $200 & the engine hasn't gone past 175 degrees in 2 years.
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Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2014, 06:13:10 PM »
Sounds like the cooling system is old and outlived itself, time to refresh it al as Pinto5 did and don't forget a new radiator cap.
Art
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Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2014, 07:19:48 PM »
Sounds like the cooling system is old and outlived itself, time to refresh it al as Pinto5 did and don't forget a new radiator cap.

LOL, yeah I forgot to mention the cap too. What stinks is the $115 new radiators at Autozone went up. Even with a discount it's gonna cost at least $160 now.
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Offline rramjet

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2014, 08:31:34 PM »
Another recommendation once you figure out the problem; install a set of mechanical gauges for water temp and oil pressure.

This was one of the first things I did after getting my car. I prefer the mechanical to electrical gauges. No wires except for lights to worry about. By the time warning lights come one it can be too late. For example the temp light may not come on if the water level is too low. Sensor won't work on steam.

Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2014, 09:16:41 PM »
Very true. Oil & temp. gauges are mandatory in any car with idiot lights. Every car I own has a set if it didn't have them factory. I've had good luck with the electric versions myself as long as they are quality like Stewart Warner or Autometer.
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Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2014, 07:38:53 AM »
What stinks is the $115 new radiators at Autozone went up. Even with a discount it's gonna cost at least $160 now.
Someone must have told them that they are getting hard to find.. ::)
Art
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Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2014, 07:41:34 AM »
I hate electric gauges lost a motor because of it before, sender failed and it was a quality unit.
Art
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Offline rramjet

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2014, 10:00:17 AM »
Very true. Oil & temp. gauges are mandatory in any car with idiot lights. Every car I own has a set if it didn't have them factory. I've had good luck with the electric versions myself as long as they are quality like Stewart Warner or Autometer.

Interestingly the gauges I got were made by Autometer but under a different name. Got them at O'Riellys for $50. Black face with white letters. No cheap looking colors.

Offline amc49

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2014, 03:30:51 AM »
Thermostat like they say. You got all the marks of it. The hoses pop because stat not opening is overheating engine to make more than normal pressure on them. No matter, if they pop quick then a sign they are old and need changing. At 100K they all should be new anyway or you're just looking at more overheats. You've already done it a time or two, engines will not take repeated overheats long without toasting their insides. Not blowing white smoke now but the very next time may do it.

The mechanic didn't catch it because it was working OK when he looked at it. Stats stick out of the blue when old but not necessarily every time. He should've taken the cue from your description and changed it though unless you tilted him toward not spending money until the problem definitely found. A mistake on stats, you change them BEFORE they go bad not after. Even one overheat under the right circumstances and the car could easily be bound for the scrapyard.

FYI, heater cores do not overheat and then stop, they stay doing it and most likely not that. The water pump can easily be checked for looseness in the shaft since right on front of motor. Why did mech not do that? I'm suspecting his skills more and more.......... ............

I change all belts and hoses, stat, and water pump around 75K to 85K, and again at 150 or so, I haven't had a single overheat in like 30+ years on 4 cars running pretty much 100% of the time. Or how you get cars to reach 200K+ with no issues at all. Driving them until they fail first is asking to walk home past a certain point......... .............. ........

Offline amc49

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2014, 03:35:42 AM »
' If it was the thermostat stuck I dont think it would overflow the radiator?'

NO, not even near right......... .............. ....it can even blow the radiator out if it cannot overflow fast enough to relieve the pressure buildup.

And yes the radiator cap is an easy to do trick and cheap, could be that too.

Offline bbobcat75

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2014, 09:23:29 AM »
BUY A QUALITY CAP!! BOUGHT A CHEAPY AT AUTO DISCOUNT SUPER GIANTS AND IT WOULD NOT EVEN HOLD 6 PSI ON A 13PSI CAP!!! BUY A GOOD ONE!!! 6PSI WILL LET ALL COOLANT LEAK OUT UNDER PRESSURE AND DRIVING!!!
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Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2014, 09:38:26 AM »
Those cheapos are junk, I don't remember ever having a problem with Stant.

http://www.stant.com/
Art
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Offline ToniJ1960

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2014, 02:20:25 PM »
 It would be a good to replace the radiator cap after so many yeas I doubt they would still hold the same pressure. But Im prettty sure if her radiator cap was letting coolant escape she would see it.

 Six pounds of pressure should be around 220 or 225 degrees I think. I could se t hat venting out. But are these cars really designed to run that hot? My other car has a 192 thermostat and stays close to 190-200 in most driving. I would think if the rest of the cooling system is  working right you shouldnt see those temps go over 220 in just 5 miles. The cause is not the radiator cap. If the hoses are springing leaks theres plenty of pressure.

Offline Pinto5.0

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2014, 06:37:05 PM »
Someone must have told them that they are getting hard to find.. ::)

I'm just glad I ordered an extra when they were still cheap. It's still in the box in the garage.
 
Those cheapos are junk, I don't remember ever having a problem with Stant.

http://www.stant.com/

Stant Lev-R-Vent is a great choice in a cap, it's worth the extra coin. Don't cheap out on the thermostat either. A good name brand brass one ($7 or 8 bucks) is best. If your thermostat was $1.99 at the parts store it's just a matter of time before it quits working.
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Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2014, 10:25:33 PM »
I'm just glad I ordered an extra when they were still cheap. It's still in the box in the garage.
Yeah, I was gonna do that too just never got around to, guess I screwed up there,lol..
 
Quote
Stant Lev-R-Vent is a great choice in a cap, it's worth the extra coin. Don't cheap out on the thermostat either. A good name brand brass one ($7 or 8 bucks) is best. If your thermostat was $1.99 at the parts store it's just a matter of time before it quits working.
Been using the Lev-R-Vent forever never had a problem with one yet, well worth the extra $$$ for as long as they last.
Art
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Offline amc49

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2014, 01:29:36 AM »
Does Stant even exist any more as a company?? Thinking not, I haven't seen parts from them in years. At the store the only ones I saw were old dusty parts that looked like they'd been on shelves for years. They were pulled as NOS to sub for other lines meaning they were 'bought out' parts from someone else. I think the line is dead, I loved them too. What we get when the big 2 or 3 auto parts companies begin to form massive manufacturing conglomerates so that you get parts in boxes with names like Duralast and Masterpro. Premium prices for less than old school quality parts and you really have no idea of who made them at all. The box guarantees the part could be made from up to 10 different suppliers  and the reason all the old school companies like Stant are gone or fighting for their lives. I watched as line after line of parts folded up to be bought out and then the factories were converted to be part of one of those conglomerates and how they chopped jobs and wages to shreds doing so. Look at who makes your rebuilt of all types, your brake parts, your gaskets, your automotive electrical. Abysmal situation there. Anybody remember world class quality maker Borg-Warner? Now they make some of the most spotty quality parts on earth, they used to be best of the best.......... ......I avoid them like the plague now.

One guy's view-I saw new best quality stats go bad left and right within days, another part that has gone down the toilet with all Chinese production. The best of the best are now subject to very spotty quality so buying on the cheap will commonly get you a far worse part now. And if a plastic housing like so many cars going to now you risk breaking an overly expensive crap part every time you change it. The so-called 'failsafe' stats are crap too FWIW. Lots of times they didn't work as advertised. Luck of the draw there. I buy nothing but best quality stat now with no gimmicks and then cross my fingers. Only an idiot risks a perfectly viable engine to save $2 in my view.

Usually the springs in radiator cap do not go bad, I commonly can rebuild caps to use again by simply figuring out how to change the rubber sealing gasket in them with one made from rubber washer from the hardware store. I'd never have bothered with it in the old days but with caps now approaching $10 I can fix one for maybe $2 and five minutes work. That's at least close to maybe $15/hr. of pay averaged out, or try getting that from most jobs now if you are over 50 years old and impossible. I generally make 10X that with most of my self repairs though. Money is where you find it............ ..............

Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Art
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Offline amc49

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2014, 10:40:38 PM »
That is good to know. Around here they were everywhere, now I can't find a one. I really liked their quality. I did not know for sure but was suspecting they got gobbled up like so many other part lines. I'll have to start going on specific searches for them. Around here all they plop out on the counter is crap Masterpro or Duralast parts which I loathe. I don't do Napa, maybe that's where they're at. Napa floors me with pricing every time I step in there. I pretty much Rock Auto or other online now to save on the norm 40%-50% on everything I buy, I don't go to parts store except for the smallest of parts now. Working at the parts store opened my eyes wide as to the incredible ripoff going on there. I got 40% store discount and still got most parts online for cheaper than even that.

I knew Stant was at one time at Walmart, went looking like a year ago and nothing in Stant there at all. Maybe online only like so much of their stuff now.

Offline 74 PintoWagon

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2014, 10:58:20 PM »
Well, for being in a one horse town with minimum of anything I am fortunate to have an actual "parts store" where they still have a catalog rack and these guys actually know parts, a little pricy on some stuff but if you need it now they usually have it, if not they can have it there the same day if you order it early enough in the morning, still oder online if I;m not in a hurry though..
Art
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Offline jeremysdad

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2014, 02:54:05 PM »
If you replace all your suspect cooling system parts and still have overheating issues, ignition timing being set wrong (too far retarded) or running lean (carb issues) will also cause overheating problems.

Offline amc49

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2014, 12:59:11 AM »
If timing itself is too retarded you should easily be able to tell from carb backfiring too easy and no power.

Offline Rob3865

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2014, 03:48:28 PM »
Seems the OP is MIA. I reckon we're just talkin to ourselves. lol

Offline ToniJ1960

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2014, 05:07:40 PM »
 I think she went on vacation :) We should hear when she gets back.

Offline amc49

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2014, 02:22:32 AM »
Hey, I talk to myself all the time.......... ...not too bad once you get used to it............ ......

Offline TrichelleHutten

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2014, 08:13:34 AM »
I'm sorry I haven't responded sooner.  It is performance season and I have been extremely busy
 So the Pinto is home with all new heater hoses and a new radiator cap. I still feel it is running hot though it hasn't "overheated".  I was told the water pump and thermostat are fine.
I am sifting through all of your suggestions and will be trying to find a solutions that gets her running as well as I know she can.  I am considering just doing the work myself. I will keep you posted.
Thank you all so very much.
Trichelle

Offline amc49

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Re: 1976 Wagon Overheating
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2014, 11:08:40 PM »
At least change the stat. Cheapest part that commonly does the most damage and not that hard to get to on these.