88 Camry: is engine cutting out from overheat?

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Old 16 Apr 2006, 01:51 pm   #1 (permalink)
geronimo
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Default 88 Camry: is engine cutting out from overheat?

Asked about this in previous post... know a little bit more about it
now. Its an 88 Camry wagon with 4-cyl engine. After about ten minutes
of driving the engine loses power. It is not really cutting
off/dying, but it will get to where all you can do is walking speed.
I have determined that it is NOT the coil. I got one of those
inductive testers with the LED light, and checked each plug wire with
it when it was barely running....the high voltage is still there! I
think whats' bad is the water pump. There is a noise coming from the
right side of the engine compt, sounds like a bad bearing. Typical
whirring/grinding sound of a bearing. I do know that if I take the cap
off of the radiator, start the car, then rev the engine, water will
shoot out of the radiator...so the pump is definitely working to an
extent. But last time I drove the car, when it lost power, I looked
at the temp gauge, and it was only about 3/4 in from the bottom of the
red area. IE, referenced to the little temp symbol in the center, the
needle was right at the top of it. I don't think it should be running
this hot! Its only in the 80s outside, and I was only driving on
residential streets.
Something else that is suspicious is that the former owner just had
the radiator replaced. I don't think the engine is damaged.... not
yet, as once the car sits and cools down, it runs fine again...for a
while. It has never gone up into the red area.
The other possibility is that something in the cooling system is
blocking water flow. Anyway, if I have to replace the water pump,
the part alone is 89.00 and I will have to replace the timing belt,
that is another 100.00 for the kit...so I want to be real sure that a
new water pump will fix the loss of power problem.
What else can I do to test for bad water pump? Inadequate circulation?
Wait tilll the engine loses power and turn on a hose on the radiator?
That would at least confirm that it is losing power from overheat.
I guess like other engines there is a thermostat where the water
enters the block...I suppose I should take it out and see what
happens?

Thanks!
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Old 16 Apr 2006, 06:26 pm   #2 (permalink)
Jason James
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Default Re: 88 Camry: is engine cutting out from overheat?


<geronimo> wrote in message
news:s33542tejlo65010572u1lkarf50mki6dr@4ax.com...
> Asked about this in previous post... know a little bit more about it
> now. Its an 88 Camry wagon with 4-cyl engine. After about ten minutes
> of driving the engine loses power. It is not really cutting
> off/dying, but it will get to where all you can do is walking speed.
> I have determined that it is NOT the coil. I got one of those
> inductive testers with the LED light, and checked each plug wire with
> it when it was barely running....the high voltage is still there! I
> think whats' bad is the water pump. There is a noise coming from the
> right side of the engine compt, sounds like a bad bearing. Typical
> whirring/grinding sound of a bearing. I do know that if I take the cap
> off of the radiator, start the car, then rev the engine, water will
> shoot out of the radiator...so the pump is definitely working to an
> extent. But last time I drove the car, when it lost power, I looked
> at the temp gauge, and it was only about 3/4 in from the bottom of the
> red area. IE, referenced to the little temp symbol in the center, the
> needle was right at the top of it. I don't think it should be running
> this hot! Its only in the 80s outside, and I was only driving on
> residential streets.
> Something else that is suspicious is that the former owner just had
> the radiator replaced. I don't think the engine is damaged.... not
> yet, as once the car sits and cools down, it runs fine again...for a
> while. It has never gone up into the red area.
> The other possibility is that something in the cooling system is
> blocking water flow. Anyway, if I have to replace the water pump,
> the part alone is 89.00 and I will have to replace the timing belt,
> that is another 100.00 for the kit...so I want to be real sure that a
> new water pump will fix the loss of power problem.
> What else can I do to test for bad water pump? Inadequate circulation?
> Wait tilll the engine loses power and turn on a hose on the radiator?
> That would at least confirm that it is losing power from overheat.
> I guess like other engines there is a thermostat where the water
> enters the block...I suppose I should take it out and see what
> happens?


The water shooting out of the radiator is a bad sign I'm afraid to tell you.
It only happens when there is compression leaking into the water-jacket,
pressurising it and then under this extra pressure, the water literally
tries to get out where ever it can, and an open radiator cap is where it
will gush out.

The water-pump is designed to *circulate* or move the water around the
cooling system. In a normal cooling system, bring the engine revs up will
actually cause the coolant in the radiator to drop slightly as the water
cools more and the water reduces in volume.

As to the engine itself, the fault maybe a blown headgasket, and-or a
cracked head. If the compression loss is great, the level of coolant in the
overflow storage resevoir will fill up when the car is running, and then
drain itself back into the motor to replace loss coolant which has been
sucked into the cylinder. A blown head-gasket works both ways ie on the
compression stroke, compressed air/fuel and exhaust will be forced into the
coolant on the compression, power and exhaust stroke while on the intake,
coolant will be sucked into the cylinder concerned causing a miss if the
amount of coolant is great enough.

Just to confirm, your engine should be losing significant amounts of
coolant? And running hot once the coolant level drops sufficiently. It
should also be losing power and running rough? The pump bearing may well be
noisy and should be replaced while doing the head-job.

Jason


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Old 16 Apr 2006, 08:43 pm   #3 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Default Re: 88 Camry: is engine cutting out from overheat?

How does the oil look is it milky from water, is any water vapor
comming from the exuast To loose power when hot sounds like it is
loosing compression or as Jason said water might be getting in a
cilinder

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Old 16 Apr 2006, 10:57 pm   #4 (permalink)
geronimo
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Default Re: 88 Camry: is engine cutting out from overheat?


The oil is not milky, it looks like honey, like new oil. See no
water contamination in it. There is not water coming out of tail pipe,
or steam. It runs perfect for a while, all cylinders firing OK,
plenty of acceleration, for the first 5-10 minutes or so. Today, when
I drove it around, it was fifteen minutes before it lost power, and I
noticed the temp higher than normal. There might be some tiny coolant
leak, but I haven't had to add water. As I watch engine at idle, once
every few seconds a puff of white smoke or steam is coming off the
exhaust manifold....like there is a slow drip of either water or oil
onto it. When my van blew a head gasket and was leaking water into one
of the cylinders, it would run very badly from the very start, and
there was lots of water and steam at the tail pipe. But if it turns
out that the head gasket is blown or the head cracked, then Ill have
to turn right around and sell it as is, cause it doesn't make any
sense to get a loan to put a new engine in an 88 model.

Well, when the engine is cold/ firsat started, and the thermostat is
closed, wouldn't that ALSO force water out of the opened radiator cap
as you rev the engine?

Does the computer maybe cut back fuel and revs when it senses
overheat?

Thanks!


On Sun, 16 Apr 2006 20:43:59 -0500, ransley@webtv.net (m Ransley)
wrote:

>How does the oil look is it milky from water, is any water vapor
>comming from the exuast To loose power when hot sounds like it is
>loosing compression or as Jason said water might be getting in a
>cilinder


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Old 17 Apr 2006, 03:28 am   #5 (permalink)
Jason James
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Default Re: 88 Camry: is engine cutting out from overheat?


<geronimo> wrote in message
news:4k3642lko8ai97d6ipunov7cmmvto4u5e6@4ax.com...
>
> The oil is not milky, it looks like honey, like new oil. See no
> water contamination in it. There is not water coming out of tail pipe,
> or steam. It runs perfect for a while, all cylinders firing OK,
> plenty of acceleration, for the first 5-10 minutes or so. Today, when
> I drove it around, it was fifteen minutes before it lost power, and I
> noticed the temp higher than normal. There might be some tiny coolant
> leak, but I haven't had to add water. As I watch engine at idle, once
> every few seconds a puff of white smoke or steam is coming off the
> exhaust manifold....like there is a slow drip of either water or oil
> onto it. When my van blew a head gasket and was leaking water into one
> of the cylinders, it would run very badly from the very start, and
> there was lots of water and steam at the tail pipe. But if it turns
> out that the head gasket is blown or the head cracked, then Ill have
> to turn right around and sell it as is, cause it doesn't make any
> sense to get a loan to put a new engine in an 88 model.
>
> Well, when the engine is cold/ firsat started, and the thermostat is
> closed, wouldn't that ALSO force water out of the opened radiator cap
> as you rev the engine?



The thermostat starts to open about 10F below its rated figure of operation.
If its not open, revving the engine will produce little reaction while
viewing the radiator water thru the cap-hole. The reason is, all the heat is
generated in the block and head waterjacket, not in the radiator *until* the
T/stat opens allowing hot coolant to flow thru the radiator.

> Does the computer maybe cut back fuel and revs when it senses
> overheat?
>
> Thanks!


Not in Camrys. Some Fords limit the number of cylinders in use under an
overheat condition.

I realise its difficult sometimes to diagnose cooling system problems. But
taking into acct the previous owner replaced the radiator, then you are left
with the t/stat and the head-gasket and-or head cracking.
As the car is old, I'd be tempted to remove the t/stat and take it for a
longish run. If it remains cool over say 50 miles, then it's a cautious bet
the removed t/stat maybe unserveable. They can remain only partially open
after long service.
Water-pumps almost always keep pumping except inrare cases where the pump's
impellor free-wheels on its shaft. See how the car runs without the t/stat
before it overheats, if it overheats.

Jason


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Old 17 Apr 2006, 07:19 am   #6 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Default Re: 88 Camry: is engine cutting out from overheat?

Does it run on 4 cilinders when it slows down or is it missing.

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Old 17 Apr 2006, 10:09 am   #7 (permalink)
geronimo
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Default Re: 88 Camry: is engine cutting out from overheat?

I think all four cylinders are still Ok even when it has lost
power down to walking speed. There is not a roughness like only a
couple of cylinders firing, it just has no power. And like I said, my
little ignition-tester is still showing a strong/normal voltage pulse
on each spark wire. Its like the fuel is being cut back. I tried to
remove the thermostat today, in order to run the car a while without
it.... but was unable to. I did find that with all the run time put on
the car yesterday, that the water level did not drop the slightest
amount. The system is tight in spite of it running quite hot. I am
guessing the temp needle should not have gone over about mid-scale, at
least that is the case with all the cars I have owned.
Someone told me that their Camry did the same thing as far as
losing power after a few minutes....turned out it was a bad computer.
But they didn't say anything about it also running hot.

Was prevented from taking thermostat housing loose from the block by
that 15 mm bolt projecting back from the top of the AC compressor, and
the oil filter. I am @#^%$@#&^@#$&^#$#^% with this engine...it seems
that you can't do much of anything on it, not even remove the filter,
without a special tool. Where can I get an oil filter removal tool
for it? THis filter is like half the normal size of a filter!

Thanks, Geronimo

On Mon, 17 Apr 2006 07:19:02 -0500, ransley@webtv.net (m Ransley)
wrote:

>Does it run on 4 cilinders when it slows down or is it missing.


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Old 17 Apr 2006, 11:35 am   #8 (permalink)
m Ransley
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Default Re: 88 Camry: is engine cutting out from overheat?

Maybe a bad fuel pump, but how could it relate to overheating?

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Old 17 Apr 2006, 11:47 am   #9 (permalink)
onehappymadman@yahoo.com
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Default Re: 88 Camry: is engine cutting out from overheat?


geronimo wrote:
> I think all four cylinders are still Ok even when it has lost
> power down to walking speed. There is not a roughness like only a
> couple of cylinders firing, it just has no power. And like I said, my
> little ignition-tester is still showing a strong/normal voltage pulse
> on each spark wire. Its like the fuel is being cut back. I tried to
> remove the thermostat today, in order to run the car a while without
> it.... but was unable to. I did find that with all the run time put on
> the car yesterday, that the water level did not drop the slightest
> amount. The system is tight in spite of it running quite hot. I am
> guessing the temp needle should not have gone over about mid-scale, at
> least that is the case with all the cars I have owned.
> Someone told me that their Camry did the same thing as far as
> losing power after a few minutes....turned out it was a bad computer.
> But they didn't say anything about it also running hot.
>
> Was prevented from taking thermostat housing loose from the block by
> that 15 mm bolt projecting back from the top of the AC compressor, and
> the oil filter. I am @#^%$@#&^@#$&^#$#^% with this engine...it seems
> that you can't do much of anything on it, not even remove the filter,
> without a special tool. Where can I get an oil filter removal tool
> for it? THis filter is like half the normal size of a filter!
>
> Thanks, Geronimo



Um, you've never replaced the oil filter?

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Old 17 Apr 2006, 11:26 pm   #10 (permalink)
Jason James
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Default Re: 88 Camry: is engine cutting out from overheat?


<geronimo> wrote in message
newsja742le4kgufc397ov5mlhstmhb9rel32@4ax.com...
> I think all four cylinders are still Ok even when it has lost
> power down to walking speed. There is not a roughness like only a
> couple of cylinders firing, it just has no power. And like I said, my
> little ignition-tester is still showing a strong/normal voltage pulse
> on each spark wire. Its like the fuel is being cut back. I tried to
> remove the thermostat today, in order to run the car a while without
> it.... but was unable to. I did find that with all the run time put on
> the car yesterday, that the water level did not drop the slightest
> amount. The system is tight in spite of it running quite hot. I am
> guessing the temp needle should not have gone over about mid-scale, at
> least that is the case with all the cars I have owned.


Car temp-gauges are not what you would call precision-calibrated
thermometers,..they are at best an indication which you refer back to if the
gauge is reading differently. Having said that, 99% do not read in the "red"
when the car is normal temperature.

Headgasket leaks which allow coolant to get sucked into a cylinder (s) and
vice versa allow compression to super- pressurise the water jacket,.*vary*
from a very small leak to a catastrophic leak. Some engines will go for a
long time with a small leak, but, they always get worse.

If you fill your radiator with water when its cold, leave the cap off, start
it, then let it idle for 15 minutes. In that time some water will spill out
due normal expansion. What you look for after the heat-up, is any gushing of
water out the radiator cap-hole when you lift the revs to 2000 rpm. Sustain
those revs for a minute,..if there is a leaking or cracked head'gasket, the
water will keep pushing out the radiator in relatively large amounts.

If the fault IS the thermostat and not the head/gasket, then the water will
get very hot and start to blow out under steam pressure. Great care needed
not to get burnt.



> Someone told me that their Camry did the same thing as far as
> losing power after a few minutes....turned out it was a bad computer.
> But they didn't say anything about it also running hot.
>
> Was prevented from taking thermostat housing loose from the block by
> that 15 mm bolt projecting back from the top of the AC compressor, and
> the oil filter. I am @#^%$@#&^@#$&^#$#^% with this engine...it seems
> that you can't do much of anything on it, not even remove the filter,
> without a special tool. Where can I get an oil filter removal tool
> for it? THis filter is like half the normal size of a filter!
>
> Thanks, Geronimo


If you still want to try removing the T/stat,..its not a hard job. There are
inexpensive oil-filter removal tools which accomodate the smaller filters.
You should have a new gasket or a tube of silastic to reseal the t/stat
housing when putting it back. Its not a big deal, and if you are just
starting to work on cars, this job is one of the easier ones. A set of cheap
sockets and wrench will suffice for this job.

Jason


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