overheated on the highway - S-10 Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-18-2019, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
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overheated on the highway

I learned yesterday that the temp gauge doesn't change if your water pump goes out on the highway.


my son and I were driving and we started smelling burning oil. seeing as we are semi close to the mexico border, that's not uncommon. we kept going and got off the freeway to get some sweet tea and while we were waiting to turn, we notice the smell is worse and suddenly smoke starts rolling up from under the hood. since we were the lead car in the intersection, when the light turned green, we went like crazy. the gauges were all reading good but the truck was smoking like crazy and seemed to have lost power. I cut the ignition and coasted her into the parking lot as soon as I could.


so we pop the hood and its smoking like crazy from around the front of the engine and under the intake manifold. we notice its also pouring coolant out from the weep hole. what the heck, it was good this past weekend. I pull the dipstick and the oil looks normal and is at a good level, its not low or burned.


the coolant overflow reservoir is dead empty and the cap for the radiator is not hot. I cannot believe it just dumped all the coolant and none of the gauges even moved.


since there was nothing we could do, we went in and got some drinks and a bbq chicken sandwich and I called the wife to bring me some jugs of water from the garage because there was no where that was close enough to walk to and the restaurant didn't have anything to put water in the truck with.


so she gets there after a bit and we go out and the trucks is cooled. luckily we have 20-30mph wind daily so I parked it into the wind when we pulled in to try and cool it faster. we pour in the water and fire her up and she starts like normal. my son and my wife follow me the 4 miles home and tell me that every time I had to stop at a light, it looked like I had a water hose on from under the truck. but the dang gauges still never read hot, or even near 210 for the temp. it read just like normal!


so, hopefully she pulls through. I don't have a lot of faith since its a four cylinder. it really sucks because this truck is perfect for what I needed as a truck. everything I wanted in a good looking package.


so, I guess I will let you guys know this weekend if I get a chance to work on it, what happens. if it ends up the head gasket is gone or something serious the truck will be done because I don't have the money for another engine or to replace or rebuild the head. if its done, all the zq8 stuff will go on my son's s10 and this one will probably go to the crusher because like someone said in a recent post, life is to short to restore rusty trucks.


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post #2 of 4 Old 06-18-2019, 07:30 AM
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Re: overheated on the highway

Sorry to hear about your problem.
I had that happen on a 94 I had when a lower hose popped off the pump.
The reason the gauge doesn't go up is quite simple, the sender is no longer in the coolant once a couple quarts leak out. There is nothing to heat up the sender any longer so the gauge doesn't go up.
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post #3 of 4 Old 06-18-2019, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Re: overheated on the highway

yup. that's a bad deal. I have seen that on other cars to and through it was bad than, also.


hopefully its going to be ok when the water pump is swapped. I will start it up and put the vacuum gage on the nipple that goes over to the vacuum canister and see what she is reading.

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post #4 of 4 Old 06-20-2019, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: overheated on the highway

ok, I got tired of looking and wondering if it was messed up so I went down and put the vacuum gage on the line that always dry rots for the vacuum canister and filled the radiator up again. she started up fine and ran great while reading 19 inches. the needle didn't swing at all so feeling like I dodged a bullet, I ran down and got a water pump from the orielly's auto parts place a mile or so from the house.


what a joy it is to work on this truck. I have never had such an easy water pump to change. little plastic push plugs hold the intake tubing in place and some 10mm bolts holding the top of the fan shroud on makes the fan easily accessible. pop that guy off and the water pump is in the weirdest place but once you figure out where its at, 4 bolts and you are good to go. slap the new one in place and put the few parts you take off back on and you are ready to fill the system.


I was really impressed with how easy that was to do.


I filled the system and put the heater on max and started her up with the vacuum gage in place still. needle sat at 19" the whole time I filled and watched for the thermostat to open. I kept filling and let her run for about a half an hour and the temp gage finally went up to pointing at the beginning of the 2 in the 210. I took her for a run to the island after removing the vacuum gage and she ran perfectly.


when I get home today, I am going to recheck the coolant level but I imagine it will be good. the oil was still clear from when I changed it a few weeks ago and still reads at the full mark.


so, my cool guy little truck weathered the storm and is still going. and this is sooooo easy to work on compared to my kids bmws or any of the other cars I have owned. I normally don't do lots of engine mods so hopefully I don't have to work on it again for a long long time.

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