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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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I want to pick your brains

Haven't sorted out my overheating issue yet, but wanted to see if anyone has any ideas, know something I don't, or can notice something that I'm missing. Here's what I've got:

'94 Fleetwood
Meziere HD electric water pump
Gary's Innovative water pump harness
AIR pump itself deleted
160 (the good one that's recommended in the Qalo's SS handbook, new a year or so ago)
Torqhead 24x conversion (running with 0411 LS1 PCM)

Initially I had the car running very well after finishing the Torqhead install. Got the system refilled with coolant and began the process of bleeding the air out. First test drive I overheated badly. I discovered I had blown the little 20amp fuse for the AIR circuit, thus the pump was not running. No where in the instructions does it say that you should replace that with a higher amperage, but I swear I've seen that mentioned on the forum before, so I put in a 30amp (it's what I had handy). So far it has not blown again.

I can't tell if I've blown the large fuse on Gary's harness because he ships it with a style of maxi fuse I haven't seen before, it's enclosed and you can't visually tell if it's blown. I've temporarily replaced it with a normal one that you can see through. To date I have not blown that one. I've unplugged and probed the harness and I do have voltage when the car is running. Everytime I try to drive the car though it quickly overheats like coolant isn't flowing.

I've never had an issue with the cooling system prior to this. I have flushed the heater core a couple times while I've owned it. Due to the Torqhead conversion you do have to change the knock sensors, so those were out for the first time while I've owned the car (and curiously when I pulled those nothing but pure water poured out). It's quite obvious that it's overheating before I even see the temp light come one, because it will stop blowing hot air from the heater. It will turn noticeably colder.

Here's the kicker, on one test drive I actually got it to hold a steady temp (around 195) for quite awhile before anything weird happened, and blew piping hot air from the heater the whole time. It's been a head scratcher for sure. When it overheats, it's absolutely boiling over like crazy in the expansion tank, steam coming from it like something is on fire, and a solid dribble of coolant somewhere underneath it, (maybe the hose on the bottom of the tank, but it doesn't appear to leak a drop until it overheats). I've only seen the car overheat this bad once before, in the dead of winter when it was really, really sub-zero. I suspect that it was so cold and with my apparently high water to coolant ratio that it froze somewhere and had to thaw.

Do I need to have the AIR pump plugged into the circuit? I don't recall that being a requirement for this setup. Although Paul has said emissions equipment on his PCM isn't yet supported (including the AIR system), I do get voltage at the harness right before the pump, at least when I check it right after starting the car. Do I still have enough air trapped in the system that it's going to take multiple heating, bleeding and cooling cycles to work it out? Do I have a blockage somewhere? Did I get a bad pump that just isn't working consistently? Other?

Also, before it overheats I've tried opening the bleeder valve while the car is running, and so far every time I've done that a solid stream of coolant comes out of it, so I assume the pump is running, but I suppose if there's enough pressure from heat it could just be getting pushed out. I should try that test when the motor is dead cold to be sure I suppose. So that's where I'm at and it's definitely frustrating because I can't come up with a definitive, "ah ha!, that's the problem," whenever I mess around with it. So let's see what you guys can come up with. And, go.

Something witty.

Last edited by schlicky13; 12-07-2017 at 12:24 AM.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 06:07 AM
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Just throwing this out there since I didn't notice it mentioned.....did you replace the coolant cap on the reservoir? If not, I would and see what that does

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 06:18 AM
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....so far every time I've done that a solid stream of coolant comes out of it, so I assume the pump is running, but I suppose if there's enough pressure from heat it could just be getting pushed out......

Fair conclusion. Based on this and what else I read, I haven't caught (caughten?) where the pump has been proven to be running.

\'96SS SOB: SSRI, Herter Tune, Tri-Y II, , 3000 Edge, F/HO bars, METCO extendeds with CV MMC, Bilsteins, currently Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta (315/35 rear). Finally, wait for it... LT-4 knock module!
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 06:26 AM
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Check for collapsed hoses. Sometimes they do not deform until the temp goes up to a certain point. Possibly coolant between the layers.

If it overheats, you can stop and check the water pump for operation at that time.

One of the infrared remote thermometers could give you an idea where the blockage occurs. By checking the hoses from end to end, and anywhere else you might have concerns about, it should be hot on one side of the area in question, and cooler on the other.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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I had someone else PM about whether I'd tried wiring the pump direct to confirm it's running. This is the second LT1/4 I've put the Meziere pump on, the first one I wired myself, this one I used Gary's wiring kit. The first one I can clearly hear it running, but on my car I can't tell if it is or not just from sound. But each car is louder than stock and make noises unique to each other so I don't consider that concrete evidence that it isn't running. Even so, I have the harness that came with the pump and I plan to wire it direct to the battery to see what happens.

Haven't tried a new reservoir cap, but never had an issue with the old one. They're cheap though, so I will try that as well. I don't know though, can those go bad? To be fair, the car did sit unused for a solid 3 months or more while I was doing all the upgrades.

Upper and lower radiator hoses are brand new Gates hoses. The car still has/had all its original hoses on it, and I figured as long as I had the system drained I'd at least replace those. I should replace the rest of the hoses as well, but I did so much to the car this go around that I was getting tired of delays caused by (among other things) constantly ordering more parts and pieces. I did find though that rockauto has the entire heater hose, restrictor setup from acdelco for about $70. That would at least eliminate the hose under the expansion tank as a culprit, but I'll have to order that and wait. If I suspect blockage though, I'll be opening the system back up anyways so then I'll swap the rest of the hoses for sure.

I appreciate all the responses so far. If anyone has anything else, let me know, and I'll update as I try out these various suggestions so far.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 04:26 PM
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you could pressure test the reservoir, and hose going to it, with one of those "loan a tool" testers. If you have a cracked tank or bad hose you will leak fluid and air will enter system

The cap is a "wear" item....

On the meziere there is a small rubber cap center on front of pump. Just pry it off and you can see it turn when on

and never put in a higher amp fuse when the one spec for the load blows.

IDK where Gary has you getting the power source from but his stuff is always made very well. Confirm your install is solid

\'96 BBB 383/T-56

Last edited by BALLSS; 12-07-2017 at 04:34 PM.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Didn't realize that cap on the pump popped off. Just tried it and confirmed that the pump is running. I picked up a new reservoir cap this afternoon, haven't tried it yet. It's been about 25 outside all day and I haven't had much interest in being out there working on anything. Gary's harness uses the AIR relay in the underhood distribution center to act as a signal to the relay on his own harness. When car starts up, air pump is turned on, which subsequently turns on the water pump. I still don't know why that fuse popped in the first place, I've had the air pump deleted since I bought the car and it never had an issue.

There's a small possibility that I did it when wiring in the OBD2 port. I had a brain fart moment and forgot to disconnect the battery before depinning the old port and adding in the new one. As I pulled a presumably hot wire (I think it was the white w/black stripe), I bumped the terminal on grounded metal near where I was working and got a little spark. I couldn't figure out why that would pop the fuse for the air pump, but it's the only thing I could think of. I haven't found any other blown fuses and everything else was working fine. After I installed the port I took the car for the first test drive and that's when I first overheated and subsequently found the blown fuse. Knowing the pump is running now, I could try putting the lower one back in.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 05:00 PM
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I did my EWP 18 years ago so before I knew about Innovative and not sure Gary was even doing kits back then.

I thought the AIR circuit was only on for a few minutes after start up. Whatever Garys instructions say though should be right. After a few minutes of running you could check to see if pump is still running

Your over heating issue started after you installed EWP, right?

\'96 BBB 383/T-56
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, it started after that. I did so many other upgrades at the same time though, I couldn't be sure. I wasn't aware that the AIR system shuts off after a few minutes, but that could be an issue I suppose. To be fair though I don't know exactly how Gary's kit is wired up. In my own experiences in fooling around with relays, I've managed to inadvertently wire things up in such a way that once you trigger the relay, it will stay on even after the trigger is turned off. Not saying that's what he's doing, but I know it can be done. I'll have to try running it longer though to be sure. I had another thought occur to me and I'm hoping I'm wrong, but with multiple overheating incidents recently and the fact that the engine itself suddenly and mysteriously started running very poorly, I'm wondering if I didn't blow a head gasket. That's the last thing I need, especially this late in the year.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 05:36 PM
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The AIR pump only runs for a few minutes after start up. IDK if "air pump disable" process involves killing the +12v to it. I believe it just re-programs the PCM not to look for it

Anyway Gary knows his stuff and if that's where he says tap into #86 than that should be fine as I assume that wire stays hot with Key on Engine On

"your" installation could be suspect if power is being interrupted if it is.

It may just be a bleeding issue although that is fairly simple. I have the "bleeder valve" mod I did WAY back when and it came with a plastic clear hose you just run into reservoir so you can see when air bubbles stop which for me have always been fairly quick once T stat opens. Its hero function is it is a mess free way of bleeding to not spill any coolant near Opti. Not necessary to have just to bleed the air out though

By "over heating" if you mean the temp gauge pegged all the way over and you continued driving than yeah maybe head gasket damage if you let it go that far. Otherwise not

It does help to have the nose of the car slightly up when bleeding so air migrates to that higher front point vs rear of car being higher

\'96 BBB 383/T-56
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