Adventure Driven Talk

Tech Questions and How-To Articles => Mitsubishi Related => Topic started by: JakeP on July 14, 2018, 06:13:23 PM

Title: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: JakeP on July 14, 2018, 06:13:23 PM
Hey team! Going to post this and see if I can get some help with the issue. A couple of weeks ago, I was on Imogene Pass. On the climb, temps skyrocketed and dealt with overheating pretty much the whole way up. I was properly in 4lo, and turned the heat on full blast.  Fast forward to today, and four wheeling a little closer to town, nothing as wild as Imogene, but same thing. Began overheating, but this time it stalled on me, 3 times. 3rd time almost didn't start again. Also my buddy noticed puffs of white smoke, but just sporadic.

I checked the oil and it does not appear as if coolant is mixing in. Oil level is fine, coolant level is fine. This is a 98 WE, with 208K. Thinking I may need to replace my radiator with a high performance one and add an electric fan. But I'm hoping I haven't created a catastrophic issue, i.e. head gasket. What are your thoughts? This is my daily, I have no issues with overheating at all unless I'm four wheeling. I just drove it to CA and through the Nevada desert, no issue.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: Shovel on July 15, 2018, 07:20:42 AM
Oem radiator?  Been rodded out ever?
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: Crumb on July 15, 2018, 09:41:03 AM
I've seen these things severely over heated and not blow a head gasket BUT i will say it sounds like you pushed yours a bit and now are in head gasket denial. This is the first step to head gasket replacement and possibly head repair/replace.

 In the future, stay OEM on your cooling system; thermostat, fan clutch, water pump (Aisin) and OEM or better radiator.
 Electric fans help a lot too but what tires and gears are you running?
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: JakeP on July 15, 2018, 12:06:59 PM
It is the original radiator and I have never had it rodded out in my two years of ownership. Tires are 265/75 16, gears are the OEM for winter edition, I believe 4.10s. As far as I am aware, all parts in the cooling system are original.

Toasty - What do you think next steps would be in this case? I have driven it all day and have had no issues.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: Crumb on July 15, 2018, 02:53:27 PM
If it's still fine, you should R&R the cooling system.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: Shovel on July 15, 2018, 03:43:46 PM
It is the original radiator and I have never had it rodded out in my two years of ownership. Tires are 265/75 16, gears are the OEM for winter edition, I believe 4.10s. As far as I am aware, all parts in the cooling system are original.

Toasty - What do you think next steps would be in this case? I have driven it all day and have had no issues.

31.5" tires, stock gears,  no recent cooling system maintenance.    These trucks are decades old. your radiator needs to be professionally de-gacked (rodded) ,  cooling system needs a thermostat and radiator cap that weren't built before Google existed.   
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: JakeP on July 15, 2018, 05:22:01 PM
Thanks Toasty, will do.

Shovel - I drained and filled coolant when purchased. But I will take your advice on the thermo and cap, get those on order tomorrow. I'll also get on the horn with some radiator shops to get mine rodded as well, I have never heard of this procedure, that's new to me.

Rest assured, this truck has not been neglected. I drained and filled all fluids upon purchase and at 210K will be performing essentially my 30K since it was baselined when purchased. I use all OEM fluids. Thanks for the help, will provide updates shortly!
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: Shovel on July 15, 2018, 06:34:02 PM
I'll also get on the horn with some radiator shops to get mine rodded as well, I have never heard of this procedure, that's new to me.

I don't want to come across as a jerk,  we just see a ton of "my car is overheating I can't figure out why!"  and then when somebody actually looks at the cooling system in question it's full of rocky road ice cream,  has a rag stuffed in the place where the cap should be...  well you get the picture.

In all seriousness the stock cooling system is very much sufficient for keeping a stock Montero cool under just about every Earthly condition so if yours isn't keeping its cool the answer really is to figure out what has failed, not just assume it needs to be beefed up.    You can beef it up too but if you don't address the actual cause then you'll still have a problem and will have wasted money on an "upgrade" that isn't.

Big tires and long steep climbs with stock gears can stress out an otherwise flawless cooling system but you're on something like 31.5" tires,  that's not really enough to be a problem on its own.    Stock gearing for a Gen 2.5 is 4.27:1

These trucks are engineered a little bit differently than American trucks but they're not mysterious and they don't work under different laws of physics.   The same causes produce the same results really. 

The service of having a radiator rodded means a radiator shop throws the whole unit in an oven and melts the solder off the upper and lower tanks, inspects them (hopefully) - and runs a "rod" down each of the coolant tubes to eliminate accretions of build-up that might restrict flow.   Then they solder/braze the caps back on.   Around  here that service is under $100 generally. You can look inside the radiator cap with a flashlight and see if the four or five tubes visible there look clean as a whistle or if they have crusty build-up.     

So here are the things to check:

Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: JakeP on July 15, 2018, 08:32:49 PM
Shovel - I know you aren't being a jerk, I've been around car forums enough to not get my feelings hurt. I've been a Honda guy my whole life, and this is my first time owning a 4x4 such as this, so these types of special situations are new to me. And let's me honest, this engine is a bit more complicated.

I don't believe it's the tires, most discussions I've read have said I can get away with a true 33 before having issues. I'm going to start on your list with the radiator service, cap, and thermostat. I think this is the best place to start. Like I said, I ONLY overheat under load when off-road. I drive the crap out of this car (it's my daily) and I don't think I've damaged the head gaskets because I do not have symptoms of it. I pulled my cap earlier and sure as shit it's original, Japanese writing and all. The seal is worn and cracked. Replacing first thing tomorrow. I hope the Mitsu dealer by me has a thermo in stock so I can get that knocked out then the rad service. I looked inside and it's got crusty build up all over.  But my fluid is crystal green and looks brand new.

Thanks for the write up, you've been very helpful. I'm going to start with these three and hopefully get it done before the weekend because I'm supposed to go to Aspen and then I can see if the issue has been fixed.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: Crumb on July 15, 2018, 09:12:49 PM



Shovel, best response ever.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: RyanY on July 16, 2018, 10:33:36 AM
Shovel nailed it, as usual. The only point that I would add to his wonderfully thorough post is to be sure that your fan shroud is intact and correctly installed, both the main shroud and the small access cover on the bottom. A shroud that's broken or is missing the lower portion is compromising the efficiency of the cooling fan, which is what you're relying on for airflow through the radiator at slower vehicle speeds.

It's also good to note that the OEM metal radiator is far better quality and has more cooling capacity than the majority of the aftermarket radiators available. It's worth maintaining and repairing it instead of replacing it with some plastic/aluminum unit that won't cool as well and has a 5-7 year life expectancy.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: JakeP on July 16, 2018, 10:42:08 AM
Update to thread. Turns out, one of the previous owners did have a cheapo 9.99 aftermarket thermo installed at some point. Good for daily driving but not sufficient for off-road. I was able to source an OEM one this morning locally, along with a new cap. Got these installed and dropping it off for the rad rod after lunch. Hoping these are my issues and will find out in Aspen this weekend.

This has been a great overall thread. I appreciate all the help and hope it can help others moving forward.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: Shovel on July 16, 2018, 12:12:44 PM
10/10 would definitely read follow up to this next week!     :D
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: JakeP on July 19, 2018, 08:19:06 AM
Another update! I have had to cancel my trip to Aspen due to further issues with my cooling system. After replacing the rad cap and thermo, I developed a leaking radiator from two little pin holes at the top. Radiator shop said he can rebuild it next week and that I could drive it, but I am too concerned about the added pressures from being on a 4x4 road. As much as I would love to be stranded in the pristine Colorado basins I would like it more if I had a way out!

I also learned that my condenser fan does not operate, another check shovel mentioned. So I have that on order and should receive by next week. I think at this point I'll practically have a new cooling system in place and can't wait to put it to the test. Again, really happy this forum is here to help me troubleshoot and happy I can do the work myself! Who knows what this would cost taking to a shop.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: RockyMountainMS on July 20, 2018, 03:23:32 PM
Another thing that might help for the off road cooling is either changing to an electric fan setup or adding one or two single fans to get more air to move through the radiator. I had the same issues with my Montero Sport. I changed everything I could think of short of the AC condenser/evap. Things I went through before switching to the electric fans are as follows:


Everything on this list was done and everything checked out. I would never overheat in any situation except for off roading. I think it in part has to do with the stock fan only being able to turn as fast as the engine since it is belt driven. The electric fan swap fixed my issue since it can run full tilt regardless of engine speed.

Even so, I know something is still wrong because the stock setup should work. In fact, I still get a little warm during serious off roading or on mountain highways with long steep inclines such as I-70 which you will likely encounter in Colorado. But I only start to overheat if the AC is on. Even then it only gets to about 3/4 of max temp. Still too hot IMO. If the AC is off, no overheating no matter what I am doing. With that said, I am changing every main component of my air conditioning system. My compressor siezes up peiodically and is only getting worse. So since I have to change that anyway, I am going to change the evaporator, dryer, and condensor at the same time since I will have to get in there and will have the system empty.

It might be worth doing the conversion just to get you on the road again. I spend tons of money, and time trying to figure mine out. At least I am off roading again doing the fan conversion. If you haven't seen my write-up, here is the link:

https://forum.adventuredrivendesign.com/index.php/topic,572.0.html

Obviously my write up is for the Montero Sport, but the concept is the same. You just have to get the right size fans for your radiator. Like Shovel said (and I didn't do), try to go OEM with the radiator. Another thing to consider is rigging your condenser fan up on a switch so you can control it or a setup like I did with my electric fan conversion where it comes on at the same time as the water pump.

I live in colorado, so if you want someone to tag along for safety reasons, let me know. I would be more than happy to go along. At least that way you have someone to get you out of a tough spot if something were to happen. There is a decent size Montero group here and we are really good about helping each other out!

Good Luck!

- Aaron
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: JakeP on July 24, 2018, 02:06:42 PM
Hey Aaron, thanks for the reply! 

As I mentioned in my previous post, my radiator developed those two pinhole leaks and I am having the hardest time trying to source an OEM type radiator.  I brought my unit to a couple of shops around town and they both basically said don't even bother, get a new one.  All I can find are cheap build, single core with plastic end cap examples.  Do you know of any options for a replacement? 

Or does anyone on the forum know of a replacement radiator option?  I went to a local junk yard to look at a '95, and it looked in worse condition than mine.

At this point there isn't a rush.  My starter is getting rebuilt because that took a shit on me too so I am driving the S2K until I can get this all sorted out.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: Shovel on July 24, 2018, 02:10:27 PM

Or does anyone on the forum know of a replacement radiator option?  I went to a local junk yard to look at a '95, and it looked in worse condition than mine.


I believe CSF model #3050 (https://amzn.to/2JQdklC) might work for you.    Check for yourself before buying, of course. 
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: JakeP on July 24, 2018, 05:24:43 PM
Shovel - This is one I am torn over.  It is my fit, and seems like it is all metal with copper/brass internals.  I can get one shipped for around $200 and thinking of going this route but on the Jeep/Toyota forums the general consensus is the build quality is not up to par and it will develop cracks under pressure.  I have literally been researching every single option out there and don't have an answer.  There is a company out of AZ called Performance Radiator, their's looks like it could be a good choice too.

**Edit - Just ordered CSF 3050 from CarID for $211.  Hopefully I get a good one.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: IncorpoRatedX on July 24, 2018, 08:30:55 PM
https://shop.performanceradiator.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=1_27225_27588_27625_27626&product_id=9609


They're local to us. I'll try to drop in and check one out in person.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: JakeP on July 24, 2018, 08:51:22 PM
https://shop.performanceradiator.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=1_27225_27588_27625_27626&product_id=9609


They're local to us. I'll try to drop in and check one out in person.

Please let me know what you think. These can be had on Auto Parts Warehouse for $230. It was down to this or the CSF, and ultimately I went with CSF because I cannot find any info on these Performance ones. No reviews, no forum threads, hardly any company info. Also the description doesn't specify if it's all metal, just the core materials which are better than most aluminium options out there.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: IncorpoRatedX on July 24, 2018, 09:11:20 PM
https://shop.performanceradiator.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=1_27225_27588_27625_27626&product_id=9609


They're local to us. I'll try to drop in and check one out in person.

Please let me know what you think. These can be had on Auto Parts Warehouse for $230. It was down to this or the CSF, and ultimately I went with CSF because I cannot find any info on these Performance ones. No reviews, no forum threads, hardly any company info. Also the description doesn't specify if it's all metal, just the core materials which are better than most aluminium options out there.

They really know their stuff and have a nice facility. I will say that I got a radiator for my 7.3 Turbo-Diesel E350 Ford van from them and it was great, they even steered me toward a better unit at the same price when I came in and talked to them for a bit.

If they're good quality I'll see what they can do for pricing, maybe ADD will help them move some.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: JakeP on July 25, 2018, 07:40:34 AM
Sounds like a great business opportunity to partner up with them!  I know the Land Cruiser community has a guy that makes specialty radiators for them.  Too bad I ordered the CSF last night, otherwise I would have tried the Performance and written a review.  Sounds like you've had good experiences with them. 

Our options are extremely limited for radiators.  Either cheap Rock Auto or local parts store units (Chinese/Taiwanese), OEM (~$700), salvage yard (good luck finding a clean example local to you), or CSF and to a lesser degree sounds like Performance could be a viable option. 
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: Crumb on July 25, 2018, 12:22:59 PM
 They're the best of the worst. Pieces of shit in the long run though, I've owned two both lasted a month or so out of warranty. The cores and tanks are super thin, they're not really rebuildable either.
 Performance Radiator basically just sells the same Chinese radiatior CSF does so essentially you did buy one. A good radiator shop can build a quality radiator for $3-400 based on your OEM part, the important thing is the side strap offset. The aftermarket radiators have flat straps instead of stamped so they sit back up to ⅜" farther than stock and are known to cause the lower hose to interfere with the AC clutch ruining your day/engine.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: JakeP on July 25, 2018, 01:22:42 PM
Well, I just received a call that my order has been canceled because CSF no longer makes the model for our truck.  I may need to settle for an aluminum radiator to get my unit back on the road.  Not really sure what other options I have.  The radiator shop market in Denver is dwindling, so custom is not going to happen here. 

I can get a lifetime one from Advance with 20% off to get on the road and maybe eventually source one from a parts truck that pops up CL here down the road.  Or keep trying to get mine fixed.  But at this point I need to get back on the road, the S2K is a track car, hate driving it around town.

Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: Crumb on July 25, 2018, 02:40:40 PM
Probably can find another metal radiator from someone else's stock. They're out there, when i bought the second one from Performance Radiator they only had the new aluminum model at their Phoenix warehouse but had the metal one in Mesa which was actually closer to my house and what i was willing to settle for anyway.  Check with some other retailers and Amazon.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: JakeP on July 30, 2018, 08:46:18 AM
Got all my parts on Friday and finished up the flush over the weekend.  I did end up getting my radiator from Advance.  It's a plastic/aluminum design that's made by Spectra.  I understand this rad is crap but I am willing to make that sacrifice until I can get an OEM from a parts truck.  One will pop up soon and this will get me by in the meantime.  Anyway, parts removed and replaced:

Radiator
Radiator cap
Theromstat
Engine aux fan
Upper/lower cooling hoses
Hose clips
Starter rebuilt

All parts pulled off except thermostat were original Denso from the factory.

Rig was down for 8 days, so I took the time to do some corrosion control.  I've never done this on a car but used to perform this maintenance on our helicopters when I was in the Marines.  My paint color choice is questionable at best... But it turned out good and looks better than before.  I also snagged the windshield trim from that truck at the yard last Saturday, painted it, and ordered some new clips off eBay.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: kalieracer on July 31, 2018, 07:54:01 AM
Only option here is to get a proper mfg to make replacements. I have been working on this project for the last year and we are setting up a group buy for US made Alloy units.

Shovel - This is one I am torn over.  It is my fit, and seems like it is all metal with copper/brass internals.  I can get one shipped for around $200 and thinking of going this route but on the Jeep/Toyota forums the general consensus is the build quality is not up to par and it will develop cracks under pressure.  I have literally been researching every single option out there and don't have an answer.  There is a company out of AZ called Performance Radiator, their's looks like it could be a good choice too.

**Edit - Just ordered CSF 3050 from CarID for $211.  Hopefully I get a good one.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: JakeP on July 31, 2018, 11:05:42 AM
Do you have information on the group buy? Website link?
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: RyanY on July 31, 2018, 11:52:11 AM
Facebook post:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1524789904446511/permalink/2127319560860206/
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: JakeP on August 20, 2018, 07:48:50 AM
I have an update to this thread.  I was finally able to get away for a weekend of climbing 13ers in the Marble/Crested Butte area and drove the Monty hard the whole time.  I did the Lead King Basin loop outside of Marble and drove about 7 miles up Pearl Pass from the Crested Butte side.  Both roads required being in 4Lo for over two hours, slow climbing, and pushing the vehicle over legit obstacles.  In all honesty, Pearl Pass was the roughest road I have ever driven.

The vehicle did great!  All worries about the head gasket are gone, I never once dealt with rising temps on this trip.  I cannot pin-point the exact issue of what was causing my heating issues, but I assume it was a combination of everything in Shovel's post and everything that I replaced/repaired.  In all honesty, the fact that my temps were holding as well as they were with the state my cooling system was in, speaks volumes to how well these trucks were engineered. 

I also need to clarify that I mistakenly spoke about overheating.  I read the owners manual where it describes overheating as getting above the last tick mark on the temp gauge.  I never let my temps get above the 3/4 mark on the temp gauge and therefore never actually overheated.  A better way to describe it would be getting warm.  So, thankfully I was smart enough to know when to stop pushing and not cause catastrophic damage.

Thanks for the responses, Shovel I think your post needs to be stickied because it was very useful.   
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: Crumb on August 20, 2018, 08:25:20 AM
  I have a stock cooling system and just completed the Sierra Challenge without overheating. I also watched my temps via scangauge, it got up to 220 degrees on one long crawl but we were running the A/C. For reference 220 on the needle gauge is still in the same spot as normal operating temp. I think 225-230 is where it starts to climb. My truck typically cycles 195-205 degrees as the thermostat does its thing, if i demand more from it I'll see 205-215 the needle never moves. Having a digital temp gauge helps monitor things better.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: JakeP on August 20, 2018, 02:09:00 PM
Good call, will keep that in mind and look to grab one.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: kalieracer on August 26, 2018, 10:05:52 PM
Tested one of prototype radiators, seeing about 179-181 as normal temps and running the truck up a steep grade highway for 3-4 miles at wot  saw about 192f. 33's with 4.27 gears and AC on with busted AC fan.

  I have a stock cooling system and just completed the Sierra Challenge without overheating. I also watched my temps via scangauge, it got up to 220 degrees on one long crawl but we were running the A/C. For reference 220 on the needle gauge is still in the same spot as normal operating temp. I think 225-230 is where it starts to climb. My truck typically cycles 195-205 degrees as the thermostat does its thing, if i demand more from it I'll see 205-215 the needle never moves. Having a digital temp gauge helps monitor things better.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: Crumb on August 27, 2018, 07:43:44 AM
That's excellent!  Interested to hear how it does in long steep crawls, I'll give you a call back today. I was just getting back into town when you called yesterday.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: reversecaoboy on August 27, 2018, 04:19:26 PM
I noticed when I first got my rig, it would hover around 198* every day. (measured via scangauge)

However recently, it tends to sit at 202*, but it does creep up to 209 climbing grades, and at one point it hit 240* while climbing up white mountain in big bear.

I haven't touched anything, but I suspect me playing in mud got a lot of crud stuck between the fins of my radiator. I'm hoping a nice chemical flush and rodding the radiator will help me out.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: kalieracer on August 30, 2018, 09:54:46 PM
https://www.amazon.com/AC-921-Conditioner-Cleaner-Evaporator-Condenser/dp/B007I7KZN0/ref=asc_df_B007I7KZN0/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167141575813&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=3955976111828943411&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9031185&hvtargid=pla-310645871174&psc=1 (https://www.amazon.com/AC-921-Conditioner-Cleaner-Evaporator-Condenser/dp/B007I7KZN0/ref=asc_df_B007I7KZN0/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167141575813&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=3955976111828943411&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9031185&hvtargid=pla-310645871174&psc=1)

I noticed when I first got my rig, it would hover around 198* every day. (measured via scangauge)

However recently, it tends to sit at 202*, but it does creep up to 209 climbing grades, and at one point it hit 240* while climbing up white mountain in big bear.

I haven't touched anything, but I suspect me playing in mud got a lot of crud stuck between the fins of my radiator. I'm hoping a nice chemical flush and rodding the radiator will help me out.
Title: Re: Off-road Overheating Issues
Post by: reversecaoboy on September 05, 2018, 10:36:27 AM
Good call.

Gonna give that a try!