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I have installed a 2" body lift in my 98 Sidekick Sport. When I put in a new thermostat I used an 'air lift' system and added coolant under vacuum.

I *HOPE* that using this method would help remove all the air from the cooling system. But I am not 100% sure.

The ports on the heater core are 'below' the actual core, at least that is what I THINK I am seeing from the 'innards' of a 97 Sport I parted out. Adding the Body lift will raise the heater core higher and possibly make it even harder to purge the air.

I have a J23 motor instead of a J18 and we are measuring temps of about 30 degrees higher at the ECT but the vehicle hansn't over heated.

When I run the heater with an thermometer in the vent I only get 120 degrees. If the coolant temp was higher, wouldn't the output when set on heat be higher too?
 

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While I don’t have an answer to your question, I wonder why kind of thermometer you are using at the vents. If it’s an IR thermometer, it won’t really be picking up the temp of the air, but rather the hard surfaces in the vent.
Just from old school, I imagine that if you park your vehicle on an incline, or jack it up, where the radiator is now the highest point of the cooling system, you would be able to naturally expel the air from the entire cooling circuit.
 

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While I don’t have an answer to your question, I wonder why kind of thermometer you are using at the vents. If it’s an IR thermometer, it won’t really be picking up the temp of the air, but rather the hard surfaces in the vent.
Just from old school, I imagine that if you park your vehicle on an incline, or jack it up, where the radiator is now the highest point of the cooling system, you would be able to naturally expel the air from the entire cooling circuit.
Using a simple A/C dial thermometer , not an IR gun. The dial at 87F degrees ambient temp could barely register 120F.

I'm fighting a higher than normal temp readings (up to 240F) with a NEW V6 radiator , 10 inch dual fans and new thermostat. The vehicle never overheats and the thermostat is opening but the vehicle registers hot.

This is a J23 (2.3 litre motor) and the V6 Vitara radiator should be sufficient for cooling.

On the J series engine there is a pipe that runs outside of the block from the rear to the front of the engine to the thermostat. It also runs through the heater core.

It is my belief at this point that the heater core has 'low flow' which is affecting the ECT readings and thermostat.

I've had this Sport since Jan of this year and it's been very neglected before I got it. Almost Black Brake and Trans fluid and dirty air filter with lots of oil leaks so a clogged heater core isn't out of the realm of possibilities.

I also filled the coolant with an 'air lift' system which pulls a vacuum to then suck coolant into the system. Even with this I still hear what I think is a 'gurgle' which I think is still air.

Once I get the heater core flushed out and refilled I will still use the air lift but also try and jack up the front while running giving the opportunity to let any air, if there out.
 
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