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1997 Suzuki Sidekick Sport, 2.3L, manual transmission
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone. I looked around this forum but could not find this issue.
I’ll keep it short , but with details. 1997 Suzuki Sidekick Sport with 2.3L, manual transmission

-poor heat in cabin
-old radiator/heavy sweating
  • gurgling in heater core between up shifts
  • lower rad hose and radiator completely cold
  • used clr to clean heater core…no debris came out/ water flow seemed good
  • still not much heat in cabin (upper hose hot/lower hose warm)
  • no overheating/ warms up quickly ( as far as I know-owned this for 3 months now)

-replaced thermostat and radiator
  • had the nose up about 2-3 feet to get all air out
  • have lotsa heat in cabin ( both hoses hot)
  • no more gurgling between up shifts
  • lower rad hose and radiator are STILL completely cold - - what!?

there is a “gurgling” type of sound from the upper rad hose when shutting the engine off - I don’t think it’s air, since no bubbles appear when squeezing it

Any Ideas? I’m concerned that the problem is in the cylinder head
 

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Welcome to the forum. Do you have access to an IR thermometer so that you can see the actual temp of the coolant? Pointed at the thermostat housing, you should be getting around 170F on a warmed up engine…??? You advise you used cleaner to clean the heater core….did you flush out the entire coolant system to confirm no blockage? Checked your new thermostat to confirm it opens properly? What rated thermostat did you get?
Assuming that your engine is actually warming up to proper running temp, it would appear there is a blockage somewhere in the coolant system, considering that, even with the new stat and radiator, your situation hasn’t been solved……
 

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1991 Hardtop 3-door Tracker 1.6L 4WD 5-Speed No A/C
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625 Posts
Have you checked the water pump? Is it the original and is the belt OK?
 

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It sounds like your radiator is plugged. You are not getting any flow through it, so the bottom/outlet of the radiator is staying cold.
 

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A couple of points - first the "gurgling" (I would describe it as "burping") sound at switch off is most likely coolant flashing over into steam when the coolant circulation stops - it's an indication that the engine is running very close to overheating.

Second - measuring the temperature at the thermostat housing, at least on this engine, will give a misleading idea as to the engine temperature, the correct place to measure is the cylinder head outlet - on the G series Suzuki engines, the cylinder head outlet is the thermostat housing, but on the J & H series the thermostat is mounted at the cool end of the radiator loop and will give lower readings.

I would start the diagnosis by removing the thermostat - for test purposes only - if that allows flow through the radiator you need to investigate why it's not opening, if there is still no flow, check the radiator, and the associated pipe (including the one over the exhaust) for possible blockages.
 

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1997 Suzuki Sidekick Sport, 2.3L, manual transmission
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Welcome to the forum. Do you have access to an IR thermometer so that you can see the actual temp of the coolant? Pointed at the thermostat housing, you should be getting around 170F on a warmed up engine…??? You advise you used cleaner to clean the heater core….did you flush out the entire coolant system to confirm no blockage? Checked your new thermostat to confirm it opens properly? What rated thermostat did you get?
Assuming that your engine is actually warming up to proper running temp, it would appear there is a blockage somewhere in the coolant system, considering that, even with the new stat and radiator, your situation hasn’t been solved……

Hi, no i have not bought an IR gun yet. I only ran clr through the heater core...didn't know about the cold rad at the time. The stat is a Gates 33920 / 180'
 

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1997 Suzuki Sidekick Sport, 2.3L, manual transmission
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A couple of points - first the "gurgling" (I would describe it as "burping") sound at switch off is most likely coolant flashing over into steam when the coolant circulation stops - it's an indication that the engine is running very close to overheating.

Second - measuring the temperature at the thermostat housing, at least on this engine, will give a misleading idea as to the engine temperature, the correct place to measure is the cylinder head outlet - on the G series Suzuki engines, the cylinder head outlet is the thermostat housing, but on the J & H series the thermostat is mounted at the cool end of the radiator loop and will give lower readings.

I would start the diagnosis by removing the thermostat - for test purposes only - if that allows flow through the radiator you need to investigate why it's not opening, if there is still no flow, check the radiator, and the associated pipe (including the one over the exhaust) for possible blockages.

I'll get an IR gun. I doubt the engine is running hot though. I've been wheeling in hot weather/steep trails with no issues and it's not hot at all under the hood . The stat is at front/lower left, maybe a hair below the water pump.
 

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1997 Suzuki Sidekick Sport, 2.3L, manual transmission
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Have you checked the water pump? Is it the original and is the belt OK?

the belt and tension is good....to check the water pump you gotta take it out - no?
 

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1997 Suzuki Sidekick Sport, 2.3L, manual transmission
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I came accross this schematic ... now I see the issue I think. The water FROM the heater core must still not be hot enough to trip the thermostat. The coolant is just circling in cold/warm up mode. I'll check the temp at pipe #22

Slope Line Parallel Font Triangle
 

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In the summer is the only time the lower rad hose got warm / hot for me whereas the top #1 and # 10 were hot . My temp gauge goes to the middle when warm and stays there never rising above. .
# 26+25 will be replaced when I get my heater core replaced and at last I will have a nice warm 4x4 for distance travel to the north. Thanks for posting that diagram as now I know where various tubes go when obscured by metal un-moveable parts.
 

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1997 Suzuki Sidekick Sport, 2.3L, manual transmission
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OH, HERE IS THE LINK TO THAT SCHEMATIC PAGE ... HAS THE OTHER MODELS/YEARS ALSO - SCROLL DOWN

FIXKICK
 
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