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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a two-speed Subaru electric fan installed on my Samurai, behind a new OE radiator. Since I did that, the car runs really cool, even during heavy use on sand dunes. However, when cruising on highways, the temperature guage goes up.

Since I did the vitara 5.125:1 vitara ring and pinion swap, the problem became much worse because of the higher RPM. During highway cruising, the temperature really goes up, and I can only control it by keeping the RPM below 3000 RPM. The results are identical between the 1.3L engine, and the 1.6L engine which I swapped in a couple of weeks ago.

What is the best solution to this problem? I'm thinking of putting back a stock transfer case instead of the 6.5:1 crawler gears, to increase the gearing ratio a bit and get it closer to the stock ratio with stock tires. Or to get an aluminum radiator from Hawk.

My question is: will the Aluminum radiator completely solve the problem? And which approach would you advise me to take?
 

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The new Aluminum radiator will help to cool it down better than a stock component, but I don't think it will solve your problem.
There has to be a good reason why it is heating up so much. You probably already know to check the thermostat. When I was young, I was told to throw the thermostat away... i found out the hard way how important a good, working thermostat helps to slow the flow enough to cool the motor.
 

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First things I would check would be the thermostat, water-pump and make sure the fan is blowing in the correct direction. I know it sounds crazy, but given the symptoms, it sounds like the fan is not blowing in the correct direction. If a push fan, it should be mounted on the front of the radiator and blow towards the rear of the vehicle. If a pull fan, it should be mounted on the rear of the radiator and pull the air through, blowing towards the rear of the vehicle. It's worth checking!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. I know for certain that the thermostat is ok and working fine, cuz I recently baught a new one, and that the fan is blowing in the right direction. The car remains really cool while idling. The problem is exactly the same with both engines, which tells me it is not the water pump, as the pump has been changed with the engine. Another thing, I sold my old engine to a friend, and he says he has absolutely no overheating.

The problem really only started to show up after I did the vitara diffs. When the engine revs high at the highway, it starts heating up. Could it be the diffs' R/P were not balanced properly, and causing the engine to exert more effort to push the car at high speed?
 

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The Common Factor

It seems to incicate that the radiator internals are partially blocked, given that this is the only 'common'...
Regards Bill:)
 

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Another Thought

Is it actually running hot, or is it just the gauge?

The following has been seen before;
(high rpm = higher alternator output = higher battery volt = higher gauge readings) ??
Regards Bill:)
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Is it actually running hot, or is it just the gauge?

The following has been seen before;
(high rpm = higher alternator output = higher battery volt = higher gauge readings) ??
Regards Bill:)

The radiator is practically new, I replaced it a year ago and haven't used the car that much since. So I really don't think it is blocked.

It is not just the guage, because when the temp guage goes up, I feel the heat from inside the cabin and the AC cooling becomes very poor, which otherwise cools very nicely.

Another idea occurred to me: what about putting a different thermostat that has different temperature valving? I will probably try that and see how it goes. Heared the Nissan thermostat opens at lower temperature than the Suzuki, so maybe that will help?
 

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Just a couple of other little things that might cause warmer temps at high rpm's. Timming a little high and leaning out at upper rpm range.
 

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tripple check the fan direction. if it's cooling at low speed, it could still be pushing air forward through the radiator without a problem, where at high speed the ram air would counter a pusher fan blowing forward through the radiator causing the air to just stall.

At freeway speeds, the air blowing against the front of the vehicle should be enough to cool the radiator without a fan at all. I used to run my rig on the highway going 55 in 3rd gear with 33" tires on it as I climbed the mountain passes to Temecula. Never had the gauge go into the hot area, and I must have been pulling well over 5K RPM's with an outside air temp of 98+
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just a couple of other little things that might cause warmer temps at high rpm's. Timming a little high and leaning out at upper rpm range.
What do you mean? I think you might be gaining on something here.

tripple check the fan direction. if it's cooling at low speed, it could still be pushing air forward through the radiator without a problem, where at high speed the ram air would counter a pusher fan blowing forward through the radiator causing the air to just stall.

At freeway speeds, the air blowing against the front of the vehicle should be enough to cool the radiator without a fan at all. I used to run my rig on the highway going 55 in 3rd gear with 33" tires on it as I climbed the mountain passes to Temecula. Never had the gauge go into the hot area, and I must have been pulling well over 5K RPM's with an outside air temp of 98+
Trust me, it is blowing the right direction. I triple checked it, I have no doubt about it. And the shop who did the install is extremely specialized in this particular modification ... installing electric fans.

The fan is only good up to 30 mph and then wind pressure takes over, so
I am positive it's not a fan problem. Probably need a bigger rad.
That's exactly my thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
He means that your timing may be set too far ahead and the air/fuel mixture gets too lean (more air, less fuel) at the highter RPM's.
This would cause hotter combustion and could eventually crack a head.
Ok, that's the timing of what exactly? And how do I fix it? Is it the timing of the distributor? I do believe my distributor is not in perfect shape; I used the same distributor that was on the Samurai 1.3 engine, because the one on the second hand 1.6L engine was broken. So it was never changed. I think my dieseling after I switch off has something to do with it as well. Any thoughts?
 

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Yes, the timing is the rotated position of the distributor housing. Check it at the front (crank pulley markings) or the rear (under rubber plug in top of tranny housing) with timing light.
I used mine from the 1.3, but it was an EFI model from the beginning. Don't know what effect the carbed model would have. You may have to play with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, the timing is the rotated position of the distributor housing. Check it at the front (crank pulley markings) or the rear (under rubber plug in top of tranny housing) with timing light.
I used mine from the 1.3, but it was an EFI model from the beginning. Don't know what effect the carbed model would have. You may have to play with it.
This is completely over my head; I think I will need to get the help of a technician for this.
 

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When I bought mine, the timing was advanced to 17*. It would come very close to overheating at freeway speeds. I set the timing to 10* which is the spec and now it does not go over 1/2 way at all, unless I turn the A/C on.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
When I bought mine, the timing was advanced to 17*. It would come very close to overheating at freeway speeds. I set the timing to 10* which is the spec and now it does not go over 1/2 way at all, unless I turn the A/C on.
Guys, I need to know what is it that you do to adjust the timing, in layman's terms. How do you adjust it?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok, I found this video:

Explains how to adjust the timing. All new stuff to me. I'm starting to have a gut feeling this is the cause of the overheat while cruising.

Would it be a good idea to do the adjustment myself? Or should I get the assistance of a skilled technician?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So what are the specifications for the 8 Valve Vitara engine? Is it 10 at idle? And that's at what RPM? (See now I'm starting to understand ;))

Would it be any different considering it is a carbed engine, not fuel injected?
 
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