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Old 04-26-2021, 01:38 AM #1
Antznyopantz Antznyopantz is offline
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Weird Overheating Issue

Tl;dr

Dummy gauge topped out at high. Scangauge at 164.

Setup:

'99 with 197k miles.

Had it out of service for a few years working on extensive body repairs and paint. It was my first paint job. Awesome. Came out sweet.

Reassembled the vehicle including the interior, dash, gauge cluster etc.

Gave it a tune up. Replaced the radiator out of caution.

On its maiden voyage to work car was overheating - temp gauge climbed in Toyota fashion, topping out quick - minutes from home. Did not seem to show any difference between stop/idle and going down a freeway on a cool day (low 70's maybe?) - or with heater on.

Suspected the thermostat so replaced that and the water pump this past weekend. It was all only 20k miles old- but it had been several years. Whatever. Had the parts on hand. Water pump looked great. Thermostat had several white calcification pebbles from the coolant on it so I thought perhaps that was the problem.

Buttoned everything up. Cranked it up. Sounded great.

Still overheating.

Here's where is gets weird:

Hooked my scangauge II up to the car and the water temps were at 164.

OK - so is the engine overheating? If not - why is the dummy gauge telling me it is? Is the sensor bad?

Will likely do a leakdown test tomorrow - but I don't think it's a HG issue.

Any ideas helpful. Thank you guys!
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Old 04-26-2021, 08:24 AM #2
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If you weren't having any symptoms of overheating other than the needle gauge saying so, I'd say your coolant temp sensor may have gone bad or you have air in the system.
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Old 04-26-2021, 01:41 PM #3
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You could try a temp gun on the radiator fins and see what it reads, hot water comes in the top. Won't be exact but you might get an idea of what temps you are running. I would start with the coolant sensor as stated.
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Old 04-26-2021, 01:59 PM #4
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164 degrees? Brrrrr, I'm confused, but I won't miss an opportunity to say: Use an OEM T-Stat with the jiggle valve at 6 O'clock! There, I feel better. Worked wonders for me - hope you get the issue sorted soon.
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Old 04-26-2021, 02:57 PM #5
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There are two different/separate coolant temp sensor. One for the ECM and one for the instrument cluster gauge. The scangauge gets the coolant temp from the ECM. The instrument cluster gets the coolant temp from the other temp sensor.

EDIT: Added info. "FSM lists 2 sensors, one is located at front of engine next to the fuel rail cross overpipe ,this one goes to the computer.The second one tells the dash gauge the temperature, location not supplied by FSM.It indeed is at rear of engine as some have correctly implied,the main engine wiring harness is directly over it and surrounded by heater hoses and vacumn lines.I have only seen it thru a mirror! Thanks for the help" from this post: https://www.toyota-4runner.org/1830207-post13.html
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Last edited by Bad Luck; 04-26-2021 at 03:02 PM.
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Old 04-26-2021, 04:25 PM #6
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Two different sensors. The ECT (engine coolant temperature sensor) sensor is located in the front of the engine under the intake plenum on the lower intake manifold. Close to the knock sensor harness pigtail connection, there's two connections there and one is for the ECT. This sends data to the ECU.

The second sensor, sometimes called the engine coolant temperature sender, is a single wire sensor on the water bypass section on the back of the engine near the firewall. Like mentioned you'll need a mirror to even see it. It has an odd "clip" type connector that isn't used anywhere else in the engine or the entire vehicle, for that matter. It's very easy to tear down the top end and miss this connector altogether as the lead from the engine harness is very short. Can be damaged or utterly forgotten on re-assembly. Make sure this connection is secure. If yes, replace the sender. If no, double check the dash cluster is connected securely as you just had it apart and are now having issues.
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Old 04-26-2021, 05:49 PM #7
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Update:

Replaced the rear sensor. Cranked it up. Gauge read "high" long before the scangauge made it to 180.

At scangauge 183 the thermostat opened right on time.

Tried another entire dash gauge cluster. Temp gauge almost immediately went up to "high" and stayed there.

It is reasonable to assume that the Scangauge, cluster, and sensor are good.

I allowed the vehicle to run with the radiator cap off and the heater on for a good 20 minutes at least. It was on jackstands with the nose elevated. There were no bubbles coming from the radiator. Top temp on the scangauge was 188 if memory serves.

Any ideas appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2021, 05:52 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antznyopantz View Post
Replaced the rear sensor. Cranked it up. Gauge read "high" long before the scangauge made it to 180.

At scangauge 183 the thermostat opened right on time.

Tried another entire dash gauge cluster. Temp gauge almost immediately went up to "high" and stayed there.

It is reasonable to assume that the Scangauge, cluster, and sensor are good.

I allowed the vehicle to run with the radiator cap off and the heater on for a good 20 minutes at least. It was on jackstands with the nose elevated. There were no bubbles coming from the radiator. Top temp on the scangauge was 188 if memory serves.

Any ideas appreciated. Thanks!
I would assume the scangauge and ecm temp sensor are good. What does the instrument cluster show if you unplug the other sensor?
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Old 04-26-2021, 06:08 PM #9
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By "unplug" I am assuming you mean to unplug the wire from the sensor in the rear of the engine. My guess is that without signal it should go cold. It will be interesting if not!

I'll go try and report back.
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Old 04-26-2021, 06:51 PM #10
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You tried with an entire new cluster from the same year or just a new board? It sounds like something on the back of the board maybe, a burnt out component maybe. Different years have different boards too. Or a ground problem maybe?
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Old 04-26-2021, 07:40 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Luck View Post
I would assume the scangauge and ecm temp sensor are good. What does the instrument cluster show if you unplug the other sensor?
I unplugged the rear sensor to the gauge cluster . The temp gauge read normal - smack in the middle and did not move. I tried it with both cluster gauges. Same result.

I also managed to rip the wire out of the paddle connector for my trouble.

I'll add it to the list.

Last edited by Antznyopantz; 04-26-2021 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 04-26-2021, 07:43 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by repo View Post
You tried with an entire new cluster from the same year or just a new board? It sounds like something on the back of the board maybe, a burnt out component maybe. Different years have different boards too. Or a ground problem maybe?

I tried another entire cluster from the same year. I bought a parts car a bit ago. It has saved me time and money like wow.

The ground problem idea is interesting. Any clue where this one grounds to?
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Old 04-26-2021, 08:02 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antznyopantz View Post
I tried another entire cluster from the same year. I bought a parts car a bit ago. It has saved me time and money like wow.

The ground problem idea is interesting. Any clue where this one grounds to?
It should say in the FSM somewhere. I dunno. But should be an easier thing to check first than trying to replace that other sensor from the sounds of things.
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Old 04-26-2021, 08:31 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antznyopantz View Post
I tried another entire cluster from the same year. I bought a parts car a bit ago. It has saved me time and money like wow.

The ground problem idea is interesting. Any clue where this one grounds to?
Google "EWD471U parts pdf" for diagram.

Edit: The second sensor (gauge sender) IS the the ground as far as I can tell so nevermind ha. The one at the back of block. It should have one green wire coming out. "W 2" on the diagram. If its grounding on something else it would register the dash gauge at max. So I'd say its prob the wire coming out of that thing is damaged or loose.
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Old 04-26-2021, 10:25 PM #15
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With the ECT gauge reading in the correct range - how likely is it that this is a head gasket issue?

I noticed today that the overflow bottle looks lower than yesterday. I've been losing coolant monkeying with it with the cap off, but I don't know how much...

Thanks yall!
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