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Old 03-24-2019, 11:33 PM #1
adam.zach adam.zach is offline
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1997 Toyota 4runner overheating

I am new to this forum and I recently got a 1997 Toyota 4runner Limited, it had 219 000 km about a month ago when I picked it up. It now has about 220 200 km. It has the 3.4 v6 4x4, the rear diff lock option, automatic transmission. I was very surprised when first seeing it because it's in great shape. As far as I know, it has always been a local vehicle. We don't use salt on the roads and the frame still has paint on it. No rust. The vehicle was located an 8 hour drive away, so I flew there and drove the vehicle back and it was great. It had a brand new inspection slip so I did not worry about it. According to the previous owner it has recently had a new battery, genuine Toyota spark plugs, pcv valve, new front and rear shocks. The 4x4 still works great as far as I can tell. Everything was great, until the other day when it started having it's first issue:

I had been driving around town for maybe a half hour. The temperature gauge has always stayed around the halfway mark, usually a little under. As I came to the red light, I noticed the temperature gauge started to climb so I immedately pulled over and shut the vehicle off as I was terrified of doing damage to the engine. I waited a while for it to cool down, and was able to drive it home less than 1 km away. This is the first time it has happened since I owned it. I figured if it was going to overheat, it would have overheated on that 8 hour drive. I thought maybe the thermostat had failed. So I ordered a genuine Toyota thermostat and gasket, replaced it last night, drained the coolant and replaced it with new. I started the vehicle, let it come up to normal operating temperature and after about 15 minutes, the temperature began to climb again. I was wondering if maybe the fan clutch is not working properly. When the vehicle is cold and shut off, if I try to spin the fan it will move maybe an inch. It feels like there is quite a bit of tension. After the vehicle started to overheat again (with a new thermostat) I shut it off and I tried to spin the fan. This time it was spinning very freely and actually spin around a few times before it stopped. Is this normal? When I start my vehicle, I can see and hear my fan come on. It sounds like a big 'whoosh' and seems to get quieter after about 40 seconds. I ordered a new fan clutch from Amazon, I believe it is the same one Toyota uses, as well as a new radiator cap from the dealership. I am not really familiar with the vehicle as I have only had it for about a month but it seems when I start it up the fan is quite loud. I am not sure how loud they are suppose to be. I don't think the waterpump failed because it doesn't appear to be leaking. Could the water pump fail without leaking? If the clutch fan doesn't fix the problem, I think I will just order a new radiator. I should also mention that while replacing the thermostat I noticed there is no tensioner for the A/C so currently it has 2 belts. I did not try the A/C to see if it works because it's been cold, but I assume with those parts removed that it doesn't. Would this have anything to do with it overheating? I would also like to mention that I did notice this 4runner seems to come to normal operating temperature pretty fast, even when it was not overheating. I don't know if this is normal for these. Where I live, if it sits outside in -20 Celcius all night and I start it, it will probably come to operating temperature after about 5 minutes. Compared to my 2012 VW CC, which I could let warm up for a half hour and the temperature gauge would have barely moved until I start driving it around. I should also mention there are no coolant leaks or loss in the 4runner, the radiator hoses are both hot when the vehicle is running which I assume is normal (means that the coolant is circulating?) Could the radiator just be old? It doesn't appear to be new and could even be the original. I will also add that when I started it cold the day I replaced the thermostat the vehicle seemed to be misfiring for about 40 seconds or so and then went away. No check engine light, no codes. I don't really think it could be the head gasket as it doesn't have any typical symptoms.

Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:43 PM #2
Daluvian Daluvian is offline
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Fan clutch a easy way to check is when itís started u can use cardboard or something I personally use my hand I donít recommend doing this for the inexperienced if u can stop the fan easy with the motor started your clutch needs new fluid or replace
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:48 PM #3
Daluvian Daluvian is offline
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Also I should mention that if it did misfire just because you donít have a check engine light doesnít mean head gasket isnít bad more then likey itís a cracked head they do this on start up when itís cold 4runners with the 3.4 do crack the heads a lot and if it did overheat something also to check would have to do a leak down test when the engine is cold to find out. The best way is to get the piston top dead center apply air pressure and open the radiator you can zip tie a rubber glove to the cap area if it fills with air you have a cracked head or see bubbles in the coolant
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