[xj] Overheating when stationary

G’day All,

Recently I have been having some troubles with my 1984 XJ6 overheating
when stationary at idle for any extended amount of time. The weather
here in Oz isn’t quite hot enough yet for me to believe that it
contributes to the problem.

In the last two years there has been considerable work done to the
cooling system. The radiator has been re-cored, the heater matrix has
been replaced, new fan and clutch have been fitted. The head and intake
manifold/water rail has been overhauled after the head gasket let go.

All the coolant hoses have been replaced, as they all blew out. The
cause of this was a blockage in the overflow line from the header tank
to the expansion tank in the wheel well. This appeared to
over-pressurise the system, which in turn caused the blowouts. This has
since been rectified.

The problem only appeared after I had the transmission overhauled due to
a chipped planetary gear. I highly doubt that these events are linked.
Since then a new thermostat has been fitted, with no success. The
thermostat has been verified to operate correctly.

So in short, the car overheats when stationary at idle. It does not
matter if the air conditioning is turned on, or if the car is in
neutral, it will gradually work its way up to about 105 degrees celsius.
If the engine is revved up to about 2000RPM, the temperature drops
rapidly to settle at about 95 degrees celsius. Once back on the move the
temperature is stable at 82 degrees.

Is it possible that my radiator could have a blockage in it so soon
after being re-cored? Is it possible the water pump could be plugged up
with sludge and is failing to circulate adequately at low RPM? These are
the last two areas I can think of which could be the root of the
problem. Any suggestions?

Cheers!

Grant Watson

1984 XJ6 Series III
- In Western Sydney, Oz===================================================
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// please trim quoted text to context only

How gradual is “gradually” and what is the ambient temp down under these
days?

If your temps are in the, oh, let’s say 33-35�C range it’s to be expected
that the engine will run hotter at idle. The question, then, is how quickly
does it start heating up?

If it climbs to 105�C within a couple minutes…then I’d be looking for the
cause. If it takes 15-20 minutes of idling to reach this point, I’m not so
sure you really have a problem.

I suppose the water pump could have degraded over the years and isn’t
circulating coolant like it should. But, my first thought is the fan clutch.
I know you say it has been replaced but are you sure it’s really working? By
the time the temp needle reaches 95� or so you should be able to really hear
the fan clutch engage and, if the bonnet’s open, feel a definite increase in
airflow.

Also, is the auxiliary fan working?

Doug Dwyer
Longview, Washington USAFrom: “Grant Watson” dopefish@boztek.com.au

The weather
here in Oz isn’t quite hot enough yet for me to believe that it
contributes to the problem.

So in short, the car overheats when stationary at idle. It does not
matter if the air conditioning is turned on, or if the car is in
neutral, it will gradually work its way up to about 105 degrees celsius.
If the engine is revved up to about 2000RPM, the temperature drops
rapidly to settle at about 95 degrees celsius. Once back on the move the
temperature is stable at 82 degrees.

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I opened the drivers (LH) underscuttle and side panel and located the
AISIN(?) valve (although mine appears to be black plastic). So much for
the gardner mod. However, comma …

  1. I can’t find the in-line fuse for the compressor. Am I simply looking
    on the wrong side? I can’t find any yellow/black wires in the various
    harnesses, nor any in-line fuse holders (other than as below).

  2. There is a black wire w/ a white in-line fuse holder, terminated by a
    full-circle adapter such as one would use on a ground wire. However, it’s
    just hanging there. There IS another (black) in-line fuse holder which is
    correctly grounded, along with some other wire. Is this simply part of
    the old radio harness, and the PO installed his own? The wire does not
    appear to be part of any of the harnesses, it just disappears by itself.

  3. The side vent was stuffed with, of all things, a crumpled ball of
    aluminum foil. Huh? This doesn’t seem to be an effective method of
    blocking the airflow. And other jury rigs included a piece of cardboard,
    to ensure air leaving the duct made it through the (slightly offset) vent.
    Very strange…

  4. At the top of the side panel, there are three brown wires (actually two
    brown and one brown/yellow). These terminate in two (female) bullet
    connectors - the dual browns being combined. They are just hanging there,
    and there is nothing plugged into them, which always bothers me. Any
    hints on what they might be? I can’t find any other unplugged connectors
    in the general vicinity.

There’s about 100 miles of extra network-cable-sized wire (for the
in-trunk CD changer) bundled up in this area, which doesn’t help. :-(–

  • bill
    '84 XJ6 (Julia)

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Grant, I’d take it to a rad shop that could floe-test the rad in the car, to
be sure something from the recoring didn’t plug up some tubes. They might
also be able to test the water pump’s delivery rate, but it sounds to me like
a rad problem, if the thermo is really opening fully.–
Alex
79xj6L SII (BRG + wires)
86xj6 SIII (Black)
61 Sprite MkII (Red)
Menlo Park, Calif.

Grant Watson wrote:

G’day All,

Recently I have been having some troubles with my 1984 XJ6 overheating
when stationary at idle for any extended amount of time. The weather
here in Oz isn’t quite hot enough yet for me to believe that it
contributes to the problem.

===================================================
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If your temps are in the, oh, let’s say 33-35�C range it’s to be
expected that the engine will run hotter at idle. >>The question, then,
is how quickly does it start heating up?

Well the other day it maxed out at 19*C in Sydney, and it still
overheated. The teperature climbs visibly quickly when stationary at
idle, i.e. you can see the needle moving. This goes and settles at 95 if
you rev the engine though, and the needle moves as quickly down the
other direction.

By the time the temp needle reaches 95� or so you should be able to
really hear the fan clutch engage and, if the >>bonnet’s open, feel a
definite increase in airflow.

I am sure the clutch is working, there is a strong flow of air from
under the bonnet when it overheats.

Also, is the auxiliary fan working?

Yes.

Also, I should have mentioned that last summer in 43*C temperatures,
even in traffic, it didn�t move above 90-ish. This is a sudden problem.
It’s got me beat.

Doug Dwyer
Longview, Washington USA===================================================
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Bill, I can help with the brown wire pair, they’re for testing something in
the A/C, so can be shorted, but I forget what the test does!–
Alex
79xj6L SII (BRG + wires)
86xj6 SIII (Black)
61 Sprite MkII (Red)
Menlo Park, Calif.

William Watson wrote:

I opened the drivers (LH) underscuttle and side panel and located the
AISIN(?) valve (although mine appears to be black plastic). So much for
the gardner mod. However, comma …

  1. I can’t find the in-line fuse for the compressor. Am I simply looking
    on the wrong side? I can’t find any yellow/black wires in the various
    harnesses, nor any in-line fuse holders (other than as below).

  2. There is a black wire w/ a white in-line fuse holder, terminated by a
    full-circle adapter such as one would use on a ground wire. However, it’s
    just hanging there. There IS another (black) in-line fuse holder which is
    correctly grounded, along with some other wire. Is this simply part of
    the old radio harness, and the PO installed his own? The wire does not
    appear to be part of any of the harnesses, it just disappears by itself.

  3. The side vent was stuffed with, of all things, a crumpled ball of
    aluminum foil. Huh? This doesn’t seem to be an effective method of
    blocking the airflow. And other jury rigs included a piece of cardboard,
    to ensure air leaving the duct made it through the (slightly offset) vent.
    Very strange…

  4. At the top of the side panel, there are three brown wires (actually two
    brown and one brown/yellow). These terminate in two (female) bullet
    connectors - the dual browns being combined. They are just hanging there,
    and there is nothing plugged into them, which always bothers me. Any
    hints on what they might be? I can’t find any other unplugged connectors
    in the general vicinity.

===================================================
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// please trim quoted text to context only

In reply to a message from Grant Watson sent Mon 13 Oct 2003:

I’d sure shoot the water rail with an infrared thermometer to
confirm those themps. Could be a transmitter or gauge problem too.

Cheers–
The original message included these comments:

Also, I should have mentioned that last summer in 43*C temperatures,
even in traffic, it didn�t move above 90-ish. This is a sudden problem.
It’s got me beat.


Larry Karpman
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–

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Well the other day it maxed out at 19*C in Sydney,

Oh, well, that’s not very hot.

and it still overheated.

Not very good…

The teperature climbs visibly quickly when stationary at
idle, i.e. you can see the needle moving.

Hmmmmm.

I am sure the clutch is working, there is a strong flow of air from
under the bonnet when it overheats.

Well, it was just a thought :slight_smile:

Also, I should have mentioned that last summer in 43*C temperatures,

Yikes !

even in traffic, it didn’t move above 90-ish. This is a sudden problem.
It’s got me beat.

Well, I’d have the rad rechecked and, if nothing is revealed, remove the
water pump for a look-see. Now, and I really hate to even mention this, is
there anything that might indicate that the head gasket job didn’t “take” ?

Cheers
Doug DwyerFrom: “Grant Watson” dopefish@boztek.com.au

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If your temps are in the, oh, let’s say 33-35�C range it’s to be
expected that the engine will run hotter at idle. >>The question, then,
is how quickly does it start heating up?

Well the other day it maxed out at 19*C in Sydney, and it still
overheated. The teperature climbs visibly quickly when stationary at
idle, i.e. you can see the needle moving. This goes and settles at 95 if
you rev the engine though, and the needle moves as quickly down the
other direction.

By the time the temp needle reaches 95� or so you should be able to
really hear the fan clutch engage and, if the >>bonnet’s open, feel a
definite increase in airflow.

I am sure the clutch is working, there is a strong flow of air from
under the bonnet when it overheats.

Also, is the auxiliary fan working?

Yes.

Also, I should have mentioned that last summer in 43*C temperatures,
even in traffic, it didn�t move above 90-ish. This is a sudden problem.
It’s got me beat.

Cheers!

Grant Watson
1984 XJ6 Series III
- In Western Sydney, Oz===================================================
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Grant Watson wrote:

So in short, the car overheats when stationary at idle. It does not
matter if the air conditioning is turned on, or if the car is in
neutral, it will gradually work its way up to about 105 degrees celsius.
If the engine is revved up to about 2000RPM, the temperature drops
rapidly to settle at about 95 degrees celsius. Once back on the move the
temperature is stable at 82 degrees.

Is it possible that my radiator could have a blockage in it so soon
after being re-cored? Is it possible the water pump could be plugged up
with sludge and is failing to circulate adequately at low RPM? These are
the last two areas I can think of which could be the root of the
problem. Any suggestions?

Deep waters, indeed, Grant…

It’s unlikely to be the radiator, that should lead to high temps even
when running at speed. At that ambient temp engine should hold stable
temp at idle indefinitely, particularely with the aux fan. What is your
idle rpms? And ignition setting? Vacume advance working correctly?

If coolant flow is restricted at low engine speeds the pump/clutch/belt
are clear suspects, but it really makes no sense when system is
obviously operating normally under engine loads. I think you should
eliminate a thermostat related problem by simply testing engine with it
removed, before you dip into greater expense.

An air block is another possibility, but should really be flushed out
very quickly. Have you tried running the car heating at full hot/defrost

  • it may also give other some pointers…?

Frank
xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)===================================================
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What is your idle rpms? And ignition setting? Vacume advance working
correctly?

Idle RPMs with the car in drive and A/C on are around 600RPM which would
seem to be normal.

I think you should eliminate a thermostat related problem by simply
testing engine with it

removed, before you dip into greater expense.

Well I have been through two brand new thermostats in the car in as many
weeks. The second one I verified before installation by boiling it in
some water with a digital thermometer checking the temperature. It
behaved itself. The first one I checked after I pulled it out and put
the second one in the car. It also checked out to be ok. So I am pretty
sure it isn’t the thermostat causing the problem. The belts are tight,
the ignition timing is set at 4 degrees (as is stated under bonnet and
in the manual), and I assume the vacuum advance is working properly.

An air block is another possibility, but should really be flushed out
very quickly. Have you tried running the car heating at full
hot/defrost

  • it may also give other some pointers…?

I had a look around the radiator area and can’t find any blockages in
front of or behind, or even between the radiator and the condenser. As
for running the car at full hot, I haven’t tried that.

The thing which has me beat is the fact that as soon as the engine is
revved past idle, the temperature begins to drop very rapidly, even when
the car is stationary.

I will check the local radiator shop and see if they can flow test it to
see if that will reveal any problems.

Cheers!

Grant Watson

1984 XJ6 Series III
- In Western Sydney, Oz===================================================
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G’day Bill,

I opened the drivers (LH) underscuttle and side panel and located the
AISIN(?) valve (although mine appears to be black plastic). So much for
the gardner mod. However, comma …

Just disconnect the ground to it and put in a switch.

  1. I can’t find the in-line fuse for the compressor. Am I simply looking
    on the wrong side? I can’t find any yellow/black wires in the various
    harnesses, nor any in-line fuse holders (other than as below).

You’ll find it on the other side, up high on the side of the climate
control.

  1. There is a black wire w/ a white in-line fuse holder, terminated by a
    full-circle adapter such as one would use on a ground wire. However, it’s
    just hanging there. There IS another (black) in-line fuse holder which is
    correctly grounded, along with some other wire. Is this simply part of
    the old radio harness, and the PO installed his own? The wire does not
    appear to be part of any of the harnesses, it just disappears by itself.

Not sure about these, only inline fuse connected to ground that I know
of is the one for the a/c amplifier, right underneath near your AISIN
valve.

  1. The side vent was stuffed with, of all things, a crumpled ball of
    aluminum foil. Huh? This doesn’t seem to be an effective method of
    blocking the airflow. And other jury rigs included a piece of cardboard,
    to ensure air leaving the duct made it through the (slightly offset) vent.
    Very strange…

Someone had removed my centre flap completely.

  1. At the top of the side panel, there are three brown wires (actually two
    brown and one brown/yellow). These terminate in two (female) bullet
    connectors - the dual browns being combined. They are just hanging there,
    and there is nothing plugged into them, which always bothers me. Any
    hints on what they might be? I can’t find any other unplugged connectors
    in the general vicinity.

Mine has these too, I think they were intended for some kind of “test”
purposes.

There’s about 100 miles of extra network-cable-sized wire (for the
in-trunk CD changer) bundled up in this area, which doesn’t help. :frowning:

Maybe you can relocate this excess cable somewhere else.

Regards,
John Hudson
Brisbane Australia
71 XJ6 SI
85 XJ6 SIII===================================================
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In reply to a message from Grant Watson sent Mon 13 Oct 2003:

One thing that no one has mentioned is something very simple. Have
you checked to see if the fan belt has the correct tension?–
Maynard 91XJS 86XJ6 78MGB 67MGB
Niles, IL, United States
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Bill, I can help with the brown wire pair, they’re for testing something
in the A/C, so can be shorted, but I forget what the test does!

Thanks, Alex - I think. I’ll pursue the service manual for the test
involved…–

  • bill
    '84 XJ6 (Julia)

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The thing which has me beat is the fact that as soon as the engine is
revved past idle, the temperature begins to drop very rapidly, even when
the car is stationary.

Hi, Grant. I’ve been following this thread, and I don’t envy you the task
of debugging it. I’m far from an expert, but your last comment definitely
makes me suspect the water pump. If the belt were slipping, for example,
it might not turn fast enough at idle to circulate enough coolant. Speed
the engine up and it turns faster. Could just be that it’s worn/blocked,
but the pump is the only component I can see that would be affected by
idle/non-idle conditions in this fashion. FWIW…–

  • bill
    '84 XJ6 (Julia)

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Dear Larry,

What are “INFRARED THERMOMETERS”? Never even knew they
existed!! Can they measure temps INSIDE the, say,
THERMOSTAT HOUSING without the need to probe inside it
or open it up? Please give me known brand names if
possible -unless you happen to know a specialized
store here in Madrid!!!

I’d love to get hold of one if they can be used
EXTERNALLY to the engine in order to gauge
TEMPERATURES INSIDE it, so that I could MONITOR
COOLANT TEMPERATURE with the engine running and me
sitting in the car -ie, to test different temps at
various driving conditions.

Yours truly,

YC -Madrid, SPAIN
1975 4.2L SII XJ6
Regency red/beige— Larry Karpman lkarpman@comcast.net wrote:

In reply to a message from Grant Watson sent Mon 13
Oct 2003:

I’d sure shoot the water rail with an infrared
thermometer to
confirm those themps. Could be a transmitter or
gauge problem too.

Cheers

=====
“Alive at every moment… why not?”


Do you Yahoo!?
The New Yahoo! Shopping - with improved product search
http://shopping.yahoo.com

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// please trim quoted text to context only

What are “INFRARED THERMOMETERS”? Never even knew they
existed!! Can they measure temps INSIDE the, say,
THERMOSTAT HOUSING without the need to probe inside it
or open it up? Please give me known brand names if
possible -unless you happen to know a specialized
store here in Madrid!!!

Yago, they don’t let you see inside something, but rather allow you to
remotely read the surface temperature of an object. You simply aim the
thermometer at what you want to read, and it tells you the temperature.
So, for example, you can measure the temp of the water rail, which, when
the engine is hot, should be very close to the coolant temperature.===================================================
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// please trim quoted text to context only

What are “INFRARED THERMOMETERS”? Never even knew they
existed!! Can they measure temps INSIDE the, say,
THERMOSTAT HOUSING without the need to probe inside it
or open it up? Please give me known brand names if
possible -unless you happen to know a specialized

Yago, you should be able to find infrared thermometers on your favorite
search engine - they’ve become quite common in the past few years. They
use a laser beam for an aim point, and give the average surface temp for
the surface at which they are aimed. (They are affected by the type of
service - i.e. its heat reflectivity - and the distance between the
surface and the thermometer - a greater distance gives a larger spot
size.)

They only read surface temps, but they’re a great toy. I’ve seen for
under $100 in various places. What I really want - but is much more
expensive - is the equivalent gear for sound, rather than heat. No more
holding the ear to the screwdriver! :wink:

The one my brother gave me for xmas a couple years ago says “Raytek” on
it, but again, there are many others…–

  • bill
    '84 XJ6 (Julia)

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William Watson wrote:

They only read surface temps, but they’re a great toy. I’ve seen for
under $100 in various places.

The one my brother gave me for xmas a couple years ago says “Raytek” on
it, but again, there are many others…

Bill, NC thermometers have dropped below the $100 level. I paid $79 for my
Raytek MT4 about a year ago and have seen them recently for closer to $50 in
a few places.

Best regards,

Gregory Wells 800-331-2193 x103
Coventry West, Inc. - Atlanta, GA www.coventrywest.com
New, Rebuilt, and Used Jaguar & Land-Rover Parts===================================================
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By the way, I don’t know if this has been mentioned, but the heat issue could
be that the thermostat isn’t the right kind – it lacks the disc at the rear
that closes off the bypass waterway in the housing when the main part of the
thermo opens. Has this been checked? This would affect idling temps more
than running, since airflow could make up for the poorer circulation through
the rad.–
Alex
79xj6L SII (BRG + wires)
86xj6 SIII (Black)
61 Sprite MkII (Red)
Menlo Park, Calif.

===================================================
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