Question about 1986 Plymouth Conquest

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My 1986 plymouth turismo runs hot and overheats

I have replaced the thermastat, I have flushed the radiator, I have checked for a blown head gasket with a dye test, I have pressure tested the cooling system and it has no leaks, the car still gets hot and over heats and the coolant level is full. Can anyone please help me with this problem? How can I tell if my water pump is bad? Please help thanks

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  • leebo2009 Apr 14, 2009

    It runs hot at any speed, takes longer for it to get hot at an idle but it will get hot if left ideling but after about 15 mins of driving it gets hot, the fan is working

  • leebo2009 Apr 14, 2009

    umm when the temp gauge is reading hot i have a loss of power and if i get out of the car and open the hood i smell coolant, if i take the cap off the radiator when the engine is cold and start it up the coolant is just sitting in the radiator not moving around. Could I have a clogged radiator?

  • leebo2009 Apr 14, 2009

    umm my radiator blew and i got a used one not sure how old it is but i got it from a wrecking yard to replace the one that blew, umm I havnt tired turning on the heater when its hot because I thought if the heater is running that it makes the car get hot faster, i didnt fill it with the heater on high. Should I start it up when its cold and leave the heater on high? with the rad cap off?

  • leebo2009 Apr 14, 2009

    I am not sure the history of the radiator i go *** at a wrecking yard, ive flushed it out a few times the first time i flushed it out there was dirty rusty discolered water, now its like ugly water that comes out, yeah the fan is on a toggle switch and it is constantly running the automatic sensor was byspassed by the previous owner of the car so the fan turns on by a toggle switch.

  • leebo2009 Apr 14, 2009

    oh ok ill try that ill take it for a drive and turn the heater on high and see what it does, thanks

  • leebo2009 Apr 14, 2009

    I belive my radiator is clogged i just let it get up to temp and it is warmer on the top than in the center

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler May 11, 2010

    What kind of shape is your rad in? With cap off, start from cold & watch flow through rad when warmed up, and thermostat opens. If it 's showing good flow, then pump probably o.k. You did fill rad & bleed out air with heater turned on right? Heat works good? Does temperature gauge go down at all if you turn heater on full, high fan, when it's running too hot? Sorry for all the questions but the answers will confirm where problem is, rather than guessing.

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler May 11, 2010

    Happen more in traffic (slow driving or idling) or out on highway speeds, or does it matter? Rad fan comes on when engine reaches normal operating temperature?

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  • Plymouth Master
  • 6,674 Answers

You won't see increased flow in rad until engine reaches normal operating temperature & thermostat opens up, and yes, start it cold with heater on, doesn't have to be fan on high, it's to allow coolant to flow through heater core as well, and let it run until fan comes on & off 2 or 3 times. Watch flow when at operating temperature, just before fan comes on. The fan comes on to cool what just came from engine, through top rad hose. Now put cap back on, and fill bottle to line. See what happens.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler Apr 14, 2009

    The reason I wanted you to see what happens when driving & it starts to run hot, and you turn your heater on full & hot, is that if temperature gauge begins to go back toward cool , it's a good indication that the rad isn't doing it's job & should be replaced. Your heater core is like a small radiator & by running the heater fan on high, your supplying the system with a little cooling.

  • Mike Butler
    Mike Butler Apr 14, 2009

    Remember, the hot coolant from engine comes back to rad for cooling through the top hose, so yes, you may feel hotter at top than at bottom .
    Also when you take it for a drive, wait for it to start to run a little hot before you turn heater on, so you can see if gauge goes down slightly.


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  • Plymouth Master
  • 1,779 Answers

You say it gets hot and overheats, are you losing coolant when it overheats? If it isn't boiling over, you seemed to cover everything that could be wrong, the fan is working, if it is not boiling over, just registering hot on the gauge, I wonder if it's just a temp. sending unit that's bad, indicating a overheating problem when there really isn't one. The water pump is bad when the shaft bearings go bad, and it will leak at that point. So, let me know if the car is actually boiling over (steam visible, exiting the cooling system)

Posted on Apr 14, 2009

  • Curt Downs Apr 14, 2009

    Until the thermostat opens, you won't see the coolant flowing, and after it opens, you shouldn't open the cap, as you could get scalded. Yes, it;s possible the radiator is plugged. Even though you flushed it out, it could be plugged up with rust. When you flushed it out, what did you find, rusty water, discolored water, or just green coolant and clear water? If the coolant flushed out rusty/dirty, blockage could be the problem. What is the history of the radiator (how often has it been flushed out)? Is there a radiator shop near you? If so, they can test the flow of the radiator, and professionally flush it, and check for any leaks after they're done. You might want to check the price of a new radiator 1st, to see if it would be cheaper to just put a new one in after comparing the prices of new vs. professional flush and check of system. My info shows it has an electric auxiliary fan, you say that it is going on when the engine temp rises?

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