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View Full Version : Now smoking & overheated...the car folks!



Afrodesia
08-04-2012, 01:23 PM
So here is episode 2 of 'As the Key turns'...

Got fuel going to the carbs now & starts and runs like a champ...for about 3 minutes until smoke starts coming from the engine compartment & then it promptly overheats.

I have some advice to remove radiator and have it rodded but any other suggestions?

Thermostat? Water pump? Anything else? Any way to determine either of those? Could the smoke & overheat be related? I hope not...I'm afraid that it may be something more sinister *Insert ominous soundtrack*

TR3driver
08-04-2012, 01:59 PM
The "smoke" is probably steam, or oil burning off of some surface. I would focus on the overheating first. I'm assuming you mean that it boils over, not just the gauge reads high.

Thermostat is a definite possibility. For now, just remove it, or replace it with a modern (cheap) thermostat. We can argue later whether using the original (and very expensive) sleeved thermostat makes a difference. (Hint: I use a modern Tstat)

Water pump is less likely IMO, but still possible. I'd wait until you've tried the other things, then pull it out to inspect the vanes. They may have eroded away (but again, not likely).

I am assuming that the belt is present and tight, and that you've drained and refilled the cooling system. Is the fan present and accounted for? Can you feel the air coming off of it? How does the coolant look? Does the radiator get hot to the touch? Do you have the right pressure cap?
(The original TR3 radiator takes a special "long reach" cap. A modern cap will appear to fit, but won't seal or hold pressure.)

PS, Just for completeness, once it boils over you should turn it off and wait for it to cool before doing anything else. Taking the radiator cap off of an overheated engine is likely to get you a bath in superheated coolant, NOT a pleasant experience (and not especially good for the engine either). And adding cool water to an overheated engine may cause the cylinder head to crack.

TR3driver
08-04-2012, 02:04 PM
One other, very minor thing: It would be good to mention what car you are working on every time you start a new topic; or else put it in your signature. Some of us suffer from varying stages of CRS and not all Triumphs are the same.

Afrodesia
08-04-2012, 02:22 PM
Heading out to troubleshoot, thanks for advice.

Definitely smoke not steam...smells like burning oil.

hondo402000
08-04-2012, 02:29 PM
it would also be a good idea to give us some history of the suituation
like car ran well a few days ago and now its doing this now(insert problem)

or car has been sitting for months and it started over heating

you get the idea

Hondo

70herald
08-04-2012, 03:01 PM
Very hard to believe that a cold engine is overheating after 2 minutes. In such a short time, the smoke is probably oil which has dripped onto the exhaust. In two minutes that will be hot enough to create smoke.

What symptoms make you think it is overheating. Once again, be specific.

Afrodesia
08-04-2012, 03:04 PM
Ok. I just bought the tr3 after it had been sitting for a while. It wouldn't start but yesterday I unclogged the fuel filter/linel line and now it starts great and sounds fantastic until it begins to smoke and overheat which takes about three minutes to happen.

As for the provenance of the car, I do not know much. I got it from a 19-year-old kid that got it when his dad died. So basically I'm starting from zero and will have to diagnose everything from a point of ignorance. Many gauges and indicators don't work either. Also, hard to roll so I think maybe brakes have seized.

Other than that, all's well!

Afrodesia
08-04-2012, 03:08 PM
I opened the hood and saw coolant had sprayed out and smelled it too. Maybe a bit longer than 2 minutes but not by much. Plus it felt hot as hades in there. I'm sure smoke is dripping oil but I'm just hoping there isn't oil & water mixing and causing oil to get into cooling system and heat up.

70herald
08-04-2012, 03:17 PM
Ok
I just saw your other thread, for the time being I would not worry to much about the smoke, in 3 minutes the engine isn't overheating enough to smoke...

Now before you do any damage, make sure the cooling system is as clean as possible. I would pull the top and bottom hoses to the radiator, and using your garden hose flush out the radiator and engine. You should get clean water flowing out. Also on the engine block there is a drain pull it out and there should be clean water flowing there also.
I would also open up the thermostat housing and make sure that it is basically clean there also. You can test the stat by dumping it in nearly boiling water it should open quickly, but I would just go get a standard modern replacement at your local parts store.

If not (and even if there is water flowing) take a wire hanger and poke around to get as much crud out as possible.

Then put everything back together, fill it with clean water, leave the radiator cap off and start it up. within a few minutes as the engine starts warming up the water should start flowing and you will see it in the radiator opening. You may need to race the engine to get enough flow to see water moving. This will also let any air burp out.

Then let us know if it is (still) overheating, or what symptoms there are.

70herald
08-04-2012, 03:23 PM
I opened the hood and saw coolant had sprayed out and smelled it too. Maybe a bit longer than 2 minutes but not by much. Plus it felt hot as hades in there. I'm sure smoke is dripping oil but I'm just hoping there isn't oil & water mixing and causing oil to get into cooling system and heat up.

Ok, Hot doesn't tell us allot yet... coolant spraying can be a result of loose/damaged hoses, overfilling the radiator...

To find out if you have oil/water mixing the take a look at the oil dipstick, if it looks like mayonnaise we have a problem, also look in the oil fill hole. If it is clean there probably isn't water getting into the oil.

Start by flushing out the cooling system, and then onto the next steps

Afrodesia
08-04-2012, 04:49 PM
Once again, much obliged for the help.

Seems that previous owner overfilled the cooling system (with straight coolant I think) and that's what sprayed out. Easy one.

Still smoking so it's running to see if maybe oil overpour is what's doing it but isn't getting any less after about 15 min of engine running. Looks like its coming from manifold Area. I was hoping it'd be an easy valve cover gasket replace but...

Can the manifold be removed relatively easily and gasket scraped & replaced?

Boy, dad could do this blindfolded.

Should I start a new thread?

TR3driver
08-04-2012, 05:00 PM
the water should start flowing and you will see it in the radiator opening.

I agree with all but that. On a stock TR3A, the radiator fill is on an extension that sticks out about a foot behind the upper radiator tank. You might be able to see a bit of swirl when the Tstat opens, but the water doesn't circulate through there.

Any trace of oil in the water will quickly find its way to the top (at the cap) and be very obvious. I seriously doubt that is the problem anyway.

One thing that might not be obvious, the radiator is not supposed to be full to the top when it is cold. It is normal for there to be a couple of inches of air under the cap. If you try to fill to the top, the excess will be forced out of the overflow tube when the engine warms up to operating temperature. Speaking of which, I recommend installing an overflow tube if you don't already have one. Route it forward along the inner fender and let it hang out to near the ground.

70herald
08-04-2012, 05:02 PM
There is no oil running through the manifold gasket so no reason to think that it is coming from there. It only takes a TINY bit of oil to create a HUGE amount of smoke. Clean up any spilled oil and ignore if for the time being.

By the way, even if the valve cover gasket looks good, the cover itself was probably over tightened at some point in its past and is slightly bent which will let it leak unless you straighten it out perfectly. I replaced the cover on my engine with a nice new alloy cover, and a silicon gasket. no more leak, no more burned oil smell.

TR3driver
08-04-2012, 05:07 PM
(with straight coolant I think)
That's a problem as well, straight antifreeze doesn't cool nearly as well as the recommended 50/50 mix (which still isn't as good as straight water).

Removing the manifolds is a bit of a chore; and since there isn't any oil in that joint, probably not what you want to do. Time for a little detective work, find where the oil is coming from. Most common would be the rocker cover, but I assume you've already checked that.

Other possibilities in that general area include the head gasket and bolts from the generator bracket into the engine block.

Geo Hahn
08-04-2012, 05:13 PM
Ok. I just bought the tr3 after it had been sitting for a while... I got it from a 19-year-old kid that got it when his dad died. So basically I'm starting from zero and will have to diagnose everything from a point of ignorance...

Well <span style="font-style: italic">ma'am</span>, you got it running which is a major moment and a morale boost that can keep you inspired for what's next.

Sounds like you may be anxious to get this on the road but I, for one, would take some time to go through the basics including replacing all fluids, sorting out the brakes, replacing the fuel lines and preceding all this with a thorough power-wash if there is any build-up of old grease or oil.

I probably wouldn't jump into rodding the radiator or pulling the header until I had some solid evidence that was needed.

Also check the date code on the tires before you're tempted to drive.

Afrodesia
08-04-2012, 05:21 PM
Didn't realize my anxiousness was so obvious. Yes I did.

Just FYI, you mean "well ma'am." ; )

Geo Hahn
08-04-2012, 10:13 PM
Just FYI, you mean "well ma'am."...

My mistake -- lady alligator wrestlers are sufficently uncommon in this part of the country that I leapt to an incorrect conclusion.

mrv8q
08-04-2012, 11:40 PM
Just FYI, you mean "well ma'am."...

My mistake -- lady alligator wrestlers are sufficently uncommon in this part of the country that I leapt to an incorrect conclusion.

Geo: Too smooth!
Afrodesia: Too cool!