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New Owner, One Day Old And Overheated. Need Help!

Guest Jtomo

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Guest Jtomo

Hi, im a new member and just bought a robin hood. On driving the car back, i noticed the coolant temp up over 120 deg. Sated! Seemed high. I stopped several times on the way home to let it cool. The seller had told me it ran hot, 100 deg he said!....not 120 deg! Anyhow, managed to get home ok. I assume the wind through the nose cone kept the rad just cool enough not to blow!


Went out yesterday with my son. Can kept stalling in low gears and i had to keep restarting. The engine got hlt again, up over 120 deg so i tried to trickle home, but alas did not make it before the engine started smoking and i lost power.


So 1 day old, my new dream car is stuck in the garrage! Really upset.


Im no mechanic, in fact im hopeless with engines, so i need some help, any help! Is anyone on here local enough to spare me a couple of hours to help understand whats wrong and hopefully help repair?

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Guest Tim Norman

A few things to check;

  • Can air get past the rad without going through it. If it can, stop it.
  • Can the hot air get out from under the bonnet. If it can't, help it.
  • What temp does the thermostat open. A pinto makes more power if it opens at 74 degrees. Modern cars run much hotter for economy.
  • Are all the waterways clear. Clogged waterways won't help.
  • Is you water pump working. I bought a Jago once and found out that the water pump impellers had actually disintegrated!
  • All easily fixable

If you put the word out for help on here I am sure there are members closer than me who will come and help for the usual fee of tea, bicckies and the odd bacon sarnie!


Don't get too disheartened, the fixes above are cheap and easy, even for a non mechanic :db:

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Hi Jtomo,

It will be quiet on here because a lot of members will be at the kit car show. Some additional information would be useful, engine type and coolant system, does it have a header tank, push or pull fan (in front of behind radiator) does the fan work when running hot? Also what gauge is fitted because with these cars it is not unusual to have a miss match gauge and temperature sender unit therefore showing hotter or colder than actual temperature.


If no one nearer turns up, I occasionally work in Basingstoke so might be able to pop in one evening. Currently off work due to health.



PS. Welcome to the club you have a good bunch of guys down south and they are very active.

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Guest lotusPaul



Sorry to hear that.ive just moved from Andover even further south so a little outta the way.


Give some more info and send pics if you can. One thing i would do first is take out the old thermostat and flush the coolant system. Then, after refilling, run the car around without a thermostat fitted and see if you get same symtoms. This in essence will eliminate the stat being broken question, and help direct the isolation of the fault. If it runs ok with no stat fitted then let us know.



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Guest Peter Kelly

Dear Jtomo I struggled with overheating for years. you must ensure there is no air in the cooling system.

My super spec was fine on runs until i stopped in traffic where upon it would over heat and dump water on the road causing an air lock in the system.

I cured this problem by swapping the 13psi pressure cap with one rated at 20psi.

Make sure all the plumbing is sound and the only other thing I did was to ensure that as much as possible of the air that came through the grill went through the radiator.


No further problems.


Good luck Jtomo I,m sure you will get it sorted.


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Welcome to the Club Jtomo, so many useful people who are always there to listen and assist if they can you will not regret Joining so much information and excellent people who will always try to assist.


As the others have said it should be fairly easy to sort, stay Focused and it will happen and you will exit much wiser.


Once up and running you will enjoy your Car.

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Be calm, confident and patient. I'm not a mechanic and my first car had overheating problems.


With a good sierra manual. Lots of support from the guys on here I managed to striip down, purchase everything needed off eVILbay and upgrade all of the cooling system on the Pinto engine.


Absolutely runs like a dream now, but alas sits in the garage staring at the newer model.


As per everybody else's comments - try to replace the radiator, fix a more efficient fan, flush system and replace thermostat. Make sure you have thermostat kicking in at the right temperature for the correct engine to keep it running efficiently.

My Pinto runs between 80-90, whereas the V6 runs around 90-100. I think some more modern engines run hotter (Zetecs 120???).


I just returned from the kit car show and can confirm a lot of members will be tied up until later as they are also in transit.

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Guest Jtomo

Thanks everyone, much aporeciated. If anyone is passing this way, i have a kettle, can get biscuits and ill even buy you dinner if you can help get this sorted!?


Any links to a suitable new Rad? How have people ducted the air to ensure it goes through the rad? I can add oucs, still working on how!!!

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Guest lotusPaul

Just to be sure, how did it drive? You say lost power. A lean mixture will cause overheating too. As engine gets hot it will also magically evaporate to atmosphere and enhance this. I dont know what your running but perhaps you have other issues.

Generaly speaking overheating is a common fault thats easily overcome so keep at it and keep info coming back to us.


I forgot to say welcome before, very rude of me.my appologies

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Guest lotusPaul

So, is you rad cap lower than top of head?


Can you take a pic of it? It may be lower in which case it will never fill correctly.


If it is lower try jacking up front end or driving onto ramps, fill to top and leave engine running with cap off. As stat opens it should begin to bubble and air will leave system. Top up untill this stops. Put cap on and test drive.

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Guest Jtomo

Fan is controlled by a switch on the dash rather than a stat, no idea why? It was defibately on and running before during and after the overheating!


There is now a small oil leak under the dizzy. The coolant obviously evapirated!, left spray marks on the engine!


Engine will still start, but have not done so since just after the breakdown. The engine is a reconditioned 2.1 pinto, rebored to 2.2 i believe. Oversized inlet and outlet valves. It was apparently using running in oil so i know that is due a change. Does that help?


As you can guess i am mechanically a numpty! I am not affraid of getting stuck in, but would rather this ge under instruction!


Interested in a new rad, any recommendations with links?


How do you duct the air to force it through the rad? Do you need to buikd up a frame or anything? Any recommendations?


Sorry, lots of questiins!

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take a pic of the radiator set up will help diagnose. and the fan too.

pictures speak a thousand words.


i used a honda civic alloy rad. cheap as chips. and a 12 inch fan at the rear. its the size of the whole core.

Mine never overheated i fitted a 80 degree thermostat with a 3mm hole in it.

fitted a new waterpump and never had issues.

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