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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys i have an 87 bronco that keeps dying out when i drive it for a few minutes. When i turn it back on it tries to die out again but i floor it to keep it going. Also, it overheats alot and quickly, uasually when that happens i cant get the thing to start. Have to let it seat there for a few hours to cool off. Any advice would help out alot.
 

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Don't drive it like that.

My guess is that you have a blown head gasket.
Check your oil, if it looks creamy, then you have coolent in the oil. not good sign.

Smell your coolent in the radiator, if it smells like exhaust, that would be another bad sign.
 

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Follow Poppy's advice as a quick check. I like to monitor top and bottom tanks for temperature delta(difference). There should be about 7 to 14 degrees difference between the tanks. Top is hotter. If less than 7 degrees difference there is an air flow problem. Bad clutch on the fan, debris plugged radiator core. If more than 14 degrees there is a coolant flow problem. Closed thermostat, air lock at the pump, pump impeller not turning. A blown head gasket will cause bubbles in the coolant, sometimes they burst and release smoke/exhaust. This is best checked by removing the thermostat and leaving the thermostat housing off. Fill the block with water to the top of the thermostat opening. Pull the water pump drive belt. Start the engine and put it in drive while someone looks for bubbles in the water. Note!! Never stand in front of a vehicle while it is in gear!! Stand to the side and make sure the parking brake is engaged and the driver is standing on the brake pedal!!!The thermostat sets minimum temperature, not maximum and can only cause overheating if it is stuck closed or opens very slowly.
Also look in the radiator for a mineral build up, a coating of calcium like scale. 1/16" of this is the equivalent of 4" of cast iron as far as heat transfer resistance.
 
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Royesses,
I like this post.

Why is this important?
Start the engine and put it in drive while someone looks for bubbles in the water
Please issue the standard warning, Don't stand in front of a vehicle while it is in drive!
 

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Poppy, this puts a small load on the engine which helps push compression/exhaust into the coolant through a gasket or crack. I usually power brake it to really load the engine, but I am very hesitant to have someone I don't know do this.

Roy
 

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I understand.

I had a friend of mine, a mechanic, who somehow got pinned between a car with a running engine, and a wall or pole. The pressure forced blood up into his eyes and caused total and permanent blindness.

I would like to make this suggestion to any readers: DO NOT stand in front of a car with a running engine, especially if it is in drive; but rather look at it while standing to the side.

(Roy... I know that wasn't your suggestion, I just wanted to add a little empasis ;) )
Thanks for understanding :)
 
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I understand.

I had a friend of mine, a mechanic, who somehow got pinned between a car with a running engine, and a wall or pole. The pressure forced blood up into his eyes and caused total and permanent blindness.

I would like to make this suggestion to any readers: DO NOT stand in front of a car with a running engine, especially if it is in drive; but rather look at it while standing to the side.

(Roy... I know that wasn't your suggestion, I just wanted to add a little empasis ;) )
Thanks for understanding :)
Solid advise, Poppy!
 

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royesses gave you a lot of advice to help determine why that old gal is over heating.

Did you by any chance change or move the distributor? If you spark timing is significantly off, that would make it hard to start, and could cause overheating, in a compromised system.

regarding not running, it could be a number of things.
When was your last tuneup? and what did that include?

You can pull diagnostic trouble codes. That would be helpful.

Pull Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) From your onboard computer.
Your engine and transmission are computer controlled.
The computer uses sensors to tell it a number of different things and it controls actuators that push or pull mechanical levers (kinda). If one or more sensors aren't working properly, the computer goes "blind" and doesn't know what to do. If the computer can "see" but one of the actuators is broken and therefore can't follow the commands of the computer; the engine won't run correctly. The computer is preprogrammed with set values for each of its sensors, and each of its actuators. It will run a self check of all systems, like the space shuttle; it will compare its set value(s) to the value(s) it recieves from its sensors, and actuators. If any sensor or acutator is out of the "normal" range the computer will generate a "code." It will generate some codes on the fly, and others will be stored while you are driving. There is a simple method to "pull codes" out of the computer for one to use for diagnostic purposes.
Earlier versions of On Board Diagnostics OBD 1983-1995 can flash the error code to the dash board and can be pulled in one's driveway without any special tools.
Later versions of On Board Diagnostics OBDII some 1995, and pretty much all 1996 and newer, require one to use a code reader or scanner tool.
Some auto parts stores will scan your engine codes for FREE, you may want to call around. Some will scan OBDII but not the older (prior to 1996) OBD systems.
SO here you go...
How to scan FORD on board Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) in your driveway
HowtoPull Codes 1983-1995 Broncos, Mustang, F series Trucks, Econolines, 302, 351 and more
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Woah!!!! Well, she belonged to my old man and i got it off from him. Its been seating a storage unit for a couple of years now. Last tune up???? Dont remember. I do remember my dad having almost similar issues back then not sure though. Its been in the family for so long just dont want it to go to waste.
 

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So give us a little update.
Is this the same tank of gas that was in her for the last few years?

What kind of tools do you have at your disposal? and What kind of experience do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes it is the same tank of gas. I have the normal tools nothing fancy and my experiance doesn't go beyond oil and spark plugs. Got a long way to go
 

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Well,
You've got a lot of experienced people here who are willing to give you some help.

This is going to be a great learning experience for you.

Gasoline does go bad. Stabil is a product that is marketed to stabilize gas if it is going to be stored for more than a month. I honestly do not know how long gas can be stored in a gas tank before it goes bad. I do know that if it is left to evaporate that it will leave a varnish residue that can clog stuff up. (Like a carburetor)

You might have a few problems going on at the same time.

Perhaps others will have more specific comments about the gas.
How much do you have in there? It is a 34 gallon tank (I think). You might be able to dilute the bad gas with a tank of high octane new gas. Let's see what others say about that.

I would want to test the fuel pressure at the fuel rail. You have two fuel pumps. Either one may be bad.

I would look at the vacuum lines. They may be dry rotted and need to be replaced. You may have had mice or squirrels chewing on them, causing vacuum leaks and stalling.

Is your fan belt turning the fan? If not that would cause the overheating.
Is your coolent system full of coolent?
 

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I'm sorry I am just rambling right now, but I wanted to tell you that Autozone, and I think Advanced Auto, perhpas others have a tool loaner program where you leave a deposit and they loan you a tool. They may have fuel pressure guages for loan.

It is likely that you are going to need a digital voltmeter.

What is your greater concern at the moment?
Engine stalling? or overheating?

What is your timeframe on this little project?
Do you have another car?
 

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Which engine is it? Is it carbureted or fuel injected?
Open the fuel tank cap and take a whiff. Stale gas smells really nasty. It is also dark in color. Sometimes adding some fresh fuel and water remover - alcohol will allow it to be run out. Stale gas can cause plugging of the fuel filter also. However your gas may not be stale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wow just to make things worse. I tried turning on it on and in the process I believe I broke something in the ignition switch. Now I have to put the key all the way to the very back just to get the lights to turn on. This is going to be a long project!!!!! Any help on that please?!?!?!
 

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Place a can stable & a can of octane boost in your tank. Give the van a proper tune up... Flush the cooling system.. Change oil if it's older than 6 months... Then go from there...Get an auto repair book for the van..
 

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