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View Full Version : 1990 Legacy with a Bizarre Overheating Problem



karolle_b
05-06-2008, 05:19 PM
I have a 1990 Subaru Legacy. A few weeks ago it overheated (it wasn't a major overheat, I caught it in time) and we found the radiator had a minor leak, we replaced it and put a new cap and it didn't fix the problem. Our next step was to check the thermostat, we took it out and I drove it to school, which is over 30 miles away for a few days and it ran fine and cool without it. We put a new thermostat in a few days later (installed with the spring towards the engine). Within in 10 minutes it overheated. It doesn't seem to be using water and there is no water in the oil. It works great without a thermostat and I'm not sure if it is a head gasket problem, it doesn't seem like the symptoms point to that. It doesn't over pressurize, it seems to hold proper pressure and there are no visible leaks. Is it possible that it could be my water pump? If not, what are your suggestions....

Thanks!
Carole

Gifters
05-07-2008, 08:51 AM
Not sure what your problem is, I also have a 90 Legacy. Haven't had any problems with over heating, although I've switched to full synthetic which I'm sure helps with excess heat. It does sound like it might be the water pump.

As a side note the only problems I've had is bad fuel injectors, had to replace 4, all on #1 and #3 cylinders, then I need a new compressor it works it just doesn't run smoothly.

CrazyDriver
05-21-2008, 01:19 AM
that actually sounds exactly like a head gasket problem. they are probably shot. what you should do is look in you radiator and if you see any black stuff building up in there, then its your head gaskets. what your doing is burning oil and coolant.
get it checked out immediately because if it is your head gaskets then you could ruin your engine forever driving it.

this happens to all legacys between 90k and 150k miles.

JackedUp24
05-21-2008, 11:33 AM
When you replaced the radiator, did you drain all the antifreeze? And if so, when you replaced the radiator, did you pour antifreeze directly into the block? You have to fill up the engine first otherwise it overheats. Especially if the radiator was damaged and leaked fluids. Otherwise go to your local parts store and get a dye test to see if the head gasket is bad, but the sounds of it, there is a pin hole and its going to get worse quickly.

karolle_b
05-22-2008, 05:02 PM
that actually sounds exactly like a head gasket problem. they are probably shot. what you should do is look in you radiator and if you see any black stuff building up in there, then its your head gaskets. what your doing is burning oil and coolant.
get it checked out immediately because if it is your head gaskets then you could ruin your engine forever driving it.

this happens to all legacys between 90k and 150k miles.

I don't doubt the least bit that it has a small head gasket leak. The only thing is that it isn't using a significant amount of water. The mechanic who looked at it last week said he thought that the engine block was cracked. He said it was pretty common with this model. Thank you for you input, it is very much appreciated!

karolle_b
05-22-2008, 05:13 PM
When you replaced the radiator, did you drain all the antifreeze? And if so, when you replaced the radiator, did you pour antifreeze directly into the block? You have to fill up the engine first otherwise it overheats. Especially if the radiator was damaged and leaked fluids. Otherwise go to your local parts store and get a dye test to see if the head gasket is bad, but the sounds of it, there is a pin hole and its going to get worse quickly.

Ahh, you know I don't think when he drained it he filed the block! That might explain why it overheats with the thermostat in. He is going to drill a 3/16 hole in the thermostat for bleed into the block. So we'll see if that works out or not. We suspect a minor head gasket leak and a Subaru mechanic informed us that the 1990 legacy it notorious for having a cracked block. He seemed to think that was my problem. Thank you for your suggestion!