Engine Cooler for an old trooper - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-11-2013, 07:46 PM   #1
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Engine Cooler for an old trooper

Hi everybody,
I have a 1986 Isuzu trooper that I just used to tow my 13' scamp up to alaska where I will be working for the summer. We took the ferry for a large portion of the way and only drove about 1000 miles in total in weather below freezing the whole time up what I would call moderate mountains (by alaska terms). The car still overheated or was almost on the red line for most of the drives, especially the hills. We would blast the heat, no air conditioning, no more that 3000 rpm EVER and it helped but still made me nervous and we had to pull over sometimes.
I got the radiator flushed before leaving but didn't check the thermostat. I'm thinking maybe I need a new thermostat because a few times the gauge just went up drastically all of the sudden out of no where.
However, I don't know if just getting a new thermostat is going to be enough. This car is old (over 260,000 miles).
I'm thinking of getting an engine cooler to install myself as well. I know nothing about engine coolers though and the info I have seen on them has mostly been from online stores which I'm suspicious of because they might just be trying to sell me a product that might not work. I saw oil coolers. Is this the main type I would want to get? They don't look too difficult to install and I'm sure I have all the tools but would it be worth it? I plan on continuing to drive my car for a long time and even replace the engine eventually because it is sooo great so I'm willing to make an investment, but only if it will work and is within my budget.
Any advice? Online resources you could point me towards? Tutorials on things I should know about installs?
Thanks!
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:06 PM   #2
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I'd try a new thermostat first, then possibly a new radiator. They do get a layer of minerals inside and lose effectiveness. A custom radiator shop could even make you a heavier duty version of the original.

I'd also do a search on an Isuzu forum to see if this is a common problem.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:07 PM   #3
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My car is manual. Are transmission coolers only for automatics?
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:07 PM   #4
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Thermostats are cheap and a DIY fix. I'd start there.

BTW: you can a flush a radiator and all it does is make the cooling worse (lousey sentence). Old fashioned to have it "rodded" which means literally sticking a rod down the baffles to clean them. Sometimes it works, sometimes it punches holes. A radiator only lasts 10-15 years (and YES, I know there are exceptions!)

I'd start with the thermostat as I mentioned first.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:09 PM   #5
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I'd try a new thermostat first, then a new radiator. They do get a layer of minerals inside and lose effectiveness. A custom radiator shop couild even make you a heavier duty version of the original.
Thats a thought. how much would that cost in your part of the woods?
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:15 PM   #6
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Thats a thought. how much would that cost in your part of the woods?
Just doing a quick internet search..........Here is a new one for $270

Radiator Express - ISUZU 1986 TROOPER 2.2,,2238,L4 RADIATOR

$200 at Rock Auto Parts

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,ca...,parttype,2172
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:21 PM   #7
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My car is manual. Are transmission coolers only for automatics?
Yes.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:27 PM   #8
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That is within my budget. I will get advice on a good local mechanic to do the thermostat and possibly get a new radiator installed before driving the whole Alcan back down to the contiguous in September. We are planning on heading to death valley for the winter and driving out of there in spring won't make it if the car is overheating!
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:29 PM   #9
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Thank you Tom!
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:14 PM   #10
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There are several Isuzu Trooper specific users groups. You might want to look there, you may find someone up that way that can help as well. As I am sure that you can risk a head gasket failure when overheated, I'd be very careful until you find and fix the problem. Google "Isuzu Trooper Users" and also look in Yahoo Use Groups.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:36 PM   #11
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I had a 86 trooper, loved it, but blew a coolent hose and guess what? warped head, doesnt take much overheating since they have aluminum heads at least my 4 cyl did.
Had a Dodge van once that keep overheating, you could actually feel the cold spots on the radiator where it was plugged which was about half of it.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:44 PM   #12
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I had a 86 trooper, loved it, but blew a coolent hose and guess what? warped head, doesnt take much overheating since they have aluminum heads at least my 4 cyl did.
Had a Dodge van once that keep overheating, you could actually feel the cold spots on the radiator where it was plugged which was about half of it.
I heard that it was easy to blow a head gasket on them and I really don't want to do that! After hearing a person experience of over heating being a big deal I am definitely changing something to reduce the problem.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:47 PM   #13
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I heard that it was easy to blow a head gasket on them and I really don't want to do that! After hearing a person experience of over heating being a big deal I am definitely changing something to reduce the problem.
If you are at all handy, you can change a thermostat or even a radiator.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:56 PM   #14
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If you are at all handy, you can change a thermostat or even a radiator.
Even I have done both, so I know it's not hard, truly.
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