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I have been having overheating problems ever since I bought my car. It overheats at idle only when warmed up. I have tried almost everything (thermostat, radiator, radiator cap, jiggling the temp sensor, flushing, bleeding, radiator hoses, etc.)! One thing I know for certain is that the radiator fans HARDLY work. They work, but not by themselves. If I pull out the A/C fuse and turn on the air, the fans will kick on. This has been the only way for my car to stop overheating. People tell me it's the temp sensor but the temp drops soon after I forcefully cool it down w/ the fans, so I doubt it.

I have narrowed it down to a few things. First is the relay or fuses. As for the radiator fan fuses (the one right by the battery), it seems to be okay. The relay (light blue one), I have no way of checking to see if it's okay. BTW, the relay box shows "Rad Fan 1" thru "Rad Fan 3" and I only seem to have "Rad Fan 1" and there are no connectors for 2 and 3. I also don't have the "Inhibit" one either. Also w/ the fuse box by the battery. I have the Fan1 but not the Fan2. I don't know if I'm suppose to have these at all, but just checking w/ you guys if it's normal. Second, it could be the water pump. I will probably be getting the UR pullies soon, so when I put on the water pump pulley, I grab a new water pump. Third, it may seem farfetched but, maybe the ECU. Maybe the ECU is malfunctioned? Dunno, but I have a JWT ECU planned in the future so if it is the problem, it'll be solved. Lastly, my Haynes manual, in the troubleshooting section for overheating solutions, says "incorrect ignition timing". My dad has a very cool digital timing gun. When setting my timing to 17 degs I used the "advance timing button" on the timing gun to advance my timing when it is locked in timing mode instead of the traditional turning the distruibtor. I've checked my timing even after I set it digitally and it stays the same. Could digitally setting ignition timing cause my car to overheat, let alone ignition timing?

Any ideas on what might be causing the overheating? Any help is appreciated. TIA.
 

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Veritas
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6,205 Posts
The water pump is probably the culprit, but I would think that --if it's on its way out-- it would have completely gone by now.

Timing? Only if your timing were way beyond the 21-degree mark. I read -and re-read- in your post about using a digital timing gun. That's fine for reading the degrees of advance and all, but there's no way to set the timing other than by moving the distributor. The ecu can make adjustments, but it's all based on the 'base' timing set at the distributor.

Solution?

I'd check the water pump (as they are a known issue on SR20s), and I'd also set your timing manually at the distributor.
 
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