Looking for a good mechanic

Qban

New member
Hey I was wondering who the goto guy for our cherokees would be. I'm still overheating and I'm completely out of ideas. I'm ready to pay a mechanic who knows these jeeps and can diagnose my issue. I only overheat on steep grades at highway speed, it's a very slow climb in temperature up to and past 240f. I pretty much have to take a drive to gorman/grapevine or el cajon to make it happen.

I'm not too concerned about the distance to the mechanic, I can drive it wherever to get the best attention. I live in Long Beach.

I've been chasing this problem for about a year and I have fixed and addressed several things in the process. I can definitely tell a good story about my journey to help the mechanic out but I just need to get this diagnosed and fixed.

Two names popped up when I searched but it was an older thread I found, Mike Rollins and Russ Pottenger. Who would be the best for my issue and be willing to really figure out whats going on under my hood =) haha

Thanks!
 

David_Bricker

PSR Fire Marshall
Board of Directors
NAXJA Member
While I can't recommend a specific mechanic, if you want to PM me the parts you've changed, to keep from cluttering this thread, I could review it and see if something was missed. I fought overheating issues for three years, and believe I've finally licked them. Gathered a lot of data during those three years.

David Bricker / SYR - YVR
 

cal

NAXJA Warranty Voider
NAXJA Member
Russ Pottenger builds engines but is not a mechanic. Mike Rollins is an excellent mechanic but does not do much work on the side anymore (and works at the parts counter in his dealership now). Rollins can be reached here by PM; "MJR".

You're describing a radiator problem though.. (or the transmission putting too much heat into your cooling system).
 

JohnX

Sarge <3 Ben
NAXJA Member
You're describing a radiator problem though.. (or the transmission putting too much heat into your cooling system).
X2

Plugged radiator (internal or external) or torque converter not locking up could add a lot of heat.

Personally, if the radiator is original, I'd swap in an all metal 3 row, but that's just me :huh:
 

Qban

New member
The radiator is a brand new dealership hd version. I tested it with 2 thermocouples in the inlet and outlet hoses and a recently calibrated temp gauge. My temperature delta was highest with the new dealership rad versus 2 others that I tried. No plugs. I'll entertain the torque converter idea though. Anyway to test this?
 

GrimmJeeper

ouch.
NAXJA Member
Anyway to test this?
the easiest way to find out if your trans cooler is cooking the radiator is to install an aftermarket one. if the problem stops you know you have transmission issues... the aw4 doesn't like heat, and regardless of whether that's your problem or not any xj will, in my opinion, benefit from adding an external cooler.
 

Qban

New member
I do have a transcooler. It's a B&M mounted in front of the ac condenser. The transmission only goes to the cooler, not the radiator.
 

Qban

New member
The headgasket is a real possibility. Everytime this overheat occurs I find air inside of the upper radiator hose (i shake it and hear the sloshing). I installed a petcock in the upper radiator hose and when I get home I attach a blocktester with a small hose into the petcock, open it and sniff the air through the blocktester until it sucks all the gas out and and I see coolant in the hose.

The blocktester never turns yellow. The blocktester is good as I tested it on the exhaust. I'm not loosing coolant but everytime there is air in the system and I've pressure tested the coolant system.

So what does this mean? Is the air that I find coming from the engine? where else could it come from if there is no leak in the coolant system? Why would the gas not trip the blocktester? Is there not enough, or does the gas lose the c02 that would trip the blocktester in the long period of time from when I get home to when everything cools down and I test it.

If it's the engine, I'll replace it, but I need some direct evidence that that's the cause before I spend the time and money.

Is there a mechanic that has a full engine diagnostic tool on a dyno that can load my jeep to those up hill conditions and reproduce them while diagnosing?
 

cal

NAXJA Warranty Voider
NAXJA Member
People seem to think those mechanics are out there; and there may be one somewhere, but I've never heard of him. Putting that kind of time into a car is not profitable.
 

jumpnjeep

New member
What year jeep? Closed system or open? Could be a small leak somewhere only noticeable when under heavy load climbing hills, at that point you won't notice any leaks because your driving. A bad hose that seeps, a loose connection, I've seen plenty of different problems that are hard to find initially. It might not even leak any coolant out, only pull air in after the fact when cooling down in your driveway. I'm in Pasadena, pretty far, but I'm willing to take a look if you want.
 

Qban

New member
Thanks for the offer. It's a 98XJ, open system. If it's a leak that only sucks air in when it's cooling, then I wouldn't think it would be the source of the overheating since I bled the system and had several hot cold cycles and checked for air before testing the jeep up the grape vine. Is there maybe a better pressure test I can try? right now I'm using a mightyvac at 16psi.
 

jumpnjeep

New member
Well, I know this may sound silly. But change the thermostat and the radiator cap. If your not holding pressure properly it will overheat, though it may only show when under heavy load. My 96, runs cool all the time no matter the outside temp, but when I pull the grapevine or the Cajon pass or similar big hills it heats up to a more "normal" temp. It's a cheap try at an important fix.
 

Qban

New member
Its got a new stant tstat with a drilled hole in it. Ive tried a few different rad caps. I actually took my pressure tester to oreillys and pulled several caps and tested it on the bench with a bottle of water before buying. I was amazed to find 2 out of the 3 caps fail that he brought out. I also got a new dealership cap too which tested well that I' running right now.

I truly and very much appreciate the help. That's what I love about this forum, a good group of people helping out. But the title of the thread is "looking for a mechanic" There's a reason I'm looking for a mechanic.... I'm out of ideas for diagnosing. hehe, stupid jeep... I'm so glad I have another pos saturn for my dd
 

jumpnjeep

New member
Ok, we'll as I said before. I'm in pasadena, kinda far for you but I'm willing to help. I've been a working mechanic for over 10 years. Currently I'm out of work due to a back injury, but if you want to bring me the jeep, I'll look into it. I usually charge about 40-50% of normal shop labor rates. Let me know.
 

David_Bricker

PSR Fire Marshall
Board of Directors
NAXJA Member
Ok, we'll as I said before. I'm in pasadena, kinda far for you but I'm willing to help. I've been a working mechanic for over 10 years. Currently I'm out of work due to a back injury, but if you want to bring me the jeep, I'll look into it. I usually charge about 40-50% of normal shop labor rates. Let me know.
Off topic, but I am also in Pasadena after Sunday, for the next three weeks. It would be nice to meet and say hi.

David Bricker / SYR - YYC
 

jumpnjeep

New member
Off topic, but I am also in Pasadena after Sunday, for the next three weeks. It would be nice to meet and say hi.

David Bricker / SYR - YYC
yes, sounds good. Let me know. I'm not here this weekend, but any other is fine. Maybe we can go harass cracker together!

Asa has one of my street lights to get back to me too....
Lol, I was just telling Monique I need to return that to you today.


Sorry for the hijack, now back to the op subject.
 

xjjeeper19

New member
Its got a new stant tstat with a drilled hole in it. Ive tried a few different rad caps. I actually took my pressure tester to oreillys and pulled several caps and tested it on the bench with a bottle of water before buying. I was amazed to find 2 out of the 3 caps fail that he brought out. I also got a new dealership cap too which tested well that I' running right now.

I truly and very much appreciate the help. That's what I love about this forum, a good group of people helping out. But the title of the thread is "looking for a mechanic" There's a reason I'm looking for a mechanic.... I'm out of ideas for diagnosing. hehe, stupid jeep... I'm so glad I have another pos saturn for my dd
I might be able to help you, I don't see too many Cherokee's roll into the shop anymore, nor have I owned one in a few years, but I have worked for Chrysler for over 13 years, and still do. I work about an hour and a half east of you. pm me with a list of all the parts you have already replaced, and I can ask the heavy line guy (I'm a trans/driveline guy) what he thinks.

I had a 2001 that would get warm going up the 15 fwy, and it was the fan clutch. You could check that if you haven't replaced it already. As for the HD radiator from the dealership, never seen one... if it has plastic side tanks, its a basic radiator. If you can find them still, the CSF three row was my favorite. I could also look a little deeper and see if it has an MLS (multi layer steel) head gasket, because those do weird shit sometimes. They will overheat, but pass a block check. The exhaust fumes never make it to the coolant, but they still overheat.

Just let me know with a PM, I'm always busy, but I can work stuff like this in if you have time to leave it.

Justin
 
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