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2001 Subaru Overheat Challenge (and's not the head gasket!)

The thermostat was mentioned that I agree as a possibility, but as another possibility the cooling system is not holding pressure, My guess. Are you loosing fluid on a regular basis, do you check coolant level on a regular basis.Lack of pressure, or lack of coolant are the first things to check. It could even be as simple as a new radiator/coolant cap.

It would seem to me this problem is going to boil down to a t-stat, radiator pressure cap, partially clogged converter, or a combination of those.
Having seen several engines that were absolutely fried because of a badly clogged cat is what leads me to think of that possibility although the cats may not be as fouled up as the ones I’ve personally seen.

One example was a guy who pulled up to the shop one day in a Cadillac El Dorado that was barely moving, smoking, and the owner begging for help. As I walked out I noted the paint on the hood was badly blistered and smoking so my first thought was an engine fire. That was not the case and it turned out the burnt hood was caused by exhaust manifolds that were glowing red. This also wiped the engine out and was due entirely to a badly clogged converter.

Going back OT a bit, I can see anyone landing at the wrong field. They just about all look the same from above.
About 2 years ago a private pilot landed his Cessna at the AFB here by mistake and that brought the Air Police in a hurry.
In another incident at the same base, a private pilot from MN I think it was made the mistake of getting too close and ignoring warnings or not hearing them. This led to his being escorted away by a couple of armed F-16s. Apparently that got his attention… :slight_smile:

I’ve gotten to see the C-130 JATO takesoff and the parachute extraction process and it’s very impressive. I also thought that C-130 was going to smack the ground before the pallet came out.
Wonder if the next step will be to convert a 117 into a Spooky gunship… :slight_smile:

OK add in pressure loss and I think we are on the same page, I used to work at Grand Forks AFB, when it was the number 1 SAC post. I saw an f15 fly in at 500 mph, pull a 180, put on full afterburners and land, all within the length of the runway! I saw a synchronized team of 4 helicopters called the dragonflies, they would fly to a specific point peel off in near perfect loops, as a perfect loop is impossible, and synchronized flying maneuvers I have never seen again…

I have a though. Has anyone checked the direction of rotation of the fans? That’s a long shot but worth looking at, the other is the fan speed. The speed could be affected by resistance in one of the relays or if its a 4 brush motor, which it probably is, one brush may not be making contact so that only half the coils are energized.

barkydog, F15s are something else. The maneuver you mentioned is visually impressive, but the one I like is when they come in at 200’ and 120 knots, pull up vertically and accelerate. That’s thrust to ratio. The most impressive takeoff I have ever seen was a YF-12A.

Checking the fan rotation is a very good suggestion and reminded me of a like problem that I had with my first SAAB many years ago.

The car would overheat (not severely though) whenever the A/C was in operation and every check showed fine. One day while looking at it again I had my wife helping me operate the controls and asked her to turn the A/C and engine off. As I’m standing there I happened to notice as the fan blades slowed down (2 fans) that the secondary A/C fan blade was rotating in the opposite direction as the normal cooling fan. Working the controls a few times to verify it, I discovered that the fan was actually rotating backwards and trying to push air forwards instead of backwards.

An inspection showed that the 2 wire leads inside the fan connector had been put into the wrong slots and that was the cause of the backwards fan. Released the locks, swapped the wire leads, and all was well. That would be a real oddity but something for consideration.

Going OT again (an addiction with aircraft) an AV-8 Harrier can also put on a stunning demonstration and while I’ve never seen a YF-12 or SR-71 fly I did have a chance to go over one at Hill AFB in Utah. That’s a massive plane and anyone with claustrophobia would not want to be in the cockpit, which is tiny.
Interesting fact about that plane is that the starting cart that is used for them has 2 Buick 401 Wildcat engines on it, mounted end to end. That gives them about a 1000 Ft. Lbs. of torque.

Ah the Harrier. when I was a young Petty Officer in the Navy, stationed at Point Mugu, the second prototype of the F14A was flown in. After the F14 landed, I was talking to a Grumman rep who was bragging about how the Tomcat could slow down to 90 knots in the air. While he was talking, a Harrier came in about 100’ AGL and 25 knots, stopped at the intersection of the runways, turned 90 degrees and flew up the short runway where it landed next to its parking space.

Many years ago 4 Harriers came into the base here. The first three landed normally (sort of) but the 4th one made an approach and never touched down. The pilot stopped the plane in mid-air, rotated 360 degrees, took a bow, and then touched down. :slight_smile:

At an air show here a Harrier pilot put on an outstanding demo with the plane including several high speed low level passes.The aircraft has a really nice profile while in the air and as the announcer stated, they generate a world class amount of noise while in the hover.

The Spanish Armada uses Harriers as well. We were modding F-14’s there and when each plane was done, the pilot would request an unrestricted takeoff, which of course was denied. They would then request to do a “low noise” takeoff and that would be approved. To the untrained eye, they look the same.

Anyway, that would stir up the armada pilots who would then get into their jumpjets and put on an impromtu airshow for their senioritas. It was fun to watch, they looked like a stirred up nest of Hornets and would tie up air traffic for about 45 minutes. The air traffic controllers hated us.

That was at NAS Rota, Spain. Once in awhile a USAF F15 would come down from Madrid, low speed, low altitude and then go 90 up and accelerate, right over the runway, that would stir them also.

Well since this thread is going OT with some good airplane stories I have one also. About 4 years ago we went to the airshow at Elmendorf and the F-22 Raptor was replacing the F-15s here. At the show, pilot Paul “Max” Moga, the host of the TV show “Great Planes” did a demo in the Raptor. One of the things he did was point the nose of the plane straight up and then stopped it. It is a very strange sight to see a plane like that just stand still in the air for a number of seconds.

A Raptor popped in at the base here not too long ago but no one other than people at the base knew about it until the next day.

Some years back they had an F-111 Aardvark on display and the pilots in that one put on a show while leaving. They took off with wings extended, went out about 2 miles, whipped a U-turn, folded the wings back, and came blasting back through at around 500 knots at low altitude before going vertical. Beautiful plane and stunning to see with wings folded at high speed.

I don’t know if anyone is familiar with Sean Tucker the aerobatic pilot but that guy is a genius at the stick. He performs a stunt where the plane has a ground speed of something like 20-30 MPH and has it hanging on the prop just a few feet above the ground; much like a helicopter.

At least the planes fill the void until updates on the car appear. :slight_smile:

Unless the radiator fans are running backwards,(which I have also seen) the fans are hot needed on the highway. Could you havw a missing spring inside a radiator hose letting the hose collapse at speed? Do they even use those anymore?


Apparently the machine shop they sent the heads off to just missed it. I just got off the phone with the dealership and that’s all the info they had at the time but I’ll be heading down to pick it up in the next day or two and then I’ll try to get more details.

No word yet on what they plan to charge but I’m sure that negotiation will be fun. :o)

OT, if you haven’t already seen the videos of Bob Hoover on youtube I highly recommend them…great stick and rudder skills.

Thank you for the follow-up and I sincerely hope the cracked head diagnosis is not more BS. It seems to me that it’s incumbent upon the mechanic who is doing the work in the shop to check those heads for cracks while they’re off. I’ve done a countless number of Subaru head gaskets and have always checked the heads for cracks, flatness, and so on.

A cracked head, or plural, can certainly happen but it’s not common and that diagnosis can often be a scapegoat or a cover story. Just something to keep in mind anyway. (Be sure to ask for the old cylinder head and have this crack pointed out to you.)

Back to the aircraft thing, I’ve had the honor and privilege of seeing Mr. Hoover perform several times and he is as good as it gets. I’m also a big fan of Aero Commander aircraft and even took a half day tour through their now defunct Bethany, OK manufacturing facility many years ago. :slight_smile: