2000 Astro Van Engine Temperature... - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 19, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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2000 Astro Van Engine Temperature...

When I took my engine to drop it off yesterday, the temp gauge on the Astro Van stayed pretty much where it always does (roughly around 180-190 - no numbers on the gauge in that range). On the drive home however (with an empty trailer), the temp hit 210. Not overheating, but still concerned. When I got back and parked it, I opened the hood to spin the cooling fan - it didn't have a lot of resistance.

I popped the hood this morning to spin it again. It had very little resistance, and after a couple of rotations, I could spin it pretty freely (I got some good fan speed by hand). Is this an indication that the fan clutch is bad?? It is the original and has about 107,000 miles on it. I am going to source an AC Delco unit to replace it (if needed), because the parts store clutches are not getting good reviews). If anyone has an ideas on this one, your input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

P.S. 2000 Chevy Astro van, 4.3. Coolant level is good. Water pump shows very minor signs of weeping (teeny stain by weep hole - has never left any coolant drops on the driveway) - will change the pump out at the same time as the clutch, if a clutch is truly needed (the water pump is not original - probably replaced within the last 40,000 miles).

1971 Malibu, factory buckets/full gauges/console, 377 roller cammed small block, Turbo 400, 3.42 10 bolt posi (Buick), - All your base are belong to us.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 19, 1:08 PM
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Re: 2000 Astro Van Engine Temperature...

On mine, I've noticed that it runs a little hotter when it's time for an oil change or the oil level is a little low.

Mike

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 19, 1:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 2000 Astro Van Engine Temperature...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69SHEVL View Post
On mine, I've noticed that it runs a little hotter when it's time for an oil change or the oil level is a little low.
Oil level is fine. This van has never reacted with temperature changes even when it was a quart low. The oil was changed probably within the last 1,500 miles or so.

1971 Malibu, factory buckets/full gauges/console, 377 roller cammed small block, Turbo 400, 3.42 10 bolt posi (Buick), - All your base are belong to us.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 19, 1:35 PM
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Re: 2000 Astro Van Engine Temperature...

I'm assuming you will change the fan clutch first, try it out, then move to the water pump, if needed.

On my 330,000 mile original engine daily driver, I've changed a good amount of maintenance parts.

The Chinese crap is crap.

Delco parts keep it running right on.

Mike

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 19, 6:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 2000 Astro Van Engine Temperature...

I really need someone to tell me if what I described sounds like a bad fan clutch. I need to get one ordered if that is the case.

1971 Malibu, factory buckets/full gauges/console, 377 roller cammed small block, Turbo 400, 3.42 10 bolt posi (Buick), - All your base are belong to us.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 19, 6:58 PM
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Re: 2000 Astro Van Engine Temperature...

Brian,
If it was pretty easy to spin when it was hot then that does sound like the clutch. It should be pretty free when it is cold. Do you have another vehicle to compare it to ? Maybe take a hair dryer and really get the clutch hot and see how it acts ? To be honest with you I would not be that concerned with it unless it does it again. 210 is not all that terrible for modern vehicles. My 99 Tahoe stays right about 195-200 all the time. Has since it was new. Has 250k on it now.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 19, 7:49 PM
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Re: 2000 Astro Van Engine Temperature...

Yep, sounds like the fan clutch.

'71 chevelle, 468, TH400, 12 bolt posi w/3.08's, drinks a lot of 87 octane.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 19, 8:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 2000 Astro Van Engine Temperature...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillK View Post
Brian,
If it was pretty easy to spin when it was hot then that does sound like the clutch. It should be pretty free when it is cold. Do you have another vehicle to compare it to ? Maybe take a hair dryer and really get the clutch hot and see how it acts ? To be honest with you I would not be that concerned with it unless it does it again. 210 is not all that terrible for modern vehicles. My 99 Tahoe stays right about 195-200 all the time. Has since it was new. Has 250k on it now.
I wouldn't be concerned, but it has always run at 180-190, even when the outside temperature was 115

1971 Malibu, factory buckets/full gauges/console, 377 roller cammed small block, Turbo 400, 3.42 10 bolt posi (Buick), - All your base are belong to us.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 19, 8:25 PM
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Re: 2000 Astro Van Engine Temperature...

I'd do a little test of the fan clutch, as the air conditioning fan clutches do free wheel when outside temps are cooler, that is the way they should act. They have a heating load coil on the front of the clutch that a non-air conditioning set drag clutch doesn't have.

I'd use a simple hair blow drier, or heat gun, WITH THE ENGINE OFF, STOPPED, NOT RUNNING, on the clutch and see if it takes more effort to spin the fan as the clutch gets hotter.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 19, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 2000 Astro Van Engine Temperature...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Ray View Post
I'd do a little test of the fan clutch, as the air conditioning fan clutches do free wheel when outside temps are cooler, that is the way they should act. They have a heating load coil on the front of the clutch that a non-air conditioning set drag clutch doesn't have.

I'd use a simple hair blow drier, or heat gun, WITH THE ENGINE OFF, STOPPED, NOT RUNNING, on the clutch and see if it takes more effort to spin the fan as the clutch gets hotter.
I drove it again this afternoon and the engine temperature got to 210. I popped the hood after I parked it and the fan just seems to move too easily. I had the top of the fan shroud off this morning to double check the letter code on the fan clutch - that would have been the time to check it. I may just order a new one, since I know they do not last forever. This one is the original and has 107,000 miles on it.

1971 Malibu, factory buckets/full gauges/console, 377 roller cammed small block, Turbo 400, 3.42 10 bolt posi (Buick), - All your base are belong to us.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 19, 1:58 AM
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Re: 2000 Astro Van Engine Temperature...

I use and recommend NAPA for fan clutches, purchase an HD Thermal fan clutch and good luck!!

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 19, 7:36 AM
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Re: 2000 Astro Van Engine Temperature...

FWIW, I checked mine before I went home last night.

It had a good amount of tension when cold, had tension but not as much at 180 degrees when I got home.

Parts from NAPA for my Astro has been hit or miss in the last few years, mostly not good.

Mike

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 7th, 19, 9:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 2000 Astro Van Engine Temperature...

I finally got around to changing out the fan clutch. Once I got it removed from the fan, it would have a little tension when turning it for about 2 revolutions, but then it would just free spin very rapidly. So, I am saying that it was bad. I think that the weather is now too cool to check the effectiveness of the new fan clutch, but it definitely sounds different when you first start to drive it when it is cold. I think that it was the problem. We'll see what happens when the warmer weather returns in April or so.

1971 Malibu, factory buckets/full gauges/console, 377 roller cammed small block, Turbo 400, 3.42 10 bolt posi (Buick), - All your base are belong to us.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Nov 8th, 19, 8:20 AM
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Re: 2000 Astro Van Engine Temperature...

Sorry I'm late to the game but yes it sounds like the clutch was going out. On my 4.3s you could whip the fan hard and get about 1.5 revolutions before it came to a stop.

If you do end up replacing the pump and thermostat, fill the engine from the thermostat housing in the intake. This allows you to quickly fill the cooling system with little to no bubbles in the engine when you first fire it up.

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