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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dad has a 01 supercharged frontier with 152k on it.
Today it started running warmer than normal.

Hasent over heated,but the needle has gotten close to the H a couple of times.

If you start it and let it idle it will remain at operating temp for a very long time ,but when you take it out ,and drive it normally the gauge will rise a bit ,and then when you come to a stop it will start to rise a bit more.

Once under way it will slowly drop back to normal.
All this happnes much faster with the AC on.

I put a new Thermostat in today ,but it made no difference.
The truck has had regular cooling system mantinence.

Im thinking it is the fan clutch.
What do you guys think?
Thanks for any feedback.
 

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sounds like someting is restricting your radiator fan
 

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I would look at the water pump as a possible problem. I would think if the fan was acting up, the temp would climb at idle since there would be less airflow across the radiator. You could also have a partially plugged radiator - either way, it sounds like a coolant flow problem. Good Luck...
 

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I'm strongly leaning towards the water pump as an issue. My dad's 94 XE hard body had the same issue and it was the water pump that required a replacement. He had slightly higher mileage at the time (180K), but the same symptoms nonetheless.
 

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Time to trade it in on a Titan. I had the same truck and it got the same gas milage as my titan did. And much slower.

But seriously as said above water pump. Is the antifreeze clean?? You can also look for a bad/kinking hose (with age if the hose is at a bad angle and worked while new it can kink over time). That would make it cooler standing still but higher idle it would heat up.
 

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Try a flush and fill, like Heli said, your Anti-Freeze might be bad!!

Water Pump, if that doesn't fix it!!
 

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First thing, did you bleed the cooling system. I think all of the VG engines used in the trucks had bleeder plugs you had to take out when filling to get the air pockets out of the system. It is an ugly thing to see a set of sparkplug boots melted into the heads, once that happens you might as well chunk them and start over. Second. Does your fan clutch engage after it gets hot. Third. Might not be a bad time to pull the radiator and send it to a REPUTABLE radiator shop and have it rodded out. And don't let them tell you that they checked the flow and it was ok. You want both tanks pulled and have it cleaned and rodded out. I've had several radiator shops try to tell me that the radiator had good flow and that there was no need to rod it. I stood there and made them pull both tanks and clean it only to find that over one third of the flues were stopped up. The waterpump is possible, I have seen impellers get loose on the shaft but not often. In a severely neglected cooling system I have seen the impeller blades rust completely off the shaft of the pump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The cooling system has been serviced by Nissan every 30k ,and Ive done a couple of drain and fills in between.

When Ive done the drain and fills I never used the block plugs to bleed the system ,but I would let it run for a extended period with the cap off and rev it here and there ,and that seemed to work fine.

It now has a new Tstat ,and fan clutch with the same problem.
I may try the cap next ,and if that dosent work ,I guess it goes to Nissan.
 

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Look for the water pump. That is a 99% promise to be the problem. It should have a weep hole or two on it. I would almost promise you will see the "trail of tears" on it. If you got 152K on it you done good. If you can't chnge it yourself make them quote you so you can compare to a shop or two. You are so far out o warranty there is no real reason to use them unless they are the best option in your area.

Hope this helps, and once you get'er fixed let us know.
 

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the fan on my buddy's 99 accord stopped turning on and thus, getting hot. it turned out to be the "switch" and not the thermostat nor the clutch. it's just a chunk of metal that touched the block and sends info...sorry for the non-technical description, if at all correct explanation of function.
 

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Most Nissans require a new water pump at 120K as regular maintenance along with new accessory belts, timing belt kit replacement, and all fluid/lube change. I would do that if it hasn't been done already, and it will save you a lot if it is a DIY project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No leaks at all, not even from the weep holes on the waterpump.
Heres what I noticed, With the new fan clutch it will idle in the drive way forever ,and not budge from the normal operating temp until the AC is turned on.

If I turn the AC on and maybe rev it a little I noticed that the fan was actually slowing down.
Of course when the fan slows down is when the temp starts to rise!! WTF???

Isent the clutch supposed to engauge harder and spin faster with the AC on?
When I turn the AC off the clutch enguages, and brings things back to where they are supposed to be.

I wonder If i got a defective clutch?
I may try swapping it one more time tommorow ,and then ill go from there.
Thanks for everyones help.
 

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abmobil said:
No leaks at all, not even from the weep holes on the waterpump.
Heres what I noticed, With the new fan clutch it will idle in the drive way forever ,and not budge from the normal operating temp until the AC is turned on.

If I turn the AC on and maybe rev it a little I noticed that the fan was actually slowing down.
Of course when the fan slows down is when the temp starts to rise!! WTF???

Isent the clutch supposed to engauge harder and spin faster with the AC on?
When I turn the AC off the clutch enguages, and brings things back to where they are supposed to be.

I wonder If i got a defective clutch?
I may try swapping it one more time tommorow ,and then ill go from there.
Thanks for everyones help.
The clutch will engage harder when it sees the temp of the air coming through the radiator get hotter. There is a bimetallic strip usually in the form of a coil that will turn a little shaft on the front of the fan clutch as the temp rises. This in turn will change the flow of the fluid in the clutch making it engage harder. When you turn the A/C on you add more heat to the to cooling system in the form of the heat that it is removing from the compressed refrigerant in the A/C condenser core in front of the radiator. The fan clutch could possibly be bad, I have gotten bad ones before. Make sure that you haven't lost any fluid from the clutch around the shaft. If it leaked that could explain it quick. On the subject of the bleeding the cooling system, there is usually a plug with a 10mm head at the highest point of the cooling system, normally marked with a small gold sticker next to it telling you what it is and the torque to tighten it to. If you can get it to operating temp and hold the throttle at about 1500 RPM or so , the clutch should start to lock up as the temp of the air coming off of the radiator starts to get hotter. Another thing, make sure you have the proper mix of coolant in the radiator. It callsfor a 50/50 mix. I made the stupid mistake of getting in a hurry with my old Nissan truck with a VG30 and used straight antifreeze. I fought with it a month running hot every time I got out on the road before I reallised what I did and changed it out with the proper mix. The water is what does most of the heat transfer, the antifreeze mainly lubricates stuff and keeps it from freezing. The radiator cap, normally set at about 15 psi, keeps the system under pressure to raise the boiling point of the coolant, like a pressure cooker in your kitchen. If none of the above does you any good pull the radiator and rod it out. Hope some of this helps.
 

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abmobil said:
My dad has a 01 supercharged frontier with 152k on it.
Today it started running warmer than normal.

Hasent over heated,but the needle has gotten close to the H a couple of times.

If you start it and let it idle it will remain at operating temp for a very long time ,but when you take it out ,and drive it normally the gauge will rise a bit ,and then when you come to a stop it will start to rise a bit more.

Once under way it will slowly drop back to normal.
All this happnes much faster with the AC on.

I put a new Thermostat in today ,but it made no difference.
The truck has had regular cooling system mantinence.

Im thinking it is the fan clutch.
What do you guys think?
Thanks for any feedback.
I may have some bad news for you. Before the Titan I had a 2000 Nissan Xterra and my truck did this one summer, and it did it a few times. First thing that I had to do was add some coolant, I couldnt find where it was leaking, mainly because the leak was very small. I added some and bled the system, these are like the old Maximas in that its best to bleed the system with the front end up in the air a little bit.
Now the bad news, this happened in like july, and in november of the same year I had a head gasket go bad, it was a nightmare. Luckily my father is a service manager for a Nissan dealer as we could do the work ourselves. But I wouldnt put that out of your mind. What everyone else said about thermostats and such, yes I would check those, but I doubt it. I had a 1990 maxima with 250k, that I never put a Rad or Thermostat in.. I am afraid this is going to happen to you in the future... Sorry for the bad news....:crying:
 

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abmobil said:
My dad has a 01 supercharged frontier with 152k on it.
Today it started running warmer than normal.

Hasent over heated,but the needle has gotten close to the H a couple of times.

If you start it and let it idle it will remain at operating temp for a very long time ,but when you take it out ,and drive it normally the gauge will rise a bit ,and then when you come to a stop it will start to rise a bit more.

Once under way it will slowly drop back to normal.
All this happnes much faster with the AC on.

I put a new Thermostat in today ,but it made no difference.
The truck has had regular cooling system mantinence.

Im thinking it is the fan clutch.
What do you guys think?
Thanks for any feedback.
Have you replaced the radiator cap yet?
If it's not holding pressure it will allow the overflow bottle to fill up and not recirculate back to the radiator.Check the bottle and see if it is unusually high,especially after driving at fwy speeeds.
Also look to see if the bottle is puking out excess coolant down inner fender in engine compt.
Pretty common on the VG engines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I thought about the head gasket ,but it has not lost a drop of coolant.
I did replace the radiator cap with no change in condition.

Put 2nd clutch on today and its the same thing.
Unless I just got 2 bad clutches im almost certain it has something to do with fan speed.

When the temp starts to rise the fan does not react.
Eventually it will kick on and you can hear and see it ,but it gets to hot before it does anything.

Ya'll would have to see it to believe it but the fan will sometimes kick on ,and when you actually turn the AC on the fan speed will decrease!?!?

Dosent make much sense ,but thats the way its happening.

Anyway Ill keep ya''ll updated.
 

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Usually the engines RPMs will decrease a bit when the AC clutch is engaged(sometimes a difference up to 400RPM), which would obviously make the fan rotate slower.
Question. Is the electric auxiliary fan kicking on? Some vehicles this fan usually turns on when the AC is being used at idle or slow speeds, but will also kick on when the coolant temp rises past the normal range. If not, check the fuse.

Also... sometimes the AC condenser and/or the radiator will get clogged with mud, and sometimes leaves and debris get caught between the condenser and the radiator. Check that too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Z-Hauler said:
Usually the engines RPMs will decrease a bit when the AC clutch is engaged(sometimes a difference up to 400RPM), which would obviously make the fan rotate slower.
Question. Is the electric auxiliary fan kicking on? Some vehicles this fan usually turns on when the AC is being used at idle or slow speeds, but will also kick on when the coolant temp rises past the normal range. If not, check the fuse.

Also... sometimes the AC condenser and/or the radiator will get clogged with mud, and sometimes leaves and debris get caught between the condenser and the radiator. Check that too.

No electric fan on this one.

I spoke with 2 previous Nissan techs today that quite Nissan ,and started there own shop.
They told me that the radiator despite being serviced more often than reccomended is probably clogged, and restricting flow.

He said nissan used really tiny passages, and that it dosent take much to stop them up.
Guy seemed really knowledgeable so I guess ill throw a radiator in next weekend.

Thanks to all for your help.
The Frontier forums are dead!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I put a new Radiator in today after talking with a really good Nissan tech, and it solved the problem!!

It was serviced according to the manual at the dealer its whole life so my guess is that they may have used tap water ,and overtime the minerlas clogged it???

I dont know im just glad its fixed.
So If anyone ever experiences this dont overule the radiator.

I would have never imagined that was what the problem was with the way it was serviced.
 
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