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07 Equinox overheat


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Old 11-29-2017, 12:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 07 Equinox overheat

Letís just get right into it. As the title says, I have an 07 Equinox that started giving me issues. It all started when I was out with the family, normally the wife totes the kiddos around with this vehicle, I see the temp gauge start climbing past normal operating temp and kept going. I immediately pulled over, shut it off and checked the coolant level. Level was good and hoses were warm not hot. I determined on the side of the road that the coolant temp sensor (CTS) was the issue and drove the 12 miles back home with the temp gauge hovering just under the red.

Replaced the CTS and bled the system. Everything seemed fine. For a little while. It was roughly a week later the wife told me the temp is climbing again but it fluctuates. Goes up then comes back down. Iím at 90k miles so I just went ahead and changed the T-stat and flushed the system. Again bled it out and life was good again. Or was it?

4 days later the wife says itís doing it again. Starts climbing in temp and then drops back down. I drove it and cleaned out the catalytic convertor if you will. I figured itís got to be the CTS because I just threw in a Duralast part because it was an easy resolution at the time. Picked up a Delco unit and did the job one more time. Surely this has got this issue licked. Yes, I just called you Surely.

Next day, doing it again. Alright, maybe the water pump is shot. Iíve seen it happen. Itís gotta not be circulating the coolant. Grabbed a water pump and changed it. Didnít really see anything wrong with one that I took out but everything else is checking out fine. Went a head and did plugs and wires while I was there too. Left it up on ramps and bled the cooling system really good this time. There, hereís your car now leave me alone.

Think I made it about 9 days this time around before she tells me the temp is climbing again. Iím starting to get aggravated because messing with this thing is cutting into my projects time. It does it right away for me on my test drive. Fans are coming on high, that annoying chime is screaming in my ear but the hoses arenít really hot. I start messing with it and noticed that if I turn the key to on, then off, then on, then off, then on, then off, the temp gauge needle drops ever so slightly every time I do this. Ok, now I know whatís happening, just gotten bitten by the notorious GM stepper motor issue. The gauge is wrong. But why would the fans come on based off gauge and not CTS? Iím asking myself this, stop talking to your screen. Donít get a head of me, Iím getting there.

I tell the warden (wife), if you get into the vehicle and turn the key on, the gauge should be on the cold. If itís not, cycle the key until it is. I ordered the stepper motor but wasnít sure if I was gonna do it or just send out the cluster and have them all done. I have no issue doing it but again, itís cutting into my projects.

3 days later, are you starting to see a pattern here yet? Are you even still reading this? Pretty boring without pictures isnít it? Sorry, I usually only take pics of my toys, not her car that is giving me a migraine. Who wants to be reminded of that? Ok, back on track. 3 days later, I get a call at work and sheís telling me the car DIC (driver information center) is saying to shut the vehicle off. First started saying engine overheat and turn off ac. Ac wasnít even on. Then says shut engine off. Iím asking her if she reset the stepper motor. She said yes. I said pull over and reset it. It should be in the middle. She says it wonít reset. Iím getting mad, yes it will. Shut it off and reset the stepper, I know it will. She gets mad and hangs up on me. 3 minutes later she calls again, now the car wonít go. What do you mean it wonít go? DIC says engine power reduced. Oh great, it went into limp mode. Sheís 20 minutes from home in rush hour traffic. I tell her to do what she has to do, Iím at work. Park it and walk, call for a ride, call a tow. I donít care. Just make sure my princess is ok, my 3 year old daughter. She left it on the side of the road and called a friend of mine who went and picked her up and gave her his truck to do her running. I get off of work and go to the car and itís dead. The fans ran so long they killed the battery. In the PCM program itís only suppose to allow the fans to run for 300 seconds max so Iím not sure if she sat there listening to the radio and charging her phone waiting for her ride but either way, I have to do something. Went and grabbed my trailer and winched the car up and got it back home.

The gauge has swept all the way past hot and about half way around. Guess I canít wait any longer. Iím changing the stepper. Pulled cluster and took it apart. Got out my solder sucker and iron. Replaced the stepper and put it back together. Took the car for a ride after charging the battery and about time, this SOB is out of my hair. Back to some fun wrenching on projects.

If that was the end, I probably wouldnít be posting any of this now would I? Itís gotten worse. No heat, temp fluctuating and a lot of cooling system pressure. Now Iím at my wits end. Itís a simple cooling system. I start simple, Iím a firm believer in the KISS method (Keep It Simple Stupid), oil level is perfect, no signs of moisture under 710 cap (if your a car guy you got that), no bubbles in reservoir while running, no white smoke or coolant smell at tailpipe, pressure tested system and held 15lbs for 30 minutes. No external leaks. Compression test- roughly 130 PSI on all 6. Combustion gas chemical test on reservoir- no signs of any color change. Cylinder leak down test- tests good. I canít find anything wrong. But Iím getting tired of messing with it so Iím going after a bad head gasket pumping air into cooling system. Even tho tests are telling me itís fine, Iím still going in.

Gonna leave it here until I can get some pics uploaded. Might switch to Tapatalk, itís easier since photobucket sucks anymore. I shall return. With pictures this time for the photo whores. Iím one too. I donít usually type this much without a ton of pictures. Bare with me.
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Old 11-29-2017, 01:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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have you checked the thermostat? also keep me updated ive been having the same exact issues with my 05
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, thermostat got changed twice now. Iíll get back and get caught up to where Iím at now with pics later on today.
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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After I did all my testing and was coming up short, I decided to just dive in and go after the head gasket. Air just doesnít enter the cooling system on its own. Seems like it doesnít start until it gets at or just above normal operating temp.

So here it is, some pics to go with the story.







Bank 2. Cylinders 2,4 and 6.



Bank 1. Cylinders 1,3 and 5. What do you see here?




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Old 11-29-2017, 09:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hereís the head gasket from bank 1. The gasketís fire rings tell the story. The bottom two you can clearly see that they were sealed. The top which is cylinder 1 shows the fire ring shiny and clean where the compression was pushing into the cooling system.



The gasket was even flimsy and weak in that top corner. Glad all this wasnít for nothing.



Other than the gasket issue I came across another. Look at the pic above and toward the front of the block between the coolant passages, can see the circle that appears to be residual left over from head gasket? I started cleaning the head surface and I scraped it with a razor scraper and it didnít seem to get that circle off the surface. I grabbed my metal scraper and used some force trying to see if it would come off and it scratched into the mating surface. WTH?? Grabbed my pick and started scraping at it and it was soft like head gasket material but doesnít appear to be a coolant passage. Iím at a loss for words on this. So I started searching the web for other pics to compare. Here are a few that are not mine but you can clearly see the same circle imprinted. Iím wondering if anyone has ever seen this before.





Might need to zoom in to see it on above pics. But hereís a close up of the surface after just using a small pick and screwdriver seeing if I could dig it out. Didnít want to keep digging if this is a bad thing. Not sure what Iím going to do at this point. Going back out now to see if both sides are like this and I have to clean the heads and check for warpage.





Any suggestions, comments, anything?? Iím not sure what to think. Epoxy it flat again? Pull engine and have it welded and resurfaced? I wanted to have this done by Saturday, December 2nd.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Heads got torn down to do valve seals and a lap job. Figured I might as well since itís apart. I would never put the beads back on one of my vehicles without a valve job and seals at the very least. This is the old ladyís daily driver so Iím gonna do at least that. My vehicles get 3 angle valve jobs, heads surfaced to at least a 10ma for MLS head gaskets and a port/polish job if not already done. Lol. If I put this Nox together without going a little further and not painting hard parts she would look at me like I treat her like a red headed step child.

Anyway, pic time.





And of course new head bolts are required for this.



I had a little oopsy last night. I was removing springs and valves and had one compressed and removed a keeper from the retainer and heard the dog barking. I ran to the garage door thinking someone let her out and didnít put her on her hook, but she was just barking to go in. When I turned back to get to the head, the valve spring compressor slipped off the retainer and the spring, retainer and one keeper went flying across the garage. I found the spring and retainer but that little keeper is MIA. I had to stop at dealership today after work and pick up another one. I grabbed 4 just so I have extras. $2.48 each. Didnít think that was too awful considering I seen them listed online for $8 each.

So now Iím lapping valves, putting seals in and reassembling. Should be ready to go back together by 2mrw. I havenít come up with anything on the head surface. Gonna play with it tonight before I call it and may end up epoxying it flat and calling it a day. Not sure what else to do. I asked a couple techs that were at the dealership but they had no idea without looking at it.

To be continued...........


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Old 12-02-2017, 08:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Has anyone ever seen the movie where this guy is the last man on earth and he keeps walking around looking for others? He searches everywhere until he gets to the point where heís so lonely that he decides to jump off a building to end it. On the way down as heís free falling past the 17th floor he hears a phone ringing. Hahaha. Thatís kinda how I feel here, the ships sailing but thereís no captain or crew aboard. But yet Iíll see this post out until the end.

Today is the day. Saturday December 2nd, D-day. Come hell or high water this vehicle is getting done. Last night I found out that my lapping compound has dried up on me. It was almost empty anyway. So I had to run out to get more and didnít get to finish both heads before going to bed. Had to come back to work this morning.

Hereís what intake valve and seat looked like. Engine has 91k miles. They all seated. I donít pressure check them but I did fill up runners with parts cleaner and watched for seepage.



Old skool lap job. Sorry, I donít have a fancy machine.



Iíll be damned. I didnít get a picture of the finished product. Could have sworn I did. Iíll get one today when I finish other head.

As far as the blockís deck surface I said to hell with it and built up the deck with epoxy. Hereís what it looked like after I picked at it.



Finished product. Hope it holds.



Have to surface it level but at least itís not a hole. Then I did the other side because I could feel the same thing and it was just a little low.








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Old 12-02-2017, 07:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Dern,, you been thru as much crap as Clark Griswold on national Lampoon's Christmas vacation, hope you figured it out !
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Old 12-02-2017, 10:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Jb weld or stick weld then smooth it..
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Didnít get it done last night. I had too many distractions from people stopping by and having to eat dinner. Back at it today. Should be done tho.

After the deck was filled and valves lapped in I had to check the deck for warpage. But first I always like to get it as clean and flat as possible. I make sure all the big stuff is off and then I take a piece of square tube that is perfectly straight and machined to tight tolerances. I have a few of these in different sizes floating around for **** like this. I took one that is 10íí long and I have a roll of 600 grit sticky back sand paper and I slap that on it and start sanding.



First spray the deck with WD40 and work the sanding block with minimal pressure at different angles. Side to side, up and down and diagonal both ways. This keeps from causing sanding scars and keeps it uniform. Always keep as much of the block on the surface as possible to prevent low spots and do not be tempted to focus on one spot that you see. Keep the block moving and even across the surface.

Once your happy, usually about 3-4 minutes is all it takes, wipe down surface and take a look. I did this 3 times on the deck. Wiping off the paper on the sanding block each time and applying more WD40. Once done, clean out bolt holes by running a thread chaser thru, blow out the holes and wipe down the surface with a lint free cloth until the cloth is clean. May have to go thru a bunch of them but itís important for proper sealing. Install the dowels and the gasket, now your ready for the head.



But the heads not ready for the block so cover your work surface and go over to the head. Letís get that flat, cleaned and ready.



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Old 12-03-2017, 10:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Same thing with the head. Carefully remove the big chunks. I hate seeing people using a razor scraper on aluminum but I do it all the time. Just carefully. Do not gouge it. I would have sent heads in but I donít have time. They were saying 2 weeks turnaround. Iíll just do my thing and check it.

Same thing as block, WD40 and work it. I did 3 passes on this as well. Hereís how it looked before I started, for reference.





Hereís how it looks as your working it. Remember, this isnít karate kid and wax the car. Side to side, up and down and diagonal both ways.



Keep flat as possible, not a lot of pressure needed. Wipe it off and check your work.



Looking good, we are getting there but Iím not happy yet. Letís do another round.



Now Iím happy. Looks like it should seal.


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Old 12-03-2017, 10:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Before I go any further, Iím gonna check for warpage. I used a 15íí piece and set it across the head.



Using a .001íí feeler gauge, I try to stick it under the tubing in several places. Across the head center and check between the cylinders, diagonal and check everywhere it contacts the surface, the other diagonal, above the cylinders and below the cylinders. Iím good to go.

Now that I know itís flat and surface is clean, I want to remove anything from combustion chambers that may come loose and get smashed in my newly lapped valve seats. This is just a preventative measure. I use a small brass brush, stainless works too but avoid a steel one. Digs too much. I use WD40 for this too. Spray on a liberal amount and get to scrubbing.



Iím not looking for perfection. Just making sure big chunks donít come loose and removes some of the carbon build up.



I still need to do a final cleaning before install but we arenít done with this yet. Still more work to do.


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Old 12-03-2017, 10:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Bottom of the head is ready for final cleaning. Letís get the intake side done.



Same ****, gonna use the sanding block and WD40. The entire side is a machined surface, same for exhaust side. Little trickier to keep contact but itís doable. Do not want the block to tip off one side because it can gouge or round an edge. Just work it with as much surface contact as possible.



Done. Not looking for profection again. These are dry gaskets and have a lot of rubber around the ports. Pretty forgiving. I didnít want to over do it.



Exhaust side.



Again, not getting crazy here. The gaskets are a crush type and will seal easily. Notice the center got most attention. This will happen when keeping as much contact to surface as possible but donít focus on one side more than the other, keep it even and moving.






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Old 12-03-2017, 10:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Now itís time to clean the head. I use a whole can of brake cleaner and blow gun to get holes cleaned out. I run thread chasers thru holes and also spark plug holes as well. Wipe everything down really well and keep your dick beaters off the head gasket surface.



Install the head and use torque compound on threads and under side of heads on bolts. Keeps torque consistent. And donít forget to use new head bolts. They are torque to yield so they are only a one time use.





Rockers and pushrods. I first removed lifters and inspected the rollers and camshaft. Applied assembly lube to rollers and lifter cup where pushrod contacts. Put assembly lube on valve tip and top of pushrod. Torqued to spec while on base of cam. Intake gasket had to go on first. Itís one of them engines that the lower intake is part of the head for the valve cover. I really do not like these designs but nobody said engineers are smart.



Time to move to the other side and start the process all over again.

Deck done, dowels installed and gasket on.



Almost done. Should be a walk in the park once the intake is ready to go on.


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Old 12-03-2017, 10:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Other head surfaced and cleaned. Got it on and torqued down.



Then the road block happened. I removed the lifter retainer plate and pulled lifters one at a time to inspect and put assembly lube on rollers. Started at the back and when I got to the second from the front it happened. Found the lifter roller chewed up.



Inspected the camshaft and it looks fine. If the cam was chewed, I would have just put the lifter back in and left it for now because the engine has to come out to pull the camshaft.






But since the cam isnít chewed up or flaking Iím replacing the lifter. GM parts direct dot com has it listed for $17. Found one on Amazon for $19 (still AC Delco) but wonít get here til Wednesday. I can pay an extra $3.99 to get it Tuesday which I would do but Hawk Chevy right down the road has the same prices as GM parts direct so Iím gonna check with dealer on Monday before I order. Iím so close to having this thing done. Another hour it would be getting filled with coolant and then all I have to do is change the oil. Oh well, one more day wonít kill me. But may kill my truck.



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