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Old 02-11-2021, 11:48 PM   #1
mhgreen
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Exclamation UH OH in Cheyenne, WY

Made it this far from Portland headed east. '89 240 na doing great until I hit Cheyenne, WY. Now my temp gauge is glued low and I can't get the heat to blow warm in the cabin. Not good in -2* F. Just drove 17 hours. Pretty fried so any help is appreciated.

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Old 02-12-2021, 12:08 AM   #2
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Probably a bad thermostat, stuck in open position.

Replace it.
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Old 02-12-2021, 12:28 AM   #3
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Probably a bad thermostat, stuck in open position.

Replace it.
That was my first thought . I have a brand new Vernet with me .
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Old 02-12-2021, 12:34 AM   #4
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It isn’t stuck open, otherwise you would have heat. The top portion of it snapped off.
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Old 02-12-2021, 12:38 AM   #5
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It isn’t stuck open, otherwise you would have heat. The top portion of it snapped off.
Into the head?

Or where might it land? Just don't want any loose pieces dropping in there
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Old 02-12-2021, 12:42 AM   #6
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If that’s what happened the parts will be in the neck/hose. They should just drop out.
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Old 02-12-2021, 12:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyturbos View Post
It isnít stuck open, otherwise you would have heat. The top portion of it snapped off.
Would you have heat if the ambient temp is below zero?

Not arguing, just trying to learn / clarify my thinking.
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Old 02-12-2021, 01:01 AM   #8
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It isn’t stuck open, otherwise you would have heat. The top portion of it snapped off.
Bet you are exactly right, typical, and a good way for it to fail, won't hurt anything except freeze the driver out.

Cheyenne WY area has always been bad luck for me, especially the climb from Laramie towards Cheyenne. Car-killer grade that will find and reveal any mechanical weak point, much like the Grapevine in southern CA. Trivia fact, it's the highest point on I-80 in the country.

Good chance that hill killed your tstat (or more accurately gave your end-of-life tstat its final push). Engine was loafing along on flat ground for hours up to Laramie, probably with a tailwind behind you to boot, and in cold weather, so tstat was most of the way closed with minimal heat coming from the motor. Then you hit the hill, put the pedal down, and the engine started working hard and kicking out heat, thermostat had to quickly open, and that just happened to also be the last big cycle of the spring that tstat had left in it. When the spring got compressed it snapped the crossbar off and broke the stat open. Came down the other side into Cheyenne coasting, and the engine temp dropped like a rock and stayed there, right?

It was bound to happen soon anyway but you can probably call that hill the "proximate" cause if you wish. Now you can join the club of those who curse it.

10 minute repair though.
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Old 02-12-2021, 01:07 AM   #9
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I think I'd try wrapping a piece of cardboard, or a garbage bag, around the grill to block off the incoming air until daylight and [slightly] warmer temperatures.
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Old 02-12-2021, 01:49 AM   #10
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Stupid question: The coolant is full right?
With proper-strength antifreeze, not water?
(Somebody had to ask).
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Old 02-12-2021, 01:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Stupid question: The coolant is full right?
With proper-strength antifreeze, not water?
(Somebody had to ask).
Good thought. I did check to make sure nothing was off with the coolant .
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Old 02-12-2021, 02:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by v8volvo View Post
Bet you are exactly right, typical, and a good way for it to fail, won't hurt anything except freeze the driver out.

Cheyenne WY area has always been bad luck for me, especially the climb from Laramie towards Cheyenne. Car-killer grade that will find and reveal any mechanical weak point, much like the Grapevine in southern CA. Trivia fact, it's the highest point on I-80 in the country.

Good chance that hill killed your tstat (or more accurately gave your end-of-life tstat its final push). Engine was loafing along on flat ground for hours up to Laramie, probably with a tailwind behind you to boot, and in cold weather, so tstat was most of the way closed with minimal heat coming from the motor. Then you hit the hill, put the pedal down, and the engine started working hard and kicking out heat, thermostat had to quickly open, and that just happened to also be the last big cycle of the spring that tstat had left in it. When the spring got compressed it snapped the crossbar off and broke the stat open. Came down the other side into Cheyenne coasting, and the engine temp dropped like a rock and stayed there, right?
This is moment by moment what happened to me. All on Sherman Hill or whatever it's called. Oh yeah forgot about the windy snow that was also making it nearly impossible to see on the way down.
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Old 02-12-2021, 03:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. V View Post
Would you have heat if the ambient temp is below zero?

Not arguing, just trying to learn / clarify my thinking.
Iíve never seen a redblock run extremely cold unless the thermostat broke. Iíve seen this 5+ times. I canít remember how many exactly. It leaves almost no restriction to coolant flow when they break. OP can let us know what he finds when he changes it. Iím curious too.
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Old 02-12-2021, 12:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
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This is moment by moment what happened to me. All on Sherman Hill or whatever it's called. Oh yeah forgot about the windy snow that was also making it nearly impossible to see on the way down.
Could be worse. That stretch of highway sucks. Seems like something bad happens every time I'm on it. I remember one trip coming up from Denver, the temperature in Cheyenne was something like 60 degrees colder -- like a swing from 30F to -30F. I was unprepared without enough winter gear for those temps and it was a dangerous situation to be traveling in, I would have been dead if anything had happened. Then there was the time a few years before that when I lost the headgasket in my old 740 on another bitterly cold night climbing that grade out of Laramie. You got off OK if all you suffered was some blowing snow and a failed tstat.

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I’ve never seen a redblock run extremely cold unless the thermostat broke. I’ve seen this 5+ times. I can’t remember how many exactly. It leaves almost no restriction to coolant flow when they break. OP can let us know what he finds when he changes it. I’m curious too.
I have had it happen a few times on old Ford pickups also. Seems like some thermostat designs are more likely for it to fail in this way. Maybe the redblock setup is another one of them.
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Old 02-12-2021, 01:22 PM   #15
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Old 02-12-2021, 01:49 PM   #16
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Paul Buck had one do that, but it got stuck in the opening and caused a very intermittent overheating issue that would then usually switch to the engine not being hot enough.
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Old 02-12-2021, 06:04 PM   #17
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I've had the Wahler version like the above photo fail and cause both issues. One time it failed and blocked coolant so the head gasket blew. Other times it snapped apart and made the engine run too cool. Using vernet tstats solves the snapping apart problem. The vernet ones fail in a different manner in my experience.
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Old 02-12-2021, 09:29 PM   #18
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Nice easy fix.

Where ya headed?
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Old 02-12-2021, 09:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
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..climb from Laramie towards Cheyenne
Sherman Summit or Sherman Hill Summit, elevation 8,640 ft (2,630 m),[10] is a mountain pass about 7.5 miles (12.1 km) north-northwest of the ghost town of Sherman at 41.23635įN 105.43655įW. While not a particularly rugged mountain crossing, it holds special significance as the highest point along the entire length of transcontinental Interstate 80.
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Old 02-13-2021, 02:09 AM   #20
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-3*F in a hotel parking lot - slapped the new vernet tstat in and ran the car for at least 30 min before replacing the coolant expansion tank cap, and hit the road. Made it to Topeka, KS an hour ago. 1*F the whole way between Cheyenne and Topeka & the heater was almost too cozy.
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Old 02-13-2021, 02:27 AM   #21
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Glad to hear you're rolling right along following this minor hiccup!
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Old 02-13-2021, 03:05 AM   #22
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Glad to hear a successful identification of failure and replacement. It’s cold out there, especially right now so it’s nice to hear a Volvo heater is keeping you warm. Best of luck on your trip!
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Old 02-13-2021, 03:16 AM   #23
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Yeah nice work getting it handled. Never fun having things break on the road in winter but at least you were prepared.
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Old 02-13-2021, 10:07 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhgreen View Post
whole way between Cheyenne and Topeka & the heater was almost too cozy.
If your heater core is good in a 240, the heater's fan at its lowest setting mostly is good enough on a winter trip when temps are around -1įF
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Old 02-13-2021, 03:23 PM   #25
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Well done! Glad you are keeping warm after working in that dangerous cold. Rolling that brick!
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