Hot Smell

FROM RADIATORS TO THERMOSTATS TO HEATER CORES, IT GOES HERE.

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jamesk6
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Hot Smell

Post by jamesk6 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:00 pm

Hi Guys,

1996 Safari, 4.3L, 125000 miles.

After every use (use being where it gets up to normal running temperature) there is quite a 'hot' smell coming from the engine compartment.

The temperature stays stable between 150-200F, all the fluid levels are stable including coolant and engine oil.

Has been doing this for about 3 months now, and nothing has changed in the overall performance.

Checked for fluids on the ground where it is usually parked and there is nothing.

I've exhausted my knowledge trying to work it out, wondered if anyone else can help!

Cheers if you can help!

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Re: Hot Smell

Post by timelessbeing » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:07 pm

Not sure what you mean by "hot". You mean like burning plastic, or electrical arcing smell ...? There could be something touching the hot exhaust. Try to get someone with a good nose to identify it. Image

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Re: Hot Smell

Post by Smiliesafari » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:09 pm

Hi James. Welcome to the site. This remindes me of the old saying "If it ain't broke.....don't fix it. Best advise I can give is to keep checking. Pull the motor cover and bring it up to operating temp and check everything. Good luck.
1996 Safari SLX Hotair balloon transport vehicle

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Re: Hot Smell

Post by timelessbeing » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:24 pm

Oh yah, and welcome to our forum!

Hang up an air freshener in the meantime :D

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Re: Hot Smell

Post by 1Gary » Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:54 am

I am not a big fan of test pressurizing coolant systems because it could potentially pop a leak in a weak spot that isn't the cause your looking for.I do think the dye kits/blacklight you can get at you local auto parts store is a good tool to use.You smelling coolant I suspect it the heater core leaking inside the heater core box.Just dripping enough inside there so you smell it and not enough for you to see a lost of coolant.A dye kit would reveal it leaking after you took the cover off the heater core.And my advise is it is uncanny a breakdown always happens at the most untimely out of the way place.I encourage you to trace and fix it now.
1979 Malibu drag race only car
1999 Sonoma 4.3 5 speed-Rufus
1989 Astro-Ole Yellar cancelled-still selling off parts
1985 Astro-shop van R.I.P. my friend
1994 Astro LT RWD W4.3 rod knock RIP
1982 Winnebago single rear wheel-Chevy 350 Scraped 1/28/13-broken dreams......


Rochester,NY

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Re: Hot Smell

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:13 am

Being a 96, I would suspect you are weeping some coolant from the intake gasket and it is burning off on the engine. Pull the dog house off and look for discoloration or light coolant leaking around the intake gasket area as you run the engine up to operating temps. Do this from a cold engine.
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

Mileage spreadsheet

Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy

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Re: Hot Smell

Post by 1Gary » Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:44 am

LiftedAWDAstro wrote:Being a 96, I would suspect you are weeping some coolant from the intake gasket and it is burning off on the engine. Pull the dog house off and look for discoloration or light coolant leaking around the intake gasket area as you run the engine up to operating temps. Do this from a cold engine.
Yep-that is a good thought Lifted.
1979 Malibu drag race only car
1999 Sonoma 4.3 5 speed-Rufus
1989 Astro-Ole Yellar cancelled-still selling off parts
1985 Astro-shop van R.I.P. my friend
1994 Astro LT RWD W4.3 rod knock RIP
1982 Winnebago single rear wheel-Chevy 350 Scraped 1/28/13-broken dreams......


Rochester,NY

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Re: Hot Smell

Post by jamesk6 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:55 pm

Cheers for this guys,

By dog house you mean access the engine from inside the car?

By the sounds of things none of these issues are going to stop me from driving the car or cause any long term damage? As long as i keep monitoring the coolant levels

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Re: Hot Smell

Post by 1Gary » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:54 pm

The risk is if it is the intake coolant getting into the oil and ruining the engine.Sooner or later your going to have to address what the problem is.Do what you will........I'm out.
1979 Malibu drag race only car
1999 Sonoma 4.3 5 speed-Rufus
1989 Astro-Ole Yellar cancelled-still selling off parts
1985 Astro-shop van R.I.P. my friend
1994 Astro LT RWD W4.3 rod knock RIP
1982 Winnebago single rear wheel-Chevy 350 Scraped 1/28/13-broken dreams......


Rochester,NY

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Re: Hot Smell

Post by timelessbeing » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:32 pm

Yes, the doghouse is the engine cover between the seats. It's a good procedure to learn :yawinkle: Once you get good at it, it only takes 5 mins. I wouldn't make any assumptions about potential problems until you actually diagnose it. So get in there!

jamesk6
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Re: Hot Smell

Post by jamesk6 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:26 pm

If it is the intake gasket, I'm assuming I can't plug the leak using that stuff that can plug holes in the radiator?

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Re: Hot Smell

Post by LiftedAWDAstro » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:53 pm

No, you'll need to do the intake gasket. It is documented here. It is a time consuming job but not difficult.
Current rides:
2013 Toyota Tundra DC 4x4
2008 Dodge Nitro 4x4
2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

Mileage spreadsheet

Vans owned:
1986 Safari 2.5L 4 speed manual - scrapped
1995 Astro 2WD conversion 4.11 posi, shift kit, DHC rock rails - sold to Skippy
1998 Astro 4x4 D44, D60, NP231, full hydraulic system with 9k# Milemarker winch and snow plow - sold to Lockdoc
2003 Astro AWD all stock - traded for a 3/4 ton truck
2005 AWD, 4.10's - sold to skippy

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Re: Hot Smell

Post by 1Gary » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:04 pm

The reason why I got frustrated is it seems you don't want to do anything.Make up your mind you aleast want to "try" to figure out what is the problem.Don't jump to the conclusion it's anything until you know.I.E. a intake gasket.Then we can go on from there.
1979 Malibu drag race only car
1999 Sonoma 4.3 5 speed-Rufus
1989 Astro-Ole Yellar cancelled-still selling off parts
1985 Astro-shop van R.I.P. my friend
1994 Astro LT RWD W4.3 rod knock RIP
1982 Winnebago single rear wheel-Chevy 350 Scraped 1/28/13-broken dreams......


Rochester,NY

jamesk6
I am merely driving my van
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Posts: 12
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 5:49 am
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How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: Hot Smell

Post by jamesk6 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:36 am

Hi 1Gary,

I want to work out what is wrong with the bus, it's just I'm from Australia living in canada for a year on a work visa and im being honest and hoping for the best because I don't have the money for any serious fixes. I'm taking the dog house off tomorrow (weather permitting, it is currently rain pissing down in Fernie BC!) to check out if it is the intake gasket, and if it is i'll have to consider what to do then.

I'm looking at a road trip down the west coast of the states and then back up through new mexico, utah etc and if i'm going to be doing those sorts of miles I want a reliable car which is why I'm trying to sort out a couple of issues I have at the moment.

I really appreciate all the comments from you guys it is a big help!

James

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Re: Hot Smell

Post by 1Gary » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:31 pm

The doghouse has two screws towards the top inside.Kind of hard to see especially on the passenger side.I bought a extra long thick screwdriver just for that.You have to remove the center counsel to get off the doghouse.
1979 Malibu drag race only car
1999 Sonoma 4.3 5 speed-Rufus
1989 Astro-Ole Yellar cancelled-still selling off parts
1985 Astro-shop van R.I.P. my friend
1994 Astro LT RWD W4.3 rod knock RIP
1982 Winnebago single rear wheel-Chevy 350 Scraped 1/28/13-broken dreams......


Rochester,NY

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