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-20 Degs and Frozen 22RE...ughh

Old 01-30-2019, 04:18 AM
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-20 Degs and Frozen 22RE...ughh

Tried starting my truck this morning after setting for about 16 hours outside. Normal temps hovering around -20 with a -40 plus wind chill. Turned over really slow but fired off, running very rough for first 5 mins. Watched the temp gauge and it slowly climbed, getting up to operating temp and no heat inside the cab, so I shut it off.

Just finished head gasket install with new water pump, new gaskets and thermostat. Flushed all the old antifreeze out and put in new 50/50 pre mix.

Wondering what others have done to alleviate the freezing up? I've thought about drilling a small pilot or relief hole in thermostat, maybe mixing anti-freeze stronger? Radiator hose heater? Not sure. Maybe there's nothing that can be done.

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Old 01-30-2019, 04:27 AM
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If it's parked outside, point the rear bumper towards the wind. Cardboard or what ever to shield the radiator from wind helps too.

Thermostats have jiggle valves, so no I would not be drilling a thermostat.

50/50 gives about -34F freeze protection. 70% is good to -84F. With the cold temperatures you are experiencing, 60% antifreeze should be good to go.

Last edited by snippits; 01-30-2019 at 04:29 AM.
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Old 01-30-2019, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Blownchevelle68 View Post
Tried starting my truck this morning after setting for about 16 hours outside. Normal temps hovering around -20 with a -40 plus wind chill. Turned over really slow but fired off, running very rough for first 5 mins. Watched the temp gauge and it slowly climbed, getting up to operating temp and no heat inside the cab, so I shut it off.

Just finished head gasket install with new water pump, new gaskets and thermostat. Flushed all the old antifreeze out and put in new 50/50 pre mix.

Wondering what others have done to alleviate the freezing up? I've thought about drilling a small pilot or relief hole in thermostat, maybe mixing anti-freeze stronger? Radiator hose heater? Not sure. Maybe there's nothing that can be done.
run an extension cord and put a drop light under the hood at night to keep it warm...
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Old 01-30-2019, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by snippits View Post
If it's parked outside, point the rear bumper towards the wind. Cardboard or what ever to shield the radiator from wind helps too.

Thermostats have jiggle valves, so no I would not be drilling a thermostat.

50/50 gives about -34F freeze protection. 70% is good to -84F. With the cold temperatures you are experiencing, 60% antifreeze should be good to go.
I'll drain some of the current 50/50 out and add some straight. We don't normally see THIS nasty of temps, but might as well get it taken care of. I had it backed in against my garage, so it didn't get a straight shot of wind.
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Old 01-30-2019, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by 87-4runner View Post
run an extension cord and put a drop light under the hood at night to keep it warm...
Thanks I'll give that a shot. I've been thinking about some way to mount a permanet heater in or around the radiator that would help when needed. Maybe even try some of the water pipe heating tape?
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Old 01-30-2019, 05:40 AM
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Did you open the cap, and check the radiator before you cranked it?

Over the years, I had one radiator get slushy, but it did not freeze solid. It was an old carb engine back in the 70's, and it would not fire with the slushy radiator.
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Old 01-30-2019, 05:53 AM
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never had a problem at -40* or more with my old 84 in alaska with a block heater and battery blanket
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:32 AM
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I've never had a problem starting my 22Rs at -40 (without plugging in) and getting heat

If it was truly froze up the water pump wouldn't turn and you would hear the belts squeal

OP: says you finished installing head gasket
Sounds like you might have air in the system?
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:35 AM
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I use a little antifreeze tester with which you suck up some of the coolant and based upon where the pointer points on the scale, it tells you what temp you are good for.
The cheaper version has little balls that float and based on the number of balls floating you determine the temp. You can get these at any parts store, walmart etc.
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:48 AM
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If you truly had 50/50 antifreeze in there, it did not freeze up at -20 degF. Pay no attention to the wind chill number; that only applies to the frostbite danger to exposed skin. It's one of the most misunderstood and misused concepts in TV weather reporting.

The coolant in the radiator is only affected by the actual temperature you read on a thermometer. Since the temperature gauge on your truck came up after a few minutes, coolant was flowing properly. You probably just have a stuck valve going to the heater core causing your symptoms of no heat in the cabin.

That being said, the suggestion of putting a drop light under the hood is a good one, and will make starting easier and better for the engine. Make sure it's an old-fashioned incandescent bulb of at least 75 watts. The compact fluorescents don't generate enough heat to help much. Try to place it down at the bottom of the engine bay near the oil pan.
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:49 AM
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Just got thinking...
There might be a valve in the supply line hose for the heater core.
If you have this valve make sure it's open sure and the actuating cable is attached

If it's closed you won't get heat
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Old 01-30-2019, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by snippits View Post
Did you open the cap, and check the radiator before you cranked it?

Over the years, I had one radiator get slushy, but it did not freeze solid. It was an old carb engine back in the 70's, and it would not fire with the slushy radiator.
No I didn't get a chance to check but will today-It's still setting in same place.


Originally Posted by Innocent Fool View Post
I've never had a problem starting my 22Rs at -40 (without plugging in) and getting heat

If it was truly froze up the water pump wouldn't turn and you would hear the belts squeal

OP: says you finished installing head gasket
Sounds like you might have air in the system?
Thanks-Yep finished the gasket install last week, but I've been driving it without problem until this morning. Flushed antifreeze and ran with radiator cap off until I had coolant flow , let run for awhile that way to purge system.

Originally Posted by Melrose 4r View Post
I use a little antifreeze tester with which you suck up some of the coolant and based upon where the pointer points on the scale, it tells you what temp you are good for.
The cheaper version has little balls that float and based on the number of balls floating you determine the temp. You can get these at any parts store, walmart etc.
Crazy thing is I have one of those---Nicer prestone one with the gauge. It said I was around -30 for protection??

Originally Posted by RJR View Post
If you truly had 50/50 antifreeze in there, it did not freeze up at -20 degF. Pay no attention to the wind chill number; that only applies to the frostbite danger to exposed skin. It's one of the most misunderstood and misused concepts in TV weather reporting.

The coolant in the radiator is only affected by the actual temperature you read on a thermometer. Since the temperature gauge on your truck came up after a few minutes, coolant was flowing properly. You probably just have a stuck valve going to the heater core causing your symptoms of no heat in the cabin.

That being said, the suggestion of putting a drop light under the hood is a good one, and will make starting easier and better for the engine. Make sure it's an old-fashioned incandescent bulb of at least 75 watts. The compact fluorescents don't generate enough heat to help much. Try to place it down at the bottom of the engine bay near the oil pan.
Thanks! I'm going to try that tonight, as we're back to -18 tonight.

Originally Posted by Innocent Fool View Post
Just got thinking...
There might be a valve in the supply line hose for the heater core.
If you have this valve make sure it's open sure and the actuating cable is attached

If it's closed you won't get heat
Thanks!
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by RJR View Post
If you truly had 50/50 antifreeze in there, it did not freeze up at -20 degF. Pay no attention to the wind chill number; that only applies to the frostbite danger to exposed skin. It's one of the most misunderstood and misused concepts in TV weather reporting.

The coolant in the radiator is only affected by the actual temperature you read on a thermometer. Since the temperature gauge on your truck came up after a few minutes, coolant was flowing properly. You probably just have a stuck valve going to the heater core causing your symptoms of no heat in the cabin.
Yes^^

Or plugged heater hoses/core. Flush is one way to fix.

For a more accurate freeze point measurement, you can also get your hands on a refractometer. Just costly compared to the tester mentioned earlier. (Well, not really...
https://www.amazon.com/Antifreeze-Refractometer-Measuring-Automobile-Condition/dp/B01CQVHTCW )

With better coolant mixtures, shouldnt have to do those heater methods, but sure, for temporary measures.

Last edited by 75w90mantraN; 01-30-2019 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 01-31-2019, 04:10 AM
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Tested my antifreeze last night and only went to around -7 degs so it was weak. When I did my head gasket I flushed the block and radiator out with about 3 gallons of water a couple weeks ago. Drained all of the out, or so I thought, before replacing with new pre-mix. Stupid mistake, I should have tested it then.

Drained a gallon and replaced with fresh, now testing to around -30. Sat out overnight in -9 temps and ran like a champ this morning!
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Old 01-31-2019, 04:37 AM
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Install a block heater. That will make easy starts. I use a block heater and a permanently installed trickle charger. -40 the past few nights. My wife Camry fires right up, not plugged in but she has synthetic oil which makes engine spin over much easier.
I just assume everyone runs -40 antifreeze. Not just to prevent freezing but for better cooling of engine during warm months.

Last edited by jazz1; 01-31-2019 at 04:39 AM.
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