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444 With B20E Overheats

I've got some problems with my '56 PV 444. It's got a B20E engine with 124 hp built in. It has a bigger thermal problem. When I bought it, the problem was that in a stop-and-go-traffic I had to turn on the heater so the water didn't get too hot. I suspected the water pump to be the problem because it seemed to leak water out of the shaft. I replaced it with a new one from my part-dealer (for B18/B20 engines). That surely was no good idea -- now I've got to turn on the heater everytime when driving in the city (speed up to 50-60 kmh). When I'm going faster (I tried up to 140kmh), it's no problem. The needle of the thermometer stays shortly ahead of the third green square. So, I replaced the radiator, too. No change. Then, I tried to clean the whole cooling system with a mixture of vinegar essence and water (1:1). Next useless try.

So, anyone have an idea what I may have overlooked??? I'm sick of driving around with 25-30 degrees C. outside and the heater running on maximum. And most of all, I nearly blew up the engine today. That black smoke out of the exhaust worried me A LOT (and the surrounding people)! It looked like a smoke grenade went off.
Chris Beaussencourt

Phil says: Chris, I watched your story develop on the bulletin boards and gave it some thought. It seems everyone (including me, at first) was so taken with the idea of a B20E with a D-Jet in a 444 that they overlooked the obvious. If my car was exhibiting the symptoms you are experiencing, had water in it and a fan that went around, the next thing I would do would be to yank out the thermostat and see if that fixed the problem. If so, I would replace it with a new thermostat in the correct heat range.

Problem resolved: Bad thermostat.

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