Recon1342 Dork
3/5/22 11:01 p.m.

You know what else has air brakes? Jet fighters!

Totally a win, IMO...

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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3/6/22 10:11 p.m.

Took the rally car for  a spin today after many weeks of sitting there, and everything felt fine (other than the two almost-flat snow tires that have a slow leak). With rallycross season 2 weeks away, I unloaded all the interior crap from the other e30 project that I've been storing inside of it lol. 

Also re-installed the trunk spoiler, which I had taken off for the winter because it doesn't work very well with the car cover.


StripesSA1 Reader
3/12/22 2:46 a.m.

Saw a set of Mini 5 spokes today. These are very rare in the wild around here. And I must say, they do look nice, and light aswell with thoses spokes


irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/12/22 7:28 p.m.

lol, if they're worth money, I'll ship you a few sets and you can re-sell for big profit :) I can't stand them on an e30 but the phone dials are harder to find for cheap around here. The 5-spokes, I can get all day. 


So no real news on the rally car - the rallycross season starts next weekend so I'll guess we'll see how the car survived sitting outside all winter lol.  I did get my DSSR from Garagistic today, which is nice. I could have made this myself for sure, but every once in a while I'm just like "berkeley it, just spend money so you don't have to spend a bunch of time on your back under the car" and this is one of those times.

In any case, almost ready to do the G250 swap perhaps in a few weeks.


irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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3/20/22 6:44 p.m.

WIth the season opener rallycross that was supposed to be today pushed back 2 weeks for course prep (and with today of course beautiful, sunny, and dry, a perfect day for rallycross), I decided to start on another project I've been meaning to do once it warmed up: improve the cargo arrangement of the tow pig!

For those of you who followed my Raider built, you know what I'm doing here. The old 1st gen Sequoia I had you could simply take out all the seats and have a perfectly flat cargo floor. This one, not so much. The 2nd-row seats fold flat onto themselves (but not into the floor) and the 3rd row seats fold partially into the floor, and there's a gear compartment in the floor behind them. Unfortunately, none of this is very flat, and it slopes downward toward the back hatch, so it kind of sucks for sleeping on and for loading gear that will slide backwards throughout a trip. IDK why Toyota did this, it's a lousy setup.

In any case, I don't ever, ever use the 3rd row seats anyhow, so let's take those out and make better use of the space. These are motorized seats as well so they're pretty heavy. I'd guesstimate the two of them weigh well over 100lbs combined.  Taking them out was pretty easy:

What's left is less than ideal. There's a metal crossbar that separates the cargo tray from the 3rd row seat, and it's not really flat either, it has a "profile" to it. The floor itself is not flat at the back, flat in the center, and then slopes down about 2 feet behind the 2nd row seats. It's also not level with the ground.

I also wanted the new cargo/sleeping floor to be both level overall, and level with the middle-row seats when folded down (though they also have a small slope to them, but that's at the "pillow" end loll. In any case, did a bunch of measuring and decided to build off of the OEM metal crossbar and figure everything else out from there. To get the right height, I went with 2 x 3" runners, and used three of them longitudinally, resting on the metal crossbar and a transverse 2x4 up forward

Plenty of blocking up things to get everything level

The rear crossbeam was attached with through-bolts and some old metal bar to the OEM metal crossmember to hold it in place.

At the front end I built a pair of legs with 2x4s that rest on the flat area of the floor just forward of the front bolts for the 3rd row seat. Then used some L-brackets drilled out to attach those to the floor using the seat bolts.  There's a third post in the middle just for extra support, though it's not bolted down. You can just barely see the L-brackets in this pic

Once all leveled up, I got a piece of 48" x 48" plywood (5/16" I think) and made some profile cuts to allow me access to tiedowns and some other things. I'm leaving about a 1" gap on the sides because I don't want it rubbing on the interior panels and squeaking or scuffing that stuff up in case I ever want to sell this thing. The plan here is to have two compartments: a large one in the middle that will be able to be hold camping gear, air mattress, and other bulkier stuff. The rear compartment I'm re-using the OEM gear tray (but not the cover) so I'll have easy access to recovery equipment, first aid, stuff, etc. There will also be a smaller forward panel that won't open, but I'll be able to put smaller stuff under the front "ledge" by sliding the 2nd row seats forward.

After cutting and test-fitting the top plywood. I went to Home Depot and bought some cheap high-traffic outdoor carpeting. I learned by lesson on the Raider, when I used black for this and found it ALWAYS looks dirty, and got gray this time to match the interior. So cut out some pieces.

And got to fitting can also see here the long piano hinges I am using to allow the panels to flip up for access. I've found that these work well on the Raider (and holding the rally car's trunk spoiler, incidentally)

So that was yesterday (I posted this accidentally in my current e30 build thread but meant to put it here)

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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3/20/22 6:54 p.m.

And today I finished it up, with all the carpeting done and hinges installed. Came out pretty good I think, for $100 and a couple days' work:

All closed up. I notched the right side to just the right size to stick my Rotopax 2-gallon water jug. I know all the cool overland types strap these to their roof racks or other places outside their vehicles, but this is really just easier-access here and kind of tucks into the "indent" area in front of the rear AC uptake anyhow where not much else fits. IDK why I even bother carrying it, frankly, since I have a 7-gallon water tank on the roof. But it was a Christmas gift and it's good for cleaning up after a rallycross or if I need to put water in a radiator or something. 

Both compartments open. The middle one I'm using to stash sleeping bags, air mattress, tarps, and other bulkier items that I don't use often:

The rear compartment is for more frequently used stuff. Ratchet straps/tiedowns, jumper cables and power cables to my trailer winch, recovery gear, and my air compressor:

You can see there were some notched areas I cut out in the first pic, and those are so I can still access the factory tiedown eyes

With the middle-row seats folded down there's a 4-5" gap. The seats have these nifty "flaps" the fold down to bridge that gap with the OEM 3rd row seats in, but it turns out my platform is about 1" too high for those to sit flat (which is mildly annoying that I miscalculated on that). So I made some flaps of my own that will sit flat and bridge the new box to the front seats.

As you can see, they're hinged (I only installed the one middle part so far since I need to get a couple more hinges, but the outer ones are the same). When the seats are in the upright position, these just hinge up and sit against the back of the seat.

So pretty happy with how that all turned out. I think it'll make the truck even more useful for various things I do with it.

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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3/20/22 7:05 p.m.

Quick rally car update. Got to thinking today about driveshafts for the G250 swap. The internet simply tells me that with M50+G250 you just use the e36 325i driveshaft and it all fits. I'm not so sure about that. WIth the G240 (currently using an e36 325i driveshaft already) there is only about 1/2" of remaining splined section to compress. So basically, I can only make my current DS 1/2" shorter. This seems like an issue, since the G250 is 1" longer than the G240 from the engine face to the output shaft face (since I have an extra G240 in my garage, I measured them next to each other. I'd like to take the internet's word for it, but the math doesn't seem to work. 

I also looked into swapping the input flange of my medium-case diff with one from a rusty small-case I have sitting around, which is about 1/2" shorter and might give me enough clearance, but once I pulled both of them, it's clear they have different input seal designs and aren't interchangeable. (incidentally, while the two diffs were sitting there side-by-side, I also noticed that the small-case output shafts are located about 1-2" further back (relative to the car) than the medium-case output shafts So that's kind of odd, since it would presumably change the angle of the axles relative to the hubs. The small-case I have is from an '84 (first year) so I wonder if it's like this on all small-case diffs or just a one-off thing that was later changed. The 3.91 LSD that came with this car and I used for years didn't seem to have this "feature" but then again, maybe it did and I just never noticed.  Anyhow....

So basically, my main options are:

1. Try it anyhow and see if it works (doubtful)

2. Get an e36 325i automatic transmission front driveshaft. Those are apparently a good bit shorter, but I need to make sure they're not "too" short. 

3. Get an e36 M3 front driveshaft, which are apparently the perfect length but are certainly not cheap.

4. Switch back to an e30 complete driveshaft from a 6-cylinder (325i) e30. These are apparently the right length also. Unfortunately, I don't actually have one here, so I'd have to buy one, put a new CSB on it and make some flange inserts for the G250 since it uses a 12mm bolt vs. the e30 driveshaft having a 10mm bolt. 

5. The current DS would fit if it took off the "collar" on the front section which presumably is there to keep grease in the splines. With it removed, teh DS will collapes enough to give me that extra inch. I'm wondering if there's a bit downside to this on a car that only gets occasional driving and which I could pull the forward shaft and clean/regrease the splines periodically. Or if I'll just lose all the grease inside in short order....

Probably will hit a junkyard and see if I can get an automatic front shaft for cheap and go that direction, but #5 will be my backup in the short-term. 

adam525i Dork
3/20/22 9:51 p.m.

Could you shorten the inner bushing and collar so you still have some seal on the splined section?

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/20/22 11:22 p.m.

Not sure that would actually gain me enough extra space. There's only 1/2" of thread in the first place. 

I may see if a machine shop can just chop 1" off the front there and then put some new thread on it. That might work. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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3/24/22 7:22 p.m.

After building all the rear brakes for my project e30, figured I might as well do the rally car's ebrakes, which for a long time have had pretty weak holding power, and make odd popping noises sometimes. Figured soemthing might be loose or worn or whatever. So yanked the passenger side apart today. The inner drum was literally caked with dirt, no bare metal to be seen - no wonder it's not doing anything. I cleaned all that out and went to do the adjustment procedure, but found that the cable from the interior pull appeared to be frayed/twisted and the adjuster nut was already at full tight.

Well, the project car has brand-new ebrake cables on it so......took that all apart and swapped the left one onto the rally car and get everything adjusted correctly (I think, though it's hard to tell ebrake drag with an LSD rear that has its own drag. So I'll do the right side this weekend and hopefully the cable on that side is still ok so I don't have to replace it. 

Rallycross starts next weekend (weather permitting) so will be good to get back into some action. 

Sonic UberDork
3/24/22 10:54 p.m.

You may have addressed this earlier, is the frame rust as much of a problem on the 2nd gen Sequoias as it was on the first?  I know the similar year Tundras still are not great.   

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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3/25/22 10:39 a.m.
Sonic said:

You may have addressed this earlier, is the frame rust as much of a problem on the 2nd gen Sequoias as it was on the first?  I know the similar year Tundras still are not great.   

I don't think its as much of a problem as on the Tundra or earlier generation sequoias like my old one, But any trucks with boxed frames in a rust belt states probably have frame problems. When I got this one I paid close attention to the frame condition first and foremost before I went forward looking at anything else. 

ian sane
ian sane Dork
3/25/22 10:39 a.m.

When all mounted up is the rear driveshaft/compression nut hitting the CSB itself? (Just trying to picture where you're interaction is happening)

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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3/25/22 10:41 a.m.

I have also heard that the 2008 Sequoia which was the first year of the second generation did have frame rust problems. Toyota did not make a 2009 model and the rumor is that they were spending that time fixing the frame rust issue and then resumed production for the 2010 model year. There was a Toyota rust recall on the 2008 model only, But not on subsequent years, So maybe they changed to their method of frame rust protection or something. Idk

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
3/25/22 10:43 a.m.
ian sane said:

When all mounted up is the rear driveshaft/compression nut hitting the CSB itself? (Just trying to picture where you're interaction is happening)

I have not mounted it up yet but I've done pretty extensive measurements and I have one half of an inch between the CSB itself and drive shaft nut currently. The new transmission is a full inch longer so there is no possible way it could fit in my opinion.

I was going to look into having the drive shafts cut about 1.5 in, But I think I have a line on an E30 6-cylinder drive shaft which is pretty much a direct fit so I think that's the direction I'm going to go, just to keep things easy.

On the upside I should be able to use my current drive shaft on my other E30 project to which still has a g240 :)

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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3/28/22 7:51 p.m.

Got the rally car's ebrakes all rebuilt so hopefully they work better now when parked on the big hills at Panthera and between stages at rallies. No pics, it was sucky work...

For the tow rig I put the water tank back on with the winter (mostly) over. That said, the top-mount setup for my Yakima water tank has always mildly annoyed me, both from a functionality and (honestly) cosmetic point of view. So I moved it down to the side of the rack where it's easier to reach and not sitting up on top, so now I can put plywood up there on Home Depot runs and have better access to my left side tiedowns for whatever I put up there. Nothing too exciting, but just tweaking previous projects. 


plus, now it looks like I have a rocket launcher on the side of the truck lol

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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4/4/22 8:45 p.m.

WDCR Rallycross #1 2022

 With a rallycross on Sunday, I decided to load up and head up Saturday afternoon to see if they needed any course help and to camp out/hang out overnight. With no schedule to keep, a nice leisurely drive up was a nice change from the usual hauling-ass at 5am. In any case, got there and a handful of guys were doing some course work and after a while we set up for our "car camps" with the temps dropping.

It was otherwise a calm night, so me and Mike Julian and Kimmett and Chesty Frank hung out at one spot and Chesty got Adam (the only one with cell signal) to put the Final 4 game on his phone with my bluetooth speaker. So we drank around a small propane heater and watched basketball on a tiny phone screen....

It got pretty cold and I slept in the back of the truck with several layers and a sleeping bag and was cold all night (I need better gear). A couple new guys with a very nice camping setup (including steel barrel for a fire) ended up with their tent lying on top of them when the wind picked up at like 3am and started blowing to 20-30mph. That was a foreshadowing of the entire day Sunday, with tons of wind and tons of fast-blowing dust, and pretty cold since it stayed cloudy all day.

We did get a bit of sun in the early morning, as the typically huge MR class gridded up for first runs, including a MX-3 stage rally car and the famous Smoot/Hall Mighty Max, which has been stage rallying for about 15 years (?) and started life with DC rallycross back in the early 2000s, first time back in a long time - and is famous for having a commercial bubble machine that expels a line of bubbles behind the truck on stage (sadly, not hooked up this weekend). IDK what happened, but they only ran in the morning, so hopefully nothing broke. The MX-3, meanwhile, managed a rollover late in the day. Not sure what happened and didn't get to check out if there was much damage, but at least it's caged and the occupants were ok. Then Shawn and Katie's Miata decided to let loose of a front wheel/hub/brake assembly on the last turn of the course and they DNF'd the day. Too bad, because they were running in the same group as MR for once so we got to test ourselves against the MIata head to head for once. 

Back to MR. Big field, all the usual characters there in e30s, Nick's M3, a 240SX (see the build here on GRM), and a few other cars. Nick, Eric, and Stephen/Chris (all the top dogs) also all showed up with a variety of brand-new tires and I was on 2-year-old 50% Maxsports since I'm saving my new tires for NEFR. Such is the low-budget life. 

Eric (running with Tom Gsell visiting from MA class) had his new gold Mini wheels on, so we matched...

Coming up to the first run, where I was at the front of the class, I warmed up the car and everything was fine, and then turned on the heater since it was cold. A few minutes later headed down the hill to start and as I pulled up I glanced down and saw the coolant temp gauge almost pegged near 250*.....WTF! So shut it down quck and pulled off ot the side while the rest of the pack started runs. Opened the reservoir was dry. Hmm. I topped it off last week, but I suspect there was some dripping all winter based on the little spot on my driveway. My guess is that the heater core was empty and when I turned it on maybe it filled and drained the coolant too low? IDK, not idea. In any case, I frantically rounded up bottled water from whoever had it up there and filled it up, but e30 coolant systems (especially my bodged-together one) don't bleed well. Oh well, gotta run. With the temp at a too-high 220 at start, I headed off, glancing down continually at the gauge and managing to hit a cone and otherwise drive poorly/distracted. By the end it was up near 240 so I coasted back to grid and shut the car off (after one run, already 2-3 seconds off the leaders). For the next five runs I basically turned it on right before starting, ran, temps would get up to 230-240 and I'd shut it down after getting back to grid. One run I left it running and just drove around and it slowly dropped back to 220 or so, so at leats I know the water pump is ok and thermostat is working (?).

Shockingly, with all my lousy driving and distractedness, I somehow came into lunch in 2nd place after NIck parked it in a corner an lost a bunch of time and I guess Stephen did something bad too (?). Eric had an 8-second lead on the pack at lunch, which is a gigantic lead in this class. Also, with th overheating thng I forgot to air down my tires so I was running all my tires in the upper-30s psi (vice the 25 or so I usually run on these)...oof. 

At lunch I got the car's nose up and ran it the whole time hoping to get any air out of the system and topped it off constantly, feeling a bit better (all while listening to my noisy transmission idler bearing sounding like a box of gravel)....with the temp hanging out at a fairly normal 205 degrees while idling.

Unfortunately, just transiting back to grid after lunch at 15mph the temp was alraedy creeping back up so I spent the whole afternoon doing the same turn off-turn on sequence - though the temps didn't spike past about 225 in the afternoon so I guess the bleeding was mostly fine. I drove reasonably ok, but as the course got worse and grip declined my old tires weren't hooking up great and I made a few substantial mistakes. In the end, I finished up in 4th place which isn't terrible considering. Eric ended up wiht a 7-second winning margin and was not to be caught. Nick took 2nd 6/10th of Stephen but (wink wink) on one of his runs Nick came back and his Go Pro had fallen off the roof and banged on his window and he said he nailed a cone due to the distraction.....but no cone was called on him. So.......I'm gonna give it to Stephen even though it's unofficial, lol.  In either case, I was over 4 seconds behind the two of them, so the cone wasn't relevant to me anyhow. 

Eric's winning ride....running on some strange snow tires, surprisingly, which none of us has used before but apparently grip really well...

So, the tow home was otherwise uneventful for me (though Nick called me on the road with several issues, but hauling a trailer and near home about 20 miles ahead of him there wasn't much I could any case he made it home).

Overall, a bit frustrated at the temp thing. Last year the car ran a bit hotter than I'd like as well and did have occasional temp spikes for no apparent reason (I tried every bleeding trick I know). So IDK....other than the drip from the radiator drain when parked, I don't see any evidence of a leak. The oil is clean and no milkshake, and the engine FEELS fine and isn't down on power or anything. I did notice some water dripping from the tailpipe and some vapor exhaust, but that was mostly when I was up on the ramps at lunch so it's probably water condensation that was in the muffler or something. Nobody said anything about white smoke during runs, and I don't see anything else obvious. I have a three-row larger-capacity radiator than stock, and I can't think of what else could be the problem. So I'll investigate further this week, drain and refill with some distilled water and water wetter (car currently has antifreeze 50-50 for winter but I think we're done with freezes. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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4/4/22 8:53 p.m.

So to follow up the event post, moving on to the next thing: It's time to ditch the G240 box-of-gravel tranmission (all three of mine sound like that now after a decade of rally/rallycross, and the G240 is known to have noisy idler shaft bearings). They don't "go bad" per se but they just get very, very loud - especially in a car with no soundproofing and solid mounts. In any case, I have a G250 to swap in, which should have better ratios for stage rally - though they may actually be worse for rallycross and could require 3rd gear on faster courses. I'll swap out my 4.10 LSD for my 3.73 LSD and hopefully that'll be fine for rallycross. Guess we'll see.

To be able to do all that, I need to get the car in the garage. Unfortunately, the other e30 project is taking up one bay and it's really tough to free up both bays due to all my tools, gear, etc. But let's try. First I had to get the project e30 back on its wheels, so slapped on the last bearing/hub and some old CV axles (attached to nothing on the inside) and got it on its wheels. Then moved it around by hand to get it right up against the wall shelving within a couple inches to clear out space. I had thought about putting it outside, but it's not attractive and not currently weatherproof, so that's a no-go. So I boxed it in with a rack full of gear bins, filled the interior with all its parts and interior, and filled the empty engine bay with other crap. Then moved my big gear shelves over (thankfully, they're rolling shelves) and basically crammed it all into about 2/5ths of the garage space

So after all, that an empty bay that should be just large enough to do a transmission swap

docwyte PowerDork
4/5/22 9:39 a.m.

Sounds like you have a blown head gasket.  Pretty typical for these to run totally normal on the street and spike coolant temps in a track type situation...

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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4/5/22 10:25 a.m.
docwyte said:

Sounds like you have a blown head gasket.  Pretty typical for these to run totally normal on the street and spike coolant temps in a track type situation...

Yeah I'm going to take a look at the plugs tonight and see if any of them are bleached, and do a leak down this weekend.


java230 PowerDork
4/5/22 11:36 a.m.

How much more cold camping do you plan to do? The Chinese diesel (or gas version if you want to tap into the trucks fuel tank) heaters work a treat.... easy on gas and pretty easy on batteries too. Might be worth looking into?


Bummer on the overheating....

Sonic UberDork
4/5/22 12:20 p.m.

Agree with the likely blown head gasket.  We went through a very similar pattern on an S52 last year, which also had no specific event to cause the gasket to blow, on a stock engine.  

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
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4/5/22 2:59 p.m.

Well I pulled the plugs and they are all identical with no sign of bleaching. I can see down to the cylinders and they are all dark. Compression test shows 190 to 210 across the board so nothing crazy. Moving on to the next step

adam525i Dork
4/5/22 4:40 p.m.

I quickly scanned back through your thread to page 121 where you replaced the rad and came across this tidbit which you may have already tried.

"Today, get to thinking maybe with the front of the car jacked up, there's an air pocket at the thermostat stopping the it from opening at the correct temp. So, put the car back down on the ground, burp the hoses again, and start run it to temp again. Looks like my guess was right, because this time the thermo opens on time (verified with my IR thermometer), lower hose warms up, and interior heat warms up more. Meanwhile, after idle and 5 minutes of running around 3k rpm, temp is holding at just around 205 (fans not kicked on yet, but outlet of rad where the fan switch is certainly would be cooler than 205)."

I was actually trying to see what your fan setup is, do you think it is functioning properly? What about the rad itself, is it mostly clean so it can radiate heat efficiently or is there maybe some dried up mud affecting that? Just some ideas. 

95maxrider Reader
4/5/22 4:50 p.m.

After fighting air pockets for a long time in my car, I put together a fool-proof method for burping the thing.  I guess it doesn't exactly apply here since you're using the E30 overflow tank, but I'll post it regardless in case it gives you any ideas.


1. Put front of car up on ramps about 12".
2. Set interior fan to max speed and heat (with the engine off). Make sure center dash vent is set to heat.

3. Remove bleed screw and expansion tank cap, and add coolant very slowly to the block through the upper radiator hose until full, then flip hose around and fill radiator directly.
4. Once the block and radiator are full, fill up the expansion tank until only coolant, no air bubbles (keep pouring....more air bubbles will likely keep coming out) come out of the bleeder screw location. Squeeze both radiator hoses. If the level drops in tank, refill until no bubbles come out of the bleeder screw, and repeat until the level doesn't drop after squeezing hoses. Reinstall bleeder screw. Keep main cap off.
5. Turn the engine on, heat and fan still at max.
6. When coolant temp (via OBD2 port and Torque app on my phone) reaches about 150*, slowly rev engine to 3,000-4,000 rpm for 10-20 seconds. Then crack the bleed screw until no more air bubbles come out. Do not add more coolant to system during burping procedure. Repeat revving once or twice. Tighten bleed screw to 18 in-lbs.
7. Check upper and lower radiator hoses for heat. When the lower hose gets hot, that verifies that the thermostat is working.
8. Verify heat in the cabin.

9. Check expansion tank for flow for proof that the water pump flow is strong.
10. Usually make sure electric fan kicks on (about 205*)

11. Take the car for a quick, hard drive and then park it. The following day top off the expansion tank if needed. Then open the bleed screw to let any air out. Do this a few times, in this order, until the level in the tank stabilizes and/or no more air comes out of the bleed screw. This step must be done with the engine/coolant at ambient temperature.

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