Enemies of Liberty are ruthless. To own your Liberty, you'd better come harder than your enemies..

Monday, September 2, 2013

Travel Update: All is well...

My thanks to all who wrote - yesterday's drive went smoothly and without incident.  I started with the final test I knew how to run with my limited tools - cold engine, opened radiator (fluid level was where it belonged) then cranked the engine - no sputters or bubbled in the radiator.  We pushed the new (old) Cherokee just under 400 miles (all highway) and she ran like a dream.  No more coolant spiting attitudes.  ;) 

The Jeep was bought and lived her entire life within the same city in Iowa, and averaged just 6,400 miles each year.  So I think a couple factors came into play when we put her on the highway.  First and foremost, someone had put that 4psi radiator cap in place (Jeep OEM is 16psi).  It was hot.  We had AC on the entire run.  That's when the pressure built and blew out the 4psi cap.  Then when I re-filled the water, I am not sure I had her burped entirely, so she vapor-locked once more (and blew the 4psi cap a second time). 

You mechanical guys will know more than me, but another factor I think played a role is that when we jumped on the highway (after literally a life of relaxed, in-town driving) we cleaned a lot of general snot out of her nooks and crannies inside the engine and auxiliary systems. 

Today will be a more demanding test, as we are pushing for 500 miles and the last half of the trip today will start to bring the Rockies into the mix.  It's going to be warm today in that area, so we'll be careful not to push her too hard, kill the AC to make sure we keep stresses down on the inclines, etc.  (Yesterday was a BEAUTIFUL driving day, we turned the AC off all day - the dogs loved it, though our vehicle with windows open at highway speed looks like the inside of a tornado as dog hair vortexes up and out.  ;)

Sorry H and I didn't get to update last night, we couldn't get a signal either through the motel wifi or even my phone.  And after dinner we were just too whoop'd to futz with it for long.

So, we set forth again shortly, and I am cautiously optimistic that all is well in our little Jeep universe.  I think the mountains later today will decide the issue, one way or another.

Stay safe, folks, and enjoy your families this holiday.  Life is ramping up significantly as we can all see in the news reports.  As I saw at CA's place once: These are the good ol' days...



  1. When I was driving in the Rockies. I did not want to burn out my brakes on the down hills, so don't be afraid to put tranny in 2-1 on the down hills. Helps alot

  2. Glad to hear you got it straightened out.
    Still kind of a mystery why it had that cap on it though.

    1. Obviously I can only guess, but I am assuming whoever put it on there simply didn't have a clue. We ran it hard yesterday - 460 highway miles, much of it with AC running (we did kill the AC going up the hills we are getting into here in western Montana) with no issues.

      We saw many rigs pulled over with over-heating issues, so we just assumed ours would join the crowd, but I have to assume since we made it without any other weak spots in the cooling system materializing, all of our headaches must have been related to the cap. (BTW - the radiator neck is plastic, I'm not fond of that at all... seems like a weak spot in design. But there must be millions of them out there.)

      Thanks to all.


  3. Sounds like you are running like the "Bandit". Makes sense that the 4 pounder would spew... manufacturers underside radiators to fit in tight place and also to save money then up the pressure cap's psi to compensate.
    I misunderstood that it already had the 4 lb cap on it... i thought you put it on there to try and solve an issue. My apologies.
    Stay safe my friend and have a Dos Equis on me.


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