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Discussion Starter #1
Ok - I've had the Sky for just about six months. It's been great, with the exception of the replacement of the fan electronics when the fan failed to spin back in August/Sept..

Today, I was driving across town (perfect day today, winter comes back tomorrow) and saw the temp starting to climb. I figured "crap, the electronics went out again" but I could hear the fan. Got up to about 230, I pulled off and shut down. Opened the hood, the fan was running. Nothing really hot feeling inside the engine compartment.

No heat, btw.

Drove the rest of the way to my wife's office, started to heat up again (around 230). Parked it and took her car to lunch, disappointing. (not her or lunch, not being able to drive the Sky! :) )

Drove back home, was going to stop at the mechanic I use but turns out he's closed Friday afternoons.

Gave up, went home, parked in the garage, temp had been decent and I was back to having heat again, which I had full on trying to dump some heat. It seemed the temp was better (high of about 210), but it's only 50 degrees outside and I had the heat controls on full, roasting me out in the cabin. Normally the car runs between 189 and 203 pretty much always.

Anyhow. I bought this car last summer and the guy I got it from gave me receipts from a reputable mechanic in the town (about 160 miles from here) for about $2000 for replacing the water pump. While it was apart, he had them replace all the hoses and sensors that might cause some heating related issue, so in theory this should be in good shape, right?

I've seen no puddles of coolant, and the level in the res seems fine.

Am I overthinking this and maybe it's just a thermostat? All the talk of water pumps, and the replacing of my fan control twice has made me paranoid.
 

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That sounds more like an air bubble. A thermostat can stick open, meaning no heat and a cold engine, or closed, meaning lots of heat and an overheating engine. I have never seen a thermostat cause a hot engine and no heat.
 

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Very likely there's air in the cooling system that needs to be bled out. Not a thermostat, and a new water pump should take care of that possibility.
 

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I'm going to dispel some common myths here about air bubbles. Everyone blames an air bubble immediately. Our cars are 12+ years old now. If the thermostat hasn't been replaced, in your car, it needs it, regardless if you have an overheating issue or not. If it hasn't been done, you're on borrowed time and asking for issues. They start to stick in a car in most car after just 6 years!!! Second, if it is an air bubble, the temperature should rise and fall RAPIDLY! In other words 10-20-30 degrees in a matter of seconds. This at least has been my experience. Normal temp rise and fall without an air bubble should see 2 to 3 degrees every 3-10 seconds during warmup. An air bubble would jump or fall 10, 15, 20 degrees in a matter of just a few seconds. Not saying you don't have an air bubble, but if the thermostat wasn't replaced, or it was replaced with something other then an ACDelco, it needs to be replaced. Thirdly, there have been many documented cases here and the Solstice Forum about off brand thermostats in our cars....they don't work. Many have replaced the OE with a cheap off brand, or even major brand like Stant, and they cause issues. DO NOT CHEAP OUT on your thermostat or the Camshaft solenoids.... Replace these with true ACDelco parts when they fail.
 

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I was going to post something similar to The_Ghost suggestions.
12 years old is 12 years of ware and tear usage.
Cheap replacement parts- yeah what could go wrong here?

The air bubble theory has been discussed, as the most likely culprit when we see high temps. With no loss of coolant that leaves us two other options- the fan relay electronics, or a stuck thermostat. Seeing that the OP has changed out the fan relay- sensors, and $2k in WP replacement receipts you would have thought a mechanic would have
replaced the thermostat too. Maybe he did. Everything takes a beating in our cars- a 12 year old thermostat or a cheap ass replacement therof could be a cause for this influx in the temps ranges. With the WP replacement with new fluid, hoses, belts
and looking through the receipts did it get changed and with what brand listed if available?

Everyone wants to save money these days- but cheap is cheap with engine parts and engine over heating issues.
It's AC Delco for a reason here- yeah Detroit could have used Bob's or Fast Eddie's thermostat of choice for saving $$$ invested at time of production. They didn't. They did save $$$ elsewhere in our vehicle however. Not MB quality parts or costs thereof.
Our over heating issues- which so far I have had none with my Sky is the our Achilles heel to our model. Every car has one issue for longer life. We have other minor issues with our model but the Big one is the WP and the over heat.
Brakes- would you skimp on a brake job with Fast Eddie cheap parts supplied- with your life depending on it? I don't think so. Yeah Detroit could have done better on a braking package on our model, adding to the overall purchase price, they would have found somewhere else to save costs, maybe on an ignition or PSS just say'n.

LAC
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Definitely some things to think about, then. I'll go through the receipts - I didn't do more than just glance and blanche when I saw them in the first place. If it doesn't specifically say that they replaced the thermostat, that'll be my first point of action.

On my Fiero, it was a simple matter of taking a cap off and replacing the thermostat. I doubt it will be that easy on this car. :) I'll get Googling for repair gems.

Thanks so much for being patient and answering what's probably been answered over the years over and over. I'll try to write up a good concise document on what I wound up doing ... once I figure out what I'm doing!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Just found a video posted on this forum. I'll link it here when I'm at the right computer again, but it "looks fairly simple" the way she shows it being done.

Winter returns later today after a four day hiatus, so I'll probably not work on this project until late February now. I'll edit later to link the video and then add to this later once the thermostat is in and I've verified that is indeed the issue.

I see posts that seem to go back and forth on the idea of drilling a hole in the thermostat. Was there a consensus on whether that's a good idea or not? And how big - that seems to vary from person to person.

As promised:
 

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Drilling the thermostat is a "trick" that goes back at least several decades, maybe even to the first thermostats. You only need a big enough hole to let an air bubble through, so it can't, realistically, be too small.
 

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Once... I figure out what I'm doing! We've all been there at some point, you are not alone.
On my Fiero, ahh you too. Yeah had one back in the day. Fun little car. 2.8 mid mounted V6. Plastic fantastic.

As John noted the the old trick goes back ways, 60's for me. I asked a guy once why he did that, so my Big block won't over heat. 396 SS Chevelle. It was a quick beast.
However- buy two thermostats just in case something goes wrong with your first attempt.

SO... it can't realistically be too small- that's not what she said.

We just had 7 inches of snow couple of days ago, got another 2 inches last night and it is still coming down now. Gonna a long day- more shoveling, more defrosting of the car.
Jamison & java kinda day before the Super Bowl.

April can't get here fast enough for me. Now I know why I Go-Pro my runs from the summer
it's for days like this as I watch my car getting covered up with the white stuff again.

LAC
 

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Some thermostats come with a small hole, usually plugged with a loosely fitted brass thingie.

The Pontiac Fiero (both 4 and 6 cylinder) was the easiest vehicle ever made for replacing a thermostat. It took longer to get the fluid-adding cap off than the thermostat out. Placing the thermostat there was done for effective burping of the complex cooling system. Too bad the Kappa didn't incorporate something similar.

Both the 4 and 6 cylinder Fiero engine have the same setup. Here on the V6, you can see the coolant filling cap on the right side. It was the high-point of the cooling system.
114670

Remove that cap and there is the handle. The handle-to-cap contact kept the thermostat seated. It was ingenious and effective for system burping. If only GM applied something similar to the Kappa for effective burping.....and easy thermostat replacement.
114669

FWIW: The Fiero engine pic was my last Fiero-GT, a 1988 model year. I sold the car back in 2004. Only once in my life, my garage was full of toys. I had a 5th generation Corvette, a 2nd gen MR2, and a Fiero-GT at the same time. My wife was not happy. It didn't last.
114671
 

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Discussion Starter #11
114672


Long as we've hijacked this thread, obviously the TransAm is the star of this shot, but you'll notice three Fieros in the background. The gold one has an SBC 350 in it, which wasn't as much fun as it sounded like.
 

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Some thermostats come with a small hole, usually plugged with a loosely fitted brass thingie.

The Pontiac Fiero (both 4 and 6 cylinder) was the easiest vehicle ever made for replacing a thermostat. It took longer to get the fluid-adding cap off than the thermostat out. Placing the thermostat there was done for effective burping of the complex cooling system. Too bad the Kappa didn't incorporate something similar.

Both the 4 and 6 cylinder Fiero engine have the same setup. Here on the V6, you can see the coolant filling cap on the right side. It was the high-point of the cooling system.
View attachment 114670
Remove that cap and there is the handle. The handle-to-cap contact kept the thermostat seated. It was ingenious and effective for system burping. If only GM applied something similar to the Kappa for effective burping.....and easy thermostat replacement.
View attachment 114669
FWIW: The Fiero engine pic was my last Fiero-GT, a 1988 model year. I sold the car back in 2004. Only once in my life, my garage was full of toys. I had a 5th generation Corvette, a 2nd gen MR2, and a Fiero-GT at the same time. My wife was not happy. It didn't last.
View attachment 114671
Back in college I dated a girl 👧 that worked as a St. Pauli Girl 🍺, the gigs afforded her to be able to pay cash for an 86 Black Fiero GT with the 4 speed manual transmission. The car was a blast to drive. Before getting the Sky, I often thought of getting one (Fiero-GT) with the 5 speed manual. Now with what I’ve read in the forum, I might be taking a pass on acquiring the Fiero after all.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Back in college I dated a girl 👧 that worked as a St. Pauli Girl 🍺, the gigs afforded her to be able to pay cash for an 86 Black Fiero GT with the 4 speed manual transmission. The car was a blast to drive. Before getting the Sky, I often thought of getting one (Fiero-GT) with the 5 speed manual. Now with what I’ve read in the forum, I might be taking a pass on acquiring the Fiero after all.
Not sure what you've read in the forums, as I've only been here for about six months, but I still love my old Fieros and have also seriously considered getting another one.

For me, though, I kind of like the creature comforts that come in my Sky. The Fiero is 20 years further back, and technology has moved on. I probably won't be getting a Fiero again, but it won't be because of any negative feelings about the Fiero, just that with my Sky I can get about everything my Fiero had, and also include a convertible top, a 320 (with mild tuning) HP engine and an MP3 player. :)
 

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Not sure what you've read in the forums, as I've only been here for about six months, but I still love my old Fieros and have also seriously considered getting another one.

For me, though, I kind of like the creature comforts that come in my Sky. The Fiero is 20 years further back, and technology has moved on. I probably won't be getting a Fiero again, but it won't be because of any negative feelings about the Fiero, just that with my Sky I can get about everything my Fiero had, and also include a convertible top, a 320 (with mild tuning) HP engine and an MP3 player. :)
From what I’ve learned from the forum it wasn’t until 88 that they finally got the suspension right. If I remember correctly Rjgramps has owned several and in one of his posts he mentioned that in 88 the suspension was a clean slate or re-engineered properly. While I still have many pleasant memories of driving a then new 86 Fiero GT, owning a 2008 Sky proves enough of a challenge in finding bits and pieces for. Before pulling the trigger on getting my Sky I almost got a Red 66 Corvair Corsa Convertible instead.
 

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Yes, I did say that model year 1988 (the last year) got the clean slate suspension every Fiero should have had.
For me, though, I kind of like the creature comforts that come in my Sky. The Fiero is 20 years further back, and technology has moved on. I probably won't be getting a Fiero again, but it won't be because of any negative feelings about the Fiero, just that with my Sky I can get about everything my Fiero had, and also include a convertible top....
My feelings exactly.

One thing I really liked about my Fiero-GTs was the feeling of the engine in the back. It felt different....good different. That is why I find the C8 Corvette interesting, though I wonder if they went overboard in technology. It's seems to be more of a computer and less of a car.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Yes, I did say that model year 1988 (the last year) got the clean slate suspension every Fiero should have had.
My feelings exactly.

One thing I really liked about my Fiero-GTs was the feeling of the engine in the back. It felt different....good different. That is why I find the C8 Corvette interesting, though I wonder if they went overboard in technology. It's seems to be more of a computer and less of a car.
I really like my C4, and I fell for the C7 in a big way (although with that pricetag, I won't be likely to live long enough to be able to afford one), but the C8 just leaves me cold. It's possibly what you said, it's gone too far in something, at least.

And honestly, looking at the cute little face of my Sky peeking out at me - I'm just not sure I see what a C7 or C8 could possibly offer that I haven't already got in the Sky.

114673
 

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And honestly, looking at the cute little face of my Sky peeking out at me - I'm just not sure I see what a C7 or C8 could possibly offer that I haven't already got in the Sky.
I feel the same with our Sky. It's doing it's job nicely regarding "automotive pleasure", in many ways better than our pristine 50th Anniversary Corvette did. Unlike the Corvette and Fiero-GT, my wife Irene is comfortable driving our m/t base Sky. Many here may recall the history of our Sky, all my work bringing it back to a beauty. Though it's a gem again (and continuing to improve this spring) it's book value isn't the same which diffuses the pressure on her (less paranoia). It's the first fun car I've owned that Irene feels this way along with loving the look, the feel, and the fit which means our Sky is "The Winner" in our house. She's not comfortable yet taking the car out on her own of which I will be working on this coming driving season. She takes a weekly trek to a church fairly far away to lead a woman's bible study (BSF). If she can do that in the Sky with the top down, she'll be right where I want her.
 

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Just found a video posted on this forum. I'll link it here when I'm at the right computer again, but it "looks fairly simple" the way she shows it being done.

Winter returns later today after a four day hiatus, so I'll probably not work on this project until late February now. I'll edit later to link the video and then add to this later once the thermostat is in and I've verified that is indeed the issue.

I see posts that seem to go back and forth on the idea of drilling a hole in the thermostat. Was there a consensus on whether that's a good idea or not? And how big - that seems to vary from person to person.

As promised:
It's no where near as easy as she says!!!! It took me over 10 hours to do mine, and I'm fairly mechanical. I'll save you 4 hours. The clamp on the back she talks about.....hit it with some WD40 and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then take a long, heavy bar, seat it on the clamp and hit the other end with a 5lb hammer. You'll need at least 2 angle extensions to get that bolt off. It's a big pain in the......butt. Then once you have everything back together, the next fun part that will take 4-5 hours is bleeding the system. It's the other pain.....good luck.
 

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Ok - I've had the Sky for just about six months. It's been great, with the exception of the replacement of the fan electronics when the fan failed to spin back in August/Sept..

Today, I was driving across town (perfect day today, winter comes back tomorrow) and saw the temp starting to climb. I figured "crap, the electronics went out again" but I could hear the fan. Got up to about 230, I pulled off and shut down. Opened the hood, the fan was running. Nothing really hot feeling inside the engine compartment.

No heat, btw.

Drove the rest of the way to my wife's office, started to heat up again (around 230). Parked it and took her car to lunch, disappointing. (not her or lunch, not being able to drive the Sky! :) )

Drove back home, was going to stop at the mechanic I use but turns out he's closed Friday afternoons.

Gave up, went home, parked in the garage, temp had been decent and I was back to having heat again, which I had full on trying to dump some heat. It seemed the temp was better (high of about 210), but it's only 50 degrees outside and I had the heat controls on full, roasting me out in the cabin. Normally the car runs between 189 and 203 pretty much always.

Anyhow. I bought this car last summer and the guy I got it from gave me receipts from a reputable mechanic in the town (about 160 miles from here) for about $2000 for replacing the water pump. While it was apart, he had them replace all the hoses and sensors that might cause some heating related issue, so in theory this should be in good shape, right?

I've seen no puddles of coolant, and the level in the res seems fine.

Am I overthinking this and maybe it's just a thermostat? All the talk of water pumps, and the replacing of my fan control twice has made me paranoid.
Air bubble in the cooling system. If you had heat and the temp was getting hot too I'd point you to cleaning out the space in front of the radiator (I had leaves and paper on mine) :)
 
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