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Hot - Air Intake was a Bad Idea...


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A couple months ago I modified my airbox so that air would come in from the top rather than through the system that came out near the front tire. This was great for keeping water out, but now that it's 90*F out, it's not the best...I'm planning to get a snorkel to resolve the issue, as I don't want to go back to stock. It had been fine, until today on the way home from the junkyard, cruising at 75mph with the A/C on, when the needle started to move up. I turned off the A/C and slowed down and it was fine all the way home. I'm basically just wondering if there's anything else I should look at that could be causing the issue other than my air intake?

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That's interesting. The air intake is taking air in from the top of the air box? Until I build my new intake (planning on making some sort of low-profile snorkel), I've had a cone filter running at the edge where the original intake was, and I'm not having any overheating issues in the hot weather.

Typical cooling system checks:

Any leaks in the system?

Are you able to do a pressure check?

How full is your overflow tank?

How long has it been since you have flushed your coolant?

Imminent water pump failure?

Thermostat failure?

 

As much as cold air helps combustion, it SHOULDNT have a dramatic effect on engine heat. The air temperature sensor from the factory air intake should read the temperature of the air coming in so that the computer can adjust how the engine runs, and the MAF should detect how much air is entering. Both shouldn't impact engine heat.

The last thing could be temp sending unit, if it's reading incorrectly.

 

All in all, sure, hot air doesn't help combustion or gas mileage, but its really up to the cooling system to do its job making sure the engine stays at the right temp.

Edited by CortlandCH
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Side note, where do you have it taking in air? Like I said, I want to move the intake up somewhere a little higher so it's not sucking in air from the wheel well, but I dont know exactly the best way to do that and make it able to either avoid sucking in water, or get rid of it quickly. I dont really want a big snorkel. I dont plan on going through feet of water any time soon.

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Side note, where do you have it taking in air?

 

I drilled a large hole (4"?) in the top of the airbox and put screen mesh over it. Blocked off the original hole in the bottom.

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That's interesting. The air intake is taking air in from the top of the air box? Until I build my new intake (planning on making some sort of low-profile snorkel), I've had a cone filter running at the edge where the original intake was, and I'm not having any overheating issues in the hot weather.

Typical cooling system checks:

Any leaks in the system?

Are you able to do a pressure check?

How full is your overflow tank?

How long has it been since you have flushed your coolant?

Imminent water pump failure?

Thermostat failure?

 

As much as cold air helps combustion, it SHOULDNT have a dramatic effect on engine heat. The air temperature sensor from the factory air intake should read the temperature of the air coming in so that the computer can adjust how the engine runs, and the MAF should detect how much air is entering. Both shouldn't impact engine heat.

The last thing could be temp sending unit, if it's reading incorrectly.

 

All in all, sure, hot air doesn't help combustion or gas mileage, but its really up to the cooling system to do its job making sure the engine stays at the right temp.

 

Haven't checked the system at all, as it's has been running fine until this recent heat. I'll check fluids in a bit. It wasn't a dramatic increase in engine temp, just enough to concern me, seeing as I've never seen the needle above normal (I was wondering if it was even capable of going higher, lol). Also, the last few days it has idled a bit rough at start-up. It goes away after a few seconds. (not every time, just two or three times) I'm assuming that's temperature related too?

Edited by mjotrainbrain
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I drilled a large hole (4"?) in the top of the airbox and put screen mesh over it. Blocked off the original hole in the bottom.

 

That's interesting....so your air filter is completely removed from the system now (even if it's still in the box, the air is bypassing it).

So then I have to ask, how big is the screen you covered your 4" hole with?

 

Because if that screen's mesh is larger than the mesh in the MAF, you may have debris stuck in your MAF screen.

And if it's smaller than the screen in the MAF, there may be a noticeable restriction.

 

The only way something like this might result in overheating is if it has the computer retarding the timing significantly.

 

I would first troubleshoot the cooling problem the way you would if you had never modified your air box. Meaning, assume that's not it.

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That's interesting....so your air filter is completely removed from the system now (even if it's still in the box, the air is bypassing it).

So then I have to ask, how big is the screen you covered your 4" hole with?

 

Because if that screen's mesh is larger than the mesh in the MAF, you may have debris stuck in your MAF screen.

And if it's smaller than the screen in the MAF, there may be a noticeable restriction.

 

The only way something like this might result in overheating is if it has the computer retarding the timing significantly.

 

I would first troubleshoot the cooling problem the way you would if you had never modified your air box. Meaning, assume that's not it.

 

No no, the hole is before the filter. I can take a pic tomorrow if you'd like to see.

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Everything jyeager said. If the air box filter isnt protecting the intake, your last defense is that maf guard.

 

Same as above ^

 

 

The only thing that has changed since last summer (when it ran flawlessly) is another 10,000 miles, bigger tires (30" --> 32"), and the air intake. Since it only has 135,000 miles I doubt it's just 'old age', and since there's tons of people on here running oversize tires I doubt that's it. Only possibility is that my air box mod had an unintended consequence (that being the fact that it is basically a hot air intake), unless there's something that has suddenly gone wrong. I was looking at it earlier, and now that I think about it there's little to no direct air flow to where I have the hole in the air box...great for keeping water out, not so great for letting fresh air in.

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Also, I doubt it's related since I've heard it's not an issue (and have ignored it as such), but I've had a P0455 "Large Evap System Leak" code for a while now. Actually, it's probably been a good year. For a long time it was "very small", then "small", and now it's been "large" for a while. But like I said, I heard it isn't a problem and have been ignoring it. Really, I doubt it's related, but I figure I should mention it just in case. On a side note...the CEL is just plain annoying, is a P0455 easy to diagnose/fix?

 

Screenshot_2017-06-13-18-05-43.png

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The air temp from the intake has nothing to do with how hot or cold the engine will run. There is just no way the intake air could ever be hot enough to effect that. Take a good look at your whole cooling system. Fan clutch, coolant age/condition, water pump, thermostat, etc... if it's starting to overheat something is going on and it's best to find it early while it's just an occasional issue. I love the look of your rig btw.

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The air temp from the intake has nothing to do with how hot or cold the engine will run. There is just no way the intake air could ever be hot enough to effect that. Take a good look at your whole cooling system. Fan clutch, coolant age/condition, water pump, thermostat, etc... if it's starting to overheat something is going on and it's best to find it early while it's just an occasional issue. I love the look of your rig btw.

 

OK, thank you (for the help and the compliment)!

 

 

 

Really appreciate the help guys, I don't really know much about engines so you're suggestions are very helpful. Would it be a problem if my coolant is above the max line? I haven't checked anything else yet because I had to go to work.

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Mine raised slightly above normal operating temp last summer when I was in 4LO with the A/C on full blast on a 95degF day and in tall grass. Also it should be noted that my thermostat was stuck open and it may not have been full open.. My 01 Frontier would overheat if the A/C was running while in drive thru lines on a summer day. I think fan clutch and all is juuuuuuust enough to keep the temp at normal and any little issue or any part of the cooling system that is starting to fail sends it over the edge.

 

I would go ahead and replace the thermostat and flush the coolant while your in there.

 

Also, while the car is off and cool, like in the morning, spin the fan with your hand.. it should spin fairly easily but have some resistance. If it has very little resistance then then your fan clutch might be on the way to failing.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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It spins easily but doesn't freely spin if pushed; it needs me to touch it to move. I think it's OK, although there's one spot in its rotation that seems lighter. Since coolant and thermostat are easy enough, I'll probably just do those. I think my thermostat is a little off anyways, as every since I got it a year and a half ago the temp gauge has read just a hair low.

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