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New and frustrated.

Old 10-04-2013, 09:15 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1
Default New and frustrated.

Hello to all, I am new here.
Normally I wouldn't just make my first post about asking for help, but my girlfriend's 96 Rodeo v6 3.2 is broke down and we just can't afford to have that go on any longer. I hope noone is offended by my jump to pleas for help, and I appologize if I missed a thread of this topic, but I just can't search anymore, my eyes are about to bleed haha... and sorry for the long post, but wanted to make sure to provide as many details as possible so as to avoid wasting time with replys seeking more info...which are still welcome of course.

Unfortunately, I wasn't around for any of the following, so I'm just going by what I was told and what I saw afterwards...

recently the overnight temp. locally has dropped significantly and it is still hot during the day(Northern AZ)
yesterday morning gf drives her daughter to school, everything fine
starts back up and drives aprox. 1\4 mile, at which time it steams and dumps a large amount of fluid.
I was at work, so she called a friend with a truck to tow her and they started looking into it. They decided it was the waterpump and picked up a new one.
has new timing belt so didn't bother with that.
as far as I can tell, her friend, not much of an experienced mech. just started taking things apart, timing cover, tensioner, belt, and then waterpump, without her so she didn't see, but he claims the belt had too much play around the pump, and the tensioner was now the diagnosis(waterpump checked out fine)
by the time I got there, this friend of hers was drilling holes in the bottom plastic cover, instead of taking it off, because I guess he couldn't figure it out.
So, now we have a removed belt, pump, tensioner/spring, and a few misc. parts he must've removed in his failed effort to remove the plastic....and I'm supposed to just take his word for it that the tensioner is the problem cause he's "pretty sure' it was loose around the pump.
I made him stop immediately, we cannot risk this truck to his lack of understanding that this is a very important part of the engine.
Also, I guess a few days previous to this, another friend of hers tried to change the spark plugs, only managing to get 2 done and claimed he couldn't get the other ones to loosen and didn't want to break them...don't know why she let's people like this work on her only source of transportation

I'm not much of an expert either, but at least I take a little time to do some research before I go straight to the hardest solution.
I've been looking around all night on the web, and to me this just simply sounds like either some air in the system, due to it being almost 35 degrees colder all of a sudden and possible fluid contraction, or simply, the radiator cap or reserve tank cap...she says the thermostat is recently new(going to test it when I get there today) and that they checked the bottom hose for leaks and collapse.

also read it could be missed spark timing and since that other dummy changed two out of six, thought that might be a likely cause, given the coincidental timing.

Can anyone offer suggestions ASAP...we will have pretty much just the money that we get back from returning the unneeded waterpump, and I am most likely going to get a new tensioner, just to be safe.

Thank you to anyone who can help! Desperate for answers and hoping it's not a head gasket problem...fingers crossed.

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