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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, new VR4 owner here. I picked up this old neglected beauty in Santa Monica, CA. Unfortunately, she made it an hour in before overheating. I'm pretty determined to get her restored and back up on the road but I've definitely hit a crossroad trying to figure this out.

She has three major issues. First: Ticking, definitely a lifter tick but it's loud. I switched to 10w40, didn't seem to help. So that already sucked.

Second issue: She doesn't like boost. Feels like a heavy bogging/misfire, and she definitely melted the cats straight out. So that's nice!

Third: The dreadful overheating. It takes her all of 10 minutes (almost on the dot) before getting hot. Drained the Radiator, tons of gunk came out, but still an issue. Top, bottom, and entire Radiator gets hot so it's circulated through I'm fairly sure. I'm guessing a blown headgasket... or worse. Haven't done a compression test but combustion leakdown came back negative to exhaust gasses in the coolant.

Anyway! So that's all my info on my newly obtained "shit-box", my quick introduction, and basically why I'm here lol.

Hope to try my best to be helpful to other members!

295333
 

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welcome to the board! happy to hear your VR4 has a new home and will be getting sorted out.

lifters are most likely really dirty/clogged with gunk, if like you said is neglected. change the oil, and put in some rislone engine treatment or seafoam to clean it up. Drive it around a bit and see if it helps. I am assuming it probably has 1st gen lifters which are smaller and more prone to getting clogged.

misfire can be a lot of different things, you'll have to start going through each item (coil packs, ECU, MAF, vacuum lines, IAC, PTU etc.)

as for the overheating, definitely do a flush with distilled water until it comes back clear, fill it back up with distilled and prestone flush plus. flush it out again with distilled water, then eventually put in proper coolant. I had to do this - took me about 40L of distilled water (11ish gallons).

here’s a picture of a couple jugs of the forbidden chocolate milk from my coolant system
295335
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
welcome to the board! happy to hear your VR4 has a new home and will be getting sorted out.
Thanks! I'll definitely go through everything you mentioned. And at least an other 60k service through and through. I really appreciate the advice!
 

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Welcome.

As mentioned, I would suggest a Seafoam treatment or similar.

In addition to combing through the ignition system, you should perform a proper pressure-test for any and all leaks; original TB's typically are culprit.

RE cooling system: new thermostat is not a bad idea if the system was full of crap. Besides a thorough flushing and burping, make sure that the fans are operating correctly.

Just about everything has already been discussed in detail and can be searched here.
 
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Just take the blimmen radiator out and get it professionally done. I had intermittent overheating with mine and tried flushing it myself etc. Still overheated. Core was so clogged water was just dribbling out. Hasnt overheated since and cost me $100. Best $100 I spent so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just take the blimmen radiator out and get it professionally done. I had intermittent overheating with mine and tried flushing it myself etc. Still overheated. Core was so clogged water was just dribbling out. Hasnt overheated since and cost me $100. Best $100 I spent so far.
Either way, I was planning on doing a full overhaul on it since it hasn't been doing too hot. Also timing belt started squeaking, so that needs to be done.

Radiator, definitely needs replaced since I see two major hits on it. Also when draining through the Radiator, I get max half a gallon come out. So you're probably right. Finding time has been brutal since we've been getting hit with a 100F+ heat wave.

This thing's been something else so far. Hope it doesn't continue like this lol I really appreciate everyone's help, you've all been beyond great (makes me grateful it's a helpful community)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Started on the major services, starting with the water pump and timing belt.

Tensioner was held together with an 8mm or maybe 9mm socket? And then Barnacle Boy popped out. I'd definitely say she's been neglected.

295632
 

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lol look at that... Rose called in regard to her 60/120k:

 
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