engine overheats at 10 minutes of running


Asked by Nov 02, 2015 at 05:27 PM about the 1971 Fiat 124 Spider

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1971 Spider 1600cc engine that all of a sudden starting
overheating. I start it and run it about every 2 months. It has run fine for 11
years. Now, all of a sudden without anything being changed, it overheats
into the overflow tank in 10 minutes, while driving or sitting. Like another
poster on this site with similar problem, I've replaced: new radiator, water
pump, external thermostat, radiator cap, & fan switch. I've  flushed the
coolant system & refilled with new antifreeze. (filled it very slowly as
prescribed in manual). I jumped the fan motor wires to make sure that it
works. Coolant system pressure test OK. Head gasket & timing OK. Tested
new thermostat in a pan on stove. It's OK. I removed thermostat & hooked
up hose to bottom of radiator. It still overheats before the bottom of radiator  
begins to get warm. I'm ready to shoot this car!  Can anyone save me?

4 Answers


Well you have eliminated just about everything! It sounds like maybe the water pump is not working some how. Since you eliminated everything else perhaps taking the water pump out and making sure the impeller is still attached to the shaft would be something worth trying. Good luck!

Rob Haynes

I would retest the external thermostat. I recently replaced mine and began to have overheating problems. I put the new thermostat in a sauce pan on the stove and found it wouldn't open until the water was rapidly boiling. Too late. I put the old thermostat which was still functioning back in and the overheating problem went away.


Could be that the radiator fluid got pretty low and you had to add alot of coolant then failed to bleed off the air adequately. My Spider 2000's system was REALLY difficult to bleed. I had to try several methods suggested by fellow owners before I was successful. Some Fiat shop manuals go so far as to suggest drilling a small hole in the metal of the thermostat to allow proper bleeding off of air.


I have the same problem. I replaced the radiator,thermostat,fan,and water pump. Bled the air 3 times,It still gets hot after about 5 minutes.It has an electric fan.

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