Cooling system crud - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old May 7th, 01, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Hello all,

I have been having some problems with my 67 getting a little hot in traffic. I have a 180 degree thermostat in the 350 and it used to stay rock solid at 180 degrees no matter how hot it was outside. As I drive, the temp stays between 180 and 190 degrees, but when I come to a stop, the temp will slowly creep up until I get moving again. I thought my fan was the culprit, and replaced the original fan clutch. It was bad, as the new clutch moves tons more air. However, I still have the temp problem. I also replaced the thermostat this last weekend as a possible solution, but no fix. I did notice when I had the upper radiator hose off that there seems to be a whole lotta restrictive-looking whitish corrosion on the ends of the tubes in the radiator tanks that didn't used to be there. I think this may be causing my problems (at least I have no idea what else it could be since the cooling system used to work like a champ). What would be the best way to clean this gunk out? The radiator is in excellent shape otherwise, so I would like to try to clean it out before replacing it. Are there any chemical flushes or something that anyone has had good experience with? Also, what is the capacity of a small block cooling system? Thanks guys.

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Justin Traunero
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-1967 Camaro SS350

http://156.143.134.136/default.htm
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old May 7th, 01, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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I saw this Prestone Super Radiator Cleaner stuff at Walmart tonight. Any ideas?

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Justin Traunero
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-1967 Camaro SS350

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old May 7th, 01, 05:27 PM
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I guess I'd try the radiator cleaner stuff.
It might clean some of it out. Make sure you flush it all out.
Make sure your fins aren't clogged with bugs too.
If you have a two row radiator, your days are numbered.
A four row full core should work well.
David

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old May 7th, 01, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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David,

I have a three row radiator. What do you mean by if it has a two row my days are numbered - just that the radiator will not be sufficient to cool the engine??

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Justin Traunero
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-1967 Camaro SS350

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old May 7th, 01, 08:28 PM
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I hear if it's 3" thick then it's a four row, but how does one know if it's a 3 or 2 row?

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old May 7th, 01, 08:54 PM
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You can count the rows, or look at the header tanks and if the core goes halfway, it's a two row, three quarters of the way full is a three row, if the header tank is full of core it's a four row. I'm talking about a stock copper core here.
The two row was used on a lot of stock V8 camaros.
I used to see some people get by with them if they were perfect inside and out, but I live in a coastal area. If they hopped up the engine and the rad was a little crudded up, it would overheat.
My 67 RS 327/275 came with the two row. It worked for the 327 but the 350 needed more core. I put a four row in it and it was fine from then on. I probably had around 420 hp. I had to use a good fan on it.
If you ever re-core the radiator, get a four row.
David

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old May 8th, 01, 12:29 AM
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I have tried that prestone radiator flush several times on different cars and never had much luck with it. Most radiator shops charge about $45-50 to boil out your radiator...it is money well spent.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old May 8th, 01, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback!! I found a shop in the area that will boil out the radiator and check it for leaks for $50. This doesn't remove the paint from the radiator, does it?

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Justin Traunero
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-1967 Camaro SS350
http://156.143.134.136/default.htm

[This message has been edited by jrt67ss350 (edited 05-08-2001).]
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old May 8th, 01, 08:21 AM
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Justin,

I priced a new Modine 3row for my 69, it was $209.00. Just thought you should know because sometimes the $50.00 job turns into $100.00 real quick at some of those shops.

P.S. If you heard all the tire chirp Sunday as we were leaving Lowes, my right rear brake was locking up. I'm going to check it out tonight. Dang, isn't it always something.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old May 8th, 01, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Robert,

Do you know of any good radiator shops here in Greenville? The shop that quoted me $50 over the phone was McNeely's Radiator Service Center. The other shops in the yellow pages (there aren't many) quoted me $60-$70. I priced a radiator from Advance Auto Parts and it was like $210 for the standard width, $220 for the A/C width, and I have a feeling it is a rebuild. I don't know what to try now. I don't know if I should spend the $5.00 on the Prestone Super Radiator Cleaner along with the price of new coolant at $5.00 a gallon, or just go ahead and have the radiator boiled out. If the cleaner doesn't work, then I just wasted about $15. By the way, do you know the capacity of the cooling system? I think when I replaced the coolant before that I needed two jugs of Prestone, but I can't remember for sure.

I did hear a tire chirping when leaving Lowes....didn't know it was you!!! How'd you get the car home? I wonder if you've developed a leak in your wheel cylinder or bearing seal back there?!?!?

------------------
Justin Traunero
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-1967 Camaro SS350
http://156.143.134.136/default.htm

[This message has been edited by jrt67ss350 (edited 05-08-2001).]
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old May 8th, 01, 11:25 AM
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Sorry, I'm not going to be much help. I'd be inclined to try the flush and then just fill back with water to see if it did any good. Then either refil with antifreeze or back up and punt if it didn't work. As far as a good radiator shop I haven't used one in years. I've also heard of some people having leaks shortly after having it boiled out. I would guess the Advance one was new. I checked with partsamerica.com (same as Advance) and it was new with a lifetime warranty. I know it's a bit harder to deal with when its your daily driver. Let me know if you need some wrench turning help or if you need a ride to the radiator shop.

As far as Sunday, I got home okay it only did it at parking lot speeds when cold, I'll check it tonight.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old May 8th, 01, 05:24 PM
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ID get a new radiator.If it has build up bad enough to run hot,the cost of removing the tanks(sides of radiator) and rodding the cores out to clean it right would cost over $100.00 and you still have a used radiator.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old May 8th, 01, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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I think I'll try the Prestone Super Radiator Cleaner this weekend first. If that doesn't do it, then I'll either buy a new one or have it boiled out. I'll post the results of the Prestone cleaner after I do it. Thanks to all who have provided input!!

------------------
Justin Traunero
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-1967 Camaro SS350 clone

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old May 9th, 01, 10:52 AM
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I don't think the radiator cleaner is going to fix it. If the money spent on the cleaner is a consideration at all, I'd spend the money on a new one, you'll save in the long run.

The tubes get gradually plugged with deposits. Sometimes core sand left in the block can plug the radiator too but that's on a new block.
The radiator shop can flush it and leak test it but if it's very old or corroded, they will say "I just can't guarantee it will work" in a way that will make you want to replace it.
I've taken a ton of radiators to our local shop and probably only 5 times they said it was OK to use after they checked it out.

I'd price re-coring your radiator to a four core versus what the auto parts stores sell them for.

Once they start to go, they don't usually come back to life.
After sweating bullets trying to drive home with an overheating engine, I can tell you a four tube radaitor is money VERY well spent. I never regretted doing mine.

------------------
Check my web page for First Gen Camaro suspension info:
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First Gen Suspension Page
67 RS 327
69 Camaro Vintage Racer
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