1969 396 Radiator overflow leak - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 19, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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1969 396 Radiator overflow leak

Hello Everyone, hoping some of you can help out. I know there is a lot on this issue. I purchased a 69 Camaro 396 pace car about 6 weeks ago. It has been driven about 200 miles over the last 10 years. I had my mechanic check everything out and changed all the fluids. About 2 weeks ago after a 15 min drive thru town it started leaking. I found some water pump hoses were loose and had a bad radiator cap which was replaced. Had the hoses tightened and the leak stopped after that. Went for a short 15-20 min drive they town came home shut the car off and the overflow hose from radiator starting spewing. My mechanic said it’s probably finding it’s happy place.

Since then I’ve taken on 3-4 15-20 min drives thru town and spews every time I shut it off. Sometimes a little sometimes a lot. There are no signs of cracked head gasket which we also tested for.

This morning the radiator is about 4-5” from neck. I’ve heard big blocks normally run lower coolant levels but is this right? Should it be that low? Last night and day before it’s spewed at least 8-16 oz and was foaming.

Any suggestions? The drives are easy-normal drives I don’t drive aggressively since it’s all stock and hanky this car.

Thanks again- Nate
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 19, 12:54 PM
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Brian
 
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Re: 1969 396 Radiator overflow leak

I "overfilled" my 69 BB radiator once and it spewed a couple times after shutting it off then it found its happy place and stopped. It was around 4" below full. You need to make sure the car is not overheating. Do you have a temp gauge? Does it run hot while you are cruising or sitting at idle for a length of time like being stopped at red lights or traffic? Point is, just make sure its not overheating. If its good, it should find its happy place right about where yours is at. If it continues to spew even lower, you need to determine the issue.

69 Hugger Orange 396 M20 3:31
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 19, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your reply! I had a feeling and hoping that’s the case. I have the original center consul gauge I use for temp. It hasn’t overheated or gone over the 210 mark based on that gauge. I don’t know how accurate it is but it does move. The car is very new so I maybe over cautious. My mechanic said it would find it’s happy place and read on Hagerty that the BB coolant tend to be 3-4 inches from the neck line which is where about mine is currently. I will give another 15-20 drive when I get home. It’s a little warm today so I might wait until this evening. It’s currently 96 degrees outside. Thanks again for you comment- much appreciated.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 19, 03:52 PM
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Phil
 
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Re: 1969 396 Radiator overflow leak

Sounds like too much coolant. I use a reciprocating system. So I never see the overflow leaking. I noy needed to be sure the overflow tank was only half full.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 19, 04:33 PM
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Brian
 
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Re: 1969 396 Radiator overflow leak

You could always buy a cheap IR heat gun and check the temp at the thermostat housing to give you a warm and fuzzy that the gauge is in the ballpark. Just keep an eye out for it continuing to spew when you park it. Should level itself out if all is good and stop spewing.

69 Hugger Orange 396 M20 3:31
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 19, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Brico69- I went for drive and just got back. Went for about a 20-30 min drive temp gauge hovered right in the center on the stock gauge which I believe is about 210? When cursing at 45-50 miles an hour it came down 1 or 2 hash marks. Came home and maybe 1 or 2 drops nothing like the last 3-4 times I drove the car. Hopefully it finally found the right level and is happy from here on out. I was a little paranoid it was something worst. I think I will get a thermal gun to see how the thermostat is doing like you suggested , just to be on the safe side. Thanks again everyone!
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