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Discussion Starter #1
I'm flushing my coolant system at the moment with distilled water, 4 cycles in (still brown!). Last 2 times, when I've turned the engine off its dumped about half a pint of fluid from the coolant overflow. I've been burping it each time. Is this anything more serious that some air in the system?
 

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Could just be too much water in the system. It is only supposed to be filled to about 2 inches below there the cap goes on. If it's higher it will most likely burp some out.
 

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As suggested, it's fine - SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)
Before adding final coolant, you may want to remove radiator and set it on its drvr side and run water through the lower hose neck as this will flush/clean the core.
Just an option.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks... I'm 5 flushes in and it's still coming out like ditch water. Looking in the rad (as much as I can) it's pretty gunked up in there. It's been in the car since '95 and showing some minor cracks in the fins on the plastic so I'm going to replace it before it becomes a major issue. Engine was replaced a few years back by the PO but rad wasn't replaced at same time.


As suggested, it's fine - SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)
Before adding final coolant, you may want to remove radiator and set it on its drvr side and run water through the lower hose neck as this will flush/clean the core.
Just an option.
 

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Summer is here and 25 years if I read correctly is a long time for radiators. Consider having it redone for a peace of mind.
 

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Are the block plugs out also? The two next to the oil pan rails,, both sides.
Don't forget to reverse flow the heater core when done.
Coat inside of hoses with petroleum jelly for ease of removal/install.
 

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You may have to flush everything individually. I had an old TA that would just not run clean water back out. Pull the rad and t stat. Run garden hose thru bottom hose. let it idle. if it runs clean, good. If not separate the heater core hoses and run water in one hose to see what comes out the other. Reverse hoses like Everette said. With engine off. Then you can do the same to the rad. This should tell you where the gunk or rust is. I suspect in the heater core or radiator like mine was. Very rusted and corroded.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm just back from a 6 mile very easy drive and aside from there being very little power (I'm hoping putting the o2 sensor in and a tune will sort that given it's now at 5,500ft higher elevation than when tuned by PO).

When I got back it has dumped what must be close to the entire coolant system contents in my garage from the coolant overflow overflow I guess it is. Streaming out boiling liquid for over a minute.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Engine was running around 190 degrees. Not sure on radiator etc... but it was seriously hot. Must be a flow issue somewhere or thermostat not working and not activating the fans. Will investigate further. Just ordered an infrared thermometer so will get a better view.


Bad t stat? What did your temps get to?
 

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When I got back it has dumped what must be close to the entire coolant system contents in my garage from the coolant overflow overflow I guess it is. Streaming out boiling liquid for over a minute.
Engine was running around 190 degrees.
190* is not too hot and not boiling.

Have you checked to see your radiator cap is good 16 psi?

Could be as simple as that
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It was leaking... an 18psi one which I've now replaced with another 18psi which has stopped the leadking. Should it be 16?


190* is not too hot and not boiling.

Have you checked to see your radiator cap is good 16 psi?

Could be as simple as that
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The water coming out of the overflow was definitely boiling, a lot of steam there. If we assume the gauge isn't wrong, it seems to move as expected then there must be a flow issue is the coolant isn't a consistentish temp?
 

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Maybe you have a big air pocket in the cooling system...

Don
 

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It would really help if you let us know what year car you are working on.

At first I assumed a 1st gen car (as the majority of this site is), but the mention of plastic fins on the radiator as well as an o2 sensor changes that.

I'll take a wild guess & assume you have a 4th gen car with a radiator having plastic end tanks.
For instance a 93-97 LT1 car has bleeder screws in the thermostat housing that need bled or it creates an air pocket that overheats the engine.

Also if it is from the late 70's & up, the radiator should have a coolant overflow bottle to contain the radiator expansion.
If the bottle overflows, it's too full, but the radiator should be topped off... you only leave an air pocket in the radiator if it has no overflow bottle.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
it's a 69 with a golen lt1 fitted 4 years or so ago. Radiator was fitted with the original lt1 around '95 I think. I've owned the car for 2 weeks today!


It would really help if you let us know what year car you are working on.

At first I assumed a 1st gen car (as the majority of this site is), but the mention of plastic fins on the radiator as well as an o2 sensor changes that.

I'll take a wild guess & assume you have a 4th gen car with a radiator having plastic end tanks.
For instance a 93-97 LT1 car has bleeder screws in the thermostat housing that need bled or it creates an air pocket that overheats the engine.

Also if it is from the late 70's & up, the radiator should have a coolant overflow bottle to contain the radiator expansion.
If the bottle overflows, it's too full, but the radiator should be topped off... you only leave an air pocket in the radiator if it has no overflow bottle.
 

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So as suspected, you have an LT1 engine. Look for the brass bleed screw on the thermostat housing. You have to use that to get the air out of the system.

With this reverse cooling engine, you need to run a coolant overflow tank. This keeps the air out of the system & prevents puking the coolant on the ground.

If you have air in the system the thermostat may not open. Depending on the temp sensor location it may show normal temps when its boiling over.

There should be a temp sensor in the water pump that goes to the computer & one in the drivers side cylinder head between the first 2 cylinders or between the rear 2 cylinders on the pass side.
 
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