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Thread: Wine, whine, and more wine!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
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    Wine, whine, and more wine!!

    D@mm POS car......

    I was on my way to an Elky Club meeting. I got about halfway there and the temp light came on....again.

    I turned on the heater full blast and the temp light went off. So, I go another 5 miles, and the check engine light came on and the temp light started glowing again.

    I had to turn around and come home.

    I have opened a bottle of wine and plan to drink the whole d@mm thing tonight. I'll repent at church in the morning.

  2. #2
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eesquared View Post
    D@mm POS car......

    I was on my way to an Elky Club meeting. I got about halfway there and the temp light came on....again.

    I turned on the heater full blast and the temp light went off. So, I go another 5 miles, and the check engine light came on and the temp light started glowing again.

    I had to turn around and come home.

    I have opened a bottle of wine and plan to drink the whole d@mm thing tonight. I'll repent at church in the morning.

    I think I'd rent a pressure tester from AutoZone and see if you're blowing gasses into the cooling system. As often as this puppy has overheated, you may have a head gasket leaking. It sounds like you are overheating and not a short in the wiring.

    When the engine is cold, you might want to pull the spark plugs out one by one and see if they all look alike. If you're burning coolant, one will look a bit different. Are you losing coolant?
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  3. #3
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
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    No - not losing coolant. As far as I can tell, I am not losing any fluids. The radiator is full, the coolant reservoir is at 'full cold' when the car is cold and about 1/2" higher when the car is warm, no leaks of anything on the garage floor, no oil leaks, oil level is full.

    I haven't checked the plugs yet.

    How does one check for a head gasket? Does that involve pulling heavy stuff off the car?

  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eesquared View Post
    No - not losing coolant. As far as I can tell, I am not losing any fluids. The radiator is full, the coolant reservoir is at 'full cold' when the car is cold and about 1/2" higher when the car is warm, no leaks of anything on the garage floor, no oil leaks, oil level is full.

    I haven't checked the plugs yet.

    How does one check for a head gasket? Does that involve pulling heavy stuff off the car?
    There are a few clues to look for that don't require major disassembly/work:

    * Pull out the oil dipstick. Is there any whitish/milky/frothy appearance? Like latte?

    * With the engine cold, remove the radiator cap. Does it look oily? Start the engine, let it get warm... watch the coolant in the radiator. See any bubbles?

    * Is the exhaust white? (ok at cold start; should disappear as engine warms up).

    * Are you losing coolant? If yes, are there puddles or does it just disappear?

    I'm still betting the issue is the radiator...

  5. #5
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post

    I'm still betting the issue is the radiator...
    It is sounding more and more as though the radiator is marginal. The fact that the temp light went out for a while when Erin put the heater on also leads in that direction. If the simple tests you outlined in your post show up negative then, to me, the most obvious culprits are a) The rad. b) the fan assembly.

    Ken.
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    Another vote for the radiator, although the first thing I'd check is the radiator cap - is it holding pressure?

    Radiators do lose efficiency with age, either by physical deterioration or by internal build-up of deposits.

    Do a quick visual check - has it lost fins (the wavy bits between the tubes)?

    A reverse flush may help - take the radiator off & run water through it with a hose in the opposite direction to the normal flow, i.e. into the bottom hose. You may be able to find a repair shop that can pressure flush it, which is quicker & more effective.

    If it does need a new radiator fit a new thermostat as well - more often than not a car with a new radiator will run cool as the old thermostat has been compensating for the inefficiency of the old radiator.

  7. #7
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    I got to thinking about a Jewish gal I dated years ago. Pretty little thing and a great sense of humor. I'd have had to convert though so we went our separate ways.

    She told me once that the most popular Jewish wine is a wife saying "I want to go to Flooorrrriiiidddaaaa!!!!!!!".
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  8. #8
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    There are a few clues to look for that don't require major disassembly/work:

    * Pull out the oil dipstick. Is there any whitish/milky/frothy appearance? Like latte?

    * With the engine cold, remove the radiator cap. Does it look oily? Start the engine, let it get warm... watch the coolant in the radiator. See any bubbles?

    * Is the exhaust white? (ok at cold start; should disappear as engine warms up).

    * Are you losing coolant? If yes, are there puddles or does it just disappear?

    I'm still betting the issue is the radiator...
    Ok - I think we agree. Hubby pulled the radiator today. It looks to be a single core aluminum POS. Hubby says it wouldn't cool a bicycle. The distance from the fan to the screen of the aluminum radiator was like 5 inches - it was a huge gap. After Hubby got the radiator out, we could see that the radiator should be much bigger than the cheap thing that was in there.

    Going to the radiator shop tomorrow and getting a 3-coil metal radiator for replacement.

    Oh, I did lose a little coolant - just about a cup. But, we found a clamp that was mispositioned, and I think that will fix the coolant loss problem. I tried all the other little tests you suggested. No milky stuff on the oil tank cap or on the dipstick; no white smoke from the exhaust - in fact, no color from the exhaust at all, even when it was first started; radiator fluids were all still very clear.

  9. #9
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    It is sounding more and more as though the radiator is marginal. The fact that the temp light went out for a while when Erin put the heater on also leads in that direction. If the simple tests you outlined in your post show up negative then, to me, the most obvious culprits are a) The rad. b) the fan assembly.

    Ken.
    Please see my reply to Eric. I'm getting a new radiator tomorrow. Meanwhile, my baby is sitting in the garage disassembled.

    If the new radiator does not fix the problem, then I guess we'll check the fan assembly.

  10. #10
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
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    Yes, thanks. The radiator cap is tight and the radiator was not leaking anything - it was full (cold).

    But, the radiator itself: I have a hard time visualizing how fluids could travel through it. It does not really have any tubes. It has these very thin bars that I do not think are conducive to moving fluids. It is very flimsy and, well...cheap, as in cheaply made. I think whoever put it on was not overly concerned with the car overheating, just with putting an inexpensive radiator on the car.

    I had a new thermostat put on when I had the headers installed a few weeks ago. It is a 195 degree thermostat. I called the Chevy house and asked what the normal operating temp is for my car, and they said about 185 - 190 degrees. So, I think the 195 should be ok - right? Do I need to get another one just because I am getting a new radiator? Please say no....

  11. #11
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    Naw, your new thermostat should be just fine. I can't believe the car didn't overheat sooner with that one core radiator! I run a 160 degree thermostat in my EL and have an electronic cooling fan installed. In the summer I take my thermostat out. Do you have more pictures of your car? I see the one for your avatar.

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  12. #12
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
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    Yes, I have more pictures....but I have not figured out how to post them here because I do not have an online picture album. All I have are just downloaded to my hard rive.

    I am sooooo NOT a tech geek. I don't facebook, I don't twitter, I don't do online picture albums....I'm a dinosaur.

  13. #13
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eesquared View Post
    Yes, I have more pictures....but I have not figured out how to post them here because I do not have an online picture album. All I have are just downloaded to my hard rive.

    I am sooooo NOT a tech geek. I don't facebook, I don't twitter, I don't do online picture albums....I'm a dinosaur.
    Hey, Erin. You can upload directly from your hard drive - no problemo.

    Type in your text in the usual way.

    1. Then scroll down the page until you see the 'Manage Attachments' box - click on that. A 'Manage Attachments' choice box will appear.

    2. Click on 'Browse' and browse to your picture. Select picture and click on 'Open'.

    3. Your file will appear in the 'Upload Files from Your Computer' box. Click on 'Upload'.

    4. Wait, wait, wait, until the upload is complete, select next picture and repeat process. This can take some time. If you have photo manipulation software and can reduce the size of your photo files, beforehand, this will help. Otherwise, as I said, wait, wait, wait.

    5. Check that the selected photos have appeared in the first 'Manage Attachments' box referred to in 1., above..

    6. Submit your post.

    As Alexsandr says 'Simples'.

    HTH.

    Ken.
    Last edited by Ken; 04-04-2011 at 11:09 AM.
    Die dulci fruimini!
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  14. #14
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    I bet this fixes it!

    But check the price of the BeCool vs. the unit you're about to buy. The BeCool is an excellent product; if the prices are close I would order the BeCool.... well worth it, in my experience. I have one in my old Trans-Am. Monster 455 V-8; known to run hot even stock. Mine's hopped-up with an aggressive cam, higher compression, etc. - and it never sees the high side of 200 degrees, even with the AC on and 95 degrees outside.

  15. #15
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    A few things I noticed, or didn't. When you said there was a 5 inch gap, where was the fan shroud? While that does keep you from getting your fingers in the fan, it also makes the air flow smoother and better at cooling.

    If you have fuel injection, you want the factory setting on your thermostat. DO NOT run a cooler unit if you plan to drive it much. Since you don't have a choke, the injectors have extra fuel pumped into the engine to warm it up. Your fuel mileage will tank and the engine will load up. Factory for your car was 192 degrees so a 195 is fine.

    A single core radiator really is too thin to cool much. You want a three core and if possible, go with a 4 core. However a 4 core will be difficult to make fit.

    Lastly, double check your timing with a good timing light. Both static and running. I'm assuming you have a fairly new timing chain in the engine.
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  16. #16
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eesquared View Post
    Yes, I have more pictures....but I have not figured out how to post them here because I do not have an online picture album. All I have are just downloaded to my hard rive.

    I am sooooo NOT a tech geek. I don't facebook, I don't twitter, I don't do online picture albums....I'm a dinosaur.
    Hm, far from being a Techno-Geek, I would have thought that avoiding Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo, and other social networking nonsenses showed a higher than average degree of intelligence, Erin.

    Ken.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    I bet this fixes it!

    But check the price of the BeCool vs. the unit you're about to buy. The BeCool is an excellent product; if the prices are close I would order the BeCool.... well worth it, in my experience. I have one in my old Trans-Am. Monster 455 V-8; known to run hot even stock. Mine's hopped-up with an aggressive cam, higher compression, etc. - and it never sees the high side of 200 degrees, even with the AC on and 95 degrees outside.
    I hope it fixes it. The radiator I am getting is $210 for a 3-row. I could check BeCool, but I would have to wait another two weeks for my husband to be back in town to install it. So, even if it is less expensive, it is worth it to me to pay the extra bucks and have the car running by tomorrow.

  18. #18
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    A few things I noticed, or didn't. When you said there was a 5 inch gap, where was the fan shroud? While that does keep you from getting your fingers in the fan, it also makes the air flow smoother and better at cooling.

    If you have fuel injection, you want the factory setting on your thermostat. DO NOT run a cooler unit if you plan to drive it much. Since you don't have a choke, the injectors have extra fuel pumped into the engine to warm it up. Your fuel mileage will tank and the engine will load up. Factory for your car was 192 degrees so a 195 is fine.

    A single core radiator really is too thin to cool much. You want a three core and if possible, go with a 4 core. However a 4 core will be difficult to make fit.

    Lastly, double check your timing with a good timing light. Both static and running. I'm assuming you have a fairly new timing chain in the engine.
    The fan shroud was where it is supposed to be: encasing the fan.

    I care nothing about the gas mileage. Hubby works in the oil industry and I think of gas usage as contributing to his job security.

    Yes, I am getting the 3-core radiator - with real coils isntead of those flimsy little bars.

    Yes, we have a timing light. Plan to do that, too.....after I get it running again.

    Timing chain in the engine? Probably not a new one. How would I check that?

  19. #19
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Hey, Erin. You can upload directly from your hard drive - no problemo.

    Type in your text in the usual way.

    1. Then scroll down the page until you see the 'Manage Attachments' box - click on that. A 'Manage Attachments' choice box will appear.

    2. Click on 'Browse' and browse to your picture. Select picture and click on 'Open'.

    3. Your file will appear in the 'Upload Files from Your Computer' box. Click on 'Upload'.

    4. Wait, wait, wait, until the upload is complete, select next picture and repeat process. This can take some time. If you have photo manipulation software and can reduce the size of your photo files, beforehand, this will help. Otherwise, as I said, wait, wait, wait.

    5. Check that the selected photos have appeared in the first 'Manage Attachments' box referred to in 1., above..

    6. Submit your post.

    As Alexsandr says 'Simples'.

    HTH.

    Ken.
    Aahhh.... ok. I can do that. I can resize the pics to less than the specified size and post them that way.

    Yes, that helps - thanks bunches!

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