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chet445
11-10-2006, 07:43 AM
I have a 289 4barrel in my 53 c/k with a 3core radiator manufactured by a company in the Carolinas. I have had no problems until lately wherein there is a loss of coolant through the overflow and about once a week I have to put in about a 3/4 gallon to top off again. The engine has been thoroughly cleaned in the water cavities about 5000miles ago when it was overhauled. Would engine timing have anything to do with the loss of coolant? Any help would be appreciated. Chet

DEEPNHOCK
11-10-2006, 07:59 AM
Questions:
Do you have a puke tank on your radiator overflow?
Do you have a non-vented radiator cap used in conjunction with that tank?
Do you have a newer replacement water pump installed?

Yes, timing can definitely have an impact on water temperature.
You can cause an engine to run much hotter by having the timing 'off'.

If you have no overflow, and a vented radiator cap, then coolant can be expelled through expansion and localized hot spots. This coolant will be replaced by air pulled back into the cooling system during cool down (contraction). This cycle, when repeated, can lower the coolant level significantly, until it becomes a problem.

A coolant recovery tank (puke tank in layman's terms) will collect expelled coolant, and if you have a non-vented radiator cap (with the proper pic up in the puke tank) the expelled coolant will be drawn back into the cooling system during cool down. This system is a worthwhile add on as it also allows any air in the cooling system to be expelled. More coolant means more heat transfer capability, and a more stable cooling system.

Also. Drilling a small hole (1/8" approx) in the thermostat 'inside' the gasket surface will allow any air that may be trapped in the top of the engine to get through the thermostat and out to the radiator where it can collect and be expelled during warm up.

Removing the thermostat altogether is counterproductive, as it allows the coolant to pass through the engine too fast, and not transferring the heat from iron to coolant.

There was a lot of talk on other threads about Stude water pumps and the relationship between the impeller and the backside of the pump housing. This can have a big effect on pumping volume, which could also cause problems.

Hope the info helps.
Jeff[8D]


quote:Originally posted by chet445

I have a 289 4barrel in my 53 c/k with a 3core radiator manufactured by a company in the Carolinas. I have had no problems until lately wherein there is a loss of coolant through the overflow and about once a week I have to put in about a 3/4 gallon to top off again. The engine has been thoroughly cleaned in the water cavities about 5000miles ago when it was overhauled. Would engine timing have anything to do with the loss of coolant? Any help would be appreciated. Chet


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John Kirchhoff
11-10-2006, 08:40 PM
Is this a recent occurance? One thing that will cause a cool engine to "boil" over is a head gasket leaking compression into the water jacket. If they are bad enough, you can start the car up with the radiator cap off and run it until warm and you will see little bubbles coming up. I'm sure you know this, but DON'T take the cap off of a hot radiator! I figured I'd better throw that warning in there so someone doesn't try to sue me! Engine cylinder compression checks usually won't tell you if the head gasket is leaking because the leak is so small. If the leak is really bad it'll bulge the radiator tank out like a poisoned pup.

I'm assuming the temp gauge isn't showing the engine as overheating and I take it the radiator is not extremely old so scale shouldn't be a major factor. I hesitate to mention this because I don't want to insult your intelligence, but let me just say that in the good old days before "puketanks", as Deepnhock so colorfully called them, the coolant level was supposed to be kept 1 1/2-2 inches below the top to allow for expansion of the hot liquid. Anymore the radiator is meant to be filled to the top and the "PT" takes care of the rest. Hmmm, I wonder what Deepnhock calls the drain hole in the oil pan??? I can imagine one possibility! Ha!

John Kirchhoff
11-11-2006, 06:08 PM
Chet, what kind of cruise control setup are you using? Sounds intriguing.

chet445
11-11-2006, 06:17 PM
I appreciate your replies. I have an overflow tank but can't figure where to put it as there is absolutely no room under the hood what with A/C, cruise control, and an alarm system. I don't think I have a leaking headgasket but I will surely look for bubbles to be sure. The radiator cap is a 7 lb pressure cap maybe that is the problem; any thoughts on that? Thanks, Chet

studegary
11-11-2006, 07:52 PM
quote:Originally posted by chet445

I appreciate your replies. I have an overflow tank but can't figure where to put it as there is absolutely no room under the hood what with A/C, cruise control, and an alarm system. I don't think I have a leaking headgasket but I will surely look for bubbles to be sure. The radiator cap is a 7 lb pressure cap maybe that is the problem; any thoughts on that? Thanks, Chet


I am going to guess that the 7 psi cap that you are using is for an open system and not a closed system. If you are using the incorrect cap style, you will expel fluid when heating up and draw air, rather than coolant, back in upon cool down. Upon re-reading your post, it appears that you are not utilizing a recovery tank. As has been mentioned, you should not be "topping off" an open system. When the coolant is cool, the level should be down about two inches.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY

1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)

chet445
11-11-2006, 10:59 PM
quote:Originally posted by studegary


quote:Originally posted by chet445

I appreciate your replies. I have an overflow tank but can't figure where to put it as there is absolutely no room under the hood what with A/C, cruise control, and an alarm system. I don't think I have a leaking headgasket but I will surely look for bubbles to be sure. The radiator cap is a 7 lb pressure cap maybe that is the problem; any thoughts on that? Thanks, Chet


I am going to guess that the 7 psi cap that you are using is for an open system and not a closed system. If you are using the incorrect cap style, you will expel fluid when heating up and draw air, rather than coolant, back in upon cool down. Upon re-reading your post, it appears that you are not utilizing a recovery tank. As has been mentioned, you should not be "topping off" an open system. When the coolant is cool, the level should be down about two inches.

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY

1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)

chet445
11-11-2006, 11:06 PM
quote:Originally posted by John Kirchhoff

Chet, what kind of cruise control setup are you using? Sounds intriguing.
The cruise control is Audiovox and works exceptionally well. It holds the speed constant uphill and downhill without oscillations. I purchased it through J C Whitney. The cost is $124.99. I have also seen them in Autozone. It is easy to install...just takes patience. Chet

ROADRACELARK
11-12-2006, 12:16 PM
Chet,
I would think with a NEW radiator and a 289 you should be able to use a 13# pressure cap. Many of the FLAPS carry a variety of coolant recovery add on systems that are of various sizes and shapes. Even a trip to your local junk yard can produce unlimited options of those. As Jeff says, it's important to have the correct "return" type cap for the recovery system. Hope this helps.:)
Dan Miller

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Road Racers turn left AND right.

curt
11-14-2006, 08:04 AM
If the loss is upon stopping and temperature is relative normal when on the road I would suggest head gasket. I'm sure a compression test of the cylinders would tell the story.

John Kirchhoff
11-14-2006, 09:34 PM
I don't like to disagree with curt, but my experience with leaking head gaskets or cracked heads on tractors has been that the loss of coolant is greater under load, the greater the load, the worse it is. With a diesel you're putting in more fuel hence greater cylinder pressures and with a gas engine, more throttle increases fuel and air and seems to increase cylinder pressures to a greater extent than on a diesel. At least in my cases it has. A compression check will tell you very little with a cracked head and a head gasket has to be pretty bad to show up that way. I've found if they're that bad, you can usually hear the miss through the exhaust. Chet, have the heads been off recently? If so, the heads may need to be retorqued. As far as the torque 'em once and forget 'em head gaskets go, I've found that invariably there's at least one bolt that needs retorqueing after things are good and hot. So regardless of what the manufacturer says, I always get the engine good and warm and retorque a head.

John Kirchhoff
11-14-2006, 10:01 PM
I always remember something after I post the reply. Yes, advanced timing will make an engine run hot but it's likely you'd also hear pinging under heavy acceleration. Hard starting because of the hesitation, turn over, hesitation business or kicking back is also a symptom of overly advanced timing. Retarded timing won't cause over heating though. A lean fuel-air mixture will also cause an engine to run hot. Again pinging may be a symptom and well as backfiring through the exhaust when you let up on the gas at higher speeds without disengaging the tranny. An overly lean mixture can burn exhaust valves because burn time is extended and it is still burning as it goes out the exhaust.

One thing that will boil out water is shutting down an engine that's been run hard without allowing it to cool down. For me this could be running 70 mph all the way from work, turning into your driveway just off the main highway and immediately shutting the engine off. Even though the engine temp may have been fine when you shut it down, the water temp is going to go up immediately after turning it off. Not cooling down an extremely hot engine can also crack heads, especially engines that have a very narrow area between the valves. They'll crack from one valve seat to the other and if hardened seats are installed, sometimes they'll loosen up and pop out with disasterous results.

If your radiator is in good shape, a higher pressure cap will raise the boiling point of the coolant and reduce the opportunity for boil over. By the way, anti-freeze does wear out with age and anything over a 50/50 mix is actually less efficient at cooling. Something else you may check is that if the coolant is extremely rusty or dirty, new coolant may fix things. I had an Oliver gas tractor that started running hot and I was at wits end until I drained out the old cruddy stuff and put in new. It immediately cured the problem. One other thing. High pressure washers are great tools but can flatten the fins on a radiator if you wash them at anything other than dead on. I learned that lesson after a combine kept running hotter each time I washed out the hard to reach radiator. If just a few fins are bent over, use the end of a clothes pen to straighten them. Other wise, invest in one of those cool little fin combs. If the radiator is aged, be very careful because sometime just looking at them crossways will cause them to start leaking.

chet445
11-15-2006, 09:48 PM
You guys are great and thanks for the many thoughts. I will systematically check out all the information I have received and will let you know my findings. The radiator is very clean inside so I doubt bad coolant to be the problem. I do know the problem is frustrating and there is a cause. Thanks, Chet

motive
11-16-2006, 07:23 AM
My Speedster with the 259 V-8 boiled over similarly until I replaced the old 6 psi cap with a new 14-16 psi cap and the problem was solved (of course I then had to replace the old hoses that started blowing apart under the higher pressure!). It now holds a coolant level in the radiator without a coolant recovery system. I thought all the V-8 cars were supposed to have the higher pressure caps, and the 6 psi caps were only for the 6 cylinder motors.


Mike with Speedster

chet445
11-21-2006, 07:19 PM
I solved the problem! I have a three core radiator and the upper tank at one of the cores sprung a leak. I normally drove the car 8-10 miles and so when I would check the radiator coolant the upper tank would be empty but no steam exiting so...I could not find the leak as the car still had sufficient coolant to keep going. One would have thought there would be a pool of water when I parked but not so as it had evaporated while driving. The radiator is aluminum and one its way via UPS to be repaired. Chet

N8N
11-21-2006, 08:13 PM
Mike,

IIRC in mid-'55 the 13 psi cap was introduced, prior to that all cars had the lower pressure caps. The radiators were changed to ones with deeply ribbed tanks to handle the higher pressure.

nate

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