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Old 02-20-2003, 06:32 PM
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Unhappy Radiator help!!!

When i drive my car(86 trans am) it slowly heats up to the point where the coolant in the reserve tank bubles. About an hour into driving The radiator is relativly new(1 year old). Upon letting the coolant cool off, i find that it isnt there anymore and the actual radiator is empty as well. I cannot find any leaks that could cause such a big lost. Could it be the thermastat? Please help!

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Old 02-20-2003, 07:04 PM
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First off.. When you replaced the rad did you replace the cap??? It sounds like the cap isn't keeping the pressure in and is causing your rad to boil over into the overflow tank constantly...

Also Please tell me that you put a bigger rad in that poor car... if not oh well but these cars don't get alot of air(if it is an 86 t/a like your name says).. The firebirds and T/As seem they would be worse then my camaro though....

I fixed that problem with a 3 core rad and a BIG SCOOP

Anyway if it isn't the cap check the thermostat
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Old 02-20-2003, 07:14 PM
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yes. i did get a new radiator cap. The wierd thing is that i was driving the other day and it completly heated up(it was during a storm) and it coolant was empty. I filled it up again, filled the reserve and whatnot. I think the thermastat was fried. And yes, the rad is a better one then stock. Im not sure of the kind or size but i remeber the previous owner saying it was bigger or something!?
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Old 02-20-2003, 07:27 PM
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if the car stays cool when you are sitting and runs hot when you are driving it may be that you have a air dam problem if not you can start your car and let it run until the thermastat opens and make sure the water is flows good it could be that your heater core is stoped up???
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Old 02-20-2003, 08:17 PM
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Sounds like either your "new" rad cap or "new" thermostat is toast. I have a collection of these things still in their original boxes that I use for testing, my record for bad thermostats is three in a row...new...tested by "operator 13" or something like that as written on the box.

Who is this "operator 13" guy? I think he needs a drug test...by someone other than Dave. :p

Also check the distance to the shoulder on your "new" rad, I have seen two rads that had out of spec shoulder distances that prevented the rad cap seal face from contacting the shoulder and therefore never would hold pressure. If the distance is out by even 0.010" it will render the caps pressure rating meaningless.

Check it out.
“She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself.”

— Han Solo
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Old 02-20-2003, 08:25 PM
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First check to make sure it has flow (watch through the filler from a cold start and until it's at operating temp). If it has no flow, I would suspect the T stat form the description given. If it has good coolant flow and everything else checks out OK (fan clutch shroud/duct etc.), do or have a pressure check done to the cooling system (the cap too). If the cooling system does hold pressure and there's no visible leaks whatsoever, I still wouldn't eliminate a blown/eroded head gasket. Do a co2 check with the motor warmed up. If the car blows white smoke/steam you have a blown headgasket/warped head (coolant is getting in the combustion chamber). Check for flow first.
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Old 02-21-2003, 03:37 AM
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I'm guessing, But your on the highway when overheating. Don't worry about the fan, The fan only cools the radiator when under 35.
things i would check:
1) check your air dam under the car. you don't have one your won't be getting enough air to cool
2) check your timming on the motor. running lean will overheat.
3) hoping you have a fan shroud
4) check and see if there water in your oil. ( water has to be going somewhere if not on the ground).
5) did you change your radiator hoses? if not check your lower hose. it might be collapsing
6) check the water pump and see if you got water movement.
7) very easy to do:: make sure your thermostat is not put in upside down.

when you fix it let us know what it was
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