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Old 10-07-2003, 05:55 PM
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Uh-oh! What did I do to my engine??

Oh, man. I think I have a serious problem.

I was leaving my mom's tonight after dinner ... it was warm outside, but the truck was cold ... I started it up and was showing off a bit by revving the engine -- vrroom! vvrroom! vvrrroooom!! -- and laughing, I took off. But as I did, I noticed the smell of anti-freeze and thought, "What's THAT??" But the temp was okay, so I drove home (about 5-6 miles) ... got out of the truck and popped the hood ... I could still smell anti-freeze, but only faintly, and didn't see any water anywhere ... hoses looked fine, temp was fine, so I went inside and thought, "Maybe it's time to put that new radiator in."

About a half-hour later I needed to run to the store. So I get in the truck and take off. She starts warmin' up ... I get about 2-3 miles down the road and she's warmin' up too much! "Something is wrong here." I turned around and headed straight back home ... the temp was higher than I've ever seen it go ... it was hitting 230, easy!

I get in the driveway and pop the hood ... the coolant return jug is BOILING! Not expanding and overflowing ... just sitting at the "hot" level and BOILING!!! I'm confused!!! It doesn't need anti-freeze and it's boiling? It's not expanding and spilling, but it's boiling? 2 + 2 = 86???

I let it sit for a while ... the temp goes down to 180 ... I start it back up and turn the heater on ... but the temp keeps rising ... 200 ... 210 ... 220 ... I shut it off. Next thing I know, I see steam shooting out the side of the engine -- passenger side. Steam clears and I see water shooting out just above the starter! Oh, no!

Sigh ...

What is happening here, man? Did I blow my engine? Is it just a gasket or a seal that's needed? CRAP!!!

HELP!


Alan
54 Chevy Pickup

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Old 10-07-2003, 06:05 PM
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Just above the starter?? Sounds like you blew out a freeze plug there?? And of course way over heated it.
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Old 10-07-2003, 06:05 PM
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sounds like a freeze plug worked loose or rusted through. only other thing I`ve seen cause this is a cracked cylinder bore. there is a freeze plug back by the starter. see if you can find the exact source of where it`s coming out, as other damage could have happened, such as a head cracked on the out side, or the tempature sending unit plug in the side of the head is loose or not sealed, it also could be leaking past the bolts. don`t panic, take your time and relax and you`ll find the problem easier, just keep in mind when you find the problem, and even if it is complete carnage, you can handle it, there`s lot`s more engines out there.
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Old 10-07-2003, 06:43 PM
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A freeze plug? THAT sounds much kinder! God, I hope it's a simple fix ... naturally.

It's not the temp send unit ... that's on the driver side and that side was dry and quiet.

What I saw was spitting out right over the TOP of the starter -- over the rear half.

Thanks ... you guys gave me some hope and probably a better night's sleep. I'll check it out fully tomorrow and post the results.

Alan
54 Chevy Pickup
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Old 10-07-2003, 07:10 PM
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Alan. Sorry to hear about your truck. I agree with the others that it most likely is a frost plug. Nothing to expensive but it basically means pulling the engine to replace them all.
Hope it goes well for you. Look at the bright side, with all the work you have done to the old girl this might be a great time to detail the engine compartment! Good luck with it.
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Old 10-09-2003, 05:56 PM
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Ahh ... sweet success!


You guys were right -- I blew a freeze plug. Seems a freeze plug that sits by the starter is subject to corrosion because electricity and anti-freeze = corrosion, big time! All the other freeze plugs were fine ... the interior of the engine was clean ... THIS freeze plugs was corroded badly! Only needed tyo remove the starter and replace the one plug.

Another thing I noticed was a change in my voltage gauge. It was always reading ABOVE 15 volts, and that was bugging me ... now, I guess the anti-freeze was leaking, maybe spitting, onto the starter and causing that, because when I took the truck out for a spin, it never read over 14 volts -- interewsting, eh?

Looks like I nailed 2 birds with 1 stone.


Alan
54 Chevy Pickup
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Old 10-09-2003, 08:18 PM
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Horvath, Man I am Glad you found your issue. I have seen this happen before myself. As you know, all Rodders like when another Rodder finds the issue and is able to fix it.

Way to go!

Juice

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Old 10-10-2003, 08:50 AM
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The ideal charging rate should be 14.2--14.5 volts.
A wet starter should not affect the charging rate.

Troy
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Old 10-10-2003, 05:38 PM
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Thanks, Juice -- Yeah ... we all know what it feels like, eh?


Hey, Troy -- I dunno, man. All I know is after fixing the freeze plug that was spitting anti-freeze on my starter, my voltage gauge is reading normal, where beforehand it wasn't.

Alan
54 Chevy Pickup
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