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#966798 - 08/29/07 09:05 PM Re: Radiator leak that won't go away...Please help [Re: frank2009]
salvageyardteen Offline


Registered: 08/16/07
Posts: 224
Loc: Wisconsin
If its the rad thats leaking, just tig weld it up.
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#966799 - 08/29/07 09:12 PM Re: Radiator leak that won't go away...Please help [Re: JohnBlazeLTZ]
JohnBlazeLTZ Offline


Registered: 08/15/07
Posts: 43
Loc: Kenosha, WI
O.K. Update:

Got the car back...of course...its currently not leaking...its all been repaired...but the time limit is 3-4 weeks...if it starts leaking in 3 weeks time then its not the fluid...its the car...and it will end up getting sold.

The good news is that he said he replaced the whole passenger side tank complete with the internal tranny coolers from another rad. He said he stripped the older tank down to bear metal and he was finding stress cracks in the tank and evidence of previous solder repair. He said it probably shouldn't have been used in building the rad top begin with but at the time that was the only tank he could find. Now...he had been saving a nice tank he found for me and he said it was in much better shape than the one he originally used. He said after he stripped it...the difference in quality was night and day. The new one's metal was brighter and more solid and didn't require any repairs. So this tank is going to be a much better foundation to start with...but we will see what we will see.

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#966800 - 08/30/07 01:28 AM Re: Radiator leak that won't go away...Please help [Re: JohnBlazeLTZ]
GMGuy Offline


Registered: 07/23/05
Posts: 572
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Hope it works out.

As for selling it if it leaks, I wouldn't. Time to investigate deeper.

We still want voltage readings. =-) Wait for a week or two of driving to take them.

Alex.
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#966801 - 08/30/07 09:39 PM Re: Radiator leak that won't go away...Please help [Re: GMGuy]
JohnBlazeLTZ Offline


Registered: 08/15/07
Posts: 43
Loc: Kenosha, WI
Quote:

Hope it works out.

As for selling it if it leaks, I wouldn't. Time to investigate deeper.

We still want voltage readings. =-) Wait for a week or two of driving to take them.

Alex.




I know you still want volt readings but I have been dealing with this for a long time...and the process has become more difficult in the last year. I haven't had a rad last more than a month for the last 9 months. There have been a bunch of various shops looking at it and please believe me when I tell you that every shop I have taken it to has done the exact same process you have described...the last shop...Norm's Westech Auto did it on a dyno chassis and spent two weeks checking the fluid and all the ground straps and any possible electrical connections from the firewall to the front bumper and they never had any major electrical current in the fluid. They did find some but it was very not very great at all and once they had the car up to speed on the dyno...they turned on the fan and ran all the accessories and turn things inside the car on and off and what ever current they did have disappeared once they had the car was cruising at a constant speed.

This is why this has been so bizarre.

We talked at great length over the phone and Norm has reasoned that... after I told him about the Howe Racing Rad.... I had been using a 22lb racing radiator cap...which is probably what caused the aluminum one to pop the by the top two tubes. He said the pressure was so great and the air was trying to get out and it had no where to go because the cap was too strong. So the pressure built up until it popped the top tube on the passenger side. He said I was lucky that I didn't burst the heater core. So maybe the old rad cap I had on there was to blame for the Howe Rad failing. The plastic ones all seemed to leak at the tank seals. but they didn't fail as fast as the recent brass/copper one. I think they lasted for well over a year...and one I think even lasted for a year and 9 months. I just always reasoned that those rads just couldn't handle the Caprice. They were so skinny and I always thought they just were up to task. So after the second one failed...I yanked it out and put in the Howe. The Howe lasted for 9 months. I put that big cap on because I thought that since it was a big rad that it needed a big cap. That was dumb of me...it never dawned on me that I shouldn't have increased the cap pressure. Duh.

So I told him about the chance that the fluid I was using was not protecting the lead solder and he asked what kind of fluid it was and I told him. He said "I thought it was green?" and I said..."I know..I did too." So he said that they tested the PH level in the coolant samples I gave him and he didn't find anything glaring. He said the fluid wasn't in the car long enough to build up enough debris to cause electrolysis in green fluid. But he didn't know that this was the "new and improved" version of fake green stuff from Prestone. He said that if it is some sort of Dex Clone...that it had no business being in that car...traditional green is the only thing that should be in that car's cooling system. he said it has a brass rad from the factory and Dex Cool of any version should not be put in a brass copper set up because its meant for aluminum components....no brass/copper....because it was not designed to protect brass/copper...its designed to protect aluminum. After getting some links from you guys here...I read that basically...these new coolants provide very little protection for Lead Solder. This would prove the theory because of how fast this brass copper one had been eating the lead based re-soldered areas within 2-3 weeks.

The other thing is that the Sacrificial anode that is hanging off the rad cap is hanging down right next to the trans cooler. Any "fictional" current that happens to get in there should be snatched up by it. I didn't have it in there when the rad failed before...I bought it after the rad had already failed. Hopefully it will help correct or at least slow down any possible electrical condition present.

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#966802 - 09/10/07 09:20 PM Re: Radiator leak that won't go away...Please help [Re: JohnBlazeLTZ]
JohnBlazeLTZ Offline


Registered: 08/15/07
Posts: 43
Loc: Kenosha, WI
Well...I think its a new record...12 days...and its leaking again I believe...I was in a rush this morning on the way out of the house but I thought I seen a few small drips...so yes...I think it is bad again. Its a whole new tank...its not even the same tank...he didn't use any solder in it this time...I think its coming from the core this time....I didn't see anything from the tank.

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#966803 - 09/17/07 01:44 AM Re: Radiator leak that won't go away...Please help [Re: JohnBlazeLTZ]
JohnBlazeLTZ Offline


Registered: 08/15/07
Posts: 43
Loc: Kenosha, WI
False alarm. The rad cap was leaking. The fill neck had a little bend in it and it was allowing the pressure to get by the cap and leak straight down the side of the rad tank and pooling up on the rad. shelf. So far it is holding again. I will be going to a tranny shop on Friday of this week to to get a few small length of rubber hosing to interrupt the metal lines running from the trans to the radiator tranny coolers in an attempt to separate the rad from any possible electrical route from the drive train.

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#966804 - 09/17/07 03:05 AM Re: Radiator leak that won't go away...Please help [Re: JohnBlazeLTZ]
frank2009 Offline


Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 193
Loc: long island n.y.
makes your day when what you think is a big (expensive) problem turns out to be nothing.

good luck to you John.

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#966805 - 09/18/07 02:54 AM Re: Radiator leak that won't go away...Please help [Re: frank2009]
JohnBlazeLTZ Offline


Registered: 08/15/07
Posts: 43
Loc: Kenosha, WI
Quote:

makes your day when what you think is a big (expensive) problem turns out to be nothing.

good luck to you John.




Yup Frank,

I was a bit paranoid for a while and when I seen a puddle...I absolutely freaked...thinking..."Here we go again!" Upon further investigation...it turned out to be a slight bend in the fill neck that wasn't exactly making a real great seal. Plus that ASP Rad Cap with the anode on it was pretty much junk. The spring apparently isn't strong enough of the quality just wasn't that great because not only was it leaking off the fill neck...it was leaking out of the top of the cap itself. It was leaking from around the "button" on the top of the cap. It was kind of bizarre but what ever...the cap must have been junk too. We will see what the trans lines do for us.

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#966806 - 10/02/07 12:44 AM Re: Radiator leak that won't go away...Please help [Re: JohnBlazeLTZ]
JohnBlazeLTZ Offline


Registered: 08/15/07
Posts: 43
Loc: Kenosha, WI
5 weeks...still holding....starting an RMI-25 treatment soon.

That is all.

JB

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#1032545 - 11/21/07 01:56 PM Re: Radiator leak that won't go away...Please help [Re: JohnBlazeLTZ]
JohnBlazeLTZ Offline


Registered: 08/15/07
Posts: 43
Loc: Kenosha, WI
Almost 3 month now...still going strong. I re-flushed the rad fluid after 1000 miles with the first installment of RMI 25...then added the 2nd installment of RMI 25. Its been good ever since. Between the rubber lengths of hose I had installed in between the trans. cooler lines and the rad, the RMI-25 treatment, the new radiator cap, the new 100% traditional green antifreeze rad. fluid, and the new passenger side rad tank...I am not too sure what the solution was. All I know is that I don't come out to a puddle of green under my car anymore....

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#1109549 - 03/19/08 02:01 PM Re: Radiator leak that won't go away...Please help. [Re: JohnBlazeLTZ]
JohnBlazeLTZ Offline


Registered: 08/15/07
Posts: 43
Loc: Kenosha, WI
O.K. guys I am back...7 months later the Caprice is starting to leak again. Same exact spot as before but not as bad. The edge of the trans. cooler connection on the rad. tank itself seems to be corroding. But here's another thing... I am still losing coolant....but I don't have a puddle on the ground, my oil level isn't changing and there isn't any white foam in the oil. I also have discovered recenly that I have a broken exhaust manifold bolt on the drivers side....which is the exhaust leak I have been hearing. I recently did a tune up and the car runs well enough and I am getting 330 miles to an avg 22 gallon tank which equals 15mpg. I can remember a time when this car used to get closer to 16-17 MPG though. Seeing that I have a Flex-A-Lite Dual Eelctric fan, Underdrive pullies, an MSD Blaster coil and a full custom Cat. Back single out exhaust...I would think that I should be getting better then 15mpg.

Anyway...at this point...I can only come up with one thing. I think that I must have a slightly fractured cylinder head that is allowing some coolant leaking into the cylinders which is being burned off. I also think that there could be some exhaust gases ending up in the fluid that is causing an acidic reaction to the solder on the Pass. Rad tank...which when combined with some sort of electrical short in the front end some place...is what is eating my rad. tank. This may be far fetched but its the only thing I can come up with. Earlier in this thread...someone linked an article to a Volvo with a similar problem. This is literally the only explaination I can come up with.

If ANYONE has any thoughts recommendations or ideas...please...please...please....email me or reply to this thread.

Thank you to all that can help, have helped or will help in the future.

If I can't figure anything out...I fear that tearing down the engine is the only option and replacing it with a better one is the only option.

Sincerely,

John Blaze

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#1109601 - 03/19/08 03:11 PM Re: Radiator leak that won't go away...Please help. [Re: JohnBlazeLTZ]
brianl703 Offline


Registered: 05/07/04
Posts: 10487
Loc: Manassas, VA
I've heard that if you suspect exhaust gases are getting into the coolant, a sniffer probe from an emissions tester held over the radiator filler will detect it.

http://www.smart-service.com/mikesCornerArchive/content-MikesCornerMar06.shtml


" How does one know for sure? Well there is no foolproof way of knowing what exactly has failed until the engine is disassembled. Our method is to use an exhaust gas analyzer (similar to what is used at an emission test station) to “sniff” the radiator and coolant recovery bottle for exhaust gas (hydrocarbons or HC’s) content and concentration. A cooling system should have 0 parts per million (ppm) in the cooling system. In the early stages we might detect 10-40 ppm HC’s. These usually are the cars that haven’t overheated yet because the amount is still so small. When the numbers get to 45 ppm and above it indicates a more active process going on. Beware that sometimes soon after a head gasket job a trace amount of HC’s can be detected but is no cause for alarm. Since you can’t purge or drain every single pocket/passage of the engine’s cooling system it may just be a residual amount that will dissipate.

If you don’t have the luxury of a 4 gas analyzer you can purchase an engine block leak detection kit from your local NAPA autoparts store. Part Number 700-1006 for under $50. This kit uses a fluid that changes color when it chemically reacts with coolant containing exhaust gas."

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#1119508 - 04/01/08 10:50 AM Re: Radiator leak that won't go away...Please help. [Re: brianl703]
JohnBlazeLTZ Offline


Registered: 08/15/07
Posts: 43
Loc: Kenosha, WI
Thanks for the input Brian. I appreciate it. I think your right...and I think we need to look at that procedure your talking about. I think a cylinder compression check is in order too. Why the shop that has been helping me didn't find anything...I am not sure. I actually had another shop do the chemical test but they didn't find anything...but here the thing...I have to keep topping off the fluid and the test results may not show up because the evidence is diluted! Man...what a tricky little beast this is!

Well...I am faced with a situation. Either A.) Replace the head gasket or B.) finally replace the tired old engine or C.) keep driving it until the problem shows itself.

For right now...I have no choice but to keep driving it and since the engine is a terrible version of a 350....I guess I see no problem with it going south. At birth it started off as 180hp and it has a poor set of cylinder heads and a cam that has the least amount of lift that ever came in a Chevy Small Block. The only thing it has going for it is that its a roller cam engine....other then that....its not even a 4 bolt main....so....it would probably be best used as a boat anchor!

:)

I am letting a teacher at a technical school use it for diagnostics for a 30 student class of GM Technicans. I want to see if they can come up with anything before I throw in the towel. It won't cost me nothing and there will be 30 GM techs' lookng at it all at once. This is my best shot at finding a solution in one day.

Feel free to reply guys and thanks for everything....this forum is awesome!

JBLTZ

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#1119922 - 04/01/08 09:03 PM Re: Radiator leak that won't go away...Please help. [Re: JohnBlazeLTZ]
onion Offline


Registered: 02/04/07
Posts: 2097
Loc: kansastan
Here's an idea that has likely been thrown around before in the eight pages where we've discussed your problem... but I'll try it anyway. Where does the ground cable from your battery run? I assume it runs to someplace on the engine. BUT! Is there any sort of cable or ground strap running either from the engine to the frame, or from the negative battery terminal to the frame?

There needs to be some sort of ground connection between the engine and the frame. Lots of vehicles have an extra (thick) wire attached to the negative battery terminal that grounds the frame and/or body... some use a ground strap between the engine and the frame and/or body.

See, you mentioned that this leak always occurs on the same side as the transmission cooler lines- sometimes close to them, and sometimes actually AT those fittings. Could electrical circuits in the vehicle be grounding THROUGH the radiator, back through the trans cooler lines, then to the battery via the negative battery cable?
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#1121859 - 04/04/08 11:02 AM Re: Radiator leak that won't go away...Please help. [Re: onion]
lewk Offline


Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 275
Loc: southwest
check your motor mounts

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