Coolant leak

Discussion in 'Engine Topic' started by Coadster32, Jun 30, 2020 at 6:13 AM.

  1. Coadster32

    Coadster32 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    So I've been trying to keep the temps down in my Camaro during the summer months for a few years now, and finally pulled the trigger on a new aluminum radiator. (Champion two row 1" core). The install went well, and had no issues. Now that summer is here, temp spikes became prominent. I didn't see them in the earlier months of the year, so thought nothing of it. Monitored the overflow tank, and it never moved. I took off the radiator cap, and alot of coolant was gone. Perhaps I didn't "burp" it properly when I installed it. I bought a "no-spill" funnel, parked on an incline, and did it again...thermostat open, etc. Satisfied, started to drive it again. High temps, and missing coolant later, I got nervous. I saw coolant boiling out of the intake manifold by the thermostat housing, and saw some liquid marks on the hood there as well. Snugged up the intake bolts, carb bolts, and "No-spill" funneled it again on an incline. Also checked the idle with carb cleaner around the base of intake and carb...no idle fluctuation. I'm thinking maybe I solved the issue. Start driving the Camaro again...and same thing. High temps, and missing coolant. So now I drain the oil out and check it. It is perfect...not a drop of anti-freeze in it. I strain it, and put it back into the engine, (only has 400 miles on it). No oil in the antifreeze at all. I back it down the driveway, and fire it up. A small puddle of antifreeze forms on the ground under the muffler. Start up the engine, and slight puffs of smoke come out of the exhaust. It goes away quickly like on a dewy morning., and the car runs great. Next, I pull the plugs to look for washout on the cylinders. Plugs all look the same with no sign of washout. (Due for new plugs anyhow). I have Pro-Comp heads on the car for quite a few years now. I was thinking the obvious head gasket, but then thought perhaps a porosity issue within the head itself, as there have been known issue in the past with these heads...non of which I have experienced yet. Maybe a pinhole in the head that leads to the exhaust manifold side? I have been following another thread on Nasty-Z for a while, and was thinking of trying the AC Delco tabs in the radiator as an alternative to pulling the heads off, head gasket, and reworking the heads. (Trying to be cost effective...wife and two kids at home). Looking for opinions on this based on those that have tried them, or other products of this type. I figure if it doesn't work, I'll be tearing it all apart and flushing out the coolant system anyhow.
     
  2. COPO

    COPO Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Start with 1 tab and call back the next day.
     
  3. 80sz

    80sz Veteran Member

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    I was shocked when I put a bottle of sealant in my rad on f150 intake manifold crack. It sealed up in a few rides to work
     
  4. Coadster32

    Coadster32 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Was surfing the web yesterday, and came across a few products to try. Bars Leak, which I know has been around a while, has tablets, and liquids. One liquid is for a leaking block, copper type substrate. One is for aluminum substrate, for radiators and aluminum head/intakes. Was thinking about trying the liquid aluminum bars leak product instead of the tablets. I'm not certain if GM had aluminum blocks/intakes./heads when they we using these tablets. Thoughts on product?
     
  5. cadillac_al

    cadillac_al Veteran Member

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    I would re-install the intake before using the sealant tabs. People used to go overboard with the sealant tabs and clog their heater cores. The radiator cap gets all gummed up too if you use too much.
     
  6. Coadster32

    Coadster32 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    After doing a fair amount of research on products, I ended up putting in a small bottle of K-Seal in the system, and took it for a 25 minute drive. Temps were good on the drive, thermostat opened, etc. When I came home, I watched the overflow bottle bubble over onto the garage floor. I put a pan under the car, and called it a day. I took this a MAYBE a better sign, as the overflow wasn't working at all before. The next day, I opened up the radiator cap, which still held good pressure, and saw the radiator was low on fluid. I thought perhaps the overflow bottle would have been sucked back into the system, but that didn't happen. I sucked out the overflow bottle, dumped it back into the radiator, topped it off, and drove it again. Identical results from the previous day. I'm wondering if the sealant actually did something, and now perhaps there might be a little blockage somewhere in the head/block. The car ran great with absolutely no signs of any issue from the drivers seat. I suppose the more I drove, the more fluid would come out, and then eventually see the temps spike up, but don't want to drive it to that point. Wondering if my local mechanic shop has a better way to flush the system out then just me with a garden hose.
     
  7. xten

    xten Veteran Member

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    Sounds like the wrong or faulty cap that won't let coolant back from the overflow bottle to the rad.
     
  8. biker

    biker Veteran Member

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    When my cap went bad, system would build pressure but not suck coolant back into the rad from the overflow. Same as you. Also had an issue at one time with a crack in the overflow tube which would cause the same issue.
     
  9. COPO

    COPO Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Hope your using a cap designed for an overflow jug. Overflowing coolant doesn’t sound good IMO. Something is wrong.
     

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