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Antifreeze, Antifreeze, EVERYWHERE!

Discussion in '"Stock" Alpine' started by Scotty, Sep 30, 2021.

  1. Scotty

    Scotty Platinum Level Sponsor

    Sorry I haven't been around or responded to anyone, I got injured at work and am gearing up for surgery on my left hand now that they know what to address and that I actually need surgery. Losing a bone and some other stuff.

    So I moved my IV (rebuilt 1725 w/20 miles on it, Weber 32/36) around the carport and after about 3 minutes It stalled on me twice. Started it back up, drove and immediately heard gurgling under the hood, immediately lost most of the engine power, and Antifreeze shot out the bottom of the radiator. I pulled up, parked, shut down and popped the hood to find my radiator was boiling hot to the point that it was steaming and my fuel filter had boiling gas inside. The front suspension cross-member was drenched with antifreeze. A row from top to bottom on the center of the radiator was wet on the front and back of the radiator, nowhere else (pics below).

    I'm going through a list of obvious things like bad hoses, bad water pump (I don't see any obvious leaking), or even a blown Head Gasket (I -did- lose power so this is a big concern for me right now) . I haven't found any other leaks and am letting the car sit and cool before doing anything with it.

    Edit: I checked and found that the radiator still has Anti-freezer but it just covers the top of the cells. I think the mass of the antifreeze went out the petcock or whatever it's called, the hose that runs along the top and side of the radiator. And yes, the end of that hose is wet.

    The ONLY thing I did before running the car was change out the bracket that held the muffler to the bottom of the car. It was vibrating a little bit and I intended to tighten it once I parked but didn't get the chance... mentioning that in case there's something there that contributed to or actually caused that.

    Any advice or anything I should check, address or am missing?

    As always, thanks so much in advance.

    243262697_1350357582062417_5874249771692630439_n.jpg 243601748_466965961127570_8376595707446337454_n.jpg 243448961_446226550131536_5579675793636274064_n.jpg th (4).jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
  2. volvoguys

    volvoguys Diamond Level Sponsor

    How much coolant do you estimate is on the floor/street/driveway?
    Fan belt missing or slipping?
    Engine still free or is it stuck (don't try to turn the engine with the fan, plz)?
     
  3. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    Check the inside of your radiator. Had one car that would overheat very quickly, within 10 minutes of start up.
    Turned out the rad core was clogging itself up with its own detritus. We recored it with a new 3 row core and all
    was really good.
    These things can go really badly.
     
  4. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    Scotty, In the first picture it looks like the tank is separated from the core ?

    Do you have a better picture available ?
     
  5. belmateo

    belmateo Gold Level Sponsor

    Your radiator cap is suspect as a part is missing from the outer seal.
     
  6. RootesRooter

    RootesRooter Platinum Level Sponsor

    The power loss after relatively few minutes operating is troubling. I'd check the dipstick to be sure there's just oil on it.
     
  7. Scotty

    Scotty Platinum Level Sponsor

    From the top:

    1. How much coolant do you estimate is on the floor/street/driveway?

    About a quart, I'd say. The radiator was full and now it's just covering the top of the 'cells'. About half of thatcame out very quickly and splattered on the car when I heard the gurgling and then drained out the passenger side once I parked and shut down. I have two separate wet spots on the ground.

    2. Fan belt missing or slipping?

    I swapped out and put in an Alternator recently and the belt I'm using is as taught as the Generator belt and it's spun evenly. It is about 1/16th of an inch off or so my eyes are telling me.

    3. Engine still free or is it stuck (don't try to turn the engine with the fan, plz)?

    Never that! And yes, it does spin freely.

    4. Check the inside of your radiator. Had one car that would overheat very quickly, within 10 minutes of start up. Turned out the rad core was clogging itself up with its own detritus.

    Yikes, sorry to hear that :/. I checked and the rows are open and free. I'm not really sure what to look for but what I'm seeing looks normal.

    5. Scotty, In the first picture it looks like the tank is separated from the core ? Do you have a better picture available ?

    I posted more pics below, It's kind of hard to get a really good pic when the fan blade wants to be a primadonna lol. A few things I noticed when taking them: There was liquid on the passenger side and the driver side is bone dry. The cells in the middle like I said were wet on both sides, don't know what that means but I figured I'd say everything I'm seeing. The pics hopefully say everything else.

    6. Your radiator cap is suspect as a part is missing from the outer seal.

    I didn't notice it was damaged until I took the pic and it's really difficult to screw and unscrew, even with a good hand.


    7. The power loss after relatively few minutes operating is troubling. I'd check the dipstick to be sure there's just oil on it.

    I'm not sure if the power loss was just due to it overheating and boiling the damn gas in the fuel filter (I'm really worried I damaged or warped something inside from that kind of heat...) I checked the dipstick and it's nothing but oil, thank God.


    F74059E9-4953-4FE8-8182-E1D67B8D6A06.jpeg 508FC120-1F81-4070-BD4E-E82B0F2943CA.jpeg 369B44EF-86ED-49F4-A268-82B6A6672B60.jpeg 257AAE55-E468-4F39-8797-590ED17490C4.jpeg 2EA9E6FB-E9B9-40B2-A197-8882F26D2FB3.jpeg
     
  8. Scotty

    Scotty Platinum Level Sponsor

    Update: I put some water into the radiator to fill it and tried to start it. It fired right up. I didn't leave it on too long, maybe 15 seconds. I didn't hear anything weird or strange and it ran like normal in the short length of time I had it on.

    The one thing I'm noticing Is that the inner 'lip' on the bottom of the radiator in the engine bay is wet to the passenger side and bone dry on the driver side.

    It's pretty hot today here and everything else from yesterday evaporated including the antifreeze that was on the subframe. Given how old the pump might be on it, I'm considering replacing that and the thermostat just out of good sense along with the radiator hoses which aren't leaking but appear quite old.

    How do I check if the radiator is bad? I'm feeling like it might be clogged since it did sit for a while but I had it flushed a few months ago and filled with 50/50, so I figure if there was anything clogged, that would have gotten it out.

    Thoughts?
     
  9. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    If I were you, I'd pull the radiator and take it to a reputable radiator shop and have it cleaned and tested for leaks.
    If your car has been sitting, all kinds of sediment can be causing unseen clogs. The Rootes engine blocks had sediment
    (sand) in them when they were new!

    I agree with you, from the top tank, it doesn't look bad, but a good cleaning can do wonders
    for the cooling efficiency. Also, when you have it out, flush the bock to get any and all crap
    out of it.
     
  10. Shannon Boal

    Shannon Boal Bronze Level Sponsor

    A: it boiled making a gurgling sound. B, it lost coolant
    (I am capitalizing my suspicions)......
    First, (because knowing if you have a leak will help decide if A caused B or vice-versa:)
    Pressure Test to find any leaks. Instructions with device, loaner pressure tester from here: https://www.autozone.com/loan-a-tools/loaner-radiator-pressure-tester, or who-ever.
    This will tell you IF it leaks, and if the cap holds pressure.
    If it did NOT leak, IT STILL BOILED.....Coolant has to circulate, air has to flow. Coolant won't circulate unless thermostat opens. Thermostat won't open if it STICKS. If it sticks, it will leave a shiny spot where it has been dragging as it opens.

    Second, if your hands allow you to work a bit, remove the thermostat. Look at it in bright light, for shiny spot where the inner part may be dragging as it opens. TEST it in a pan of water on the stove, with a thermometer, maybe put a new part in with old one. Temperature rating stamped somewhere on unit should match when it is fully open.
    There you have a place to start. I can supply minutia on less likely, or causative issues. I can tell you how to flow-test radiator. I can tell you how to test your head gasket. This group can supply a ton of Rootes experience! (I retired with forty-plus years of professional auto repair, never did learn enough....)
    Shannon Boal
    I like to drill a small hole in thermostats, between 3/32" and 1/8" diameter, bypassing a smidge of water flow.

    So I moved my IV (rebuilt 1725 w/20 miles on it, Weber 32/36) around the carport and after about 3 minutes It stalled on me twice. Started it back up, drove and immediately heard gurgling under the hood, immediately lost most of the engine power, and Antifreeze shot out the bottom of the radiator. I pulled up, parked, shut down and popped the hood to find my radiator was boiling hot to the point that it was steaming and my fuel filter had boiling gas inside. The front suspension cross-member was drenched with antifreeze. A row from top to bottom on the center of the radiator was wet on the front and back of the radiator, nowhere else (pics below).


    Edit: I checked and found that the radiator still has Anti-freezer but it just covers the top of the cells. I think the mass of the antifreeze went out the petcock or whatever it's called, the hose that runs along the top and side of the radiator. And yes, the end of that hose is wet.
     
  11. Acollin

    Acollin Donation Time

    Do I see a split or a crack at the top of the radiator in the picture with the filler hole where the cap fits? Look right as you face the picture. Many years ago, I had a radiator in a honda just split— great car but ai had to replace the radiator.

    pressure test the radiator. If you do not have one, you could probably borrow/ rent the tool from an auto parts store. Easy to use , inexpensive diagnosis.

    i , too, would be concerned about the loss of power. I suppose the spewing of coolant could have temporarily fouled something— hope thats all it is.
    Good luck
     
  12. Scotty

    Scotty Platinum Level Sponsor

    Update: Pulled the Thermostat, did the hot water test and it works fine. No shiny parts, nothing bent or off. It looked like it was in the housing at a very slight angle though, could just be me. Checked the numbers on the thermo and it is the correct one.

    The Water Pump I have on the car is a cast iron one with the metal propeller. It has been on the car since the rebuild and since the car has sat. I have half a mind to pull it but I can't see that corroding just sitting there, though maybe the gasket is borked. Ordering gaskets for everything today.

    Ordering a new radiator cap as well.

    Not seeing any leaks from any of the hoses or lines. Might pull and replace the two hoses on the rad itself today just for good measure, but not seeing and have not seen any leaks from it, at all.

    Draining and pulling the Radiator to have it tested today as well. Got someone to help me here with that and am very appreciative for it.

    One thing that occurred to me is that since the line runs to the heater core, is it possible the heater core is somehow clogged up? Is it possible for that to have caused the overheat? I have zero experience and think that's unlikely but it never hurts to ask.

    I'm also going to adjust the Alternator bracket out of pure paranoia. It is slightly off but I am using all the right stuff and concerned that somehow that had a hand in things? Also using a different alternator TOP bracket that attaches to the side of the Water Pump and wondering if the bolt possibly being slightly off might contribute to this as well. It is bolted down tight.

    I'm going to buy a hose and cut it down for the top and bottom of the radiator, any idea what the measurements are? The ones I have do hold fluid but are old so I'm going to just replace them anyway. I'm not sure what caused my overheat and the car did sit, so I'm going through everything.

    Again, thanks for everything. I'd be losing my mind if not for yall and I don't have much to lose left lol.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021
  13. husky drvr

    husky drvr Platinum Level Sponsor

    Scotty,

    I think it's been mentioned, but when you reinstall the thermostat, make sure it is turned the proper direction. Also mentioned, a 1/8 or 3/16 hole drilled at the top of the thermostat flange will help bleed any air pocket which might be trapped in the head when refilling the coolant system.

    A clogged heater core shouldn't make a difference because the heater control valve would shut off coolant flow when turned off.

    Hope this helps,
     
    Scotty and Shannon Boal like this.
  14. RootesRooter

    RootesRooter Platinum Level Sponsor

    Hindsight is 20/20, but after the first boil-over I would've let it cool off and dry overnight, filled the radiator again and run the engine until it was hot, not just "15 seconds." The source of the leak might have been apparent if you knew what to look for in advance.
     
    Scotty likes this.
  15. Shannon Boal

    Shannon Boal Bronze Level Sponsor

    Nice work, testing your T-Stat, persevering with the bad hand and all. So, your radiator shop can tell you if it was clogged enough to cause this, hope that solved things! If the radiator was fine, another possibility exists, that of a combustion pressure leak past the head gasket.....I have seen three or four boil-overs, not Alpines, caused by head gasket leaks......(tiny bubbles of combustion gasses, accumulate around thermostat, and that air pocket prevents the thermostat opening). This has happened when stopping at a toll booth after a run at highway speed,( it boiled when stopped, and later no idea why it boiled.) This is why I like to put a 3/32" to 1/8" hole in the thermostat, as any bubbles will not accumulate. The test for that...... if things go that way, would be: assemble housing without thermostat, remove belt driving water pump, leave upper radiator hose on t-stat neck but turned upward, with it unhooked from radiator. Tape, cork, or seal radiator neck. Put radiator cap on and fill to the top of your turned-up, open end, upper hose. Idle engine (ok to run about five minutes, watch gauge) and watch water surface at open end of hose for stream of tiny bubbles. It may take a few minutes to show. I do not know how often this occurs with Alpines, hope folks will chip in with accumulated wisdom.
     
  16. nsbluenose

    nsbluenose Bronze Level Sponsor

    Check to ensure the lower radiator hose is not collapsing. That would prevent cooled coolant returning to the engine. Old hoses, poor quality hoses, perhaps a hose without a wire coil (spring) in side could collapse, most likely to happen at rpms above idle.
     
    Scotty, RootesRooter and Shannon Boal like this.
  17. Scotty

    Scotty Platinum Level Sponsor

    Updates:

    The radiator had a split in the center that was causing the fins to get wet and had so much gunk that you couldn't see through it. The cap was also bent. New cap and pressure tested, fixed and coated radiator now live in Pita (Now officially the name of my car, said with love.)

    The Thermostat turned out to be very suspect. I decided to do the hot water test again and it didn't open. Strange. I tried it again and it opened just a little bit, so I decided to junk it and get a new one. Gasket, Permatex to tack it, and also all back on Pita.

    1 1/2 gallons of premix and fired up. No worries, although I have come to realize that the water temp gauge is very suspect, so I'm going to connect an alternative so I can keep track of it. Any suggestions to one I can just plug in where the old one goes? (I'll get a new one as I go, but I'd like to keep track of it as I drive.)

    The ONE Thing I think might be contributing to the issue might be a misaligned Hitachi Alt. I have it really close and the belt isn't getting chewed, is tight, and spins as it should without wobbling or anything strange. The Hitachi is pulling current at the right numbers. I figure if it was really that far out of alignment that I would see a decrease. Thoughts?

    Also, the radiator fins are lukewarm at the ends but stone-cold in front of the mechanical fan blade, so I'm figuring that's working right or it'd be warm too.

    Still having issues with a bitchy Weber 32/36 that keeps wanting to run rich and sooting on the plugs. New Condenser goes in tomorrow just on a hunch and going to start working on tuning that beast.

    More to come.
     
    Shannon Boal likes this.
  18. Scotty

    Scotty Platinum Level Sponsor

    Ordering new ones from Rick just because. The ones I have are abit tired but are keeping their strength and the lower hose looks brand new, but just in case...
     
  19. Scotty

    Scotty Platinum Level Sponsor

    True. Live and Learn.
     
  20. RootesRooter

    RootesRooter Platinum Level Sponsor

    It shouldn't make any difference in cooling, but how 'mis-aligned' is the Hitachi alternator? Is the belt 'tight' or just the alternator? An over-tight belt can do a number on the alternator bearings.

    Get yourself a laser thermometer to have a better idea of how your radiator is performing.
     
    Scotty likes this.

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