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What's this goop on my radiator cap?

 
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pdb
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:50 pm    Post subject:  What's this goop on my radiator cap? Reply with quote



Is this the dreaded 'chocolate milkshake' that heralds a LIM replacement, or is this dexcool goop? I don't seem to be losing oil, and the oil looks clean on the dipstick. The car has run a little warmer than normal recently (going up a mountain, 4 people @80mph with the AC on in 96F weather).

This is a 2004 with the 3800, 134k miles. The previous owner said that he had the LIM done, but did not have supporting paperwork.

Thanks!
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wanderson75
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:59 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

LIM Gaskets. Or Malt-O-Meal

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Arvetus
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:04 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

what does the coolant look like down in the radiator?
If it looks bad, then I would agree and suspect LIM's. If it looks good, wipe the goop off and see if it comes back. Dex should be pink or orange in color. You also may have some rust in your system. Pull the overflow jug, dump it and rinse it out good. if you have a lot of rust, it would be worth a complete cooling system flush.

I prefer the old green coolant myself, but that's just me...

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jakemt239
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:00 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

^ Ditto

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:01 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Arvetus wrote:
what does the coolant look like down in the radiator?
If it looks bad, then I would agree and suspect LIM's. If it looks good, wipe the goop off and see if it comes back. Dex should be pink or orange in color. You also may have some rust in your system. Pull the overflow jug, dump it and rinse it out good. if you have a lot of rust, it would be worth a complete cooling system flush.

I prefer the old green coolant myself, but that's just me...


And all the while possibly ruining the engine with contaminated oil?

At the very least I'd drain the oil to take a look at it.

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pdb
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:57 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Ok, I'm reasonably convinced it's the LIM. I cleaned the goop off the radiator cap and ran the car around for a couple days, and there's some back, and I'm down some oil.

So I'm going to order the parts and give this a go myself.

My questions is, should I...

a) Replace the gaskets on the existing manifolds. What p/ns do I need?

b) Replace the existing upper manifold with this: http://www.ineedparts.com/auto.....17806.html . (Is this the DORMAN Part # 615180 that Rock Auto sells?). Does this kit include the gasket for the lower manifold? If not, what's the p/n for that?

c) Replace the upper manifold with the L26 manifold. Is this going to be significantly more durable than the aftermarket plastic manifold?

I'm most concerned with long term durability, I'm going to keep this car for a while!

I'm going to replace the water pump, thermostat, belt and coolant elbows while I'm in there. Anything else that should be done?

Thanks!
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Wingman520
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:35 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

easiest way is to contact zspot and get the aluminum LIM gaskets then do a radiator flush and then you'll be fine... if u need them ASAP get ones for an 04-05 impala since those have the aluminum gaskets unlike the ones 03 and below if u need to hit up the parts store...

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pdb
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:57 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Sorry to bump this again, just wanted people's opinions... Is it okay to just change the gasket sets, retaining the old plastic manifold, or is it worth the $100 to upgrade to the aftermarket reinforced plastic manifold like http://www.ineedparts.com/auto.....17806.html ??

I've saved up the money to do the repair, gonna order parts soon.

Thanks for the help!
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IffyG
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:07 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I'd probably replace it unless you are 100% confident that you won't need to do it later. Mine was toast when the dealer replaced my LIM gaskets (among other things in the 'everything decided to break at the same damn time' trip to the dealer).

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:03 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Or you could swap in the L26 intake.

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