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help! sitting on side of road
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LoudImpala
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:20 pm    Post subject:  help! sitting on side of road Reply with quote

So I did a couple things today. First, I took my coolant bottle off, cleaned it out real good, and put it back on the car. I've been having an issue with losing coolant slowly in the overflow tank. No oil in coolant, no coolant in oil from what I can tell. I refilled the tank a little bit over the Max fill line when I put more coolant in it. Popped the cap on they radiator, coolant up to the neck.

I then went about seafoaming my intake. I used the t vacuum under the snout since I have a blower, poured a couple of ounces in, and shut the car off. I then used deep creep to clean the throttle body. Hooked everything back up, went for a drive, and 10 minutes down the road I noticed my temp gauge going up. I pulled over, popped the hood, and coolant was everywhere. I can't tell where it came from.

Since I was overheating, I turned my heater on full blast, but its blowing cold air. Im trying to get it home, but I can only drive about a mile before the needle starts to get into the red. I've got about three miles to go.

Is there air in the system? Any ideas what's going on? Is the coolant everywhere from me overfilling the tank?

Loud
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outonthetiles
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:52 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I would say it has nothing to do with the overflow bottle. Sounds like you've lost a lot of coolant! Check your upper and lower radiator hoses, the coolant elbows to the left of the LIM, your water pump, heater core hoses, heater core, radiator, and freeze plugs for leaks.

EDIT: Don't drive your car without coolant! Even for a mile!!!

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Bill58
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:08 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Let it cool and put some water in the radiator. A leak that bad will be easy to fine. No heat from heater probably means no water in rad. Don't drive it, walk home for water if you can't get a ride.
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LoudImpala
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:23 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Waiting on a tow truck now. Rad hoses look good. Heater hoses look good. Can't see water pump or hoses at the moment. Will pull wheel when I get it home and can crawl under it.

Really hoping I didn't do any damage. I only let it touch the red twice, and for just long enough to pull off the road and shut it off. The high temp light didn't even come on the first time, but did the second time until I shut it off about 5 seconds later. The fans remained running for about 10 minutes.

Most of the coolant is on the passenger side, besides what was sprayed around.

God I hope its just a hose.

EDIT *****

ok. Got it home. Now that I'm not on my cell I can type a little bit more.

One thing I noticed was after the seafoam, I didn't have ANY smoke. Not even a wisp. I didn't put a WHOLE bunch in there, but the last little poor was enough to stop the engine.

Most of the spray is on the passenger side near the coolant bottle and behind it. This of course is also right near the water pump. Inspection of both upper and lower radiator hoses show no cracks or leaks, as well as both heater hoses coming off the water pump. Those are all good. Most of the spray was spread around by the fan belt.

Some of the spray seems a bit oily, like on the side of the coolant tank. It smells a bit like the deep creep I used in the throttle body, but that could be from the stuff that was already on my fingers.

While sitting in the parking lot waiting for a tow truck, there was a puddle of coolant that formed under the car, but I couldn't locate where it was coming from.

I'm going to go ahead and change the thermostat, and try and bleed the system after filling it with water. Going to look for water sprays while I have it running. I'm wondering if a chunk of gunk got knocked loose and got into the thermostat.

As far as I can tell, all the coolant looks orange. And the oil, while a tad thin, doesn't seem to have any dexcool mixed in. It is an golden amber color, like new oil, but there's no foam or froth or anything on the dipstick or the oil cap. I don't see any other signs of head gasket failure. No white smoke or anything. The LIM was replaced by GM about 2 or 3 years ago. The car just turned 88k last night.

My coolant loss over the past week or two is odd. The car hasn't really been running very hot. just a tick over dead center. I've just noticed a dry overflow tank two or three times in the past two weeks, but cant find any leaks, puddles, or anything.

The last 1/8 mile before I got it to the parking lot to wait for the tow truck, it did stumble once like it wasn't getting fuel. This was going up a hill.

SECOND EDIT********************************

FOUND IT! it's the LIM Coolant Elbow. When I got the radiator almost full of water, I heard gurgling. I stared looking around, and sure enough, water was POURING out of the intake. My heart jumped, thinking IM gasket or head gasket, then I realized it was pouring out of the coolant elbow.

Any tips or tricks on replacing this thing? What all has to come off to get to it? It doesn't look to be easy.

Loud
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outonthetiles
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:40 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Check the coolant elbow between the LIM and alternator bracket. Without any coolant in the oil or vice versa, I wouldn't suspect anything internal such as a head gasket or LIM gasket.

It wouldn't be related to your thermostat.


Edit: You must've edited again as I was typing this. Glad you found it. I'm not sure how to replace them, I've only done them when I had everything apart for LIM gaskets. I'm sure there's a write up around..

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LoudImpala
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:46 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

outonthetiles wrote:
Check the coolant elbow between the LIM and alternator bracket. Without any coolant in the oil or vice versa, I wouldn't suspect anything internal such as a head gasket or LIM gasket.

It wouldn't be related to your thermostat.


Edit: You must've edited again as I was typing this. Glad you found it. I'm not sure how to replace them, I've only done them when I had everything apart for LIM gaskets. I'm sure there's a write up around..


I found a video on youtube. The alternator has to come off and the tensioner bracket. Right now I'm having difficulty finding the dang part. The dealer is closed, and I'm coming up empty at Autozones website. Trying to find a part number.

Loud
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outonthetiles
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:57 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

You should be able to find it here. http://www.naioa.com/v2/module.....amp;t=6608

I've had good luck finding them in stock at dealers, its pretty common for them to break. People seem to have better luck with OEM replacements rather than aftermarket.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:47 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

That's not too awful bad. At least it's not a head or intake gasket. Sucks that these elbows are a major weak link in these engines. Sad

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outonthetiles
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:24 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

There's a guy over on w-body.com who machined one from metal. I was trying to get him to fab some more, but no word on that yet.

http://www.w-body.com/showthre.....T-conditon

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:32 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

If you want a how-to, refer to the NAIOA writeup for LIM gasket, written by Sabrewings. Take a look at the items it tell you to remove and ignore things that aren't in the way of the coolant elbows.

Off the top of my head, you'll have to:

remove strut tower bar
move coolant reservoir out of the way
remove belt
remove belt tensioner
remove alternator (may be before removing the belt tensioner, can't recall right now)
drain the coolant or water out of the rad via the drainc0ck on the bottom, driverside.

Should be able to pull the elbows at that point without making a big mess, but check the writeup to be sure.

Only basic tools are needed.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:40 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Job is done. TWICE Embarassed

It didn't go too bad. The old elbows were as brittle as dry leaves. took a bit of scraping to get the old ones all the way out of the intake and tensioner.

I ended up having to do it twice, because I got halfway through reassembly, got the alternator back on, plugged up the wire with the nut on it, and went to plug the harness back to the alternator. WTF, where the heck did it go?

Turns out, it had fallen BEHIND the tensioner, and I had reinstalled the tensioner back over it. So, I had to take everything back off again and get that plug back out.

It was a little tough getting the elbows lined up right. The upper (front) one doesn't look like it's quite ALL the way in the intake, but it's not leaking at all and the bolts are torqued down on the tensioner as much as they'll go, so I don't think it's poking out any.

While I had the belt off, I did take the opportunity to change my SC belt and replaced it with the Gatorback Poly-V belt. I would have put the Gatorback accessory belt on, but it won't be here till Tuesday. I think when I go to put it on next weekend, I might just replace the elbows with OEM instead of the dormans for peace of mind. I got a 1000 mile road trip coming up and don't want any problems.

So what do you think happened to the seafoam I added? Why no smoke? Maybe I didn't add enough. It was probably a total of about 3 ounces before it shut the car off. Did it all blowout the elbow leak? I didn't think it went into the coolant passages.

I did create a problem when i was doing the seafoam, but I'll create another thread about that.

Loud
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outonthetiles
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:51 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Not sure why no smoke, but it wouldn't have gotten into the coolant passages.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:04 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Wouldn't have gotten in with the coolant.

I suspect that you run premium fuel and possibly synthetic oil as well. If there is no fuel or oil varnish inside the motor, I don't think you'll see much smoke as a result.

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LoudImpala
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:17 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Lingenfelter wrote:
Wouldn't have gotten in with the coolant.

I suspect that you run premium fuel and possibly synthetic oil as well. If there is no fuel or oil varnish inside the motor, I don't think you'll see much smoke as a result.


Yup. Been running castrol full syn 5w30 for years and always use premium gas, either shell v power or sunoco 93. Was using sunoco 94 until they stopped selling it around here. Its only ever been filled with 87 one time, by my girlfriend who thought she was doing me a favor by surprising me with a full tank of gas. THAT was a fun filled week of driving.

Loud
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:15 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

you sir have a wonderful girlfriend

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