Losing coolant - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 20, 1:29 AM Thread Starter
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Losing coolant

Looking for some help, my 383 sbc is using up coolant. My over flow tank needs refilling about every 2 hrs of cruising around town. Nothing on the ground or any leaks that I can see. Not sure where I should look to figure out where it is going. Or what tests I should perform?
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 20, 6:08 AM
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It's gotta be leaking or burning.Is your oil level going up?Do see white smoke in the exhaust.An easy way to pressurize the cooling system is put a flush tee in a heater or bypass hose temporarily, drill the flush tee cap for a tire valve stem.Now you can put 10lbs in with a bicycle tire pump external leaks will show up quick. No external leak start pulling plugs are if you have water in one or more cylinders.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 20, 8:26 AM
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Re: Losing coolant

See if you can rent a coolant pressure tester,pressurize it to cap pressure 15 psi,make sure your overflow hose is blocked off,see your pressure number.lots of things it can be..Block your heater core hoses to eliminate heater core.Really if its leaking or burning that much,you can haul out your spark plugs and see antifrezze spitting out when turning over when cold.Like stated white smoke or milky oil will tell you where its coming in internally.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 20, 8:34 AM
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Re: Losing coolant

If you have an automatic, check your transmission fluid also.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 20, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Losing coolant

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricko1966 View Post
It's gotta be leaking or burning.Is your oil level going up?Do see white smoke in the exhaust.An easy way to pressurize the cooling system is put a flush tee in a heater or bypass hose temporarily, drill the flush tee cap for a tire valve stem.Now you can put 10lbs in with a bicycle tire pump external leaks will show up quick. No external leak start pulling plugs are if you have water in one or more cylinders.
I checked my dip stick and oil level was normal, no coolant in oil that I could see. Drove the car yesterday and no white smoke, even when I ran it hard. Next I will pull the plugs today and see what they look like.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 20, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Losing coolant

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Originally Posted by oldcutlass View Post
If you have an automatic, check your transmission fluid also.
I have a manual tranny
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 20, 12:26 PM
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Re: Losing coolant

If you pull the plugs and find 1 thats clean or 2 next to each other that are clean while all the others are light brown,then those cylinder's are burning coolant.
Rent or borrow a pressure tester but do not run the engine with the tester pumped up.It should come with an adapter to test your radiator cap,use it and see what pressure your cap holds.Then pump the radiator up to that same pressure to see where any coolant leaks are.
If the cap tester is missing then just pump the radiator up to what the pressure reading thats listed on the radiator cap.All rad caps have their pressure spec listed on the cap.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 20, 7:05 PM
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Re: Losing coolant

Have you retorqued the intake manifold bolts yet?
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 20, 9:17 PM
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Re: Losing coolant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joer5000 View Post
Looking for some help, my 383 sbc is using up coolant. My over flow tank needs refilling about every 2 hrs of cruising around town. Nothing on the ground or any leaks that I can see. Not sure where I should look to figure out where it is going. Or what tests I should perform?
'89 Toyota pickup. Persistent leak. No evidence of leak while it was running, or overnight after run and parked. Static leak when it was not used for few weeks. Finally gave up on the way home from WallyWorld. Pulled in the drive and got out to open the gate and...coolant running down the driveway toward the gutter. Didn't proceed all the way to overheat, thankfully (overheat a 22RE and you got a warped head and blown gasket).

Leak was from poor fit at a radiator lower hose to intermediate pipe connection
I knew I was replacing the hose, so I shaved the rubber down so I could easily remove the hose.

My theory is: Was losing coolant just a little bit while hot and pressurized. Not enough to be visible. After shutdown the pressure bled off and it still didn't show visible evidence. When it sat for a couple weeks to a month , there was evidence of leak on the drip pan on the floor. After a few years of this it finally gave up, but not to the extent that the hose failed. My fault. Used the old hose when I put it back together after replacing the timing cover, spprockets, chain, tensioner, cover, etc. As you can see the hose was cocked on the pipe. Shame on me.

Check all of your hoses and connections, including clamps. Good luck
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Last edited by JJ'65; Mar 30th, 20 at 9:27 PM. Reason: add info
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 20, 12:13 AM
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rick
 
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You can pressurize any thing for 4 bucks. Read my first post.I got sick of buying different adapters for my coolant pressure tester years ago.Now I have an assortment of tees with fittings.You don't even have to cut a hose.leave 6 inches of hose clamped to each tee.Pull off a heater hose or bypass hose clamp your 6 inch hose on clamp disconnected hose to flush tee.
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 20, 2:44 AM
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Re: Losing coolant

Joer, did we ever get straight on whether you radiator is a downflow or crossflow and if there's a coolant overflow bottle with coolant recovery cap?

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 20, 6:11 PM
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Re: Losing coolant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joer5000 View Post
Looking for some help, my 383 sbc is using up coolant. My over flow tank needs refilling about every 2 hrs of cruising around town. Nothing on the ground or any leaks that I can see. Not sure where I should look to figure out where it is going. Or what tests I should perform?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Mobley View Post
Joer, did we ever get straight on whether you radiator is a downflow or crossflow and if there's a coolant overflow bottle with coolant recovery cap?
T-T, He's got an overflow tank but without a model year or any other info we have no way of knowing if its an original equipment overflow or an add on to an earlier Chevelle or car?
Joer you need to let us know what year car you have.

John
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 20, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Losing coolant

Ok I pulled all 8 spark plugs today and found plug #3 had coolant on it, based on the others all looking dry I am assuming cylinder #3 has coolant leaking into it. I have AFR Heads so can I assume I have a leaking head gasket? Whatís my next step? The plug on the left/ bottom was wet

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 20, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Losing coolant

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Originally Posted by Tom Mobley View Post
Joer, did we ever get straight on whether you radiator is a downflow or crossflow and if there's a coolant overflow bottle with coolant recovery cap?
To it is a dual pass cross flow with a over floe tank with a cap. It is a custom radiator from Hot Rod by Dean for a 57 Chevy . I installed it about a year ago.
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 20, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Losing coolant

Quote:
Originally Posted by 71350SS View Post
T-T, He's got an overflow tank but without a model year or any other info we have no way of knowing if its an original equipment overflow or an add on to an earlier Chevelle or car?
Joer you need to let us know what year car you have.
Itís a 57 Chevy with a dual pass radiator with dual 14Ē fans
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