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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was out driving my car today, which usually keeps at a constant 180 no matter what temp outside or how hard I work the engine.

I parked to go into a store and noticed coolant flowing onto the ground. It was then that I noticed the temp gauge was climbing toward 300. Popping the hood, I saw that the whole bottom half of the radiator was wet, with no leakage coming from the cap. I suppose hole in the rad, right?

I just want to know where to start. I figure remove the radiator and bring it to a shop first thing. The thing I'm kinda hazy on is what could have caused this. The cap's a low pressure one (too tired from pushing my car home to go look at the exact psi
) and all the hoses are in tip top shape. The coolant is new, as is the thermostat.

Is leakage from the front drip hole of the water pump the only sign it's going? Are there any ways to check it?

Are there any diagnostic things I can do without tearing the whole front of the engine apart?

I'm no beginner at this, but cooling systems are the one thing I yet to have real problems with (until today). I've changed a few heater cores and assembled and disassembled the whole car a couple times over, it's just that when this and electrical problems come up, I'm lost!

Thanks everyone!




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70 Impala Sport Coupe (350)
66 Chevelle (I wish, still looking)
http://www.geocities.com/ledsled_26m
 

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300º!!!
Wow.
You say the thermostat is new? My guess is you have dud stat. Seems most likely to me.
Yes, get the rad checked out if it was leaking.
My limited experince with water pump failure is fluid coming out of the the little hole or bearing noise. Hope that helps.


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Ron Cook TC Gold Member #1276
1969 300 Deluxe HTSS396 69 300 Deluxe 325HP L35 69memorylane
1971 Malibu 2DR HT
"Supporting all car guys, even those with different cars than yours, is what being an enthusiast is all about."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, when I say 'new' I mean about 2000 miles/two months new. What is baffling me is the fact that this came on so sudden, after months and months of 180 degree running temps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I finally got a chance to go out and run the engine after filling the radiator with water. Before I was even done filling it, I noticed a little spout of water coming out of the bottom front of the radiator.

What could cause a hold like this to form, besides someone stabbing it with a screwdriver? Anyone ever heard of a rock punching a hole in one? How about just a rust hole formaing from the inside? Common at all? I've owned the car for a little over a year, but who knows what was in the rad before that.
 

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I would imagine radiators can degrade from the inside out due to acids which, i've heard, form as antifreeze degrades. This is probably more likely with cheap antifreeze or old formulations from way back. In 30+ years, a lot can happen to a radiator, though.

I once blew a hole in a radiator when I was jumping another car. I accidentally let the aligator clip get too close to the radiator and it arc'd over to it and put about a 1/16" hole in it.

I'd probably be more worried about the damage to the engine.

The only good thing is from your description, you caught it right after the radiator burst, even though 300° is pretty scary.


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Charles Perrell
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65 malibu SS Convertible
283 2v powerglide

P.S. I heard that chewing gum can be used to temporarily plug a radiator leak if the hole is small enough. Never tried it, but chewing a little gum is worth a try when faced with a long push.

[This message has been edited by cperrell (edited 07-08-2001).]
 
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