: Last pressure test update - hopefully!!!



bobvondutch
06-19-04, 09:00 PM
Bbob,zonie,eldo, and the rest -- as Bbob suggested, I reran the pressure test today. Got a bright idea last night at work, sitting in the b---room (that's where I do my best thinking!!). Had tool & die wire EDM a 19mm hex hole in a piece of 1/4 X 2 CRS. Brought it home, welded an extension onto it, c-clamped a bar onto the strut crossmember, then clamped the two together after I found TDC on each cylinder. NO MORE PLUGS IN-AND-OUT!!!! Worked good, had to turn about 15 crank degrees on some cylinders for the hex to line up - if anyone has to do this on a regular basis by themselves, this thing is the cat's a--.
Anyhow, test went well!! Left 120 PSI on each cylinder in excess of 5 minutes, never had a bubble or the scum in the tank didn't move. SOOOO, I'm figuring that I DON'T HAVE a head gasket problem. Have the tensioner off, cleaned and freed up (wasn't sticking), will get new belt tomorrow, new coolant and thermostat, two tubes of powder, and let you guys know how it goes.
Got the new plugs - store said .050 gap..........is that correct??? Nothing in the owners manual, so I hope someone gets back to me.
Oh, BTW Bbob: what's the best way to get the ceramic out of a plug??? I went through three plugs before I got one out by using a torch and a cut-off wheel. It was short, and I got it tapped crooked, but it worked. I'm going to take one of the old plugs and make another one, just in case. Need some guidance on that one.
Again, a big thanks to everyone for their help. If you think I missed anything, let me know - I didn't put the tools away and left the car on the stands, just in case.

eldorado1
06-19-04, 10:15 PM
Congrats! Put in some pellets and burn rubber! :spin:

bobvondutch
06-21-04, 02:57 PM
OK, latest update. Put the plugs & coil pack back in, put new belt on water pump - compared to new, old was really worn. Hit the key, started right up - kinda scary!! Pulled it out of the garage, nose downhill, shut it off and drained coolant. Removed tstat, used the compressor to blow out as much coolant as possible. Put new tstat in, put three tubes of Bars Leak golden powder in the lower hose between rad and tstat, filled with fresh 50/50, and started it up.
Within 1/2 hour, temp gage was at the bottom of the red zone (I don't have a digital temp in the 97)!!! Car was sitting, with hood up, fans were working, but seemed hot. Figured WTF, and took off down the road. Within one mile, gage was back down in the middle (or slightly above middle). WHAT GIVES??? Is this normal??? I'd hate to be an old man in my Caddy sitting in traffic in downtown Pittsburgh or something - seeing that gage climb like that would give me a heart attack!! Did I miss something???
To tell you the truth, I'm scared sh**less to take a trip at this point. Should I rip the radiator out and get it cleaned??? I don't know what else to try, but if you guys tell me that this gage climbing while sitting still is normal, they I'll road test it up the same hill that caused the original overheating and see what happens. Please comment!!! and thanks.

ljklaiber
06-21-04, 03:29 PM
I really shouln't post to this, but for what it is worth. I will!

I bought a Hi mile SLS 95 a year ago and the first thing I did was check Battery, Oil etc and coolant. In addition I cleaned and backflushed the trash out of the radiator fins. A LOT of road debris came out. Did it three times. Car runs good temps and it has now. 142K miles. Idling in the driveway is not the same as the real road. I think you are OK. JMO By the way..I am a real old guy..LOL 63

Hope this helps! :rolleyes2 :welcome:

dloch
06-21-04, 04:02 PM
OK, latest update. Put the plugs & coil pack back in, put new belt on water pump - compared to new, old was really worn. Hit the key, started right up - kinda scary!! Pulled it out of the garage, nose downhill, shut it off and drained coolant. Removed tstat, used the compressor to blow out as much coolant as possible. Put new tstat in, put three tubes of Bars Leak golden powder in the lower hose between rad and tstat, filled with fresh 50/50, and started it up.
Within 1/2 hour, temp gage was at the bottom of the red zone (I don't have a digital temp in the 97)!!! Car was sitting, with hood up, fans were working, but seemed hot. Figured WTF, and took off down the road. Within one mile, gage was back down in the middle (or slightly above middle). WHAT GIVES??? Is this normal??? I'd hate to be an old man in my Caddy sitting in traffic in downtown Pittsburgh or something - seeing that gage climb like that would give me a heart attack!! Did I miss something???
To tell you the truth, I'm scared sh**less to take a trip at this point. Should I rip the radiator out and get it cleaned??? I don't know what else to try, but if you guys tell me that this gage climbing while sitting still is normal, they I'll road test it up the same hill that caused the original overheating and see what happens. Please comment!!! and thanks.
Have you re-checked the coolant level now that you drove it down the road? When I put my engine in and filled the coolant and started it I had the same thing happen. Rad was cold so I thought T-stat... changed that and started it again... needle started to go to the right I raced the motor up a little and it seemed to burb the system at which point I put almost another gallon of coolant in again...:hmm: .

BTW I don't know what dash you have but there is a way to have the DIC show the water temp along with the other things it shows now, i.e. bat voltage, fuel used etc.

zonie77
06-21-04, 04:53 PM
The cooling fans don't come on til over 200deg so sitting in the drive will let it get pretty hot. Drive it and see how it is before the long trip. Some cars get a lot of junk in the radiator area. It is worth checking and cleaning that area.

BeelzeBob
06-21-04, 06:01 PM
And you checked the vapor vent line for good flow...and the tensioner on the water pump pulley belt for correct tensioning operation??

bobvondutch
06-21-04, 06:23 PM
OK: after the short run down the road, checked the coolant level, it was about 2 to 3 inches down in the tank, so I added a little. As far as the cooling fans, they were cycling in the driveway, A/C was running, engine RPM was going up/down as AC compressor kicked on. Vapor vent line was checked before I started all this, had a real good flow but now I'm wondering if I have an air lock, since I used compressed air to force as much coolant out as I could. I'm guessing I have to take it out for a jaunt to see what happens - I'll look at the same hill which caused it to overheat in the first place!! As far as the tensioner: I cleaned and lubed (WD-40) everything, spring is harder than hell to compress, pulley turned real free. I'm amazed at how much the original belt was worn - more a series of small v's than any flats. Thanks for the help: I'll get it out on the road and see what happens. Is there a way to get actual temp on the DIC??

BeelzeBob
06-22-04, 12:00 AM
WD40 isn't a lube. It expels water then drys up. Worse yet, it washes out any lube and then leaves the joint dry. Lube the pivot of the water pump belt tensioner with some heavy oil or grease (spray whitle lithium grease in the can with a carrier solvent works well for penetration...or...my favorite...PJ1 motorcycle chain lube...heavy grease with a solvent carrier in a spray can) and work it into the pivot by exercising the pivot. The spring on that tensioner isn't that heavy....if yours seems hard then the pivot is probably corroded and needs exercising and lube....not WD40. Hopefully the WD40 isn't all over the new belt and pulleys...???


Double check the flow from the 3/8 line at the surge tank when the engine is cold. It may have gotten some debris in the line. That vent line IS the air vent to prevent the water pump from injesting a slug of air and locking up. It has to be flowing all the time.

You can triple check this by disconnecting the 3/8 hose at the engine end of the water hose OUT to the radiator...the top radiator hose at the engine. You will see the 3/8 line installed over a nipple that is a hollow bolt. Take the hose off, start the cold engine and coolant should pee from the nipple in a steady stream. If not, remove the bolt and find the obstruction.

All that is required to fill the system is to slowly fill the surge tank until full. Start the engine, rev it slowly to 4000 or so several times to clear any air and then top off the surge tank 2 inches from the cap when cold.

You might also take the 1 inch hose off at the water pump inlet. That is the heater return and the line from the surge tank that pressurizes the water pump inlet. Make sure that the 1 inch hose from the surge tank to the water pump is clear. Possibly some debris of goobs of the coolant supplement is clogging it and causing the water pump to cavitate. If the supplement is put into the surge tank that is what happens sometimes. Just take the 1 inch line off at the water pump inlet and blow thru the surge tank at the cap fitting and air should flow freely thru the 1 inch hose to the water pump inlet...or flush it with water to be sure it flows good.

bobvondutch
06-22-04, 01:08 AM
Bbob: thanks for all the tips!!! You're gonna make me work tomorrow, supposed to rain here anyhow. Did the WD-40 thing with the tensioner off the car: I'll take it back off, get some spray grease or ??? and go from there. Will also remove hoses as you recommended - if there is goobers in the hose, it must have been from before because I only put the powder in the lower hose between the rad & thermostat. I'll be back tomorrow night to let you know how I made out & if I found anything. Thanks again!!

bobvondutch
06-22-04, 03:14 PM
Bbob: OK here's the rundown. Trust me, the tensioner is fine!!! Took off the cover, lifted the tensioner and removed belt, relaxed my grip, smashed my finger against the rad support - DAMN that hurt!! Took the tensioner out anyhow, will grease tonight at work.

Took 3/8 hose off, started car, peed into OJ container just fine. Hooked hose back up, figured what the hell, I'd check the other 3/8 hose. Had coolant in it, and forgot to hook it back up when I emptied the OJ container back into surge tank, got coolant all over - AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH:rant2: .

Hooked that back up. By heater hose, do you mean the one going into the pump housing that locates the thermostat?? I didn't get it off, but I didn't have to. Once I loosened the clamp and started to wiggle the hose loose, coolant started coming out so I guess that's not plugged either.
Will try to get tensioner back on tomorrow and test drive Thursday to see if the temp still goes up, will let everyone know. If you have any other opinions, be glad to hear them. As always, thanks to everyone......:worship:

OlManRivah
06-22-04, 03:49 PM
Hang in there Dutch........

You're displaying more patience than I'd have....lol!:want:

BeelzeBob
06-22-04, 04:41 PM
Hooked that back up. By heater hose, do you mean the one going into the pump housing that locates the thermostat?? I didn't get it off, but I didn't have to. Once I loosened the clamp and started to wiggle the hose loose, coolant started coming out so I guess that's not plugged either.
:worship:

Not so fast.....

That is the correct hose at the thermostat housing....but....coolant will come out from the heater core AND from the surge tank. You need to drain it out, and then blow thru the surge tank to see if you get air flow from the surge tank to the thermostat housing. Just because there was coolant there does NOT mean that something isn't clogging the hose from the surge tank to the water pump. If that hose is restricted then the water pump might cavitate due to lack of pressure from the surge tank.....

bobvondutch
06-22-04, 05:00 PM
Oh great, just when I was starting to get a warm, fuzzy feeling about this:banana: . So I had the right hose, but I had noticed a "tee" fitting below the surge tank, so I actually have two inputs to this hose. OK, how much coolant am I going to lose, and from where?? The surge tank and the heater core?? After it's drained, you want me to pressurize the surge tank with the air hose and make sure that the coolant (or air) is coming out near the thermostat connection?? What if I shoved a garden hose in the surge tank - would this flush this hose and the heater core??:cookoo: I think I'm losing my mind: oh yea, you can't lose what you never had!!!

I'll give it a shot tomorrow morning if I have time, if not then Thursday. Thank God for the old Bronco II: it may be ugly, but gets me back and forth while I'm fighting this. Thanks again.:woohoo: