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Discussion Starter #41
It appears to me, few are aware a kit was created to make filling the intercooler easy. It’s been out a while now...https://www.tapouttuning.com/product/tapout-ats-v-intercooler-fill-bleed-kit/
This was done before the kit was available and is one of the reasons Scott made the kit. You can get the kit so you have it all in one shot but I spent maybe $10 and made my own. One note, if you dont have a tune that allows you to turn the pump on while in service mode that switch will be very helpful.
 

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It appears to me, few are aware a kit was created to make filling the intercooler easy. It’s been out a while now...https://www.tapouttuning.com/product/tapout-ats-v-intercooler-fill-bleed-kit/
The kit that was described here and that Scott now sells a kit for works quite well and is much cheaper than buying the factory vacuum filling setup. It's the best option by far if you don't want to spend 200 for the factory quick connect adapter plus another 300+ for the vac-n-fill.

However, having filled my system with the "funnel on a riser hose" method and then following that up by using the factory filling setup, the factory filling setup did pull a little bit more air out of the system that probably collected at the top rear corners of the 2 intercooler bricks.

The funnel on a hose method did get enough air out of the system though so the pump didn't automatically shut off for cavitation and the additional air the factory vacuum method removed was minimal.

For removing all the air out of the system for maximum efficiency you can't beat the factory vacuum filling setup, but the funnel on a hose method probably gets you 90-95% of the way there for far less money.

One thing I didn't do was datalog the IAT observed with the funnel on a hose fill vs the vacuum filling method, but I doubt there was any noticable difference between the two that would be outside the margin of error of logging conditions.
 

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A possible explanation for why "Leesrt" found air in the charge air cooling system may be related to the problem many LT4 and LT5 C7 Corvette owners have experienced and that is cars coming out of the assembly plant with air in their charge air cooling systems.

As for low/no antifreeze mixes...

50/50 mixes of antifreeze and water do not cool as well as straight water or low ratio mixes. Obviously, if the car is parked or stored where it gets below freezing, then you need a level of freeze protection appropriate for the area. I operate my ATS-V in Southern California so one of these days, I'm going to switch to straight water and Red Line Water Wetter. With anything less than 70/30 mixes of water and antifreeze, you need to add RLWW because it has the anticorrosive and antifoaming additives you loose when you decrease antifreeze. Additionally, RLWW contains a wetting agent that can, under certain circumstances, improve the transfer of heat from metal parts to the charge air coolant.

I run an 85/15%/1 bottle of RLWW engine coolant mix in my LF4. I run straight water/1.5 bottles of RLWW in our 2004 and 2019 Corvettes.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
A possible explanation for why "Leesrt" found air in the charge air cooling system may be related to the problem many LT4 and LT5 C7 Corvette owners have experienced and that is cars coming out of the assembly plant with air in their charge air cooling systems.

As for low/no antifreeze mixes...

50/50 mixes of antifreeze and water do not cool as well as straight water or low ratio mixes. Obviously, if the car is parked or stored where it gets below freezing, then you need a level of freeze protection appropriate for the area. I operate my ATS-V in Southern California so one of these days, I'm going to switch to straight water and Red Line Water Wetter. With anything less than 70/30 mixes of water and antifreeze, you need to add RLWW because it has the anticorrosive and antifoaming additives you loose when you decrease antifreeze. Additionally, RLWW contains a wetting agent that can, under certain circumstances, improve the transfer of heat from metal parts to the charge air coolant.

I run an 85/15%/1 bottle of RLWW engine coolant mix in my LF4. I run straight water/1.5 bottles of RLWW in our 2004 and 2019 Corvettes.
Funny you mention that. This is the second time I've bled the system so air is getting back in over time. I also only added distilled water the first time for reasons you stated so I was probably at a 60/40 mix until now. This time I added the OEM 50/50 mix but it was probably only a pint.
 

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Just thinking out loud...I assume the intercooler has the same change of coolant interval as the engine system...5 years. Is there a drain to easily remove the coolant from the intercooler system?


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Just thinking out loud...I assume the intercooler has the same change of coolant interval as the engine system...5 years. Is there a drain to easily remove the coolant from the intercooler system?
Just did that exact job a few weeks ago on my car, changed coolant for the engine and intercooler.

Per the GM procedure, there's a drain for the intercooler on the driver's side tank of the center heat exchanger, but you have to pull the front fascia and move one air deflector to access it. While you can see the drain plug through one of the openings in the lower grille, the drain plug is partially blocked by one of the air deflectors, and you can't remove the hardware to move that air deflector without pulling the fascia.

Easier way that doesn't require pulling the front fascia is to drop the front undertray that protects the transmission cooler and then disconnect the hose that runs to the driver's side outer heat exchanger at the lower tee fitting on the passenger side. Then loosen the two 7mm brass vent fittings on the upper intake / intercooler water manifold and the intercooler will drain.

The radiator drain is right above that intercooler tee fitting, so very easy to do both jobs at the same time.

When it comes to refilling the engine with coolant, there are no air bleeder valves to crack.
Factory filling procedure for the engine coolant manually without using a vac-n-fill:
  1. Slowly add a mixture of 50/50 DEX-COOL antifreeze and clean drinkable water to the cooling system through the radiator surge tank filler neck and through the top of the lower overflow reservoir as well. Refer to Approximate Fluid Capacities.
  2. Slowly fill the cooling system until the coolant level stabilizes at the FULL COLD marks on both the surge tank and overflow reservoir.
  3. Start the engine and allow to the engine to idle in PARK or NEUTRAL with the parking brake engaged.
  4. Slowly fill the coolant mixture until the coolant level stabilizes at the FULL COLD mark on the surge tank.
  5. Install the surge tank cap and close the cap on the coolant overflow bottle.
  6. Run the engine RPM to 2000-2500 rpm until the engine reaches normal operating temperature.
  7. Allow the engine to idle for 3 minutes.
  8. Shut the engine OFF.
  9. Allow the engine to cool, remove the surge tank cap and open the overflow reservoir cap, and repeat steps 1–8 until the coolant level has completely stabilized at the FULL COLD marks on both the surge tank and overflow reservoir.
  10. Remove the surge tank cap.
  11. Inspect the concentration of the engine coolant using the J-26568 Coolant and Battery Fluid Tester.
  12. Install the surge tank cap.
  13. Inspect and if necessary, fill the surge tank and overflow reservoir as necessary.
  14. Rinse away any excess coolant from the engine and the engine compartment
  15. Inspect the cooling system for leaks.
The lower (overflow) tank should be approximately 1/2 full when the engine is cold.
 

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I'll start by saying I've been plagued with this for a long time and never knew it was happening. Finally, after getting a new high octane tune from Trifecta, I started have problems with the ECU pulling power in the mid range. It would knock me down to 10psi and felt like I was dragging an anchor. I ran data logs and Steven discovered the cause. My IMAT was up over 160 just cruising. He gave me a simple way to test if there's an air pocket issue which I'll share.

(with trifecta tune)Put the car in service mode and switch to track. The tune turns on the coolant pump all the time in this mode to help cool things down between track runs.
Listen for the pump, you'll hear it, and if it cuts off after 5 seconds it's sensing cavitation (air pocket or no coolant) and turning itself off.
If you never hear it there's either a pump issue or the fuse or relay are bad in the engine compartment.

If you don't have the tune you can turn on the car, put it in track mode, and listen for the same things from pump.

Mine was cycling off every 5 seconds.
Thanks Leesrt.
This info really helped. Also have Trifecta Tune. So I put car into Service Mode & switched to track mode, then I heard the intercooler pump kick on & run constant. So that means if it runs constant there's not an air bubble issue? I can feel vibration from fluid running through hose. Does this pump also run in other modes when car is running? I'm assuming it does, just based on heat levels for when it kicks on.
Thanks again for the post, was helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Thanks Leesrt.
This info really helped. Also have Trifecta Tune. So I put car into Service Mode & switched to track mode, then I heard the intercooler pump kick on & run constant. So that means if it runs constant there's not an air bubble issue? I can feel vibration from fluid running through hose. Does this pump also run in other modes when car is running? I'm assuming it does, just based on heat levels for when it kicks on.
Thanks again for the post, was helpful.
If the pump is running continuous that's a good thing however you still may have air in the system. It's good to periodically bleed the system out in order to get air bubbles out before they cavitate the pump.
 

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If the pump is running continuous that's a good thing however you still may have air in the system. It's good to periodically bleed the system out in order to get air bubbles out before they cavitate the pump.
Thanks. Seen where Scott created a kit. Will have to get one for routine maintenance. Looks like a pretty straight forward process.
 

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I just did this today. I didn't get anymore than a few very small bubbles so I don't think there was a problem - but now I know!

One thing I found was that after removing the relay (see Leesrt's first post) you can jumper between two of the teminals and run the pump. Look at the side of the relay and it has a basic scematic. You want to jumper pin 30 to 87 from what I remember. The are diagonal from each other.
 

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I also did mine today. I wound up adding about a pint at the factory fill point. Just 10-15 medium bubbles and a lot of really fine bubbles. There is another brass bleeder with a 7mm head on the intercooler housing casting. It's higher than the factory fill point. I cracked it open, and coolant but no air came out. I've never read anyone mention this one.
 

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There is another brass bleeder with a 7mm head on the intercooler housing casting. It's higher than the factory fill point. I cracked it open, and coolant but no air came out. I've never read anyone mention this one.
Using those two brass bleeder screws can be tricky. If you open them at the right time, they will help bleed air out of the system. If you open them at the wrong time, they will allow additional air to be sucked in.
 

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Using those two brass bleeder screws can be tricky. If you open them at the right time, they will help bleed air out of the system. If you open them at the wrong time, they will allow additional air to be sucked in.
I tried vacuum bleeding at the reservoir first, but it seemed to be sucking in air somewhere. Is the IC reservoir vented? Is there a DIY way to vacuum bleed this system?
 

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There is no separate reservoir for the intercooler on these cars.

The intercooler is filled only through the quick connect fitting. The 2x brass bleed screws on the upper intercooler manifold are opened to let air in at the top when draining the system, otherwise it will vacuum lock and not drain. (That being said, if you're not using the factory vacuum filling method and are instead using the funnel and pump cycling "burping" method, and you have just drained the system or if there is a lot of trapped air in the system, you can open the 2x bleeders to let the entrapped air out until coolant starts dribbling out, then close the 2x bleeders and finish "burping" the system out of the quick connect fitting while cycling the pump.)

The engine coolant expansion tank on the passenger strut tower does have 2 sections... The upper pressurized reservoir with the larger threaded pressure cap and the lower expansion / make up tank with the small flip cap. The coolant can move from the upper to lower reservoir as the engine heats and cools by the annular opening under the threaded pressure cap. That reservoir is only for engine coolant.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
I tried vacuum bleeding at the reservoir first, but it seemed to be sucking in air somewhere. Is the IC reservoir vented? Is there a DIY way to vacuum bleed this system?
If you follow the guide that started this thread you'll have all you need. The Turbo cooling system has no reservoir so not sure what you were doing there.
 

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If you follow the guide that started this thread you'll have all you need. The Turbo cooling system has no reservoir so not sure what you were doing there.
LOL. learn something every day. I thought that was the reservoir for the intercooler!
 
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