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Author Topic: Radiator burping? Air bubbles? how does this work?  (Read 3179 times)
yellow1098
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« on: February 15, 2013, 12:59:46 PM »

Here’s the current issue...you guys have gotten me through all my other ones and it took me awhile but with your advice and trial and error I have figured it out. This issue has me a little bit confused, I drained my radiator and put the plug back in and now it’s time for some fresh coolant right? OK..so I put about 2 gallons and some into the radiator until it was completely filled up and left the cap off and cranked the car when I did this the coolant level dropped. When it dropped I put more coolant in the radiator until it was full again, and then put the cap on.

I let the car sit for about 20 minutes then got ready for a test drive, I crank the car and let it idle for a couple minutes and everything looks sealed and good with no leaks. I’m driving down the road and everything is good and I pull up a gas station and shut the car off and coolant starts pouring out of the cap and overflow bottle. I quick start the car again to get it back home and I get it back into the garage and the cap is steaming and squirting some coolant and the bottle is 3/4 of the way full......did I just over fill the radiator? Do I need to take some coolant out?

Did I not get air bubbles out? Can’t figure it out......

So the next day I talked to a few buddy’s and searched all over the forums and YouTube and figured this should be simple and easy to get the info, so I take another shot at what I thought was right....I take the radiator cap off and crank the car, I was under the impression that if you let it run for long enough with the cap off it will get the air bubbles out and the system will be perfect.....so I’m letting the car run and heat up with the cap off and the coolant level is pretty full in both the overflow bottle and the radiator. Its idleing for a good 10 minutes and I give it a little gas to heat it up and bam coolant starts shooting out of the radiator cap like a fountain haha...and some is even pushing out of the petcock even though I tightened it with a wrench…

I know this story is probably a good laugh for most of you and I’m ok with that haha....but what am I doing wrong? and how do I get it right? Just wanna learn this process and drive the dam car while this weathers so nice. Thanks again for everything

Pontiac 400, stock radiator
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silver78
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 02:16:02 PM »

I usually fill the radiator up till I can see the fluid level half way down inside the radiator (not full).  Leave the cap off, start the engine and let it run long enough to get warm and the thermostat opens, whatch for the fluid to start flowing out of the tubes inside the radiator.  Once its flowing you can add some more fluid to the top and put the cap on.  Top off the over flow bottle and all should be good.  Check the radiator and overflow bottle the next day or when it has cooled down.
We all gotta learn sometime don't feel bad about a little spilled antifreeze.  I'll admit I've made bigger messes.
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yellow1098
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 02:39:11 PM »

so what happend in my instance? just over filled you think?
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Grand73Am
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 02:55:30 PM »

I think you did fine the first time you did it. I don't think you overfilled. You could leave about an inch below the neck for expansion, but that's all you should need to do. I'd consider that you have a bad radiator cap, and it wouldn't hold the pressure. Needs to be a 16 lb cap.

The 2nd time, I think you just let it get too hot without the cap on. Don't run it until it gets hot without a cap. The cap is needed to maintain pressure on the system, which keeps the coolant from boiling when the temperature gets high. If you leave the cap off until the thermostat opens, that's 195 degrees or more that's going to blow out the radiator.

So, I suggest making sure you have a good cap, fill it up, put the cap on, and start it. Feel the upper radiator hose after a few minutes, to see if it gets hot. When the hose gets hot, that's how you can tell when the thermostat has opened. And that will verify that the t-stat is working.   
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Steve F.
silver78
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2013, 03:30:43 PM »

I read the post again...I'd say on the second time all was good until you rev'd the motor which sped up the water pump and thats why the antifreeze pushed out.

If you've been driving the car recently with a bad radiator cap you probably would've noticed before this instance.  If the car has not been running for a while and the condition of the cap is unknown that could be a factor.

I've been using the steps I described since the early 80's and haven't blown out any radiators.  There's always more than one way to skin a cat (or fill a radiator). Do what makes you feel comfortable.
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65 Galaxie sold
67 camaro RS sold
68 camaro RS sold
69 camaro sold
81 T/A 4 spd sold
86 IROC sold
88 Formula 350 sold
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94 Impala SS sold
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78 TA BREAKEN MY BACK!
LilSki
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2013, 05:29:23 PM »

I do as silver78 explained. Basically you were all good until you topped it off again after it started. Leave it about half full and wait until you feel the upper hose start to get hot or see coolant flow through the radiator. If you fill the radiator like you did when the air bubbles start to come out of the upper hose they have nowhere to go and since the radiator is full it has to push that coolant out so the air can escape. Leaving it only half full allow the air to escape without any overflow.   
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Kevin
79 Trans Am: (77 nose), WS6, M-21, 461, Hotchkis TVS, PTFB Contol arms. 
85 Trans Am: Vortec 350 w/LT1 cam/T56, TPI conversion w/Megasquirt II.
yellow1098
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2013, 02:51:36 AM »

ok I think im following you guys.....leave the level down where its at after the spills and it probably wont be at the top anymore thats for sure and let it run for alittle while with the cap off to get the air out. top off and put the cap on and I should be good??

I can see how reving the engine would make it shoot out but what about the first spill all over the ground at the gas station when I turned the car off? what caused that? and what fixes it?
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highway star
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2013, 02:59:37 AM »

Try a new cap,  "AC RC-27 15 lb. closed system".
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LilSki
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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 08:21:45 AM »

Actually reving the engine should make the level lower as the pump is pulling more out of the radiator. And when the revs come down the coolant returns to the radiator. So while the motor was running it was a certain level. And when you shut it off coolant came back to the radiator with nowhere to go.

Basically air pockets can cause some seriously strange things to happen to the cooling system. Once the air is out you should be good to close it up and run down the road without issue.
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Kevin
79 Trans Am: (77 nose), WS6, M-21, 461, Hotchkis TVS, PTFB Contol arms. 
85 Trans Am: Vortec 350 w/LT1 cam/T56, TPI conversion w/Megasquirt II.
yellow1098
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2013, 01:06:32 PM »

and one more time to reiterate and simplify, my steps from here to get those out would be to just take the cap off and let it run for 15-20 mins....top it off after that time and put the cap on? then I should be good?...........once again thanks for all you guys patience and help
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Grand73Am
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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2013, 05:42:25 PM »

No. If you let it run that long, the water will be boiling out. As I wrote above, you shouldn't let it run too long without the cap, since the pressure from the cap keeps the coolant from boiling.
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Steve F.
LilSki
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« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2013, 05:54:05 PM »

Nonsense you can run all day with the cap off and it won't hurt anything. Car should run at 180 which is under the boiling point.

Run it until it gets up to full temp with the cap off.
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Kevin
79 Trans Am: (77 nose), WS6, M-21, 461, Hotchkis TVS, PTFB Contol arms. 
85 Trans Am: Vortec 350 w/LT1 cam/T56, TPI conversion w/Megasquirt II.
Grand73Am
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« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2013, 05:57:36 PM »

Not likely, but I guess we'll see then  Smile . If that were true, we wouldn't need pressurized caps. And if it's got a 195 degree t-stat like the factory specs, it won't be 180.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 06:02:25 PM by Grand73Am » Logged

Steve F.
silver78
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2013, 11:06:16 PM »

Yellow1098 were do you live?  I think there's about three of us who'd like to come over and demonstrate different was to fill a radiator without scalding youself or the dog. Razz

Seriously I think you'll sort it out and best of luck.
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65 Galaxie sold
67 camaro RS sold
68 camaro RS sold
69 camaro sold
81 T/A 4 spd sold
86 IROC sold
88 Formula 350 sold
92 Z-28 sold
93 9C1 Caprice sold
94 Impala SS sold
2000 Super Duty current
2006 Malibu SS wifes
78 TA BREAKEN MY BACK!
Grand73Am
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« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2013, 09:02:09 AM »

One way I use to avoid problems is when I have the t-stat out, I fill the engine with coolant thru the t-stat hole before reinstalling the t-stat. After the t-stat housing and upper radiator hose are reinstalled, then top off the radiator. That way you know you have engine coolant under the t-stat in the engine, and you won't have any overheating or air problems from the start.
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Steve F.
yellow1098
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« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2013, 12:31:45 PM »

Silver, I live in Orlando....So if you guys wanna come over and test try all these steps feel free. haha....I think ill give all your methods a shot and after some burns and coolant clean ups hopefully ill figure it out. Thanks everyone for the input.
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Mint 1973
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« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2013, 07:48:47 PM »

Okie so I replaced the firewall coolant hose and the thermostat .....now that darn thing over heats at idle.

Obviously there is an air bubble... any tips on how to correct this.
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Ben
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« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2013, 09:02:10 PM »

Jack the front end of the car up and run the engine with the radiator cap off.  Let engine get hot enough to open the thermostat (feel upper radiator hose) and it should burp all the air out.  It won't boil out if your radiator and fan are up to the task, if it does your radiator or fan are not working and need to be fixed.
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jjr
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« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2013, 09:28:47 PM »


 Sometimes someone just plain builds a better mouse trap.

 One of the necessary tasks for any car owner is coolant
changes, and it's nearly always a messy job. There has to
be a better way... and there is!

 Lisle has designed a Spill Free funnel that makes this job
WAY more civilized.



Product link:

http://www.lislecorp.com/divisions/products/?product=94

Video (Product use) link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1d3plLMyUu0

 Joe
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yellow1098
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« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2013, 11:36:12 PM »

I used that funnel and works awesome
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Mint 1973
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« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2013, 03:47:56 PM »

Honestly I've tried everything nothing yet feels like all hoses are getting hot
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Chuckles
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« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2013, 04:42:08 PM »

And, yet...an even BETTER mouse trap Joe...is a Cooling System Vacuum Venturi!

http://www.matcotools.com/catalog/product/AC550500/AIRLIFT-II-COOLING-SYSTEM-SERVICE-TOOL/

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Mint 1973
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« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2013, 07:23:49 PM »

I tried Again to bleed this thing lol....

The top of the rad gets hot but the bottom stays cold and bottom rad hose isn't getting preasure
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Chuckles
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« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2013, 07:34:42 PM »

I tried Again to bleed this thing lol....

The top of the rad gets hot but the bottom stays cold and bottom rad hose isn't getting preasure

It was cooling fine before you changed the coolant?
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Mint 1973
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« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2013, 07:47:45 PM »

I tried Again to bleed this thing lol....

The top of the rad gets hot but the bottom stays cold and bottom rad hose isn't getting preasure

It was cooling fine before you changed the coolant?


Yes all was fine before
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