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with coolant question!

This is a discussion on with coolant question! within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Hey everyone well long story short i sold my 2000 trans am 6 years ago and just bought it back ...

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    Senior Member clg82's Avatar
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    2000 Trans Am

    with coolant question!

    Hey everyone well long story short i sold my 2000 trans am 6 years ago and just bought it back again. Going thru all of the fluids this morning as i wasn't able to last night because it was dark the oil and trans fluids all look good. But when I pop the radiator cap i don't see any fluid. I see residual of fluid so i know there is some in there but shouldn't it be filled to the top of the radiator? Or should I turn it on and let it warm some first (not fully to operating temp) and than i'll see the fluid. also there is some discussion on here about what color antifreeze to use....if it's green should i stick with that one and top it off? as we all know there isn't any pontiac dealers left to buy dexcool so where else could I buy it if it is in fact red? thanks for any help!~Chris
    2000 Arctic White trans am, ws6 hood, ws6 air box, slp lid, slp smooth bellows, slp loudmouth exhaust,shift kit, rebuilt trans, LS6 intake, 3.73 gears, Shaner S3 p/p throttle body, and a tune . SFC. C6 ZO6 rims 18" in back 17" in front. Drilled and slotted rotors.

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    Member RONS98TA's Avatar
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    If its green, stick with green. If its orange, stick with orange. They also make a universal antifreeze for both colors, but I don't like to mix it up. The level of fluid should be at the top of the radiator. I normally pull the cap off when the car is cold. Start up the engine, then fill it to the spot where the hose coming off the throttle body meets the radiator. It's just below the opening of the cap. When you reach operating temperature and the cooling fans come on, your good. If you over fill it while its warming up, you will lose a little fluid when the car begins to warm up. Also check the level in the overflow bottle. There are measurements on the overflow bottle dip stick for both hot and cold levels.

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    Member DarrenWS6's Avatar
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    Even with Pontiac gone, GM is still GM. Go to any GM dealer and they should be able to help you. That or look in the manual for what type of coolant it takes and google it, order it online. I personally feel the reservoir should always have fluid in it because that is the back up fluid incase any leaks or burns out, aside of being the obvious point that something is low. I would look really well for any leaking or have an oil analysis done.
    2000 Trans Am WS.6 M6

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    couple things.....like someone pointed out you can still get dexcool all over the place. I personally just run a global type in all of my vehicles but that's just personal preference. If you can't see antifreeze then you're in fact low. Now my question would be where did it go? Need to see if you have any leaks and where the missing fluid is going. Dexcool doesn't tolerate contamination very well.
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    Senior Member clg82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    couple things.....like someone pointed out you can still get dexcool all over the place. I personally just run a global type in all of my vehicles but that's just personal preference. If you can't see antifreeze then you're in fact low. Now my question would be where did it go? Need to see if you have any leaks and where the missing fluid is going. Dexcool doesn't tolerate contamination very well.
    thanks for the input Orion, i am sorry i didn't update this thread earlier. It did in fact have some coolant in the overflow jug that is an orange color so it is definelty Dexcool. I was able to buy some 50/50 dexcool here at the local Napa to top off the radiator, it took very little for it to get to the top so i believe that it hasn't been checked since I sold it back in 2006......long story short i sold this car 9 years ago to somebody in san diego......was at work last week just screwing around on craigslist, typed in 2000 trans am and wouldn't you believe it to my surprise the guy i sold it too 9 years ago put it up that very same day.....hard to believe I know but i was floored....called him told him i'd pick it up in an hour and the rest is history.....he only put 9,000 miles on it in 9 years.....told me the wife got tired of just seeing it sit in the garage.....so i bought it back.......so i'm guessing the lack of antifreeze was just from lack of maintenance......now on a side note.....my trans am has 373 gears.....and the rear diff has a slight leak.....any suggestions on what fluid to use in the rear end when i pull the diff cover and refill and reseal it?

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    Member RONS98TA's Avatar
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    I used Royal Purple synthetic gear oil back when I installed my Moser 12 bolt, well over 10 years ago. Have had zero issues with it, So thats what I recommend.
    1998 Pontiac TA, stock heads, FAST 90, FAST 90 TB, FLP LT, off road y-pipe with cat delete, flow master muffler, comp cams 54-457-11 223/231-610/617-112 LSA, Pro charger D1SC with FMIC @ 8psi, FROST tune, VIG 3200 stall, built 4l60e, snow meth kit, MOSER 12 bolt 373 gears, Derale 13900 trans cooler.

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    Junior Member RCH33's Avatar
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    I went through the same thing a couple of months ago. Found an 02 CETA with 13,000 on it. First owner only 7500 in 12 years. Second owner 6000 in 6 months. I have a mechanic friend who works at a large Chevy dealership. Took it to him to change and flush all the fluids so that I would have a base point to start with. I also had him replace the fuel filter..

    It took me about a week to get a coolant level that I thought would be correct. 3 time out of 4, when I removed the cap the level would be down 4-5 inches. Almost took a flashlight to see it. Filled it to the neck and would run until good and hot. Check next day cold and down again. Finally got overflow tank at the cold level and level in tank would vary between right at the overflow tube and 4-5 inches down, but so would the level in the overflow tank. Even now the level in the tank will very when cold from right at the overflow tube to 4-5 inches down. But, if the level is 4-5 inches down in the tank, the level in the overflow is a little above the cold level. So it appears that a level between the overflow tube and 4-5 inches down is pretty normal as long as you have some in the overflow tank. Also, 4-5 inches down is not a lot of coolant.
    Last edited by RCH33; 08-17-2015 at 08:37 AM.

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCH33 View Post
    I went through the same thing a couple of months ago. Found an 02 CETA with 13,000 on it. First owner only 7500 in 12 years. Second owner 6000 in 6 months. I have a mechanic friend who works at a large Chevy dealership. Took it to him to change and flush all the fluids so that I would have a base point to start with. I also had him replace the fuel filter..

    It took me about a week to get a coolant level that I thought would be correct. 3 time out of 4, when I removed the cap the level would be down 4-5 inches. Almost took a flashlight to see it. Filled it to the neck and would run until good and hot. Check next day cold and down again. Finally got overflow tank at the cold level and level in tank would vary between right at the overflow tube and 4-5 inches down, but so would the level in the overflow tank. Even now the level in the tank will very when cold from right at jthe overflow tube to 4-5 inches down. But, if the level is 4-5 inches down in the tank, the level in the overflow is a little above the cold level. So it appears that a level between the overflow tube and 4-5 inches down is pretty normal as long as you have some in the overflow tank. Also, 4-5 inches down is not a lot of coolant.
    I think that these overflows allow evaporation, I've had multiple times where the cooland level dropped, the latest was a few weeks ago when my heat gage spiked, and I had to put about 100 oz of water in it to keep the level up to get a coolant flush. I've had this car pressure tested multiple times and no leaks, no coolant in the oil, and no sweet smell or wetness in the passenger floor side.

    Of course, Orion could have been draining it out whe. He was taking my wheel center caps

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    It's on jackstands.

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whamhammer View Post
    I think that these overflows allow evaporation, I've had multiple times where the cooland level dropped, the latest was a few weeks ago when my heat gage spiked, and I had to put about 100 oz of water in it to keep the level up to get a coolant flush. I've had this car pressure tested multiple times and no leaks, no coolant in the oil, and no sweet smell or wetness in the passenger floor side.

    Of course, Orion could have been draining it out whe. He was taking my wheel center caps
    no worries about that these days.....none of my cars have center caps.

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    Senior Member clg82's Avatar
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    what weight? and will i have to add any addative when doing the refill? and how much do the 10 bolt rear ends take?

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Here is the link on car maintenance I wrote in 2011. It's in the General Help section (stickied).

    General Routine Maintenance / Service Intervals

    Rear Axle - Standard Differential
    Use SAE 75W-90 Synthetic Axle Lubricant (GM Part #12378261 or equivalent meeting GM Specification 9986115).

    Change every 30,000 miles

    Rear Axle - Limited-Slip Differential
    Use SAE 75W-90 Synthetic Axle Lubricant (GM Part #12378261 or equivalent meeting GM Specification 9986115). With a complete drain and refill add 4 ounces of Limited-Slip Axle Lubricant Additive (GM Part #1052358 or equivalent). Even though the 2000 model year and later F-body limited-slip differentials are a gear type Torsen unit, the use of a limited-slip additive is still recommended.

    Change every 30,000 miles

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    Senior Member clg82's Avatar
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    Thanks 35th. Kinda of a dumb question but how do I know if mine came with the limited slip? I had 373 gears installed. Would they have removed it?

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clg82 View Post
    Thanks 35th. Kinda of a dumb question but how do I know if mine came with the limited slip? I had 373 gears installed. Would they have removed it?
    The easiest way I know is to jack the car up in the rear (both tires off the ground) and turn either tire. If the opposite tire spins the same way you have an LSD. If the other tires spins in the opposite direction, you have a standard differential.

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    I prefer the "road stripe test" for posi-traction.
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    Senior Member clg82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    I prefer the "road stripe test" for posi-traction.
    haha great point......

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    Senior Member clg82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35th-ANV-SS View Post
    The easiest way I know is to jack the car up in the rear (both tires off the ground) and turn either tire. If the opposite tire spins the same way you have an LSD. If the other tires spins in the opposite direction, you have a standard differential.
    Awesome 35th I appreciate the help!

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    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    Ah yes, Jeff's way is a little more fun lol.

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    Member RONS98TA's Avatar
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    YEP, What pajeff02 said. I like to "check" my posi out just about every time I drive it. You can never be to sure, always best to double check. LOL

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35th-ANV-SS View Post
    The easiest way I know is to jack the car up in the rear (both tires off the ground) and turn either tire. If the opposite tire spins the same way you have an LSD. If the other tires spins in the opposite direction, you have a standard differential.
    Didnt 2000 T/As come with Zexel-Torsen LSDs? I thought that acted differently that a typical LSD when it is spun on a lift?

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