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cooling issue

This is a discussion on cooling issue within the GTO forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Well, I believe i have a cooling issue that i cant seem to work out. My radiator is 2" shorter ...

  1. #1
    Member JAX04's Avatar
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    PBM 366ci TC78 E85
    2004 Pontiac GTO PBM A4

    cooling issue

    Well,

    I believe i have a cooling issue that i cant seem to work out.

    My radiator is 2" shorter then stock yet 1" thicker over the entire surface, with two rows vs. the stock 1 row. SO, i should have better cooling ability,

    On top of that, i was able to modify the stock shroud to fit the new rad, and it fits well. I was told to use the stock fans whenever possible, so i did.

    Furthermore, its been a real pain in the ass getting air out of this system, since its shorter and tilted, the cap is def not the highest point, besides the vapor tube that connects the two heads, the water pump is the highest point, so bleeding has been a bitch.

    I think ive got it about bleed out, but i can tell something isnt right becuase temps are erratic. ill be cruising 195 then an itll shoot up to 207-210 and stay their,

    im guessing still air in it.

    On top of that, when it seems to be going well, i still cant get under 195, and its only 50-60* here, whats going to happen at 90-100*.

    Im kind of at a lose right now trying to figure this out. Not even sure how to plumb all the bullshit lines on top that ran to ports on the factory rad.

    Crossover tube- where too

    shit from throttle bodies- where too now.

    I always thought those things had to go to the top of the radiator, which used to be the highest point in the system. Its not now. pretty well confused and its not going well. I have an overflow tank that is mounted, and had the crossover ran their, until it overheated the other day and filled it up.

    Doesnt appear to water in the oil, exhaust looks great, so im at the moment ruling out blown head gasket, brand new, ls9 gaskets and never boosted them yet.

    who knows...

  2. #2
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    Any pics of the setup?

    Put the front of the car up in the air during the filling and bleeding process. A set of ramps or jackstands may be all that you need to get the radiator higher than the water pump. Do you have a cooler than stock thermostat installed? If so, are your fans programmed to match the cooler thermostat?

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    Member JAX04's Avatar
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    PBM 366ci TC78 E85
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Any pics of the setup?

    Put the front of the car up in the air during the filling and bleeding process. A set of ramps or jackstands may be all that you need to get the radiator higher than the water pump. Do you have a cooler than stock thermostat installed? If so, are your fans programmed to match the cooler thermostat?
    160stat and moved the fans to come on around 180-185 cant remember.

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    Turn your heater on "hot" and make sure the system is operating. Start the engine and carefully feel the upper radiator hose as the temp comes up. If the thermostat is working, you'll be able to feel the hot coolant from the engine seep into the hose and then become hotter as the thermostat fully opens. A laser temp gun ($55 at the parts store) is a great tool as it will read your actual temps on the thermostat housing, heads and hoses. Chances are you still have an air issue, a defective thermostat, or even a messed up radiator is also a possibility. Can you see coolant flowing through the tubes with the cap open after them thermostat opens? (Note: Do not open the cap if the system is already fully up to temp -- you'll be taking a trip to the E.R.)

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    PBM 366ci TC78 E85
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    im going to hijack a heat laser from work tonight, but yes, i was able to see coolant flowing.

    but i havent looked since friday. I was far to frustrated last night and sat.

    Im not sure. Going to try to get to it tonight i guess.

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    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    I use a pump/flush machine. No air for sure. Most any decent shop/dealership will have one.
    Have your system flushed.

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    PBM 366ci TC78 E85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
    I use a pump/flush machine. No air for sure. Most any decent shop/dealership will have one.
    Have your system flushed.
    Im really starting to lean this way.

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    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    A cooling system flush can't hurt. Get all the contaminants out of the engine, radiator and heater core to start with. Keep us posted.

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    PBM 366ci TC78 E85
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    I think ive got her figured out, i hope. I redid my top line and put a fill neck right off the pump and drilled and tapped a hole in the side for my top vent/cross over tube to run too. From there, i proceded to fill her up AGAIN!

    Found a bunch of small leaks on the lower rad hose and fixed them. No wonder, i mean between everything else and that, no wonder i was loosing coolant.

    Anyway, fixed them and put that funnel in the top and filled it up to the top of the funnel, letting it burp its way down, i was able too, after filling it initially, get almost 2 full funnels in it just letting it run and squeezing hoses trying to burp air out, for awhile it was bubbling, well anyway, im letting it sit over night with a funnel full hoping maybe some more air pockets work their way north.

    I also ran the vent on the filler neck over to the overflow can. Like it should be. SO im hoping after fixing the leaks and moving the neck and allowing it burp more. Its good to go. ill find out tomorrow as first thing im driving to get my exhaust finished up. Adding my two spintechs in after the cut out, i really miss the way they sound.

    Heres a quick pick of what im doing now.



    before i had the crossover tube ran to the overflow tank, what a dumb ass thing to do, it was just dumping fluid into the tank and not bringing it back in. I think ive got it now.

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    Member JAX04's Avatar
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    PBM 366ci TC78 E85
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    oh, and another thing, i think that this radiator is REALLY efficient. I mean, the inlet side is so damn hot i cant even touch it, but the other side, when the coolant is flowing, is fairly cool.

    You can move your hand behind the fans and really notice the temperature of the air being drawn the fans, much much cooler moving right to left. Lets hope this works.

  11. #11
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    Glad you got it figured out. Most thermostats these days come with an air bleed hole. If not, you can always drill a 1/8" or slightly smaller hole in the thermostat and then clock the hole as high as you can to allow air to burp through to the radiator. Not a perfect fix as our thermostats are mounted kind of low, but every little bit helps.

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    Member JAX04's Avatar
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    PBM 366ci TC78 E85
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    We'll see. Never got over 197 This morning. Normal driving around 192. We'll as it warms up.

    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
    2004 GTO,A4 turbo build in the progress and corn juice to follow

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    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    Sounds like progress to me.

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    PBM 366ci TC78 E85
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    seems like gold gents, Now that my dumb ass actually understands how the overflow tank and cap actually works,

    Ive never felt more ignorant or dumb in my life. I can build a turbo system from scratch with limited tools but cant create my cooling system. WOW! DOH!

    But, all is well now, and top end tuning should commence in a week or two. Just waiting on my dyno to free up now

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    Member Texas Jack's Avatar
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    Very cool, sounds like you are about there!

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    Member Texas Jack's Avatar
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    Well anymore progress, any more data logging and tuning going on? Just checking up.

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    PBM 366ci TC78 E85
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    Not so far this week. I had temporarily lost my keys last thursday and didnt find them again until Sunday, DOH! lol.

    So last night, decided to put the correct pushrods in my motor, Had the stock 7.4s in their, and found out that the 03' Z06 cam has a .050 smaller base circle, i needed 7.425" pushrods since i dont have the Z06 heads with their valves. Theses are hardened chromoly

    So, got them put in, took her around the block, boosted her a couple times, and wondered where my boost is, seems as if i had a TERRIBLE boost leak, so i busted out the air compressor and home made 3" test caps that i made from PE caps. Consequentley found a HUGE boost leak right at the compressor outlet where my hump coupler connects due to the very weird angle. Moved the coupler up, spent a while tighteneing, and re tightening, and got it to where its barley bleeding air at all, Very small air bubbles, i figure thats going to be about as good as it gets for awhile.

    backed the boost controller out to allow only spring pressure (5ish psi) and let her rip a few times. Oh, also tightened the tension on the spring inside the BOV since it was bleeding off above 10lbs and completley letting go at 12, which is exactly what i want to run. so with the air hooked up, i tightened the spring until i just started to crack at 12lbs but would still hold steady, so that its kind of a back up boost controller

    then took her out for a couple run ups, she did great, def needs tuned more, but my tuner was busy tonight so he wants to mess around tomorrow some.

    I will be sure to keep you guys updated Timing is so low right now, but it still pulls like a damn freight train, MU HA HA HA! lol

    Basically at this point, cooling is figured out, boost leaks are figured out, got 3/4 of a tank of fuel, etc. Just waiting on the damn local dyno guy to get off his butt and call me and tell me hes ready for me to come visit. I was hoping this weekend or next (april 9th)

    But i have a cookout that day which is 2 hours away, so we may get some good tuning in on the way down, and i will def have the video cam with me

  18. #18
    Member Texas Jack's Avatar
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    So the weekend is about over and did you get some data logging in, just checking in on how things are going.

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    PBM 366ci TC78 E85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Jack View Post
    So the weekend is about over and did you get some data logging in, just checking in on how things are going.
    No. lol

    BUT, I did go out sat night for my first real cruise/ride in since late 2009.

    Basically needed to know that the car would preform to tops, well best can be expected anyways, considering no tune.

    So i dialed back the wastegate and got it to open at "0" lbs of boost so i didnt have to worry about that.

    Took it out, and drove her around all night from basically 6pm to 12:30 am when i got home.

    Not one single problem. The car drives great, sounds incredible and i got alot of positive feedback out at all of our local hot spots. I was very happy with the results.

    However, i am going to scottsburg, in next weekend, and which is real close to louisville.


    We might get some real tuning in. Im trying to talk my tuner into riding with me so that way we can do some tuning on the way down

    That is going to be early sat. morning and all day and night, so hopefully ill have some video! HOpefully!

  20. #20
    Member Texas Jack's Avatar
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    Well that's a good thing, no problems and I don't blame you not boosting it with no tune it would be sad after all that work and $'s to see it go boom!!!!!

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