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Coolant Leak? (Pic)

This is a discussion on Coolant Leak? (Pic) within the External Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Signature...

  1. #21
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    6.0L Block - Forged 403 built, breaking it in , Polluter Stg3 Cam, FAST 102mm Intake, NW102 TB, MSD wires, NGK TR6 plugs, Truck Coil Packs, LS3 Fuel Injectors, CC Pacesetter LT Headers, TS&P ORY, QTP e-Cutout, Magnaflow Muffler, 104mm Air Lid & Line Lock, Catch Can, Stage 2 T56, PRO 5.0 Shifter, Tick MC, Monster Stg 4 Clutch, QT SFI BH, MWC DSL, UMI: SFC, PHB, LCA's, LCA Relocation Brackets & TA, Hotchkis Springs (1" Drop), YR1 Snowflake Wheels wrapped in NT555 tires & Custom Fab Ford 8.8 rear w/4.10 Yukon Gears, WSQ Hood, 3"CM Strange Eng Drive Shaft.

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  2. #22
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    If me, our car is mostly stock under the hood. At least for now.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    me or Jeff?


    Me look at my signature below.


    Now I live in the deep south, so south I'm next to the Gulf of Mexico in 30 mins. Our temps rarely get below 30* but also run as high as 100+* for month or so. No where near as bad as TX, NM, AZ...


    So running a 160* for us is not as bad as what the guy was saying for northern cars. I see his point but at the same time they have to hit the dead middle of the average use.



    If you live in the North I say stick with the 185* stat.


    Added my signature.
    Oh, I know all about your car, Scott!

    Yeah: what I'm noticing is that on the colder mornings, my temp gauge sits right between 160 and 185 (especially since I have the heater on in the early morning). I tried driving with the heater off yesterday morning and that helped a bit (pushed it closer to 185), but around here, I do half of my driving (so, about 60 miles a day) before sunrise in the winter and temps are easily in the low thirties. I think I saw 28 or 29 out here once or twice, even.

    Anyway I found a Delco pump for under $100 bucks on Amazon so I ordered it and will hopefully be installing it Monday or Wednesday. I will be going with the stock thermostat when I do the swap.
    Lid, Throttle Body, LS6 Intake, Heads, Cam, Magnaflow, LS7 Clutch, SFCs, STB, Panhard Bar, Strano Springs, Hollow Sway Bars, Poly/Roto LCAs, Konis, MGW Shifter

  4. #24
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    If me, our car is mostly stock under the hood. At least for now.
    Ah, okay. For some reason I thought you had some major work done on yours.

  5. #25
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    It was 50* as a high here today and dropped to high 30's at night. For the record this time of year is extremely unusual. But I was paying attention to my coolant and oil temps.

    During the summer my oil temps would be 230 as high as 250 (really hot damn days, stuck in traffic).

    Last 2 days with this cool air oil temps have been 220-230. And the engine is loving the cold air. She's more responsive now then was in the summer.

    I love SD tunes.....

  6. #26
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    I definitely know what you mean about responsiveness in cooler weather. When I'd drive from AZ to Cali, I'd notice a major difference in the power. Lower altitude and "thick," cool air made the car feel like it was a whole gear lower (2nd gear in Cali felt like 1st gear in AZ). I haven't had a chance to test this with the heads/cam, but now the Z has enough power to still pack a wallop even in the summer time around here (though she's feeling a bit stronger in this cool weather).

  7. #27
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    I emailed NicD who did the tune for my car about re-tuning the fans once I install the 180 degree thermostat. Here is his response:

    Quote Originally Posted by NicD
    I always recommend using a ~180 deg stat or leaving it stock so when people put in 160 thermostats I set the fans the same as the 180/195 stats since the LS motors make more power in that temperature range anyways. Looking at your file the fans are set to turn on at 190 so you are good to go!
    That takes a burden off my mind!

  8. #28
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Finally got around to doing this last night. As it turns out, I had a 186-degree thermostat in there all along. Although, in the early morning hours, my car was not even reaching ~175 despite the 60-mile commute. I don't know if this is normal or if possibly the out-going stat was defective. It's something I'll be keeping an eye on, though.

    A couple of lessons learned:

    1) If you don't have a set of channel locks, get one! It makes all the difference when removing/installing the hoses (getting those clamps open).

    2) When shopping for a thermostat housing, make sure you get the one that has the little tab sticking up: there is a wire loom which clips to it.

    3) Before you start, buy a spare petcock; mine didn't break, but I felt like it could have. I had to use pliers to turn it.

    Things I feel like I did "wrong" but don't know how I could have done better:

    1) Draining/catching the coolant: the coolant coming out of the jackets/channels "splashed" all over the engine on its way out to the bucket. I used rags to try and protect the pulleys, but it still splattered a bit and ran down along the front and bottom of the engine.

    2) Having more knowledge/understanding about whether to use RTV/gasket-maker in addition to the provided gaskets. My research seemed to yield mixed results on that issue.

    The job took me quite a while, but I was taking my time working at a relaxed pace. To date, this is probably the most complex job I've attempted on my car in terms of the number of components/steps involved.

    Thanks to Scott for all the help.

  9. #29
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    No problem, hope it gives you confidence to try more stuff.

    I agree on the peacock. I have zero faith that anything plastic will work more than once. Especially after it's been on the car for 15+ yrs.

    Also in case you don't know this. Anti-freeze lasts about 3 yrs, so plan on a flush and replace of fluid in 3 yrs.

  10. #30
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    BTW did you find where it was leaking from?

  11. #31
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Yup. It was from the pulley/weep hole.

    Also, after two drives in the wee morning hours (totaling about 120 miles), I'm seeing not only my engine temp in the ~190 range, but also my fuel economy seems to be improved as well.

    I think that the old stat, even though it was a 187, may have been stuck open because the temp was well below spec even all the way throughout several 60-mile drives.

    So... if the shear that I experienced on this last oil change was in fact a result of the thermostat, then I consider it a blessing in disguise that the pump failed, or else I would never have learned about the problems that driving at cooler temps can cause. The next data point will be in another 2000 miles when I change the oil: I did drive a few hundred on the old thermostat, but I think that if there is shear, it should be significantly less than the most recent oil change.

  12. #32
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Update:

    Just changed the oil and fuel filter yesterday.

    There was significantly less metal on the drain bolt this time around, despite being driven in the coolest times of the day (right before sunrise) almost every day. The first 1000 miles after the last oil change was on the bad pump/t-stat. The last 2000 miles were on the new pump/t-stat. The magnet had 1 piece of metal on it that was clearly a "slice" of some part of the engine, whereas the previous oil change yielded 5 or 6 slices.

    I think I changed out the last fuel filter around 27000 miles ago. When I looked through the old one, it still looked pretty good, but if I understand correctly, the fuel filter is meant to be changed every 15-25,000 miles (or something).

    Also, it seems as if my car is using less oil lately. I have read that the operating temperature can affect oil consumption, and I'm wondering if in the cooler months, it will use less oil... :???: In any case... the next work needing done is tires and a suspension refresh, but my wife's car also needs tires, which we are getting this week, so mine will have to wait till... whenever.

  13. #33
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    I generally swap fuel filters in the 12,000 to 15,000 mile range on our cars. This being said, we have not yet put 15,000 miles on the Trans Am since buying it in 2008 and I have swapped the fuel filter twice. I have issues...

    Biggest culprit on oil consumption is the crappy PCV setup on our cars. If you have not yet installed one, I highly recommend a catch can.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    If me, our car is mostly stock under the hood. At least for now.
    Any time you want to add power would be greeeeaaat
    It's on jackstands.

  15. #35
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    I generally swap fuel filters in the 12,000 to 15,000 mile range on our cars. This being said, we have not yet put 15,000 miles on the Trans Am since buying it in 2008 and I have swapped the fuel filter twice. I have issues...

    Biggest culprit on oil consumption is the crappy PCV setup on our cars. If you have not yet installed one, I highly recommend a catch can.
    Ah, yes, the catch can. I bought one but I still have not figured out how to hook it up. I was able to use forums/youtube to figure out the water pump swap, so it seems like a catch can installation should be a cinch. But the configuration under my hood is not quite like what I'm seeing online for any of the various model years. Also, when I took the catch can off to gain access for the water pump, there was something rattling around inside of it. I was so frustrated with the who thing already (for lack of understanding of what to do) that I haven't even bothered to open it up to see what "fell off" in there....

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