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C3 Specific Tech Talk 1968 - 1982


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Old 06-14-11, 11:45 AM   #1
jclark
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Coolant Change

I went to change the radiator fluid on my 70 corvette, since I wasn't sure when the last owner changed it. I drained the radiator and got about 5 qts out. Went to flush with water but the system didn't take very much. Ran the engine for a couple of minutes, then tried to drain the radiator and nothing came out. Being new to corvettes, is there something that I am overlooking?
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Old 06-14-11, 12:04 PM   #2
Bob Weiss
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What did the Fluid that came out look like? Was is muddy/rusty ?? Did you warm up the engine to allow the thermostat to open? What was the level of fluid in the radiator when you started? Turn the the heater temp up to open the valve to let the heater core drain. Just some thoughts. I do not know the cooling system capacity for a 70 but 5 quarts seems very low to me. Is it a big or small block, A/C or no A/C? I presume there is no chocolate milk in the crank case? From where did you drain the fluid (from the radiator petcock)? Are the radiator hoses collapsed? I presume you took off the radiator cap?

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Old 06-14-11, 03:53 PM   #3
Rick and Arleen Ball
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Run the engine until it's up to operating temp allowing the thermostat to open.Then open the petcock and remove the lower hose at the radiator. Be careful not to get your hand in the way of the HOT fluid.
While your at it, check the condition of the lower hose as it might be a good time to replace it.
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Old 06-14-11, 04:47 PM   #4
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Bob,
The car is a small block, non-AC convertable. I drained the fluid from the pet cock on the bottom of the radiator. The fluid that came out was green. I did replace the upper hose but should check the bottom.

I didn't run the car very long so I don't think the thermostat would of opened, which is probably part of the problem.
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Old 06-14-11, 05:08 PM   #5
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Try the things we have talked about. Also when you fill it the car has run up to operating temp (opening the thermostat) to fill the system. Also turn the heat on and let the heater core drain and fill. Sounds pretty normal unless the oil looks like chocolate milk or you have water running out of the tail pipe or somewhere else. also the radiator may not have been full when you drained it. I assume the Corvette DID NOT overheat before you started. Good luck.
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Old 06-15-11, 08:30 AM   #6
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Thanks - I'll give it a try tonight and let you know how I make out
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Old 06-16-11, 09:55 AM   #7
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Gave it a try last night. Ran the car with the heat on for a while to make sure the thermostat opened. The water in the expansion tank was still not circulating.

I then removed the hose from the expansion tank that leads to the heater core. Poured water down in the hose until I could see fluid entering the expansion tank from the other side. Reconnected the hose and ran the car. The fluid was now circulating again. Drained everything out again and refilled with a 50% solution of green antifreeze and water. Everything is working OK, the problem must of be that air was trapped in the system.

Thanks for everybody's help!
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Old 06-16-11, 09:59 AM   #8
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Great, Glad it worked out as expected. I would now take the car for a short run and get it good and hot and then let it cool down a bit and make sure levels are "normal" . Might take a little running to get all the air out of the system.

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Old 06-16-11, 06:34 PM   #9
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I thought you needed to burp the system. (per my e-mail) This is the reason I had my radiator fluid changed at Bryner. Steve has a machine that sucks all the fluid out. You can watch the hoses colapse as he removes all the old antifreeze. Then the machine flushes the system, then refills it with new fluid. It's cool to watch. I know it does cost more than doing it yourself but sometimes it's a PIA to do.... Great that you found the problem and you're up and running again. Bill
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