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Old 06-06-2010, 03:02 PM   #1
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Coolant Bubbles

Was going on a trip to VA this past weekend - and the car got a little hot - it did not go to red it was the big line before that and behind it. So I thought maybe the line had air still in it from when i changed the t-stat.

But after 2 hrs I am still having bubble come out the coolant bleeder - I am guessing I have a bad HG or warped head..

Anyone who has had this problem want to post.

On a side note I have a buick 3800 SC II long block sitting in a junked car outside. My dad picked it up for the seats. But the engine is still good - would that fit in the GA?

I know ours is N body that is a W body.
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:28 PM   #2
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I had a similar problem with my last GA and wound up losing my block. I would most definitely replace both head gaskets and since you already have it apart, probably replace the UI and LIM gaskets as well, just to be on the safe side. Then take your heads into your local shop to have them crack checked and milled before putting them back on. That should fix your problem as long as you follow the sticky to make sure you bleed your coolant lines.

As for the 3800 swap, it wont be worth your time or effort. Its gonna take alot of mods to drop it in and even at that, from what everyone around here says, its a crap motor anyway. So unless you just feel like going through all that trouble for something different, you might as well spend the money you would spend to make it work on mods for your car. Just my 2 cents though.

Good luck on the fix and hope your outcome was better than mine!
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Old 06-06-2010, 11:16 PM   #3
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its not necessarily head gaskets or cracked heads really. Just means you either didnt get all the air out. or that there is a leak somewhere. Now it could be HG or a cracked something im not saying that its not. Try replacing your coolant cap. Apparently those play a pretty big role in this system. I assume because its pressurized?
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Old 06-07-2010, 06:46 AM   #4
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yes definatly try a new cap first it is a pressurized system, and sometimes if you screw the cap down tight and its off by a bit you can crease the threads and the cap will leak
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:48 AM   #5
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Na I am not in any mood for trouble - so that will nix that idea -
I am going to pick up a cap today see if that helps - and bleed the system again.
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:13 AM   #6
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Will you still get pressure if the cap is bad? Just wondering - There is still pressure in the system - with the cap that is on it - I am going to pick the new one up today (dealership had to order it)
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:50 AM   #7
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yes if it only leaks a little it can still build up a few LBS of pressure i belive its 15lbs of pressure
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Old 06-13-2010, 01:12 PM   #8
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Ya its 15psi - well last night things got worse - more like 6am this morning - The thermostat hose busted - It somehow expanded, i guess, rubbed the black coolant line and popped - Thankfully it happened right as I was pulling in my driveway. Before I got home I turned the heat on and nothing came out but cold air, intermittent heat, but never getting hot. I did not get a chance to bleed the system after replacing the cap Friday, I was planning to do it today but then all this happened. Making me think that is why the hose expanded and broke.

So Replaced the hose, took bleeder screw out, filled, took about a gallon and a half of the 2 gallons of 50/50 I had mixed.

Started the bleeding process, turned on the heater and started coming up to temp. Cold air is blowing even though the car is at temp, Shut off the heat, turn it on 2 mins later and its hot for a few seconds then starts blowing cold. Rev the engine while the heater is on, the heat now stays hot. It will get hotter as I get on the gas.

The whole time I am checking for air in the system, opening and closing the bleeder, about every 15 mins making sure the system is moving coolant.

But now the big mystery is even though changing the cap, I have 0 pressure in the tank. No hiss nothing after running for 30mins and taking the cap off.

I Took a piece of plastic covered the cap & vent tube to see if I can get pressure and it does not seem to be holding any. So its not a cap problem, and both caps I have are doing the same thing.

Could it be I have a bad water pump and instead of the drip hole dripping coolant its pushing the pressure out? But then that does not explain why this morning when the hose went the coolant was Hissing out the hole so it had to have pressure then..

Grrr this is pissing me off..
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Old 06-13-2010, 03:39 PM   #9
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it could have been that hose failing

if your water pump was leaking youd know it

im not sure how possible it is to break the pump so the pully keeps spining without turning the impellor of the pump but i suppose it could happen.
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:57 PM   #10
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Could have been the reason there was bubbles.. Never know.. It was not too hard to change - But right now the only problem is that there is no pressure in the system.
I can control the temp if I have the heat on it goes down, but if the AC is on then well it gets hot. 210 what ever.. At idle it will be around 180 - the tstat I have in.
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:21 PM   #11
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even with a 180* 210 isnt hot for these cars
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:17 AM   #12
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The drive into work today it was cooler then it has been in a long time - Going to take it up a big hill today after work to see how it does.
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Old 06-17-2010, 12:26 PM   #13
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Well the coolant is pressurizing now - I think I have a busted water pump though and am going to have it replaced today see if it helps. There is a coolant splash all over the inner hood - We will see.. No more bubbles though - so that is a good sign.
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Old 06-17-2010, 06:22 PM   #14
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if your getting splash up under the hood its definatly the pump dripping onto the belt IMO its an easy fix should take you about an hour.
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Old 06-18-2010, 08:19 AM   #15
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Well I was wondering if the splash was from all the bleeding I have been doing in the past 2 weeks. Turns out it was - the weep hole was dry on the new waterpump, but replaced it just the same -

So now I have pressure, idles at temp - 1hr of running and it did not move from 180 - went home went over 210 - come in to work this morning with the heat on and it did not move from 180 -

So I am slowing working my way up the $$ ladder - Thermostat, Water pump, coolant cap - next is the Radiator..

Going to my friends garage to test the coolant for exhaust tonight - guess that will tell me what is really next.
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:56 AM   #16
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how far over 210 because mine will run some times about 220-230 if ive been driving a lot and its warm outside
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:25 PM   #17
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umm I don't know what the stopping point is - I turn on the heat and let it cool off.
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Old 07-29-2010, 02:17 PM   #18
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Well turned out to be... the whole time.

Guess something made a home LOL or something and the next fell out or maybe its just 10yrs of pollen - Who knows. Hope this gets the over heating over with..
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