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Radiator/water level?

Can someone tell me how to keep enough water in the radiator to cover the core? when I fill it up, and the motor heats up to normal, while driving about 2 miles from home, I lose about a quart of water. Does this mean it will spew out the overflow what it doesn't need? When I let it cool down and the water recedes below the tubes. In this situation, I will never know if I have enough water in the radiator. there must be a secret to this continental 6 that I don't understand. Oh, I had the radiator cleaned and repaired, so that is not the problem. I also backflushed the engine and radiator just to be sure all is open. Can I expect to be able to drive without carrying a jug of water just in case? I would appreciate some insight from any who has had similar problems. Thanks in advance. Jim

Re: Radiator/water level?

Jim
It is possiable that you have something more going on than just normal thermal expansion, a combustion leak in the cooling system could be something to look at,i.e. headgasket or cracked head, there is also a (very slim) possiability that your water pump could be sucking air...A quick test to eliminate those possiabilities, fill your radiator up in to the filler neck and run at a moderate throttle and watch for air bubbles, the water must be maintained in the neck while making this check...One other thing you could check, after your car sets for a day or two, crack the oil drain plug an see if you get any water off the bottom of your oil...Good luck, Bill

Re: Radiator/water level?

On my car it was the rad and the water pump packing as well as a very corroded water pump shaft. The water pump shaft was remade with drill rod and all works very well now.

Re: Radiator/water level?

Thanks Bill and Jack, I have had the head off and planed .012 to tru up and the head is not cracked. I installed a new head gasket and torqued as per specs. I have not had any air bubbles since doing that. Also my radiator has been cleaned and repaired. I have a very worn shaft on the water pump and I suspect this is where the problem is. I have installed new seals plus teflon packing but still get water leaking out of packing nut. soooo, when running,under load, it must be as Jack said, that air is going in around shaft seal and forcing water out of radiator overflow. Does any of this make sense? I intended to rebuild my water pump, guess now is the time.

Re: Radiator/water level?

Your radiator could be partially blocked and the water pump is pumping more water than can flow thru the tubes. It me several times to have the radiator boiled out so that I had good flow thru the core.

Bob

Re: Radiator/water level?

Jim,
Bob makes a good point, after your radiator was cleaned and flushed was it flow tested? A radiator repair friend of mine told me of a simple but effective way to check the flow on a radiator and I have found that it works quite well...(1)Remove your top and bottom radiator hoses- (2)block off the radiator inlet on the top tank- (3)hold your hand over the bottom outlet and fill the radiator with water- (4) realease your hand quickly...If the flow comes out fast and constant then you have a good open flow...If the flow comes out fast at first then slows down you have a restricted flow...If the flow comes out fast at first then chug-a-lugs then you really have a problem...Anyway, you can get an indication if this is your problem without pulling the radiator....Bill

Re: Radiator/water level?

Well guys, the shop that did my radiator, had it boiled, roiled, cleaned, flushed, and it opened quite a few leaks in the tubes. He managed to repair them without cutting any tubes or blocking them off. He also didn't have to ruin any fins. I am confident that my flow is ok. I already tested in this manner, because I wanted to see if my water pump was putting out a good flow. I disconnected the top hose and blocked outlet. I hooked up a hose on the outlet pipe of the block and held it up on top of the fill opening.With the motor running, in my garage, I had a full flow thru the hose with no interuptions of flow, the water was flowing in and out of the radiator and NOT going out the overflow. When engine heated up, I checked the temp. of flow into the water pump, it was 120 deg. I checked the outlet flow to the rad. it was 140 deg. I think a 20 deg. diff. is as good as you can get. Now all seems normal, right? I am back to travelling on the road and losing water out the overflow without overheating the engine. So what gives? I am still leaning to the water pump worn shaft so much that air is sucking into pump when under load, causing the water to expand out the overflow. I will keep you all posted..... Jim

Re: Radiator/water level?

Easy to make a new shaft and I suggest you make it out of stainless steel but I can't believe that this is the problem.

Here is a test you might try. Fill the radiator to just above the top of the tubes. Run the engine at a high rpm and see if the water level rises in the radiator.

Bob

Re: Radiator/water level?

Hello Bob, Yes I did just what you suggested, the water does not rise up to the overflow even with high rpm. The water is circulating just as it should, and engine not overheating. However, when I put a bottle under the overflow and travel up the road a couple miles, it accumulates about a pint. then coming back home, another pint. I will make a new shaft for the water pump, but am in dire need of a better impeller, mine has been broken and brazed right across the dia. thru the bore. If I try to extricate the shaft, I might ruin what I have left. so I am proceding cautiously. Will update again. Thanks,Jim

Re: Radiator/water level?

Hi Jim, My 1930 4-07 acts exactly like what you describe is happening with your car.

After checking the cooling system, ignition timing, valve timing and A/F mixture and not finding a problem, I live with it. It's not like it's overheating, the gauge indicates high normal and a infra-red temperature gauge says around 150F on the header tank when stopped after a drive.

I found that after a certain amount is lost out the overflow, the loss stops. Thermal expansion?? Maybe.

Before I drive the car, and it is a driver that sees a fair piece of use, I start it and let it run for 10, maybe 15 minutes. I look in the rad and expect to see coolant in the tubes, maybe a bit in the header tank itself. If I don't see any, I'll add a AF/water mix until I do. I rarely have to add coolant, it's cold height in the rad just likes to be low. It's when the engine is warmed up that the core should be full.

If it's not overheating and the coolant stays clean which indicates it's not sucking air, I wouldn't lose a whole lot of sleep over it.

My two cents .... Ron

Where Are You From? www.ronjpics.com/durantstuff.htm

Re: Radiator/water level?

If the water pump is sucking air, after a good run the coolant will be white with bubbles. If it is clear and the engine is not overheating I would not worry about it. If it is sucking air the vehicle will run hot. I drive my Frontenac everywhere, and if it starts sucking air, I tighten the gland nut on the waterpump and that seems to stop it for a while. Takes a long time and several waterpump gaskets to get these pumps sealed. Once you do, they work great.
My two cents worth. Gord.

Re: Radiator/water level?

Here's more on my two cents worth.

With all the mention of the waterpump and sucking air, is the shaft and bearing in the waterpump exposed to a low pressure??? I don't think so, unless the pumps are very different to modern pumps. I think the seal has to deal with system pressure and no more. In my case, that's no pressure at all.

The impeller applies a low pressure to the lower rad hose to draw coolant out of the bottom of the rad and then forces it into the block. Any air suction would take place in the lower rad hose area, usually at the clamps and usually at higher rpm.

Ron

Where Are You From? www.ronjpics.com/durantstuff.htm

Re: Radiator/water level?

Here may be one way to look at it, if you were to buy a molded lower radiator hose longer than say a foot , chances are good that their would be a spring inside to keep it from colapsing, on the same prinsipal on the older cars their is usually a steel tube with shorter hoses to acomplish the same collapse problem...the water pump inlet and water pump shaft is exposed to this same low side of the pump, the higher the water pump is mounted on the block the greater the low or vacuum... When running the engine at idle the pump may leak externaly but when the engine RPM is increased and the low side overcomes atmosphere it will suck air...At least this is how I think it works...Bill

Re: Radiator/water level?

The pump on my 1930 Durant had a loose packing nut and a corroded pump shaft but it did not leak water in any mode. However, when the engine was running at any speed, especially higher revs it did suck air into the system in very large quantities.

Re: Radiator/water level?

Judging from the responses, most everyone has had a similar problem. I don't have an update yet, got sidetracked, rebuilding the deck on the back of my house.(for the wife) Have to do work before I can go play with my Durant. I'm sure you all know what I mean. eh? Jim.

Re: Radiator/water level?

Well!!!! I'm back. The deck is done, wife is happy. I'm happy!! The Durant water pump problem is solved! After a new shaft, new impellar, and new bushings, all is well. I tried her out yesterday and no heating up, and just small amount of expansion water out the overflow. Traveling on the road motor maintains 160 deg. (thats what my thermostat is rated) Gauge on dash indicates low normal temp. even pushing 50 to 55 mph. I checked the rad. level after a run and the core is covered, water only dropped about 3/4 of inch.so my guess is the pump was sucking air around the shaft causing the problem due to worn parts. My thanks to all who contributed their advice/opinions. Jim

Re: Radiator/water level?

Help! I am having the same problem. Where can I find a new Shaft and Impellar and more importantly "packing" and gaskets

Where Are You From? www.etruth.com

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1925 Flint E 55

Re: Radiator/water level?

Have a new shaft made out of stainless steel. Check a Model A parts catalog for packing. I think the impellor is pinned to the shaft. Also you might have to have a new packing nut made if the shaft hole is worned. The fit needs to be a running fit.

Bob

Re: Radiator/water level?

If the chap with the Flint contacts our fellow club member, Franz Fraitzl, out in Vancouver, he should be able to get the necessary parts.
Go to the Tech Page and look up "Vancouver Durant Star Carconnection" Franz talked about water pumps and has packing that will work. He will also rebuild your water pump.

Do You own a car built by Durant? Frontenac

 

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