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My 'Vette's overheating!! What do I DO??

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Old 07-17-2018, 11:50 AM
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Tom400CFI
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Default My 'Vette's overheating!! What do I DO??

Driving to work, part of my commute is a ~3000' climb over 6 miles. Today, I'm following a truck that was going 27-33 mph (40 zone). With the climbing and lack of air flow, and just above "fan on" speeds, engine got warm; about 215 or so? I got to an opening, downshifted and punched it to pass. Right as I was passing the slacker's front fender....POOF!, holy SMOKE SCREEN! I felt like James Bond. I knew right away that I'd blown some hose or something in the cooling system....and I knew that I was losing coolant, fast! How fast? If the smoke plume was any indication, it was fast. How long before it began to get too hot, I wondered? Would my car get me the rest of the way up the hill before it ran out of coolant? I didn't think that it would....there was a TON of smoke in my rear view mirror and I couldn't even see the truck that I'd just passed. It was kind of cool looking, but kind of embarrassin' at the same time. I didn't want to have to pull over and get passed by the truck that I had just passed....with smoke pouring from the engine, no less. Also, since I run a fleet maint shop...obviously "getting the car to work" means I can fix it easily.

The coolant temps dropped right after the pass, as I'd picked up a lot of speed and had good, cool, morning mountain air flowing through the radiator. I knew it wouldn't last though. Just how long would it last? I had about 3 miles (climbing) to go. I shifted into 5th, then turned the heater on...I still had heat. That's good -means I still have enough coolant to pump around the engine. I sped up to about 60 (to get to work quicker). Smoke was still billowing out the rear...and I'd also get wisps of it from the LF fender occasionally. Smoke was pouring out everywhere. About a mile from work, the engine temp started to climb. Digital read about 218, analog was just under the hash marks....but then it seemed to sort of hold there. "Am I overheating the heads? Am I going to make it??" I still had some heat from the heater, so I knew there was some coolant flowing still. I pressed forward! When I was about 1/4 mile from the entrance of our lot, the heat went away. That's it...."I'm out of coolant!", I thought to myself. Could I make it that last 1/4 mile on just the metal's ability to absorb heat? I kept after it, and 15 seconds later, as the analog needle dipped into the hashed area, I veered into the parking lot and killed the engine, coasting a few hundred yards to my parking spot. I opened the hood to let it cool. Peak reading on the digi gauge never passed 224, but that sensor was high and dry, I'm guessing.





There was coolant everywhere, under the hood. EVERYWHERE. I haven't found any split hoses yet. No clamps let loose that I have seen. I'll have a closer look at lunch.




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Old 07-17-2018, 12:18 PM
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Damn.. I hope its ok.
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:40 PM
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Eh. I think it'll be fine. I was adding extra drama to the story for entertainment purposes.

Mostly, I'm kind of curious where in the heck it's leaking from. I'll wander down in a bit and hoo up a pressure tester to the thing...
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:47 PM
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Default Check upper radiator hose



Looks like a tear in your upper hose
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Old 07-17-2018, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rharker View Post


Looks like a tear in your upper hose
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Old 07-17-2018, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by rharker View Post


Looks like a tear in your upper hose
Sure does. I must be blind as a bat. I looked at that hose at least 5 times. Duh!

Thanks for the sharp eyes.
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom400CFI View Post
I was adding extra drama to the story for entertainment purposes..
Well done. We have all had our Corvette Drama and it is something we can never get enough of.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:44 PM
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I feel your pain. I drove mine to work one day and as I was going through the gate the gate guard asked "do you know there's steam coming out of the wheel well?"
Why no I didn't. Got to the building and parked. Opened the hood and there's a little geyser coming out of just about the same spot. All it took was a pin hole. Walked over to the bx and bought a roll of electrical tape. Once it cooled I taped it up and drove home being passed by everything on the planet.

I now have a completely new cooling system. Only parts that stayed were the expansion and overflow tank.
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Old 07-18-2018, 07:18 AM
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my radiator actually had a small split in one of the seams. Luckly, I was fairly close to home. I went home so fast I think I passed the star ship Enterprise,
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:45 AM
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hope it comes in for you Tom, and NO issues upon install.
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:29 AM
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Lol....I hear you! -about hauling butt

My stock radiator tank split a couple years ago. DeWitts, now.

Parts store f'ed me yesterday. Said they'd have me a hose, but then it never came...they "lost it". Had to take acompany truck home last night. Should have a hose tonight....take II.
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:31 PM
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Got my upper hose. Wrong one. IDK why it's so hard to get the right hose. NAPA claimed they could get it by next week, O'reilly got me one after several tries, but the hose to the TB > heater core is 3/8" (?).

I guess my biggest dilemma at this point is that I don't know how to move forward, as I don't have an FSM. Good 'ol DDSLT5 says that you need and FSM to do anything....I don't have one so I guess I'm screwed.

Eh...I guess I'll cut the wrong new hose, use the good part to replace my bad part, fill and bleed the system and hit the road. Wait....how did I know how to do that w/o an FSM?? Impossible!!
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:57 PM
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I actually had the same issue.. I got the universal hose with the metal wiring inside. Works great.
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Old 07-18-2018, 05:03 PM
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No kidding. I wonder what the deal is? Why don't the suppliers know and change the thing so it is the right sized hose? Kooky.
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:08 PM
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Well...I got "bit". Car ran great on the way home last night, but on the way in to work this AM....guess what happened? Any guesses?
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:13 PM
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After pumping 3 gallons of coolant out of my upper radiator hose, driving to work this AM it started in with the bucking/surging/chugging crap. Did that for about 20 seconds, got worse and worse...then took a dump. I pulled over and got it in a nice place off the road...fully prepared to flag down one of my crew as they headed up the canyon. Before I hopped out of the car, I hit the key...VROOOOM! Huh. Off I went, with no more hiccups, and got to work.

Tonight on the way home, same thing; made it about 2/3 home and all hell broke loose. I had to pull over twice and the misfiring and bucking was insane. Finally made it to my house and pulled codes; Code 16, low res. Suck.

I'm going to test my long standing theory on myself and pull the opti, clean the lenses and put it back in.
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:24 PM
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Actually, I just realized that I'm totally f'd. I don't have an FSM, so there is no way that I'm going to be able to diagnose OR repair this issue. I don't even know how I got the code out of the thing! Luck...I guess.
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:56 PM
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FWIW, the only place that could get me the correct upper hoses was advance auto. But that was for a 92.
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:21 PM
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Mine's a '92. I'll give them a try. Thanks.
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Old 07-20-2018, 02:39 AM
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Judging by the hose that tore, the opti got wet
​​original opti for your car?
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