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Thanks for the detailed post Mad Max. Followed it to T and worked great!

Today I flushed the system. It isn't overheating right now but I'm not 100% sure it worked because the truck sometimes doesn't overheat and other times it does. It kind of just overheats when it wants to.

Like Mad Max mentioned, the radiator is what I'm looking into next. When I give it gas with the radiator cap off, the coolant level goes down pretty well so I'm pretty sure the water pump is good. However, the coolant barley flows through the "vents" holes in the radiator. I think it is supposed to poor out fairly heave but you have to look pretty close to see it coming out. I'm pretty sure the radiator is clogged up. Ive been looking for a new copper one but can't find one. All the ones I've seen are aluminum but I don't like the plastic so I'd rather get a copper one. My buddy said I can get the clogged one cleaned but it might not work. Anyone know where I can get a coper radiator or have any thought on getting mine cleaned?

The photo is of the corrosion in the radiator before the system was flushed.

Thanks for the help. Im gonna drive her for a few days and Ill let you know how it goes.

Thanks
Youwakawaka
coolant rad.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #23
She's overheating again so Im gonna try changing the radiator. The one in the truck is copper and I'd like to not get a cheap aluminum one. Anyone have their radiator serviced/cleaned? Did it work? Thoughts?
 

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Awww..you ain't got shit!
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I start the engine to circulate coolant, then turn on the garden hose. Wait for the water to run clear - out of the goose neck, then close the garden hose.
I also drive the vehicle for a day then do it all again

Another note: I have seen radiators plug up so badly, they cause overheating. You can look in the radiator after removing the cap and see the capillary tubes.
I have also run into a strange issue... the impellers on the water pump actually rotted away. You can tell if the coolant doesn't circulate well after the truck is at operating temps. Again... look in the rad with the cap off.

Hope this helps...

Confucius say: Good coolant mean cool engine...
Agreed with the above. If it's really chunky, do it twice. Don't be surprised if your radiator starts leaking and your heater core goes to **** too shortly afterward. Sometimes cleaning it out releases all the stuff plugging the holes.

Also seen the water pump impellers disintegrate before too. It does happen. Might not even make a sound or vibrate.
 

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and you can take your radiator to shop and get it "rodded out". that's where they take the tanks off and jam a rod through the tubes to clean them out. the shop then reattaches the tanks and pressure tests it for you. usually they will paint it back to nice shiny black, also. I have had it done and had no issues. I had to do my wrangler because I didn't want the new plastic radiators, either
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I did the second flush yesterday. This morning I checked the boiling temp of the coolant with one of the tube testers with the balls in it. Only like two balls were floating so I added straight coolant. I’m gonna get the tester with the turkey baster sucker things to get a more accurate reading. A 50/50 coolant is about 35 degrees correct?

I drove it today and it ran really well with the heater on. Just at 220 the highest. If I turn off the heater it runs just above 220. Probably like 230. It should be 220 or below right?

Thanks
 

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I had to add water wetter to our 2.8 to get the driving temp to come down. I think that after all the flushing there was something that didnt want to come loose but after lots of driving, the temps are now below 200. Maybe you just have to drive and let it circulate and work through the system?


I don't know what made ours get down so low after some time but the water wetter immediately brought us below 3/4 on the gage.
 

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Boozebag
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Rodding a radiator is not a big process.
A shop will de-solder the end cap and then run a rod (duh) through all of the capillary tubes. It doesn't take very long, just have to find a shop that will do it.
AND... get an estimate before you have the job done.
One more suggestion... If you have an infra red temp device, I would measure the temps at various different points on the engine. Upper hose, lower hose, each front of head, intake manifold near the tstat housing.
It's unlikely, but your temp gauge might not be accurate.
Oh, and when you say "overheat" do you mean that it blows coolant back into the overflow? Or are you going strictly by the gauge reading?
You may try installing an inexpensive (mechanical) temp gauge just to verify the overheat issue.

One last suggestion: Radiator shops used to charge about $65 to 'rod' a radiator. If it is anywhere above $100 nowadays, you can buy one of those cheap aluminum radiators on Ebay for about $110. It will more than handle a 2.8.
Check the inlet/outlet location. It may be different than yours - you'll have to do some minor plumbing adapting.
I've run those alloy radiators with great results.
Don't dump your old rad, it's a good brass old skool unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Mad Max, I just got one of the infra red temp guns from Harbor Freight and was planning on doing that. Tomorrow I'm gonna check it out and if the temp gun reads high then Im gonna pull the radiator to get it rodded out. I'll let you know what the temps read at the different points of the engine you mentioned.

To answer your question, Im going based off the gauge in the truck. I figured it could be reading incorrectly so I got the temp gun to check.

Ill let you know how it goes tomorrow

Merry Christmas,
Yowakawaka
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Anyone mind running me through how to remove the radiator. It seems pretty easy looking at it but is there anything I should know so I don't mess anything up? Im guessing I just need to take out the fan cover, take off the tranny lines, remove hoses, unbolt and remove the radiator.
 

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Been there Done it
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Just be careful you don't lose the rubber mounting pieces top and bottom corners of the rad. They like to stick to the rad and fall off when you aren't looking. For an 83 it might be hard to find correct size replacement ones and they can cost $5 - $10 each.
I couldn't find any correct ones ,but here's a pic of generic GM mounts which are likely too wide.

336591
 

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Boozebag
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Did you get an estimate to do the radiator?
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Mad Max there was only one place that takes them apart and rods them out around me. Its an actual radiator shop. They charge anywhere from $80-$125. He said he'd have to look at it first.

It hasn't been overheating for the past few days. I was driving the trick right now and it wasn't overheating. I stopped at the park for a while to let my dog run around and so it could cool. I checked the coolant freezing point and it was around -25 degrees. Off by about 10 degrees for a 50-50 mix. I added a little 100% coolant and drove it again. It didn't overheat for about 20 minutes then started to run at about 230. I stopped to get gas and used the heat gun (gauge still around 230) and it didn't show any high temps on the gun. The hottest I saw was around 195-200 maybe on the right side of the engine block. I think the gauge is bad!

Im looking for a aftermarket gauge online but an debating if i should still clean the radiator to be safe. Can someone point me to the right/cheap aftermarket gauge?
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Hey guys, Monday Im gonna take my radiator to the shop to get cleaned so Ill be taking it out tomorrow. Is it cool if I reuse the coolant that's in the truck now? I just changed it like a week ago when I flushed the system.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
The lower transmission line won’t break free. I got the bolt to break free from the radiator but can’t get the like to break free from the bolt. When I twist the bolt, it twist the line. I’ve sprayed it with PB Blaster and it hasn’t worked. Any suggestions?
 

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I got this flair kit for the line. My plan is to cut the line close to the bolt, put on a new bolt, and flair the line. Someone told me not to use heat because it will crack the line. Does this seem like the right thing to do for this?
D3651BA2-590A-4F02-9A8F-36D7905D6561.jpeg
 

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Since it's just transmission fluid line, I'd just cut it and use some rubber hose, or a compression splice.
 

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Rohtpursuit, I took your advice and am gonna use a compress fitting so I just cut the line.

I took the radiator to the shop this morning. The guy said it had to be recored. He said the heads or something were leaking and it wasn’t worth repairing. That’s why it has that green stuff along the side (you can see it in the photo below). I called another place far from me and they said they could recore it for around $220. I’m pretty sure the guy is trying to bend me over backwards. Don’t you just hate that! Whata shame! But what do I know. That could be fare.

I’m ordering a new aluminum one from advanced auto and a upper radiator hose because I had to cut the old one off. I’ll let you guys know how it goes.
022DC7BA-70B5-4793-96D4-0BDB79EEFF25.jpeg
B72C726E-F59E-4B4C-8735-519D5A259FE7.jpeg
 
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