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Overheating 40 Buick


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Ok guys, give me some of your expert advice please, took the 40 Buick out for a ride, i have done a full restoration on this car, won my 1st place senior at Hershey in 2016, engine rebuild etc, i do not drive this car very much, so i decided to start driving it this year, it's time to start driving this car and have some fun.  So after you know all of this, i took it out this past Sunday for about a 15 mile dry, when i got back and shut it off, the radiator overflowed out of the overflow tube.  I decided to take out the thermostat, took it out today watching the temperature rise as i drove at about a 50 mph pace, again when i got home same problem, temp reached about 195-200 degrees with no thermostat.  So i think it is either a clogged radiator or water pump not working, no leaks any where, so after that what would you all approach 1st, as always thanks for all the advice and help i have received from this forum!

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5 hours ago, papafarms said:

cooked out

Exactly my point.  Unless the sediment is PHYSICALLY removed, it is still there. In the 60's the GM Dealership where I worked cleaned pounds of crud out of dozens and dozens of Buick engines and we we not even a Buick Dealership.

Try it, knock out the rear plug on the side and see whats in the water jacket.  It only costs one welch plug to check.

Edited by Tinindian (see edit history)
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I cleaned my 1940 out with muriatic acid. With radiator out and water pump removed I was able to pour a couple quart bottles of muriatic into the upper water jacket hole. Filled it the rest of the way with water, let it soak for half hour, and all the rust came out, the acid was rust-brown as I rinsed out the muriatic. Runs cool as a cucumber now.

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Put the thermostat back in, after testing it. It is not the problem.

 

Dont' fill coolant closer than about 2" to the top of the radiator. Basically, just cover the bottom of the top tank. Otherwise, it will spit out the excess water when you stop.

 

What did you do to the radiator?

 

 

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HI guys, thanks for all the info, the radiator was properly done from a radiator shop a few years ago when i did the restoration, what do you all think about disconnecting the upper water jacket minus the thermostat and basically do a back flush?

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2 hours ago, Spinneyhill said:

 

Dont' fill coolant closer than about 2" to the top of the radiator. Basically, just cover the bottom of the top tank. Otherwise, it will spit out the excess water when you stop.

 

 

 

This is true.  With no overflow tank for expansion like a modern car, the top tank becomes the expansion tank, and the must be space left there for the coolant level to expand and rise. 

 

Also if the water/antifreeze mix is more than 50% antifreeze, it can overflow after stopping the engine.  Happened to me, that's how I know.  

 

My Buicks are much older and different, but if I pushed them to 50 they would heat up and run up around 200 degrees too.  Is that overheating, or normal for that speed? 

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I would say the  cooling system was a bit overfull.  When shut down it burped out coolant.  It is probably at its happy place for coolant level and not burp out any more after shutting it down.   I found out this was the case when topping of my Buicks with on overflow tank.  Eventually it finds its level and it never happens again.  

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)
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Is there actually steam? Is the coolant boiling? 200 degrees is hot, but not unreasonably if you left it sitting after a drive and it was able to heat soak. I agree with the others that if your only symptom is a little puking out of the overflow, it might simply be too full. Fill it to the top of the core, but leave the upper tank empty. It needs room for expansion. Since these cars don't have catch cans and pressurized systems, that expansion will go out the overflow tube if there's no room in the tank. Let it find its own level after driving it a few times, don't keep topping it off. Once you've driven it for a while with no more puking out of the overflow, then you can evaluate whether the cooling system needs additional help.

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Good Morning all,

 

These engines do not cool properly without the thermostat, therefore you should put it back in at your earliest convenience.  As Matt Harwood indicates, having the temperature climb after shutdown is a result of "heat soak", meaning the residual heat in the engine is not being removed by circulating coolant after shutdown.  I've found it very effective (and less mess on the garage floor) if I restart the Buick about 5 min after hot shutdown to allow the coolant circulate for a minute or so which will bring the temperature down very quickly.

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10 minutes ago, 1937 Buick 66C said:

Good Morning all,

 

These engines do not cool properly without the thermostat, therefore you should put it back in at your earliest convenience.  As Matt Harwood indicates, having the temperature climb after shutdown is a result of "heat soak", meaning the residual heat in the engine is not being removed by circulating coolant after shutdown.  I've found it very effective (and less mess on the garage floor) if I restart the Buick about 5 min after hot shutdown to allow the coolant circulate for a minute or so which will bring the temperature down very quickly.

 

Or, just don't overfill the radiator. 

 

Recently on a 90 degree day I took my 27 (different animal, I know!) for a state inspection sticker.  I had to wait over 30 minutes in the hot sun.  I shut the motor off, the dash temp gauge soared to over 200 (max on the gauge), the motometer read in the top circle, and I lost no coolant from the radiator because I left room for expansion. 

 

Are 1940's Buick cooling systems pressurized?  Makes no difference.  Pressurizing 50/50 antifreeze and water raises the boiling point, does nothing for expansion, so you can still get leakage out of the overflow if you are over full. 

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Papa,

You could do what I did, and that is to hide a quart can inside your right front fender and connect your overflow tube, with an "S" bend in it to the can.

Cut the silicone tube at a 45 and run it to the bottom of the can. It will act as a siphon, just like a "new" car does.

There is clearance between the frame and the inner panel, and the can will sit on the little ledge toward the front inside of the fender.

Just secured mine with a small bungee cord.

Don't forget to paint the can black, so nobody will know it's there.

 

Mike in Colorado

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an infrared heat gun is an ideal tool to check hot spots like the back corners of the block. It can also tell you if the flow through the  radiator is across the full width  or just down the middle.

 

They are cheap and easy to use.

 

Bob Engle

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One thought involves the coil spring inside the lower radiator hose.   After the engine cools down grasp the lower hose and try to squeeze it to feel the coils of the spring.   If you do not feel a spring inside then the engine runs hot because the lower hose is collapsing under the suction provided by the water pump, especially at speed or high RPM.

However, if there is a spring inside the lower hose and the radiator is over filled then the posts above are right on.   I also use a laser pointer type heat gun to diagnose these issues.

Joe, BCA 33493

 

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OK everyone, thanks for all of the advice, i just back flushed it this morning, will refill tomorrow and give it a try, thanks for the lower hose spring will check that tomorrow also, will let everyone know what the verdict is tomorrow, again thanks to all that gave me their tips and advice, take care and wish me luck, thanks Bob

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Here is a back flush tool that works well.   I have the first one that blue from OTC.  I have used it on both the radiator and the engine until all of the water comes out clear.

 

https://www.google.com/search?ei=LPQnXZvuMc-8tAa1yr_oAg&q=otc+radiator+back+flush+tool+with+air+assist&oq=otc+radiator+back+flush+tool+with+air+assist&gs_l=psy-ab.12...6427.7932..9705...0.0..0.120.193.1j1......0....1..gws-wiz.......0i71.vgQokGwcJrM

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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SO, took it out for a small drive, noticed the car was heating up, hanging around the 185-195 degree, so headed back, let it idle a bit then shut off, temp continued to rise to 200 while sitting in garage, i did check the bottom hose today after forgetting to check it before the drive, NO SPRING, so will take care of that soon, dont know if that could be the culprit, as i said did the back flush till clear water continued, while doing that the temp remained about 145-150.  if all this continues, will try the muratic acid treatment, again thanks to all for your continued help, thanks bob

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Bob, my first Buick was a 1940 Special back when it was just a used car. 1954, to be exact.

 

  If the coolant continues to heat past the thermostat temp while driving, the radiator is almost certainly partially plugged. NOTHING will clean it except to remove and have it rodded out. Everything else is pi++ing in the wind.  Spray the radiator with a garden hose next time it is run, after coming up to temp. The part that STAYS wet after a few minutes is plugged.

 

  Ben

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Ben's check works well and I used it on my '40 LTD.

Did you do the standard bypass valve fix yet ?

Just below the thermostat is the bypass valve housing, where the big hose comes up from the bottom of the radiator.

Pull that housing and discard what ever is left of the valve. You may have to grind out the brass shaft, if it's still there.

Tap in a frost plug of the correct size, and drill a 5/16" hole in the center.

I did this fix, as was recommended here on the forums, after fighting overheating for about 3 years, and it fixed it immediately.

This fix lets the hot water out of the head, instead of being "overpowered" by the water coming up from the radiator, as it's being sucked into the pump.

 

Mike in Colorado

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Ok, have a question for Flyer15015, i have took the bypass valve housing out and see the brass valve and shaft inside the housing, once out i dont understand what you are saying about taping a frost plug drilling a 5/16th hole in the center?, Hope you can reply to this, thanks Bob

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  If you go to the 1936-1938 Club website they have become custodians of the old 1937-1938 newsletters and an index. You can find a few articles and descriptions there. I've never felt the need to do this with my 1937.

 I believe this is what the finished product is supposed to look like;

Bypass_Mod_Bottom_Inserted.jpg

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This is how I did my ‘38 Special.

 

Used all the bits from standard and  added some brass tube from K&S Engineering (hobby shops keep it) to prevent the valve moving against the spring.

 

The tube goes over the centre brass rod and keeps the first brass cup from seating on the cast housing. You can see this better in the second picture.

 

This keeps a restriction on the flow yet allows it to bypass until it reaches the thermostat. So far it keeps good operating temperature but I also have the benefit of a recorded radiator and rebuilt water pump.

 

used a brass split pin before the install too!

Rodney 😀😀😀😀😀😀😀😀

 

AAB1592A-D0A1-4B33-8353-16804BFEB06A.jpeg

497497BA-3F17-4C84-915C-227BE7CE89AC.jpeg

Edited by rodneybeauchamp (see edit history)
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20 hours ago, 1937-44 said:

  If you go to the 1936-1938 Club website they have become custodians of the old 1937-1938 newsletters and an index. You can find a few articles and descriptions there. I've never felt the need to do this with my 1937.

 I believe this is what the finished product is supposed to look like;

Bypass_Mod_Bottom_Inserted.jpg

 

Papa,

1937-44 has it exactly right..............

Get rid of whatever is in there now, and DO THIS, and don't look back.

You will thank me  later.

 

Mike in Colorado

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/5/2019 at 11:17 AM, 27donb said:
On 7/5/2019 at 10:59 AM, 1937 Buick 66C said:

Good Morning all,

 

These engines do not cool properly without the thermostat, therefore you should put it back in at your earliest convenience.  As Matt Harwood indicates, having the temperature climb after shutdown is a result of "heat soak", meaning the residual heat in the engine is not being removed by circulating coolant after shutdown.  I've found it very effective (and less mess on the garage floor) if I restart the Buick about 5 min after hot shutdown to allow the coolant circulate for a minute or so which will bring the temperature down very quickly.

 

Or, just don't overfill the radiator. 

 

Recently on a 90 degree day I took my 27 (different animal, I know!) for a state inspection sticker.  I had to wait over 30 minutes in the hot sun.  I shut the motor off, the dash temp gauge soared to over 200 (max on the gauge), the motometer read in the top circle, and I lost no coolant from the radiator because I left room for expansion. 

 

Are 1940's Buick cooling systems pressurized?  Makes no difference.  Pressurizing 50/50 antifreeze and water raises the boiling point, does nothing for expansion, so you can still get leakage out of the overflow if you are over full. 

 

My 27-25 has no thermostat installed, and no restrictor plate, and runs and cools fine.  Warm up takes longer for sure, in the cooler months.

 

My 27-54CC still has a working thermostat, and running and cooling was always fine.  When I removed the engine to do some other work, I pulled all the freeze plugs and replaced them with temporary expandable rubber ones, leaving one freeze plug hole open.  Then I would back flush the jacket with a hose, and alternate the open freeze plug hole, even having two open holes and hosing through the freeze plug hole and out other ones, all around. 

 

What I found was a lot of rust, sediment, rust, and rust that came out.  The head plugs were particularly gunked up.  After the jacket dried and all the temporary rubber plugs were removed, I used a strong rare earth magnet and compressed air to painstakingly clean out all I could before reinstalling brass freeze plugs.

 

I'm glad I went through the process, and would do it again if I were inclined to remove another engine and freeze plugs.

 

The result?  No change or improvement in temperature control or cooling of the engine. 

 

From my experience, if I knew the day I was going to drive my Buick was going to be hot, sunny, 95 degree temps and I would have to try and maintain 45-50 mph for stretches of time, I would expect my engine to run near the top of the gauge (200), and I would not put myself or the car in that situation and would stay home.  That's just me!

 

As I said before, I think these temps are normal for engines of this vintage being driven under the described conditions.

 

Edited by 27donb (see edit history)
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Ok everyone, i would like to thank all with their advice and how to"s on my heating problem of my 40, took all advice and followed as follows, found out the radiator and a small leak and blockage, took out the bypass valve housing, installed frost plug with the 5/16th hole in it, did not fill up the radiator to allow for expansion, AFTER ALL OF THAT, GUESS WHAT------SUCCESS WHOO WHOO, it runs around 160-170 degress, took it to a show about 10 miles from me, on the interstate driving, and to top it off, my 40 won best of show, so to everyone who helped me get this problem solved, a much appreciated thanks, thanks Bob!

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On ‎7‎/‎26‎/‎2019 at 12:09 PM, 27donb said:

 

 

From my experience, if I knew the day I was going to drive my Buick was going to be hot, sunny, 95 degree temps and I would have to try and maintain 45-50 mph for stretches of time, I would expect my engine to run near the top of the gauge (200), and I would not put myself or the car in that situation and would stay home.  That's just me!

 

As I said before, I think these temps are normal for engines of this vintage being driven under the described conditions.

 

 

Sounds like my old Satoh diesel tractor. Runs great but overheats when the temperature is above 75 or 80. Operate it with the hood removed and it's good to maybe 85, but when it's 90 forget it.

 

So, I mow in the morning when it's cool, no problem.

 

latest?cb=20151106210615

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