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1919 Buick running a bit warm, boiling over when stopped after a drive.


jguedel
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Good morning, I wanted to tap into this community to see if anyone else has had a 1919 Buick H-45 or similar with a 6 cylinder engine that runs a bit warm. I just acquired this vehicle, changed the belt from the leather , which was too loose, to a rubber belt. If I run the car a few miles and stop the engine the radiator boils over. The moto meter is only registering about half way up the scale. Thanks for any ideas or help. John

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There is a guy here with an early Buick with heating issues also. He has a thread somewhere...........and is still working on it. I think his is a 1918, I expect he will respond.......from the mid west if I remember right.

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I have a car with the same engine, E-49. I had a lot of cooling problems but don't have them anymore.

 

I'd like to know how well you de-rusted the water jacket, such as things like removing the frost plugs or soaking it in muriatic or evaporust, that sort of thing. If the water jacket is full of rust the car won't cool enough. Also, how did you clean out the radiator?

 

The reason it only boils over after you shut it off is, the head temperature is much higher than the radiator temperature, so when it's running, the cooler water from the radiator and water pump passes through the head and picks up heat, the head might be above the boiling point but as long as it's running the water going through the head doesn't get hot enough to boil, but when you shut the car off the water sits in the head and keeps getting hotter until it boils out the tube and into the radiator. The water in the radiator is NOT boiling, just the water in the head.

 

 

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John, 

    Morgan started this thread and we are both running Evans coolant in our cars.  I know he will chime in.  You can find the reasoning behind this if you read thru the attachment.  Regardless of the coolant, you do need room for thermal expansion.  I keep my coolant level about 1/2" above the top of the tubes.  If I ever see bare tubes, it is time to add back any lost fluid.  If this is the issue, an easy enough fix.  

The fan is basically used for idling and low speed operation.  While moving, air naturally passes across the radiator.  If you are exercising the engine - higher RPM's, traveling up hills, That puts more load on the system and the radiator needs to remove that heat.  All good until you pull off to the side of the road and shut the engine off.  No spark adding heat, but no heat removal either.  This is when you see overheating many times.   You can also get overheating just driving at speed.  If the radiator is fouled and can't keep up.  You did not mention, but your radiator fluid should be absolutely clear.  Tinted perhaps but clear.  When you look at the top of the tubes in the radiator  - do they look clean, or do you see build up.   It is possible you have a fouled radiator.  You will want to consider running a flush in the coolant if it is not clear.  Ignition timing needs to be set correctly as well.   

I am surprised the motometer did not read past half way.  You can check it on the stove.  It should be well into the top if the water is boiling.  Keep in mind these are not precision instruments.  I have an electronic temperature monitor on the head in my car which has helped with my understanding of what I see with my 1925 Buick.    Hugh   

 

https://forums.aaca.org/topic/351505-evans-npg-coolant/?tab=comments#comment-2115103

 

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Thank you Morgan and Hugh. I can say that the coolant coming out of the overflow tube looks very clean. I was wondering about Evans coolant. I will get some of that, do a flush and then put that in and see how it does. I do think my system has been too full. Thank you all for the feedback and expertise. 

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One of the handy tools for checking cooling systems is an infrared thermometer.  They are inexpensive and can check for hot and cold spots on a running engine and tell you whether the entire radiator is flowing coolant.  No point in guessing when you can gather information to determine if there is a problem.

 

Bob Engle

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11 hours ago, Robert Engle said:

One of the handy tools for checking cooling systems is an infrared thermometer.  They are inexpensive and can check for hot and cold spots on a running engine and tell you whether the entire radiator is flowing coolant.  No point in guessing when you can gather information to determine if there is a problem.

 

Bob Engle

 

Good point. My IR thermometer has told me that with Evans, the heads run a little hotter and the radiator runs a little cooler than with pure water. This makes sense when you consider that water has better heat transfer properties than anything. The heads run 230 instead of 210, the radiator is 160 instead of 180. But 20 degrees hotter head temperature, running 230 instead of 210, is nothing compared to the nightmare of boil overs. 230 degrees never hurt steel, and Evans boils at 375 so I'm loving the fact that it can't boil over.

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I am not a fan of Evans coolant.  The cars were made to run fine in the day with just water or a mixture of water and alcohol.  They will run fine with that mixture, but I always use 50/50 mixture of water and coolant for the improved heat transfer and anti corrosion protection.  

 

Fix the problem, not the symptom.  You will be much happier in the long run and the car will perform better.

 

On my '15 truck, the cooling system was totally gunked up with build up, etc...  I ran a de-ruster through the system multiple times (actually full strength household bleach, the commercial stuff did nothing), took off the cooling tubes to the blocks and ran a stiff wire down and around the cylinder jugs and used a power flusher until I did not get any thing out of the system any more.  That fixed the overheating on the truck for a couple of years until the old radiator started to just spring leaks.  Had a new radiator made and it will not overheat in a 90degF parade.

 

On the '13, it would run kind of cool when driving but when stopped would boil over. I tried the same work as I did on the truck with no success.  Upon close observation, it appeared that the radiator might have had water in it and frozen which expanded the tubes so the heat sink fins were loose to the tubes.  Looked ok, but were loose.  Made a new radiator and that car is now fixed.  It does not overheat at all.  I use a 50/50 antifreeze in both vehicles.

 

Again,  Fix the problem, not the symptom.

 

Note: both radiators were put in the hot dip tank at my radiator repair shop multiple times. Helped some, but did not fix the problem.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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6 hours ago, Larry Schramm said:

  I ran a de-ruster through the system multiple times (actually full strength household bleach, the commercial stuff did nothing),

 

Do not, I repeat do NOT, use bleach as a rust remover. It will not remove any rust and will make it rust much faster. Rust removers remove oxygen from the iron oxide. Clorox does the opposite.....it is full of oxygen, loosely attached to its hypochlorite ion, the oxygen will jump on the iron like Mike Tyson on Roy Jones Jr. before the extra punches get discovered after 4 AM the next day and Jones is declared the winner elect.

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I don't have a problem to fix.  I did not buy the Evans to fix a problem.  Evans is $45 per gallon.  50/50 green OATS is $15 per gallon.  The Buick takes 3 gallons.  The green antifreeze is a 2 year antifreeze, Evans is lifetime.  After 6 years, it's the same investment and I have not had to drain, flush, and refill my radiator twice.  For the same reason, I use Mobile 1 Synthetic in my new car.  The owners manual says with regular oils the change frequency is every 5,000 miles.  With Synthetic it is every 10,000 miles.  The synthetic is twice the price, but 1 less oil change.   

I pulled the motor apart and cleaned all the galleries.  Evans does not want water in the system, so I never ran it with antifreeze.   Nothing wrong with antifreeze, it's just another choice. 

But I get other benefits:

The back side of every radiator shell (and I have 3 at the house) has rust from the antifreeze and water that sat in it and came out the overflow.  I sandblasted this and replated the shell.  I won't have any more rust here.   

I live in Texas.  My car has always been in Texas.  I am sure the radiator is adequate at best, but likely not robust being a zero pressure system.  The Evans provides an additional margin to prevent boil over - because it wont.   

Hugh

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Water has a boiling point of 212degF, and a 50/50 mix has a boiling point of 223degF.  From google:

 

Water turns into steam at 212°F. Mixing traditional ethylene glycol antifreeze with water in a 50-50 ratio increases the boiling point to 223°F, which is close to the operating temperature of an engine. ... The high boiling point ensures that the coolant remains liquid at all times, enabling consistently effective cooling.

 

 

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Don't overlook spark timing.  A retarded timing will case the same overheating issue.   I have 3 of my old cars running up to 10 deg or more more advanced than spec.   My 47 Pontiac would over  heat at idle or in parades at very low speeds at 5- deg ambient.  It now will idle forever and never overheat.  Dramatic.    Modern fuels with these low compression engines means the original spec is too low.

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