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1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 12-14-2004, 12:57 PM   #1
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Default whizzing radiator

i was under the hood for no good reason and noticed the coolant was low. filled 'er up and went on my way. saw some steam rising while sitting at a stop light and decided to take another look at the next gas station...

well, have you ever seen your radiator take a whiz on your hood latch? it was pretty funny. then i realized there was a damn hole in the radiator and I have to fix it. it was the smallest little pinhole looking thing on the top row, just shooting a steady stream at the back of the hood latch.

it did all the leaking it was going to do and now that the coolant is low again there'* no more leak. the engine doesn't run hotter than before (~200 to 210), so how long can i go running low fluid before this becomes a major issue?

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Old 12-14-2004, 01:52 PM   #2
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Depending on the size of the hole, the exact location, and the material of the radiator, this may be repairable without replacing the radiotor.

The correct way, it it is on a metal part is to have it soldered. Your garden variety soldering iron and solder probably won't be up to it, tho. You need a welding iron and some pretty heavy gauge solder. But, when I stil lived with my folks (many, many moons ago) I have done it. My Dad has/had one of them puppies. Saved us a lot of money in the long run

If it'* a plastic part, and still a small hole, it can be epoxied. Again, you're probably not going to get away with buying your parts at the local WalMart. But, with the appropriate high temp expoxy, it can be repaired.

The cheap, non recommended way to seal a pinhole in either medium is good old JB Weld. Clean the surface like nothing you've ever cleaned before. Scuff the surface, and apply the JB Weld in thin layers. Get a little bigger each time, making sure the first layer is really rammed into the hole. I actuall fixed a cracked head on a Corsica using the JB Weld method.

Finally, if the hole is more than just a pinhole, you can again used JB Weld or another high temp sealant, but you will want to liberally apply it to the threads of a very small machine screw, which you then screw into the hole. Then, apply the chosen sealant liberally arond the joint between the screw head and the radiator. Then, one this layer has dried, 2 or 4 more thin layers over the whole thing to ensure it is sealed. This method is NOT recommended as a permanent fix. Nor is it recommended for an area where the screw will reduce coolant flow. But, I know for a fact that it does work Not all of us have always had the money for the "recommended" fixes, and have learned how to make due with what we had around at the time...
John 1998 SE Midnight Blue Pearl
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