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1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 01-05-2005, 08:42 PM   #1
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Default fluid leakage

Well, I have another problem. It'* been going on for awhile, but I need to do something about it. In the days it'* been getting to -30C constantly I am starting to get coolant leaks and a little bit of tranny fluid. At first it wasn't bad, but today when I ran the car it was dripping from several locations. The worst was the upper rad hose, I tightened it but it wouldn't go much further. The lower rad hose was leaking too, and there were drops running along of the bottom of the rad. I don't think I've found all the places its leaking from, where else should I check?

Anyway, I can replace the two hoses myself, but I'm afraid if I take the plug out of the bottom of my radiator it won't go back in tightly and seal right since it'* so rusty. Does anyone think this will be a problem?

Now to the tranny fluid. It'* not leaking as badly as the coolant (only a few drops occaisionally) but I don't know from where. It looks like it may be coming from the drivers side of the radiator, near the bottom. (or in that general location).

I can order the hoses easy enough, but where should I get the clamps?

Anyway, thanks again. Winter+Old Cars=teh suckage
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:22 PM   #2
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Okay, replacing the radiator hose will drain out all the coolant.. so it will be a PITA when cold. If you do replace the hoses, you will have to flush the coolant.. not exactly something I would want to do in -30*C. The problem I have, is I cannot remove mine. I have drained my coolant [taking shop vac to radiator cap].. I have cut it, but I just can't get it off. Chances are if your tubes are rusted around them, they aren't going to be easy to remove. At this age, it doesn't surprise me.

The tranny leak, is the tranny cooler lines [mine too have little cracks in them, and leaks a few drops upon cold, initial startup]. They aren't hard to replace, but I think you will be draining your tranny fluid while you are replacing them. Don't quote me on that, I have never replaced them. I'd replace them with some super heavy duty lines, the most expensive you can afford. Another member [harofreak00] is having some trouble with his lines, and although I don't think our cars suffer from that problem, I wouldn't want to risk dropping 6quarts of ATF on the middle of the highway and losing my tranny in -30*C temps.

EDIT: Forgot about the clamps. Usually the hoses come with them, otherwise you will just use some regular [i forgot their name] clamps. The screw type... that ****.


-justin
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:50 PM   #3
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Yea, the cold was a big problem. What I was going to do is pull her into the garage and get a couple of space heaters going for an hour or two. My dad did this the last time he needed to work on his car in the winter and it worked alright.

Say I can get my hoses off, would it be alright to just let the fluid drain from the lower rad hose instead of the plug? Then I would collect the fluid, change the hoses (IF they will come off) and then refill it with the fluid I collected. Theoretically that should work ok?

I won't touch it for now, but I guess that would be my only choice if it starts leaking bad. I don't want to have to top off rad fluid every week.

I will leave the tranny lines alone for now, since it'* not that bad...if it'* level gets low I can just add a little more correct?

Oh, and I'm also having a problem with one of my front tires. It will be fine for a week, and then one morning (when it gets crazy cold overnight) it will be flat. I fill it up, and it stays for a week or two, and goes flat in the next deepfreeze. Is there any thing I can do, or is the tire garbage?

thanks
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Old 01-05-2005, 11:52 PM   #4
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Okay, my suggestion, Don't go throught the trouble of pouring your old coolant back in, unless you flushed the cooling system in the last 6months. But, yes, it is safe for you to just disconnect the hose, and let it drain down. The Top Radiator hose is easy to remove, but the bottom isn't quite as easy. Not to mention it is usually neglected, and isn't replaced as frequently as the top [if at all].

Keep an eye on the tranny fluid level. As long as you have the proper level, all will be fine.

The tire... welcome to the world of Aluminum wheels. It'* been several months since I have filled my tires, and driven the car. Mine are at about 20PSI. The only thing I can think of, is the rims. Does it just go absolutely flat overnight, or does it slowly leak, and then overnight it just leaks enough to be a problem? You may want to take it to a tire shop, and have them see what they can do. With this kind of weather, testing your tire for leaks... wouldn't be so hot.

Working in a garage with heaters is totally cheating. Try working outside in the snow with 0*F temps .


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Old 01-06-2005, 12:11 AM   #5
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Actually, yea the coolant was changed in August, so it would just seem like such a waste to dump it all out. So yea...I'll keep an eye on my levels and decide on what action to take.

Now for that stupid tire. It goes completely flat in one night alone. It will be just fine for the whole week, and in that one night it will be gone. The first time it went completely flat, the second time it lost about 1/2 its pressure. I'll have it checked out...I figured it was the actual rubber tire, and since I have a full sized spare in the trunk (the rim is bent on it) I was going to have the rubber switched between that spare and the front tire.

Yea, I think the heated garage is cheating too, but sometimes that -40C wind (cool...thats actually -40F as well) is to much to bear. Stupid winter on the Canadian Prairies

thank for the help!
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Old 01-06-2005, 02:21 AM   #6
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On the tire leak issue, you might check your valve stem (where you fill them with air, if you didn't know). Those things have replaceable valves, which can become unscrewed, or may have never been tight enough. Auto places have wrenches just for such valves. As cold as it is right now, that would be the easiest and quickest thing to check

And yeah, like OSGuy said, it could be that the rim has corosion on it. There'* really no way to tell, aside from elimination. If the valve cores are good and snug, your next stop would be to a tire place, I say. The tires themselves are usually not bad (unless you've got a screw or nail or something), so perhaps they could just clean up the rim and remount it for you.
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Old 01-06-2005, 10:54 PM   #7
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yeah, i had that problem too. had road hazard warranty on my new tires, so they put sealent between the rim and the bead. that fixed her right up until some lady creamed the car.

-40F is freakin cold. the coldest we see in the south is probly about 12 F. the whole town shuts down with a couple inches of snow on the ground, which happens once every winter if we are lucky. send some snow down would you. id like to see the faces of people down here if we had weather like you did.
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Old 01-06-2005, 11:13 PM   #8
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Heh, a couple of inches?! We got 18 inches over two days, and life continues normally. It took about 4-5 hours to clear the driveway, with 3-4 people working continuously. I can't drive the Bonneville at all when it'* like that. It'* way to low to the ground and gets stuck in seconds. The family just uses the Explorer in 4x4, it gets the job done. Most sedans don't stand a chance if theres no ruts to drive in though. Luckily with bad snow, we have a good plowing system so it'* only really like that for a little while. The main streets are plowed right away and the res. in the next week or so.

The cold just makes the cars taking a beating, everything goes wrong. This is the first winter I've had this car. In the summer, the problems were next to nil, now my tires go flat, my car starts crappy, rad is leaking, tranny lines are leaking, the heat died, etc..

It'* still fun watching the ricers get stuck everywhere, though.

edit: I made a little summer/winter comparison in my sig. The Bonneville just blocks the blowing snow and makes a large drift on the passenger side, as you can see by the absence of snow turning into a large 7 foot wall of shovelled snow. And yes, I am aware of the crap (anti-freeze (alot) and oil (not so much)...)under my engine...
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Old 01-07-2005, 04:01 PM   #9
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Aluminum wheels have been known to be porous. Several times have had tires just go flat but usually takes several weeks. Squirt gun full of soapy water is a good way to find leaks, if goes flat overnight it should be easy to find.

Stems should always be replaced when you get new tires - the schrader valve remover is often found with bycycle accessories, have also seem valve caps with a remover on top. BTW schradrer valves are not expected to seal really well, valve caps are essential for tires, air shocks, FI rails, and a/c.

Right way to fix a porous wheel is to first get very clean and then paint the inside of the rim (part that is covered by the tire) with a very good latex paint. Quick way to repair is to apply can of fix-a-flat that includes a sealant. Just one - if the tire still goes flat after one can it is time for the soapy water test.
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