94 SE - Cooling system rebuild begins - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 10-01-2011, 12:34 AM   #1
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Default 94 SE - Cooling system rebuild begins

Bright and early tomorrow, I'm going to begin by far the most work I've done on Bonnie at a single time.

Major items:
- Radiator replacement
- Water pump replacement
- LIM gaskets
- UIM plenum & gasket

Other items:
- Heater hoses and clamps
- Oil level sensor
- Oil pan gasket

I just recently replaced the coolant bypass hose which looked to be the stock hose and was leaking under just about any pressure. After repairing it, it sprung a bunch of other leaks in the system which probably haven't been under much pressure in a while. So I decided I finally want to nip this in the butt and do it the right way.

Hopefully I'll be making it work on Monday... It'* a bit more intimidating seeing all of that listed out.

I think my game plan is to start with the radiator and then the intake and heater hoses, since those are the critical ones. I'm replacing the water pump more as a preventative thing because I can see the gasket crumbling away so I know it'* only a matter of time. Then hit the oil sensor and gasket along with the full oil change. Then depending on the progress with those, move onto the water pump if time permits. Let me know your thoughts, Wish me luck!
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:57 AM   #2
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good time for a serp belt if you havent done it lately too
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:05 AM   #3
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I replaced it about 20k ago, but I did notice it was cracking some so may not be a bad idea
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:21 PM   #4
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How familiar are you with the LIM process? Don't forget things like putting RTV at the joint for the pieces of the LIM gasket and torquing it down in the correct sequence. Very important.

Give yourself a lot of time if it is your first time, but don't let it scare you. If I could figure it out, you can figure it out!
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:22 PM   #5
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Two hours in, radiator out and plenu one bolt away from being free. Had to use some liquid wench on the exhaust crossover shield, letting it soak and getting lunch. maybe this won't be so bad after all
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Old 10-01-2011, 01:24 PM   #6
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I've gotten into it once before, but I don't think I did everything quite right last , hence here I an doing out again two years later. I've come a long way since then though I've read through the write UPS on here a number of times so hopefully I'll get it right this time. Wish I could have found aluminum gaskets!
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:05 PM   #7
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Just cleaned the surfaces for the gaskets of the LIM, taking a break before I install. The coolant elbow ended up throwing me a curveball and I couldn't remember how to get it off. So I ended up pulling the PS pump and bracket so I could take it off in one piece, then removed it. The trick is the tiny bolt and a hard yank I think having the extra space will help with the water pump though, so I'm not too upset about it. Also, the bolt in the rear driver'* side corner was a bit tricky. It had a sensor connection directly above it, and I didn't have a wrench big enough to pull the sensor. So I ended up just having to wrench it loose.

So my biggest concern right now is the heater hoses. How the heck are you supposed to get to them on the heater end? It'* in the corner behind the top of the strut and something AC related. I pulled the fusebox cover and can see them a little better. I think I could get the top one off, but I'm not sure about the lower one. Anyone done this before?
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:02 PM   #8
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I hope you took pics, because I need to do this very thing on mine.
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:14 PM   #9
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I've taken a few. If I have time I'll try to take a few more as I'm putting it back together. I'm in a major pinch at the moment though, so time may not be of essence..

So I had the LIM off along with just about everything else, and I decided while it'* open I'd go ahead and give the water pump a go. I lift up the engine a little bit and got the through bolt out of the torque axis engine mount. Then I go to loosen the other bolts on the engine mount, and my extension shears. Extension down the drain.

So I say okay I can always get away without doing the water pump if I have to. I'm just down an extension and that 15 mm socket, I have another. So I put the gaskets on the LIM, the beads of RTV on the corners and all as recommended, and the RTV on the bolts and begin thread all of them in just a little by hand, still well above the LIM though so no pressure is on it. I tighten it in the sequence 1-8 at half torque, I get to bolt 9 and it is the one under the sensor connector. It got pushed up out of the hole and is at an angle jammed into the sensor. So I have to loosen bolts 1-8, lift it up, thread 9 about halfway by hand, then re torque again. I got through and have all of them at half toque, about 70 inch pounds. I start full torquing, and my 3/8 socket cracks down the side. ^&%)!!!!!!!

So I'm without a car, I walked to the gas station and CVS because they are right on the corner. I thought the gas station might have a basic socket, but no luck. CVS of course not, but I figured what the hell I'll try. So are these gaskets hosed? The RTV is going to dry overnight, then is going to go to the crapper when I finish torquing? Can I just clean the RTV off the gaskets and block and reapply? What'* do I do here?

Also, still please tell me how to get to the heater hoses..
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:59 PM   #10
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I also wanted a clarification. On DanThurs LIM writeup, he says torque to 132 inch pounds for LIM bolts. On AutoZone'* it says only torque to 23 inch pounds. These are significantly difference. So what'* the deal? I thought maybe it meant for upper intake, but even that is 1/4 of the UIM torque. Here is the section:

"Position a new intake manifold gasket, then place the intake manifold over it. Apply a suitable threadlocking sealer to the retaining bolts, then install and tighten them twice, in the sequence shown in the accompanying figure, to 23 inch lbs. (10 Nm). "

This is for 1991-97 engines it says.
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