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Discussion Starter #1
So I have a small seeping leak at the top of my radiator where there is a spot weld on the neck of the top hose outlet. I'll see a small spot of green after topping it off and driving around for more than 20 minutes.

Now it's gotten really cold here in Chicago and the cooling system is having fits. The heater will intermittantly blow hot then cold, it seems concurrently the temp gauge is going from just off cold to 1/4 off cold, whenever it comes up on the gauge it will get work, then the gauge will drop and it's get cold.

So yesterday I added some barsleak, and It's still doing this. I think what's happening is there are air bubbles in the system and the seeping leak is preventing the system from pushing/pulling coolant from the reservior properly.

can someone please explain what's going on, if I have a bigger problem I'm overlooking (failing water pump? Head gasket? whatever?). It doesn't overheat just jumps from very cold to normal operating temp while the heat comes and goes.

Please help... it's cold here!!!:confused:
 

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Most likely, when the system cools, it's sucking air into the cooling system from that leak - and you're feeling the effects of an air bubble in the system.

Fix that radiator RIGHT first.

Hopefully the Bar's Leak doesn't cause any secondary problems.

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, I prep'd and applied a spot of JBWeld on the outside, and the barsleak on the inside last night. I drove home, opened it up and was over a gallon low so I think your absolutely right, I'm overheating from air bubbles, pushes water out, then draws air back in through the leak.

I'll verify I got it fixed today.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So the problem persists, this morning after topping it off every day since the weekend it got hot enough to set off the dummy light.

The radiator is full after sitting overnight (very cold) the mix should be sufficient to prevent freezing, I put a gallon of straight into a more water than antifreeze mix. Temp gauge goes to 3/4 on the dial and the check gauges light comes on 10 minutes into the morning drive. There is no heat??

Over the past week I’ve experienced short relatively quick changes in the temp gauge followed by coincidental changes in the heater output.
I knew of the pinhole leak/seep but when it was warmer everything worked OK, since it has gotten really cold and stayed that way things have become more and more jiggered. I splooged a drop of JB Weld onto the seep last Thursday or Friday and it seemed to stop the air getting into the system.

Questions:
How does a water pump fail?
Heater core has nothing to do with cooling the engine, yes? (except that it adds to the reservoir capacity)
What next?
 

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Change your thermostat with a good one like a Stant, and change your radiator cap, the cap might be leaking causing they system to pull air. When topping the coolant off use a 50/50 mix, straight coolant is not good for the system, because it will not protect ad well in these freezing temperatures. Good thing is this parts are usually cheeeeep. As for the bars, as long as your not dumping more than 10 tabs you should be fine, General Motors actually reccomends dropping 3 tablets into the northstar motors every oil change. If you're need anymore troubleshooting tips give me a call MrPlatoribs
 

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Bars leak is garbage, you should never put that into your cooling system - it usually doesnt go where its supposed to, it can clog up your engine block. I usually find it caked around the thermostat. JB weld isnt a correct repair either.

You should have replaced the radiator.

Pull the thermostat out, make sure its not clogged. Remove the line from the radiator cap to the overflow tank and make sure its not restricted as well. Replace your radiator with a new one. Like RalphP said, your cooling system may be pulling air in through the leak instead of the overflow tank.

Most common water pump failures are from the bearing going bad, the seal leaking causing coolant to come out the weep hole, or a neglected system can rust the impeller blades off the pump itself causing poor circulation. You may have a restricted heater core, I would pull the hoses off and back flush it with a garden hose.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Will do all this weekend. Thermostat, have two motorcraft with jiggle valve, new radiator, new water pump, back flush heater core. Is there a better water pump or does it not matter so much (reliable component regardless of mfg?)

Is there any kind of slovent that can be used to encourage sludge to come out during back flushin the engine, heater core?

Thanks in advance all for suggestions. I had reservations about the barsleak too, maybe I've created my own problem...

Just got a diagnosis from a knowledgable SC resource telling me it's probably the Head Gaskets:(

So I guess I'll have to go to my bench... 92 SC or 95 SHO Hmmm?
 

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Ahh.. you can handle all of that, you own GEN2 SHOs! Its nothing compaired to the 60K stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I try not to work on the SHO's, f'ing FWD clusterfudge.

I'd rather be driving than wrenching... just my $0.02...

And just my $0.02 is why I usually have to DIMyself... too cheap to pay someone!

But yeah, my goal is to get familiar enough to maintain my own stuff.:confused:
 
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