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Is it time for a radiator, 83 gl wagon


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4 replies to this topic

#1 tompalushock

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 09:44 PM

Please some one, i need some good advice. I just drove my wagon from st pete florida, to asbury park nj. On the way up about two hours in, after speeds over 75 the gauge started to creep up and up. I pulled over , let it cool down, and it was fine till i got to the interstate speed. Well i did make it here, of course i had to keep the heat vent on the whole way. I got stuck in a two hour traffic jam in d.c. and the gauge went back to normal, and was fine as long as i kept in under 65. So someone tell me, is it time for a radiator, and where is the best place i can get one, whether here in N.J. [I am near asbury park} or online, and please if there is a certain model i should look for , don't forget to include that in with your anticipated reply. Thank's, Tom

#2 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 09:47 PM

Yup... sounds like it needs a radiator. Might wanna change the thermostat 1st to see. If you are strapped for cash, you can pull the radiator out of the car and give it a good cleaning. Spray the fins real good and make sure there is no mud or dirt trapped in there. Then backflush the rad a few times, then flush it and repeat.

I bought a radiator for my '86 Brat from Kragen Auto Parts for $150. I heard you can find them online for $100 or $120... but i didnt want to wait for delivery.

Just give them the year and model of your car. Tell them if its manual or automatic as well.

-Brian

#3 tompalushock

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 11:06 PM

I may try that, but i may just go the new route. But if i do clean it, can you give me some tips, what to use, what to look for, and what to be careful of, i have never cleaned a radiator before, so i don't want to be using a powerwasher, or anything like that do i? just a regular garden hose, and a screwdriver? I am not playing dumb, i just want to know how far i can go, in terms of "cleaning"

#4 bushbasher

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 11:25 PM

you could try pulling out your t-stat and see if it still overheats. It'll take longer to get to proper temp, but it should be fine if it's warm out. If it stops then obviously it's the t-stat, if it doesn't it is likely the rad restricting the flow. On the radiator it doesn't matter what you do as long as the passages end up clean and you haven't gouged or bent anything. Power washer sounds quick and easy.

#5 asavage

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Posted 02 September 2003 - 11:46 PM

Originally posted by tompalushock
On the way up about two hours in, after speeds over 75 the gauge started to creep up and up. I pulled over , let it cool down, and it was fine till i got to the interstate speed. I got stuck in a two hour traffic jam in d.c. and the gauge went back to normal, and was fine as long as i kept in under 65.



I don't know the '83 GL, so this is only generic advise, but I have seen this on three vehicles over the years.

If it doesn't overheat at idle or low speed, but does at higher speeds, check the lower radiator hose. Many vehicles are supposed to have an anti-collapse spring in the lower hose, so that when the engine is revved and the pump is pulling hard, the lower hose doesn't collapse. You can check this easily: with a hot engine (coolant up to temp), open hood and watch the lower hose while opening the throttle with one hand. Rev it up to 3-4k or so and hold it there for five seconds or so. Hose should not change in diameter appreciably. If you see it start to flatten out, you've found your problem.

I've had three cars over the years (non-Subarus) with the springs either missing or rusted out (from lack of regular coolant changes -- every two year!).




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