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24 replies to this topic

#1 edrach

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 03:38 PM

Jrach is out of Bozeman and getting close to Billings. Car seems to be running okay but is slowly loosing water (not out the exhaust) but somewhere in the engine compartment. He's adding a quart of water about every 60 miles. I'm beginning to think he should pack it in in Billings. Crossing North Dakota to try to make it to Minneapolis seems pretty risky to me. Any Board members in Billings, MT?

#2 RickOregon

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 04:23 PM

see below..

#3 RickOregon

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 04:24 PM

Jrach is out of Bozeman and getting close to Billings. Car seems to be running okay but is slowly loosing water (not out the exhaust) but somewhere in the engine compartment. He's adding a quart of water about every 60 miles. I'm beginning to think he should pack it in in Billings. Crossing North Dakota to try to make it to Minneapolis seems pretty risky to me. Any Board members in Billings, MT?


What's he driving? Turbo? Hoses?

I drove out last week to Grand Forks to rescue our son's GL-10 with tranny problems. We're headed back to Oregon early Wednesday morning via I-94 to Billings, then Bozeman, then down to Idaho Falls and over to Burns via Boise. If I can be of any assistance considering that time frame, let me know. I'd be happy to take a look and offer my limited knowledge, skills, and abilities. Also have loads of tools I brought along in the event of a major overhaul....

Tell me more about the vehicle. -Rick

#4 NorthWet

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 04:49 PM

Brat with EA81.

Ed, what is the status of the radiator cap? If it is all the way down he might want to consider half-way, or even off, if the temp and altitude allows it .

#5 Humble Nuto 53

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 05:01 PM

im in minnesota, and i gotta tell you theres no used ea81's to be had....

chef tim knows of a yard in south dakota with a hatch or two
stuntmatt has a brat for sale in detroit area 200.00

if youre gonna long block that brat do it out west where you have parts.

all i can offer is a place to stop for a while here. cant put anyone up overnight
and garage space is at a premium :P

if you need a hand once near let me know

#6 edrach

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 06:11 PM

It's an '84 Brat with 5 d/r speed tranny and a not quite stock EA81 engine (rebuilt from the crank up less than 12K miles ago with a weber and delta cam). Unfortunately I used my original water pump which crapped out last night. My son replaced the water pump this morning and left Bozeman just after 11 heading for Billings and then I-94. I got a call from him around 1:30 and he's losing coolent (about a quart every 60 miles). My suspicion is he didn't re-tighten one of the hoses or a slight gasket leak around the water pump or thermostat housing (he removed the thermostat). The temp indicators on the engine do not indicate he's overheated the engine and the temp guage confirms that. I haven't heard from him in the last three hours which is either very good news or bad news. Thanks for the offer of help, but aren't you quite a ways away from him in Bend? Oops I just re-read your post; possibly you will be passing him in the next day or so or if he's lucky, he'll be heading home about the same time as you're heading back.

What's he driving? Turbo? Hoses?

I drove out last week to Grand Forks to rescue our son's GL-10 with tranny problems. We're headed back to Oregon early Wednesday morning via I-94 to Billings, then Bozeman. If I can be of any assistance considering that time frame, let me know. I'd be glad to take a look and offer my limited home mechanics knowledge, skills, and abilities. Also have loads of tools I brought along in the event of a major overhaul....

Tells me more about the rig. -Rick



#7 edrach

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 06:13 PM

Good call; he hasn't noticed where the leak is and it might just be going out the over flow. I'll let him know; he's in the flat-lands now so that might just work. Thanks.---ed---

Brat with EA81.

Ed, what is the status of the radiator cap? If it is all the way down he might want to consider half-way, or even off, if the temp and altitude allows it .



#8 edrach

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 06:14 PM

Thanks for that offer to put him up. I doubt he needs an engine. It appeared by noon that the water pump was the source of all that. I'll PM you if you don't mind. Thanks.

im in minnesota, and i gotta tell you theres no used ea81's to be had....

chef tim knows of a yard in south dakota with a hatch or two
stuntmatt has a brat for sale in detroit area 200.00

if youre gonna long block that brat do it out west where you have parts.

all i can offer is a place to stop for a while here. cant put anyone up overnight
and garage space is at a premium :P

if you need a hand once near let me know



#9 chef_tim

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 06:20 PM

Hey Ed, not sure how close he will be to me but my services are yours if he's in the area. I'll PM you my numbers. Tim

#10 RickOregon

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 06:23 PM

Good idea about the radiator cap, but maybe that's all he needs is a new one. I've had new ones go bad, because the gasket was too large a diameter - manufacturing defect. If it's going out the overflow, but the engine temp is normal, might be a bad radiator cap... just my 2 cents worth...

#11 edrach

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 06:26 PM

Engine temp has been normal the entire way other than when the water pump let go.....and then it suddenly went down to 0! and not up (no water next to sensor I guess).

Good idea about the radiator cap, but maybe that's all he needs is a new one. I've had new ones go bad, because the gasket was too large a diameter - manufacturing defect. If it's going out the overflow, but the engine temp is normal, might be a bad radiator cap... just my 2 cents worth...



#12 NorthWet

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 07:40 PM

Good call; he hasn't noticed where the leak is and it might just be going out the over flow. I'll let him know; he's in the flat-lands now so that might just work. Thanks.---ed---

I was actually meaning it the other way around :-p : Loosen the cap to keep pressure from building up and pushing water out of any loose connections or leaky gaskets.

If water is rising high enough and under enough pressure to go out of the overflow and empty his radiator, then there are serious things wrong. The normal water level in that radiator should be about 2 inches below the rad cap. Water at the rad cap level when the total volume of water is low would be a bad sign.

#13 RickOregon

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 07:43 PM

Ed, I just went out and looked under the hood of our son, Brett's, '88 GL-10 wagon. On his car the temp sensor is upstream of the thermostat. So, I'm thinking maybe, if the coolant system on your son's car is similar, he may have a stuck thermostat or one that was placed in backwards - if that's even possible...

Once the engine looses enough coolant through excessive heating, there might only be vapor or mostly air below the thermostat, explaining the sudden zero temp reading. It's a long shot, but if that's the situation, he'd best stop driving and remove the thermostat - then he could resume the trip.

One indication of overheating [with a zero temp reading] would be a drop in oil pressure as the oil gets very hot and viscosity drops. Again, this is just a guess.. Later, Rick

#14 edrach

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 07:53 PM

James has already removed the thermostat; he was so concerned with overheating after the water pump was replaced I don't think he waited long enough for the water temp to open the thermostat. He removed it figuring that if it's stuck closed it's a problem and with no thermostat in there, the worst that could happen would be it would run cooler. As a matter of fact the original engine always ran at 1/4 on the temp guage; when we installed the weber with a new manifold we found the thermostat missing. We installed a thermostat and the car ran at mid range on the temp guage ever since. Also, the analysis of the temp guage going to zero is correct; when the water pump dumped, air would make the sensor read low. The engine rebuilder installed overtemp telltales on the engine and they are still intact so I doubt any actual overheating occurred.

Ed, I just went out and looked under the hood of our son, Brett's, '88 GL-10 wagon. On his car the temp sensor is upstream of the thermostat. So, I'm thinking maybe, if the coolant system on your son's car is similar, he may have a stuck thermostat or one that was placed in backwards - if that's even possible...

Once the engine looses enough coolant through excessive heating, there might only be vapor or mostly air below the thermostat, explaining the sudden zero temp reading. It's a long shot, but if that's the situation, he'd best stop driving and remove the thermostat - then he could resume the trip.

One indication of overheating [with a zero temp reading] would be a drop in oil pressure as the oil gets very hot and viscosity drops. Again, this is just a guess.. Later, Rick



#15 northguy

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 07:58 PM

Ed,
If he's still having problems when he wits northern Wisconsin, I have a brother who lives in Wausau. He'd put him up and he also has garage space if needed.

#16 edrach

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 08:20 PM

Matt, thank you for the offer. I'll let James know. Can you PM me info to relay? I'm trying to convince Austin and James to perhaps do the trip from Twin Cities to Marquette in his Impreza with the trailer. It'll be much easier to spell the driver since there'd be room to sleep for two others if necessary. And it would give the Brat some much needed rest. If I remember correctly the time for that round trip is less than 8 hours but it's been a while since I was out there.

Ed,
If he's still having problems when he wits northern Wisconsin, I have a brother who lives in Wausau. He'd put him up and he also has garage space if needed.



#17 edrach

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 08:23 PM

See you can teach an old dog new tricks. I was always under the impression to fill to the base of the neck of the radiator. What you're suggesting leaves room for expansion of the water as the temp increases to operating temp. He's likely doing what I've incorrectly suggested to him and overfilling it.

The normal water level in that radiator should be about 2 inches below the rad cap.



#18 GLCraig

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 08:34 PM

See you can teach an old dog new tricks. I was always under the impression to fill to the base of the neck of the radiator. What you're suggesting leaves room for expansion of the water as the temp increases to operating temp. He's likely doing what I've incorrectly suggested to him and overfilling it.


Subaru even placed a sticker on the radiator noting that you only fill the radiator to a certain point. The OE and some of the better replacement radiators even have a tab in the tank as a fill too (when cold) mark. I can get a pic if you want one ED

#19 edrach

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 09:04 PM

7PM PDT: James just called in and he's doing okay it seems. Making better time now that he's come down to 2000 feet; he said at 5200 feet, he had to add water more often. I told him I had given him the wrong fill to point and there was long pause as that thought sunk in. Makes sense; at higher altitude the water will boil off at lower temps. He's currently about one hour west of Bismarck, ND and will call me again when he gets there.

#20 NorthWet

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 09:48 PM

See you can teach an old dog new tricks. I was always under the impression to fill to the base of the neck of the radiator. What you're suggesting leaves room for expansion of the water as the temp increases to operating temp. He's likely doing what I've incorrectly suggested to him and overfilling it.

No big deal; a healthy system will reach equilibrium by pushing excess coolant out the overflow. I guess it could confuse the unknowing by looking like it is dumping coolant and the level dropping. Doesn't harm the cooling system, though. Newer systems do the same thing, just into an expansion tank.

#21 edrach

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 10:56 PM

Last 'phonecall was at 8:30pm PDT and he was in Bismarck, ND watching a continuous lightning storm. He was awestruck; "never seen continuous lighting all around us, all 360 degrees; most of it in the clouds with some reaching the ground." He has a friend here in town and will stay a bit and hopes to make Minneapolis fairly early Monday morning. Car seems to be running fine now.

#22 MilesFox

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 11:19 PM

if he comes thru milwaukee have him stop by, if the car needs a fix i have tools and we can take a look at it. suppose the water pump leaks out the weephole? i had a re-man one that leaks so i shoved jb welsd in the weephole. anyway i have a spare water pump should it be needed, im only blocks off the highway

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#23 edrach

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 11:35 PM

Miles thanks for the assistance. It appears the new water pump he installed is doing the job, but I will pass you number on to him. Regards, ---ed---

if he comes thru milwaukee have him stop by, if the car needs a fix i have tools and we can take a look at it. suppose the water pump leaks out the weephole? i had a re-man one that leaks so i shoved jb welsd in the weephole. anyway i have a spare water pump should it be needed, im only blocks off the highway

262-325-0346



#24 edrach

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 07:55 AM

I'm expecting a 'phone call this morning since James was anticipating being in Minneapolis and hooking up with Austin in the morning.

#25 edrach

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 11:52 PM

Jrach is finally in Marquette, MI as of 9pm PDT. Brat seems to be running just fine again. Loading the Brat and getting some rest and he can begin heading back west. Hopefully he and Austin can meet up on the return trip.




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