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Discussion Starter #1
Anybody else have this problem? Back in 2014 I replaced my clogged warped radiator with a cheap $80 rad from Amazon. Worked great! Then after a WOT run down the street I heard my fans scraping on something. I found that my radiator had bulged and expanded upwards and downwards, pushing up on the plastic panel that holds it in. Attached are pics. It looks just like the one I replaced two years ago. I will have to go to a better radiator, maybe with a center strap to keep it sized under pressure. Maybe overpressure from the water pump or the thermostat was closed or something...
 

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Wow, that's pretty bad. You touched on 1 of my concerns when I saw that...too much pressure. That was my first thought to cause something like that OR maybe it's just a cheap/broken radiator. Too much pressure though, I'd also be worrying about the Heater Core as well. Just be sure to do a Full Flush n Clean of the entire System, replace the T-Stat AND the Pressure Cap.

My other concerns are, if that Radiator Blew apart like that would be....What about the Coolers on the End Tanks? If those let go too, then you may have some much more serious problems to deal with. You don't want Coolant mixing with your Trans or Oil Coolers so I would consider Pulling that radiator as quickly as possible.

When looking for a new rad, consider the All Aluminum unit. They are not too expensive and the cheaper ones have gotten good reviews here for the most part.
 

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welcome to Heads and Cam land
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow, that's pretty bad. You touched on 1 of my concerns when I saw that...too much pressure. That was my first thought to cause something like that OR maybe it's just a cheap/broken radiator. Too much pressure though, I'd also be worrying about the Heater Core as well. Just be sure to do a Full Flush n Clean of the entire System, replace the T-Stat AND the Pressure Cap.

My other concerns are, if that Radiator Blew apart like that would be....What about the Coolers on the End Tanks? If those let go too, then you may have some much more serious problems to deal with. You don't want Coolant mixing with your Trans or Oil Coolers so I would consider Pulling that radiator as quickly as possible.

When looking for a new rad, consider the All Aluminum unit. They are not too expensive and the cheaper ones have gotten good reviews here for the most part.
I didn't mention that the old radiator from before was all aluminum. Really light weight tho - like a feather. Same thing. I ordered the identical rad and will continue to replace them as needed. I do think it has to do with whether the thermostat happens to be open or closed at that moment and, yes, it could cause trouble with the heater core. I read that even a clogged heater core can cause you to blow the seal on the pump itself!
 

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I didn't mention that the old radiator from before was all aluminum. Really light weight tho - like a feather. Same thing. I ordered the identical rad and will continue to replace them as needed. I do think it has to do with whether the thermostat happens to be open or closed at that moment and, yes, it could cause trouble with the heater core. I read that even a clogged heater core can cause you to blow the seal on the pump itself!
IMO buy another type radiator you had 2 fail the same way over a 2 yr period must be cheap china crap.

the reasons you have read concerning this I do not agree.
these were built with 15 psi pressure caps. the caps need cleaning or replacing with the proper PSI which is 15.


if you insist on using these same radiators then I would get a 13 psi pressure cap.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
IMO buy another type radiator you had 2 fail the same way over a 2 yr period must be cheap china crap.

the reasons you have read concerning this I do not agree.
these were built with 15 psi pressure caps. the caps need cleaning or replacing with the proper PSI which is 15.


if you insist on using these same radiators then I would get a 13 psi pressure cap.
Really good point. I think these caps do not always work as advertised. Thanks.
 

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Really good point. I think these caps do not always work as advertised. Thanks.
I had the cap hold too much pressure 3 plus years ago caused a flow problem engine ran hotter than normal. since then I clean the cap every spring it is 21 yrs old . oem 15 psi ..

also since I use 65 % antifreeze that increases the coolant boil point to about 275 deg F.
 

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I didn't mention that the old radiator from before was all aluminum. Really light weight tho - like a feather. Same thing. I ordered the identical rad and will continue to replace them as needed. I do think it has to do with whether the thermostat happens to be open or closed at that moment and, yes, it could cause trouble with the heater core. I read that even a clogged heater core can cause you to blow the seal on the pump itself!
My thinking, if it was a blocked thermostat you would see the car overheat before the pressure would build to blow the rad like that. I've had quite a few tstats fail and never blew a rad like that. Could just be a faulty rad. Just stick with your standard 15 psi cap but get a new one just to be safe.

You mentioned an All Aluminum rad is what you have. Are the side tanks Aluminum too? From what you have pictured, it almost just looks like the stock center section of a stock rad. The Silla All Aluminum Rad looks different in the center section and the side tanks are Aluminum too. What brand rad do you have now. Silla also does make a rad with plastic tanks.

http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/53-heating-cooling-hvac/1271481-all-aluminum-radiator-only-$65-new-2.html
 

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IDK if it is just a cheap POS radiator. From the pic it looks like a stock single row...but OP says it is a aftermarket "aluminum" one.

Back when SoCalSS had a dyno day one members top hose blew off (blew factor clamp off) during a pull. Green coolant EVERYWHERE. His car was stock and the opinions of those in attendance felt the T stat was hanging. This happened above 5k rpms....and with a mechanical WP the flow increases with RPM's

Op may have a combination of cheap POS and a restriction in the cooling system causing this at high RPM's.

The heater core is protected somewhat with the factory "restrictor on the "in" line to heater core...although it can puke if to much pressure hits it.

One nice thing about a EWP....ALWAYS same flow rate at any RPM (selfishly speaking after running one for 17 years :)
 

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HeadGasket = Cly head PSI in radiator
 

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Yeah that's what I was thinking. Head gasket. I know they say it's uncommon on these cars but what else would pressurize the radiator like that?

I have had a car with a bad head gasket pressurize the radiator like that. It wasn't an LT1. But it blew the overflow hose clean off but it was also blowing white smoke out the tail pipe like a mother****er.

Wasn't there a guy here who was also chasing something similar and it turned out to be a small crack in one of his cylinders? I think his car was leaking coolant in to the oil though.
 

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I doubt he has a leaking head gasket now 2 yrs LOL//.

as I mentioned these pressure caps do plug up and if so , that will also do it .

it happened to me..........
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Following up on this discussion again. Here is another photo. The rad I swapped out before was an all aluminum with aluminum tanks. The one this time pictured here was previously ordered from https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0073MEEI2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I just replaced the cap with a 15 psi from Auto Zone. I think it is possible that the t-stat was hanging or just chose to be closed on a 5000+ rpm pull, and that there is reason to go to an electric water pump.

My temps would swing between 1/4 scale and 1/2 with the pictured radiator until I had that bulge happen, then it ran between 1/4 and 3/4 scale. Strangely though my new temps are pretty even at 1/2 scale all the time now. Maybe it was an internal blockage issue and an infra-red scanner would have detected it.
 

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with what happened to you, my issue had the temp vary when the heat arrived a few years back and it was the pressure cap not venting, so too much pressure interfered with the flow. all I did was clean the cap .. I later had to replace the upper hose because of the cap pressures too high . still now works back to normal . temp pretty steady . scan tool reads 190 deg F . hot weather ac on..
 

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If you feel this issue was related to a mechanical WP and are going EWP for that reason, there is a current GP underway for a EWP Wiring Harness that you may want to check out.

Personally, I don't believe a mechanical WP would have caused the pressure to burst the rad like that regardless of the RPMs. I would think the increased RPMs may increase flow but not so much pressure to the extreme you saw if that is "in fact" what caused your rad to Burst. I would think there are many LT1s (in various model cars) running on the track, turning well over 5K RPMs and still running a mechanical WP without issue. There are certainly other reasons for wanting to go EWP but don't be mislead that this conversion alone would be the fix to your problem and be disappointed later with another failure.

As has been mentioned here,there are other possibilities you need to be sure of. GL going forward.
 

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I agree that the OEM pump can only pump so much coolant . the flow volume of the water pump will vary on speed but it will max out at a designed engine rpm . the hose size , will limit this flow amount just like a swimming pool pump .

pressure in the system on the radiator is all about the pressure cap since that would release any excessive pressure. if the coolant boils then the cap will release pressure if it does not then the radiator side tanks or hoses will burst .

the mechanical OEM pump does a better job at the higher RPM than the electric aftermarket one. my engine temp will drop slightly when its over 1800 rpm on the hywy.
 

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BTW - Forgot to mention this before but with the Cap, stay away from the AutoZone units. For a Pressure Cap and also the Flow Restrictor, I (personally) would only be using AC Delco parts.
 
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