Radiator Slush Problem

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1985 K5 305CUI
I had a boil over today. Temp this morn was about 0deg. Well I got most of the old coolant out (came out in about a 7-10 foot tall spout) and added
some more. I filled it with a good mix of coolant (checked it with el-cheapo hydrometer "thingy") and it heated up past 235. I shut it off then, and I am going to soon go back out and turn it on again, see what happens. But my question is: where does the slush accumulate? Is it the radiator? If so I'll go shoot it with the blow drier...
No I have no warm garage I can put it in.
~KJ~
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KJ wrote:

Off hand it sounds like your coolant mixture was not strong enough to prevent the slush from forming. If you had a good 50-50 misture it would not have turned to slush until it got down below -30.
Yes it is the radiator where that stuff accumulates. THe hot coolant comes in the top hose. If it can't get through the radiator it builds up and blows.
Back when I lived in really cold climates where it would get to -40 I would watch the temp gauge real careful when first starting. If the temperature started coming up fast I would pour a pail of hot water down the middle of the radiator. Come to think of it that was with the old vertical tubes. Now I guess you would need to pour it across the top and then down the side towards the outlet hose.
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So boiling water will help? If it doesn't it will freeze the fastest....
~KJ~

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Yeah, Anything to open up a path. The hotter the water the better for thawing out a path.
Anyway, what you need to do is use that hydrometer to verify that you still have a good mixture that will go to -30.
Boiling water does not freeze faster. That is an old fable. What does happen is that the very hot water evaporates faster and there is then less water to freeze.
KJ wrote:

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what do people feel about Coleman stoves under the truck? it feels like some of the lines are hard, I have a long night ahead of me...
~KJ~

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My opinion: Use a coleman stove and you might have a long night ahead of you talking to the fire department.
If you have plenty of anti-freeze mixed in you won't have any freezing trouble.
Throw a blanket over the hood. That helps a bit.
KJ wrote:

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it's a tall truck and a very cold night. I know that in wwII they used to light 55 gallon oil drums (probabably not with oil in them) below planes to help out....
~KJ~

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The danger of fire as I said is just my opinion. You most likely will not have any trouble but if you there is some oil and grease that happens to catch fire you have big troubles. My opion is still that if your coolant is set right you will not have any troubles with it freezing up. You must not have had sufficient anti freeze.
Your problem will more likely be getting started in the morning. If you have a good battery and light oil I would not worry about that either.
KJ wrote:

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Jeremy Chavers wrote:

I didn't say it would be hotter than 212. Just the hotter the better. Near boiling (212) if possible. Won't be near boiling long at 0 F.
As for the boiling water freezing faster I did a web search and see a lot of references to it.
http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF5/573.html
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Strange. the Japanese have used boiling salt water (just enough to float a boiled egg) for thousands of years to temper swords. The hotter water is able to transfer heat faster, so it cools the blade down faster and makes it harder.
Got a work light, a radiant heater, and a blow drier going right now. Boiling water... any other ideas?
~KJ~

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Salt Water is something else. That changes the chemical nature of the water and raises the boiling temperature.
http://www.weatherwise.org/qr/qry.02freezingwater.html
What you have not said is what your hydrometer says the coolant temperature is now set for. You should have about a 50-50 mixture of water and coolant.
KJ wrote:

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Set for -30deg (4 balls)
~KJ~

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kerosene/diesel/propane spaceheater and a couple of concrete form blankets (which you probably don't have). drape the blanket (hell a tarp would work in this instance) over the hood so it drapes over the wheel wells and point the space heater under the truck. come back in 30mins and it should be good to go. watch the air dam though.... melted one on a '84 C10 we used to have that would NOT start if it got cold out.
-Bret
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You may want to consider a block heater for the future. Also, I've found that a high wattage light under the hood can help warm things up if it's not windy outside as a heat source when your low on other options to try.

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The prior was a quick post to get some help. Here is the entire story from beginning to end.
I started the truck this morning as usual, and let it run. I normally let it go for 5-10 minutes. I like my truck warm, and since I have to manually close the choke by re-attaching a vacuum hose, it's just easier to do it in my driveway.
Well I attached the hose, everything felt just as warm as normal (I can usually feel if it's going to be a little cold and stumble when I giver gas)
I got in, and looked at the temp gauge, oil, etc. Oil was fine, temp was 260. I said "oh shit" but then I decided that it must be a dead short, and that it wasn't over heating (remember my "feeling). I put it in drive, and went just a little way down the road, watching it all the way. It went higher, I knew it was the truth. I wasn't 20 seconds down the road, and by the time I got home the truck was steaming.
Well I turned it off and gave it say 5 minutes to cool off. NOT ENOUGH. I opened the hood and a spot that had been JB'ed on the radiator was spewing steam. My (usually empty/unused) overflow tank was full of fluid. Then I loosened the rat cap the first "notch" and let it boil to a dead stop. The fix had also stopped spewing (it normally weeps very slightly, I need to take off the previous owners 'fix' and braze it some day) When I took it off more, it blew up in a viscous cloud of steam 7-10 feet tall. I got off very lucky in my book, about a half dollar sized burn on my wrist. I was expecting much more when I had a wet arm and face, I guess I was lucky it was 0deg out! But I wasn't super hurt, and now I have a little more knowledge. Now I know there is a difference between a slightly hot car that your adding water too to help it along, and a serious over heat... One can be safely done and one you just can't mess with.
Well I got a ride to work and let the thing sit. I then got some coolant and filled up the truck while it wasn't running. Turned it on, and it drained a little. Filled it up the rest and let it run. It just climbed like a bastard. To heat it up I put a work light on it, a radiant heater, and ran a blow drier over the hoses. I also started boiling some water. But just before I was going to poor the water on it, I decided to check the fluid again. It wasn't even visible! About 2 gallons later it stopped gurgling and would take no more. I then got all of the electrics out of the way, and started the truck. It rose quickly, but MUCH slower then it had been. I attributed this to a partially functioning radiator. When it got just over 220ish I ran inside and got the pot of boiling water and slowly poured it over the radiator (thank you Chevy for having small slots in the cowling so I could do this!) About half way through I checked the temp again. 210!!! I let it warm up (to make sure to kill all the ice) and then I went for a test drive and beat the piss out of it. Bingo bango, it's working.
Interesting thing: I continued to poor water on the radiator after I checked the temp, but it got to the point where I guess none was freezing on the radiator or whatever, and it was getting thrown as water onto the engine. I didn't have much more, so I just threw it as a lump onto the front of the truck. Within 3 seconds I had a SHEET of ice on my bumperettes (and I'm sure all other metal).... It's weird how it feels no colder than 30deg to me.... after a certain point my response is just "ya it is pretty cold out..."
A huge thanks to Dick, with all I had thought of to help me out, I had never thought of water. Thank you very much.
~KJ~
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KJ wrote:

Isn't that choke adjustable? When the engine is warm (not way hot) adjust it so it is just open.

All you need to do is get a path open from the inlet hose to the outlet. The heat from the flowing coolant will quickly thaw out the rest of the radiator. Water worked better with the old radiators that had vertical tubes. You could just pour it down the center and get a tube opened up.
Bottom line again is that the coolant mixture must have been much too thin. Probably have been refilling the overflow with straight water instead of a mixture. Zero degrees isn't all that cold. Had one year in Duluth where it didn't get above zero for six weeks and was near -40 at night.
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Has nothing to do with adjusting. It has to do with too many freekin parts, gimme a manual cable and I'd be alot happier.

Nothing else to do with the water :-)

Well I knew that before I made my first post! I've wanted to tell you that the 10 or so times you told me it was too thin. Also as stated, I don't use the over flow tank. But I did add about 1/4 gallon on two different occasions, once with water once with "rough" 50-50 (not precisely measured)
~KJ~
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