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.
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.
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.
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
Throw a blanket over the hood. That helps a bit.
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.
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.
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
Got a work light, a radiant heater, and a blow drier going right now.
Boiling water... any other ideas?
Salt Water is something else. That changes the chemical nature of the
water and raises the boiling temperature.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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)
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