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Technical Anyone have issues with champion radiator caps spewing water?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Black&Blue, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. Black&Blue
    Joined: Sep 15, 2017
    Posts: 11

    Black&Blue

    Hey guys, waiting for my dad to bring me some more water and waiting for my car to cool down. My car is a blown 454, with a Summit electric water pump, 180° Mr gasket thermostat, Champion 4-core radiator with champion 16lb. Cap, and Jegs overflow/recirculating tank that I used as a recirculating tank (90° fitting in the bottom with hose attached to radiator and a vent at the top). Now this is the second time this has done this to me, but I'm driving, car is nice and fine at 180°, then randomly coolant will waterfall from the radiator cap. Today it actually went pretty far until it did it, but once again I have a giant mess in the engine bay and it put a stop to my day. Anyone else have this problem with their cap? This sounds like a faulty cap doesn't it? I have an extra one from Jegs that came with the cooling kit (radiator, fans, overflow tank, ect) that I'm going to use once it cools down and I fill it back up again to drive home. Just curious if anyone has second ideas or thoughts about this
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  2. Sheep Dip
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,572

    Sheep Dip
    Member
    from Central Ca

    Yep had the same problem, mine blew and I know the car was not hot (about 190) I felt that the cap was too loose and not seating properly, so I bent the locking tabs to correct it, made it a little tight and used water pump pliers to twist it on and make the fit perfect.
    It has worked perfect ever since. Mine is a 16# cap. I guess you could buy a Stant replacement if you did not want to mess with it


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 51,593

    squirrel
    Member

    I have bought a few of the chinese aluminum radiators, and never had the guts to use the caps that came with them.
     
    da34guy and Truck64 like this.
  4. Black&Blue
    Joined: Sep 15, 2017
    Posts: 11

    Black&Blue

    Thanks for the replies guys. Here's an update

    Buddy picked up my dad and they went back to the house, got some water jugs and the extra coolant I had, brought it back, swapped the cap with the new Jegs cap I had and filled the radiator again. Started it up, started heading back, car was happy at 180, then after a couple blocks temp started climbing and I pulled over and shut it off at 220. Let the fans and pump run while we poured some water over it, got the temp to 140, started it and drove it back to my house. Was 180 til I went to turn it around and back it in then it started climbing again.
     

  5. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 51,593

    squirrel
    Member

    sounds like the cap is doing it's job, now you need to figure out why it's making so much pressure all of a sudden.
     
  6. Black&Blue
    Joined: Sep 15, 2017
    Posts: 11

    Black&Blue

    I think that possibly the thermostat is randomly not opening. I tried to burp the system a few days ago, cool car with the cap off, car was running fine then I think about 160-170 coolant started waterfalling out of the radiator. Kinda tired of trying to keep this car clean when coolant keeps getting everywhere
     
  7. Sheep Dip
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,572

    Sheep Dip
    Member
    from Central Ca

    Change the thermostat (they are cheap) and drill a 1/8” hole in it to help burb it. Some already come with the hole in them.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  8. drptop70ss
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,192

    drptop70ss
    Member
    from NY

    Maybe the electric water pump isnt working? Did you drill an 1/8" hole in the thermostat so a little coolant can flow through even if it is closed? Helps with getting the air out of the system.
     
  9. Black&Blue
    Joined: Sep 15, 2017
    Posts: 11

    Black&Blue

    That was one of the things I didn't do but of course afterwards heard everyone said to do it... Even a couple holes work right? I'll probably change it out and see what happens.
    My buddy suggested the pump probably wasn't working but you can hear it run, but it's a possibility the pump randomly turns off
     
  10. Sheep Dip
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,572

    Sheep Dip
    Member
    from Central Ca

    I’d say if the thermostat swap does not cure its your water pump that’s faulty


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  11. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 11,558

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My experience with electric water pump is they are for race cars. If possible find a way to put on a mechanical pump and purchase a good one like a Stewart. Purchase a pressure cap tester too. We have never found one that was what was stated especially the high range ones. Personally I do not like electric fans either but if you are using one/them make sure they are pullers used behind the radiator. Good Luck.
     
  12. Black&Blue
    Joined: Sep 15, 2017
    Posts: 11

    Black&Blue

    Thats what Im thinking too... I could do some more tests but the easiest thing to do is just change the thermostat for another one. Faulty Mr. Gasket? Dunno, the brand has been reliable to me but Ive read reviews on the thermostat that a few people have had issues with them brand new getting stuck, so I dont know if I want to risk trying the same one again.

    The thing is is that I can feel the water flowing in the upper hose after the car heats up for a while, its just catching it when it starts getting too hot.

    Thanks for your input. I have a roots blower on my car, so I kinda need an electric water pump and electric fans for space reasons. Its a Summit brand one that flows 35GPH at 12v. The fans are dual 12" jegs fans. They work and they work great. I have them as pullers, and the sensor for those is supposed to turn on at 180. I have the fan sensor in the blower manifold, and the temp sensor in a water neck extension, with the thermostat after, and then a 90 degree neck going to the upper hose.
     
  13. Black&Blue
    Joined: Sep 15, 2017
    Posts: 11

    Black&Blue

    I went ahead and ordered another 180° thermostat from Summit (summit brand that has a vent hole already in the thermostat, plus I needed other stuff from there) I wasn't going to risk another Mr. Gasket one, one of my coworkers suggested a cooler thermostat like a 160° and another one even said take it off all together... anyone have second opinions on that?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  14. Sheep Dip
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,572

    Sheep Dip
    Member
    from Central Ca

    Why your waiting on the new stat remove the old one and see what happens. Just more pieces to help solve the puzzle.
     
  15. Truckintom
    Joined: May 7, 2017
    Posts: 18

    Truckintom
    Member

    Some engines will overheat without a thermostat,because the coolant travels to fast through the system to disipate the heat in the radiator,a pressure tester will give you a fair idea as to how fast and how much actual pressures you have in the system,a cheap laser temp gun from harbor freight will tell you what areas of the engine are at what temp.There are also a lot of cheap tests for carbon monoxide in the coolant,I keep a few in my tool box,one is a litmus paper,and the other is a day that changes color when exposed to exhaust gas. Over heat problems sometimes are difficult to diagnose.Hope this helps
     
  16. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,480

    Engine man
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    On electrically operated fans and pumps, I like to have indicator lights in the car to tell when they are powered. Removing the thermostat to try it would eliminate that as a possibility. Depending on where you are and when you drive, you might not need a thermostat. I dirt track racing we used a plate with a hole in it as a restriction to keep some pressure in the engine block.
     
  17. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 11,558

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Black&Blue, if you need stick with an electric pump and it comes that 35gpm is not enough consider a Meziere, I guarantee there is none better. I've had everything you can think of on my Bonneville 14-1 engine and the Meziere is the only one that can do the job. I use the remote mount but it's the pressure it applies to the water in the block/head that removes the heat that makes it work.
    Do you have lines from the rear of the heads to the stat housing? That may help. Even on my 6cylinder I have a -16 line feed and a -10 return on the front of the head and -8 return at the rear of the head.
     
  18. Black&Blue
    Joined: Sep 15, 2017
    Posts: 11

    Black&Blue

    Hey guys sorry for the delay I got sick and had to put the car on hold... Anyways heres a quick update, basically I drained the coolant down a bit, removed the thermostat and did a quick boil test... at 180 it opened, but not a lot... like a crack... I dont know if thats normal or not but left the heater on for a little bit to 200 and it opened all the way.

    Anyways, regardless I swapped the thermostat with another 180 one from summit (boil tested at 180 and it opened a lot) that had a weep hole already in it (buddy whos built race motors and stuff before told me to keep a thermostat in it and to stick with a 180) installed that and the water neck and stuff and let the RTV dry for a bit (had some other wiring to do on the car in the meantime). Jacked the front of the car up a lot more, filled the overflow tank halfway up and filled the radiator to the top. I didnt run the car, because one it was getting late and I dont think my neighbors would appreciate an open header big block right now, and two I'd like for the car to be turned around sloping up on the driveway and not in the garage in case it spills out again so I dont have to clean the garage floor... again. But I did turn on the electric pump with the cap off and let it run and it pushed out a lot of air bubbles, so I kept topping off till it stopped down then put the cap back on.

    Tomorrow I was going to fire it up, turn it around in the driveway and jack the front up so its at a really good angle and wait till the car cools down again and take the cap off and use a spill free funnel so hopefully the coolant wont overflow out of that when it starts warming up. I'll double check the timing and take it out for a drive around the block for a bit and see what happens.

    Regarding questions, yes I got a new heat temp gun (a nice one, my old one was junk), and a legit stethoscope to see if it does start heating up again listen and see if the water pump is running or not (and not use a screw driver anymore). I should pick up a light and splice it into the signal wire for the pump which is a great idea.

    And jimmy six if the pump is bad I'll look into those. And regarding the lines no I do not. I left the heads alone with that when I installed them and my blower manifold only had the front hole for the water neck to radiator. But I may pull the manifold so my fabrication buddy can add a pop-off valve because mine doesnt have one when I install some cog gears... if im still having troubles or do it for shits and giggles, think instead of the heads I could add some to the manifold where the head water ports go to? I already have a spacer before the thermostat which I used one of the fittings for my temp gauge sensor and the other plugged.
     
  19. Black&Blue
    Joined: Sep 15, 2017
    Posts: 11

    Black&Blue

    Update #2: Burped the system with my spill free kit, ran the car with the front jacked up high till the thermostat opened, and kept it running for a few till the bubbles stopped. Waited till the car cooled down, and topped the radiator off. Checked the timing and it was right where we set it, stayed at 180 the whole time. Took the car out for a drive (around the block, didnt want to go too far again haha) and the car was fine at 180. Got on it a couple times too. Decided to drive it by our buddies shop up the street, temp slowly climbed to 190, then 200 and stayed there (was just cruising wasnt hitting the throttle hard). Pulled over and waited to see if the temp would keep climbing but stayed at 200. Drove the car back to my house and since then the temp lowered to 195 and stayed there. No leaking cap though haha. Does that sound about normal? I figure 200 isnt bad for the car but I dont want it to get to 210/220 highest. I just thought its weird the car was perfect 180 for a bit then started climbing a bit. I'm probably just being paranoid, I just dont want problems from this car ive still got so much to do and dont want to keep backtracking problems I shouldnt have. Ill wait till the cars cool tomorrow, double check the radiator level and drive it around for a bit again.
     

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