Cooling system troubles. I've had a few. From '91 to '96, from L03 to LT1, I haven't owned a single Caprice that hasn't at some point spectacularly blown up one or more random cooling system parts.
Usually far away from home or in the middle of the night or on busy road with no shoulder to pull over to. Sometimes two or more of these circumstances combined.
I've had cracked radiator tanks, cracked reservoirs, leaking caps, more cracked radiators, cracked radiators, leaking radiators, clogged radiators, leaking hoses, leaking tees, leaking heater cores, clogged heater cores, cracked radiators of course, failed waterpumps, stuck thermostats, cracked heater control valves, leaking thermostat housings... you name it. And cracked radiators, of course.
I keep spares for virtually every part of the cooling system. And it's not like I live in the desert or something.
Right now, radiators on both my L05 1A2 and my civilian l03 are leaking, and today, the thermostat on my white 94 LT1 9C1 just quit working. Everything ok one second, overheating the next, with the radiator outlet hose cold to the touch. When I pulled the thermostat, it was stuck. Solidly, permanently stuck. Not a bit sticky. Stuck. Irreversible. Oh well, as I said, I keep spares, so that was no big deal.
It reminded me however, of a bigger deal: Dexcool.
I've learned to stay away from 96s, that's why I own all these 94s. But sometimes even the best plans fail, and that's why I own a 94 that was converted to Dexcool use when it was new. Yes. I have the service records. Purchased by a San Francisco Area Agency in 1994, put in service in 1996 (the same agency bought 20 96s and started using them in 2000). Whatever made them think that was a good idea. Well, I admit it might have truly seemed like one back then.
They also ran the LT1 on non-synthetic 15W40, which to me seems a bit over the top even in California. Not as bad as the 140Wsomething they used in the rearend. I know for a fact that wasnt't a good idea. 3000 Mile oil change interval for the transmission, though! And before you ask, I got the records after I purchased the car.
Aaanyway, back to the point: I have Dexcool. For several years, I've managed to ignore the fact, but today's failed thermostat served as a drastic reminder. The stuff is starting to go off. Something needs to be done.
So, what can I do? I've read the TSB, but I have no access to anything remotely capable of actually flushing the system for several hours. Garden hose yes, but from what I know that won't do. No GM Dealerships around here, either, and no way I'm gonna let a German shop give this a try. Dexcool is unheard of here.
What are my options? Anybody been thru this? DIY Dexcool remedy? Of course I can take all the components apart, pull the knock sensors and start hosing the *#+'* out of the block, but if there's a better way, short of performing the full TSB, please let me know.
Right now I'm thinking basic flushing and refilling with fresh dexcool every few weeks till the stuff comes out clear. But what I really want is nice, fresh, GREEN coolant in my system. Is there a way? Help!