BADASS of New England

An automobile club for the enthusiast who enjoys the last of the big GM cars. The rear wheel drive B and D bodys. Chevrolet Impala SS, Caprice, 9C1, Buick Roadmaster, Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, Cadillac Fleetwood
 
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 lt1, temp light or clogged steam pipe?

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miniz33



Posts : 25
Join date : 2014-03-20
Location : East Providence

PostSubject: lt1, temp light or clogged steam pipe?    Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:56 pm

Hey folks, hope I'm not being a PITA by asking so many questions, but I could use some help guys. The car in question is the lt1 powered fleetwood, recently had an lt1 installed that had 11k on it, the engine was in RMW that got totaled in 96, so it sat for 18 years! Turns out the green coolant was sludgelike, I flushed it back and forth many times til it was clean, tossed it in, and today went to change out the 160 t stat t 180 due to fuel economy concerns. The fresh coolant was kind of muddy, the car took four gallons from empty so I'm sure the whole system was refilled with fresh coolant, again green stuff. I think the sludgey coolant has come to haunt me, my concern was the rad petcock wouldnt even drain the rad today, the heater core became pretty plugged, and I am bloody TERRIFIED the steam pipe is plugged! The car had an issue with a temp light was always dimly lit, as for some reason the buick temp sensor was different than the caddy, bought a new sensor and pigtail and the light is now off at startup. However it slowly comes on as I drive, my newly installed coolant temp gauge indicates 185 at the left head, the pcm sees 190ish at the water pump, but the temp light in the r/h head sees the need to turn on the warning light slowly. Im terrified thinking localized heat at the r/h head from a clogged steam pipe is causing a severe hot spot and I'm gonna crack a head, however my temp light sender and wiring is in real close proximity to my headers, about a half inch and I didnt install the factory wiring heat shield. What do you guys think, could that be just a simple lack of heat shield, or am I driving chernobyl around? Hopefully somebody more inclined than me could know or put me at ease.
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MASShole9C1



Posts : 4211
Join date : 2009-12-16

PostSubject: Re: lt1, temp light or clogged steam pipe?    Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:08 am

Well, since you mentioned headers, being close to the sensor and its harness, I would start there. I your CC tells you 180-190, that's not bad at all. I would shield that sensor from the intense heat of the header. I've never heard of having to replace a steam line on an 11k motor. EVEN IF it sat and was subsequently flushed out. If you're still getting a clog and muddy coolant in the overflow, flush until its gone. You could also head to harbor freight and get a temp gun to point at the heads and get real numbers to work with. Not sure if there's a store in EP but the one in South Attleboro is good.
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Ironfistdog



Posts : 2124
Join date : 2011-01-11
Age : 35
Location : Warren, MA

PostSubject: Re: lt1, temp light or clogged steam pipe?    Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:41 pm

When you say you flushed the coolant you didn't just push water though the heater core thinking you were flushing the entire engine correct?

You pulled both knock sensors and drained the block yes??

I would trust the climate temp over a dummy light anyday!
Open the drain on the radiator and then disconnect the steam pipe and blow compressed air into it to push any crap back out of it. I'd drain the system completely and then fill with water and that Prestone FLUSH stuff. Then run it a while, drain it and refill with 50/50
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miniz33



Posts : 25
Join date : 2014-03-20
Location : East Providence

PostSubject: Re: lt1, temp light or clogged steam pipe?    Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:54 pm

Hey guys thanks for the reply, theres an update though. Yes I originally flushed the block without a water pump or knock sensors and it had semi solid gunk for coolant, never noticed any kind of flow from one head to another while doing so come to think of it. I recently flushed the core and rad after draining it due to a lack of heat, but didnt see the need to reflush the motor, I did as you folks told me and noticed two things, the temps at the headers typically went 285-330 degrees, I had one cylinder at 400 + that saw 500 during warmup, the fuel pressure is only 38psi and 40 at pump priming before starting according to my gauge, and I hear an uneven kind of exhaust tone, like an odd misfire puff in a relatively smooth idle. I also bought high end DEI heat sleaves and ran THREE over the temp sensor to eliminate a latent heat concern from the headers and it still lights the temp warning light after a couple minutes idling or driving. In fact it does it before the car even reaches its operating temp. I'm still pretty worried, I'd like to remove the steam pipe to clean it if it is indeed full of garbage, whats weird is I can touch the steam pipe banjo on the left head, but the right heads banjo bolt is so damn hot I can barely touch it, then the tube to the throttlebody feels lukewarm. What do you folks think?
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Ironfistdog



Posts : 2124
Join date : 2011-01-11
Age : 35
Location : Warren, MA

PostSubject: Re: lt1, temp light or clogged steam pipe?    Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:02 am

I wouldn't worry too much about the steam pipe as I would the head not getting coolant.
When you filled the system you bled all the air back out through the bleeder in the water pump?
Numerous times? Jacked the car up in the front to get all the air to the front/top?

Thermostat is the correct one for an LT1 engine? Not something you had hanging around?
Water pump is good not weak?

Can you take the temp sensor out of the head and try replacing with a sunpro or "like" mechanical gauge to get an accurate reading from that port?
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miniz33



Posts : 25
Join date : 2014-03-20
Location : East Providence

PostSubject: Re: lt1, temp light or clogged steam pipe?    Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:06 am

Thermostat is the stocker from the 11k mile engine reswapped from the 160, I have the bleeder screw mod that uses a hose and a check ball so not to piss all over the opti, I let it run for a while at idle with the coolant bleeding through the tube back into the overflow, never jacked the front up however. Water pump is spankin new, seems to be keeping everything running cool.   I'm considering doing the cheap sunpro gauge option, the head has to be getting coolant, every time I take out that sensor there was a geyser all over the headers and starter. Should i try bleeding the system again or jump into a sunpro gauge and clean the steam pipe to ease my mind?
EDIT: got her apart a bit, the steam pipe wasnt clogged and the seals are still soft and malleable, so I think I can reuse them. I took the thermostat out when I removed the steam pipe and put a hose in where the thermostat was, its clear enough to cause a geyser out of the back of the heads, but is the steam pipe cooling circuit unrelated to the cylinder heads? I'm going to remove the temp sensor and see how that flows, because theres a temp difference between the cylinder heads according to my gun, the right side ran way hotter towards the rear than the comparible rear on the other side.
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PostSubject: Re: lt1, temp light or clogged steam pipe?    Today at 3:59 am

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