348 Waterpump Pressure Issue or just a rusted radiator?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by No Doubt, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. No Doubt

    No Doubt Five Time F1 World Champ
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    #1 No Doubt, Apr 23, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    My '94 348's running at 195 (high point) water temp, but I seem to be getting a leak from a bizarre place on the left-U.S. driver's side radiator...at or above the very top metal outer bar/clasp. Easily a big-gulp slurpee cup in volume.

    I've had radiator leaks on various cars before, but they've always been in the radiator fin areas lower down.

    Is this a simple radiator swap (or just a hose...though I can't find any radiator fluid outside any of the hoses) or is a this an indication of something more serious?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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  2. chrisx666

    chrisx666 Formula Junior

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    Look like just the rad to me, I had a rad leak from a top tank join in the past.

    Waterpump does not control the pressure in the system, this is the job of the expansion tank cap. I'd put a new one on anyway if at all suspect, they can seize which results in hoses/radiators blowing.
     
  3. No Doubt

    No Doubt Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Hmmm... That makes sense. Also, it's good to know that someone else has had a leak from the top (tank seal, perhaps??).

    And yes, I think that I need a new radiator cap, too.

    Thanks! Now I'm pointed in the right direction.
     
  4. tbakowsky

    tbakowsky F1 World Champ
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    Tighten the hose clamp at the top hose, and pressure test the system with a good pressure tester. This will be the only way to check the system for leaks.
     
  5. No Doubt

    No Doubt Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Thanks, but I'm not sure that I understand why to test. It definately leaks! Will the pressure tester let me hear where the leak is escaping (air rushing out or something)??

    But, I'll do what you say. I'm off to go purchase a pressure tester right now, in fact. Then I'll tighten the top hose clamp and re-test.

    Still seems as though I'm going to be R&R-ing the left radiator, no?!
     
  6. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
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    What Tom said.

    But to me it looks like the seal on the top tank could have had it. If after you preasure test it you find that the tank is leaking, I would take it to a good radiator shop and see how much they will charge you to fix it. The tanks are plastic, so if the tank is cracked then your jacked. (LOL that rhymed) Anyway, but if it's only the seal then I think the shop can boil it out and then real seal it. First things first though, put a preasure test on it and find out were it's leaking from.
     
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  8. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Bingo
     
  9. tbakowsky

    tbakowsky F1 World Champ
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    What the pressure test will do it pin point the exact location of the leak. You will be able to see the leak. This will confirm your findings and you will know 100% that you have found your leak. The last thing you want to do it go through unneeded labor only find that it was a bad clamp or hose leaking down the rad.
     
  10. No Doubt

    No Doubt Five Time F1 World Champ
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    OK, I went to the only 2 auto parts stores near me that are open on a sunday in Alabama...and neither store had a simple, basic pressure tester (in fact, they didn't have any complex pressure testers, either, grin!).

    So back home I came. In a flash of genius, I decided to simply hand squeeze the two coolant hoses that go to and from the left side radiator. Sure enough, with each squeeze I could hear and see coolant flowing out of the very top left side of my radiator...right at what I would presume to be the seal area.

    So it wasn't a hose (that would have been too easy, too quick, and too cheap!).

    I don't know anything about radiators. I'd guess that this is a down draft/down flow model rather than a cross flow (just two kinds, yes??).

    The core appears to measure 17 inches by 12 & 7/8ths inches by 1.5 inches thick.

    Is this a common U.S. radiator badged as Ferrari (i.e. uses standard rather than metric dimensions)? Fleeting thought.

    Would it matter if I used a generic aluminum racing radiator of the same dimensions and flow direction to replace it?

    Anyway, I'll see about getting it to a radiator shop (hey, we actually have these here in 'Bama!) for potential repair tomorrow. I can't wait to catch the grief that they will give me when they spot "Ferrari" stamped on this radiator.

    If it can't be saved then I guess it will be time for a new one, OEM or racing aftermarket, as appropriate.

    Prices for the closest Ford/Chevy racing aluminum equivilents seem to run close to $450...with pricing for the Ferrari OEM coming in at $651. In the scheme of things, that's pretty price competitive for Ferrari.

    The fan is heavy, though. Well, the radiator isn't light, either! This might not be an area to skimp on weight, however.
     
  11. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Just take it to a radiator shop and see if they can fix it for a few bucks.
     
  12. No Doubt

    No Doubt Five Time F1 World Champ
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    #11 No Doubt, Apr 24, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Yeah, baby!

    Speaking of babies...I had just parked my 348 in my garage and gotten out when the radiator decided to leak. My 4 year old daughter looked at it said "Daddy, your car is going potty."

    Oy vey...
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  13. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
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  15. PAP 348

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    #13 PAP 348, Apr 27, 2006
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    Arent kids cute?? :p
    Hey,No Doubt. When you get the radiator installed after its repair or whatever,ill send Georgie around to bleed the cooling system for you. He is experienced in doin the job and it quite handy turning spanners :)
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  16. No Doubt

    No Doubt Five Time F1 World Champ
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    At least he looks like he knows what he's doing, unlike me!

    Speaking of which, what fits on the 348's coolant-bleed nipples to bleed them?
     
  17. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
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    A wrench :p
     
  18. No Doubt

    No Doubt Five Time F1 World Champ
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    I took it to Radiators, Inc.

    Less friendly people do not exist in this state. It took them 24 hours to tell me that they couldn't fix it. I picked my radiator up from them and decided at that point that I had nothing to lose so I opened it up.

    It was surprisingly easy to open up, just a few metal tabs hold the plastic radiator "tank" caps on to the core. The leak was obvious; a crack in the metal base for the tabs that hold the cap on, right at the point where I saw the coolant leaking when I hand-squeezed the coolant intake hose.

    Some blue gasket and jb cold weld overnight...and poof...one fixed radiator. I'll save it as an emergency backup. I've got a new one coming from Ricambi, due here Friday evening.
     
  19. No Doubt

    No Doubt Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Hey, that I can do! Thanks.
     
  20. PAP 348

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    Sorry man,was goin to ask him for you,but the little guy had a bottle of his favourite brew(Jim beam & Coke) and he crashed out the little tiger. ;)
     
  21. No Doubt

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    Oh great...he can out-wrench me **and** out-drink me!
     
  22. PAP 348

    PAP 348 Moderator
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    You can bet your ass on that! :D :eek: hehe
     
  23. No Doubt

    No Doubt Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Just an update. My new radiator arrived (thanks, Daniel/Ricambi) Friday afternoon and I installed it today. It's a pretty straight forward operation.

    Loosen the wheel bolts on the left rear wheel. Now jack up the rear of the car, place a jack stand underneath the rear frame for emergency support (just in case), remove the left rear wheel and inner fender cover (6 phillips screws), remove the radiator cap by hand, drain the left radiator at its bottom right corner (use a large flathead screwdriver) into a 2 gallon catch pan, disconnect the two radiator water hoses and one small gas overflow line (use a flathead screwdriver to loosen the hose clamps on all 3) that is connected by the factory to the fan for convenience (11mm open wrench in back, 10mm socket on left two fan screws).

    Now disconnect the fan power wires at the plug and from the fan itself (11mm open wrench in back, 10mm socket on right two fan screws), disconnect the fan, unscrew two screws that hold on the top radiator bracket (13mm socket), then lift slightly up (use a big flathead screwdriver if leverage is required) to get the radiator's two lower support pins out of the frame of the 348 in order to remove the radiator, and replace it with the new radiator.

    Reconnect everything. Add coolant until full.

    I then had a nice drive (and didn't drip a drop of coolant).

    Life is good.

    I loosened the two radiator bleed screws on the top right black pipes up on the firewall (10mm open wrench) to attempt to bleed the system with the engine running, then tightened them back up.

    I'll have to check when the car has cooled off to see if my coolant level is adequate...though the car ran at very good temps between 185 (after fans had just switched off) to 200 (until fans clicked on again).

    I need to add my Water Wetter back in too, I suppose.
     
  24. PAP 348

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    You done well............for once,No Doubt :p
    The little guy said to give you a pat on the back also ;)
     
  25. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Glad to hear youn have it fixed, and have a spare.
     
  26. No Doubt

    No Doubt Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Thanks! I've managed to finagle a spare ABS computer, spare door window motor unit system, spare radiator, spare exhaust ecu, spare MAF, etc...

    ...this car is becoming an obsession!
     

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