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Old 06-07-2008, 03:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Engine Hot, Foamy coolant

Guys, Its been getting hot here in TX and I noticed my engine has not been staying as cool as it did last summer. It went slightly over 210 today. Too hot for my liking.

After it cooled down I opened the radiator cap and ran the engine. I noticed when I reved it a bit, the coolant was low (just under the cores) and the water return was a bit foamy. Like airerated.

I topped it off with tap water (all I had around) and drove her home, it seemed a little cooler but by the time I got home it had hit 210 again. I guess im concered about a blown head gasket or improperly sealed intake. I plan on checking the oil later tonight when the garage cools off.

I have a compression gauge and plan on checking the cylinder pressure tonight as well...I guess im a little concerned. Anything else I can check?
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Old 06-07-2008, 03:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Hot, Foamy coolant

Pressure test the cooling system, it should leak down if there is a bad gasket. Also drain the oil and look for any sign of water.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Hot, Foamy coolant

if its an auto check the trainy fluid.
i had one where the trainy cooler built into the rad leaked trainy fluid into the coolent system.
foamy and what a mess.
overheated allmost cloged the radiator.
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Hot, Foamy coolant

I fugured to get the electric fan more efficiant, I moved it from a pusher to a puller. I was able to move the radiator toward the front of the car slightly to make room for my lincoln 4.6L electric fan (hey Im broke, I improvise). I also rewired it with thicker gauge and gave a direct ground to the Batt.

Big difference in temp. Yesturday after trying to drive it hard it never made it to 200 deg. Stayed between 180 - 195. Not bad for a stock brass radiator, and 30$ fan.

But after test driving it I, I pulled into a gas station, the overflow was puking out coolant and it was kinda foamy. The puddle on the ground was about 20% foamy looking coolant. The thing is, the suds go away and turn into coolant fairly quick. I took a close look at it, felt it with my hand, smelled it...Its not oily, or discollered. Feels like coolant. I doubt its a blown gasket.

Why is it pukin coolant? Do I need an overflow tank? And maybe im getting air in the system?? And its airreating the coolant?

-Mike
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Hot, Foamy coolant

Did you pressure test the cooling system? And did you do a compression test? I'm not saying that you have a blown head gasket, but if a head gasket is just starting to leak small amounts of pressure from a cylinder into a water jacket, you won't get oil in the water, just air pressure (foaming) and small traces of fuel that would not be noticeable. If that is the case, you want to determine it early, because it will begin sucking water into the cylinder at some point, and that could cause major damage or even hydro lock.

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Old 06-09-2008, 07:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Hot, Foamy coolant

I have seen this with too thin and too old of coolant...

Replace it with 50/50, and see if it does it again.

I am at odds with a hole, radiators don't suck in air they push out coolant... Except in rare circumstances. This don't sound rare....


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Old 06-09-2008, 01:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Hot, Foamy coolant

Well I have learned that these old stock radiators need to be filled about 1.5'' below the neck, not all the way up or every time it gets hot it will puke.

Also how is your water pump. If that is not sealing or has an issue the car will overheat. Make sure your thermostat isnt stuck either. Other than that Im not sure.
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Old 06-09-2008, 03:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Hot, Foamy coolant

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Originally Posted by mdula View Post
Guys,

I noticed when I reved it a bit, the coolant was low (just under the cores) and the water return was a bit foamy. Like airerated.

I topped it off with tap water (all I had around) and drove her home, it seemed a little cooler but by the time I got home it had hit 210 again. I guess im concered about a blown head gasket or improperly sealed intake. I plan on checking the oil later tonight when the garage cools off. Anything else I can check?
Drain the old coolant, flush with clean water, drain and install new coolant/water in the proper proportions.

Do not fill non-overflow radiator systems to the top but only to about 1 inch from the top.

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Old 06-10-2008, 12:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Hot, Foamy coolant

I would flush the cooling system with the car running. When you are satisfied that it's clean add new fluid. I too have seen this with old coolant. Boils easily.. and does not take much. You also want to make sure your rad. is actually movong the water. On most cars, it will be moving to the right. Should be moving rapidly at a steady pace. If when you open the cap and do not see the water traveling.. then that's your issue. The radiator is plugged.. and it's just sitting there heating up. Will need a rot out or new to fix. Pretty simple fix. When things like this start happening, I have found the radiator to be the source. They clog pretty easy.. especially if you don't have proper mixture of water to coolant.
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Hot, Foamy coolant

Foam could mean that there is air getting into the coolant. Check to make sure the lower radiator hose is not damaged and that the clamps are tight.
Replacing coolant that is more than a year old is a good idea. The chemicals that keep rust down and lubricate the water pump wear out with age. a 50/50 mix is best unless you live where it gets very cold in the winter. When filling the coolant try to keep the radiator up-hill from the engine so that any air can escape. You can use the thermostat housing or a temp sender on a V8 to bleed air too. If your car heats up and boils over in less than twenty minutes then replace the thermostat with a new 180 degree thermostat. Be sure to use a new gasket and clean all the surfaces. Note that the thermostat has to go in with the pressure piston toward the block. All you should see when it is put in the block correctly is the valve cone of the thermostat.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:23 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Hot, Foamy coolant

Thanks for all the replies. I have not had a change to get anything pressure tested, unfortunately I wont be able to until this weekend. I'll start by flushing the system.

The engine is running cool now, not overheating. But the "problem" is still there. All the hoses are not that old, and the clamps are fine. No leaks. I wouldn't think that a year old coolant is old, but I suppose anything is possible. I used the 50/50 premix. I also know to keep the coolant kinda low or it will puke, and even with the engine running cool, it puked. Thats why I think it might be building up too much pressure somehow.

The radiator is flowing with the cap off. That's where I noticed the bubbly foamy mix.

-Mike
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:28 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Hot, Foamy coolant

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Originally Posted by PaulS1950 View Post
Foam could mean that there is air getting into the coolant. Check to make sure the lower radiator hose is not damaged and that the clamps are tight.
Replacing coolant that is more than a year old is a good idea. The chemicals that keep rust down and lubricate the water pump wear out with age. a 50/50 mix is best unless you live where it gets very cold in the winter. When filling the coolant try to keep the radiator up-hill from the engine so that any air can escape. You can use the thermostat housing or a temp sender on a V8 to bleed air too. If your car heats up and boils over in less than twenty minutes then replace the thermostat with a new 180 degree thermostat. Be sure to use a new gasket and clean all the surfaces. Note that the thermostat has to go in with the pressure piston toward the block. All you should see when it is put in the block correctly is the valve cone of the thermostat.
The Tstat is in correct. I didnt want to mess that up when I first put it in, so I was going off of a mustang manual for a 302. Also when I beed the system I pop the upper heater hose going into firewall until coolant pours out of it.

I hope its the coolant. I used Oreilly brand, maybe its just cheap? Or was on the shelf a long time?
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Old 06-11-2008, 05:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Hot, Foamy coolant

I think you have head gasket/head issues, but that's just me. I have experienced the foaming issues on my previous combo. Turned out that I had a warped head. Ran fine going down the road but as soon as you turned the engine off, my 20lb radiator cap (with an overflow tank) slightly lifted and had foam/coolant spilling out everywhere. If you can see foaming/bubbles with the radiator cap off (you must be seeing this at idle) then that would tell me you have cylinder pressure getting introduced into the coolant system. That's my .02 cents.
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Old 06-12-2008, 11:03 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Hot, Foamy coolant

Spal's. Do you drive that thing or just keep a rag in your hands. That engine bay is just too dam clean I'm jealous.

I am hoping it's not a head issue. Like I mentioned, I have had this problem too and it turned out to be the antifreeze/radiator plugged up. I am really surprised some of the big guns haven't jumped here yet.. but with something like this, it could be anything. BTW, I always get in trouble when I say big guns.. oh well. The little guys always want to know who the big guns are. If you are active on this forum, you know who knows their stuff. That's all I'm insinuating.
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Engine Hot, Foamy coolant

Oh, I drive it..at least 100 miles a week. Just only a sunny weather and no rain type of car.
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