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Adding antifreeze every 50 miles 1937 115
Quite a regular
Joined:
2017/10/23 18:59
From Rochester
Posts: 49
Hello everyone,

I have a question about is it normal to have to add about a half a gallon of antifreeze every 50 miles of driving with a Packard 115, the original radiator has a recore 2 row high efficiency copper core just done 3 years ago and the engine was replaced in the 90s with a 38 year Packard six engine with that years larger water pump. New water pump 3 years ago. The radiator does bubble up some when you are in neutral and push the accelerator down. I feel that I am losing the antifreeze out the top of the radiator down the drip/overflow tube. I fill it so the level is about 1 to 1.5 inch below the bottom of the fill throat. In other words about 1.5 inches of antifreeze above the top of the core as measured with a wooden dowl rod. At one point I thought it might be a head gasket issue, but the oil is fine. I use 25 percent antifreeze to 75 percent was with royal purple purple ice super coolant as a surface tension breaker. It seems to help lessen the bubbling and foaming in the top radiator tank.

160 degree thermostat, and engine runs at 180 all day once warmed up.

Is that amount of replacement antifreeze normal for Packard's of this pre-closed and pre pressurized radiator systems?

Thanks

James

Posted on: 8/6 17:51:53
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Re: Adding antifreeze every 50 miles 1937 115
Quite a regular
Joined:
2017/10/23 18:59
From Rochester
Posts: 49
I forgot to add the rear axle is from a 36 and is a 4.54 gear set so at 55 mph the engine rpm is higher perhaps leading to high water pump flow causing the excess bubbling and loss of coolant via top overflow line of radiator?

I also have a nos butterfly style thermostat, is there a difference in flow between a butterfly style thermostat and a stant style?



Is this a to much water flow issue in the radiator or some else, or just normal for this make of Packard.

Lots of questions,. Thanks for any thoughts.

Posted on: 8/6 18:41:20
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Re: Adding antifreeze every 50 miles 1937 115
Home away from home
Joined:
2008/2/9 10:26
From Coventry, RI
Posts: 680
You shouldn't have to add any antifreeze at all. T would do a compression check. Bubbling in the radiator would indicate a faulty head gasket. Is there white smoke while driving? A leaky head gasket doesn't always show up in the oil.

Posted on: 8/7 2:08:57
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1938 1601 Club Coupe
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Re: Adding antifreeze every 50 miles 1937 115
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Joined:
2010/8/18 5:19
From Viola, ID (but living in Norfolk, VA)
Posts: 870
No, not at all normal.

Napa also sells test strips to check for oil in your anti-freeze, if the compression test is inconclusive. If there is head gasket leakage, there should be hydrocarbons in the anti-freeze.

A third thought - if compression and test strips are inconclusive, a leak down test should also provide evidence of head gasket leakage, or otherwise. Tracing a different problem set on my 120, but the leak down test very clearly showed a leak between cylinders 7 and 8.

Posted on: 8/7 5:45:26
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1937 120 1092 - Original survivor for driving and continued preservation.

http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=16514&forum=10

1937 115 1082 - Total basket case, partially restored (Sold Hershey 2015)

http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=6550&viewmode=flat&order=ASC&type=&mode=0&start=0


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Viola, ID
Groton, CT
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Re: Adding antifreeze every 50 miles 1937 115
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Joined:
2007/3/14 16:01
From New Jersey
Posts: 16173
Just by way of comparison, my '34 also has an open, non-pressurized cooling system, it really isn't relevant to the situation but the rear end gears are 4.69. In a typical season of driving perhaps 800 - 1000 miles I might once have to add perhaps a pint of coolant. I attribute the loss to simple evaporation. Anything more than adding that very small occasional amount is abnormal.

From your description I would suspect most likely a head gasket issue.

Posted on: 8/7 6:41:30
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Re: Adding antifreeze every 50 miles 1937 115
Quite a regular
Joined:
2017/10/23 18:59
From Rochester
Posts: 49
I have had no white smoke from the exhaust pipe. No sign of antifreeze in exhaust either. Compression test was 100, 87, 97, 95, 95, 100, I did a exhaust gas test with fluid and bulb but I didn't change color, I will try it again with the top overflow clamped as it was open before. I will also checkout the test strips.

Thanks

James

Posted on: 8/7 12:51:40
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Re: Adding antifreeze every 50 miles 1937 115
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Joined:
2008/10/28 6:22
From Simi Valley, CA
Posts: 690
Could it be a sticky thermostat that at higher rpms where there is more heat to be dissipated bumps causing overflow?

Posted on: 8/7 19:31:54
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Re: Adding antifreeze every 50 miles 1937 115
Home away from home
Joined:
2009/6/8 6:18
From Connecticut, USA
Posts: 705
I've used this inexpensive leak detector to check for combustion gases in coolant. Easy to use.

Head gasket, or crack(s) in the head / block can be a source for leakage.

Also saw a problem where a loose water pump packing nut was allowing air into the impeller area at higher speeds, causing aeration and foaming / loss of coolant.

https://www.harborfreight.com/combusti ... 1b7611aeb636e740f3b5b69b3

Posted on: 8/8 4:32:51
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Re: Adding antifreeze every 50 miles 1937 115
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Joined:
2016/3/13 15:24
From Coalmont, B.C., Canada
Posts: 953
Hi JRPackard37,
I have a '39 Six and went through the whole cooling system rebuild. One thing that did come up was the position of the overflow tube inside the rad throat. Prior to the rad being rebuilt, the coolant level always seemed low to me, i.e., if I looked down in the upper tank, there didn't seem to be much depth there. I would add antifreeze and like you, 50 miles later, it would be back down to the previous level. When the rad shop re-cored my rad they moved the overflow tube up a good inch without me saying anything about the levels, and now I maintain a pretty good 'depth' in the upper tank without having to add anything. Not saying this is your problem, but if it isn't entering the engine, it's definitely going somewhere; is it possible it's just dribbling out the overflow as you drive??? You could always rig up a temporary overflow reservoir and see if anything collects in it. Chris.

Posted on: 8/8 11:18:15
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'If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right!' Henry Ford

1939 Six, Model 1700

http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/modules/registry/index.php?Action=view&ID=1823
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Re: Adding antifreeze every 50 miles 1937 115
Quite a regular
Joined:
2017/10/23 18:59
From Rochester
Posts: 49
I did another exhaust gas sniffer test, I clamped the overflow tube before starting the test and taped around the radiator and tester so no air could escape and the fluid did not change color. I have some pictures from a video of the radiator at idle. The overflow is on top of the radiator for a 37. Any thoughts? I still lose about 0.5 gal every 50 miles if I don't fill back up the engine will start to over heat due to low antifreeze level

After the test I went to the exhaust pipe and tested that air and the fluid immediately changed to yellow so I know it works.

Any thoughts?

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Posted on: 8/13 14:52:06
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