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1941 180 coolant leak
#1
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CartRich
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I was in the garage occupied by my 41 180 Sedan doing nothing related to the car when I noticed a small pool of coolant sitting under the front. The car was not running, nor did I start it, but a quick look underneath didn’t show much more than that small pool. I opened the radiator and since the position is awkward if you aren’t standing on something, I just stuck my finger in. Dry as far as I could get my finger in. I’m going to guess it had been leaking at least the last time I had driven it but I hadn’t noticed. I came back to it a few day later and added distilled water. It took about 3/4 of a gallon to fill it to the neck. I started the car and got down to look under the front. At first very little dripping then more and in a pretty consistent, but not huge, flow. It looks like it is not coming out of the overflow tube but I can see liquid on the brace under the radiator. My guess is either the water pump or the radiator core. The Motor’s Auto Repair Manual would make it seem as if removing either or both the pump or radiator is fairly simple. In my world it never is, so I am looking for some thoughts on whether 1- I may be correct on thinking it is probably one or the other of the radiator or pump 2- how big of a hassle is this job for someone who is not the best mechanic on the block and is always worried about causing more damage. Maybe I should just have it taken to a shop and have someone else deal with it while I pay through the nose. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Posted on: 8/8 18:54
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Re: 1941 180 coolant leak
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Dell
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I would start with a pressure pump that connects in place of the cap and pressurize the radiator If the water pump is leaking the water is visible on the inside of the fan pulley with a good flashlight or on the front of the block below the pump. It's big job to remove the radiator, heavy and hard to handle. The hood must be removed, fan and the water pump for extra room and to be safe.
Might be a job for a professional and let him be responsible for any possible damage.

Posted on: 8/8 19:29

35-1200 touring sedan
42-110 convertible coupe
48-2293 station sedan
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Re: 1941 180 coolant leak
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Hi CartRich,
I'm coming from my experience with the '39, but one thing I found was, if one filled the rad up to the neck bottom, as you said you did, once the engine warms up that became 'too full' on my car and it would leak out via the overflow tube, until it reached it's 'own level'. When I had my rad re-cored I noticed the shop moved the overflow spout (inside the rad) up, a good inch. That allowed me to carry a little more coolant without any overflow, but I STILL can't have it to the bottom of the fill neck. If I stand on something and look down into the rad I can see coolant but it is still a ways down when cold. I am wondering if maybe your overflow rubber spout is cracked or not appropriately affixed to the exterior rad connection and is leaking down the side of the rad?? I would at least eliminate that as a possibility before the expense and work of R&Ring the rad as it is a big job, and expensive if you can't do it yourself. Bottom line, if your rad is over-full, it will do some overflowing when the engine is warmed up. Chris.

Posted on: 8/8 22:00
'If you think you can, or you think you can't - you're right!' Henry Ford.
1939 Packard Six, Model 1700
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Re: 1941 180 coolant leak
#4
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HH56
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To go along with what Chris said, Packard did give some guidelines on filling the radiator but was a bit less specific on prewar models than they were on postwars. Owners manuals do caution against filling the radiator too full though.

If your car was warm when you put it away it could have leaked out the overflow but if cool and you still saw the puddle after cleanup then most likely somewhere else.

Attach file:



jpg  prewar.jpg (99.99 KB)
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jpg  postwar.jpg (89.34 KB)
209_6110a3671c42e.jpg 1038X318 px

Posted on: 8/8 22:39
Howard
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Re: 1941 180 coolant leak
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CartRich
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Thanks guys.

I will look into getting one of those manual radiator pressurizers. I tend to think that it is not overfill, because this is the first time there was any leakage on the floor. I had not added any coolant to the radiator prior to this incident. Also, the end of the overflow tube remains dry.

Assuming that it is the water pump, should I look at replacing anything else besides the pump and gasket?

Posted on: 8/9 8:04
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Re: 1941 180 coolant leak
#6
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Owen_Dyneto
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If it is the pump that's leaking at the shaft seal, you should be able to see evidence of it at the weep hole.

Posted on: 8/9 8:10
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Re: 1941 180 coolant leak
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CartRich
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Anyone have any experience or feedback on ultraviolet leak detection kits? I was about to pull the trigger on ordering a hand pressure pump when this option came up. Thoughts?

Posted on: 8/10 7:16
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Re: 1941 180 coolant leak
#8
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CartRich,
My only 'thoughts'/advice would be to watch how much pressure you applied with the hand pump if you DO get one. I know my cooling system is a 'zero-pressure' circuit and depending on the condition of your rad (if the '41 is also 0-press.) it might not take much positive pressure to make it leak! Re, replacing the water pump, again, a fairly involved task, I would sure confirm the leak is coming from there before getting the sockets out or phoning your mechanic. As Dave (Owen_Dyneto) says, there is a weep hole in the back of the pump and coolant coming from there should be relatively easy to confirm. If you do end up removing the pump, it's always a good idea to pull the brass water distribution tube, but only possible if the rad is removed as well. Personally, I find working on these cars, leaning over the big fenders to be physically arduous and somewhat of a PITA. I built a fairly large plywood box about 10" off the ground, and standing on that helps. Although removing the front end clip is a task, it sure makes any of the aforementioned a WHOLE LOT easier! I've had mine off twice and the second time, it only took me a couple of hours to put it back. Just MY take though.... Chris.

Posted on: 8/10 12:55
'If you think you can, or you think you can't - you're right!' Henry Ford.
1939 Packard Six, Model 1700
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Re: 1941 180 coolant leak
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CartRich
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Thanks for the insight, Chris. I'm glad you mentioned the fact that if I use the pressure pump that I not go too high with pressure. The Salesman Data Book shows that 1941 has a sealed cooling system to raise the boiling point. It shows the pressure of the 180 engine to be 7 lbs. Also I will definitely have something to stand on because like you said, it's a pain working over the big fenders.

It has been about 40 or more years since I "helped" my father work on the '37 six and from what I thought I remembered, the water pump seemed like a fairly easy swap out. I'm sure my memory could be off. When you mention it being involved, what were you referring to? The shop manual and the Motor's Manual are pretty vague on the replacement simply saying the radiator does not have to be removed to change the water pump. It seems to rely on the serviceman having a prior knowledge of having replaced a pump. The car is stored 10 miles away so I don't always get all the pertinent info on one trip. Hopefully I am correct in thinking that the pump sits at the top front of the block. The Parts book as well as the service manuals show cut aways of the engine which are not a lot of help in this case. My thought was to drain the coolant, remove the fan belt and any attached hoses, unbolt the pump, clean the surface, replace gasket and pump, reconnect any attached hoses, refill coolant. The steps I left out are lots of swearing in between. The coolant tube won't be coming out because as long as it's not a leak in the radiatior I do not plan to remove it.

Please feel free to point out where I am going wrong or what I should be considering. I won't be tackling anything for at least a couple of weeks as I gather parts and input and fore warned is fore armed. I am not too proud to take any help or foresight on this that I can get.

Posted on: 8/11 4:17
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Re: 1941 180 coolant leak
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Hi CartRich,

You sound like you have a pretty good handle on the 'order' of things and when I say 'involved', I only mean time-consuming and finickity. Keep track of the bolts as they come out of the pump as to which go where, as they both differ in length and, on mine, there were a couple with a special copper washer and they need to go 'back where they came from'.
Sometimes with the front motor mount, if it is really old, and the engine has 'sagged' a bit, it will interfere with the sealing surface of the bottom of the pump. You can support the engine with some wood under the oilpan and a floor jack and remove the 2 engine bolts from the mount and then jack the motor up another 1/4" to 3/8" to give you good exposure to the mating surface of the block. You obviously want to get it perfectly clean to preclude leaks. I scraped mine with a razor scraper and then gave the area a light block sanding with some 150/180 grit paper in a cross-thatched pattern. This will expose any nicks or corrosion pits, or any high spots in the surface and help you get a good gasket seal. Good lighting is key and I'd also check out your upper and lower rad hoses during the swap-out, as there's no better time to replace them if needed! Good luck. Chris.

Posted on: 8/12 0:30
'If you think you can, or you think you can't - you're right!' Henry Ford.
1939 Packard Six, Model 1700
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