2018 Cooling System Refresh

If we rewind way back to when I got the car in 2004 the cooling system amazed me. As you see below the engine had seen much better days. Once I put the original water pump back on, re-cored the original radiator, filled it up, and added a fan shroud, I had no problems with the car overheating, and it amazed me. Below, as found, right, new core with old tanks back in 2004.

The cooling system remained trouble free until the car stayed 9 months in the first body shop I used. After that, no matter how many reverse flushing or adding the coolant filter, I couldn't keep the car from overheating. Below, one of many times the car overheated.

Below, this is where we start in 2018. I decided to run the rust treatment Thermocure (TC) through my cooling system, then get the radiator rodded out. To the left, coolant in it looked good, but once drained, the rust was evident, and the tubes had some clogs.

The coolant was drained, the system flushed with water (apparently not that thoroughly based on the resulting green), then the TC was added and the run cycles per the directions were followed. The first time I drained the product I thought "this doesn't work". It was green like coolant and there were no solids. I put it back in the system and ran additional cycles.

The second time was the charm. This time, the TC was coming out brown. Right picture shows a comparison from first set of cycles and second.

Below are some deposits the TC got out. I was happy to see the gunk on the left, and after I let the drained TC sit, check out what settled to the bottom on the right.

Oddly the TC left a yellow residue on everything even after multiple water flushings. I contacted the manufacturer about this via e-mail, but got no response back. A year later, I left a Facebook comment, and they stated yellow "usually means lead paint." Since there is a bunch of lead in solder, I would guess that it why it was prevalent in the radiator. To the right, is the radiator after the tanks were removed for rodding out. This is quite a telling picture. At 14 years old, and with a coolant filter installed at the 6 year mark, the bottom of the tubes were plenty clogged along with a lot of build up at the bottom. All of this was taken care of.


When the radiator came back to me from re-coring back in the day, the tanks weren't painted. I took the time to mask them and shoot them in semi-gloss since I'm getting the engine bay up to snuff.


Below, I removed the radiator mounting brackets and de-rusted them in Evapo-Rust. I also had the Optikleen cap stuck on the bottle, so rather than rust breaking the glass getting it off I soaked it as well. I then painted the brackets, and replaced the bloated rubber sourced from Best Offer Counts.

So far, the refresh has been a success. I've taken the car in severe stop and go traffic on a 91 degree day, and never saw the temp creep above 175 degrees.

I've kept the coolant filter inline and it still picks up little bits of material. I have the finer screen installed, and am happy that none of that is getting in the radiator this go round. Video below, after buttoning everything up.