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Keeping it Cool

I decided to get a new radiator and avoid the drama.  After some research, I settled on a Cold Case radiator.  It’s a stock fit bolt- in replacement with a lot more capacity.

It’s a two row core, but the tubes are very wide, so it has a lot of surface area.

Out with the old one core:

…and in with the new.  Fit is good, it bolted up to the stock mount points on the radiator support.

My only slight criticism is that the brackets were about 3/8” deeper than they needed to be, so the radiator body was a bit closer to the firewall than I’d expected.  This caused a misalignment at the shroud mount bracket.  Not a big deal since drilling a second mount hole isn’t too difficult, but it may matter to other people.


I also got the CORRECT temp sender to work with the idiot light.

I am waiting on the new power steering pump before I do the final assembly.

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Power steering

My last classic car had manual steering…and at the time I wished I had power steering.  Now I have power steering, and kinda wish I didn’t.

The problem is that the pump is leaking for some reason.  The fluid level was very low, so I put in almost a pint of fluid.  The next day there was a giant puddle of something under the front of the car.  You guessed it, nearly a pint of power steering fluid.

Part of the problem seems to be that the engine has a mix of 68 (short water pump) and 69 (long water pump) accessories and brackets.  For the pump, it looks like it’s a 68 bracket with some spacers and washers added to make the pulleys line up.  That’s not a great plan.

The pump is leaking from the mounting hole on the back of the reservoir. (Next to the ‘notice’ sticker.)   I’m not sure, but it looks like there’s a boss inside the reservoir, and an o-ring between it and the sheetmetal of the reservoir.  Fill it up above that, and it leaks out there.  Not a great design.

The trick now is to figure out the combination of pump and brackets that will work.

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Made it to the show!

After the ‘overheating’ fiasco, I decided to risk it, and we went to the show at Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough, NH.  It was a decent turnout, probably 200 cars.  Oddly…we were the only 1st gen Camaro there.  In fact, the only other Camaros in attendance were a 79 Z28, and a 2018.  There was a 69 Firebird, and a 73 also, but that was it for F body cars.

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Still overheating…sorta

The engine in the 68 is a 73 350. The wiring needed some work, and when I got the temp light hooked up, it came on after a few minutes of running.

I figured out that the sender was for a gauge, not an idiot light, so that’s why the light would show dim, and gradually get brighter. I hit the local NAPA and asked for a new sender for an idiot light, and a new thermostat…but the light still came on.

There’s a show on the 6th I wanted to make (castle in the clouds, moultonborough) so I wanted to solve the overheating before then.

Next up on the hitlist was a new water pump. I mail ordered a new one and a few other bits. The parts arrived on the 1st.

I stripped the front of the engine down on the 2nd to discover I’d mail ordered a short pump by mistake. I called NAPA on the 3rd and they said the long pump wasn’t in stock, but they’d have it by 3pm. My wife stopped by at 3:45…to find a sign in the window saying they closed early at 3pm, and would be closed on the 4th.

A 45 minute drive to the nearest place that was open got me a pump. I spent a few hours on the 4th pulling the rest of it, including pulling the dampener and putting a sleeve on, and a new front seal in the timing cover to (hopefully) cure an oil leak. Then it was clean/paint/reassemble with the new water pump, and wait for the rtv to cure.

Tonight I finished the last of the assembly, put the coolant back in, and took it for a drive around the block…

..and then the temp light came on again…

Something wasn’t adding up. The engine didn’t seem that hot, and my infrared temp gun showed 185.

I pulled out the sales slip for the new sender, and looked up the part number. Sunofabich…it’s for a gauge not a light.

Sooo…going to the show Saturday anyway, temp light and all.