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Old 03-21-2013, 02:59 PM   #1
97saturn sohc
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Default Coolant Boiling Over

I have a 97 SL1 with 190,000 on her. I recently replaced my valves after one disintegrated. SO after a few mistakes I finally put the engine back together. New Felpro head gasket, new head bolts torqued correctly in sequence, the head was sent to a machine shop, next to no warpage, which was fixed, and no cracks. Block in excenllent condition...

SO the last couple of times I have replaced the head gasket, the exhuast is almost clear while idling. If I give her any gas however, it is straight white smoke. And in addition, I leave the car idling each time to warm up to make sure she is good. However, with or with out the expansion tank cap on, the coolant will begin to steam and then explosivly and suddenly boil over.

I cannot figure it out. IT should not be getting coolant in the pistons/ exhaust gases in the coolant because I have replaced it twice. Perfectly. I cant think of anything I have done wrong. But I cant figure out the white smoke or why the coolant is boiling over. Any thoughts?

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Old 03-21-2013, 03:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: Coolant Boiling Over

Has the ECTS been replaced? Has the thermostat been replaced? What is the antifreeze concentration?

Most importantly verify by direct observation that coolant is returning to the reservoir in a solid stream from the small line attached to the right rear corner of the reservoir. From a cold start remove the reservoir cap and look in the reservoir through the small square port in the partition and check for the return stream. This line will heat up rapidly as the engine warms up.

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Old 03-21-2013, 06:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: Coolant Boiling Over

The coolant concentration is just the mixed GM Dexcool you buy at the store. Neither have been replaced. Im not sure why they would be a problem all of a sudden since the car was running great before I took the head off.

If coolant is not returning to the expansion tank in a stream what does that mean?

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Old 03-21-2013, 08:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Coolant Boiling Over

How were you able to remove the cylinder head without draining and subsequently replacing the coolant?

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Old 03-21-2013, 08:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Coolant Boiling Over

Quote:
Originally Posted by 97saturn sohc View Post
The coolant concentration is just the mixed GM Dexcool you buy at the store. Neither have been replaced. Im not sure why they would be a problem all of a sudden since the car was running great before I took the head off.

If coolant is not returning to the expansion tank in a stream what does that mean?
It means the engine will warm up and belch out much coolant.

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Old 03-21-2013, 09:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Coolant Boiling Over

No, I drained the coolant completely. Once I have put the engine back together then I put the coolant back in. And then it starts to steam before erupting out the expansion tank.

So I am going to replace the Thermostat (which looks brand new, but then again I have been without heat, It hasn't effected the engine temperature though) and the ETCS. When that is done, should it be the case, what do I do if there is no stream?

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Old 03-21-2013, 10:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Coolant Boiling Over

Check the hose and the pipe it connects to for obstructions. No flow means no coolant in the head. This will warp the head. You should have flow at all times regardless of the status of the thermostat. I would check that before ripping the thermostat out.

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Old 03-28-2013, 04:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Coolant Boiling Over

Ok so i replaced the etcs and the thermostat with a Stant 195 degree. I have not noticed any boiling over yet and have driven her several miles. I have noticed a difference with the engine temperature though. Previously the normal operating temperature was exactly on the 1/4 line. Now it is hanging right below the 1/2 mark line. Any thoughts? Could it be because the two thermostats are different?

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Old 03-28-2013, 04:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Coolant Boiling Over

Right below 1/2 is normal temperature.

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Old 03-29-2013, 06:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: Coolant Boiling Over

Quote:
Originally Posted by 97saturn sohc View Post
Ok so i replaced the etcs and the thermostat with a Stant 195 degree. I have not noticed any boiling over yet and have driven her several miles. I have noticed a difference with the engine temperature though. Previously the normal operating temperature was exactly on the 1/4 line. Now it is hanging right below the 1/2 mark line. Any thoughts? Could it be because the two thermostats are different?
Some of the factory cars shipped with a cooler running unit. Nothing to be concerned about though.

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Old 03-29-2013, 09:59 AM   #11
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Default Re: Coolant Boiling Over

Quote:
Originally Posted by 97saturn sohc View Post
the last couple of times I have replaced the head gasket...
you've replaced the head gasket at least three times?

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Old 03-30-2013, 01:31 AM   #12
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Default Re: Coolant Boiling Over

yeah... mistakes made, lots of knowledge learned

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