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  1. #1

    Default Coolant Leaking....

    Coolant is leaking from the straight 8 in my '50 Chieftain. How can I determine where it's coming from? It looks like there may be two areas of concern-the top of the radiator where the top part meets the core part and somewhere else under the engine because that's where a puddle is. Is there some way to determine exactly where it's coming from? Thanks in advance....


    1950 Pontiac Chieftain Deluxe 2 Door Sedan, Straight 8, Hydramatic, 82k Miles….

  2. #2

    Default

    Garages and mechanics have a tool called a pressure tester. It screws on in place of your radiator cap and then pumped up to create pressure in your cooling system equal to the radiator cap pressure. This is done while the car is not running and cold so you don't get burned by hot coolant yet can duplicate a running pressure on the system. With the pressure on the system you can examine all points of interest both visually and listening for a leaking sound.

    https://www.google.com/search?client...utf-8&oe=utf-8

  3. #3

    Default

    With a car that is 60 years plus old, it is not uncommon for the joints in the radiator to need new attention. If you have an under seat heater, there are hoses that go under the car, with a metal tube in the middle of it, that could be shot. Also, the heater core itself may be leaking. Also the defroster heater hoses could be leaking and dripping on the floor in that area, since they also run low in the engine compartment.

  4. #4

    Default

    I just ordered one of those pressure testers from Amazon which should arrive on Thursday. I'll try it that day and see what happens. Hopefully it will be something simple that I can replace myself because I'm not exactly Mr. Goodwrench. I've put 900 miles on the car since I bought it on Memorial Day which is more than the previous owner put on it in the two years he owned it so that may have something to do with it. The engine hasn't been running hot which is good. Thanks to the two guys who responded. I'll let you know what happens in a few days....


    1950 Pontiac Chieftain Deluxe 2 Door Sedan, Straight 8, Hydramatic, 82k Miles….

  5. #5

    Default

    The pressure tester arrived today and none of the caps would fit on my radiator so I'm sending it back for a refund. I can see water leaking from the top front of the radiator so I guess I'll see if I can remove it and take it somewhere to get fixed. Does anyone know what a new radiator would cost and where I could find one? Of course my timing couldn't be better because it's supposed to be 95 here in the Louisville area every day for at least the next week....


    1950 Pontiac Chieftain Deluxe 2 Door Sedan, Straight 8, Hydramatic, 82k Miles….

  6. #6

    Default

    I removed the radiator this morning and took it to a shop in Louisville. He said it should be done by Tuesday so hopefully that will solve the problem....


    1950 Pontiac Chieftain Deluxe 2 Door Sedan, Straight 8, Hydramatic, 82k Miles….

  7. #7

    Default

    This will be my last post in this thread unless someone responds since it doesn't seem to be attracting much interest. The guy called today and said the core was shot and he could install a new one for $750. (The engine didn't run hot at all so I think the core was OK.) I don't know if he thought I was rich or stupid (or maybe both LOL) but I declined and went in and picked it up. I put it back in the car along with some Barr's stop leak so we'll see what happens. If anyone happens to have a decent radiator for an early '50s Pontiac in good condition please let me know. Thanks....
    Last edited by '50 Chief; August 25th, 2014 at 22:03.


    1950 Pontiac Chieftain Deluxe 2 Door Sedan, Straight 8, Hydramatic, 82k Miles….

  8. #8

    Default

    hi, hope the barr's leak will work for you, i would look for another radiator shop that will just make sure that your core is ok, and weld up the tanks. keep us posted, thanks.

    charles coker
    1953 pontiac tech advisor
    tech advisor coordinator

  9. #9

    Default

    Sad to advise you but that is the going rate to recore an original radiator. I would look on Ebay and in Smoke Signals a parts dealers who might have a good used one. My experience with all the radiator stop leak products do is the clog up the system.
    There are lots of old school ways to plug leaks from a raw egg to a tablespoon of black pepper. it always comes back to you get what you pay for.
    Join the Early Times Chapter and read the Great article on cooilnig system problems and fixes in a 1934 Pontiac. Some great lessons in the article.

  10. #10

    Default

    I put about 15 miles on it today in 92 degree heat and there was no leaking when I got home. I've gone out to check it a couple more times and still no leaks or puddles under the car so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks for the comments and advice....


    1950 Pontiac Chieftain Deluxe 2 Door Sedan, Straight 8, Hydramatic, 82k Miles….

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