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Thread: Winter storage dilema - cooling system

  1. #1
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    Winter storage dilema - cooling system

    Hi,
    I have posted a first startup thread and that event fairly well. Got the jeep running, Needs carb clean so it will idle, but ran good from a secondary fuel tank. During that task, it looked like the radiator was empty, so I topped it off with water. It only took about half gallon to top off the cooling system.

    So I really do not have a heated building, so work on this project is coming to a halt until next spring. I wanted to drain the cooling system as I was not sure what it tested at and I did not want it to freeze up and crack the block or radiator as I added water. I familiarized myself and found out there were two drainage petcocks one on the radiator and the other on the block behind the generator. No big deal. Got the tools and collection buckets I needed. When I opened up the radiator cap, I could see no fluid. Pretty sure my radiator has a slight leak as I can see some spots on the fins.

    Attachment 8869

    I Opened the petcock on the radiator which seemed suspect and all I could get out if it was a drip drip drip. So I loosened the lower radiator hose at the water pump and pulled it back slightly. I got a steady stream of fluid here, see pic below.
    There was no reason the fluid should not be streaming out the petcock IMO. I am guessing it is clogged with sludge at this point.

    Attachment 8870

    Next I went to the petcock on the engine block. I could see damp somewhat greasy spot behind the generator, but there was no petcock there, See picture below (ignore mirror tool).

    jeep2.jpg


    I cant tell if it is broke off or if it is unthreaded. Here is a picture I took with a mirror, and it looks like nothing is in there. see picture . I am surprised coolant did not come out when I started the engine, maybe it did not get warm enough to open thermostat?

    jeep3.jpg

    I took a look at my spare parts engine and that actually had like a 45 degree elbow with a rubber house mounted to it. Thinking they clamped the end closed and this allows easier access to draining the block

    1) Any ideas how to drain engine block so it does not freeze this winter given this situation?

    2) Any ideas why coolant was being forced out here when I started the engine?

    3) Is the engine petcock a threaded fitting or a press-fit?


    PS, RIght now, I am looking for my radiator tester to see what it checks out at, May be lucky and it will test OK with what I got, but I am doubting it. PO had it in an attached garage to her condo, so It was above freezing, I have an unheated pole barn.
    Last edited by jeep_n_john; 11-16-2021 at 08:50 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    The petcock is threaded into the block. It appears that there may be a plug in your block, most likely a Allen plug. It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that the original petcock is broke off, but from the photos, I can not see any evidence of that.

    https://www.kaiserwillys.com/categor...71-jeep-willys

    To evacuate the remaining water/coolant from the block, try using compressed air applied tot he top radiator hose, (isolate the radiator to prevent damage by removing the upper hose from the rad.)This will push out any fluid out through the bottom.
    If coolant is being pushed out when the engine is started, I would suspect an air bubble in the cooling system first until further diagnosed for a possible head gasket leak with exhaust gas being pushed into the coolant.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    I agree with gm, blowing it out with Air pressure will be your best bet. I would take a good look at what is stuck in the drain holes. It could very well be a hex drive plug someone stuck in there.

  4. #4
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    This is how a short job turns into a long one. LOL.

    You did not mention it, but do I need to take the thermostat out? seems to me, I would be blowing against a closed switch. I think I understand the flow direction, bottom of radiator to the pump, into the engine out through the top of the engine when the thermostat opens, and then into the top of the radiator where it cools and falls tothe bottom.

    Correct me if I am wrong.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    You have the flow right. Yes pull the thermostat. I feel for you John, scary when winters coming and you cant get the water out! You can also use the same idea and force some cheap RV anti freeze through it under pressure. I have a small 12 volt transfer pump I use to force RV antifreeze through Marine engines. Same idea as the air, just pump the anti freeze through it till it comes out. The direction wont matter. Upper hose to lower might be easier.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the info and suggestions everyone.

    The current fluid has tested to about -5 F, so I need to do something still. I am struggling as both petcocks are not working or not there. After 3 days of dripping, I got about a gallon out of the radiator.

    I have been unable to do anything as I picked up Covid at Deer Camp by an unvaccinated member. I am vaccinated, but still picked it up. Milder case with flue like symptoms, loss of taste and smell, Headaches, Very tired. Just got off a straight 72 hour period were I was either in bed sleeping or napping on the couch. No energy.

    Feeling much better now and getting taste and smell back. Dont feel so drained but still have a deep chest cough and sinuses are constantly draining. Tomorrow is suppose to be 55 degrees here in MN Twin Cities, so I am going to be hitting the jeep.

    I plan on taking out the radiator completely. THen remove the thermostat. I have a little 12V ellectric pump (7 PSI) so will try to rig something up to force a stronger mix of anti freeze in the block. I may see if I can get a closer look to see if there is a plug in the block, If I can confirm this, I will determine if it is allen or hex head and try to get this out (Likely would need to remove the generator and possibly the fender on the passenger side. Never drempt getting it ready for winter would be so difficult. Wish me luck.
    Last edited by jeep_n_john; 11-22-2021 at 03:36 PM.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Good luck jnj! Wow on the COVID! Man and you were vaccinated. This is a difficult fight to say the least. I just received a booster. Keeping my fingers crossed, mask on, hands washed.

    PVC pipe and fittings work well to get the upper or lower hose to hook up to a pump or to air line.
    Last edited by bmorgil; 11-22-2021 at 04:25 PM.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Glad you are feeling better, but sad you had to experience the crud. Ah Minnesota deer camp. It's been a long time since I had gone and sat in a tree with the north wind blowing, and the Northern lights flickering at night while drinking around the fire. Good times.... But as typically happens, one guy has to spoil the experience.

    In my opinion, I would remove the fender so you can get in there easier. Use plenty of PB Blaster or Kroil and a little heat on the fender bolts, and they will come out.

  9. #9
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    I don’t believe I ever heard it said the vaccine will prevent infection or the spread of covid. Only that it might keep the vaccinated from having to go to the hospital. Not much different than the flu shot. You can still get the flu even if you get the shot.
    Last edited by 51 CJ3; 11-22-2021 at 07:46 PM.
    Jeff
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  10. #10
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    Update

    OK, I pulled the grill off the jeep for better access to the radiator. Then I was able to pull the radiator out of the jeep, There was still some fluid in the lower hose and the lower part of the tank. If you remember, the petcock wide open would only drip. I poured the rest of the fluid out of the radiator and put that in the shed for storage to deal with later.
    20211123-11_17_30 - Front grill removal.jpg

    20211123-11_17_31 - radiator removed.jpg

    Next I installed the lower radiator hose to the water pump rotating it so the outlet was higher than the block. I removed the thermostat cover and thermostat. (unfortunately, one bolt twisted off - will have to deal with that later). I was sort of expecting to see coolant at the top of the block, but then realized that since the water pump was lower than the top of the block, the coolant could have drained out of the block to an equal level of the water pump. I then blew with my mouth on the hose connected to the water pump. I expected some resistance and maybe even a bubbling as I blew air into the system, but to my surprise, there was no resistance and the air seemed to go straight through and exit out the top of the block where the thermostat was. To me, the only way this could happen is if there was no coolant left in the block, but this could not be since there was no petcock on the block and it was plugged. Can anybody explain this? what am I missing here?

    I next took fresh anti freeze (premixed to 50/50) and poured it into the opening at the top of the block. I filled it to the top. It seemed to flow through the system and into the radiator house leveling off at equal levels to the top of the block and hose.

    20211123-11_17_32 - radiator hose turned up on water pump and block filled with fluid.jpg

    20211123-11_17_33 - coolant in hose once block was filled.jpg

    I then poured off fluid as much fluid as I could into a container by bending the radiator hose attached to the water pump down at an angle.

    I then repeated the process of filling and draining, each time capturing the fluid into a different container.

    The idea here was that the new fluid added would force the old fluid through the system and would be emptied into my containers. If I was right, then testing each container should show an increase in the temperature protection level of the fluid that was emptied.

    So when the process was complete, I measured each of the containers with my coolant tester. And found that the level of protection increased from -10F to -18F to -25 F and subsequently to -30F. Seemed to be the results I was after.

    So the only thing I can not explain is the issue above where I apparently was able to blow air threw the system. Do you think I am OK, or is there something I am missing here? Is there more than one coolant path through the block such that one could empty and the other be full with fluid which could explain why I could blow air through the system. If this is the case, would adding new fluid to the system mix with the fluid in there, or do I still have an area of the block that has fluid only to -10F and the only way to purge the system would be via the block petcock hole?
    Last edited by jeep_n_john; 11-25-2021 at 11:45 AM.

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