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Old 06-23-2016, 10:36 PM   #1
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1986 P30 Chevy 454 Radiator Repair Job

Hey Everyone

I've been working on a 1986 Executive Diplomat with a Chevy 454 on a P30 Chassis. I noticed a leak in the radiator after running the motorhome up a couple of mountains as a test. On the back of the drivers side, above the drain plug, there was a square bolt (see pics) that looked like it was leaking coolant. I drained the radiator, and tried to loosen the bolt with pb blaster and removed it with a 12 point socket. The trouble is, the whole plug came out. Not just the bolt. Anyway, I was wondering:

1. If anyone knows the purpose of the plug/bolt.

2. Is there anyway I can repair this without having to install a new rad.

3. There are some metal lines running to the rad. Is this part of the A/C system. And if so, can I remove them safely while uninstalling the rad?

Thanks for all of your help.
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Old 06-23-2016, 11:05 PM   #2
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It looks like an access point for an engine oil cooler, if your engine has metal lines coming from the oil filter location. If you are familiar with freeze plugs on an engine, they are a bitch to change without pulling the engine, but they were available in the form of rubber with a nut in the center so you could hold it in the freeze plug hole and adjust the nut until it fit, which would solve your problem. Check with your NAPA parts store and see if they are available in a size that would work for you. JMHO and good luck.
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Old 06-23-2016, 11:39 PM   #3
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Ok great! Yeah there was another one like this on the bottom of my gas tank. The previous owner might have used these to plug up these holes?
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Old 06-24-2016, 04:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandobud16 View Post
1. If anyone knows the purpose of the plug/bolt.
It looks like JustImagination said. It's a plug for the engine oil cooler system when the oil cooler system isn't used.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mandobud16 View Post
2. Is there anyway I can repair this without having to install a new rad.
You can either plug it in place or take the radiator to a radiator shop who should be able to braze it back up. Perhaps they will remove the oil cooler system which isn't used anyways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mandobud16 View Post
3. There are some metal lines running to the rad. Is this part of the A/C system. And if so, can I remove them safely while uninstalling the rad?
The A/C condensor is in front of the radiator and does not always need to be removed to remove the radiator. The lines going into the radiator are probably the transmission fluid cooler lines.
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Old 07-10-2016, 12:25 PM   #5
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Yup. You did it. But you won't die from it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mandobud16 View Post
Hey Everyone

I've been working on a 1986 Executive Diplomat with a Chevy 454 on a P30 Chassis. I noticed a leak in the radiator after running the motorhome up a couple of mountains as a test. On the back of the drivers side, above the drain plug, there was a square bolt (see pics) that looked like it was leaking coolant. I drained the radiator, and tried to loosen the bolt with pb blaster and removed it with a 12 point socket. The trouble is, the whole plug came out. Not just the bolt. Anyway, I was wondering:

1. If anyone knows the purpose of the plug/bolt.

It closes off the hole in the radiator tank, silly. The solder gave way causing the leak and you finished the process off with your wrench. So the fitting needs to be soldered back in place.


2. Is there anyway I can repair this without having to install a new rad.

Yes, but it's going to involve ether a lot of elbow grease or cash.

3. There are some metal lines running to the rad. Is this part of the A/C system. And if so, can I remove them safely while uninstalling the rad?

There are built in oil coolers for the engine and transmission. These are separate heat exchangers, miniature radiators really installed in the side tanks. O-rings are involved.

Thanks for all of your help.

If you choose to tackle the job itself it takes about a week to two weeks and a real radiator shop for the repair itself. If you're lucky you'll be able to move your airconditioning condenser without breaking the lines, but if you need to remove the lines, take the system to an airconditioning shop and have them pump out the Freon first. Then they can use your Freon when they evacuate and recharge the system.

Good luck. BTDT Got the Tee shirt.
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