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Old 10-15-2012, 08:30 PM   #1
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The truth is revealed!

First, let me pass along some wisdom to other the owners of older gas V-8's.

Symptom: Coolant overflow bottle is starting to get low or empty often. This can lead to running warm or even hot. Can cause a boil over or worse if not watched closely.

Possible causes: On the cheap, cracked hose or loose clamp, crack or a hole in the overflow bottle.

A little more expensive cause is a leaking water pump. If leaking from the weep hole under the center of the pump, even a drop or two, the seal is shot and a new or re-manufactured pump and gasket are in order. Normally, this takes an afternoon to change out, but since its buried deep inside the RV, it could take a whole weekend just to get enough parts removed to lay hands on it!

It will for sure cost a few bucks to have it done by a shop.

The most expensive cause, is a blown head gasket!
This is diagnosed by water on the dip stick. Water in one or both of the exhaust pipes is the other give away for a blown head gasket on the exhaust side.

Now, anyone that read my earlier post about our boil over on the first trip with the new to us coach will now see that the truth has been revealed!

I figured that since the seller had recently installed a new over flow bottle, he failed to fill it. I have a dirt/grass yard and never noticed a leak. Well, I had to drive it to work today so I could stop by the heavy truck tire shop to have a dual removed to rotate it 180 from the outside stem and pull off an old faulty stem extension and replace it with a gator cap. Cost me $20, eat that expensive RV shop!

I went to work, and parked in our paved lot. When I went to leave, there was a long green wet patch under the front. I crawled under and coolant was on everything. So, I topped off the bottle, and came home. After I arrived, I left it running and crawled under. Sure enough, coolant is dripping out of the weep hole.
Not a lot, but enough. 64,000 miles is about right for a GM V-8 water pump to give up the ghost.

So, I guess a step by step water pump replacement instructional thread is in order! With pictures.

Stay tuned!
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:41 PM   #2
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There's another reason for the overflow bottle to loose coolant; a leaky heater core. This is especially prevalent on a RV that was used mostly in warm weather where fresh coolant was not circulated through the heater core.

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Originally Posted by PirateCamper View Post
First, let me pass along some wisdom to other the owners of older gas V-8's.

Symptom: Coolant overflow bottle is starting to get low or empty often. This can lead to running warm or even hot. Can cause a boil over or worse if not watched closely....
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:47 PM   #3
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I am aware of this problem on my 8.1L GM V-8. I am trying to ignore it, but I can't....the level in the coolant tank is slowly dropping on every trip we take.
I would be very interested in an instructional post on how to diagnose and repair the problem....
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:45 PM   #4
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Well, the first thing I will have to do is remove the grill and radiator so I can get in from the front. I've looked and it COULD be done from above with a piece of plywood to make a bridge and work lying on my stomach above the engine, but I'd rather work from the front, I'm old, LoL.

I plan to leave the A/C condenser and hoses off because the A/C doesn't work anyway. This should give the radiator a little more air.

I'm going to put mine off for a while and do some other things before I tear this beast down. I will document the entire job with pictures in the hope it may help another owner with the same problem. I'm going to replace mine with a new heavy duty, high performance water pump.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:02 PM   #5
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Thanks for the offer - I'll be watching. I find getting started and decent weather are my main holdbacks.
P.S. We try to camp on Edisto Island every March.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:09 PM   #6
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On my coach I suspect you do it from down below... Just had a new Serpentine belt put on.. Took the pro's 30 minutes.. I could not even see part of the path, but they got it done in 30 minutes.. .OF course they had a pit to stand in under the motor home where as I was lying on my back, Makes a difference.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateCamper View Post

So, I guess a step by step water pump replacement instructional thread is in order! With pictures.

Stay tuned!
Could you also do a Ford 460 instructional thread while you're it, just in case mine goes?

I did a water pump on a car once, wasn't much fun but it was do-able. Hope yours goes well for you.
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Old 10-23-2012, 02:43 PM   #8
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I'm all over it!
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