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Old 10-05-2005, 04:53 PM   #1
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Default How much coolant do I use?

I just finished my B20 swap into my '88 CRX. After spending about 3 days of wondering why it the temp gauge kept reading way too hot, I remembered we only put in water after the swap to make sure there were no leaks. I drained out the water tonight from the radiator. I don't even think there was even one cup of water in there.

MYSTERY SOLVED.

I poured in some Prestone 50/50 prediluted stuff until the radiator appared to be full. After that I ran the engine for about 5 minutes giving a little 5k rev every so often. The gauge was reading at a pretty good temperature; just under the middle mark. I shut the engine off and let it cool down again. I poured in some more coolant until the radiator looked full again. I also made sure to fill the overflow tank up to the minimum mark. I haven't started yet but I don't know how long this process is going to take.

Is there a set amount of coolant I should add to the car or should I continue this until it seems like the engine and radiator are both filled?
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Old 10-05-2005, 05:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: How much coolant do I use? (knwldge54)

here's what i do..
fill up the radiator to the top, set the heater to hottest setting and fan on highest speed, start car and let the engine get to normal operating temp, add coolant as necessary. You're done when you don't see bubbles rising from the fill neck. Top off the coolant reservoir last.

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Old 10-05-2005, 05:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: How much coolant do I use? (eda6)

Looks like you did it right...fill it up till its full, let warm up so the thermostat opens up and refill it to full again...... Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-05-2005, 05:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: How much coolant do I use? (BoostedPeterbilt)

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Old 10-05-2005, 05:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: How much coolant do I use? (eda6)

Quote:
Originally Posted by eda6
here's what i do..
fill up the radiator to the top, set the heater to hottest setting and fan on highest speed, start car and let the engine get to normal operating temp, add coolant as necessary. You're done when you don't see bubbles rising from the fill neck. Top off the coolant reservoir last.
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Old 10-05-2005, 06:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: How much coolant do I use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eda6
here's what i do..
fill up the radiator to the top, set the heater to hottest setting and fan on highest speed, start car and let the engine get to normal operating temp, add coolant as necessary. You're done when you don't see bubbles rising from the fill neck. Top off the coolant reservoir last.
I would have done that but my I am sans heater (<-- I have no heater installed).
I just the have to two connections on the engine looped and clamped for now. Gonna put the heater back in soon since winter is coming and I don't want to go through another heaterless winter.

After the car cooled down some more I put a little more coolant and let it idle. I got some more good results from my trial and error procedure as the temp gauge was reading pretty damn good.

I drove the car and around to the heat the engine up. I think I should be good now but I'll check the radiator level again and add coolant if neccesary. Hopefully this is the last of my cooling problems. Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-05-2005, 06:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: How much coolant do I use? (knwldge54)

make sure u mix water with your coolant.. i don't know how cold it gets where u live.. but your if u only have coolant in ur radiator it can freeze and when u have only water in there it freezes but when u have both it doesn't for some reason so i would put water in there..
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Old 10-05-2005, 07:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: How much coolant do I use? (1988c-rex)

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make sure u mix water with your coolant.. i don't know how cold it gets where u live.. but your if u only have coolant in ur radiator it can freeze and when u have only water in there it freezes but when u have both it doesn't for some reason so i would put water in there..
DAMN IT! I thought I bought the prediluted 50/50 one. After I go check the radiator in a little while, I'll see how much coolant I can add to it. Hopefully I can fill it up with the remaining coolant (maybe a cup left in the bottle). After that I'll just drain out 4.8 to 8 cups and replace it with water.

Thanks alot for mentioning this to me now. I really wouldn't want find out around winter time.
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Old 10-05-2005, 07:21 PM   #9
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yea i kinda ended up damaging that heater control valve thing, which control how much coolant to back to the core inside the car.....so i ended up just taking that valve out and running a straight direct hose, so this way i'll have coolant flowing at all times, i mean i've had an *** load of over-heating problems in the past and all, this was one reason i've bypassed a lot of tiny things which might prevent from this car heating to normal temp. in the winter time....but all in all...its less moving parts so..
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Old 10-05-2005, 08:06 PM   #10
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Cool.

I added the little bit of coolant I had left. I'll get rid of some tommorow morning and add some water.
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Old 10-05-2005, 08:49 PM   #11
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straight water cools better than antifreeze or any mixture. FYI.
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Old 10-05-2005, 11:43 PM   #12
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Default Re: (91civicDXdude)

I use mostly water...maybe a liter of antifreeze/coolant and then a bottle of water wetter.

Seems to work well.
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Old 10-06-2005, 03:32 AM   #13
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Default Re: (91civicDXdude)

Quote:
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straight water cools better than antifreeze or any mixture. FYI.
Maybe it does but not in my car. I only put in water to look for leaks. Also the fact that the fan never came on has something to do with the poor cooling also.
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Old 10-06-2005, 05:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: How much coolant do I use? (knwldge54)

Quote:
Originally Posted by knwldge54
I just finished my B20 swap into my '88 CRX. After spending about 3 days of wondering why it the temp gauge kept reading way too hot, I remembered we only put in water after the swap to make sure there were no leaks. I drained out the water tonight from the radiator. I don't even think there was even one cup of water in there.

MYSTERY SOLVED.

I poured in some Prestone 50/50 prediluted stuff until the radiator appared to be full. After that I ran the engine for about 5 minutes giving a little 5k rev every so often. The gauge was reading at a pretty good temperature; just under the middle mark. I shut the engine off and let it cool down again. I poured in some more coolant until the radiator looked full again. I also made sure to fill the overflow tank up to the minimum mark. I haven't started yet but I don't know how long this process is going to take.

Is there a set amount of coolant I should add to the car or should I continue this until it seems like the engine and radiator are both filled?
Click the image to open in full size.
This is the reason why many engines (including those by Honda) have a bleeder valve. You are supposed to open this valve before filling the cooling system in order to make sure that the system is full before starting the car. If you don't do this, then you could possibly overheat your engine while running it to get the thermostat to open. And if there is insufficient coolant for the fan switch to be submerged (it is on the thermostat housing on a B20), the fan will NEVER come on. Also, very little water came out since you didn't drain the engine (only the radiator).

Now for some odd reason, there is no bleeder valve on a B20. There is just a blocked, untapped hole where it should be. But there is a simple way to deal with this. Remove the hose clamp where the upper radiator hose connects to the engine. Then slide the hose off the nipple and hold it to the nipple in such a way that there is a small opening between the hose and nipple on the top side of the hose/nipple. While holding the hose in this position and keeping the opening, fill the radiator with coolant until it starts to drain from this opening. Then slide the hose back on all the way and reinstall the hose clamp.
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