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Old 01-03-2010, 12:50 PM   #1
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Radiator flush and thermostat

Having never done it before,how hard is it to flush the radiator and change the thermostat in a 3.8 camaro ? The reason i have never done it before,i never kept a car long enough to do it,lol. Any help would be great!!Thanks.
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:37 PM   #2
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heres a guide, yes it's for a V8 but works for the 3.8 too, T-stat is right on top of the intake, 2 bolts thats it and it comes right out.


Coolant Drain and Refill

Drain
  • Park vehicle on level surface.
  • Remove radiator cap (best to do this on a cold engine).
    • Slowly rotate cap counterclockwise 1/4 turn and stop.
    • Wait until hissing stops, indicating remaining pressure has been relieved.
    • After all hissing ceases, continue rotating cap to remove.
  • Open radiator drain valve Note: catch and dispose of used coolant properly.
  • Open bleeder screws 2 or 3 turns (protect the optispark from coolant).
  • Remove block drain plug on lower LH side of engine and knock sensor from RH side.
  • Allow system to drain completely. Alternate: You can put a garden hose in the radiator neck if you want to force clean water through the radiator. This may not force the water through the block if the thermostat is not open (probably won't be with cold water present). You can remove the thermostat to allow the water to more easily reach the block. Allow to drain after flushing.
It is always a good idea to keep coolant away from the distributor (optispark) to avoid any potential problems when doing any of this work.

Refill
  • Close radiator drain valve.
  • Install block drain plug and knock sensor (if removed during drain procedure).
  • If you did the alternate flushing above and have removed the thermostat, you might want to fill the block with your coolant mix through the top of the water pump before placing the thermostat back in. Some people report that this helps to lessen air pockets. Fill until the water pump remains full, install thermostat and water neck, then continue with the next item.
  • Using a 50/50 mix of coolant to water, fill the system through the radiator neck (bleeder valves open). You should hear a hiss of air from the bleeder valves as you pour in the coolant.
  • LT1 coolant capacities for the 4th gen F-body:
    • With Manual Transmission - 15.3 quarts (14.5 L)
    • With Automatic Transmission - 15.1 quarts (14.3 L)
  • Close bleeder screws when bubbles disappear and only coolant is visible.
  • Fill the coolant recovery reservoir to the COLD fill mark. This will provide the extra coolant required to replace the air left in the system upon the first couple of thermocycles.
  • Install coolant recovery cap.
  • Block wheels and run engine in Park or Neutral with the radiator cap off until thermostat opens (you should see coolant circulating in the radiator tubes).
  • With the engine running, add coolant to the radiator until the level is as high as you can get it. This may be tricky if you have an electric pump because coolant may try to gush out-be careful. Install cap sooner if coolant gushes out.
  • Install radiator cap.
  • Check for leaks after the engine is up to running temperature.
  • Monitor engine temperature. If the temperature goes up into the red zone, turn off engine and allow to cool. After it has cooled, check the level in the remote reservoir and correct if necessary. Open the radiator cap and check the level there, too. Run engine again until the thermostat is open and check again for air at the bleeder screws.
If, after doing work, you want to verify the coolant level for a few days, check that the level is to the top of the radiator neck when the engine is cold. Add coolant to top it off, if needed. Then, also make sure that the level is correct in the remote reservoir.
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:21 PM   #3
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Thanks alot fbodyrs96,i appreciate the help,my coolant is only good to 20 above,i was pissed when i first saw that,i just bought the car a couple months back,the overfill resevoir is downright disgusting.I parked it until i can change it,or get it changed,the highs here is 30 today,but was down to 14 last night.Thermostsa not bad,but i just thought while i was in there doing the coolant,mine as well do the thermostat too.
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:45 PM   #4
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no problem, btw know would be the time to get a 180 deg thermostat.
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:56 PM   #5
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Thats what i was thinking too.
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:13 AM   #6
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gonna bump this real quick. Is the only bleeder valve on 3.8 located near the t-stat housing? It says valve's' on this write up, so I was thinking theres maybe more then one?
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