Sunday, November 05, 2006
More things to fix on the Dart
After taking the Dart out road tuning recently, I noticed a puddle forming under the front end. The puddle was beige and frothy, like it was leaking the foam off a mug of Guinness. As the color didn't quite match any fluid that is supposed to be in the car, and I know I didn't fill any of the reservoirs under the hood with Irish stout, I found that a bit worrisome.
The nature of the problem became clear when I popped the hood: What I was seeing was rusty coolant leaking from a pinhole leak in the radiator neck. The radiator is one I had pulled from a junkyard Aspen years ago and it had given me problems in the past, which I had patched with JB-Kwik epoxy. While it did cross my mind to try more epoxy or maybe a little silicone sealant (I didn't consider Alumiseal or Bars Leak type things to be an option; in my experience those can let go after a couple years), I've decided that I will fix it right.
So my plan is first to give the cooling system a good flush to remove any rust and other crud. Then I'm yanking the junkyard radiator and dropping in an aftermarket aluminum radiator. I was at Summit Racing's McDonough store for a car show yesterday (pictures will be up very soon), so while I was there, I stopped in and bought a Griffin circle track radiator. Since the Dart has an automatic, I also bought an external transmission cooler. Unfortunately, they didn't have the brackets I need to install the radiator on hand, so I'll have to wait for those to arrive.
And when I put the radiator in, I'm also planning to put in an intercooler. As soon as I get that done, I'll be off to dyno test it and get everything dialed in. Stay tuned.
Labels: Dodge Dart