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#1046698 - 12/30/16 10:17 PM New Guy Gauge Questions  
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Monte2112 Offline
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Orange Park, FL
HI folks. My name is Brian I am 51,retired Marine and live in Orange Park (Jax) FL. I recently purchased an 84 SS. Everything was fine on the 40 mile drive home. Gauges good, etc... When I got home I noticed the radiator was leaking. I pulled it and put in a new one, easy enough right??? Well After everything was buttoned up I took a drive and the temp gauge went nuts. It was around 180 at idle and would steadily creep up while driving. 220-260 and then drop back down. I checked for air pockets and went back for a drive and the same thing.

Keep in mind everything seemed fine until radiator change. I changed temp sending unit, coolant sensor and fan clutch and still the same thing. I cleaned ground connectors under hood and grounding strap and went for a drive and the same thing. I pulled gauge cluster and cleaned connectors and grounds and now the voltmeter and oil gauge read better, but now the temp gauge is at 220 before I get out of the driveway. It is driving me crazy and any help is appreciated.

Let me add that I hit all points of the cooling system several times with my infrared and the I got 170 at Tstat housing, 145 lower hose, 160 upper house.

I owned an 85 SS back in 96-97 and loved it, but this one is driving me crazy!!!

#1046699 - 12/30/16 11:00 PM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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Brian, if the temp ramps up at the beginning and then suddenly drops down and then seems to control OK it's because the thermostat is still sensing the cool fluid trapped in/under the housing and is staying closed. In some ways it looks like a pocket of trapped air. Meanwhile the temperature gauge is reading hot coolant inside the engine. In an open and flowing circuit these should be the same temperature. Some thermostats have a small weep hole (or are poorly sealed - hahaha) thus letting the warming fluid push through and open the valve quicker. Or, you may want to drill a small hole (1/16 to maybe 1/8 inch) in the thermostat. Confirm that once your temp drops it stays down???? swapping thermostats and making sure there is a weep hole (bypass) is a good precaution and inexpensive... HTH.

And welcome to the site.

Gordon

#1046702 - 12/31/16 01:02 AM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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Monte2112 Offline
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Orange Park, FL
Thanks Gordon. The only time the temp gauge does not go nuts is when the heater is on. When the heater is on the temp stays well below the 220 mark on the gauge and does not move. If there was a 180 mark on the gauge I would say 180.

Gordon, are you saying I have air trapped somewhere. I thought I burped the system fairly well. I put the car on ramps so the radiator was definitely the highest point for air to escape.

#1046703 - 12/31/16 01:18 AM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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AkronAero Offline
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clarify please. with heater off the temp goes up and stays up or drops back or cycles and to what numbers? If it goes up and comes down its air or thermostat with no bypass/weep. the Heater being on allows hot water to pass out of engine (parallel to radiator) until thermostat opening.

Air trapped under the thermostat makes it worse of course as it insulates the thermostat from the heating water. Try with the thermostat removed (or just replace it) - does it still shoot up?

#1046706 - 12/31/16 02:17 AM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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Monte2112 Offline
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Orange Park, FL
With the heat off the temp goes up and then comes down a little, but according to the gauge it is still over 220. With the heat off it goes up and comes down a little go up and comes down a little. With the heater on she stays cool as a cucumber with no fluxuation.

After cleaning all connections today it is at 220 before I pull out of the driveway and climbs from there. Drops a little then climbs. I have owned several older cars and I have never seen anything like it.

#1046707 - 12/31/16 03:05 AM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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Brian, do you have a scan tool? I would see if someone has one that can come over and check the temp with a scan tool. good luck!

Sorry, I don't have one anymore.


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#1046708 - 12/31/16 03:39 AM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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Monte2112 Offline
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Orange Park, FL
I used my infrared temperature gauge all over the cooling system. Is that what you mean by scan tool or do you mean a code reader type scan tool.

#1046709 - 12/31/16 03:59 AM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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Check that the temp sender is not a problem. At 100 degrees 1365 ohms, resistance decreases to 55 ohms at 260 degrees. So a cold engine in sunny Florida should show maybe 1500 ohms.

Here's a chart to show ohms at temp.
http://gafiero.org/bbs/index.php?topic=641.0

A new temp sender usually comes with a red thread sealant. When you use a Teflon white tape to wrap the threads it can inhibit the ground path to the cyl head.

If you have an infrared temp gauge you can shoot the temp of the thermostat housing, upper rad hose, this will give you an idea of what the output coolant temp is.

Lower rad hose, make sure it's not being sucked closed. Today lower rad hoses sometimes don't come with a spring inside to prevent collapse. Check the lower hose to make sure it isn't mushy.

Thermostat, had a few new ones that were junk. I prefer the stainless Stant Super Stat. If the thermostat doesn't have a 1/8" bypass hole drill one, purging air at the thermostat becomes easy.

Possible the highest point in a Monte cooling system is the 3/4" heater hose connection at the heater core. I installed a vent Tee at that location to purge my unusual cooling system. Try removing that hose from your system and see if you get any air out, hose and heater core should be full.

Would think if it was a problem at the printed circuit connection the gauge would read low all the time, high resistance. Used or new gauges are easy to come by. They are a dual coil, pot may be dirty, worn, inaccurate.
HTH
Bob

#1046710 - 12/31/16 10:57 AM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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Monte2112 Offline
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Orange Park, FL
Bob and everyone thanks for chiming in. The coolant temp sensor (the sensor in the Tstat housing) came with the red stuff on the threads. The temp sending unit sensor (the one in the cylinder head) did not come with any sealant on it, so I put some on the threads before install.

The lower radiator hose does not have a spring in it and does feel a little,soft in spots close to the inlet/outlet. The whole hose is not mushy, just a coule of areas.

The infrared shows 170 at Tstat housing. 160 upper radiator hose and 145-150 lower radiator hose.

#1046715 - 12/31/16 06:07 PM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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Monte2112 Offline
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Orange Park, FL
Well so far today I changed lower radiator hose for one with springs. I changed the thermostat for a 180 Stant and drilled the 1/8 hole in it. I took the 3/4" heater hose loose. I put my infrared gun all over it to check temp and same thing. 170 at cylinder head sensor, 180 at Tstat housing. 160 upper hose and 140-150 lower hose. Temp gauge still going nuts.

#1046716 - 12/31/16 07:11 PM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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AkronAero Offline
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recheck contact to sensor?

#1046717 - 12/31/16 07:11 PM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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recheck contact to sensor?

#1046748 - 01/02/17 12:29 AM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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Monte2112 Offline
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Orange Park, FL
So today I rechecked the sensor that I put in a couple of days ago. I ended up replacing it with a supposed OE style BWD WT359P, I put Very little sealer on. I crossed my fingers and fired her up.... Temp gauge immediately pegged as far right as it could go. I am so frustrated. Tomorrow I will try a WT359, which says it is closed at 100 degrees and opens at 220. At this point I would throw a turd at it if would help!!!

On a happy note, since I have the dash 1/2 way pulled a part I decided to do the LED light upgrade. LUcky me, only one connector popped out of its holder and fell back into the housing!!!

#1046756 - 01/02/17 03:40 AM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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2112 - not sure I understand. when you say you replace the sensor do you actually mean you replace the thermostat? the 359 thermostat from Summit for our cars can be chosen with several options for opening temperatures. 180 deg open is maybe good for now. Also, the small hole is called a "bypass valve". if it "immediately" pegged the temp to the right (like in seconds) it has nothing to do with the thermostat but likely the temperature sender? You are doing a lot of work here, but specifics here will help.

As for senders, I had a poor connection on the wire at the sender and my temps were erratic and all over until I crimped it down. if the 359 is for a sender, then is the 359P the reversed signal?

Curious and appreciate your patience with these questions.

#1046757 - 01/02/17 03:43 AM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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tomh115 Online content
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I've been fighting the same problem off and on for the last 3 years. I get it to work then it stops. Mine has similar issues as you describe but mine (when it worked last) went to 220-240 slowly then decreased down to 190. I've replaced the sending unit and the connector and even have added copper to the connection to get it to work. All with varrying levels of success for different durations. I'm about to just pull new wire and replace the gage. Good luck with your repairs.


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1987 Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe
Objects in mirror are losing
https://www.flickr.com/gp/34317731@N08/3xk4xk
#1046762 - 01/02/17 09:55 AM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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Gordon, you suggested that I go back and check the temp sending unit sensor. I did and replaced it with a BWD WT359P., which the computer at Advance Auto Parts said is "OE style with gauges". Temp gauge shot over as far right as it could go. I cursed and fussed a little and went to OReilly Auto PArts and the guy and me looked pulled up all part numbers he has for Temp sending unit sensors.

I noticed a WT359 temp sending unit sensor says it stays closed at 100 degrees and opens at 220. I will try that today. Yes, I crimped it down as tight as I can.

The little vacuum doohickey on the driver side of the Tstat housing looks like it has seen better days so I ordered one yesterday and it will be here this morning. Once it comes in I will drain the system, change doohickey and temp sending unit sensor.

If this does not work, I am going to run mechanical gauges and be done with it.

I wanted to keep a stock look in the car, but being a car ANAL person, I want correct gauge readings.

Thanks for the help and comments. Keep the advice and comments coming

#1046768 - 01/02/17 04:09 PM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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mmc427ss Offline
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About 15 years ago had an erratic fuel gauge reading, sometimes was accurate, sometimes not, seemed to be interior temp dependent. I did all the usual things to repair, cleaned the ground at the rear bumper, cleaned the cluster 18 pin connector, then replaced the tank sender, none of that fixed the problem. Bought a new fuel gauge and was in the process of installing it when I noticed what the problem was. There are 11 clips that the 4 gauge assemble push into on the PC board. One of the fuel gauge clips had a loose connection to the PC and was causing the fuel gauge to read inaccurate. I made a tool to remove the clips without damaging the PC, rebent the clips so they had a tight connection. Fuel gauge problem solved. The new gauge was not installed, old gauge now worked perfectly.

If it was me I would pull the cluster and check the connection of the metal gauge clips to insure they all are tight. From the factory our clusters have a long history of being inaccurate, unreliable, and troublesome. The fragile PC is easy to damage at the gauge clip to PC connection and the light socket connection. Add to that the ABS plastic cluster parts becomes brittle over time due ozone, and temp fluctuations.

In 2008 sent a full set of factory gauges to a instrument repair shop, had all refaced, a 180 speedo, 8k tach and a 80 psi oil pressure gauge done along with calibrating all 6 gauges and refacing all to stock colors. Recently the tach started to read about 500 rpm low at 6k, sent it back to that repair shop, re-calibrated it and returned to me in less than a week, free. All gauges, even though factory originals are very accurate and reliable now and maintain the factory 86 gauge look.

In short before you condemn the temp gauge pull the cluster completely out of the dash and check all the gauge clip connection to the PC.
Bob

#1046774 - 01/02/17 08:58 PM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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Bob, I cleaned those connections a couple of days ago and they all seemed to be in tact. I also bent them in a little bit for connectivity.

I changed the temp sensing unit again (the one in the cylinder head) and the same thing, it climbs all the way right and slowly comes down and just dances around like it is on Dancing With The Stars.

Here is what has me baffled. 1. This all started after a simple radiator change. 2. If I have the heater on everything reads normal and the gauge stays well below 220.

#1046784 - 01/02/17 11:12 PM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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tomh115 Online content
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Could be a control ground issue


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1987 Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe
Objects in mirror are losing
https://www.flickr.com/gp/34317731@N08/3xk4xk
#1046798 - 01/03/17 06:07 AM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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Don't think this is your problem: internal in the gauge is a chamber with a dampening fluid. Over time the fluid will seep out. You will notice the needle being jumpy when have a slight load on the cluster, such as when the turn signals or four-way flasher is on. The gauge will jump up and down. With the gauge in your hand there should be a very light restance when trying to move the needle. If the needle moves easily by that method or by just tapping on the gauge the fluid has leaked. When I sent the gauges out to be refaced I didn't send my original gauges, they were a U-pull-it set of four. When I installed that set two of the gauges had that issue, bought new ones and sent those to the gauge guy and got them refaced. Disassembled the old gauges, no dampening fluid in them, trash.

Thinking about the heater/gauge connection? Just going to throw some stuff out there.
Water pump, are you sure it is the correct rotation for the engine? There is a clockwise and counterclockwise pump. I've read about people getting the wrong rotation, whether a parts guy error or boxed wrong. Never had this happen but would think there would be no circulation at all so engine would go straight to overheated and temp would stay overheated and not drop at all.

Water pump gaskets. Three coolant holes for the block/pump, two large holes flow water into the block, the small hole on the right side is the bypass. When the stat is closed coolant flows from the block into the pump via the bypass, pumped back into the block thru the two large hole. A blocked bypass hole would cause overheating when the thermostat is closed.

Heater. The heater does the same thing that the bypass circuit does. Coolant from the intake is run through the heater core and back into the top of the pump, when the heater flow valve is opened. So now the pump see more bypass coolant, uses the heater core as a small rad and temps go down. All this with the thermostat closed.
So, with the heater control valve closed, engine is warming and goes to 250, you open the heater valve and engine temp goes down. Pressure in the system goes down, cool water from the heater core flows back into the pump, engine temp goes down.

Radiator cap. I would assume the cap is a functional 13 psi cap and the stock coolant recovery tank is in place.

Some more stupid stuff.
Ignition timing, to far retarded will increase engine temp.
Lean condition at idle, especially with a CCC setup will run cylinder temps sky high.
Head gaskets. Will cause stem into system, usually will show up as bubbles at the rad cap. An exhaust gas sniffer at the rad cap will let you know if it's exhaust gases.
Intake gaskets. Shouldn't do anything but consume water, blow it out the tailpipe.
New rad doesn't flow enough, has defect, possible, yes, probable, no.

Just throwing out stupid stuff to check. The IR readings you got from the cooling system indicate everything is normal.

Had been through a similar situation when I installed my Dart 427 SBC. A Dart block doesn't have the bypass hole at the pump, a Stewart water pump was installed. No matter what I did I couldn't get the air out of the pump, Front bumper was 3' off the ground, rad cap was highest point in the system, still would not circulate even with the heater core open. Weeks of talking to the Stewart tech guy, trying everything to get the pump to pump, finally bought an Edel Victor pump, bolted it on and it pumped. The design of the Steward cavity wouldn't allow the air to escape, cavitated.
After the Edel pump blew up, literally exploded going through the traps, I reinstalled the Stewart pump determined to figure it out. The cure was installing a bleeder T in the 3/4" hose right at the connection to the heater core. This is the highest point in my system.
Also to relieve any steam trapped in the rear of the heads ports were installed into the manifold, tubing run from both sides into the thermostat housing, above the thermostat. The 87 and newer L69/LG4 engines have something similar, coolant exits the head at #8 and flows into a Tee in heater return line.

Back to the gauge clips on the PC, You checked where the clips "pinch" to the copper on the backside? PM me an email address and I'll send you some pics of that. I can't see where anything mechanical mentioned above could be your problem, still believe it's a gauge issue.
Bob

#1046799 - 01/03/17 09:23 AM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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Orange Park, FL
Bob, thank you for all the info. That is great. I still have the dash apart (somewhat), so I will check gauge resistance when I get home this afternoon.

#1046804 - 01/03/17 03:12 PM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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Coolant temp gauge has three pins. With the temp gauge removed measure resistance at PC clips. The top clip is ground, should be close to zero. The clip to the left is from the sender. Engine cold you should be about 1500 ohms. Remove the connection at the sender, measure resistance between sender plug and left clip, should be close to zero. The clip to the right bottom is 12 vdc with key ON.

While testing gently wiggle the clip to see if it's loose on the PC.
Bob

#1046822 - 01/04/17 02:56 AM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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I'm in Fleming Island and I have an old school scan tool that works for these and I also have a 84SS. Let me know and I can help you out.
Chris


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1984 SS, w/87 Grand National 2004R, 355 vortec, CCC, Crane XE262.
1969 Road Runner
2003 GMC Serria
#1046831 - 01/04/17 10:06 AM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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Monte2112 Offline
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Orange Park, FL
Thank you Chris. I will send you my info and hopefully we can talk. I am not to far from you. I am up between Peoria and Moody.

Bob, I did the finger resistance test yesterday and as I pushed left on the needle I could feel a little resistance.

Thanks guys!!

#1046832 - 01/04/17 10:09 AM Re: New Guy Gauge Questions [Re: Monte2112]  
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Chris, PM sent with my info. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

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