Sunday, January 4, 2009

Old cars are a pain

Our 1970 Mustang Mach 1, decided to start leaking radiator fluid. All by itself it made this decision. There was a small amount on the garage floor, maybe half a cup. Was it the upper radiator hose? No, that was too easy. It had to be the lower. And not where it attaches to the bottom of the radiator. No, up by the water pump. The motor in this car is the 428 Cobra Jet. It is "wall to wall motor". You can hardly even see the bottom radiator hose.
I did figure out the problem. A year ago, I took the front of the motor apart to put in a different distributor but more importantly, to get the harmonic ballancer rebuilt. On this old Ford, it is cast iron, two pieces held together with rubber, to absorb vibrations. The old rubber can fail, so I sent it off to get rebuilt. When I put on the lower hose, I didn't get it pushed all the way up to the stop mark on the water pump. Nor did I get the hose clamp on evenly. So when it was clamped down, it was cocked and after a year, decided to leak.
I drained the radiator and took the hose off on Saturday. And Sunday afternoon, put it all back together. I didn't bother to start it. I need to do that and then let it cool and check the fluid level. Big blocks like "low" water. Otherwise, they spew radiator fluid about.
In the photo, just to the left and a bit lower than center, is what looks to be some white marks. I have them circled in white.  That says "RAD" on the lower hose. So you know which end connects to the radiator. As you can see, what with the AC, the power steering pump and IT's radiator, belts and such, it isn't too easy to even see the hose. To work on it, you are under the car. Except to tighten the clamp on the top. That is easier to reach from the top.
I also took the 1969 Mustang coupe out and washed it, cleaned the windows and vacuumed it out. That was the first time in about a year. Hey, they sit in the garage 30 out of 31 days.

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