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Thread: radiator

  1. #1
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    Dec 2013

    Default radiator

    Recently I have noticed a puddle underneath my z in the garage I haven't really examined it yet but it is a red substance is that anti freeze ? And now that I think about it its right below the radiator its been very cold here in Wisconsin today it was -18" could the cold weather have caused my radiator to crack could it be a line ? the car hasn't been started since before thanksgiving its just been sitting while I've been trying to fix other issues its an 81 280zxt there is a lot of after market stuff under the hood from previous owner such as cold air intake electric fan so I'm not sure if the radiator was replaced or not I'm sure it was at some point but I guess I just wanted someone's opinion on what could have happened it was originally a Cali car it came down here 2 or so years ago I think? Any help would be great thanks.

  2. #2
    Registered User EuroDat's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    The Netherlands


    Hi Bill, Welcome to the club.

    You might want to add some more details or add the car details to your signature. Helps with this kind of stuff.
    Is it water or oil based fluid?

    Red fluid could be ATF. Auto transmissions have two 8mm lines that go to the bottom of the radiator to cool the auto transmission. They tend to rub thin and leak or the fittings come loose over time.

    If its radiator fluid. The easiest test is to climb under and see if you can see where its coming from.
    Another test is to check if its full of fluid, fill it up and run the engine until its warm. This will pressurize the radiator, stop the engine and check for leaks again. A radiator shop can pressure test if for you, but then you will need to drive it, so I would do the first two checks first.

    It the anti-freeze was watered down to a point where it could freeze and damage the radiator, your probably up for a new core or another radiator. -18F is dam cold and would require full strength anti-freeze. If its red radiator fluid, you have some anti-freeze capacity, but maybe not enough for -18. Your garage must be mighty cold.
    The PO might of have stored it in a heated garaged it in the winter and didn't need anti-freeze for your area. It could still have the anti-freeze for California?

    5/77 280Z HLS30 403100 with some modifications
    Original colour: 305 Light Blue. The PO changed it to Red

  3. #3
    Registered User Jarvo2's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Plainfield, IL


    If it is your radiator & you need an nice OEM replacement, let me know. I have a 3-row copper 280z/x radiator in my attic that the previous owner of my 240z put on (240 vs 280 use different radiators so I replaced it with the proper one on my car). I'm down in Chicago.
    Windy City Z Club (Chicago)
    1972 240z, restoration in progress

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