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Old 04-17-2016, 02:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Marshmallow - '88 Ford LTD Crown Victoria LX
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Cool Driving Without Coolant Success!

I'm very thankful for this website because it introduced me to the concept of Pulse and Glide, which allowed me to get my car to a repair shop in a pinch without a functioning coolant system.

A month ago, I was driving home from work Saturday afternoon, and as I got off the freeway I saw steam coming out of the gap between my hood and my fenders. Uh oh… I shut the motor off (check engine light did not come on thankfully, thus no damage I think) and popped the hood to let it cool quickly. I ended up patching the split hose with duct tape and wire, pouring a gallon of water into the radiator (I always have a few gallons in my trunk) and limping home. I called up my local Ford dealership, told them my situation, and they told me I could bring it in on Monday.

My problem was, I don't have a lot of money. A tow truck would cost over $100, and I only had enough money for a coolant flush, new hoses, and a thermostat replacement. So, I had to get my car to the dealership without using a tow truck.

This is how I did it: I drained what was left of the coolant (not much, most was on the driveway) and filled the radiator with ice cubes. Then I topped it off with tap water. The idea is that I would lose all of the water through leaks, and the ice would be able to trickle if the water ran out so the water pump isn't pumping pure air. Every bit helps!

I drove there by aggressively accelerating to the speed limit, then shifting into neutral, and turning the engine off every chance I could. That way the computer always assumed I was in "cold start" conditions and used rich mixture settings, cooling the block. I was able to roll into the shop 7 miles from my house without damaging my engine. When I arrived I had nothing in the radiator.

So, I know it's a long post, but I'd just like to say a general Thank You to y'all for writing the articles on here that taught me about Pulse and Gliding. It helped me out, not necessarily with MPG per say but definitely with efficient driving that morning.

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Old 04-17-2016, 03:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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How does one put ice cubes in the radiator? They won't fit through the fill neck. and if they do get past it, there's not a lot of space in the top of the rad above the cooling fins...
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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They fit for me! The cap on my radiator is (off the top of my head) a little over an inch in diameter. I got all the ice in my freezer into the radiator. In terms of total volume, it didn't nearly fill the whole radiator, but it filled the driver's side header tank.
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Old 04-17-2016, 04:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It is also useful to note that my block, heads, and exhaust manifolds are all cast iron. That probably helped me get away with what I did (higher heat capacity, higher "softening" point of the metal)
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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And all having the same rate of expansion when heated...

And yeah, when I saw we were talking about an LTD, I wondered if the cap might well be big enough.

Glad it worked out! Where was the leak?
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Old 04-17-2016, 02:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The leak I patched was in a hose connecting the intake manifold to the radiator. The other leak (the one that lost the majority of the coolant) was behind the engine, connecting to the heater core.
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Old 04-17-2016, 03:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sounds like you have an honest Ford dealer. If you had gone to one of my local Toyota dealers, they would have told you to replace all the hoses, the radiator, the heater core, the water pump, the thermostat, and the steering rack which your car doesn't have.
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Old 04-18-2016, 12:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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They're not perfect. Sometimes they are upset about what I ask them to do… for example, last year when I took the 'Vic to get its transmission flushed, they made me sign a waiver removing their liability if the procedure were to destroy the transmission!

Also, once a service writer told me my "carburetors were out of adjustment" and it would be an up charge to work on such an old car, about 300 bucks out the door. I told him my car was fuel injected and simply needed the oil change I asked for lol!
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Old 04-18-2016, 08:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherniydiavel View Post
They're not perfect. Sometimes they are upset about what I ask them to do… for example, last year when I took the 'Vic to get its transmission flushed, they made me sign a waiver removing their liability if the procedure were to destroy the transmission!

Also, once a service writer told me my "carburetors were out of adjustment" and it would be an up charge to work on such an old car, about 300 bucks out the door. I told him my car was fuel injected and simply needed the oil change I asked for lol!
It's not uncommon for that to happen in an abused car after a flush. If the car was maintained it's OK though.

As for the "Carbutertor" thing, could be human error. Old G.M. wagons of the same year still had carburetors (Did the Sedans have them too?) though Ford switched over to fuel injection in the 1983 model year.
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Old 04-18-2016, 02:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Some of those systems in the in-between years were "electronic feedback" carburetors, Few of the benefits of TBI with a lot of the hassles. Thanks, Mitsubishi!

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