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What did you get done on your Bolt today? - 2021 and later
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Who uses their truck as a truck - 2021 and later

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#1475522 Wed Nov 16 2022 07:56 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 543
M
'Bolter
I'm curious what you guys use and recommend in regards to what pressure of radiator cap you use on the original radiators in the AD trucks. My truck is a 53 half ton with the original radiator, and a 235 engine.


Mike Burns
1940 Chev 1/2 ton
1953 Chev 1/2 ton
1953 Ford Victoria
1950 Studebaker Starlight Coupe
Mike Burns #1475523 Wed Nov 16 2022 07:59 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,788
E
'Bolter
Original radiators and heaters are only built to use lower pressures, if modern higher pressures are used to raise the building point, older units will leak!

Ed


'37 GMC T-18 w/ DD 4-53T, RTO-610, 6231 aux., '95 GMC running gear, full disc brakes, power steering, 22.5 wheels and tires.
'47 GMC 1 ton w/ 302, NP-540, 4wd, full width Blazer front axle.
'54 GMC 630 w/ 503 gasser, 5 speed, ex fire truck, shortened WB 4', install 8' bed.
'55 GMC 370 w/270, 420 4 speed, grain, dump bed truck from ND. Works OK.
Mike Burns #1475528 Wed Nov 16 2022 08:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,913
W
back yard wrench turner
My 38 is a non pressure system.


Wayne

When I die, I hope she doesn't sell everything for what I told her I paid for it!

1938 1-Ton Farm Truck
-30-
Stovebolt Gallery Forums
Mike Burns #1475529 Wed Nov 16 2022 08:17 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 25,694
H
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
If there is a housing that resembles a tuna can on the upper radiator tank with a vent tube attached to it, you have a "zero pressure" system that does not use a pressure cap. Later systems with the vent tube attached to the radiator fill neck can handle a little pressure, like maybe 4 pounds, or possibly 7 on vehicles from the late 1950's, but be aware that the heater core is probably the weak point. Too much pressure will cause the radiator core and/or the heater to spring a leak. Modern replacement radiators can handle up to 15 pounds or so, but the heater must be upgraded also. Each pound of pressure on a cooling system raises the boiling point of the coolant 3 degrees F. at sea level so a 7# cap will let the coolant reach 233 degrees before it boils.
Jerry


"It is better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and eliminate all doubt!"
Abraham Lincoln

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
Ernest Hemingway

Love your enemies and drive 'em nuts!
Mike Burns #1475536 Wed Nov 16 2022 10:14 PM
Joined: Oct 2021
Posts: 1,627
O
'Bolter
My truck came to me with a 4 pound cap. I installed a coolant reservoir and it works perfectly filling up when hot and lowering to the cold line as it cools off. Radiator is filled to the very top.


1939 Packard Standard Eight Coupe (The Phantom)
1950 Chevrolet 3100 (Ol' Roy)
1956 Cadillac Coupe de Ville (The Bismarck)
1966 Oldsmobile Toronado (The Purple Knif)
1966 Ford Mustang (Little Red)
1964 Ford Galaxie 500 coupe
1979 Ford F-100
1976 Ford F-150 (Big Red)
1995 Ford F-150 (Newt)
Mike Burns #1475628 Thu Nov 17 2022 04:44 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,131
AD Addict
Originally Posted by Mike Burns
I'm curious what you guys use and recommend in regards to what pressure of radiator cap you use on the original radiators in the AD trucks. My truck is a 53 half ton with the original radiator, and a 235 engine.


I’m running a 4 lb. cap on my ‘59 235 in my ‘52 with the original radiator.

Last edited by Phak1; Thu Nov 17 2022 04:44 PM.

Phil
Moderator, The Engine Shop & Interiors

1952 Chevrolet 3100
Project Journals
Stovebolt Gallery Forum

‘59 235 w/hydraulic lifters
“Three on the Tree” & 4:11 torque tube
12v w/ Alternator
Mike Burns #1475651 Thu Nov 17 2022 06:38 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,805
G
Insomniac
Hmmm. I have a 7 lb. cap. I have a new aluminum radiator, but the heater core is original. No leaks so far, but maybe I should buy a 4 lb. cap.


Gord
----
1954 1/2 ton 235 4 speed
Mike Burns #1475652 Thu Nov 17 2022 06:46 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 25,694
H
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
The only purpose of any pressure cap is to allow the coolant temp is to rise above the boiling point and stay liquid- - - -the same principle a pressure cooker uses. With a good coolant recovery system, anything that escapes past the pressure cap gets recycled back into the system when the engine cools down. That's probably a better idea than trying to keep all the liquid in the radiator all the time, and a lower pressure cap can be used to protect the heater core. Very few stovebolts with a clean, proper capacity radiator run 200+ degrees for very long if the water jacket is clean and the right temp thermostat is used. A 180 stat is probably the best choice to get the engine up to normal temp and still have a little cushion before the boiling point is reached. Engines that run cold all the time try to beat themselves to death with wide piston skirt and bearing clearances.
Jerry


"It is better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and eliminate all doubt!"
Abraham Lincoln

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
Ernest Hemingway

Love your enemies and drive 'em nuts!
Mike Burns #1475683 Thu Nov 17 2022 08:03 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,089
F
'Bolter
My last Stovebolt, a 1950 3600 with 216 had what may have been the original zero pressure cap. The shop manual calls for zero pressure for 1950, but not sure about others.


Professional Novice
Mike Burns #1475723 Fri Nov 18 2022 02:30 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 6,675
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
The 48-51 Service manual says that all trucks except COE's use a no pressure radiator. It says the COE uses a 3.5-4.5 psi cap.


Kevin
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos [flickr.com]
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
Busting rust since the mid-60's
If you're smart enough to take it apart, you darn well better be smart enough to put it back together.
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