GM Camaro 1967-1981 Repair Guide

Cooling System

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See Figures 1 through 12

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Fig. Fig. 1: The coolant recovery (overflow) tank is designed to maintain a full level in the cooling system regardless of engine temperature-the tank is mounted on the right-hand inner fender skirt



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Fig. Fig. 2: Be sure the rubber gasket on the radiator cap has a tight seal



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Fig. Fig. 3: Periodically remove all debris from the radiator fins



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Fig. Fig. 4: Cooling systems should be pressure tested for leaks periodically



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Fig. Fig. 5: Cutaway view of a typical cooling system flow



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Fig. Fig. 6: Make absolutely certain that the engine is cold, then lift the lever on the radiator cap to allow any pressure to escape from the cooling system ...



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Fig. Fig. 7: ... then remove the radiator cap by turning it 1/4 revolution counterclockwise



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Fig. Fig. 8: If the radiator is to be drained, locate the drain valve (arrow) on the lower left or right-hand side of the radiator ...



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Fig. Fig. 9: ... then loosen the drain valve and allow the coolant to flow into a large catch pan



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Fig. Fig. 10: Make sure the drain valve is closed and fill the radiator with a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze ...



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Fig. Fig. 11: ... then install the radiator cap-remove the overflow cap from the overflow (expansion) tank ...



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Fig. Fig. 12: ... and fill the overflow tank to the FULL COLD mark with the same mixture of water and antifreeze

Dealing with the cooling system can be a dangerous matter unless the proper precautions are observed. It is best to check the coolant level in the radiator when the engine is cold. On early models this is accomplished by carefully removing the radiator cap and checking that the coolant is within 2 in. of the bottom of the filler neck. On later models, the cooling system has, as one of its components, a coolant recovery tank. If the coolant level is at or near the "FULL COLD" line (engine cold) or the "FULL HOT" line (engine hot), the level is satisfactory. Always be certain that the filler caps on both the radiator and the recovery tank are closed tightly.

In the event that the coolant level must be checked when the engine is hot on engines without a coolant recovery tank, place a thick rag over the radiator cap and slowly turn the cap counterclockwise until it reaches the first detent. Allow all hot steam to escape. This will allow the pressure in the system to drop gradually, preventing an explosion of hot coolant. When the hissing noise stops, remove the cap the rest of the way.

If the coolant level is found to be low, add a 50/50 mixture of ethylene glycol-based antifreeze and clean water. On older models, coolant must be added through the radiator filler neck. On newer models with the recovery tank, coolant may be added either through the filler neck on the radiator or directly into the recovery tank.


CAUTION
Never add coolant to a hot engine unless it is running. If it is not running you run the risk of cracking the engine block.

The radiator hoses and clamps and the radiator cap should be checked at the same time as the coolant level. The radiator cap gasket should be checked for any obvious tears, cracks or swelling, or any signs of incorrect seating in the radiator filler neck.

 
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