1965 Buick Skylark how much water to fill into the radiator

Tiny
THORSTENROCK
  • MEMBER
  • 1965 BUICK SKYLARK
Engine Cooling problem
1965 Buick Skylark V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic 80.000 miles

Hi,
i have a 1965 buick special, and yesterday it suddenly started smoking(smoke, not steam), and sizzling from the engine, so much that I had to stop because I was afraid the engine is gonna catch on fire.
shortly before that, the more it was smoking the more the engine was making a rattling sound when hitting the gas.

when I looked at the engine it seemed like smoke came out the air filter thing, and around the headgasket somewhere all around the engine.

i guess that I might not have enough cooling water in the radiator or something, but since this car has no indicator for how much water is required to put in, i'm not sure whether I should just fill the radiator to the very top or not.
i'm afraid that it'll be too much water and therefor too much pressure which may damage the radiator or cooling circuit.

any help is greatly appreciated.
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Friday, May 22nd, 2009 AT 9:26 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
  • EXPERT
First run a compression test to find out condition of head gaskets.

If OK, drain coolant and replace thermostat, remove radiator cap, fill with coolant, start engine let idle until thermostat opens, then fill to top of radiator and put cap back on.

If problem persists, get cooling system pressure tested (if head gaskets are OK).
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Friday, May 22nd, 2009 AT 9:53 AM
Tiny
THORSTENROCK
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Cool.
Thank you so much.

Does this whole thing sound like a overheating problem to you, too?
I mean why else would it make this rattling noise like that.
It sounds like when the valves are not set correctly but 10 times worse.
Also, when I let the car stand for a while and cool off, it sounds okay again, only once it warms up after a while it starts rattling again when I hit the gas.

Thanks, i'll try refilling water first and see if that'll get me at least through the week :)
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Friday, May 22nd, 2009 AT 10:32 AM
Tiny
MMPRINCE4000
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Rattling noise? OK I missed that on your first post, sorry.

The smoke is most likely coolant coming in contact with the exhaust, so the entire cooling system will have to be tested.
Check oil, if it is a chocolate color, the you may have a head gasket, intake manifold gasket problem, or your ignition timing is way off, or the valve lifters.

If coolant is in oil, stop driving the car, you will spin a main bearing and damage engine possibly beyond repair.
If timing chain is original, it is probably way loose.

On a car this old (and I LOVE the old Buicks), I would probably tear it down to short block and get ready to start replacing parts.

It is not going to be cheap, but it is a classic car.

Start off with the cooling system, as long as coolant is not in oil, you should be able to get her back to original as you can afford it.
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Saturday, May 23rd, 2009 AT 7:56 AM

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