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Discussion Starter #1
So I checked my coolant the other day as I could smell coolant in the cabin every now and then.

The water is just brown and smells like gone off coolant. Anyone have any ideas? It doesn't overheat. It had an engine rebuild 1200 miles ago, water pump and oil pump were changed as well. I was going to flush it and refill to see if it clears.

Anyone had anything similar?


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Look like just old coolant drain and flush your smell in the cabin is probably a leaking heater matrix common on older cars its a pain to do as most of the dash has to come out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Tricky-Ricky, I been trawling the Internet and seeing all the horror stories, then you come along and say something simple haha.

Do you know what causes it to turn that colour? As the coolant was changed after the rebuild. This was all done before me owning, bought this 2 months ago.

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That looks like the original radiator in your pics so its probably sediment just sat in there and mixed with the new coolant. Switch to alloy rad and flush it again if you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great info from both of you, much appreciated. I will drain and flush for now, then look at getting a new radiator

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The "rust" will be your block breaking down with coolant/water passing through it. If you're replacing the rad make sure you flush out the block by taking the thermostat out and running a hose through it until the water runs clear. If you don't the new rad will look like that one after a week or so!
 

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If you decide you want to change your rad (though if it flushes out ok and you say it doesn't overheat why bother?) Then these seem to be preety good. I had a failure on the dyno at MB motorsports when my engine was being tuned that resulted in my OEM unit getting nailed by the fan, we reckon the salvagers used the shaft as a lifting point. I bought one of these. Read some horror stories about bleeding them but TBH the one time I had to do it (loose bottom hose) it bled fine. Keeps her nice and cool too. JAPSPEED ALLOY BLACK RACE DRIFT RADIATOR FOR NISSAN SKYLINE R33 R34 GTST GTT GTR | eBay
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The "rust" will be your block breaking down with coolant/water passing through it.
That doesn't sound good? I mean all I can imagine is it corroding and breaking away quite badly.
If you decide you want to change your rad (though if it flushes out ok and you say it doesn't overheat why bother?) Then these seem to be preety good. I had a failure on the dyno at MB motorsports when my engine was being tuned that resulted in my OEM unit getting nailed by the fan, we reckon the salvagers used the shaft as a lifting point. I bought one of these. Read some horror stories about bleeding them but TBH the one time I had to do it (loose bottom hose) it bled fine. Keeps her nice and cool too. JAPSPEED ALLOY BLACK RACE DRIFT RADIATOR FOR NISSAN SKYLINE R33 R34 GTST GTT GTR | eBay
The rad does have reddy/brown residue on the top, so I can only assume coolant has split from it before, so piece of mind with it being changed, plus it's getting mapped in a couple of weeks.

I was looking at the japspeed one, but the chrome not black, as chrome is £60 cheaper, and the map and link ecu was a cost that I didn't expect.

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@Skinz The chrome is nice but may start to show spots of rust earlier than a black.
I wouldn't fret too much about the brown gunk. Most coolant has a rust inhibitor in it that should if not completely stop rust then slow it down a great deal. Maybe a previous owner was using tap water in it for a time which would cause some corrosion, doesn't have to be a lot to turn the water brown. A flush and proper coolant will probably see you fine. From what you say it cools well and runs OK, will be even better after it's mapped, enjoy it and be grateful you have one that only has a little rust in the coolant. My coolant is nice and blue, I keep my rust on the floor pan, like driving a feckin colander 😄
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What colour is the antifreeze as some older vehicles run a brown one and as others have said a good flush will sort that
Unsure of coolant colour as this is first time I've seen it and it's all brown.
@Skinz The chrome is nice but may start to show spots of rust earlier than a black.
I wouldn't fret too much about the brown gunk. Most coolant has a rust inhibitor in it that should if not completely stop rust then slow it down a great deal. Maybe a previous owner was using tap water in it for a time which would cause some corrosion, doesn't have to be a lot to turn the water brown. A flush and proper coolant will probably see you fine. From what you say it cools well and runs OK, will be even better after it's mapped, enjoy it and be grateful you have one that only has a little rust in the coolant. My coolant is nice and blue, I keep my rust on the floor pan, like driving a feckin colander
The temp is always where it should be, but saying that I've never driven it hard or above 3k as it's not mapped and will probably break something.

Do you think if I just flush and new coolant it should be fine? Don't bother replacing the rad? I drove it 250 miles when I picked it up and it didn't miss a beat apart from boost pipe popping off.

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@Skinz The rad is not too bad to remove so why not take it off and give it a flush too? Might be fine. Where is that lil leak you mentioned comming from? Do you maybe need a new cap? In short if it were me then I wouldn't be buying a new rad if there wasn't much wrong with the OEM one. What do you plan to do with the thing? Mostly road use with a bit of a blast from time to time? OEM should be fine. Mine never used to get really hot even when I was being a naughty boy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This is what I found at the bottom pipe and in the rad, can only presume it was the fins rotting away from the inside. I ended up putting a new japspeed rad in.


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Good work. Keep an eye on the japspeed rad and check it again just to be sure it was the oem radiator after putting some miles on it.
 
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