2002 WRX 4eat Wagon Radiator upgrade
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This is a discussion on 2002 WRX 4eat Wagon Radiator upgrade within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Last year my stock radiator failed. I replaced the hoses/clamps/radiator/therm/cap etc. After the install, and after a few hundred miles, ...

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    2002 WRX 4eat Wagon Radiator upgrade

    Last year my stock radiator failed. I replaced the hoses/clamps/radiator/therm/cap etc.
    After the install, and after a few hundred miles, my car will put antifreeze into the overfill, so I need to add more. I replaced the stock radiator with an aftermarket Mishimoto. Currently I have two filler caps...1 on the new radiator....1 on the filler neck past the radiator(the stock radiator didn't have a filler neck). Should I bypass the second or what did I do wrong?
    I appreciate any help...
    Thanks,
    Drew

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    Registered User UEDan's Avatar
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    Fill the one nearest the turbo(not on the radiator) since it is the highest point in the cooling system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UEDan View Post
    Fill the one nearest the turbo(not on the radiator) since it is the highest point in the cooling system.
    Thanks, but I have been for a year...all antifreeze goes into the overflow, and am running short? Should I by pass the higherest point, or is my angle wrong on the overflow?
    Thanks,
    Drew

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Overflow is not under pressure.

    Since both caps have overflow, tee the overflow tubes together so the both go into the overflow container.

    Burp the system. Then burp it again and again. You can do most of this with the motor off even (stone cold car).

    BTW did you find a rad with transmission cooler built in ir did you fit an external cooler? Won't matter, just wondering.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    Overflow is not under pressure.

    Since both caps have overflow, tee the overflow tubes together so the both go into the overflow container.

    Burp the system. Then burp it again and again. You can do most of this with the motor off even (stone cold car).

    BTW did you find a rad with transmission cooler built in ir did you fit an external cooler? Won't matter, just wondering.
    Thanks for your reply. Here is the radiator I replaced the OEM with...Mishimoto Performance Aluminum Radiator for Subaru WRX and STI 2001-2007, by Mishimoto
    As far as the overflow, I do have them T'd and they both go into the overflow. I also burp the system every few weeks when I add more antifreeze.
    I don't understand why my antifreeze is being dumped into the overflow, causing me to add more.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I wonder if one of your caps is faulty, allowing coolant to bypass into the overflow at a lower pressure than necessary. Have you confirmed you have circulation? If so consider the caps.
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    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Does the coolant bubble in the overflow when the engine is very warm?
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    I wonder if one of your caps is faulty, allowing coolant to bypass into the overflow at a lower pressure than necessary. Have you confirmed you have circulation? If so consider the caps.
    The higher cap in the system just began letting coolant out yesterday...I assumed because the overflow is full, but may not fully understand how the system operates.
    How do you check for circulation?
    Thanks,
    Drew

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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    Does the coolant bubble in the overflow when the engine is very warm?
    Thanks for your reply...no it doesn't.
    Thanks,
    Drew

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    The caps are designed to let coolant escape from the pressurized side of the system (below them) to the unpressurized side (the overflow). They are intended to do this only when the system pressure exceeds the rated pressure of each cap. They'll be marked something like 0.9 bar or 13 PSI or something like that, for example. If one of the caps is faulty it may be letting coolant escape the pressurized side of the system into the overflow at a lower pressure than normal.

    I asked about bubbling because a worst case scenario is a head gasket failure. It does not sound like that though from what you've said.

    To check for circulation one starts with a stone cold car, removes a cap. and turns on the motor. As the car comes to operating temp the thermostat will open, and one will be able to see the coolant through the open cap circulating. BE CAREFUL but you already know all that since you top off and burp the car routinely.

    If you have circulation you've excluded obstructions or a bad thermostat.

    If you exclude the caps and you have circulation then get the system pressure tested, something won't add up at that point. First things first though.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    The caps are designed to let coolant escape from the pressurized side of the system (below them) to the unpressurized side (the overflow). They are intended to do this only when the system pressure exceeds the rated pressure of each cap. They'll be marked something like 0.9 bar or 13 PSI or something like that, for example. If one of the caps is faulty it may be letting coolant escape the pressurized side of the system into the overflow at a lower pressure than normal.

    I asked about bubbling because a worst case scenario is a head gasket failure. It does not sound like that though from what you've said.

    To check for circulation one starts with a stone cold car, removes a cap. and turns on the motor. As the car comes to operating temp the thermostat will open, and one will be able to see the coolant through the open cap circulating. BE CAREFUL but you already know all that since you top off and burp the car routinely.

    If you have circulation you've excluded obstructions or a bad thermostat.

    If you exclude the caps and you have circulation then get the system pressure tested, something won't add up at that point. First things first though.
    Thanks again. My problem started after I replaced all of the components.
    I am positive I do not have a bad head gasket. I will replace the cap on the highest point to see if that helps. When I burp the system, I do see circulation, so we can rule that out as well. I upgraded the thermostat when I replaced the radiator ( Racing Thermostat for Subaru Impreza WRX and STI, 2001+, by Mishimoto ).

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    Since you have circulation, the thermostat works and the pump works. Since the head gasket is IK my best guess is one if the caps but you don't know which. Try one, then the other. Finally try both. Height of cap won't matter, it could be either -- or less likely both.

    Other than that, unless I've misunderstood, I'm at a loss. Pressure test at that point.

    You are extra sure you're burping thoroughly right?
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    Since you have circulation, the thermostat works and the pump works. Since the head gasket is IK my best guess is one if the caps but you don't know which. Try one, then the other. Finally try both. Height of cap won't matter, it could be either -- or less likely both.

    Other than that, unless I've misunderstood, I'm at a loss. Pressure test at that point.

    You are extra sure you're burping thoroughly right?
    I am burped, then burped some more. I replaced the cap, and it fixed the cap issue of spillage. Now I have the usual issue still. The best I can guess is the pressure in the system is too much for standard hose clamps on the harder silicone hoses? When I got home the other night and parked for a few minutes, there was a small puddle of coolant underneath. So it is apparently going into overflow and spilling from somewhere as well. The cap issue is probably because it's the original and is removed so much. The gaskets didn't seal well.

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