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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:18 pm 
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Year and Trim: 2001 SSEi
I recall reading a post where the author mentioned replacing a radiator and had found a better than stock (more rows?) replacement, but can't track it down again.

My '01 maintains good temps, as long as the ambient temperature is not over 90-95°. Then, whether in town or going through mountain passes, it rises to about the redline.

Radiator shop says no issues - the AC fan relay was sticking, no longer a problem, thermostat is apparently off by about 20°, but flow was good, fans working, coolant good, etc. Car has 180° thermostat along with PCM reprogram, other minor mods. Everything is fine, until hot days.

The post I read had discussed a similar issue, and the consensus seemed to be that Pontiac did no one any favors with their lack of a heavy-duty radiator option, but this fellow found one that dropped in easily and eliminated the overheating problem.

Any ideas banging around out there for an upgrade? Besides having a shop fabricate one for me?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:58 pm 
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My car made it through most of Colorado and Pikes Peak in 90+ degree weather with the AC on, sometimes even climbing up stuff at a steady 3000+ rpm. Temp gauge never moved past 200 on the cluster. Penny is stock other than 180* thermostat and tune.

Reasonably normal driving will never overtax the factory cooling system. Something else must be wrong with the car. I'd be wondering about your water pump.

Nonetheless, the upgrade was from a Aurora with the ShortStar V6.
performance-brainstorming/topic46770.html

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:44 pm 
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You shouldn't need a better than stock radiator to keep your temps down, something else is wrong. I agree with Carl, replace your water pump.

As far as getting a better radiator, you can use a GXP core (more than twice as thick) with SSEi plastic end caps. A radiator shop would be able to swap the end caps for you.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:31 pm 
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Although you may have done this already, check the radiator cap and neck to ensure a good seal. Also, nothing stronger than a 50/50 coolant mix.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:11 am 
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Year and Trim: 2001 SSEi
NOs4, that was the thread that I remembered reading. Thanks.

Haro, Ajt, as near as I can tell, nothing is out of whack, which is why I took it to a radiator shop - figuring they would be able to tell if the water pump was not up to snuff or if there was a blockage somewhere. They couldn't find a thing (except for claiming the temp gauge was reading ~20° high), and I've used this shop several times before with good results.

This is the first summer I've driven the car on extended trips in 95+ temps since all the mods (full list below), and the only time it is an issue is when the ambient temp is above 93-95°. Since there is a heavier-duty radiator available (with some potential swapping issues), I'll likely go that route (along with a water pump replacement) when I finish my other projects and see what happens. I'll post on the results, eventually. I did wonder if the 3.2 pulley might contribute to higher engine temps on really hot days...

2001 SSei: full GXP suspension, 1.9 rockers/springs, FWI, 3.2 pulley, 180° thermostat, Intense tune. Nothing major, just good clean fun.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:23 am 
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I'd replace the water pump first, before doing the rad swap, just to double check. It's an easy job and the part isn't pricey.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:06 am 
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FYI, the stock gauge is designed to display 200° if the temp is within 180-220°. It is like that to make the end user not freak out about normal temperature fluctuation like the thermostat opening. When the gauge starts to read warmer than 200° you know you are at least 220° or hotter.

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