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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Piston Slap: Cooling down in the Special Riviera | Hagerty Media

My 1957 Buick Special Riviera overheats after about 45 minutes. One solution may be to just replace the radiator and be done with the issue, but I'm not sure that is the solution. Also, '57 Buick radiators are hard to find.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/advice/piston-slap/piston-slap-cooling-down-in-the-special-riviera/
5 REPLIES 5
gmicksmith
New Driver

Thank you very much for the answer!
I am not sure how old the cooling system is so a total replacement seems in order.
Dad also would be grateful for the advice (except he could have done it himself). The Special was his baby (except for mom of course) but I keep it alive in his honor: RIP.
The 1957 Buick Special Riviera 46-R was my parent's first new car; here is background on the era and detailed specifics about the car:
https://blogsmithconsulting.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-buiee-requiscent-in-pace-leo-j.html
Sajeev
Community Manager

Thank you so much for asking me this question, it was an honor to help you with your Dad's Buick!  I think the fresh cooling system is a great idea. 

gmicksmith
New Driver

Thank you sir for your help! 

Swamibob
Instructor

That is an outstanding car! Love old Buicks and especially anything with a nailhead.
I agree with a complete rebuild of the cooling system along with a flushing of the engine block and heater core also. Sometimes a good flushing is all that is needed, along with a new, properly rated and proven radiator cap. I've seen a number of cars that were overheating because a radiator cap spring was going bad or someone had replaced a correct cap with a cap of much lower rated pressure.
It's really important to have the correct pressure cap on a cooling system, for it to cool properly. Most auto stores have a radiator pressure tester, that can also double as a cap tester, and will do that testing for you. Nearly every Auto shop would also have those tools also and would be happy to help someone with such a cool car test a radiator cap and or radiator.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Good advice on the flush, especially the heater core. Just get it all done in one shot!