well… I checked the coolant level again after letting it sit and to my surpise the resorvoir was empty…so i filled it and went for a drive…. ultimately it overheated and was not coming down even when moving now… I checked and reservoir was empty again…… filled it again and made it home, but barely…… next day put it in driveway and got her up to temp and now I see the problem….. seems to be leaking when system is under pressure… In all my past tests to bleed the air out, I had the cap off, so the pressure just pushed the coolant into the expansion resorvoir…. but now with the cap on, I can see it is leaking from quite possibly the water pump. either that or the heater core because its on the passenger side… though if it was the heater core I would think I would smell it inside the car.
So it is likely the water pump…. more likely the gasket has probably gotten cooked in all this running hot…. I put that water pump in myself a couple years ago and haven’t had any issue with it until now ….. I guess the only saving grace is, athough it is behind the timing belt, it is not driven by it so I think I can at least sneak it out of there without having to take the timing belt off and re-do that again….
once our weather gets out of the 30’s for a day or so I will have to get out there and pull off the timing belt cover and confirm the leak with a pressure tester….. thanks again for all the advice and help