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Old 08-17-2019, 10:02 PM   #1
drolston
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Default Finally got it to not overheat!

Summary: 284 inch 59A/B with Offy 425 heads, mild Schneider 248f cam and Champion aluminum radiator with 7lb cap. Block was cleaned by flathead expert at overhaul. With summer temperatures in the 90's, it would overheat badly at idle in a few minutes. Also overheated badly at highway speeds over 60. 220+ degrees. Here is what did not work:
- water wetter additive; no effect
- spacer to get fan closer (1") to radiator; no help
- shroud and baffles to prevent air from going around radiator; no help
- Dennis Carpenter water pumps; helped a little at idle - took longer to boil
- advanced timing; no help
- richer jets (.045 to .047); helped a little at highway speeds
- removed 170 degree thermostats; helped a little at idle and at speed.
- but, still running way too hot!

With plenty of water flow and plenty of air flow, and all the other little factors ruled out, that left the conclusion that there was just not enough radiator. The car came with a 01T 122" wheelbase truck radiator in it. That should have been a clue. I cleaned it and sealed it and put it back in. It has 462 square inches versus 399 of the Champion. That is 16% greater, plus the truck radiator is 5/8'" thicker, for a volume increase of over 50%.

Drove it to my 60th High School reunion today with temperature in low 90's. It idled for 20 minutes while classmates admired my latest hot rod, and the temperature never got to 200. At 55 it runs at 170 degrees, and at 65 to 70 it got up to 195 on a long grade. I declare victory! The cross-country road trip plan is back on.
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Finally got it to not overheat!

can't imagine how water volume would be negative.
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Old 08-17-2019, 11:03 PM   #3
Phil Gillespie
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Default Re: Finally got it to not overheat!

I would take it that the increased surface area for cooling was the factor, also aided by increase of water volume. Good on you for working through it methodically and getting a result which now gives you confidence to proceed further afield.
Phil NZ
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:59 AM   #4
D. Jones
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Default Re: Finally got it to not overheat!

Way to go!

A good example of working through a problem methodically and correctly diagnosing what or what not was occurring. It seems, at least to me, that today there precious few that have the ability to think their way through a problem to a correct solution.
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:06 AM   #5
TomT/Williamsburg
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Default Re: Finally got it to not overheat!

I agree D. Jones - nice detective work!
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:51 AM   #6
Hal Beatty
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Default Re: Finally got it to not overheat!

Good for you! In my personal experience, overheating has always been caused by radiator issues...
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: Finally got it to not overheat!

Not sure what you did to finally cure it.. Change the radiator??? (Old truck one out, new Champion one in)???
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Finally got it to not overheat!

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Originally Posted by drolston View Post
.......Drove it to my 60th High School reunion today with temperature in low 90's. It idled for 20 minutes while classmates admired my latest hot rod, and the temperature never got to 200. At 55 it runs at 170 degrees, and at 65 to 70 it got up to 195 on a long grade. I declare victory! The cross-country road trip plan is back on.
First of all, congratulations on solving the problem. But you must have better classmates than I have. I drove my '51 down over 150 miles to attend my class reunion, and those weenies couldn't have cared less!
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Finally got it to not overheat!

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Not sure what you did to finally cure it.. Change the radiator??? (Old truck one out, new Champion one in)???
It's simple, just read this paragraph from above--


"With plenty of water flow and plenty of air flow, and all the other little factors ruled out, that left the conclusion that there was just not enough radiator. The car came with a 01T 122" wheelbase truck radiator in it. That should have been a clue. I cleaned it and sealed it and put it back in. It has 462 square inches versus 399 of the Champion. That is 16% greater, plus the truck radiator is 5/8'" thicker, for a volume increase of over 50%."
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Finally got it to not overheat!

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It has 462 square inches versus 399 of the Champion. That is 16% greater, plus the truck radiator is 5/8'" thicker, for a volume increase of over 50%.
Can you tell us how many rows of tubes (front to back) each radiator has?
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:39 PM   #11
drolston
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Default Re: Finally got it to not overheat!

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Can you tell us how many rows of tubes (front to back) each radiator has?
Champion aluminum radiator three rows; truck radiator four, and the truck radiator tubes look a bit wider (front to back). So the surface area exposed to air flow is much greater, and that is the dominant factor in a heat exchanger.

That same factor explains why big inch engines put more demands on the cooling system than stock engines. My engine exposes 343.4 square inches of cylinder walls to combustion heat, versus 300.4 for the stock engine. That is a 14% increase in heat transfer to the cooling system. That is compounded by greater volume of hotter gasses passing through the exhaust passages in the water jacket.
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: Finally got it to not overheat!

Ok I get it now.

Mart.
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:41 PM   #13
drolston
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Not sure what you did to finally cure it.. Change the radiator??? (Old truck one out, new Champion one in)???
Other way around. Took the Champion out and put the bigger truck radiator back in. That was the cure.
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:54 PM   #14
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Default Re: Finally got it to not overheat!

Most overheating problems can be traced to a failing radiator. The inside may be lime coated, the fins loose from the tubes due to vibration, etc. Overheating in old Fords has been with us since the beginning. Routing the exhaust down through the water jacket requires high cooling efficiency. Any of the above conditions practically guarantees that eventually overheating will occur. Good quality new radiators are about $500-600 at C&G, but will mean no overheating in any outside temperature. Don't waste money on having an old unit "repaired".
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:41 PM   #15
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Default Re: Finally got it to not overheat!

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Most overheating problems can be traced to a failing radiator. The inside may be lime coated, the fins loose from the tubes due to vibration, etc. Overheating in old Fords has been with us since the beginning. Routing the exhaust down through the water jacket requires high cooling efficiency. Any of the above conditions practically guarantees that eventually overheating will occur. Good quality new radiators are about $500-600 at C&G, but will mean no overheating in any outside temperature. Don't waste money on having an old unit "repaired".
In this case the old unit (01T = 39-41 122" wheelbase truck) is doing the job. Could not see any lime coating around the tubes in the top tank, but I reverse flushed it with plain water, which produced very little crud. I did spend a few hours straightening every fin on front and back that was flattened or laid over. I checked on having it re-cored, and the cost of the core alone was over $700. That motivated me to attempt to salvage the original!
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:48 PM   #16
drolston
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Default Re: Finally got it to not overheat!

For the record: The truck radiator mounting ears and lower tank fit the car frame mount and splash pan, without modification. The top tank fits (just barely) between the fenders. The only fop support is the top radiator hoses. I use the chrome tubes with rubber connecter sections at each end. That provides sufficient stiffness and the radiator is not subject to any abrasion or forces from body or frame flexing.
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Old 08-18-2019, 04:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: Finally got it to not overheat!

For what it's worth, I'm using the hoses to support the top of the radiator in both my roadster and my truck. Both have steel tubes and rubber connectors.
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:55 PM   #18
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Default Re: Finally got it to not overheat!

dont want to steal this thread, but maybe I need to have my radiator looked at. car does same as his, fine at lower speeds but anything above 55 and it wants to run 200+ degrees. at 65 mph its 215 and up on a 90+ degree day. block is freshly baked at the machine shop, and rebuilt water pump, radiator is supposed to be NOS, but who knows for sure.
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:35 PM   #19
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Default Re: Finally got it to not overheat!

We just did the same thing. The motor is a 276 cu. in. With isky max one cam and Motor City Flathead heads. It has a B&M blower and Holley fuel injection.
It also ran hot with a new aluminum radiator in it so the old copper one went back in, no
More problem. Go figure.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:03 PM   #20
drolston
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dont want to steal this thread, but maybe I need to have my radiator looked at. car does same as his, fine at lower speeds but anything above 55 and it wants to run 200+ degrees. at 65 mph its 215 and up on a 90+ degree day. block is freshly baked at the machine shop, and rebuilt water pump, radiator is supposed to be NOS, but who knows for sure.
Sounds like the radiator may be the culprit, but before you do something really expensive about that, be sure the timing is as advanced as you can get without pinging, and that you are not running too lean. Those were the things that helped a little with overheating at high speed. Also, you might make a test run with the thermostats pulled out. That also helped a little.
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