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Username Post: Help! Not Cool...        (Topic#350645)
61ohboy 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 119
61ohboy
Loc: Tennessee
Reg: 04-12-14
04-15-18 07:33 PM - Post#2731111    

I need help and recommendations keeping my engine running cooler. I've searched enough to know "hot at speed means bigger rad needed and hot in stop/go more fan needed"...I think I got that right.

Car is '61 4dr with crate 350 and has VintageAir. The radiator is a aluminum champion 4 row with two 12 inch electric fans. My mechanic has checked timing, etc and thinks the issue is the tubes in a 4 row rad are too small to get good air flow across the core and bigger tubes and fewer rows would be better. The engine compartment gets hot, I guess there's no good way to get heat out. The exhaust is 2.5 inch ram horns. It was 80 last Thursday with low humidity in Nashville and I was in stop and go traffic for 20 min or so without a/c running and temp is pushing 220 or more. When temps get in 90's with a/c running, well, I'm not even going to drive it.

Thermostat is working and is a 185 degree or 180. The fans come on at 185.

So I'm ready to start over on rad setup but I want suggestions from those that have experience and have done it before. I'd like to start with low cost "trys" first and work up to whatever it takes.

Right now I'm thinking first thing to try is remove the electric fans and put belt driven fan on with a fan cowl. I assume that would mean a clutch fan?... If that doesn't work then maybe a different brand/type radiator.

I'd like some guidance on this please...phuullease! I gotta have a cool running car and I get jealous of all the people I read about that run in stop/go traffic without overheat issues with a/c on too. I'm fat ole man and a/c and cool temps is important! ...thanks



 
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vet65b 
"7th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 569
vet65b
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Reg: 02-09-06
04-15-18 07:44 PM - Post#2731114    
    In response to 61ohboy

61oboy,
First thing to do is verify how your existing rad is working. Get an IR gun and with the car at operating temp check temp at rad inlet vs. rad outlet. You should have a delta of 25-30 degrees, if you don't your mechanic may be correct that your aluminum rad is at fault.
Check and report back. Bill



 
61ohboy 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 119
61ohboy
Loc: Tennessee
Reg: 04-12-14
04-15-18 08:05 PM - Post#2731116    
    In response to vet65b

Good idea Bill,
I never thought to do that. I bought a little IR temp gun at Home Depot a few weeks ago...I'll try that and see if it works. It is the cheap IR that was 29.99.
I forgot to mention that this is the first full year that I've had the car back and everything is new. I got the car back last Fall and the weather was cool end of last year.
I'll try that tomorrow if it doesn't rain. thanks



 
1963SBHD 
"7h Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 802
1963SBHD
Loc: south carolina
Reg: 09-01-11
04-15-18 11:22 PM - Post#2731123    
    In response to 61ohboy

HOWDEE from South Carolina !! Think the forum has established "CRATE MOTORS RUN HOTTER" than the motor it replaced...and what you term as too hot is actually the place where it lives. Others are right to hit the radiator flow, coolant flow, collapsing hoses n the like. Also coolant MIX..thermostat, fans...WATER PUMP...PULLY SIZE and shroud or lack there of. Good luck and get back to us.



 
japete92 
"4th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 938
japete92
Loc: No. Virginia
Reg: 01-18-13
04-16-18 02:31 AM - Post#2731125    
    In response to 61ohboy

  • 61ohboy Said:
I need help and recommendations keeping my engine running cooler. I've searched enough to know "hot at speed means bigger rad needed and hot in stop/go more fan needed"...I think I got that right.

Car is '61 4dr with crate 350 and has VintageAir. The radiator is a aluminum champion 4 row with two 12 inch electric fans. My mechanic has checked timing, etc and thinks the issue is the tubes in a 4 row rad are too small to get good air flow across the core and bigger tubes and fewer rows would be better. The engine compartment gets hot, I guess there's no good way to get heat out. The exhaust is 2.5 inch ram horns. It was 80 last Thursday with low humidity in Nashville and I was in stop and go traffic for 20 min or so without a/c running and temp is pushing 220 or more. When temps get in 90's with a/c running, well, I'm not even going to drive it.

Thermostat is working and is a 185 degree or 180. The fans come on at 185.

So I'm ready to start over on rad setup but I want suggestions from those that have experience and have done it before. I'd like to start with low cost "trys" first and work up to whatever it takes.

Right now I'm thinking first thing to try is remove the electric fans and put belt driven fan on with a fan cowl. I assume that would mean a clutch fan?... If that doesn't work then maybe a different brand/type radiator.

I'd like some guidance on this please...phuullease! I gotta have a cool running car and I get jealous of all the people I read about that run in stop/go traffic without overheat issues with a/c on too. I'm fat ole man and a/c and cool temps is important! ...thanks



If car runs at the correct temp at forward speed of approx 30 mph, the radiator is doing its job. If it only heats up at stand still, more air flow is needed through the radiator to transfer the heat from the coolant to the air. That's the fan's job, at no speed; provide the air flow that would normally be provided by forward speed. Sounds like your radiator is fine.

Cheapest potential 'fixes'? Add coolant if it's low. Make sure your cap is on tight (sealing) and is the correct psi rating. Make sure hoses are not collapsed.

Also, 220F is hotter than 'normal' but if you're running 50/50 antifreeze/water, and have a 15 psi system, you won't boil over until approx 260F. You're not hurting anything at 220f for short periods of time. The 'idiot' lights used by GM didn't glow red until around 245F.

I have no experience with electric fans on the vintage Chevys, so I can not offer any recommendation on switching to a belt driven system. Air flow through the heat exchanger (radiator) is air flow through the heat exchanger, the amount is what's important. But, with a belt driven fan, a 'clutch' does not improve cooling, it disengages the fan when the engine is cool and not 'needing' air flow provided by the fan. It's purpose is to preserve hp for propulsion. A proper shroud (cowl) is necessary.

Hope this is helpful.

Pete



 
DonSSDD 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 6745
DonSSDD
Loc: Nova Scotia, Canada
Reg: 08-21-01
04-16-18 03:52 AM - Post#2731127    
    In response to japete92

Check your temp at the thermostat housing when your gauge says 220, see if they agree.

63 Pontiac Parisienne Sport Coupe(CDN Chev mechanically (409, 4 speed),62 Bel Air SC (sold), 59 El Camino (sold), 62 Bel Air SC(sold), 63 SWC Vette (sold),
Member #2194


 
Andy4639 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1064

Age: 57
Loc: Liberty, SC
Reg: 08-06-16
04-16-18 08:14 AM - Post#2731154    
    In response to DonSSDD

First thing to verify is temp of the coolant vs your temp gun reading. Then check the CFM's of the fans. 2800CFM is min to run on electric only setup for a small block and keep it cool. Cheap little fans want pull enough air to keep it cooled. The fans need to be so they suck the air through the radiator and not around it. Do you have a fan shroud and is it sealed off to force the air through the radiator?


1956 Bel Air - LT-1/4l60
1964 SS Impala -350 crate/powerglide
1967 Ramp truck - 350/ 4 speed
1971 C 10 - 6.0 LS / 4l80e 4:10 gears 30 years owner
94 Elderado
2000 S-10
2008 LTZ Tahoe
2011 Treverse


 
Tri5man 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3545
Tri5man
Loc: Possums Crotch, KY
Reg: 06-26-07
04-16-18 12:26 PM - Post#2731174    
    In response to Andy4639

Spal electric fans are the only ones to use. They don'ts them on Ferrari's for nothing.



 
ragtp66 
Contributor
Posts: 635
ragtp66
Reg: 12-09-07
04-16-18 04:14 PM - Post#2731202    
    In response to 61ohboy

Do you know which water pump your using? Water pumps that were for serpentine applications have a different impeller that rotates opposite the v belt pump. Might be worth checking to see what you have. if its a short leg early style water pump you should be fine. If its a long style pump its a crap shoot especially if it was just a parts store "remanufactured" unit. If it has never been rebuilt you can look up the part number if it has one and see what the application was.

Toys:
1958 Impala 2dr Hardtop Under Construction
1966 Chevelle Malibu Convert M20/350 Aztec Bronze
1987 Sea Ray Pachanga 22
2002 Cadillac Escalade EXT Parts chaser
2007 Trailblazer SS -gone and missed


 
GreatNorthWoods 
"4th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 825
GreatNorthWoods
Age: 75
Loc: Littleton, New Hampshire,...
Reg: 03-31-02
04-16-18 04:18 PM - Post#2731203    
    In response to 61ohboy

I'm running a 310 HP, 355 Blueprint crate engine. I have a 180 degree thermostat, a seven bladed mechanical fan, A/C, and a three row Champion radiator with no shroud. My car runs 180 most of the time but will creep up to 190 or 200 in heavy traffic. IMHO, 4 row radiators are not as good for cooling as 3 row. I ran into this years ago when I put a Walker 4 row in a 29 Ford with a 350 GM crate engine. I tried a shroud, multi-bladed fan, and several different thermostats but nothing would keep the car cool at idle. It would run 180-190 all day on the road but about 220 if it idled more than about 10-15 minutes. I finally got used to the idea of letting it go to 220 but it made me nervous for a long time. Ever since I have used 3 row radiators and have not had cooling problems since. I think the problem with 4 rows are they are too thick to get air through at idle. Have you tried letting it idle and see how hot it will get? If it levels off at 200 or even slightly over 200, I think you are good. If if goes beyond that and keeps going, you might try a multi-bladed fan. Beyond that I would consider going to a 3 row radiator.

Vern

1953 Chevy Belair Sport Coupe - 350 Crate Engine,700-R4, Vintage Air, EZ Wire, Ididit column, Cruise/Tilt, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, Nova 10-bolt, Chassis engineering front suspension.


 
61ohboy 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 119
61ohboy
Loc: Tennessee
Reg: 04-12-14
04-16-18 06:46 PM - Post#2731219    
    In response to 61ohboy

Thanks for all the replies and information. Winter returned today.

Last night and tonight it will be in the mid to low 30s. The high today was in the low 50s and windy.

However, tomorrow will be in the 70s and I will drive the car again and see if I can get some temp readings.

I got the car back from the mechanic last Fall. The radiator, cap, etc...is all new. The fluid level is proper. The water pump is short and new to my knowledge.

I'm wondering how many cfm I can get from two 12 inch SPAL fans. I'll give them a call for the fan they would recommend.

I'll post more info tomorrow after work. Thanks!



 
USCGMK1 
Contributor
Posts: 102

Loc: Sitka, AK
Reg: 07-24-15
04-16-18 06:50 PM - Post#2731220    
    In response to 61ohboy

I had overheating issues with mine down in Mississippi. I have a crate 350 with no air in my 64. I ended up replacing the radiator with an original style one (I don't know what they put on mine, it wasn't a 64), new water pump, 180' thermostat, fan clutch, and fan all from Summit . I also installed the radiator support show panels, I noticed a decrease in temps with them installed. They help channel the air to the radiator. Now she sets at 180' basically all the time, the highest I've seen it is around 210' with it idling in stop and go traffic.



 
pvs409 
"6th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 2090
pvs409
Loc: Sergeant Bluff, Iowa
Reg: 01-10-05
04-16-18 09:09 PM - Post#2731238    
    In response to USCGMK1

I have a 4 core original 409 radiator (with a new brass 4 core) in my 62 Impala Hardtop 327/300 HP 4 speed. I have a factory fan shroud and factory fan clutch with a factory 5 bladed fan.

The car will run all day at 180/185 degrees no matter the temperature. In fact I have driven around Back to the Fifties at 2 mph for a hour it will not overheat. I disagree that a 4 core is not as good as a 3 core radiator.

I have another 62 Impala SS convertible 327/300 HP 700 R4 overdrive transmission with the same exact setup (in fact the radiator is a repro 409 - 4 core radiator from Show Cars )described above and the same exact results including driving around Back to the Fifties in mid-June each year(their normal show time). The convertible will not overheat.

Paul

57 BelairHT 283/270hp 4 spd
62 ImpHT 327/300 4 spd
62 Imp CV SS 327/300HP 700R4
62 ImpHT SS 409/482 stroker 4 spd
62 Imp SS 409 - 5 spd Convertible under frameoff
Website http://paulstensland.com/
[image]http://chevytalk.org/sm/26453.jpg[/ima


 
asahi1234 
Contributor
Posts: 117

Reg: 06-19-14
04-16-18 10:52 PM - Post#2731245    
    In response to 61ohboy

I bought a Champion radiator and I was having over heating issue. Called Champion they asked did the radiator come with a black raidator cap. I said yes. There response they having over heating issues with the black raidator cap and they were supposed to have been purged
from stock. They sent me a new alumiume raidator cap. No more over heating issue.



Edited by asahi1234 on 04-18-18 12:17 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
61ohboy 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 119
61ohboy
Loc: Tennessee
Reg: 04-12-14
04-18-18 07:02 PM - Post#2731490    
    In response to 61ohboy

Ok...today it was in the low 70s and I bought a cheap IR temp gun at home depot...bad idea. It is junk. Can't get two readings that agree, it's all over the place. So I call my brother and he brings his IR temp gun over and first thing he says is, "it's junk". I let him operate his because he has experience with it...and he can't get repeatable dependable readings. I don't know why we buy the cheap stuff first...anyway.

I think the Champion radiator is a pretty ok unit it's just that the fans that came with it are cheap. It came with the shroud and two 12" fans. So I ordered two SPAL 12" 30102083 fans. They have paddleblades and will be noisy as all get out but that will be fine with me. When I get them in I'll see what happens. If it still runs hot I'll back up and punt!

I'll post a picture when I get into it and try to get a pic of the water pump too.

It has never boiled over but it is so hot that I'm not comfortable and living in Nashville you never know when you might get stuck in traffic.

I might, just might put a separate tranny cooler on it. I assume a fairly small independent tranny cooler will be fine. Or might wait and see if it affects the heat afterwards. It has a plain vanilla 350turbo.

It started raining tonight so I might be able to work on it this weekend.



 
61ohboy 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 119
61ohboy
Loc: Tennessee
Reg: 04-12-14
04-18-18 07:04 PM - Post#2731491    
    In response to asahi1234

I got a silver rad cap. Says Champion on the top of it... good to know about the black cap.



 
Andy4639 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1064

Age: 57
Loc: Liberty, SC
Reg: 08-06-16
04-19-18 04:16 AM - Post#2731518    
    In response to 61ohboy

I put a small trans cooler on the 64 PG myself. I also installed a temp gauge for the transmission to keep a eye on it. It runs right at 170* all the time around the house. Last summer driving in the Blue Ridge parkway it got up to 200* a few times climbing but cooled right down when on level ground.


1956 Bel Air - LT-1/4l60
1964 SS Impala -350 crate/powerglide
1967 Ramp truck - 350/ 4 speed
1971 C 10 - 6.0 LS / 4l80e 4:10 gears 30 years owner
94 Elderado
2000 S-10
2008 LTZ Tahoe
2011 Treverse


 
overspray 
Infrequent Contributer
Posts: 21
overspray
Loc: Bismarck, ND
Reg: 06-29-11
04-20-18 07:11 AM - Post#2731639    
    In response to Andy4639

As 1963SBHD posted, check that water pump pulley diameter. I had a similar situation with a BBC in a 55 Chevy and it turned out my water pump pulley diameter was too large. I swapped for a 1 inch smaller pulley and it ran much cooler and solved the issue.

A professional painter doesn't get "runs"--they are called "flow checks".


 
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