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Username Post: Help! Not Cool...        (Topic#350645)
61ohboy 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 128
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 
"8h Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 577
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: 128
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 
"8h Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 817
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: 972
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: 6797
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: 1117

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: 3612
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't use them on Ferrari's for nothing.



 
ragtp66 
Contributor
Posts: 669
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: 858
GreatNorthWoods
Age: 76
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 - 355 Blueprint Engine, 700-R4, Vintage Air, EZ Wire, Ididit column, Cruise/Tilt, 59 Vette Steering Wheel, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, Posies Springs, Coker Radials, Nova 10-bolt, Mustang II front, Continental Kit


 
61ohboy 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 128
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: 106

Loc: Gulfport, Mississippi
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: 2171
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
Web http://paulstensland.com/


 
asahi1234 
Contributor
Posts: 120

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: 128
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: 128
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: 1117

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".


 
IgnitionMan 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3369

Reg: 04-15-05
04-24-18 02:38 PM - Post#2732056    
    In response to 61ohboy

I need a whole lot more info to properly diagnose the complete situation, but, here are some real world facts to consider.

Timing, vacuum advance,

INITIAL timing likes to be 10 to 14 degrees for most engines, and 18 to 24 degrees of crankshaft timing at IDLE. This is done by INITIAL settings, AND full manifold vacuum advance timing, to gain the correct IDLE timing degrees. MOST Chevrolet crate engines that are complete, are not vacuum advanced correctly, they use ported vacuum, which does not help.

As far as the cooling systems go, the ONLY electric fans that work, are on later model emissions engines that run over 215 deg/F, for emissions purposes, and don't run well on early non-emissions engines.

I have taken many engines that had "the good stuff" in them, and fixed them.

Radiator, a good one works, even down to a single row, when done right.

Water pump, either one with a cast impeller, that has a completely closed rear area of the fins, or a stamped steel impeller, with a plate attached to its back, to stop coolant from bypassing the fins. Flow Kooler used to make the water pumps like that, and a stainless steel pop rivited plate to close off the stamped steel impellers.

Fans, the largest diameter engine driven fan that can be fitted, and run on an Air Conditioning fan clutch, with a full fan shroud that covers all the fin area of the radiator. NO ELECTRIC FANS. This ISN'T an engine that needs to run 215 degrees for emissions.

Pulleys, NO UNDER DRIVE PULLEY SETS. In fact, I run the water pump about 2 to 5 percent faster than the crankshaft speed.

Thermostats, either Mr. Gasket, or Robertshaw "Pressure Balanced", because they use a barrel shaped valve, NOT a flat blade valve. The flat blade valves can be pushed closed by water volume, closing the thermostat at higher RPM's.

Cast iron block and heads, 180 deg/F, cast iron block, aluminum heads, 192/195 deg/F, aluminum block/heads, 200 deg/F. Any cooler, and thermal efficiency for the combustion chamber burn is adversely affected.

Coolant, TAP WATER, and a good green anti-freeze, set to a 50/50 mix in cooler areas, and down to 30 coolant, 70 water for hotter areas. Why tap water? Well, demineralized and other "adjusted" waters are, for the most part, mineral starved, and when those chemicals are hungry, they eat minerals around them, like cast iron, aluminum, specialty gasket materials, etc.

Now, do as you wish, but, this has fixed every engine I ever saw that had all the "good, special, super-duper (doesn't work) stuff" on them, for decades.

I do a LOT of work on the older Buick all aluminum 215 V8's, and their modern counterparts, the Rover 4.0 and 4.6 engines, and this '0ld School' stuff keeps them happy and cool. Mine are in Chevy Vega cars, with 5 speeds, and NO cooling problems. It gets hot here, 110 deg/F in the summer months, and no cooling problems.

Same above works on all the other makes and models of non-emissions engines I do as well.

Just info to consider.






 
61ohboy 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 128
61ohboy
Loc: Tennessee
Reg: 04-12-14
04-29-18 08:13 PM - Post#2732588    
    In response to 61ohboy

Here's the latest update... the champion radiator came with a shroud and two fans. Now that I have a couple of SPAL fans, I can see how useless the fans from champion were. I don't know what I will do with those fans...maybe mount them to a piece of plywood and paint it and make a roll around stand to hold them and a battery. Set them up in the back yard to blow a gentle slight breeze when sipping ice tea...that's about all they are good for IMO.

The SPAL fans...I ordered two 12 inch fans and my bad, I needed 11 inch fans so send these back.

I called SPAL and asked their recommendation for the best 11 inch puller for my setup. SPAL told me fan part # 30102800. So I look it up and the picture shows a five paddle curved puller fan. Current usage in the 30s when static pressure is high.

So I order a couple of the 30102800 fans and yikes, I get a couple of 11 inch fans with seven paddle curve blades. I look at SPAL's documentation on their website and I look at several big name distributors website pictures of the 30102800 fans and all of them have a pic showing the five curve blade fan. The seven blade 11 inch puller is a 30102157 fan.

So I call SPAL again to see if I got the right fan because the cfm/static pressure capability of the 30102157 fan is quite a bit less than the 30102800 fan.

I don't know if they are peeing down my back and telling me it's raining but SPAL told me the 30102800 fan is a seven blade curve fan and the fan I got is correct. The part number on the fan is correct per SPAL. The fellow at SPAL said he has been there nine years and that I'M THE ONLY ONE in nine years to mention that the picture of the 30102800 fan is WRONG... as I said, the pic is wrong on all websites including SPAL so whatever...OK.

Regardless, the SPAL fans kick butt and move some air. There is NO comparison to the fans that came with the champion radiator. You can feel the air moving in front of the grill. I used to have to put my hand in front of the radiator to feel air being pulled in but with the new fans I don't even have to lift the hood. You an feel the air moving at the grill outside.

It was in the high 60s today and while not that hot, when the fans kicked on you could watch the temp needle moving on the gauge. The fans would run for less than a minute before kicking off. So I'll see how these work when the temps get hotter. I really appreciate all the tips and recommendations but since this is a new setup less than two summers old, I'm going to leave everything as is and see how this works. If this setup doesn't work, I'll change the radiator to a two row and start with the other items.

Last issue, these fans draw more current and I'm pretty sure a larger amp alternator will be needed. Battery voltage with the engine off is 12.8v. Battery voltage with the engine running and the fans off is 13.9v. When the fans come on the battery voltage is 12.5v and it starts dropping slowly..to 12.4 and then 12.3 on down to 12.2v. That tells me the fans are drawing more than the alternator supplies. (Note, each fan has its own relay and fuse.)

The alternator is an ULTIMA 01-0039. From what I can find it supplies 63A on paper but probably less in operaton...
I'd like to find an alternator that supplies 85 to 100A.
The ULTIMA is a three wire setup; two wires on a plug and one to the battery terminal.

Any recommendations where to get a higher amp output alternator, brand/part#?





 
Andy4639 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1117

Age: 57
Loc: Liberty, SC
Reg: 08-06-16
04-30-18 10:28 AM - Post#2732641    
    In response to 61ohboy

Check out this link for what I did.

https://www.chevytalk.org/fusionbb/showtopic.php?ti...


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: 3612
Tri5man
Loc: Possums Crotch, KY
Reg: 06-26-07
04-30-18 10:59 AM - Post#2732646    
    In response to Andy4639

61ohboy, Told you Spals were the only fans to use. Champion Chinese fans don't cut the mustard. Like the saying goes you get what you pay for.

Gary



 
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