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View Full Version : several '55 questions....



N8N
06-12-2005, 08:49 PM
Today I *finally* got my '55 back together from when I inadvertantly took the whole front of the motor apart while replacing the heater hoses yesterday :) anyway I was a little concerned as when I'd driven it last the temp. gauge seemed to like to sit about 3/4 of the way up the little white bar. Both gauge and sender were NOS recently. So I replaced the thermostat since I had the coolant drained, I took out what appears to be a 60s vintage 170 degree unit and put in a new 180 degree new unit (what was sitting on the shelf.) Runs even hotter now, almost to the top of the little bar!

OK, time to reality check... a candy thermometer in the radiator tank reads about 175 degrees. ???

Check shop manual... says stock thermostat begins to open at about *160* degrees... is that my problem? a '55 had a 160 stat and the gauge was reading high because it was running hotter than "normal?" Or IOW can someone confirm that with a 160 stat the gauge sits about mid scale? (judging from the change in needle position between the 170 and 180 stat that's not that farfetched. Of course it also means that it would be pointing straight at the "H" by the time it got over 200 degrees...)

Now another question. I'm tempted to just test the old 170 'stat and if it's OK put it back in, but I can get a 160 degree one if it's somehow desirable to do so. I have always thought that one should keep the oil temps over 200 degrees to keep the engine clean; I'm not a big fan of low temp thermostats, but if someone with more experience says get the colder one I'm willing to listen.

BTW the radiator looks fairly well used, but seems reasonably solid, and has a nice 3-row core with offset tubes. Is that stock or did someone do a nice job of a recore back in the day? Anyway once I determined where 175-180 degrees was on the gauge I found that even when sitting at stop lights etc. the engine did not heat up appreciably past that point. Now it did smoke like you wouldn't believe after sitting at a long light and then accelerating away... time to pull the valve covers and see what's under there...


NEXT QUESTION (actually a two parter:)

1) do the early (4-bolt thermostat housing) and late (2-bolt thermostat housing) V-8 water pump manifolds have the same size lower hose connection, or are they different?

2) do any of the early manifolds have a driver's side heater hose connection or boss, and if so is it all of them or just some?

Trying to figure out the best way to get rid of the flex hoses on my '55 coupe, is why I'm asking... I'm going back and forth between making an adapter plate to use the early thermostat housing on the late manifold, or swapping to an early manifold entirely. Problem is, I don't have an early manifold to look at...

FINALLY...

does anyone sell Alberta Blue in spray cans? A black engine in a black car just kind of looks monochromatic and blah...

nate




--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

Dick Steinkamp
06-12-2005, 11:58 PM
Nate,
Try Jochem's Auto Parts in Manitowoc, WI. They'll put anything you want in a spray can and they have all the formulas from the 30's to present. www.autotouchuppaint.com 800-433-0496

-Dick-

Sonny
06-13-2005, 02:28 AM
Today I *finally* got my '55 back together from when I inadvertantly took the whole front of the motor apart while replacing the heater hoses yesterday :) anyway I was a little concerned as when I'd driven it last the temp. gauge seemed to like to sit about 3/4 of the way up the little white bar. Both gauge and sender were NOS recently. So I replaced the thermostat since I had the coolant drained, I took out what appears to be a 60s vintage 170 degree unit and put in a new 180 degree new unit (what was sitting on the shelf.) Runs even hotter now, almost to the top of the little bar!

OK, time to reality check... a candy thermometer in the radiator tank reads about 175 degrees. ???

With the 180 degree thermostat installed?

Check shop manual... says stock thermostat begins to open at about *160* degrees... is that my problem? a '55 had a 160 stat and the gauge was reading high because it was running hotter than "normal?"

In a word, yes, The factory recommended/installed t-stat, (160 degree t-stat in this case), would probably make the gauge read in the center. Most of the old cars were like that, (at least Furds are).

Or IOW can someone confirm that with a 160 stat the gauge sits about mid scale? (judging from the change in needle position between the 170 and 180 stat that's not that farfetched. Of course it also means that it would be pointing straight at the "H" by the time it got over 200 degrees...)

Now another question. I'm tempted to just test the old 170 'stat and if it's OK put it back in, but I can get a 160 degree one if it's somehow desirable to do so. I have always thought that one should keep the oil temps over 200 degrees to keep the engine clean; I'm not a big fan of low temp thermostats, but if someone with more experience says get the colder one I'm willing to listen.

I would put a 160 or 170 back in it N8. You're kind'a mixing apples and oranges. I agree with you partially about the hotter temps. Yes, new, high tech engines need to run hotter, (primarily to meet pollution requirements), but our Studes are anything but high tech, and do not need to run hotter. Remember, these super high temp t-stats never came along until well into the "We gotta get the pollutants down" mandates from Uncle Sugar to the car makers. Super high oil temps have nothing to do with keeping oil clean. Sure, you want to keep the moisture content down, but nice, long drives accomplishes that easily. Super high temps actually are BAD for oil, breaks it down more quickly and if there's small, convoluted oil passages that slows down it's progress through the block, oil tends to burn and carbonize, (read all those hard chunks that you find during an oil change), just ask ANY 292 cu. in. Furd owner!

A 160 thermostat is just fine, (I run a 160 in mine), and with that good diesel engine oil being changed with alarming regularity, (I don't run any oil filter on my Studes, I change oil every 2000 and have a nice big magnet on the oil pan ;)), you're VERY good to go.


BTW the radiator looks fairly well used, but seems reasonably solid, and has a nice 3-row core with offset tubes. Is that stock or did someone do a nice job of a recore back in the day? Anyway once I determined where 175-180 degrees was on the gauge I found that even when sitting at stop lights etc. the engine did not heat up appreciably past that point. Now it did smoke like you wouldn't believe after sitting at a long light and then accelerating away... time to pull the valve covers and see what's under there...

I dunno what the early radiators looked like, but it sounds like your whole damn cooling system is working splendidly if you put a 180 t-stat in and it's running at 175!! :D Besides, this is all a moot point because you've oriented where the gauge reads at an actual 175 degrees. :D I know you put in a NOS system, but it's 40 years old too, and I wouldn't trust it any more than what was in th

52hawk
06-13-2005, 09:00 AM
I don't have a lotta experience with 'Studes yet,but 1 thing you haven't mentioned here is the fact that the thermostat should have a 1/16th hole in it for letting the air out of the system for proper filling.Sonny,could a large air bubble in the block cause improper flow of coolant through the rad? [I bought a SBC thermostat for my 289 from NAPA,and drilled that hole]BTW,the SBC gasket is the same too,so's the fuel pump gasket.

not golden hawk,not silver hawk,just hawk.

N8N
06-13-2005, 09:47 AM
I don't think I have an actual cooling issue, I'm leaning towards the gauge not being properly calibrated for the setup that I'm running. I left the car running with the heater on for several minutes and seemed to be getting good flow through all the hoses (at least the upper rad hose and top tank were hot to the touch)

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

N8N
06-13-2005, 10:14 AM
oh yeah sonny to reply to your post, heck yeah I am mixing apples and oranges here :) I've got a '63 289 engine and trans in a '55, with the electrics converted to 12V just to make things more interesting. I suppose I *could* try to track down a correct 259 and DG and go back to 6V... but what would be the point...? :)

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel

Sonny
06-13-2005, 12:24 PM
quote:Originally posted by N8N

oh yeah sonny to reply to your post, heck yeah I am mixing apples and oranges here :) I've got a '63 289 engine and trans in a '55, with the electrics converted to 12V just to make things more interesting. I suppose I *could* try to track down a correct 259 and DG and go back to 6V... but what would be the point...? :)

nate

--
55 Commander Starlight
62 Daytona hardtop
http://home.comcast.net/~njnagel


Guess I didn't separate my thoughts well enough N8. [:I] I meant oil temp thinking when I said "mixin' apples and oranges", mixin' current "run 'em hot" thinking with our low tech Studes. I suuuure wouldn't change that '63 engine and tranny back, and 12 volts makes it that much better. I think you're on the right track, you don't have a cooling issue, just a calibration issue.

Sonny
http://RacingStudebakers.com

Dwain G.
06-13-2005, 01:06 PM
quote: does anyone sell Alberta Blue in spray cans? A black engine in a black car just kind of looks monochromatic and blah...

......................
I could be wrong about this, but ISTR that Chuck Schnetledge used to be the only vender who had the Alberta Blue, and I think maybe Chuck Collins bought his stock?

Dwain G.