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Thermal Imaging: '51 Champion

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  • #16
    Any chance you can take the radiator out of the car, turn the radiator upside down and then flush it?
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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    • #17
      Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
      Any chance you can take the radiator out of the car, turn the radiator upside down and then flush it?
      Yep, that's the only way to do it. I had a plugged cooling system in my Model A, so I ran 2 1/2 gallons of white vinegar in the car for 30 days, then removed the radiator, turned it upside down and back flushed it. I also back flushed the block. I used a sump pump and circulated the water in a large plastic tub. I got a cup full of rust flakes from the block and radiator. Sump pump is needed for a large flow of water with good pressure, which a garden hose can't deliver. Runs cool now.

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      • #18
        I'm not trying to stir the pot, but don't discount the effectiveness of a fan shroud simply because a car didn't originally have one. I suspect the reason their use was fairly rare in the early 50s was probably because engineers hadn't yet learned to appreciate their value at controlling engine temperatures (even though air control for military aircraft engines had become a major science during WWII). Too, it's quite possible the engineers at Studebaker would have liked to have had shrouds as part of the cooling systems, but the bean-counters weren't willing to spend the money. Remember that Studebaker was often fighting for its survival, year to year, and keeping the cars' prices low was key.

        Today, it would be difficult to find a car without a well-designed shroud except for perhaps the most inexpensive models. Cooling became so much more important in the 70s when emissions became a big deal; engines began being designed to run much hotter to help control the formation of exhaust pollutants like NOX, and that approach has not changed. I, for one, would like to know if anyone has found a good factory fan shroud that adapts well to my '51 Champion. I'm a real believer in what fan shrouds are capable of.

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        • #19
          Nobody doubts the effectiveness of a fan shroud. But the car cooled properly without one for decades, so putting one on now is just masking the symptoms of the real problem.
          _______________
          http://stude.vonadatech.com
          https://jeepster.vonadatech.com

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          • #20
            Here's the factory fan shroud on my 1950 Champion, and I'd have thought 51 would have the same.

            Click image for larger version

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            • #21
              Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
              Any chance you can take the radiator out of the car, turn the radiator upside down and then flush it?
              After being away from the '51 for a few weeks, I did remove the radiator tonight with ease. I wish all cars were this easy to work on: 6 cap screws, 2 hoses and the four bolts on the fan removed and out she came. It is what appears to be the original McCord radiator, with a "C5" tag brazed next to the manufacturer plate. Other than being brazed in a small spot on the upper tank, it looks straight and the core fins are perfect.

              Upon turning it over, quite a few chunks of sticky grey material came out (not overly gritty, maybe old AlumaSeal or coolant breakdown over the years). I forced a healthy stream of water up through the bottom (outlet) and forced more chunks free out the filler neck. Nothing that I'd call rust flakes, but semisolids that could have plugged passages all the same.

              A quick shot of semigloss black paint tomorrow and I'll give her a try. Glad I listened to others before doing any chemical flushes, etc.

              Anybody have a 5-blade fan for the Champion they'd be willing to sell? Apparently these were an option from the beginning. Part number: 679622P for the 10G model.

              Many thanks as always.

              David
              Last edited by NCDave51; 10-02-2018, 06:56 PM. Reason: typo

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              • #22
                Yeah, if you wanna do one that will drive you nutz, try a 98 VW Beetle. whole front clip has to come off. You're left with the engine and the AC radiator just sticking out in the air once the radiator comes out.

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                • #23
                  When you get it back together, can you borrow the camera again and take comparison heat pictures?
                  RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                  17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                  10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                  10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                  4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                  5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                  56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                  60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Will do, Roy.

                    I took it out yesterday for a test run in local errands, stop and go, 85 degree ambient heat and it's still reading against the "H". After making sure timing, coolant mix, brakes not dragging are all in-spec, I'm starting to give up and think its the damn gauge in the dash - the sender responds fine with a multi-meter. And if it's the water pump, I'd like to know what the fix is - impeller clearance, etc?

                    I'm taking it to church on Sunday and will try and do a before-and-after IR camera look then. I'm not hopeful...

                    Brand new radiators from CG&J in Alabama are $450 in aluminum for these Champion six cylinders so I know there's a fallback.

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                    • #25
                      Haven't had this issue (yet) in my '51 Regal Champion, but appreciate all of the advice on this forum should I have HOT issues in the future! Glad to see another beautiful '51 convertible in good hands!

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                      • #26
                        To get some idea of how well the radiator is working, I'd take infrared readings in at least 3 places across the top of the core, then the middle, and then the bottom. These 9 or more readings should show at least a 20 degree drop in temp from top to bottom. I'll have to shoot mine, just for future reference. Now I need to find my temp gun.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by NCDave51 View Post
                          Will do, Roy.

                          And if it's the water pump, I'd like to know what the fix is - impeller clearance, etc?
                          As far as I know, the only water pump clearance issue was on one production run of the V-8 reproduction pumps. I have never heard of a problem with Champion six pumps, except for leaking when the seal fails.

                          As tempting as it is, try to avoid Easter-egging; replacing parts at random. You KNOW that the center of the radiator was cold because of the first thermal images. That tells you that the problem is in the radiator. Replacing other parts, or modifying the design will not fix a clogged radiator.
                          Last edited by RadioRoy; 10-10-2018, 09:57 AM.
                          RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                          17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                          10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                          10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                          4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                          5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                          56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                          60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            On my '47 Champion, when the radiator was flushed with water at city pressure, the water came through clean and apparently without obstruction. After a radiator shop cleaned it properly, it sprayed like a lawn sprinkler. Recoring was what was needed, as the crud was holding the radiator together.

                            I have been told several times never to use paint on a radiator, as it will insulate the rad. Instead use something like black liquid shoe polish which provides nothing more than colour.
                            Bill Jarvis

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                            • #29
                              Well, even with a radiator potentially plugged in a few spots based on my original IR thermometry (above), I decided to undo something that I did when I brought the car home: I had replaced the old 180 degree thermostat with a new one, also 180 degrees. So, off to NAPA for the $4.00 solution: the most typical option in 1951, the 160 degree thermo.

                              Took it out today (75 degree ambient and humid here in NC) and what a difference. After about 5 minutes of easy driving, the gauge climbed to the end of the "oval" approaching the "H", and with a few more blocks and likely the thermostat opening, the needle settled into the "oval" and stayed there for the rest of my stop-and-go trip for the next 20 minutes. Haven't seen this ever on my Champion.

                              Things investigated and/or solved: dragging brakes leading to a complete set of new brake lines, ignition timing, tire pressures, a thermostat collar (ring) on the wrong side of the thermostat unit, flushed the block from top to bottom (but not through the frost plugs), radiator removed and flushed, fan belt tension, temperature sending unit, plus a myriad of other small things....and the most obvious one being the last thing tried: a $4.00 thermostat.

                              Those in hotter climates or everyone in summer: check and switch to a 160 unit unless you really need a 180 degree?

                              Thanks - David

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                              • #30
                                I don't know what degree thermostat is in my 50 Land Cruiser, but was surprised that this past Saturday it took a good 5 miles before it reach normal temp.
                                Outside temp was in the 40's.

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