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Thermal Imaging: '51 Champion

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  • Cool/Heat: Thermal Imaging: '51 Champion

    As part of my ongoing '51 Champion Regal overheating issue - or at least running at "H" but not boiling over - I've finally reached for my company's T400 FLIR camera to take some thermal images. See pics attached below.

    Due to dragging brakes, I sorted through the brake system, replacing only the hydraulic lines with stainless steel and several flushes to rid the crud and rust. Then I replaced the thermostat/collar/gaskets, gave the block a good flushing, tested the sending unit (down to ~0 ohms at 190-195 F) and made sure the timing was correct.

    Interesting to see how the upper tank takes the coolant initially via the upper hose (violet is cooler, red to orange to white is hotter). Ignoring the "shadow" created by the spinning fan, it seems to me the center cores of the rad are not taking coolant, even after these "hotter" photos were taken after a short run around the block. Prior to sending the core out for testing, has anyone sent an anti-scale or similar boilout through their old radiators?

    Curiously if the gauge itself may be suspect - the block looks uniformly heated in the picture but I'm troubled as to why the gauge should read so "hot" so quickly, typically within 10 minutes at 80 degF outside, etc.

    Any comments would be welcome.




  • #2
    Buy an inexpensive temp gun and shoot the radiator intake and the outlet, there should be a 10-20 degree difference if the radiator is working correctly. Depending on engine load, fan speed and ambient temperature the difference can run from between 10 degrees and 20 degrees. Treblig

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    • #3
      The little area defined by the crosshairs in the above pics is approximately what the inexpensive IR guns are showing you. I have a few of the guns as well for my job, but they don't tell the visual story that the cameras can, but at least we can all afford one. These cameras are stupid expensive.

      That all said, I'll test out the 10-20 degF differential when the weather improves and see what I can find. Thanks for the feedback.

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      • #4
        To me, it appears that you are not getting circulation through the center cores of the radiator.
        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by NCDave51 View Post
          The little area defined by the crosshairs in the above pics is approximately what the inexpensive IR guns are showing you. I have a few of the guns as well for my job, but they don't tell the visual story that the cameras can, but at least we can all afford one. These cameras are stupid expensive.

          That all said, I'll test out the 10-20 degF differential when the weather improves and see what I can find. Thanks for the feedback.
          Just noticed that you don't have a shroud...that can make a big difference when it comes to air flow, especially when the car is sitting still.If the radiator temp isn't dropping it might be because there's no shroud to direct the air through the radiator. One easy way you can determine if the shroud is what you need is to drive the car on the open highway at 50-60 MPH and if runs cooler then the radiator is OK and it needs a shroud at the lower speeds (and idle)>

          Also if you take a IR pic from the front of the radiator you might be able to see the temp drop by viewing the radiator core (top to bottom) through the IR lens?? treblig
          Last edited by Treblig; 09-12-2018, 07:26 AM.

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          • #6
            51 Champion cars do not have a shroud.

            It looks like the radiator is plugged up. Sometimes they can be rodded and sometimes they must be replaced.
            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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            • #7
              Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
              51 Champion cars do not have a shroud.

              It looks like the radiator is plugged up. Sometimes they can be rodded and sometimes they must be replaced.
              Just because it didn't come with one doesn't mean you can't install one, but if it came from the factory without a shroud it should run cool. Are you saying that a shroud wouldn't help with directing air through the radiator?? Treblig

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Treblig View Post
                Are you saying that a shroud wouldn't help with directing air through the radiator?? Treblig
                I do not know if it would help or not.

                But... the educated/trained/experienced people who designed the car felt that it did not need a shroud. Of all the thousands of 51 Champion cars made, none of them needed a shroud either.

                Besides, the infrared scan clearly shows that the radiator is cold in the middle. The most likely cause of that is plugged tubes.

                Finding the faulty component and replacing/repairing it is always better than redesigning the rest of the car to accommodate the faulty part.
                Last edited by RadioRoy; 09-12-2018, 06:40 PM.
                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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
                  I do not know if it would help or not.

                  But... the educated/trained/experienced people who designed the car felt that it did not need a shroud. Of all the thousands of 51 Champion cars out there, none of them needed a shroud.

                  Besides, the infrared scan clearly shows that the radiator is cold in the middle. The most likely cause of that is plugged tubes.

                  Finding the faulty component and replacing/repairing it is better than redesigning the rest of the car to accommodate the faulty part.
                  I agree with Ray. Please refer to my post - no. 4.
                  Gary L.
                  Wappinger, NY

                  SDC member since 1968
                  Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I too agree completely - I certainly won't be adorning my stock '51 with a shroud if the engineers at South Bend didn't deem them necessary. It's made it this far without one.

                    To my original question on an anti-scale boilout. MoPar made one for their systems many years ago, likely GM and others. Anyone had success with chemical flushes (generally acidic) to loosen up scale or rust prior to pulling it and have a pro recore the unit??

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Interesting images! No ghosts visible at least. ;-) Have you tried asking a local rad shop how much a boil and rod through would run?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by NCDave51 View Post
                        To my original question on an anti-scale boilout. MoPar made one for their systems many years ago, likely GM and others. Anyone had success with chemical flushes (generally acidic) to loosen up scale or rust prior to pulling it and have a pro recore the unit??
                        The radiator flush/cleaners that are available today are pretty weak in my opinion. Studebaker had a good two part system -- a cleaner, and a neutralizer. There is a lot of that cleaner/neutralizer out there still, and it still works on our old Studebakers. And, when you get done with it, you have a cool can to display.

                        Back about 25 years ago, when we would solicit door prizes for our big NC Chapter Tri-State Meet, Newman-Altman would send a couple of cases of Studebaker Cooling System Cleaner/Neutralizer. Just about every member had a few cans. Newman-Altman must have had a bunch of that stuff!

                        Click image for larger version

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                        Paul
                        Winston-Salem, NC
                        Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What I very often see is flakes of rust laying on top of or wedged into the tops of the tubes. Before even starting with the chemicals try a simple home-grown back flush to blow those flakes out. Remove the top hose completely and leave the cap off. Remove the lower hose from the water pump. Stick the blow nozzle from your air compressor into the end of that hose and then pack the rest of the opening with a rag as tight as you can.
                          fill the radiator 'bout half full of water and then pull the trigger on your air nozzle. An astonishing geyser will erupt out of the radiator-fill and the top neck. Do this several times. You will almost certainly find rust flakes all over your driveway.

                          You can follow up with a chemical flush if you like: oxalic acid works the best and is available at boating stores AKA wood bleach. Use about a cupfull in a system full of plain water and then go for a long drive. Drain and neutralize with another cupful of baking soda. None of this costs much and might make a big difference.

                          PS Oxalic acid and baking soda are the two parts in the Studebaker rad flush.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by r1lark View Post
                            The radiator flush/cleaners that are available today are pretty weak in my opinion. Studebaker had a good two part system -- a cleaner, and a neutralizer. There is a lot of that cleaner/neutralizer out there still, and it still works on our old Studebakers. And, when you get done with it, you have a cool can to display.

                            Back about 25 years ago, when we would solicit door prizes for our big NC Chapter Tri-State Meet, Newman-Altman would send a couple of cases of Studebaker Cooling System Cleaner/Neutralizer. Just about every member had a few cans. Newman-Altman must have had a bunch of that stuff!

                            [ATTACH=CONFIG]75686[/ATTACH]
                            I hadn't thought about that stuff. I used to use it (years ago). I even have a couple of NOS full cans on the shelf downstairs.
                            Gary L.
                            Wappinger, NY

                            SDC member since 1968
                            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks everyone. Great discussion.

                              I'll do a Prestone (inhibited oxalic) boilout, flush and refill and report back. Florence is making work outside a bit dicey at the moment...

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