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64 GT Hawk R2 - Running Hot

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  • Cool/Heat: 64 GT Hawk R2 - Running Hot

    Hi SDCF,

    Had my Hawk out yesterday during the day in AZ, ambient is about 98 degrees. Got quite nervous, as I watched the Coolant temp gauge creep to 240 degrees, before I got home.
    I was driving in a city, but the last leg the trip was at about 5 minutes at 45 to 50 MPH (remember those brakes : 0), and it didn't really cool down with air flow.
    Sadly, I get so many people telling me it's a cool car, apparently it might not be

    Question is: What is the thermostat in a 289 Solid Lifter R2 engine? Can I go to 180 or 185? I may need to flush all coolant and see if radiator needs to be flushed and cleaned internally. Maybe a water pump, all unknown.

    Do they run hot? Insights always appreciated.
    mileage is about 74000 on the engine. last maintenance of cooling system unknown from previous owner(s).

    Thx

    Art
    64V1085

  • #2
    Did it blow coolant out of the overflow after shutting it down? If not, I would buy/borrow an infrared thermometer to make sure the gauge being accurate.

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    • #3
      Yes a 160 was an option also a 180 recommended for Antifreeze, the Factory installed the harder to get now, but available 170 Degree to satisfy all climates. You need to know WHAT temp is in there, is it facing the right direction and does it WORK.

      A good clean Block and Radiator after 50 Years of RUSTING IS accentual!
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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      • #4
        If it's an original Studebaker V8, the block is more than likely plugged with crud. Cleaning is a difficult, messy PITA; it required removing the core plugs on each side of the block and rodding out the mud. Then, replace the core plugs.

        jack vines
        PackardV8

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        • #5
          In addition to removing the freeze plugs and cleaning the block, I'd remove the radiator and have local shop inspect it and make recommendations. In AZ summer temps, you need every component of the cooling system working optimally. You can install the equivalent of a 5-row radiator, using a modern core and your old tanks. At 74,000 miles the motor should be nice and loosened up, so once you get the cooling system up to par, it should do well in the desert, but avoid stop and go traffic or parades.

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          • #6
            Thanks folks.

            So, it did not blow out after shutting down, but heard the telltale hissing and bubbling around the radiator cap.
            I did hit it later with an IR gun but that data is not useful, as it was after a few hours, was looking for uniformity on the care top and bottom. Will use it when I start it again and see what is going on.

            I am worried that the core and the block could be mucked-up. I will likely need to get after it, no matter what, because I just don't know what was or was not done to manage that aspect of the car. I am highly confident nothing was done, because it had so few miles put on the car in the last 10 years. Most big-collection owners don't address things like coolant replacement and brake fluid replacement, when they seldom start the car.....

            Rich, is it correct to assume the thermostat is in that "elbow" with the 2 bolts, that connects to the upper radiator hose (like most other engines (remember I am a Studie-nuwbee))? Bolts look to be in good shape, so maybe not to big an issue, once I verify what temp the car is operating at when warmed up. I will do that with the IR gun.

            Thx

            Art
            64V1085

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            • #7
              Yes that is called a Thermostat Housing or Water Outlet just like on all Makes.
              The Originals were Aluminum, so under the Hose will be quite Corroded and MAY require a New one, 1550844.
              You want to have on hand a Common 1960's Small Block Chev. Gasket or Studebaker 1564066 and some Permatex #2 or High Temp. (Black) Permatex Silicone Form-A-Gasket to apply thinly on both sides of the Gasket.

              You can Remove the Thermostat temporarily for Flushing the Engine to get more Flow, faster.

              To Check the Radiator for it's cooling ability, you can shoot the Lazar on the Top of a Tube and it's bottom or the top Tank vs Bottom there should be at least a 20 Degree F Temp. Drop.
              Engine warm, Running and Thermostat Open.
              You can determine that by the Gauge reading 1/2 or more and or leaving the Cap off and watching for Flow.
              Of course, remove it Before starting the engine, never when Hot.

              https://studebakervendors.com
              Last edited by StudeRich; 05-19-2020, 10:36 PM.
              StudeRich
              Second Generation Stude Driver,
              Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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              • #8
                I have seen this so many times. It is usually caused by people not wanting to run the high test gas, and retarding the ignition timing too far. Check the timing mark in relation to the actual top dead center. I have seen the inertial ring on the damper move when the rubber gets oil soaked and mushy.
                Bez Auto Alchemy
                573-318-8948
                http://bezautoalchemy.com


                "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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                • #9
                  Hi BAA,

                  OK, I will check timing. Good thought. Haven't dug that deep into the car yet, as it runs quite smooth. Thx

                  (as context, I am still on the previous tank of gas from when I purchased the car, as it was almost full) I do use max octane pump gas, though in AZ that is only 91 , but I also use Royal Purple Max Boost in all of my old high compression cars with great success, as it not only can give you up to 30 points (3 octane numbers increase), but it has a replacement for lead and also has stabilizers for alcohol, so you don't need to put Stabil in the car, as well.

                  I have spoken with the engineers at RP, and he told me that I can use 2 cans for 20 gals, and that maximizes the lift in octane that I will see (so I am almost at 95 with 2 cans, on a base of 91). Pricey, yes. However, I do not fill up all of the cars all of the time, so it is tolerable and helps protect engine and maximize performance. For those interested, O'Reilly will give you 10% off a case if you purchase that amount. On occasion, you will find RP Max Boost at O'Reilly on sale for 10 something. Its a great deal.

                  So, if I am running 94 equivalent in the GT (with Paxton), what is the target advance I could target, all in? Assuming that somewhere between 2500 and 3 grand should have me all in?

                  Thx

                  Art
                  64V1085

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