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64 GT getting too hot in the summer heat

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  • Cool/Heat: 64 GT getting too hot in the summer heat

    My 64 GT 289 is pegging the temperature gauge close to 240 when the outside temperature gets in the upper 80s. My rebuilt engine only has 1,500 miles on it and the block got a through glass bead cleaning of the water jacket. I have a new water pump, fan clutch and the radiator was rodded out at a reputable radiator shop. I do have factory AC so there is condenser in front. When I run the A/C, it does not get much hotter. My car was sold new in Las Vegas, NV so it should be able to handle extremes. What can I do to cool this baby down? Would an electric fan help or a larger radiator than the stock one I'm using?

  • #2
    Any idea what Compression Ratio it has after the Rebuild? Thick or Thin Head Gaskets, Milled Block and or Heads, degrees of Total Distributor Advance? All Factors of engine Heat.
    Also the actual Temp. needs to be read with a Lazar Temp. unit to see if your Gauge is correct.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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    • #3
      That makes sense. Who knows how accurate the gauge is. The car is not boiling over and still runs fine. I have the thin metal head gaskets BTW. Please tell me more about the Lazer temp unit and how to use it. Thanks!

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      • #4
        They are inexpensive at Harbor Freight and others, you push the button and a Red Lazar beam hits the item you aim it at, the digital numbers will appear on the small tool.

        I shoot the Thermostat housing where the Hottest Coolant is returning to the Radiator to be cooled to get the MAX Engine Temp.

        You can also shoot the area of the rear of the Left Head near the Temp. sender to see about what the Gauge should read.

        You also can tell how well the Radiator is working by shooting the Top and Bottom (Tank or a Tube) to see how much cooling happened.

        If it is not Pinging, Dieseling, boiling over etc. it MAY not be overheated, but the Sending Unit could be the wrong match for the Stewart Warner Dash Gauge.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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        • #5
          It may help your search to know that the correct acronym is LASER (not "Lazar").
          Last edited by studegary; 05-24-2020, 05:48 AM. Reason: missing k
          Gary L.
          Wappinger, NY

          SDC member since 1968
          Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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          • #6
            At temps above 90 in stop and go traffic, parades, prolonged idling, etc., there's little you can do to keep your Studebaker from running hot other than electric fan(s) in front of the radiator. I'd start by verifying the actual motor temps though, as suggested above. My experience in the above conditions, at 225 and above it is hard to keep the motor running due to vapor forming in the fuel lines, even with an electric pump.

            Also, shut off the AC during the above conditions. If your car is running 225 or above while going down the road, an electric fan in front of the radiator will not help. But turning off the AC and turning on the heater (with motor on hi) will help under most all conditions.
            Last edited by JoeHall; 05-24-2020, 07:45 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JoeHall View Post
              At temps above 90 in stop and go traffic, parades, prolonged idling, etc., there's little you can do to keep your Studebaker from running hot other than electric fan(s) in front of the radiator. I'd start by verifying the actual motor temps though, as suggested above. My experience in the above conditions, at 225 and above it is hard to keep the motor running due to vapor forming in the fuel lines, even with an electric pump.

              Also, shut off the AC during the above conditions. If your car is running 225 or above while going down the road, an electric fan in front of the radiator will not help. But turning off the AC and turning on the heater (with motor on hi) will help under most all conditions.
              Yes, if one insists on keeping the anemic four-blade Stude engine driven fan, it doesn't do much and an electric fan in front of the radiator is better than nothing.

              No, a fan in front of the radiator is not as effective as one behind it. Take a look at some of today's OEM fans with thermostatically controlled clutches.

              One like this on a heavy duty Avanti water pump would be my first choice.

              jack vines
              PackardV8

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              • #8
                Remember that there was a batch of bad reproduction water pumps made. The impeller did not sit close enough to the inside of the water pump manifold. You could pull the pump and check the clearances.
                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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                • #9
                  Make sure the seal across the top of the radiator is present and in good condition. If not, you'll pull hot engine air back across the top and through the radiator again and again.
                  Jerry Forrester
                  Forrester's Chrome
                  Douglasville, Georgia

                  See all of Buttercup's pictures at https://imgur.com/a/tBjGzTk

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                  • #10
                    New info; I bought a laser thermometer and did several readings on a fully hot running engine with the A/C on. The temperature gauge was reading 240. But I got 179 at the cylinder head where the temp sending unit is. I got 181 at the thermostat housing, 164 at the top of the radiator and 132 at the bottom (reading on the passenger side between the condenser and the receiver/dryer. Thoughts? I don't think it's overheating even though the gauge reads much hotter.

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                    • #11
                      Congrats on the easiest of all fixes; it ain't broke.

                      The definitive test is to remove the radiator cap and insert an accurate thermometer. I've even used a kitchen candy thermometer when nothing better was available.

                      jack vines
                      PackardV8

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jostanton1 View Post
                        New info; I bought a laser thermometer and did several readings on a fully hotven running engine with the A/C on. The temperature gauge was reading 240. But I got 179 at the cylinder head where the temp sending unit is. I got 181 at the thermostat housing, 164 at the top of the radiator and 132 at the bottom (reading on the passenger side between the condenser and the receiver/dryer. Thoughts? I don't think it's overheating even though the gauge reads much hotter.
                        Wow, I wish my GT was that cool at those locations. Even after sterilizing the block and all, I get temps from 180 to 225 at those locations with a laser thermometer. Of course it is 104F here right now, it was a bit cooler when I checked it, but that may make a difference. It might also be because it's bored to roughly 300ci. Jack may know the answer to that.
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bensherb View Post
                          Wow, I wish my GT was that cool at those locations. Even after sterilizing the block and all, I get temps from 180 to 225 at those locations with a laser thermometer. Of course it is 104F here right now, it was a bit cooler when I checked it, but that may make a difference. It might also be because it's bored to roughly 300ci. Jack may know the answer to that.
                          Yes, thinner cylinder walls pass more heat to the coolant.

                          No, 225 is not a problem with today's synthetic oils.

                          jack vines

                          PackardV8

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jostanton1 View Post
                            New info; I bought a laser thermometer and did several readings on a fully hot running engine with the A/C on. The temperature gauge was reading 240. But I got 179 at the cylinder head where the temp sending unit is. I got 181 at the thermostat housing, 164 at the top of the radiator and 132 at the bottom (reading on the passenger side between the condenser and the receiver/dryer. Thoughts? I don't think it's overheating even though the gauge reads much hotter.
                            Sounds like she is running nice and cool. I have never had a new rebuild run that cool. Congrats, and enjoy!

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                            • #15
                              I had the same problem as you on my '63 Avanti R2 which was driving me nuts because my original temp gauge was just maxed past 260, yet there were no overheating problems associated with the 289. I bought a new SW temp gauge, ran a wire off of the temp probe threaded it through the speedometer cable penetration in the firewall. I mounted the gauge in the plastic top of a spray paint can, used alligator clips for the e-fitttings, ran a red wire over to the fuse box for + and a green wire to the grounding bar. Because the gauge was in a plastic spray paint can top, I could place it anywhere without worrying about it arcing. The new gauge read consistently between 200 - 240 MAX. Old gauges will drive you nutz. Wire in a new one and you'll finally have peace of mind.
                              "Every man I meet on the street is superior to me in some respect, and from that I can learn."
                              R.W. Emerson

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