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old problem-cooling

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  • old problem-cooling

    64 gt has eng. oh block boiled & rodded rebuilt trans. new three core clutch fan plus new elect. fan, 2new water pumps new thermos, have done everything i can thing to do plus some other peoples ideas.I am missing something somewhere. maybe the timing,to high of pressure cap , getting to wits end. Have chance to purchase sbc 305 with auto trans like new cond. at very reasonable price but like the 289 BUT! Any ideas would be greatly taken & tried. I know this has been kicked to death but their has to be a solution out their other than brand x.Thanks for any help you can render. MAC

  • #2
    Is this a gauge showing too hot, or it it boiling over, or what?

    These old elect. heat guages can show incorrect readings. In my experience not so much the gauge, as increased resistance in the 40+ year old wire running to the guage and/or the sender itself.

    If boiling over, any chance it's a leaking head gasket? On that fresh rebuild, and especially with the thicker "sandwich" gaskets, you need to torque and retorque, then drive to fully warmed once or twice, and torque again. If it is a gasket leak, you can often smell it in the coolant, or see a flat shadowed color on the inside of the rad. cap.


    • #3
      Make sure it actually is running too could be a bad sending unit or a bad gauge. Run it up to operating temperature and use a thermometer dipped in the radiator neck and see what the actual temp is. It won't be unusual for the coolant in the radiator to not match the gauge as what's in the block will likely be hotter by a few degrees.

      If the engine is actually running too hot, pressure test the whole system including the cap. Caps are often overlooked when checking a cooling system. If the system and cap hold pressure, you can be certain there's no leak...internal or external.

      When does it overheat...idling, on the highway or anytime? If on the highway, your lower hose may be bad and it collapses under vacuum when at speed. Even if the hose appears and feels OK, the internal spring might be corroded away. That spring keeps the hose from collapsing under vacuum.

      Does your car have a coolant recovery system? If so, does it have the correct radiator cap? A cap for a closed system allows coolant to return to the radiator when the engine cools. A cap for an open system (stock) will not. Having the wrong kind of cap, even if the proper pressure, can cause problems.

      Think the problem through...don't just replace parts. Start with basic diagnosis techniques and work up from the easiest and most basic. Make sure it's actually running too hot and go from there.

      I had a Dodge Charger once that was constantly running hot according to the gauge. I changed the water pump, new belts, flushed the system had the radiator name it. Finally I found the problem...a bad temperature gauge! All that effort and money because I didn't follow basic diagnosis 101.

      Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.
      Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.


      • #4
        As mentioned, job one is to be sure it's actually overheating- as in an actual temperature number. Next, make sure there's no possibility of an air pocket. What are you running for coolant? Shouldn't be straight water.

        Find your actual high temperature in degrees and let us know that. Don't give up on it! You're pretty close; just work with the experienced folks here in the Forum, and you'll get it right.

        If you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in the end and hang on!

        Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
        Parish, central NY 13131

        "Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

        "Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"


        • #5
          Go to Northern Tool, and get an infared thermometer. I think mine cost $59.00. They are really great. Measure the temp at the back of the drivers side cylinder head, and compare that to the temp shown on the gauge. Should be the same. If not, could be sending unit, ground, ground, ground, or maybe the gauge. If gauge is right, check the temp at the thermostat, and make sure it is open. You will know, because the temp will be the same on both sides of the thermostat. Check the temp at the radiator neck, and at the bottom tank, to make sure it is working. Those infared thermometers are great at pinpointing a problem.

          It will however, not pinpoint a head gasket leak , or too much advance on the timing. Just a few thoughts.



          • #6
            Keep in mind that a high pressure cap will NOT reduce the temperature in the system. The gage will still pin. But a 13 lb cap will keep it from boiling until it's about 230 degrees.

            Tom Bredehoft
            '53 Commander Coupe (since 1959)
            '55 President (6H Y6) State Sedan
            (Under Construction 571 hrs.)
            '05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
            All Indiana built cars


            • #7
              quote:Originally posted by bams50
              What are you running for coolant? Shouldn't be straight water.

              Straight water is not good for three reason. If you live where the temp can go below freezing, you can crack the block or heads using straight water. Also, the water pump needs lubricants that are commonly found in anti freeze. Lastly, anti corrosive additives are needed.

              ...BUT, for the purpose of Mac's problem (overheating), running straight water is not the issue. Water has the highest specific heat and latent heat among the available coolants. The only thing better than plain water (solely to keep the engine cool) is water with a "water wetter" added.

              Yes, anti freeze mixes BOIL at a higher temp than plain water, but that does not mean they stay COOLER than water under the same conditions. They don't.

              Running straight water in warm climates is not a fact preferred if your goal is to keep the engine as cool as possible. You will need to add water pump lubricants and anti corrosive additives, however.

              Dick Steinkamp
              Bellingham, WA

              Dick Steinkamp
              Bellingham, WA


              • #8
                "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"


                • #9
                  I thought I'd been through everything too on my Packard Hawk overheating. Solved now.

                  My suggestions would be (easy to hard):

                  (1) Check real temp with temperature gun. required.
                  (2) Check for dented or restricted exhaust pipe or muffler. Mine was bent in backing off a hoist, but almost impossible to see.
                  (3) Radiator hose collapsing.
                  (4) Heat riser stuck.
                  (5) Check thermostat in boiling water with heat gun. Install it the right way in manifold.
                  (6) Make sure correct water pump was used. There were some over clearance problems with some. (see separate SDC site thread)
                  (7) find out if frost plugs and small pipe plugs were removed and holes rodded. There was often casting sand and junk left in these water cavities, and it has to be poked out with a coat hanger or something. In addition, the guck builds up in unused, 50+ year old engines.
                  (7) (rad has been replaced - presume good)

                  Its probably simple.

                  Good luck.



                  • #10
                    In the latest issue of Turning Wheels advice section it says to space out the fan shroud about 1/2 inch. might be an easy and cheap fix for an old problem.

                    101st Airborne Div. 326 Engineers Ft Campbell Ky.