1966 nova ss L79 327/350hp heat problem - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:15 PM
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1966 nova ss L79 327/350hp heat problem

I have had after 2 engine rebuilds (due to a piston connecting rod breaking) an engine heat problem where the car in an idle or while running will be a 160 degrees then for no reason jump 25 degrees to 185 in cool weather. This is what I have in the engine compartment:
4 row radiator; 160 degree thermostat
stock shrould with an 17 inch blade chrome fan that is positioned at the front of the shrould away from the radiator
electronic ignition with vacuum advance with the timing set at 30-32 degrees--if i retard the timing lower it runs hotter with an effect on engine performance
L79 water pump rebuilt that appeares to be working ok--significant water flow when the thermostat opens
no clutch fan--original motor/car did not come with a clutch fan
new holley 630 cfm carburetor--the original i also have which is 585 cfm
overflow from water pump to manifold is connected
16lb radiator cap
If anyone gcan provide any suggestions to maintain a constant low heat level please give me your suggestions
Russ--a fustrated L79 327 owner

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Old 10-13-2011, 09:22 PM
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That is no problem, change out the 160 for the proper 180 therm. and everything should be just fine. An internal combustion engine needs to operate at it's "sweet spot" temperature wise and 160 is really too low.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:27 PM
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As stated above, loose the 160 thermostat, its a very poor bandade that doesn't fix the problem and can ruin your engine. That last part is not a joke either. Is your vacuum advance unit going to ported vacuum or full manifold vacuum? Depending on your distributor and the curve built in, this will determine which vacuum port is needed. We can spend an hour on this topic alone, so please do the next step first. The very first thing I would do while replacing the thermostat with a 180, and by the way, buy a GOOD one, dont buy a no name cheapo, is to flush the block and radiator. You need to remove the 2 small pipe plugs at the bottom of the engine block before flushing. They are down by the oil pan rail on each side. If they are hex headed, be sure to use a 6 point socket to remove them. Dont try it with a 12 point socket or wrench. Flush the rad even if new, if the engine core was full of corosion, so now is your new radiator.
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