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Old 11-04-2007, 02:02 PM
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51 Buick overheating at idle...

i hope this is the correct section to post this question.

so i went out cruising last night with all the buddies. I live in Miami, FL however yesterday was a cool day for us, mostly in the 80's-70's and cooled off at night.

what i got: Walker 4-core radiator (brand new), 16" electric fan on the pull side (metal blades), no thermostat, in front of the rad i have my a/c condenser (its big) and a 10" push fan for the a/c (i didn't turn that on yesterday).

my Buick's temp on the highway was amazingly cold (not complaining it ran great!) even light to light city driving was great it got to normal running temps, problem was when we went to cruise the beach. too much traffic. my temp went up and looked like it would not come back down. i decided to head home, once i hit the highway i turned the fan off cause the temps went way down (again im not complaining about that), i just wish i could cruise it down the beach at 5mph without getting the motor so hot.

thoughts i had: make a fan shroud, drain the rad and refill it with a different water to coolant ratio, (don't think this does anything for the cooling but) put my 160 thermostat?

any input or advice please?

thanks,
Yaril

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Old 11-04-2007, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylordurben
i hope this is the correct section to post this question.

so i went out cruising last night with all the buddies. I live in Miami, FL however yesterday was a cool day for us, mostly in the 80's-70's and cooled off at night.

what i got: Walker 4-core radiator (brand new), 16" electric fan on the pull side (metal blades), no thermostat, in front of the rad i have my a/c condenser (its big) and a 10" push fan for the a/c (i didn't turn that on yesterday).

my Buick's temp on the highway was amazingly cold (not complaining it ran great!) even light to light city driving was great it got to normal running temps, problem was when we went to cruise the beach. too much traffic. my temp went up and looked like it would not come back down. i decided to head home, once i hit the highway i turned the fan off cause the temps went way down (again im not complaining about that), i just wish i could cruise it down the beach at 5mph without getting the motor so hot.

thoughts i had: make a fan shroud, drain the rad and refill it with a different water to coolant ratio, (don't think this does anything for the cooling but) put my 160 thermostat?

any input or advice please?

thanks,
Yaril
Classic not enough air thru the radiator and/or it could use a larger radiator area ie bigger square inches of surface not deeper with another row of tubes. A separate engine oil cooler can help, a model with a fan mounted on it. This can take 20 degrees off the radiator. Same goes for an automatic tranny cooler, if this is in the radiator, adding a cooler with fan ahead of the radiator cooler will reduce coolant temps significantly.

In the end all a 160 thermostat does is delay overheating a couple minutes, it really doesn't have any influence on the final outcome. Trading coolant to water ratios never buys much, same with water wetter, just not enough effect. If your worried about 20-40-60 degree increases over 200, messing with coolant ratios and water wetter is good for maybe 5-7 degrees which is a long way from what has your concern. You need an engineering solution for these big temps.

You stated that the prime fans are pullers between the engine and radiator with a back up that's a pusher ahead. The pusher is likely to obstruct more of the radiator's flat surface area than anything else. I'd eliminate it. A fan blowing into a fan doesn't increase the flow unless the fan that's on the backside can move more air than the fan ahead of it. that's to say two equally rated fans with one blowing into the second would not double the air flow unless the second fan turned at twice the speed, or had twice as many blades and twice the motor power at the same speed.

Also a fan located back from the core a few inches with a shroud is more effecctive at pulling air across the entire face of the core rather than a spot or two in front of the blades as happens when the fans are tucked up tight to the radiator.

Bogie
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Old 11-04-2007, 03:04 PM
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How high did your temp go?
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Old 11-04-2007, 03:04 PM
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Agreed... airflow issue. I think the shroud will mostly fix it. Running a stat won't really affect idle temps, so I strongly recommend one... maybe even a 180. Drivers like to see cool temps, engines like it hot for their health. Peak power might be helped around 160, but you have to let the oil get hot or its not going to burn/evaporate all the junk out of it.

you're on the right track; large puller fan, great radiator, and a helper for the AC, I think it just needs a shroud. Is the fan on a clutch, or driven straight off the pulley?
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Old 11-04-2007, 04:27 PM
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first off, i forgot to mention that i have a Straight 8 motor.

the fan that cools the rad is 16" permacool and its electric on the pull side, i have a toggle on off switch to it.

the fan in the front is also electric only 10" and that turns on only with the a/c.

i do not have a trans cooler in front of the rad, this rad comes with an internal trans cooler, so i simply plugged into it.

Henry Highrise: its difficult for me to give a temp reading, ill tell you why, please bare with me, please. first of i am using the OG gauge face for temp, it reads "C temp H" no degrees. after breaking the "bulb" that goes into the engine head, i soldered a new "bulb" to the OG gauge face. here is how i did that... http://www.ply33.com/Repair/tempgauge to know my temp i simply boiled water in the kitchen (water boils at 212), quickly ran outside with the bot (water was no longer boiling) and put the "bulb" into the water with a lid, then i looked at my temp gauge and use that as a baseline. the needle got to just after the letter "m" in the word temp. so i know that when i reach the letter "p" i am around 200. i know it sounds like a lot to keep track of, but i really wanted to keep my stock gauges. so, last night the needle was about to pass the letter "p" when i decided to head home.

here are 2 pics of my set-up (these pics are from when i was building the car so not everything is complete):

this is the fan i am using on the pull side:


this is the front without the 10" electric fan for the large a/c condenser:


i too strongly believe that a fan shroud will help move more air throughout the surface area of the rad. i have seen 2 style of shrouds i want to say...

1. the cover, covers the entire rad and has a hole for the fan, these look great but seem to limit air travel at moving speeds.
http://store.summitracing.com/partde...5&autoview=sku

2. the cup, where it only wraps around the fan like a cup, these while allowing more air at moving speeds don't seem to have the same affect at idle speeds maybe better than nothing but not sure if it would be noticeable drop in degrees.
http://store.summitracing.com/partde...5&autoview=sku

Last edited by tylordurben; 11-04-2007 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 11-04-2007, 07:04 PM
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the problem may be that you altered the stock setup. the str8 8 should never overheat unless it's really hot out, you now have a more efficent than stock radiator, so it just don't make sense that it gets that hot. you running w/o a thermostat dosn't help, heres why. the coolant has to stay in the radiator to cool off efficiently, just as coolant has to stay in the block to absorb heat efficiently.. also your electric fan may not move enough air for the radiator.
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:11 AM
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alright so i put a thermostat in yesterday 160. havent had a chance to test it on the road, but i strongly agree / believe that a fan shroud will help move more air throughout the surface area of the rad. i have seen 2 style of shrouds i want to say...

1. the cover, covers the entire rad and has a hole for the fan, these look great but seem to limit air travel at moving speeds.
http://store.summitracing.com/partde...5&autoview=sku

2. the cup, where it only wraps around the fan like a cup, these while allowing more air at moving speeds don't seem to have the same affect at idle speeds maybe better than nothing but not sure if it would be noticeable drop in degrees.
http://store.summitracing.com/partde...5&autoview=sku

i plan to fabricate one or the other, so which would you recommend?
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Old 11-07-2007, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylordurben
alright so i put a thermostat in yesterday 160. havent had a chance to test it on the road, but i strongly agree / believe that a fan shroud will help move more air throughout the surface area of the rad. i have seen 2 style of shrouds i want to say...

1. the cover, covers the entire rad and has a hole for the fan, these look great but seem to limit air travel at moving speeds.
http://store.summitracing.com/partde...5&autoview=sku

2. the cup, where it only wraps around the fan like a cup, these while allowing more air at moving speeds don't seem to have the same affect at idle speeds maybe better than nothing but not sure if it would be noticeable drop in degrees.
http://store.summitracing.com/partde...5&autoview=sku

i plan to fabricate one or the other, so which would you recommend?

What you want to fabricate is the full cover style. These would make a tight interface at the edges of the radiator and should be close to air tight along that interface as is reasonable. With the fan set back a few inches (more is gooder). This configuration allows the fan to create an area of low pressure across the entire face of the radiator which pulls air in across as much of the core area as possible.

The shroud style develops a low pressure only within the diameter of the fan. This makes for a high speed pull of air across a portion of the total radiator surface which isn't nearly as effective for cooling.

If I recall, we're talking about a restored Buick, the period radiator would be a honeycomb rather than a tube and fin design. The honeycomb is significantly less effective than the tube and fin, the latter having been developed during WW II for the Mustang. Engineers found that the tube and fin occupied much less area, weighed less, and cooled better. Slowly after the war these designs found there way into our cars, but and this varies by manufacturer, but generally the pre-war designs were in use till the 1953-54-55 era. That marks the watershed in automotive design from the 1940's and earlier and contemporary design. You can see this in nearly every system, component and materials as you pass thru the middish 1950s. the list reads like the post less windshield, OHV engines, automatic transmission moving toward and arriving at the Simpson design we use today, vinyl upholstery, padded surfaces, the radiator we discussed with pressure systems and closed coolant recovery, ball joint suspension on dual wishbone A frames, sealed lubrication, the start of rubber suspended bushes in the suspension, glass lenses replaced with plastic, the start of fuel injection with the Rochester mechanical and the Bendix/Chrysler transistor system which formed the basis of the Bosch systems after Americans chose airconditioning over EFI in the late 1960's. Well you can see the list is significant and goes on as the engineering lessons of WW II get incorporated.

But before I got off on my soap box I was talking old radiators. The older designs included shrouds ahead of the radiator to direct air from the grill into the core, it is essential that this stuff be there in working order. Also, many old engines had a water distribution tube inside them. The cool a lot better with these installed.

Bogie
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Old 11-07-2007, 11:20 AM
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wow oldbogie thanks for the history lesson.

the rad has been updated to a Walker 4 core it looks like the old one with a brass top but uses fines and tubes like modern rads. i made sure i retained the front splash pan that helps flow air up into the rad.

well i found a good 3.5" x 36" strip of durable rubber that came off my moms Malibu, i am going to round this over the top of the fan and secure it in place. its free, this way i can see if this makes enough of a difference in my idle temps. if not ill buy some sheet metal and form a complete shroud.
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Old 11-07-2007, 12:24 PM
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Take a look at the way this one is designed:
http://www.flex-a-lite.com/auto/html...c_x-treme.html

I have one of of these on the rear mounted rad in the trike that I just finished. The fan blades are back about 2" off the fins, the shroud seals to the edge of the radiator all the way around, which means that the fan draws from the entire surface of the rad.
This fan will take 25 degrees out of the idling engine within 3-5 minutes, if left on it will pull it down another 5-10 degrees in fairly short order.

I have my doubts about your fan and motor. Seems to me those didn't turn very fast at all, as opposed to the flex-a-lite that spins 2450rpm.
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Old 11-07-2007, 12:55 PM
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thanks tdkkart for the link. but i do not think buying a new fan is worth it. mine is rated at:

19115 16" High Performance Electric Fan
Est. CFM: 2950
Motor RPM: 1750


this is what i did with what i had, put the 160 thermostat and made this cup shroud. ill test drive it later or just let it sit in idle and see if there is a noticeable difference in temp.

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Old 11-07-2007, 01:01 PM
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That should help, and everything you do beyond that will show incremental changes..... don't stop till you have enough, plus additional for comfort margin.
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:14 PM
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thanks, i will keep an eye on the temp and take it from there. the next step i was thinking of was to make a half shroud for the top area of the rad to meet the half circle i created. ill know soon enough.
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:15 AM
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One thing you could try for the half-shroud is to make part of it with a flexible rubber flap that is attached only at the top. Many of the newer cars with electric fans have an opening cut in the shroud that is covered with a rubber flap.

At idle the rubber flap closes off the upper opening in the shroud and makes it more effective. At highway speeds the air flow through the front of the car pushes the rubber flap back and it flexes up, letting more of the natural air flow through the radiator.

Bruce
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:26 AM
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Put a 180 thermostat in it and use a full fan shroud. Also......put a proper temp guage and sending unit on it...right now you are really just guessing.
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