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Old 08-20-2002, 11:33 AM
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Post Colder Plugs

I just read some tech information on spark plugs and have a few questions for those that know. My 428 still runs hot at idle after adding a electric fan, new rad core and water pump and performance t stat. If I back of the timing and put in colder plugs should I see a significant drop in operating temperature? I understand that for every 10 degrees drop in timing, combustion temps go down 70 to 100 degrees, so for every 1 degress of timing I could reduce temps by 10 degrees. I have it set at 8 BTDC now and it runs fine.

I have been using Autolite plugs for years and have not had any problems with them. I have used standard and platinum. They did not work well in the Corvair so I switched to Bosch supers and they work great. The tech guy on the spark plug page didn't like Autolite, has anyone had a problem with them?

Last question. If with all the fooling around with the rad and the water pump etc., could I have gotten an air bubble in the system causing it not to cool properly? If so how do I get it out? It runs at 195 to 205 when on the highway but as soon as I slow down it goes to 210 and continues to climb until I start moving again. T-stat is 180 and I can watch when it opens on the gauge.

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Old 08-20-2002, 12:43 PM
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I dont think less timing or colder plugs will help cool your engine while its low speed or idle.
That stuff mosty works while on the power. You have done everything you should already. You might try some stuff out there thats called Water Wetter in your radiator. Its supposed to absorb heat from the engine quicker and dissipate the heat from the radiator quicker than a water / antifreeze combo. Anyhow thats what I've read about it. Should be able to get it at your local auto parts store.
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Old 08-20-2002, 01:38 PM
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I've seen a lot of discussion around this on the PY board, too. When you replaced the waterpump, did you notice if it had a cast or stamped impeller? The stamped ones are junk. The don't flow nearly as well as the original cast ones. Additionally, are there any holes in the divider plate between the water pump and timing cover? did you replace the sleeves that go into the timing cover and mate against the divider plate? Do you still have the press in fitting on the rear of the passenger side head? Is it connected to the heater core? I have seen a few "trick" ways to add additional cooling. You can tap the water cross over where the cool radiator flow comes into the intake, pop the freeze plug out of the rear of the driverside head and press in the same fitting as what's in the passenger side head, run a 1/2 inch line from the crossover to the rear entries of the heads. This, from what I've heard dramatically increases cooling efficiency. Although, that makes you wonder....where do you go with that coolant line that comes from the heater core back to the motor? Trying to throw some ideas out there....
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Old 08-20-2002, 01:55 PM
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The one I took off has a cast impellor and the new one is stamped. I got new gaskets and o seals where it pushes into the block. I don't think I have a leak there, it fit pretty tight. I doesn't seem to flow very well in the rad until I rev it up. From what I read, a high performance pump won't really help. I have used some cooling additives (not Water Wetter) but it hasn't helped. I will try that too. I have also tried running straight water and no t-stat.

I've been working on this for years and have made a slight improvement but I still can't drive it in the Reardan Mules Day Parade without it overheating.
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Old 08-20-2002, 04:01 PM
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The heat range of the spark plugs has nothing to do with the operating temperature of the engine. As long as the ignition timing is set to manufacturer's spec's, this should not have any effect on the engine temp. Do you have a fan shroud on the car AND a good fan? A shroud is absolutely necessary for the fan to work right. There is a lot of discussion about fans, I like the flex style with stainless steel blades - they have always worked well for me. ALSO, make sure that your fan is close enough to the radiator. If using an aftermarket fan, especially if replacing a fan clutch type, it is necessary to use the correct spacer in order to get the fan close to the radiator. Should be about two inches or so, from fan blades to radiator. Using straight water and no thermostat will make your overheating problem worse. The thermostat is necessary to slow down the coolant circulation. The coolant must spend enough time in the radiator for proper heat transfer to take place. I have not used the additives such as Water Wetter, but it seems to work well for those who have used it.
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Old 08-20-2002, 04:09 PM
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Mertz, just re-read your original message and realized that you said you have installed an electric fan on the beast. (So much for my reading comprehension abilities!!) Is the fan you are using big enough for the application? This would mean the biggest you can attach to the radiator. Also, is it mounted correctly? Some electric fans are designed to push air and others are designed to pull the air. Obviously the pusher should be mounted in front of the radiator and the puller goes on the engine side of the radiator.
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Old 08-21-2002, 06:18 AM
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I ran the straight water with a t-stat and without, neither helped. The fan blade is about 2" from the rad. The electric fan fills the rad top to bottom and can work as a pusher or a puller. I installed it on the front of the rad to push air through. (The blade is reversable)

I don't have a shroud. I found one at a swap meet but it did not fit. I know this will help but I figured the electric would push enough air to cool it. If anyone has a shroud for a 66 Catalina they don't need, I could put it to good use.
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Old 08-23-2002, 08:33 PM
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Just a mention, if you go to www.autolite.com and click on car care Q&A they answer questions about heat ranges.
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Old 08-24-2002, 03:37 AM
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Mertz, I have seen some universal fan shrowds some where may be in Jeg, As far as plugs go I don't know if putting colder plugs in will help but I have been told to stay away from splitfire's and plugs like that because they can make it run to lean. I have always been a firm believer in using what the manufacturer put in ( AC in a GM , etc. ).

So you have a Corvair, that takes me back I really miss my 62 . My Uncle has a Stinger I have been trying to get from him for years but he will not give it up, By the way anyone looking for a Corvair race car I think he has it for sale ( not the Stinger). He raced it in the SCCA, If so I can put you in touch with him.
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Old 08-24-2002, 08:27 PM
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I had an overheating problem just as you describe that was driving me nuts and it turned out to be a leaking head gasket near an exhaust valve. The compression test I did showed 150 lbs in each cylinder so the problem will not always show up with a compression check. Try this.

On a cold engine, fill the radiator up to the very top with water. Start the car. Watch the water in the filler neck with a flash light until the car reaches operating temperature to see if you get any bubbles in the water. If you do, there is your problem.

I had another car that had the same problem and the cause ended up being slime build up in the flutes of the radiator. Pull off the top radiator hose, and look into the radiator at the top of the flutes with a flash light. On mine the upper half of the radiator was as clean as a wistle, but I could see white slime around the top of those flutes. When I took the radiator in to be cleaned, they did a flow test and told me there was nothing wrong with the radiator. I had to insist they clean it and pay them in advance. It turned out I was right because the problem disapeared after the cleaning. Even thou the radiator flowed properly, the slime build up acted as an insulator, and the radiator did not disapate heat properly.
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Old 08-26-2002, 06:41 AM
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The slime that you refer to is a very common problem in radiators, but a lot of people are unaware of it. Most antifreeze has a certain amount of silicate as an ingredient. As you may already know, silicate is actually SAND. We did a bunch of research with First Brands Corp., who is the manufacturer of Prestone Antifreeze and found that many cars, especially those with aluminum radiators developed this silicate buildup right next to the fan. As the fan cools the radiator, it cools the area adjacent to the fan much more efficiently than the rest of the radiator. If the car had a 12" fan, we would find a silicate build-up in a circular pattern, approxiamtely the same diameter as the fan. This is the main reason that it is recommented that antifreeze be changed every other year, even though it still looks strong and clean.
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Old 08-26-2002, 06:47 AM
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I haven't done a compression check but I did check for bubbles in the radiator. Nothing. The radiator has a new core. I think I need to find a shroud but you would think the electric fan would work. I talked to some guys that only use an electric fan and they have no problems.
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Old 08-26-2002, 07:26 AM
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Check this site http://www.evanscooling.com
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Old 08-26-2002, 10:09 AM
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Interesting stuff although I question the need for a new water pump and radiator if it works like they claim.

If everything is working right, the existing equipment I have on the car should allow it to run at normal tempartures. Anything else is just a bandaide. There has to be something wrong that neither water wetter or NGP coolant can solve. There is no slim in the radiator since it was just recored. It just doesn't seem to flow well at idle or low speeds. Since the new water pump didn't help there must be a restriction somewhere that all the flushing I have done has not eliminated.

The next step is to take it to the radiator shop and have him temp test it and do another flush.
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