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Old 05-18-2009, 03:18 PM
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Cooling problems with 502 Supercharged motor

I bought a 37 Ford Manotti bodied car. It is beautiful. But I seem to have cooling problems.

The coolant has been changed and it takes about 2 gallons, does that seem enough?

The radiator is narrow and tall with an electric fan between the motor and the radiator. The fan is on all the time.

The coolant is all new and fresh.

I just bought a 180 degree as well as a 195 degree thermostat to put in if the existing one is bad. I thought I would pull it out and put it in some boiling water with one of the new ones and see if it comes open at the same point and as wide.

I had it on the road the other day doing a test drive because I want to take it on the Hot Rod Power Tour, but the temp shot up on the gage when we were going down the freeway when it was at 195 degrees to about 210 when we got off the freeway. We were running 50mph off the freeway and slowed down to 30mph when we went past Norwalk Dragway, turned around and came back.

The temps when I got back on the freeway never really came back down to the 195, hovering between 205 and 210.

If it isn't the thermostat, anyone else got an idea? Seems to me that with the 502 and an 871 Littlefield Supercharger with two Demon carbs on top that it probably puts out some horsepower, even though the compression ratio is not so high as to require hi octane fuel. I can get away with 92 octane no problem.

Other thoughts or comments? Is the 2 gallons of fluid really enough for a 502? If it isn't anyone got a way short of a new radiator to get addiotnal cooling capacity into the motor?

I will post a photo of the car later tonight....

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Old 05-18-2009, 03:25 PM
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overheating....

HI,do you have a shroud on the fan?? put old thermostat into a pan of hot water,put in a thermometer,bring water temp up,watch for thermostat to open,check temp.drill very small hole in radiator cap,to let air out. hope this helps.
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:25 PM
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Sounds like you have air trapped in the block. Did you drill a hole in the thermostat flange? This will help allow trapped air out. Also, parking with the front of the car elevated while filling the radiator can help. I don't know big blocks, but 2 gallons doesn't sound like you have it filled.
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:53 PM
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You would have to drain the block to get all the coolant out, draining the radiator only gets out about 1/2-2/3 of the capacity. Without calibrating your temp gauge and checking your thermostat for opening temp its hard to say if you really have a problem or not.

I would start with a thermostat change after testing the new one, running a 180 F one will give you some overhead for hot conditions or driving in traffic.

I will say 210F is not excessive, most newer cars run in that zone when its hot outside. Hitting 240F or higher would be overheating and dangerous to your motor, hitting 260 would be a reason to shut it off for safety. Remember just because the thermostat says 195 on it does not mean the engine will never get hotter than that, it just means that is the full open temp.

Since the car is new to you you will have to get used to the way it operates, changing the coolant for a mixture thats proper for your environmental conditions is important as well as using DI or distilled water for mixing with the glycol. 50/50 mix is ideal for most areas unless you get -40C in your area. Some people swear by using water wetter in the coolant but I have only used it for plain water in a race car where glycol is prohibited, I can't really recommend using it with glycol since it already contains water wetting agents.

I would take a wait and see attitude to your engines operating coolant temperature, holding 210F in traffic or just coming off the highway with a supercharger is not unusual and quite normal. An engine driven 7 blade flex fan designed for air conditioned vehicles is far superior to any electric fan on the market and will cool better on the highway.

Drive it for awhile and see how it goes.
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:54 PM
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If a system won't cool back down at highway speeds, it is one of only two things. Airflow is either restricted into or out of the radiator core, or the radiator isn't large enough for the system to have enough heat transfer capacity.

First, airflow into the radiator. Is there an AC condenser in front of it? This will degrade the airflow into the radiator.
Is the area in front of the radiator sealed with metal panels, rubber strips, weatherstrip, plastic etc so that none of the air can go around the radiator?
How well is the engine compartment ventilated? Can the hot air get out?
Something that may help is to fabricate an air dam/spoiler from rubber or sheet metal right below the radiator support like many new cars have, this creates a low pressure zone and keeps air traveling under the car from pressurizing the engine compartment and holding the hot air in.

If none of this helps, you can almost bet that the radiator just isn't big enough, a common problem even with smaller engines when they are in a narrow-nosed street rod. Hard to get enough radiator into such a small space.

EDIT: I agree with what Chuck says entirely about the temps and the mechanical fan.

Last edited by ericnova72; 05-18-2009 at 03:57 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericnova72
If a system won't cool back down at highway speeds, it is one of only two things. Airflow is either restricted into or out of the radiator core, or the radiator isn't large enough for the system to have enough heat transfer capacity.
I'm not entirely sure I agree with that.
Incorrect ignition timing can cause a heat issue at highway speeds. water flow can cause heat issues also. A siamese block engine (I'm assuming it's siamese) with forced induction would be a heat producing worry already. To be honest, I would check the tune FIRST, find out if you are running overdriven, what the timing is set at (initial and total) and make sure it is running as best as possible FIRST, before trying the cooling system itself...
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Mopar Guy
I'm not entirely sure I agree with that.
Incorrect ignition timing can cause a heat issue at highway speeds. water flow can cause heat issues also. A siamese block engine (I'm assuming it's siamese) with forced induction would be a heat producing worry already. To be honest, I would check the tune FIRST, find out if you are running overdriven, what the timing is set at (initial and total) and make sure it is running as best as possible FIRST, before trying the cooling system itself...
Mopar Guy, good point. I was basing my response off the fact that the OP asking mostly about the cooling system.

To me, the siamese block is a non-issue, it is mostly myth that they run hotter. Otherwise, none of the aftermarket blocks would be this way, and they are. If the cooling system is big enough siamese is never a problem. As far as the blower causing more heat... not at cruise speeds, it's just along for the ride. This assumes the carbs are set correctly, they can add to a heat problem if incorrectly calibrated.

HP is heat, if your not making power, your not making heat, and it only takes 60 hp or less to keep a vehicle rolling at highway speeds

Ignition timing can definately be a problem, blower engines don't like to be even slightly retarded from optimum setting.

I doubt the 8-71 is overdriven if he can run it on 92.
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericnova72
Mopar Guy, good point. I was basing my response off the fact that the OP asking mostly about the cooling system.

To me, the siamese block is a non-issue, it is mostly myth that they run hotter. Otherwise, none of the aftermarket blocks would be this way, and they are. If the cooling system is big enough siamese is never a problem. As far as the blower causing more heat... not at cruise speeds, it's just along for the ride. This assumes the carbs are set correctly, they can add to a heat problem if incorrectly calibrated.

HP is heat, if your not making power, your not making heat, and it only takes 60 hp or less to keep a vehicle rolling at highway speeds

Ignition timing can definately be a problem, blower engines don't like to be even slightly retarded from optimum setting.

I doubt the 8-71 is overdriven if he can run it on 92.
I've seen headers glow red from incorrect timing, it wasn't at peak HP levels.
I've seen engines stripped that were detonating like crazy where the owner had no idea the engine was detonating... "I didn't hear knocking/pinging"...


I would check the basic tune and the boost level first, then check the actual cooling system. It surely won't HURT matters, even if it's in good tune.
I eliminate the influencing factors first, then address the problem, but that's my line of thinking, obviously not everyone will agree...
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:05 PM
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Here is the car.....the front has a grill that is wide open...



The 502 with supercharger is shoe horned in there......




The electric fan is up tight against the radiator. There really isnt any room between the front of the motor and the radiator, just enough room for the electric fan.

When you say to drill a hole in the thermostat, does anyone have a photo of what you are talking about? Sorry, never heard of that.....
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:11 PM
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An 1/8" hole is drilled near the edge of the thermostat plate so air is purged from the engine side. Many thermostats have this feature already from the manufacturer, you may have seen one...there is a small brass pin peened in the hole that is loose and can float. Some mfg's call them a jiggle valve.

Here is an example of a drilled thermostat.



Here is one with a jiggle valve.



Beautiful car BTW.

Last edited by 4 Jaw Chuck; 05-18-2009 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:28 PM
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Beautiful car, outstanding looking, but a small cramped engine compartment, and what appears to be a pretty small space for the radiator. No room for airflow around the engine. I think your gonna have your hands full maximizing every inch of the cooling puzzle to keep it cool enough for highway speeds. Good Luck

IMO, airflow OUT of the engine compartment is going to be your biggest problem.

Last edited by ericnova72; 05-18-2009 at 08:30 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:24 PM
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Yup, nice car, I love the hood too!


Is the temperature issue your ONLY issue that you have as far as drivability goes?
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:34 PM
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that things sick, could i see a picture of the interior?
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Mopar Guy
Yup, nice car, I love the hood too!


Is the temperature issue your ONLY issue that you have as far as drivability goes?
the only issue so far.....had a brake issue, seems that someone before had tried to take a wire brush and got metal pieces in to the brakes....new brake job and a good bleeding solved that problem.

Would tend to be a handful when getting on the gas, but after looking at the underneath that panhard bar (not sure that was correct terminology) did not have the back end centered. It is now centered and seems to be a bit easier to goose.

The whole car is a work of art. Everything and I mean everything was put together with an eye to detail. The bottom of the car is equally as nice as the top of the car.

I am planning on putting the car in my trailer and taking it out to Hot Rod Power Tour in a few weeks. Worse come to worse, it will ride in the trailer more than I might like, but it is a real bad ride. It gets peoples attention as it drives down the road between the rumble of the big block and the roar fo the super charger, it is a bit wild.

I have driven the car a few times before this and the temp never went above 195 and that trip was much further than this one. No problems with it over heating more than the 195. I am hoping it is just the thermostat.

Car has Ford 9" w/4.11 gears, 4 link set up. MT 18" wide tires on the rear. 8 point roll bar, trunk and interior finished in leather. Built in dash DVD player.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:27 PM
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few more photos. you can plug the car in to 120 and it charges the battery as well as let you run everything in the car including the lights and the DVD player....



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