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Old 06-20-2012, 06:08 PM
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Cooling System Dilemma

Hi everyone, it's been a while since I've posted and now I'm running out of ideas with a cooling system issue. I bought a car almost 2 years ago with a running engine, but with the interior and body incomplete. I finally got it on the road late last Summer and ever since then it's been plagued by cooling system issues. It's got a newly built BBC with a Littlefield 8:71 blower and 2 Barry Grant 850 Mighty Demon's, Merlin III cast iron heads, forged crank with H-beam rods with JE pistons and a Crower flat tappet cam. When I got the car it had 2-13" pusher fans mounted in front of a BeCool dual core radiator with a coolant recovery system. The radiator is rated at 1000 HP. When I began driving the car in 75-80 degree weather it would heat up to what read 210-215 on an electric Auto Meter temperature guage. I didn't think this was "too hot" for a blown car, but whenever I'd shut it off it would boil over into the recovery tank and then puke coolant out of the tank. It took me a while to realize that the coolant had to find it's own level which was about 2"-3" beneath the filler neck on the radiator and I thought that was the cause of the problem. The next time I drove it on a "warm" day, it got up to about 210-215 in traffic and when I shut it off to get gas, it puked coolant once again. Over the Winter I pulled the blower off to fix an oil leak at the back of the intake manifold. I pulled the valve covers and found a broken head bolt so I ended up pulling the heads, resurfacing them and installing new head gaskets and all new ARP fasteners. While I had it apart I realized the original builder had "painted" half of the radiator with a substance that looked almost like bed liner. After learning there was no way to remove it, I decided to pop for a new radiator and while I was at it a new Edelbrock water pump. I had planned to replace the water pump pulley with a smaller one, but learned from Littlefield this wasn't possible as one the engine was part of the blower drive setup. I recently got the car running and back on the road only to find out I still have the same problem. Before tearing the engine down I checked the timing. It had about 14 degrees of advance at idle (1150) and was all out at 28 degrees by 2600 RPM. When reassembling the engine I set it back to the initial spec's., but have subsequently locked it at 32 degrees. The engine seems to run better with it set this way, but I still have the puking issue. The radiator has a 13 lb. cap as does the coolant recovery tank. Initially, I filled and burped the cooling system with a 50/50 mix and last week I spent a fortune on Evans Waterless Coolant which supposedly boils at 375 degrees. I drained the radiator and block, ran a gallon of the Waterless Coolant Prep through the system. Then I let it sit overnight and filled and burped the system again using the Waterless Coolant. It's still doing it! Judging by the reading on the temperature gauge, I honestly don't think the coolant's boiling. I think the system's becoming pressurized and that's what's forcing the coolant into the recovery tank and subsequently on to the ground. The head gaskets are new as is the radiator, water pump, thermostat (160 with 3-3/16" bypass holes) and there's no heater or heater core. I'm at a loss and I'm running out of money to keep throwing at this thing! What am I missing here???

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Old 06-20-2012, 06:41 PM
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1. It's possible, although not probable that the water pump is a "reverse rotation" pump. You might check that.
2. You might install a higher temp thermostat. Try a 180*
3. Pressure check the cooling system.
4. Replace the radiator cap with a 16 lb. cap
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