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Old 11-05-2011, 12:34 AM
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Fresh built engine overheating on startup

Hello,

preface: I am new to this so please bare with me.

I attempted to start my 468 for the first time today and could not do the cam breakin because my engine is overheating in like 2-3 minutes. I am not sure if this has to do with the engine timing, radiator, or overbore .060. I don't think it could be the overbore because it is overheating so fast (within 2-3 min).

I have not attempted the set the timing yet because i wanted to make sure the cam was broke in first.

*All components are new nothing reused
*454 gen 4 block .060 over
*Using gibs break-in oil and comp camps breakin additive
*using long water pump
*1 gallon antifreeze, water wetter, and water
*160 deg thermostat (pretty sure it is working because the upper raditor hose gets hot after the engine gets to temp)
*running electric fan (always on)
*I filled the block up with coolant before install the heater hose.
*aftermarket timing ledger


My setup:
- +18 domed forged pistons
-990 open chamber heads 118cc
-holley 850 double pumper
-cam xe274h-10 (flat tappet)
-9:6:1 compression
-hedman full length headers

1. Could the timing be retarded and causing the engine to overheat so fast?
2. Is it okay to set the timing when i am running the motor between 2000-2500 rpm
3. what should i set the timing too?
4. which direction do i turn the distributor to advance the timing?
5. i hate to put the cart before the horse, but how much hp should i expect with my setup
6. could my carb be too lean, do they tune these things to be rich from the factory?


Thanks for your help.

bendiesel

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Old 11-05-2011, 04:28 AM
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Yes, the timing could be so low it`s causing it to overheat. Just as well as the carb could be too lean. Usually when I ran flat tappet cams and I needed to set the base timing enough for it to run and break the cam in, I would idle it down to it`s normal idle speed. The trick is I was done before it could do any damage as it didn`t take over 2 minutes. Or, I would set the timing before I fired it up by doing the line up the rotor and timing marks method but since I really didn`t trust it I tended to just wait until I had it started.
I`m curious are you using a serpentine or a v belt system? I ask since if you installed a new water pump and using a v belt then the water pump is rotating the wrong way which can also cause it to run hot very quickly.
It`s anyones guess where the jetting is, as there is no such thing as a carb out of the box that`s "bolt on and go" since there are so many combos and they all act different and have different fuel requirements. Snatch a plug and see what it looks like, if it`s white you know your dead lean, but if it were so lean it was causing it to run hot it seems the headers would be glowing red but this can be misleading as overrich can also cause them to glow.
Advance the timing by turning the distributor clockwise.
Retard it by going counter clockwise.
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:36 AM
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It certainly can be overheating because the timing is too far retarded.

And, yes- you can adjust timing "on the run". It takes a dial back timing light or a timing tape along w/knowing TDC is indicated correctly by the timing line on the damper and the timing tab (more on this below). First thing I would do is rotate the distributor CCW after it starts. Not too much- but enough to advance the timing so it won't immediately overheat, while you get the timing light on it to see where the timing is at.

The engine will tolerate a lot of timing once running, while the cam's being broken in. I wouldn't hesitate to give it 36 degrees @ 2500 RPM for break in, for example. This much RPM will have the mechanical advance coming in, most likely. So when it idles down after break in you can see what the initial falls to. If the initial timing is too high, the starter may 'drag' when you go to restart it, especially if it's hot. You'll need to sort out the timing curve after break in, there are many threads on this.

DETERMINING TDC will allow you to be sure the timing tab and damper are correctly indicating TDC.

MAKE A TIMING TAPE to see what the total timing is, w/o needing to use a dial back timing light. You can also buy a timing tape, get one that matches the diameter of your damper.

The image shows the correct orientation of the timing tape:


EDIT- I see I was typing while you were posting, DV. Might want to double check the "CCW"/"CW" deal to advance/retard the timing, though.

Last edited by cobalt327; 11-05-2011 at 04:42 AM.
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:33 AM
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2-3 minutes doesn't sound like enough time for one to overheat from a cold startup, even @ that RPM with little or no coolant in it. Have you determined with an infared that it actually IS overheating? Could be your gauge or an air pocket/steam issue.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:11 AM
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Thanks guys you are awesome. I was turning the distributor the wrong direction to advance. My brand new black headers are now a cooked shade of gray. I am going to retry after get my headers connected to the exhaust today.


Slewis, I am sure I am overheating. I tried the factory gauge and an aftermarket one.

I'll try these things and report back.

thanks everyone!!!!!!
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:25 PM
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I had air pockets and retarded timing. Over heating problem solved. Thanks!
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:06 AM
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Thanks for catching that Cobalt. Goes to show I shouldn`t post when pain has kept me from sleeping for several days at a time.
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:59 PM
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Just went through the exact same thing on my newly assembled 327 +.040" engine. I filled the system with coolant, waited awhile and topped it off. Repeated until it wouldn't take coolant. Started it up and began cam breakin and in 4-5 min. it was 230 degrees.
Shut it down and checked everything again. Quit for the day and came back the next day. Checked radiator and it was way low! Seems I had an air pocket, or air lock, and it settled overnight. Filled the radiator and completed cam breakin with no issues!
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:23 PM
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That steam will peg a gage quick and usually finds it's way right to the sensor, causing an innaccurate true engine temp. I used to not hold coolant airlifter devices in much regard, and I still burp systems with engine heat most of the time, but they sure come in handy for purging systems before a cam break-in.
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