I wish I could say the trip to the Nats was smooth and uneventful but parts of it were definitely not. I'm going to have to admit that the new copper radiator is probably too small even though it was rated for a ''mild small block''. A temperature reducing additive was added before the trip. We left at daylight on Friday morning and the temp stayed 175-80 which is good, but then it was early and cool. After the first stop for gas two hours down the road it started to heat up. I don't think it cooled off any at the stop and the trip across southern Indiana was very hilly which put more heat in. Add in a short stop for registration and then a really very long short drive in heavy traffic and the heat was extreme. We enjoyed the day and came back again all the next day before leaving in dense fog early Sunday morning. It is a long tiresome drive in our hot rods but we made it the whole way.
The first thing back home was to order an extension for the belt driven fan to move it farther into the shroud and closer to the radiator. The electric fan was also remounted on the inside of the brackets which moved it about a quarter inch closer to the core. Another bottle of additive was pored in. The shows this weekend will see if all this helps or not.
The next day's show was close by which is a really good thing as the national highway there and back is so rough that it is almost undrivable in my hot rod. Even with the new and better mounted shocks, four passes over this stretch was enough to break welds. It is not an exaggeration to say it is like driving over a 2x4 every thirty feet for ten miles. The car show had the largest turn out of any show I've been to this summer. For some reason this area is heavily into one particular brand, of the 185 entries the vast majority were mopars, of every type and variety. A very good show and a pleasant day, not counting the drive. I plan an extended drive this coming weekend so on the better part of the highway I pushed to interstate speeds to check temperature and found that I may need to go easy as there is still a heat problem. I have ordered an additive which is supposed to lower the temp, but we'll see.
The first show this weekend was a relatively easy hour's drive away. As I would find out the next day, a smooth well maintained highway is a pleasure and an extreme rarity in Illinois. The event was held in a large park full of shade trees with room for several times the number of entries. Both the dash and award plaques were laser engraved wood and were appreciated by all. So much so that friend Ron hunted up the woman responsible with an eye to using her service for his club's show, as well as allowing me to discuss a project I had in mind. Some time ago I posted about the turned laminated wood shifter knob and dash knobs another friend had made for the hot rod. The plan had always been to add a wooden medallion in the top of the shifter with my cartoon but it just never got done. So now working with this woman's business I may have just what I wanted.
The next day's drive was to a car ''event'' which drew 130 cars and trucks and I don't know how many vintage tractors...exhaust stacks and glass packs. Our luck with weather is still holding as it was a very nice day. The''Old Guys'' had our own hot rod corner and enjoyed talking with lots of car show friends. Entries came from all over and even quite a distance and made a great variety of different approaches to car crafting. There was at least one of everything. Of course looking and talking about cars all day can be wearing so it was a very good thing that there was excellent pulled pork BBQ and even home made ice cream. The children's charity did very well. The radiator seems to have found it's temperature range as it's pretty steady now, still under 200.
Friday evening's car show was held in a pleasant park by the lakes about 30 miles away. Parking was informal with participants rolling in to arrange themselves in a loose circle under the shade trees. We all had an enjoyable evening looking at the other entries and swapping stories. As usual money was raised for a local charity. The new radiator seems to be working although the temp is a little high still. I really don't want to take it all apart again but toying with the idea of extending the engine fan a little closer to the core, or maybe it would be easier to add a coolant treatment. On the road again in the morning for the second show of the weekend.