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-   -   Overheating due to chrome engine parts? (http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/overheating-due-chrome-engine-parts-228524.html)

MalibuMike 01-18-2013 09:51 AM

Overheating due to chrome engine parts?
 
I'm building a 454 bbc & I've just started ordering parts for it & I was looking to dress the motor up alittle with some chrome pieces (intake, carb, valve covers, etc) but was informed that chrome engine parts draw more heat, is this true?

killeratrod 01-18-2013 09:58 AM

If it were true, all the companies that sell the stuff would be out of business. Order what you want! Chrome has been put on motors longer then i have been around and or will be around !

Mr. P-Body 01-18-2013 12:19 PM

For the most part, what Killeratrod said is true. There are a couple exceptions. I wouldn't recommend a chromed carb. The "pot" metal will expand and contract so much, the plating will "loosen" over time. Chrome "flakes" in the fuel path can't be good. Most of the REALLY "shiny" carbs you see are not chromed, but polished aluminum.

The other is the oil pan. I know, I too have seen MANY engines with chrome oil pans. I've never been comfortable with that. The chrome can reflect the heat and while not "drawing" heat, it can "retain" it in the oil, definitely a bad thing. I've also found chrome sheet metal to be more apt to leak than "natural" or painted metal.

FWIW

Jim

hcompton 01-18-2013 12:30 PM

The coated intake reduce air temps and help keep the engine cool. Very good to get the coated on if possible. Just make sure its coated underneath as well.

Chrome can hold heat in but the cooling system can deal with the small amount of heat the chrome may hold in. Alum valve cover do seem to pull a little more heat out of the engine. But chrome timing cover is probably not any different since they are both made of steel.

Get an aluminum radiator and any chrome will make no difference. They cool alot better than stock style radiator. Best to get a nice big one to keep your bbc as safe as possible.

joe_padavano 01-18-2013 01:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MalibuMike (Post 1636228)
I'm building a 454 bbc & I've just started ordering parts for it & I was looking to dress the motor up alittle with some chrome pieces (intake, carb, valve covers, etc) but was informed that chrome engine parts draw more heat, is this true?

"Informed" by who? There's a lot of BS wives tales out there; this is another one of those. The reality is that the amount of engine heat radiated through the parts you're worried about is a tiny fraction of what gets carried away in the coolant. Yeah, chrome is a poor radiating surface, but you don't get a lot of cooling from the valve covers. Now, a chrome (or polished aluminum) radiator would be a bad idea, but chrome parts on the engine will have virtually zero effect.

Irelands child 01-18-2013 01:24 PM

WOW!! Another project for Myth Busters!!!

I absolutely cannot believe that something like this is being even considered. I can't even guess how many chrome engine pieces have been sold since they became easily and cheaply available but it has to be at least in the tens of millions. I don't/wont use them but not for any overheating issues - usually the chrome top coating is so crappy parts either scratch easily or rust. Then there is the problem of oil leakage (engine and tranny pans plus valve covers) . Just think of the thousands of full dress motorcycles on the road these days.

My engine dress up items are aluminum - easy to clean, wont rust, scratches can be buffed out and seldom leak.

A correctly sized and maintained cooling system, regardless of the material the radiator is made from is an engines best friend for long and productive life.

JeffB 01-18-2013 01:26 PM

You could go the other direction,Grumpy Jenkins had a thing about painting the block and heads black,Edelbrock now has NASCAR series accessories all black too.

cobalt327 01-18-2013 09:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MalibuMike (Post 1636228)
I'm building a 454 bbc & I've just started ordering parts for it & I was looking to dress the motor up alittle with some chrome pieces (intake, carb, valve covers, etc) but was informed that chrome engine parts draw more heat, is this true?

There might be a slight difference in heat retention, but nothing to worry about. Aluminum valve covers can shed heat better than steel if heat is a concern.

There are durable chrome-like carb and intake finishes available, but usually they're not actually chrome anymore. Look almost like it, though. Edelbrock has Endurashine intakes and carbs as well as polished intakes. They also have a line of dress up parts.

The biggest problem w/chrome dress up parts (valve covers, oil pans, timing covers, breathers, air cleaners, etc.) is the fit.

Oil pans and timing covers are notorious for having a poor fit when they're cheaper quality aftermarket parts. Both have a seemingly simple shape for the most part- especially the timing cover, but there are areas on both that are thicker/reinforced on the factory parts that may be missing on aftermarket parts.

Bottom line is to use the good quality parts. Besides the Edelbrock parts, GM has licensed Proform to do their dress up parts, so that's another place to check out.

Good luck.

timothale 01-19-2013 06:12 AM

chrome VW
 
A lot of the Chrome VW Bug engine parts did not have internal air baffels to properly direct the air around the Cylinder barrels. The cheap ones could result in hot spots. I remember seeing a T bucket with a Corvair engine in front . like a regular T bucket but all the shrouding had been removed, I had a couple Corvair powered buggies and if the Air flaps didn't work you would soon loose the pushrod seals and oil would coat the whole back of the car, and hit the exhaust and leave a smoke trail down the road.

gearheadslife 01-19-2013 08:18 AM

it's true..
my 355 oil temp was 20* hotter with a chrome oil pan , than with the painted black pan.. same everything else,,
I don't think chrome parts could make an engine overheat..
but after see'n the oil temp change.. I'll never run a chrome pan on an engine or trans..

Mr. P-Body 01-19-2013 08:46 AM

Though this subject has been beaten to death on many sites, I'll say what I was taught "in school" about the colors used.

We all know, black "retains" heat. This is the reason Grumpy, Smokey and a whole lot of other pro engine builders ALWAYS painted blocks and iron heads black. The ratioinale being, the "heat" is INSIDE the block. Painting the outside can draw some of it to the paint, and disapate it to the air. They also did NOT paint the inside of the engines for the same reason. Some of the heat can find it's way "out" through the porous metal. Smokey didn't even like polishing valleys or crankcases for this reason.

The opposite is also true. If the block is painted white or silver, much of the heat is reflected back into the engine.

For the most part, this is all "fluff and buff" in that it really doesn't have a BIG impact on overall performance. I must say, though, 20 degrees difference in oil temp COULD be significant if it's anywhere near "borderline".

Jim

cobalt327 01-19-2013 10:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timothale (Post 1636441)
A lot of the Chrome VW Bug engine parts did not have internal air baffels to properly direct the air around the Cylinder barrels. The cheap ones could result in hot spots. I remember seeing a T bucket with a Corvair engine in front . like a regular T bucket but all the shrouding had been removed, I had a couple Corvair powered buggies and if the Air flaps didn't work you would soon loose the pushrod seals and oil would coat the whole back of the car, and hit the exhaust and leave a smoke trail down the road.

This brings up another point about good vs. not-so-good aftermarket valve covers. The valve covers should come equipped w/a baffle for the PCV valve, else the PC valve can pull in oil. Inferior covers often lack any sort of a baffle. Some baffles are just rudimentary flat tin shields as opposed to a labyrinth-type baffle like comes stock on many sbc engines.

T-bucket23 01-19-2013 11:05 AM

I would be more concerned with cheap chrome parts sealing properly. As far as black parts retaining heat this is not true either. If they are exposed to sunlight or other artificial light they will absorb more heat that light colored parts.
As far as the type of metal they are made from some metals will conduct heat a lot better than others and this will change the thermal properties of the engine. Aluminum and copper will dissipate heat a lot faster than steel or cast iron.

DanielC 01-19-2013 01:44 PM

Black radiates heat, and since the engine is a source of heat, black does cool the engine, particularly the engine oil, when hot oil splashes on metal parts.

So running chrome valve covers, and oil pans will not affect the water temp that much, because that is controlled by the radiator, and thermostat, but the oil will run hotter.

T-bucket23 01-19-2013 02:53 PM

There is more bad information in this thread than good. If you take a black part a white part and a green part that are all made from the same material and heat them in the oven to 350, take them out, keep in the dark and check the temperature on all in 15 minutes there will be no appreciable difference.
The color in relation to the temperature of the part has to do with its ability to absorb energy from light.


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