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Old 09-25-2003, 09:09 PM
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overheating flathead

Overheating 1950 Ford Flathead,Ok, I'm not a hot rodder but I figure you guys would know.I had my flathead rebuilt, a good, reputable shop. But, the temperature gauge showed the car was overheating, I heard the water boiling after I shut the engine off.

I put in new temperature sending units....same gauge reaction and water still boiling. Flushed radiator, put all new hoses on. Checked thermostats,and watched water circulating, checked for air bubbles in water none.Left with two? options. Timing and radiator.. I have heard timing could be a problem but timing is correct according to the shop manual and the shop. Can timing affect the overheating, if so. How.
Radiator has been "flushed" in the car, should I take it off and have it flushed and rodded? Or should I buy another radiator, If so what kind. Would a shroud help? a 4-6 blade fan? As my wife said "I have more dollars then sense. Can someone help
Don

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Old 09-26-2003, 05:28 AM
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Hey, some one as old as I finally joined the group. Welcome aboard, Convert. Flatheads historically overheat, but there is usually a problem other than design that causes it.. Probably millions have given trouble free service, while 100s of thousands overheated. There are two things you have not touched on...water pumps and thermostats. Are both water pumps doing their job or is one not working? Same applies to thermostats. If you are trying to run without thermostats, you can have the problems you are describing because the water is circulating too fast to transfer the heat from block to coolant. You can do a quick check of both by cranking it up and feel each head as it warms up. If one warms up noticeable faster then the other, then focus on that side. (bad thermostat or pump) . To check water pump, make sure you have all water in the system but do not fill the radiator completely. Disconnect one top hose at the radiator and have some one direct it into a small bucket to avoid the mess while you start the motor. Look for a good stream!!!. Repeat for other side, comparing the flow. For a rough check of the thermostats, remove both and place in water and start heating. watch both for starting to open at near the same time and amount up thru near boiling. then observe during cool down (start adding cold water)

Trees
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Old 09-26-2003, 07:58 AM
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Looks like Trees about covered it. Just to add a couple things. Was the block and heads checked for cracks before being rebuilt?? One thing I've had success with in the past was to remove the centers from two old thermostats and run them during breakin. The thermostats not the centers. This will give you some restriction but still have a good flow. Trees is right you need some restriction.
Jack
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Old 09-29-2003, 05:35 PM
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Also to add a bit of possibly useful information a radiator out of a '65-'67 383 ci dodge will fit in the 49-51 fords with little problems, just shave 1/2" off of each bolt flange and your golden. Cost is around $130-150 at your local parts store.

HK
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Old 09-30-2003, 06:40 PM
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HK, never heard this before, what body style Dodge?? I don't remember what models they had in 65-67.
Thanks, Jack
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Old 10-01-2003, 01:26 AM
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Convert,

Are you losing water or just overheating? Go to the exhaust pipe and put your hand over it at idle and see if you come away with a handful of water droplets. L-head engines are notorious to crack at the valve seat and with the valve being in the block lets water pass through to the exhaust.

If it's just overheating then I think everyone has covered what to do.

One suggestion, run 50/50 water and anti-freeze and one bottle of water-wetter (motorcycle stuff). It really works by making a better heat transfer of the liquid to the block.

'cudabob
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Old 10-18-2013, 12:43 PM
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Convert,

Check out Evans waterless coolant. I run it in my cars after watching a video of Jay Leno recommending it on their website. He uses it in all of his cars except the high performance Mc Larens, etc. The boiling point is 375 degrees, so it will never boil over. Great stuff. Their site is evanscooling.com.
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:18 PM
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I'll just add this to your question...((should I take it off and have it flushed and rodded?))
I find that sometimes, while flushing one in the car, does not get out the main problem. Either a new radiator, or take it off, and have it rodded at a radiator shop. Doing it in the car, will not get the hard accumulations out of the radiator, causing a restriction to flow. The stock radiator, and stock engine, works well together, as long as there are no unforseen problems like mentioned, as in a crack somewhere, or faulty thermostat or water pump.
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Old 10-18-2013, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trees View Post
the water is circulating too fast to transfer the heat from block to coolant.
I have seen this argument before and it still makes no sense to me. If the water is circulating at the rate of 1 gallon per minute or at the rate of 10 gallons per minute, it still spends the exact same amount of time at each location, in the motor getting heated and in the radiator getting cooled. In other words, if it spends 1 minute in the motor and 1 minute in the radiator, it is being heated and cooled equally. If it spends 10 minutes in the motor and 10 minutes in the radiator, it is still being heated and cooled equally.

The system is tied together and the speed of the water means nothing, except that it requires more horsepower to move the water more quickly.
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Old 10-18-2013, 02:43 PM
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This has to be the oldest 'revived' (2003) thread I've seen here
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Old 10-18-2013, 02:48 PM
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Hi guy...Well, all I did was click on New Posts, and there it was...
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Old 10-18-2013, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Irelands child View Post
This has to be the oldest 'revived' (2003) thread I've seen here
I can only hope that trees is still twisting wrenches at 85 years of age. That's my plan too!!
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by techinspector1 View Post
I can only hope that trees is still twisting wrenches at 85 years of age. That's my plan too!!
That's why I even looked at the date as trees 'disappeared' with the new owner takeover.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:34 PM
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Well, if nothing else, maybe some others will need the info, suggestions that are posted. It's still a win win for someone looking for answers, hopefully.
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