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Old 05-09-2003, 05:10 AM
M&M CUSTOM's Avatar
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Lightbulb SBC coolant flow question.

FACT:
Coolant from the radiator flows into the front of the engine block through the water pump, through the block to the cylinder heads, then back to the front of the heads to the intake manifold, and through the thermostat to the radiator.
Question 1:
Why isn't there a coolant outlet from the rear of the heads to the radiator?
It doesn't seem quite as effecient as it could be, and I have only seen a couple different aftermarket manifolds with a coolant crossover provision at the rear.
Isn't this hot-to-hot provision pointless.
Question 2:
Would it be more effecient for the coolant to flow from the heads through all four corners and dual thermostats (1 for each side of the engine), then on to the radiator? <img src="confused.gif" border="0">

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Old 05-09-2003, 05:32 AM
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M&M, didn't coolant from each head flow directly to the radiator via seperate hoses and thermostats in the long gone flat head V-8? They were a bear to cool so maybe Henry's old time engineers were pretty shrewd. We study history to try to keep from making the same mistakes over again or maybe to keep from reinventing the wheel?

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Old 05-09-2003, 07:12 AM
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Engineers in effect do what you propose and still keep things cheap and easy to maintain. Notice the water enters the block first and surrounds the cylinders with not much concern for distribution or velocity. This is because there is relatively low heat loss in the cylinder area. Notice how few and how small the water transfer holes in the heads and block surfaces are? Also how they seem to be randomly distributed? They are designed to meter the water up into the head at the right spot, right velocity, and right volume to cool the head above the combustion chamber where the real serious heat flux occurs. Flow rate and path through the heads is critical and is controlled by those engineered transfer holes and head passage design. You should have no worries about your engine. Their coolant flow circuit design has been fine-tuned to a very efficient point over decades of engineering scrutiny.
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Old 05-09-2003, 06:28 PM
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[quote]
...designed to meter the water up into the head at the right spot, right velocity, and right volume to cool the head above the combustion chamber where the real serious heat flux occurs. Flow rate and path through the heads is critical and is controlled by those engineered transfer holes and head passage design.
<hr></blockquote>

I am not arguing with your statement willys.
But I bet 90+% of the members on this site have at least one engine that conflicts with your statement, look at any small engine (lawn mower).
Why are so many people still mowing their lawns with a flathead aircooled engine? Cheap & reliable.
There is at least 3 times the cooling surface area with the fins located around the cylinder wall itsself compared with the fins on the head.
And with all those years of testing and scrutiny wouldn't you think there would be a more effecient water pump from the factory.
And the small holes in the head mating surface equal more area together than the radiator hoses, with less material on this surface the head/block mating surface would be weakend and crack prone.
I would be guessing you were referring to the first generation 1955-199? coolant flow design, because the newer engines are designed for reverse flow removing heated coolant from the heads first. Do these engines have a coolant crossover between the cylinder bank's?
Working with 45+ year old technology is great isn't it.

[ May 09, 2003: Message edited by: M&M CUSTOM ]</p>
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