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Old 06-10-2006, 09:46 PM
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In Search Of A 427 Expert

Am looking for a 427 Chevy expert. I have been a Ford guy my entire life but have recently acquired a '32 Ford Pro Street Pickup. The '32 has a 427 Chevy for power. Aside from just general stuff that is unique to the Chevy 427 that someone would find beneficial for me to know, my first specific question concerns engine operating temperatures. What is the proper operating temperature for a 427 Chevy? The guy that I obtained the truck from says that it is normal for the engine to operate at 220. Sounds a bit high to me. Especially given that the engine has nothing more than a very mild cam, and a single four barrel carb. In addition, given that the engine is not contained inside a hood of any kind but displayed and operated with a roadster look there is no heat entrapment around the engine as you would have with a fendered and hooded vehicle. So put it on my Chevy guys. Take me to school. I am way behind the power curve on this engine and given that the truck, which has been in a refreshing cycle is to be turned over to me in about 14 days the first thing I want to address is the engine operating temperature thing. Especially given that I live in an area where the summer is 90+ from June through half of September. By way of example the last two days has been 100 and it it is just now mid June.

Thanks in advance for all responses. Heck, if I can figure it out I will even post some pictures of the truck after I get it. I consider it sort of a decent ride. Perhaps others will also.

rcrfly

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Old 06-10-2006, 10:12 PM
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Is it a BBC 427 or a SBC stroked to 427? I only ask because of the heat issue, when builders would stroke a sbc to 427 cubes they would most of the time fill the water jackets for more block support which would decrease the cooling potential. I'm not a 427 expert but it's just a guess from what I've heard about 400 sbc's, of which when they weren't properly built or maintained would run at higher temps and overheat.
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Old 06-10-2006, 10:19 PM
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Well given the operating temp of a 195 degree thermostat which in theory should keep the cooling system at or around 195 degrees with the rest of the system operating correctly... Then with 220 degrees I would say you have a problem possibly...? I would make sure the gauge is reading correctly first (try a couple of other gauges and possibly a pryometer of the digital hand held type)

I also have a 427 BBC and run a 180 degree thermostat and nice large Griffin alum radiator and can tell you down here (just south of you) in Southeast TX it gets hot and somewhat of a problem to keep things cool...

I would like to know the size and type of radiator that is in this truck and what type and size of fan(s) too...
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Old 06-10-2006, 11:52 PM
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427 Chevy Expert

Drew & Bump:

Thank you for your respone. The engine is a true Big Block. The fan is a circular, thermostatically controlled, electric unit that covers approximately 90% of the radiator surface. Do not have the brand name at present. I also do not have the brand name, or number of rows in the radiator available to me right now. I can tell you that the radiator sits inside a 32 grill shell and fills it up width wise, but not height wise. In looking at the photos that I have available the radiator may be no more than a two row. If so, then total radiator cooling capacity might be one suspect area. Again from the photos it appears that there is ample room to add a taller and thicker radiator. Checking the accuracy of the temperature gauge is a good idea also. And, while I am at it also check the thermostate rating in the electric fan system, and insure that it is working correctly would be good. As the truck was originally built between 1998 to 2000 the radiator and cooling technology that was used is no more up to date than what was available in this time frame. My overall goal for addressing this potential temperature issue is to perform proper analysis of the situation prior to taking action, rather than just throwing parts at it and hope that I get lucky. Helps to think out loud with fellow rodders. At the present I do not have any connections with local rodders but am sure that will correct itself when the truck starts appearing on the steet and at shows and rod runs. If you have anything else at the moment I appreciate it if you share your thoughts. I will have physical possession of the truck in mid July so it will be a perfect time of the year to deal with temperature issues, if they are truley present. The guy I bought the truck from, who is also the builder, discussed this subject with me at lenght and said that it has always run a 220. And he lived in California where the summers are 90+ degrees. Thanks for your inputs

rcrfly
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Old 06-11-2006, 12:19 AM
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I do not claim to be a expert ... but I have owned many BBC Chevrolets ... ranging from 396 to 454's. Even a 482 cubic inch one ... and properly tuned with a decent radiator ... 195 to 200 is the range mine ran in. I live in the HOT, HUMID South. It was 100 degrees here today with 80 to 90 per cent humidity ...

I do claim to know a LITTLE about 1932 Fords ... and the radiator shell is full ... when the proper radiator is used.
I always use Walker Radiators ... and they made a 4 core Z series that cools supercharged engines. I always use a mechanical belt driven fan ( a 7 blade ... 16, 17 or 18 inches in diameter ) A shroud is also very helpful. Walker makes one for their radiator ...

DEUCE ...
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Old 06-11-2006, 07:15 AM
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In Search of a 427 Expert

Deuce:

Thank you very much for your input. While I am going to do an analysis of each cooling system component (just to insure each component is up to doing its job) I am suspect that the radiator capacity may be a bit light weight for the job. Just not enough core surface volume to allow the heat in the radiator fluids to disipate quickly enough prior to the thermostat opening again and circulating the fluid back into the engine. Also, since my previous notes I have been analyzing the pictures I have and the previous owner has a real cool looking decorative piece of flat metal that sits in front of the radiator. And, while this panel has a significant number of holes in it, and looks real cool (no pun intended), I also know that there is X number of square inches of space in between each hole that is blocking air passage. And, to take this analysis to the extreme, I do not know what type of air flow vortex that may be created by the hole pattern thereby causing a swirling action in the air as it passes through each hole, as opposed to allowing the air to flow over the radiator cores cleanly. In terms of oil capacity to assist in the cooling process the engine has an 8 quart capacity so I think I am okay in this department.
Do you have any other pearls of wisdom in regard to operating a 427 as I intend on driving this vehicle, not hauling it around on a trailer and only idling in and out of shows. Thanks in advance for any and all input.

rcrfly
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Old 06-11-2006, 11:00 AM
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A 1932 Ford radiator fills the entire shell up ... like the one shown above. I got the photo off the internet ... and I do NOT use electric fans ...

Walker makes a 4 core model ... as well as some others. My 430 Horsepower 32 runs right on the thermostat ( 195 ) ... with the 4 core Walker. If you have a automatic transmission ... a external transmission cooler can help reduce temperatures in the radiator when the cooler is placed inline between the transmission and the radiator.

I like a shroud ... and they really help reduce temperatures.
Also ... timing and jetting also affect the running temperatures ... I like to run a 195 degree thermostat ... most engines run better at 195 ... and the heat helps eliminate condensation and the oil lubricates better ...

.
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Old 06-11-2006, 08:52 PM
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In Search of a 427 Expert

Deuce:

Thanks for the picture and additional information. In looking at the height of the radiator in the picture relative to the electric fan mounted on it the radiator on my truck is at least 4 inches shorter than the radiator in the picture. In addition, there is no way the radiator on my truck is a four row core.

You did not mention it, is your radiator aluminum? Also, just as a curiosity question, does your top radiator hose go to the top of the driver's side or the passenger side of the radiator? Also, do you run a reservoir system with your radiator?

Also, 195 was the number that I had decided would be a good target to aim for temperature wise. Glad to hear this is the number you run. I mean everybody else claims that their rod runs 180 in the middle of the Mohave Desert in August with the air conditioner on full blast and the water pump belt broken. I know that I could never live up to this expectation. Good oiling and eliminating condensation, however, sounds like a sensible goal to strive for.

Finally, if you are agreeable, when I get my truck back I will send you some pictures of the radiator set up as it is now along with some component details. I would like to get your input on what you see before I embark on my quest to create a cooler 427.

P.S. With a forum this size I am kinda surprised that no one stepped up as a 427 expert to discuss this and other 427 tid bits. And now that this thread is buried on page 2 and rapidly heading to 3 I will not be surprised if I hear from no one else. Consiquently, thank you very much for stepping up and sharing your knowledge with me, even though you claim you are no expert.

rcrfly
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Old 06-11-2006, 09:29 PM
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My car will run at 180 ... with a 180 thermostat ...
I prefer the 195 ... I have aluminum heads, intake and water pump ... and I believe the engine makes more power at 195 degrees. A few of my friends work for NASCAR nextrel cup teams and their engineers aim for 200 or so for the Nascar engines. It is Dyno proven they make better horsepower at 200 to 210 ...

My top radiator hose is in the very center of the top tank. And yes ... I have a recovery system. My engine is a Small Block Chevrolet with 430 Horsepower. I use a raised ZIPS water pump riser.



It raises the fan center line about 5 inches and allows me to use a 18 inch 7 blade clutch fan ... I also use the Walker shroud.



I also have a 25 vent hood ... the optional hood for 32 Fords. It has more and larger vents ... than the standard 20 vent hood.



As you can see ... the vents are really open so the 25 vent hood also helps reduce under-hood ambient temperatures. On your 32 ... with NO HOOD ... that should be a great help.

.
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Old 06-11-2006, 09:56 PM
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First of all I am not a 427 expert. It would be nice if you posted a pic of the "real cool looking decorative piece of flat metal that sits in front of the radiator" with holes in it. It sounds to me that is a replica of some of the attempts at streamlining that was used by gassers in the 60's. They did not need the air flow for there races. Even though it has holes in it, I feel it will not allow enough air to flow through the rad to provide sufficient cooling. Up here in the north where winter temps are in the -40 degree range often we sometimes use a piece of cardboard with a 10 inch circle cut out of it to cover the front of the rad. This allows quicker heating in the morning at start up and helps keep the temp up during the rest of the day, especially if you are doing a lot of highway driving. Your grille cover would be doing the same thing. Post some pics if you can.
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Old 06-11-2006, 10:49 PM
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In Search of a 427 Expert

Deuce:

Interesting that the NASCAR boys look to run around 200 to 210. The guy that built my car is a life long drag racer and swears that the truck runs good at 220 and better at 240. I figure that he has about 6 life times more experience than I do with engines but 220 to 240 sounds a bit high for a cruize mobile. Of course the builder also says that he only drove the truck to and from his shop via a freeway. So his temps may work in a freeway speed environment. They sort of spook me to the point that I would like to get them lower just for my piece of mind. It is not like I will notice a loss of 1 to 3 HP.

Also, thanks for sharing you cooling system set up pictures and details. Not the standard information that you run into every day. You obviously believe that a crank driven fan is far superior to the electric fan set up. One thing is for sure the results that you get shrouding the fan is the real deal. I have a 289 Mustang Fastback (1966) and adding back the fan shroud that everyone throws away makes a big difference in just a stock radiator' s ability to cool the engine fluid.

Home Brew:

You are dead on sir. The metal piece in front of the radiator is the "Lakes Racer" look, as well as what the Gasser guys used in the '60's. I am a bit embarrised with the pictures that I have attached as this is the truck before being refreshed and is no where close to being detailed to my standards. If I did the attachment process correctly you should find two pictures in the "Attached Files" Section of the Additional Options below. Be easy with me guys. I am telling you the truck in these pictures is no where close to what I call clean and presentable. Anyway one of the pictures shows the grill piece that I am talking about. Looks cool but I, like you, am suspect that "looks cool" may be standing in the way of "being cool".

rcr/fly
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Old 06-11-2006, 11:25 PM
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Wow!!! Sweet looking truck. No need to be embarrassed with that truck. If everyone waited till there project was completely done there sure wouldn't be much to look at on the board. That grille treatment is probably only allowing half of the air flow of what a regular grill would. I would think a test drive with the grille in and the same test drive with it out will tell you what you want to know. Checking all of the other things mentioned would be a good idea just to know that they are not a cause as well. One little thing plus one little thing plus.......could equal 220.
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Old 06-12-2006, 01:32 AM
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In Search of a 427 Expert

Home Brew:

Thanks for the positive vibes about Killer. I am just a fanatic about a rod being absolutely presitine. I drive them on the street and then crawl in, on, under, and around them making them spotless again. People call me nuts but I have a 1991 Mazda B2200 pickup, stock as you can get one, daily driver, 293,000 miles on it and I wash the underside of this truck just like I do my rods. A guy asked me one time if I was trying to wash all of the Japanese finger prints off the truck from when it was assembled in Japan. Under the hood of my Mazda is cleaner than many a hot rod that I have reviewed at Good Guys Dallas, Jacksonville, and Charlotte. It takes no effort to be "Rat". But what you can do is take a very simple rod with the right paint colors applied, detail that baby to the hilt, and many people will be blown away with it just like the ones that are solid chrome. When you do not have the dough to go full show you make up the difference with detailing. And its funny. People will look at my cars and say, "I cannot put my finger on it but there is something that makes this rod unique." It is really very simple. It is clean.
Anyway, thanks for your input on the radiator grill piece. I really like the way that it looks. But forget it if it interfers with Killer being functional. 50% air flow interference is a huge amount of air. If I ever break down and do an indoor show during the winter I could polish the plate up and slip it in for visual effect. Also, sounds like a good plan. Run with and without it, with the atmospheric temperature being the same on both runs, and the temperature gauge should tell the story. Even if the gauge is off if the reading changes with and without the plate you will know how many degrees the plate is creating. So, I will pull the thermostat and see what temperature it is, and go from there. In fact, I believe that I will start with Deuce's suggestion and use a 195 degree thermostat, stick a new one in just to make sure that the thermostat is going to do what it needs to, and proceed from there.

Thanks to everyone for their input. And by the way, no offense to you "RAT" guys for my earlier comments. But honestly, I do not ever remember seeing any hot rod back in the fifities as nasty as what is being displayed at shows today under the name "Rat Rod". We did not have a lot of money back then (still do not for that matter) and yes our rods were not chrome queens, but at the same time our rides were as cosmetically well maintained as our wallets would allow.

rcrfly
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Old 06-12-2006, 07:49 AM
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Here is a photo of a original style 32 grill insert. See how NON restrictive it is ...

Nice truck ... you have but I believe the 32 radiator and shell has been shortened ... also. Most likely the same amount as the body was channeled over the frame .

LOOKS like the truck would be a Blast to AIM ...
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Old 06-12-2006, 04:06 PM
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In Search of a 427 Expert

Deuce:

Thanks for the attached grill picture. I will have to get out my measuring stick and check it out when the truck and I are in the same place. Right now it is in Florida and I am in Texas. I suspect that it should be a blast to aim as I already know that it will fly. Well, at least it will fly about 10 to 12 feet before gravity takes over. I also know that it will do one terrific burn out on the tail board of a transporter right before it takes flight from the upper deck of the transport trailer. Transport driver made a couple of mistakes (understatement) in the delivery process and flew Killer off the ten foot level of the transport trailer. Due to the car's frame construction (it is basically all funny car from the firewall back, 33 in wide rear tires, and huge coil over shock soaking up the initial shock, and then other stuff breaking at just the right time Killer survived. The transport driver after passing blood for 3 weeks also pulled through. The insurance company, however, did not come out so good. Reconstructive surgery on a car built with an abundance of one off parts is a very expensive process. But hey, what is a hot rod without it having a bit history to go along with it. The original builder of Killer saved the body from a crusher over twenty years ago, and the way he built the frame and roll bar set up that he put the body on allowed the truck to have another close to death experience and still survive. And I, well let's just say that I am going to have in another two or three weeks a 32 Ford Pro Street Truck that has been "freshend up" a bit.

In closing there is one thing that I would like to pass on to everone from my experience with Killer so far. Build them right boys. Make sure that the welds are correct, and that there is proper structure to support what you are doing. And then when you are absolutely sure you are dead on plug in a safety factor. There is no way for you to tell what adventure your hot rod will have to experience in its lifetime. The way you build it to begin with can have a lot to do with whether or not your rod and yourself will or will not be able to survive what you encounter.

rcrfly
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