Cooling a 302 Ford (again)
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  1. #1
    Compulsive chicken choker English Impala's Avatar
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    Cooling a 302 Ford (again)

    1957 Ford, running a stock radiator (recored at some point in it's past but of an unknown quality) cooling a fairly stock 302. Engine is fully rebuilt and now done around 300 miles. Radiator has two large (10" I think) fans in front of the radiator pushing air through (checked to ensure correct way round!). Since the start the car has got hot when stationary or crawling with the needle creeping up to the end of the scale, at this point the car starts to run lumpy so is clearly unhappy. Changing the timing (advancing/retarding) makes no difference. Driving along at 30mph + the needle stays in the middle of the gauge & the fans don't cut in. With the fans on the needle still stays extremely high and would overheat if left for a period of time.

    I have got an infra red thermometer, last night I went for a run and left it idling until the needle was near the "high" mark on the gauge, the temperature of the radiator core (measured pointing at each individual tube/waterway) was 56 degrees at the bottom, rising to around 88 degrees at the top. The temperatures were constant all the way across the radiator with no obvious cold-spots.

    I have taken the thermostat out to try and rule that out, it obviously takes longer to get warm but still reaches the same high temperature.

    Any suggestions? I don't mind having the radiator recored, but I want to ensure that doing so will fix the problem, so I'd sooner understand the actual problem first.







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    Worth a try at these few checks.
    The change in temperature would indicate the rad is loosing some heat, not sure if that is sufficient though. So you could check the coolant is circulating enough ( pump--- When it's all cool look in the rad top and watch the water level drop or circulate when you rev the engine ) or the rad core size is not sufficient for when the car is stationary.

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    Administrator blackpopracing's Avatar
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    Are you saying it runs hotter at 30mph with fans on rather than off?

    Fans are obviously restricting airflow through rad as they are in front - whether this is an issue or not I don't know.

    Is the rad sealed to the front panel? make sure there is no gap for the air to bypass going through the rad.

    If you get it recored then possibly go for an extra core - 2 rows to 3 etc. Can you take a photo close up of the type of core fitted? older cores are far less efficient than newer ones.

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    I'm Not Jed Clampett stueeee's Avatar
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    Does seem an unusual problem -yank rads usually have cooling to spare in the UK -they were made to cope with an Arizona summer after all.

    Did you just remove the thermostat, or just cut the centre out? without the restriction the cooling tends to be uneven front to back on the block, and also, if the coolant just whizzes through the rad, the airflow doesn't have enough time to cool it.
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    Compulsive chicken choker English Impala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stueeee View Post
    Does seem an unusual problem -yank rads usually have cooling to spare in the UK -they were made to cope with an Arizona summer after all.

    Did you just remove the thermostat, or just cut the centre out? without the restriction the cooling tends to be uneven front to back on the block, and also, if the coolant just whizzes through the rad, the airflow doesn't have enough time to cool it.
    I cut the centre out only.

    Regarding running at 30mph fans on or off doesn't make much difference, it's only when slow moving/stationary, they help but only a little bit. I'll take a photo of the core a bit later.

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    Official RnS Addict mygasser's Avatar
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    If it's ok during normal driving but gets hot when stationary the rad would seem to be sufficient. The problem is almost certainly airflow, or not enough of it with your pusher fans. Swap them for a decent puller on the engine side of the rad. If the rad was too small or blocked it'd get hot while normal driving. Neil.
    need a job done on your project? i may be able to help.

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    Compulsive chicken choker English Impala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mygasser View Post
    If it's ok during normal driving but gets hot when stationary the rad would seem to be sufficient. The problem is almost certainly airflow, or not enough of it with your pusher fans. Swap them for a decent puller on the engine side of the rad. If the rad was too small or blocked it'd get hot while normal driving. Neil.
    Thanks, space might be a problem (clearance with the pulleys) but I'll give it a shot.

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    Official RnS Addict WB54's Avatar
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    timing does affect temp, overly retarded timing puts a lot of heat into the exhaust port. Has it got vac advance ?

    If you have a 34 degree drop in temp across the rad, the rad and fan are cooling ok but the fans would defo be more efficient pulling than pushing

    If you've measured it coming out the rad at 56, it makes me wonder where your temp sender / fan switch is located and if the gauge is at fault. What's that in the top hose ? fan switch ? can you put another sender gauge in somewhere ?

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    Compulsive chicken choker English Impala's Avatar
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    Temperature sender is in the inlet manifold and yes, it has vacuum advance. The fan switch is in the top hose (not ideal, should be in the bottom) but I have a manual override switch that I use.

    I've measured clearances and I've only got 1 1/2" between the pulley and the radiator so I need to look at slimline fans if one's available that'll do the job.

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    Official RnS Addict WB54's Avatar
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    location of the switch shouldn't be causing this, ie reading the hottest part of the engine you'd expect the fans to be on almost continually. Are you sure it would overheat if left ? Your reading of the temp at the rad is telling a different story to the gauge ? How about plumbing in a cheap gauge in the bay so you get an actual reading from the probe submersed in the coolant ?

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