Exceeding Heat Range for bulb seal...what could go wrong? - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Exceeding Heat Range for bulb seal...what could go wrong?

I want to use some bulb seal to fill in a small gab around my radiator (custom mounted).

There will be about a 1/4 - 3/8" gap along the top and about a 1/2" - 3/4" gap along the bottom edge.


The bulb seal I'm finding only has a heat rating up to 150 degrees. Here's the stuff I'm finding.
https://www.mcmaster.com/#1120A5

With a 195degree thermostat, I'm sure the surface of the radiator will get hotter than 150.

What happens if EPDM rubber is exposed to temps beyond the rating? Will it just degrade over time, or will it melt & be a fire hazard?

The only other product I can find on McMaster's site that's good for temps up to 212 degrees is something made out of Buna-N foam, but it says it's not for outdoor use. I wonder if that just means it's not UV protected...but I won't really be exposed to UV rays under the hood of the car.
https://www.mcmaster.com/#12335A53

Dan
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 10:51 AM
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I stock several different variations of that seal for applications like doors, windows, access covers, etc on heavy machinery. As a test, I just went out and held a lighter to the foam bulb side of a piece just to see what would happen. It wasn't like a foam cup that pretty much melts instantly, but rather the opposite. I didn't see anything happen until I held the flame right under the foam itself, and even then it took a bit before it started to burn. Flammable yes, but it actually just smoldered more than anything. My guess is you'd be fine, but it's your car not mine, right?

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 10:57 AM
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What would happen if you just used nothing ?
Nothing has a clean look
and
Nothing won't burn or melt and stink up the joint.
and
Nothing is very cost effective.

Z

Z
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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I thought about using nothing for the reasons you mentioned.

Any thoughts on how much of a gap I can leave around the radiator where it won't allow too much air to go around it without impacting the cooling?

Right now along the top edge, the gap is about 1/4".
Along the bottom, I can probably get that down to about 1/4" or less.
The sides are all closed off because of the brackets I have welded to the side tanks.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 01:15 PM
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I don't view that type of gap impacting the cooling any. But best to get a consensus, if that's possible on the VMF



Z

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 02:08 PM
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IMO a free standing radiator would work fine. A shroud is often used for higher capacity cooling. Most of the air flow/action is at the fan tips, the shroud helps direct it through the radiator. The shroud is often mounted on the support sides and so seals off the sides of the radiator. IMO it looks nice but is not affecting cooling. The effect is at the fan itself.

Remember when some Mercury (?) commercials demonstrated the silence inside the car? Wind noises at highway speeds was often a cause for return and tracking down on a new Town Car (Lincoln). If you had a silent engine that gap around the radiator might make rushing /whistling sounds.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Babb View Post
I thought about using nothing for the reasons you mentioned.

Any thoughts on how much of a gap I can leave around the radiator where it won't allow too much air to go around it without impacting the cooling?

Right now along the top edge, the gap is about 1/4".
Along the bottom, I can probably get that down to about 1/4" or less.
The sides are all closed off because of the brackets I have welded to the side tanks.
You could stick the radiator three feet out in front of the car, all by itself, and it wouldn't make a darn bit of difference.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 08:09 AM
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Here's some sheeting on this page, good for up to 400

https://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-r...heets/=185evsq

John

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodchuck View Post
You could stick the radiator three feet out in front of the car, all by itself, and it wouldn't make a darn bit of difference.
^^^^^^^^ this. just move on to the next aggravation.

BTW. whether the OP talking about a gap between radiator and radiator support or a radiator / shroud gap, either way such a small gap won't impact cooling in a measurable way.

Z

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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I'm using the Contour electric twin fan setup, so the fan shroud is taken care of. I'm primarily concerned about the gap between the radiator and the aluminum brackets that are mounted to the core support.

Since I also have an AC condenser in front of the radiator, I was thinking I needed to close the gap off so air won't make it's way around the radiator...but it doesn't seem like that's something to worry about. I can probably get the gap down to around 1/8" at the top & bottom of the radiator, so I'll focus on getting a tighter fit and be done with it.

My 302 is only rated for 305hp, so it's not like I have a monster powerplant I need to worry about.

Dan
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 08:57 AM
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I think this item would be a good thing to install, I added one to my 66 and it did make a difference.

1966 Mustang Aluminum Grill Cover, Satin
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 11:28 AM
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I have a catalog at home from a company that makes seals for all sorts of custom car applications. They may have some that will work. When I get home next weekend I'll post the company catalog info.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66HertzClone View Post
I think this item would be a good thing to install, I added one to my 66 and it did make a difference.

1966 Mustang Aluminum Grill Cover, Satin
Something like that is on my list. I used one like it in a 68 Camaro and also on my FFR Cobra and it helped on both cars.

Dan
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