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Old 01-14-2013, 02:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 69 351W overheating

Having problems with the engine getting very hot after about 30 minutes of driving... It hasn't overheated too severe yet, been trying to figure out the issue before it gets to that point.

Issue: drive for about 30 minutes, temp gauge goes to about 3/4 of max (if I drive longer it maxes out)... If I turn the car off and try to turn it back on it's very hard to start.. Almost like the pistons swell inside of the cylinder (expansion from overheating??)... If I wait for about an hour or so it'll fire up no problem

Current cooling system is a 3 core aluminum radiator, belt driven water pump, 180* thermostat, using a mix of Redline's water wetter and 50/50 water/ethylene glycol

So far I have tried different mixtures of cooling fluid, 50/50; straight water, hy-per-lube... I have drained everything and ran a garden hose through it forward and back.. i have replaced and removed the thermostat, thought it might be a timing issue so i replaced the balancer and re-timed the dizzy..

Really not sure what else to check.. The only thing I can think is there might be something blocking a coolant passage... What's the best way to check this?.. My next step is to take it to a shop.. I just hate to give up on it
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If your radiator isn't new and hasn't been recently serviced, I think your suspicions are correct. You have clogged coolant passages in the radiator.

You can save a LOT of money by draining the cooling system and removing the radiator yourself. A good shop will perform a flow test and determine if any passages are blocked. Although, I don't know if a shop can do a hot tank or a rod out on an aluminum radiator. (??)
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The radiator is new, everything in the car was rebuilt/replaced less than 500 miles ago

i should point out that the temp I'm getting is 220* at the thermostat housing using an infrared heat sensor

One thing I didnt think of that someone else mentioned is getting a heat shield for the starter
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Do you have a radiator shroud? What happens if you turn on the heater full blast? You should also be measuring the temperature on the heads and thermostat housing.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds to me like normal behavior for a brand new engine.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Do you have a radiator shroud?

+1 (assuming you're running a mechanical fan)

Also, how far back from the radiator does the fan sit? It could be that enough air isn't being pulled through that shiny new radiator.

Don't take offense to this, but another item that has taken some time to diagnose on a new build is the use of a reverse rotation water pump without using serpentine pullies (or vice versa). Just a thought.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Is the engine new? Any possibility that you have a gasket installed backwards, blocking a water passage?

If the engine isnt new, is the problem new? Does it belch fluid? Have you tested the radiator cap?
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If it takes 30 minutes to start running "too warm" then the engine is likely not the issue. 1st, either hook up a mechanical gauge (temp) under the hood or use a meat thermometer to verify coolant temp....an IR unit on the exteriro...well, an indicator but there are tooo many variables that could cause inaccurate readings......so we 1st have to verify what the actual temp really is.....if it is running warm.....some things to consider...

1. aluminum core radiators do not cool an engine better than copper just because tbey are AL.....and AL is much more prone to contamination issues...I would 1st check the radiator.....have a shop pressurize & flow test it.

Next I would again replace the thermostat...unless they are "certified", they can be off as much as 10 degrees (F)....and even though they are suppose to fail in the open position, well, we have all seen stranger things happen.

Also make a notation of driving conditions and temp, city, hwy, etc.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ignore the gauge. What's the real temperature, measured with an IR laser probe?
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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When you say everything in the car was rebuilt/replaced less than 500 miles ago are you talking about the cooling system items or was the engine rebuilt as well? I've seen head gaskets put on upside down that cause tricky overheat problems. I hope that's not the case for you but it is something to consider checking...
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:25 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The Dude - Yes there is a shroud, this is the rad/shroud/fan combo I'm using.. 2500cfm electric 1963-1977 Ford 3 Row Aluminum Radiator + Shroud and Fan

Klutch - Even the hard start after 30 minutes?

Drastik - no offense taken, coolant is flowing from the bottom of the rad into the engine, through the engine and out the top into the radiator

thespazardman - Engine is rebuilt with ALL new internals less than 500 miles ago... but so was the rest of the car (including all cooling components) I have replaced the rad cap... It will belch fluid after about 3 minutes of running if the cap is on... (ie cap on, car running... turn car off, open cap, belches fluid)

beechkid - Ill grab a mechanical gauge Wednesday for sure... meat thermometer I'll check tomorrow, even removing the tstat completely gives the same results

22GT - temp was 220* with the sensor pointed at the tstat housing

mike c35 - yes, everything is new... engine is a rebuilt '69 351W... hope to god the gaskets arent the problem.. had a professional shop do the rebuild... easiest way to check is to pull the heads yes?
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:48 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Your electric fan may not flow well enough. That also looks like a small block radiator. If temps come down after turning on the heater with the fan at the highest setting, you don't have enough radiator/fan. I have the same problem with my big block Nova, which has a 3300 cfm electric fan. If the ambient temperature is over 75 degrees, it gets hot. If I turn on the heater, it cools down. It just needs a bigger radiator.
You can easily install a heavy duty (big block, or small block with AC) radiator, which might solve your problem
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Dude View Post
Your electric fan may not flow well enough. That also looks like a small block radiator. If temps come down after turning on the heater with the fan at the highest setting, you don't have enough radiator/fan... It just needs a bigger radiator.
You can easily install a heavy duty (big block, or small block with AC) radiator, which might solve your problem
+1. Or get a better cooling fan, such as an OEM Taurus or Lincoln fan. Check out the thread on the best cooling fan being discussed right now. I also have a '69 351W and needed a Taurus fan to cool it down. The aftermarket stuff was crap. Just because someone sells a radiator/shroud/fan "kit" for a classic Mustang doesn't mean it will adequately work in every situation.

Lastly, have you "burped" the cooling system since replacing everything? Any unnecessary air in your coolant system will give you similar problems (I know first hand). To test: When the engine is cold, remove the radiator cap and start the engine. When the engine gets up to operating temp, you'll see the coolant start to flow in the radiator. If you see the coolant bubbling, that means you have unnecessary air in the system - which is not being purged thanks to the open radiator cap. Allow the car to run like this for a few minutes, then replace the radiator cap. System is now purged of air. Sorry if you've already tried this...
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Well... after trying just about everything these past couple days I finally got it figured out.. and i felt like a fool... BUT ... lesson learned!!

Took it to Hilltop Classics in Escondido to see if they could get the timing perfect.. they pulled the car in and came out to me within 5 minutes...

Apparently I had the vacuum advance of the dizzy hooked up to the manifold vacuum port of the carb whereas it was supposed to be attached to the ported vacuum (holes are literally side by side)...

Entirely my fault, I was following the paths of the old lines that were on the old carb/dizzy... like i said, lesson learned!!


HUGE THANKS to everyone that offered their advice and help!!
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm glad it was a simple one! Sometimes a 2nd set of eyes helps!
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