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  #1  
Old Oct 29th, 12, 08:26 PM
toddmwood toddmwood is offline
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Todd
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 37
Default Gets too hot in traffic

My 69 ss 396/375 gets too hot in traffic, ok when driving. Correct radiator, fan, thermostat, etc. All new. Has vintage air but I've not been using it lately. Another problem. Maybe I can add an electric fan if it will fit? Taking the thermostat out may be an option but I'm not sure about that? The car seems to be getting too hot but does not overheat. Gauge goes into the red until I start driving away from lights and stops. Gauge seems correct per a temp gun. Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old Oct 29th, 12, 08:48 PM
2x1968muscle 2x1968muscle is offline
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wayne
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: western canada
Posts: 282
Default Re: Gets too hot in traffic

Stock fan?
The stop lights in Honolulu are some of the longest lights I have seen (only Las Vegas feels longer)
The stock fan just might not be able to keep up..?
I had a similar issue with our 68 and put a flex fan on it to improve the pull thru the rad. (now old technology)
Adding electric fans might be of assistance, but first I would make sure you have a good thermostat. (dont remove it) Then think about taking the Rad in to a rad shop and getting it boiled out. A good flowing rad should keep that engine cool even in Hawaii. 3 core rad? if not ask the rad shop about re-coring.

Hope you get this sorted out, nothing worse than a hot engine while trying to "cruise" between red lights
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  #3  
Old Oct 29th, 12, 09:12 PM
norcal_68 norcal_68 is offline
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Mike
 
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Location: SF Bay Area
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Default Re: Gets too hot in traffic

Do you know how hot you're running? My 396 runs between 190-210. I have electric fan and be cool alum radiator and its hard to keep it at 190. Most days in california it runs 200. You might want to get an aftermarket temp gauge just so you know exact temp it's running at. I swapped my console gauges for full sweep electrical to know exact temps.
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  #4  
Old Oct 29th, 12, 09:16 PM
toddmwood toddmwood is offline
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Todd
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 37
Default Re: Gets too hot in traffic

I have a new four core radiator and stock fan. Where can I get a flex fan? Parts store? Just ask for a flew fan to replace stock at napa or something? I can easily try that.
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  #5  
Old Oct 29th, 12, 09:30 PM
toddmwood toddmwood is offline
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Todd
 
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Location: Honolulu, HI
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Default Re: Gets too hot in traffic

I pointed a temp gun at the top radiator hose and it's well over 200 degrees so I assume the gauge it correct. The car is definitely getting too hot. It does not run well either when it gets that hot and only when it gets that hot.
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  #6  
Old Oct 29th, 12, 09:32 PM
toddmwood toddmwood is offline
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Todd
 
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Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 37
Default Re: Gets too hot in traffic

Wow, those be cool radiators are supposed to be like 40 percent more cooling and your still running warmer than the thermostat? Makes my situation look dire.
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  #7  
Old Oct 29th, 12, 10:11 PM
norcal_68 norcal_68 is offline
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Mike
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: SF Bay Area
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Default Re: Gets too hot in traffic

Have you back flushed your radiator before? Here's a good article on cooling systems.

http://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/w...cooling_system
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  #8  
Old Oct 29th, 12, 10:17 PM
2x1968muscle 2x1968muscle is offline
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wayne
 
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Location: western canada
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Default Re: Gets too hot in traffic

Amazon.com: Flex-a-lite 5717 Steel Star Aluminum 17.25" O.E. Replacement Fan: Automotive Amazon.com: Flex-a-lite 5717 Steel Star Aluminum 17.25" O.E. Replacement Fan: Automotive

Not sure if Amazon will ship for free to Hawaii...
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  #9  
Old Oct 29th, 12, 10:26 PM
Steptoe Steptoe is offline
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Steps
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 12,564
Default Re: Gets too hot in traffic

The stock GM cooling system even on todays standards is way over built...
U have new radiator, pump, clutch and stock fan with shroud...and new hoses...Correct?
I gather your symtoms are its ok while moving and gets hot idling correct?
No has nothing to do with thermostat, and if take it out without a restrictor it will run hotter....
In saying that , a faulty thermostat will cause your symptoms.
Buy a new one any way...a GM 180 deg, correct for the application...and test before install, dont assume it is ok....
electric jug water, hang the thermostat in it cold and heat it up, with a thermometer for when is open.
While at it, do the same with the temp gauge sensor, start cold, ground the body, then u can relate the postions of your gauge needle to real temps....And varify temps

Generally moving ok and idle gets hot is blocked/ restricted cores, and/ or no shroud...and a rare long shot, the impeller in the water pump has spun on the splines.

There are a coupe things that can make ppl think its getting hot when they stop at an interesection...
Partuarly noticable after a highway run the hit the intersection and the needle climbs.....if u increase rpms to a fast idle temp drops... that is normal....it will also drop if u sit there longer....what happens is there is a lot of heat in the block/heads, then water pump suddenly goes at a slow speed leaving water in a hot block to gert very hot... this eventually moves past the temp sensor, gauge goes up, into the radator cools and takes a while to get all the open road heat out
Thats normal
The other is over filling the raditor, again usually after a run, and spews the access water all over the ground... dont over fill the radiator....both of these can be and often are combined.

A not on temp guns...most people dont read the instructions, assume that simply aiming at a particular surface will give correct reading... this in NOT the case... cant beat a good old fashioned bi metalic probe or a bit of mercury.
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  #10  
Old Oct 29th, 12, 10:29 PM
2x1968muscle 2x1968muscle is offline
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wayne
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: western canada
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Default Re: Gets too hot in traffic

Just remembering when my 68 firebird 400 had overheating issues. If I remember correctly the thermometer was stuck open and when sitting in lineups the engine would heat up something terrible. Changed the stat and that solved part of the problem. New upper and lower hoses installed, then tuned up the engine and had the rad flushed.
It was an automatic and I believe I added a transmission cooler to reduce the load on the radiator

The firebird came off the road shortly after and it turned out the block was cracked. I have since rebuilt the 400 but am right in the middle of body panel replacement so cannot confirm that the problem is solved.
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  #11  
Old Oct 30th, 12, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: Gets too hot in traffic

I dont see in your typing that you have the original shroud? If not, that is the problem. Shroud is VERY important. If you do have the shroud, is the fan blade sticking inside the shroud about an inch?
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  #12  
Old Oct 30th, 12, 07:40 AM
Kunihiro Kunihiro is offline

Allen
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Upland, CA
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Default Re: Gets too hot in traffic

I would concur about the shroud and the distance of the fan inside the shroud.

The member with the Be Cool radiator and electric fan. I had the same set up in my '71RS (sold) and I too encountered an overheating problem in still traffic. As it turns out, in the Be Cool setup, there is about 1/4" to a 1/2" gap between the electric fan shroud and the radiator fins. I had a shop cut out an aluminum sided frame to seal the gap b/t the electric fan shroud with the radiator fins. This allowed the electric fans to suck up air through the fins, vs. sucking air between the fan/radiator fin gap. It ran much cooler after that.
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  #13  
Old Oct 30th, 12, 08:47 AM
slugo10 slugo10 is offline
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Scott
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: South Mississippi
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Default Re: Gets too hot in traffic

I had cooling issues forever on my '69 with ZZ4 350 here in south MS. I have vintage air and would over heat sitting in traffic. I went with Alumitech rad and Spal 16" fan they also sell with the digital Spal fan controler and I never over heat even in South MS heat with the A/C on! It works great. Cost a little bit but I tried to go cheap at first and didn't work. i had him weld an extra temp bung in the hot side of the rad tank for the controller too for free.

This rad and fan:
https://secure.wf-api.com/www.chevel...6-fan-fit.html

This controler:
http://www.spalusa.com/store/Main.aspx?html=pwmv3
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  #14  
Old Oct 30th, 12, 04:27 PM
Luwi67 Luwi67 is offline
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Bobby
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Long Island, NY
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Default Re: Gets too hot in traffic

X2 on the shroud. It's an absolute must.

Taking the thermostat out will cause it to run hotter as the coolant does not spend enough time in the radiator.
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  #15  
Old Oct 30th, 12, 05:20 PM
X-77 keith X-77 keith is online now
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keith
 
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Angry Re: Gets too hot in traffic

I had a 69 with a 396 in it as well. I too had the same problem. I put a new Harrison four core rad , new high flow waterpump , high flow thermostat, and a flex fan and a new electric Autometer temp gauge on my car and some of the Red line cooler in it too. The car ran around 210 and at lights got up near 230 . Drove me crazy. I use to work at a auto machine shop, and had seen many cracked heads and blocks. Pulld mine down, hot tanked them and pressure tested them with a blue dye and found nothing. Spoke with some old school guys and they told me some big blocks just run hot. I had a 454 in the car before and it ran 210 all day. The car still ran hot the day I sold it, still baffles me. I now have a 69 with a 302 runs around 190-200 with a clutch fan. I still have a hard time believing " some just run hot" sounds crazy to me. I wish you luck and please let us know what fixes it if any.
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