How hot is too hot? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 01, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Question

What is a good operating temp and what is considered "overheating" or a danger level for a small block with alumin. heads. Like my set up?

Also, does it matter where the sensor is plugged in at? mine is at the front of the block.

Tony

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 01, 06:10 PM
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well, my car runs at a constant 220, and that is fine.
I wouldnt go any higher than that though.

When my car hits about 250 it starts runningl like crap.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 01, 02:22 PM
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Normal operating temperature is generally considered to be 180-200; an engine that runs consistently at 220 (if 220 has been verified by an I.R. gun vs. the gauge) is operating on the ragged edge, with no margin left, and its cooling system needs some attention before the block and heads are damaged.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 01, 02:43 PM
 
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I agree, 220 is too hot. Big blocks were even designed to run at 180+/-. I would examine your radiator and then consider water pump, water w/coolant and water-weter, and a lower temp thermostat. Not in that order per se.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 5th, 01, 04:24 PM
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its a 3rd gen trans am, new water pump, new radiator, 180 degree t-stat.

Even the original 305 ran about 220, there is just not enough air flow to the radiator to run it any cooler.
And yes, the air dam is in tact.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 01, 06:41 AM
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On the freeway it should run cooler from the air dam pushing all that cold air up there...mine stays at about 150* on the freeway. In the stop and go or traffic if it gets too hot I turn on the A/C because it'll switch on the fan and bring the temp down about 30*. The fans don't come on by themselves until 240, which is almost too late...

[This message has been edited by blbcamaro (edited 10-12-2001).]
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 01, 03:24 PM
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I agree with the others above, 220 degrees is on the edge of being too hot on an older carbureted car. The reason that newer fuel injected cars run hotter is because the hotter an engine runs, the more efficient it is, thus, lowering emissions. I think alot of today's Cadillacs run at 220-230 degrees. The problem is that the higher engine temperatures also heat the air coming into the engine reducing power especially on older cars with air intakes inside the engine compartments.

In and ideal situation, I would think that a car like yours should consistently run between 180 and 200 degrees. Any higher and you are probably reducing engine power. Too hot for a small block with aluminum heads, In my opinion, would probably start when the engine consistently runs higher than 220 degrees. Of course, short times at temperatures slightly higher than that "probably" won't hurt anything. I also agree that you should verify what the gauge is saying with an Infra Red gun. What is your engine running at anyhow?

I have my temperature gauge in the intake. I have heard the preferred position for the sensor argued both ways. Your gauge will probably read a higher temperature if it is in the cylinder head. The intake would probably be the most commonly used position. I would like to hear a difinitive answer on that subject as well.

[This message has been edited by Cameron (edited 10-06-2001).]
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 01, 04:14 PM
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Third gen camaros are designed to run at 220. The low fan doesnt even kick on until 224 and the high at around 234. A hotter engine runs cleaner, emmisions wise.

Operating at 220 lets the engine keep the cat and 02 sensor(s) hot enough to work right.

Plus the temp is taken at the head so the guage will read hotter than if in the intake manifold.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 8th, 01, 04:54 PM
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Normal operating temperature of 220 is too hot for a carbureted engine (I'm assuming it's carbureted - you didn't say). Head or intake location for the temp sender makes no practical difference - coolant isn't going to get any cooler in the 1/4-second it takes to travel from the head to the thermostat outlet inside a hot engine; they needed more sensors and needed more places to put them.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 10th, 01, 04:57 PM
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Question

My 69 396 has the sensor in the head. The gauge reads about 10-15F higher than I get from the IR meter, but the meter is reading external temperature.

On a hot day (85+F) the gauge will climb to ~230F if I'm running on the freeway at 3500 rpm. The IR meter reads ~205-210 (external).
The manifold reading stays at 190F regardless by IR.

In town it runs fine at 200 by gauge, mainforld at 190 (IR).

Could I have a coolant flow problem in the head? Or am I just paranoid?

I have a 4 core radiator and clutch fan/shroud setup. 185F T/S.

Thanks

joe


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