Overheating Concerns '67 Bird 400 - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 67 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 19, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Overheating Concerns '67 Bird 400

I'm still working on this '67 Firebird that belongs to a local guy. I have completed some suspension upgrades and installed the interior and am now tackling the drivetrain concerns.

I took it for a 1.5 mile drive, after idling for a few minutes, and the temp went to 207 degrees before I shut it down. He had said he hasn't been driving it because it quickly runs up to 210 degrees. A few minutes after I shut it down I used the laser thermometer that read 187 at the intake manifold beside the thermometer sending unit. I expected it to read higher than that.

To help I installed a set of the factory design closeout panels between the radiator bracket and the nose of the car. I had installed a thinner fan spacer to pull the fan out of the shroud but then the fan blades hit the power steering pump. Presently it has a 2" spacer, my .5" spacer placed the fan blades about 1/3 into the shroud but as said the blades hit the steering pump. I have already boiled the thermostat on the stovetop to determine it fully opened at 180 degrees. I'm confident it is okay. It has a BeCool aluminum radiator that should be very sufficient.

One thing I noted is this engine has a bad dieseling problem when shut down. Also, for the short drive, I noted hesitation when accelerating. This engine was built by a local guy but he hasn't been able to give me any specifics.

So, might the root cause of all this be timing? Should I shoot for 36 degrees BTDC? I know I also need to check centrifugal advance and vacuum advance. I believe presently it has 87 octane gasoline and just about empty. I will refill with some 93 octane non-ethanol.

I figured I would check timing in the morning before the heat of the day. Right now outside it is 90 degrees with enough humidity to make it uncomfortable. So, I'm taking a break from it.
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post #2 of 67 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 19, 01:56 PM
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Re: Overheating Concerns '67 Bird 400

is that a flex fan?
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post #3 of 67 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 19, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Overheating Concerns '67 Bird 400

Itís a 5 blade aluminum flex fan.

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post #4 of 67 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 19, 02:21 PM
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Re: Overheating Concerns '67 Bird 400

Could the fan be on backwards,not drawing air through radiator?
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post #5 of 67 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 19, 02:26 PM
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Re: Overheating Concerns '67 Bird 400

I would start by ditching the flex fan and installing a stock type 5 blade. The dieseling can be caused by Timing advanced to far, that also adds to increased temps. This can also cause the hesitation you described. I would 1) replace the fan 2) review/adjust timing 3) check plugs to determine if its running lean (also cause a hesitation and high temps)
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post #6 of 67 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 19, 02:37 PM
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Re: Overheating Concerns '67 Bird 400

Pontiac distributor runs opposite direction as Chevy. IIRC the motor does also (counter clockwise)....if so do you have the correct fan to run that direction?
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post #7 of 67 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 19, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Overheating Concerns '67 Bird 400

The fan is mounted correctly. The engine turns counter clockwise as viewed from the driver's seat. I too am suspect of the timing and the fan. I think first I'll check the plugs and set the timing. The optimal fan, even though it isn't correct for the car, will be the heavy duty 7 blade fan with the clutch like on my car. Two more blades should move 40% more air, that is providing each blade has the same capacity. Will a "stock" 5 blade be more efficient than this aluminum fan?

It's good to know the distributor turns the opposite direction.

I picked up some 93 octane no-ethanol for the next test.

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post #8 of 67 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 19, 03:11 PM
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Re: Overheating Concerns '67 Bird 400

if the flex fan is for the right direction, i would think there is no need to replace it.
I have a 6 blade derale fan and have no heating problems at all
I set in traffic last Saturday at 80* for 20 minutes and the temperature never went over 180*
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post #9 of 67 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 19, 03:40 PM
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Re: Overheating Concerns '67 Bird 400

Since the fan is for the rotation direction of the 400 (CCW) I would confirm the timing before swapping in another kind of fan. It may just be a timing issue. If not then address a different fan
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post #10 of 67 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 19, 04:13 PM
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Re: Overheating Concerns '67 Bird 400

Time to get the timing light out Champ

1967 RS/SS Coupe, Factory A/C, 2nd owner, original paint -Taho Turquoise 3 Spd on the floor, bench seat, fold down rear seat

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post #11 of 67 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 19, 06:08 PM
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Re: Overheating Concerns '67 Bird 400

Check that there is no air trapped in the engine. Pontiac seems to be notorious for overheating at times because of this. I bought a 69 Judge from a guy in the 80's that couldn't figure out why it kept overheating. All it needed was to be burped so to speak. Just a thought.

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post #12 of 67 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 19, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Overheating Concerns '67 Bird 400

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niblet View Post
Time to get the timing light out Champ
Indeed it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69Z28 View Post
Check that there is no air trapped in the engine. Pontiac seems to be notorious for overheating at times because of this. I bought a 69 Judge from a guy in the 80's that couldn't figure out why it kept overheating. All it needed was to be burped so to speak. Just a thought.
So how does one burp a poncho engine? I cannot throw it over my shoulder.

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post #13 of 67 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 19, 06:52 PM
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Re: Overheating Concerns '67 Bird 400

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew69 View Post
Indeed it is.



So how does one burp a poncho engine? I cannot throw it over my shoulder.

Now THAT would look funny.



I have always let the engine run with the radiator cap off. Eventually you'll know when it's "BURPED". Not that hard to do.

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post #14 of 67 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 19, 07:13 PM
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Re: Overheating Concerns '67 Bird 400

How accurate is the temp gauge? Is it electric or mechanical? Can you put the bulb in known temp hot what to determine if it is accurate?

Dieseling can be timing. Just move the distributor a bit and see if it goes away. Can be done easily enough without a light.....
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post #15 of 67 (permalink) Old Sep 6th, 19, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Overheating Concerns '67 Bird 400

This car has one of the fancy dash carrier inserts with digital everything readouts. The temp gives actual temperature and the sending unit is top front of the intake manifold. I removed plug #2 and pictured below. It looks really wet. But, this car probably only has a few miles since assembly due to the overheating concerns.

I checked the vacuum advance can and it is all in at 13. It was connected to port vacuum, I'll move it to manifold vacuum. I've yet to determine how much vacuum the engine produces. The distributor has a working centrifugal advance.

I might try Bob's idea of dropping the temp sending unit in a pot of hot water to see if it matches my thermometer.

I hope to get out there Saturday morning before it gets too hot and work with it. We were 93 degrees today and expect the same for the foreseeable future.
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