BBC Over heating? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 11, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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BBC Over heating?

Well I just installed a BBC and car was over heating.. So picked up a BB radiator and installed with a 160 thermostat..

Car idled for 20 minutes in my driveway held at 180(hood open) As soon as I closed hood and put it in gear temp went right up to 200...after I took it out of gear temp stayed at 200 reved it for a few minutes temp dropped down to 190...

Idle in park 650-700 rpm in drive 600-625.. Engine is stock 454..running a summit performance water pump

Would a shroud help?? Why does the temp go up in gear??

What is the coolant capacity of a big block radiator vs the Sbc radiator??


Thanks in advance..

68 Camaro Coup, BBC ,2457 headers, th400 , ford 9", Hotchkiss connectors,
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 11, 08:56 AM
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Re: BBC Over heating?

Shrouds help big time, that's why GM supplied them with their cars.

As for cooling capacity, you don't mention what year car you have (people ask about all year Camaros and other makes on this site) so it's tough to guess what you might have. If it's a 1st gen, there are two basic widths of radiators, you'd want the wider of the two with the matching shroud.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 11, 09:14 AM
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Re: BBC Over heating?

A correctly fitting shroud will help, but 200 for a BBC is not all that hot. BBCs run hotter than SBC, and there are some good threads here as to why, as well as how to diagnose various behavior.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 11, 09:25 AM
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Re: BBC Over heating?

Here is a good, long thread that is BBC specific about normal op temp (210 not unusual) and how to figure out what issues, if any, you may have.

https://www.camaros.net/forums/showth...bc+overheating

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 11, 10:30 AM
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Re: BBC Over heating?

Also where do you have the sending unit? If its in the head it will run about 10 degrees hotter.

You need a shroud. Your fan is pulling no air across the radiator with no shroud at idle and sitting still.

Once you start driving air is going thru the radiator.

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 11, 01:18 PM
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Re: BBC Over heating?

Your BB radiator should be 23 inches wide. Which radiator did you purchase and from where??? As mentioned above 200 for a BBC is not hot. Also what fan are you using????

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 11, 02:21 PM
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Re: BBC Over heating?

My L72 always burped a little coolant after a drive. I have the correct radiator and thermostat. I just started leaving a drip pan under the overflow.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 11, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: BBC Over heating?

Ok..my sensor is in the head... The fan is a 17" 7 blade , no fan clutch, fan is approx 2" from radiator...

Radiator was purchased from a member here it is a copper 3 core 23" between tanks.. Radiator was real clean...inside and out..

Initial Timing is set at 8* Btdc..

What I find strange is as soon as closed the hood and put it in gear the temp went right up...I would have thought that by closing the hood.. The fan would have pulled more through the radiator...would it also be safe to assume that the lower rpms also contribute by slowing the flow through the radiator?

68 Camaro Coup, BBC ,2457 headers, th400 , ford 9", Hotchkiss connectors,
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 11, 03:39 PM
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Re: BBC Over heating?

Yes. What kind of fan are you using? A Flex fan??

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 11, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: BBC Over heating?

No flex fan...fixed blades

68 Camaro Coup, BBC ,2457 headers, th400 , ford 9", Hotchkiss connectors,
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 11, 05:13 PM
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Re: BBC Over heating?

1/ put the correct GM 180 degree thermostat back in.
2/No Shroud will over heat at idle and possibly run hot at low speeds
3/Use the stock fan with the factory clutch
If still got issues
Get the Radiator checked for Hydrocarbon gases
If that show -ve
Pull the header tanks off the radiator and manually clean the core.

Or put simply..
The stock system is way over built....set up stock and in good condition the system WILL NOT run hot AT ALL.

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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 11, 05:42 PM
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Re: BBC Over heating?

Get a shroud. 8 degrees initial is to low.

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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 11, 05:53 PM
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Re: BBC Over heating?

Owner's Manual states a 195F thermostat, both for SBC & BBC.
Probably could use a fan clutch, wouldn't hurt and a shroud.

I think the reason for rising temp when hood is closed is the air is recycling through the radiator.
Hood open, heated air exits out the top - feel the hot air on your face when it is above the air cleaner?
Hood closed, the normal escape route is filled with steel tubing, the space between the engine and frame rails. So air travels down in front of the engine to the ground, wraps around the radiator support and gets re-used.
Once car is moving, the engine compartment is at a lower atmospheric pressure than the front of radiator and higher pressure always equalizes the lower pressure area/volume.

BBC's create more heat then SBC's - more volume of combustion generates more heat.

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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 11, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: BBC Over heating?

I had a 180 thermostat in there before and the temp went up quick at idle hood open it was at 200.. Changed it under advise from a member here and it did help the initial temp.. Now it hangs at 180.. Until I close the hood and put it in gear.. Then goes up to 200... But if I increase the idle temp drops to 190-195..

How would a higher temp thermostat help with the over heating??

Also what would a fan clutch do to help?? My understanding was a clutch fan was used to control drag at certain speeds and temp??

I understand about the shroud helping to pull the air through the radiator..

68 Camaro Coup, BBC ,2457 headers, th400 , ford 9", Hotchkiss connectors,
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 11, 06:24 PM
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Re: BBC Over heating?

A hotter radiator gives off (radiates) more heat.
Two types of fan clutches - thermal - locks up when air temp rises to pull more air; rpm - locked up until a specified rpm is reached. Both types unlock at a high rpm, usually 3000 rpm by design. Higher rpm, unlocks and freewheels to become less resistance to incoming airflow as the vehicle speeds through the air.

Engine is not overheating unless the system pukes.
Higher pressure cap increases boiling point of coolant.
Generally, for every pound of pressure added increases boiling point by 3F, ie, 15 lb cap increases boiling point to 256F from 212F at sea level.

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