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Ford: rebuilt..timing..the radiator which accepts a pressurized cap…

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Hello, Here's a question that goes...
Hello,
Here's a question that goes back in time with automotive technology.
I have a 1930 Model A Ford, original engine, drivetrain. Probably been rebuilt at some point obviously.
Have a problem with the engine heating up.
I have, added a modern core radiator/flat tube, modern fins.
Checked the timming, and then checked the timing again!
Added an adaptor on top of the radiator which accepts a pressurized cap with an overflow tank,(which has stopped the fluid loss), but still runs hot. 200-220degrees after running at 40mph for 15 minutes or so through the hills and flats in say 75 degree weather. Other cars in my club can run all day at 50 + without breaking 165 degrees!
We used a non-contact thermometer to get some data on this.
I've added a 6 blade plastic fan to increase air flow. Did nothing.
Replaced the water pump and checked the clearance of the impeller and it seems to be moving water well.
Have repaired a cracked heat and have the modern head gasket on it and pressure tested the system,(the modern radiator neck makes that possible with a Stant tester), to 20 lbs. at it held pressure for 30 minutes untill I released it. So no leakes.
I get just about 3 gallons of fluid out of the system when I drain it facing down a hill and it should hold close to 3 gallons from new so I assume no real blockage there.

I do ask you what you prefer to use as a flush for the block????

Any input on what to try next? Other than another engine. Can't afford the $$ right now.
Oh yea. It's a daily driver for the time being.
Thank you in advance for your time.
Sincerely,
Pete
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Classic Car
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Answered in 5 hours by:
6/28/2010
Classic Car Mechanic: Dr. Hamman, Technician replied 8 years ago
Dr. Hamman
Dr. Hamman, Technician
Category: Classic Car
Satisfied Customers: 6,286
Experience: I have 30 years experience repairing, restoring, and customizing cars, and pickup trucks.
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Hi, I will do my best to assist you. When you are finished please click on accept. I don't get paid unless you do. I don't know if you are a pro or a novice so we may have to fine tune the answer. I only know as much about your problem as you have told me in your post, so my answer will be based on what you have posted. Feel free to add any additional info you feel is needed.


Pete, it sounds like you have been through the mill on this one. By the way you did all the right stuff, and made the mods that normally help. The issue should be pressure related, combustion gas pressure related. Testing with the Stant tester is a very effective way to check for pressure related problems, and spot leaks. But the limitation here is the 20 LBS or so as the max the Stant tester and the cooling system are limited to. When each cylinder fires the pressure peaks at over 1000 Psi for a millisecond, and the heat is a factor here too. After the initial big pressure event the pressure still remains high as it pushes the piston down. This type of pressure combined with the heat can breach areas that the Stant cooler cant even begin to make leak. What happens is this injects superheated steam into the cooling system that the cooling system cant handle, and unexplained overheating will be the result. Many times unexplained overheating is the only symptom of this problem. This one takes many people by surprise. Normally this is caused by a super small leak in the head gasket, a crack in the head, or porosity of the metal in the head. There is a definitive test that will tell you for sure if this is your problem. This test checks for the presence of combustion gas in the cooling system. If this is the overheating problem, the combustion gas will always be present. There is a tool that is relatively inexpensive that will test for this unusual condition. Many experienced mechanics don't know of this device, but the real pros do. I will post a link below where you can get one of these tools. Also remember most of the times when this happens the only sing is unexplained overheating. You may also be able to get one of these tools locally. They use a liquid that changes color if combustion gas is present. If you have any more questions I am here to help. Good luck, and Thanks for using Just Answer.

Combustion gas tester link

I hope this helps, 100% satisfaction is my goal. If the answer is not clear, please reply and I will assist you more. When you're satisfied, click on accept. I don't get paid unless you do. A bonus and positive feedback are always appreciated, good luck and Thanks.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Finally getting the chance to reply back.

 

This test along with a compression test, have been performed. The results were as I had stated. No leaks. I am at the point now that I am thinking since I do not know the full history of this engine, and that it did have the hicompression head on it when I had first gotten it. That it may have a different set of pistons installed or perhaps a reground cam that somehow is affecting the timming enough that it just has a hot cycle.

Was in a parade with 3 other A's on the 4th and all but mine stayed under 180. Mine was around 195-200+ and I have a hot water heater which was on high all the time to keep it from blowing it's stack.

I was dieing in there! Another engine block is what is probably next. But for now no time or money to do that. Any more ideas as to what to check?

Pete

Classic Car Mechanic: ASEMaster35yrs, Master Auto Tech replied 8 years ago
ASEMaster35yrs
ASEMaster35yrs, Master Auto Tech
Category: Classic Car
Satisfied Customers: 2,095
Experience: Master Auto tech since 1972,I own a 65 mustang and have built a 57 ford race car from the bottom up
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Here's my thought on the matter. Those plastic flex fans are worthless and can flex to the point of getting no air flow. I would use a steel 6 bladed fan. Another thing you want to check is the distance between the fan and the radiator. If it's too far away it will not pull enough air through. They make different length spacer extensions for the correct distance. One way to check is to take a news paper and put it in front of the radiator. If it pulls the paper toward the radiator with a strong pull, the air flow is good, but if not, you will need a shroud or put the fan closer to the radiator. Make sure the fan impellers are pulling air and not pushing.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

I currently have a quality aftermarket 2 blade steel fan on the vehicle with a hell of a pitch on it. I had tried a plastic "high flow" 6 blade fan for a while. Both were very close to the radiator and both pulled good air through as was evident when I put a rag near the radiator core and it was pulled in.

Upon reflecting on this problem further. I can think of one other clue. On my morning commute after running at 40-45mph on a relatively level stretch for 10 minutes or so I ascend down a grade at about the same speed into the city for about 1 mile and the temperature will drop from 190 to 165-170. Is this due to the engine not working,(although being a standard it is still running at the same rpm), or due to the coolant being pushed to the front of the engine and into the radiator increasing the cooling effect?

Classic Car Mechanic: ASEMaster35yrs, Master Auto Tech replied 8 years ago
It's not due to the engine not working since it is still turning the same rpm. It sounds like you have a circulation problem perhaps due to the water pump impellers turning the wrong direction. It seems to cool better when water is being pushed to the front of the engine. I would try a different water pump. Do you have a thermostat in it and is your upper hose hot?

Edited by ASEMaster35yrs on 7/9/2010 at 2:19 AM EST
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Impeller is turning in the correct direction as it was confirmed by taking the water neck off,(you can see the impeller through the port), and I have tried different water pumps. I currently have one that has a pinned impeller so as to eliminate any question that it is slipping on the shaft. Originals were only a press fit but soon corroded on permanently with only water being used. I have 50/50 with water wetter in currently. I have a stat in the upper hose and the hose gets hot as well as the radiator. The flow seems?? alright as I have a scavenger pipe in the upper hose that directs water through the heater core in the cab, and God knows that works very well! Turning the blower on high has been one of the things I have been doing to make it through traffic in the last few days in the heat wave we've had up here! Burns your feet off!
Classic Car Mechanic: ASEMaster35yrs, Master Auto Tech replied 8 years ago

The only things that affect temperature are circulation, air flow, radiator capacity and timing. Retarded timing can raise temperature. As far as putting pressure on the system will not affect running temperature except for to raise the boiling point beyond 212F. If it runs cool at idle but hot going down the road, I would suspect the radiator. You said you checked the timing and if the valve timing was off it would have no power to say the least. It is impossible for this condition to exist if everything is good. Perhaps there is a clog in the block or head gasket. There is nothing else that can cause this since we have eliminated everything else. You have checked for combustion gases in the system, checked and replaced water pumps, thermostat, fan and radiator.



Edited by ASEMaster35yrs on 7/9/2010 at 7:21 AM EST
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Classic Car Mechanic: ASEMaster35yrs, Master Auto Tech replied 8 years ago
If you didn't have this problem before you changed your head gasket, I would suspect that perhaps the holes for cooling passages are not all there or not in the right place. If the problem was there before, your block should have been hot tanked before assembly and all cooling system passage ways checked and cleared. Something is restricting the flow, either in the radiator or block.
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