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Engine Running Hot??


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My Dad and I went for another drive today in our '52. Probably about 20 miles round trip in 80 degree weather. We haven't driven this car very many times. I noticed today that after we got home and shut the engine off, the temp. needle quickly climbed to the very top of the gauge and remained there for quite some time. It ran within the high side of the normal markings the entire time we were going down the road so that seemed a little hot but still ok. So is it normal for the temperature to go that high after shutting the engine off? I know all engine temps. rise temporarily after shutdown because the coolant isn't flowing, but is it supposed to max out like that and stay there for around an hour?

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Yes, temp will climb for any engine no matter the year. You will notice electric fans for the newer cars will run at stop lights, when the AC is on and pressure in the AC system is high from heat, when the engine is shut down to cool the hot engine the fan will kick on and when the engine has just reached the correct temp to start the fan. Like stop and go traffic. Much more efficient cooling than our non clutch standard no frills or good cooling fans our vehicles have. Your needle pegged to full hot after shutdown is not highly unusual at all. It will stay hot for sometime. Some have added a secondary electric radiator fan just for the reasons noted above. The biggest issue with a new electric fan is the generator output is not enough to really make the fan run to peak efficiency. Its back to square one. If she is not boiling over your OK. Make sure your radiator pressure cap is correct so excessive pressure from heat escapes the cap and not blowing a hose or worse, head gasket.

As a side note, I owned a VW Pass at Turbo. Hottest engine I have owned. At shutdown the heat needle would peg the meter and electric cooling fan would run upwards of 15 minutes to cool the motor.

With that said and maybe a solution for some, install a electric fan and run it for a few minutes at shut down. It will run from the battery only and generator output will have no bearing on fan speed. It might be a solution to vapor lock some are experiencing as well as cooler air washes over the carb.

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Running at the high end of normal is a little hot for that car that quickly...do you have the original radiator in it? If so, you'll probably want to get it boiled out, and possibly even recored. I had to do that with mine because it ran warm. It IS normal, however, to run hotter when shut off because antifreeze is not being circulated by the water pump with the engine off...mine normally runs just above normal on hot shut down, but occasionally gets toward the hot mark on the gauge if it's been running for a long time in hot weather.

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Thanks guys. So it's pretty normal for the temp. to climb then. That's good to know. Aaron, you are probably right. I do have the original radiator and to my knowledge, it has never been boiled or cleaned in any way. I guess I need to call the local radiator shop about getting it boiled out. I definitely don't have the funds to re-core it right now. I have heard that is quite expensive! Thanks again guys.

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Robert,

Boiling, checking, and perhaps putting a few rods in (rodding out) will work for a year or two. Make sure the scunge is gone.

Oh yeah, go to a place on the wrong side of the tracks. They will always do you right.

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Also remember that the stock gauges on these cars are pegged out hot at only 200*F (of course that means they can be much hotter :eek:). You need an accurate gauge or infrared heat gun to see what is really going on.

Willie

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On my 53 Special I had the radiator recored as the original was not worth rodding after the labor charge to remove the tanks. I find that the IR heat gun is a very useful diagnostic tool. With my 53 Specaial sitting at a hot idle, the temperature drop, using the IR gun, from the top of the radiator to the bottom tank is at least 20 degrees. You can also move the gun around the front face of the radiator to get temperatures at various spots and possibly locate blocked tubes.

Joe, BCA 33493

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Gauges over the years have been interesting. Most now use C and H with a "normal range". The reason is the use of actual numbers on the gauge face created issues for the repair shops. Drivers would note the temp at 200 degree one day. The next day at 210 degrees due to higher outside temps or stop and go traffic. The driver would believe their car is having overheating issues because the temp gauge is not where it normally is. Eventually the gauge faces went back to "normal range." Worrisome drivers were no longer.

Then the HOT idiot light on the dash came along. The last time my HOT idiot light went off in my 1978 Buick Regal there was steam already pouring out of a hole in the radiator. The engine was so hot it fried my valve on number one piston. Head job and new radiator.

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Thanks guys. So it's pretty normal for the temp. to climb then. That's good to know. Aaron, you are probably right. I do have the original radiator and to my knowledge, it has never been boiled or cleaned in any way. I guess I need to call the local radiator shop about getting it boiled out. I definitely don't have the funds to re-core it right now. I have heard that is quite expensive! Thanks again guys.

Robert,

Go to my home page and search my posts regarding a CLR FLUSH for your radiator. My local rad shop told me to do this.

Drain rad and block, add pure water and a full can or CLR and run her up to temp for a while in the driveway. Shut off eng and let her cool down. Drain both eng and block, and repeat this step w/ a new can of CLR. When she's cooled down, refill w/ 50/50 water and a good antifreze and add a bottle of "water wetter" that the dirt bike guys use.

The CLR will kill any grass it touches so be carefull where you drain it.

This solved the overheating on my '40 Buick series 90.......

Mike in Colorado

;););)

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Thanks for the suggestions and info. guys. As soon as I get these brakes taken care of I'm going to call the radiator shop. Mike, that's kind of funny you mentioned the wrong side of the tracks. The radiator guys I use have their shop right next to a railroad track on the sketchy side of town! I've been there several times and they always make me a good deal. Willie, that is good to know. I was not aware the older gauges pegged out at such a low temp. compared to the newer gauges. My wife has an infrared thermometer in her kitchen. I'll have to see if I can't sneak it out of the drawer!! I'll just have to remember to wipe off the greasy fingerprints before I put it back!:D:D Flyer, thanks for the suggestion. I'll go to your page and check it out in detail. I don't know though....I'm kind of hesitant to flush my own radiator. I've flushed two radiators in the past using rad. flush chemicals and one of those hook-up kits that allows you to flush and back-flush with a water hose. Both times it made the radiators worse and I ended up replacing them altogether. I've never tried CLR though. I'll keep it in mind when I'm weighing my options. Thanks again guys!

P.S. FLYER, how do I get to your page? I can't find a link for it on your profile.

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Shadetree,

Click on the blue flyer 15015 for my home page, then click on statistics over on the left side of that page, then click on all posts. The CLR flush is just as described above and comes from my local radiator guy who I ride dirt bikes with. He said that's what he would do if I brought it to his shop. CLR = calcium, lime rust = all the things that do clog up radiators and blocks.

Mike in Colorado

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  • 3 weeks later...

Good thoughts guys. However, NEVER flush your system via or through your radiator. Always separate the engine block flush out from the radiator flush out.

After the flush you should either install in the upper radiator hose a inline filter or just put a high temp mesh between the radiator and the end of the hose. You do this to collect any gunk/crap that remains and breaks free. You can get the inline filter on line or you can shade tree the filter cloth method yourself. Then you can put the two back together again and refill with distilled water not chlorine, calcium hard or tap water. Get pure green antifreeze and do your own diluting with the distilled water. Don't go beyond the 50/50 admixture ratio. Then attach/put a sacrificial anode (zinc) rod into the top of the radiator tank to cure the corrosion aspect. Some radiator caps have these built-in or attached and do the same thing.

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