mrcvs

Preventing early car from overheating

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My 1917 Maxwell tends to overheat when put in forward and reverse in a short period of time n order to fit in a tight space after a run. The spark is advanced to start. I have heard that retarding the spark and increasing rpm's (hand throttle) can prevent this from happening. I tried this today, but steam was already starting to form and it seemed to not do much (but was being shut off at that point anyway).

Edited by mrcvs
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I'm not familiar with Maxwells but generally speaking, a partially blocked radiator can create the symptom you describe.  Have you had the radiator checked for flow?  Also check if fan belt is loose. 

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or just put a big electric fan in front of the radiator.

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Fan belt is somewhat loose. But if I tighten it more, past experiences suggest it will just ride off the pulleys.

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9 hours ago, mrcvs said:

...The spark is advanced to start. I have heard that regarding the spark and increasing rpm's (hand throttle) can prevent this from happening....

 

Sounds like you are mixed up about setting the timing. Your Maxwell (like all cars) should have the timing retarded to start and advanced to run. Retarding the spark of a running engine will encourage overheating.

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And... if you are starting it with the timing advanced, chances are it's badly out of time. Check the radiator and the timing — the two most likely causes of any overheating problem.

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1 hour ago, Chris Bamford said:

 

Sounds like you are mixed up about setting the timing. Your Maxwell (like all cars) should have the timing retarded to start and advanced to run. Retarding the spark of a running engine will encourage overheating.

 

I worded this improperly. It IS retarded (all the way back) when attempting to start and as it starts it is advanced. Does de-advancing it (putting it back, or, more correctly, pushing it up) decrease chances of overheating if steam formation seems imminent?

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Don't overlook simple things...at night, shine a light thru the radiato to see if accumulated debris might be reducing airflow.

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On ‎1‎/‎08‎/‎2016 at 9:00 AM, mrcvs said:

Fan belt is somewhat loose. But if I tighten it more, past experiences suggest it will just ride off the pulleys.

 

I assume you are aware that there is no water pump on the Maxwell, water circulation through the radiator is entirely dependent on the thermo syphon principle. With this in mind you cant afford to have any restriction or blockages in the cooling system, my first reaction would be to give the radiator a good flush out and see if things improve.

 

 

 

 

 

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On ‎8‎/‎1‎/‎2016 at 0:52 AM, cahartley said:

Late ignition always causes over heating....... :wacko:

 

Amen to that.  That's a lesson I was "late" in learning.:(  An improperly timed/curved distributor can have a significant effect on an engine's tendency to overheat.

 

"Some like it hot", but not when it comes to internal combustion engines.

 

Cheers,

Grog

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If your belt is loose enough to be floppy, and you fear you may not be getting correct fan speed (and snugging to normal lets it run off) there're various kinds of Belt Dressing that make the belt and pulleys "stickier'......

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Also, Do you have worn bushings or bearings on the fan shaft allowing it to cock and spit the belt off? Or a sloppy Pulley on the crank? These early thermo siphon systems need a fan that works up to speed especially at an Idle. Dandy Dave! 

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On Wednesday, August 03, 2016 at 7:19 AM, Dandy Dave said:

Also, Do you have worn bushings or bearings on the fan shaft allowing it to cock and spit the belt off? Or a sloppy Pulley on the crank? These early thermo siphon systems need a fan that works up to speed especially at an Idle. Dandy Dave! 

Fortunately, no.

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The 'belt pops off' issue suggests to me that the pulleys are not rotating in a parallel plane.  And as stated above, Fan speed is critical in TS-only Systems.

 

As well, incorrect timing causes myriad problems, not the least of which is overheating.  One must bear in mind that cars of such vintage were not really 'driven', rather, they were 'operated'.  A person had to have a sense of why it went in the first place in order to get to the second place without a breakdown.  This is difficult to recon with in the modern, 'gas-and-go' context in which we now live.  But it makes sense.  Cars replaced horses, but even now you have to know a bit about a horse if you want to make use of one.

 

While the following may likely cause argument, I would recommend adding some 'water wetter'.  I'm not often one to suggest a 'bottle-fix' but this product does produce a measurable increase in coolant efficiency.  For a TS-only engine I would expect the end result to be noticeable.

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What leads you to believe that you're overheating? You mention steam. Steam is common. Thermosyphon systems are not the same as a pressurized, positive flow setup. They tend to produce steam, they sometimes puke out some water, they will make a throbbing sound at times. What may seem as overheating might just be normal. Go to Harbor Freight and buy a point and shoot thermometer and see if you're really getting too hot

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