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1926 Oakland 6-54 Overheating problems.

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I have a 1926 Oakland 6-54C Landau Sedan. I have rebuilt the engine and had all the water passages in the block and head cleaned. I have had the radiator cleaned out by a radiator shop and the water pump checked by two restoration shops. The engine continues to over heat. I got a digital infrared thermometer and in the garage it will maintain 160 - 170 as long as I rev the engine. Took it out today and drove about 5 miles with 5 people in the car and climbed a few small hills and it overheated. Any ideas?

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  • 1 month later...

The thermometer is a very useful tool.  I would check a few points with it:

Radiator - point where water enters and point where cooler water comes out.  What is the difference in temperature?  Also check the temp of the inlet and outlet hose of the engine.  How much difference is there?  This will give you an idea if the radiator is doing it’s job taking heat out of the water but it is just seeing water that is too hot.


The high vs low speed issue is intersting.  It seem to me that it might imply a flow issue.


Also does the Oakland have a water distribution tube in the block?  I knw the splithead Pontiacs do.


Not sure what this is worth but overheating cars can sure be a pain.


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If it has the original honeycomb radiator, they can't really be cleaned effectively once blocked. Hot caustic solutions can be used but the cores can't be "wired out" like a modern core. A simple test is to cap the inlet and outlet, fill radiator with water and remove outlet cap, the radiator should empty itself very quickly, within a few seconds, if it takes longer then you have blocked cores. 


Apart from that, timing too retarded, mixture too lean, exhaust restricted.


Good luck!

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