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The 35 LaBaron Coupe issues


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Posted (edited)

Ed asked if I had solved my water issues. I would say that I have about 80%. I still wanna do or try a couple of things. When I found out is in 1935 Lincoln moved the radiator cap underneath the hood. It no longer is at the very top of the radiator. I am also finding out it wasn’t the best of designs. Water comes out of both heads through a 1 3/8” ID hose and comes together into a “Y” casting that’s mounted to the radiator, that’s where it measures temperature. Right off that “Y” there’s a little elbow with the radiator cap. When the engine is running you cannot leave that cap off water will come pouring out because of the rate that it’s being pumped through the engine and it’s fairly substantial. So when it heats up and builds a little bit of pressure there’s no way it can relieve that without spitting out water because it’s flooding that area. In 1937 they change the design somewhat and made it better and had a special radiator cap belt it looks like it has a pyramid on the bottom of it,  tip pointing up that keeps it from seeing water directly. Still not a real good design. I ended up using a 4 pound pressure cap on my radiator I also built a little stainless steel diverter that I could stick in my filler neck and attach it to where the chain used to attach to the radiator cap to keep you from losing it. I can still pour water into the radiator easily. But it just keeps some of the water from slush directly towards the cap when it comes into the Y area. I’ve attached a picture out of an old fork and blade publication I did not take the picture but it’s still readable this has been a problem for some time. The other solution is to slow the water down in the engine. I’m thinking of doing that because it is pumped at a fairly rapid rate I think by putting a set restrictors in the hose with 5/8” holes the water will slow down through the radiator and probably cause it to cool more. Basically like the thermostat in a normal engine but with a fixed hole.

I’ve also attached a picture of the little diverter I made but unfortunately I didn’t take it from the top view looking down but the round part is at an angle which keeps the water from pouring into the cap area. You’re still cannot run the engine with the cap off and not have water pour out

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1935 Radiator, Not my radiator but you can at least see how is.

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Edited by AB-Buff (see edit history)
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Mine has a little bit different filler neck add it to the top that I can use a pressure cap it also has overflow relief built into that section.

You can also see how I mounted my little diverter.

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Yup, that’s a poor design. Restriction seems like a reasonable option. I recommend full testing it in the heat of the summer to be sure your not causing a new problem. I have another idea if it continues. Unorthodox but it works. Ed

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10 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Yup, that’s a poor design. Restriction seems like a reasonable option. I recommend full testing it in the heat of the summer to be sure your not causing a new problem. I have another idea if it continues. Unorthodox but it works. Ed

Ed

Yesterday was a 70 mile drive, some freeway and some back roads, I ran between 50-65, mostly 59 (about 2100 RPM) it was 83 degrees outside temp, and the temperature on the gauge was in the middle which when I checked with an infrared gun that was 180 degrees. So far so good.  An interesting observation.  When I got the car there was not a front radiator shutter system. What I noticed when I put it on and it opens up fully at temperature it tends to direct the air under the hood to each side where the hood vents are.  Clever if that was the intent but I think my car feels a LOT cooler inside while driving it. Before (without the shutters) the air went straight back to the firewall, it was very hot in the car.

Lynn

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Lynn......understood. With the very low production stuff, and espically the late stuff lots of stuff was done "on the fly" and fixed after the fact if necessary. Todays fuel and faster running speed make heat and fuel issues pop up that probably didn't occour before the war. Lugging the engine with a high speed rear end also doesn't help. Thats why I always strive to have cooling, ignition, starting, and other systems operate qt 100 percent. Anything less today at speed can be dangerous or unreliable.  

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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I, too, had water pushing out of my radiator cap at speed, which is partially why I started down this particular path. I replaced the gasket on the radiator cap, switched to a different cap, bent the tabs to make it clamp down harder, but nothing worked. At the recommendation of a fellow board member (David Coco AKA Trimacar), the solution was a restrictor. I used a 3/4 to 1/2 galvanized reducer bushing and a small length of 1/2" galvanized pipe in both upper radiator hoses. The bushing is exactly the same diameter as the inside of the upper hoses, so it fits perfectly. My idea with the extra piece of pipe was that if it was too restrictive, I could remove the pipe part and improve flow somewhat. I even cut slots in the pipe so I could unscrew it with a big screwdriver without taking the whole hose apart and losing all that coolant. It worked rather well and I never needed to remove the pipe. It stopped the overflow problem and even before cleaning out the block and having the radiator re-cored, the car subsequently ran nice and cool. I installed a mechanical temperature gauge in the glove box and made an adapter for one of the upper radiator hoses so I could more directly monitor coolant temperature and it would hover around 160, which was nice. Interestingly enough, that gauge showed that it would heat up to more than 200, then BAM! instantly cool right down to 160, like a thermostat had opened. There obviously isn't a thermostat and my shutters were wedged open, so perhaps there's a regulator of some sort in the water pump?

 

I bought some in-line thermostats that fit inside the hoses that I plan to use when I reassemble everything in the next few weeks. I figured I would try that instead of the pipe fittings, which were held in place with a third hose clamp and it looked hokey. These thermostats fit over the output neck and are held in place by the hose and lower clamp. We'll see how that works.

A restrictor will surely help in your case, Lynn.

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Matt. I want to reiterate that I’m not having a heating issue and I’m not losing water. But I do feel the water isn’t spending enough time in the radiator. They put a pretty darn good pump on these things so I think I’m going try slowing it down just a little with restrictors . I made two of these today they’re a half inch thick cupped on each side leaving a quarter inch thick web then I put a full radius on it the ID is 5/8 of an inch. I think this should work well if not I can always slip them right back out. And you won’t see them. I think the in-line thermostat is perfect. If I would’ve found some of those when I put this together I would’ve use those. I do like the shutter system in the front and that it warms up quickly and once it opens it maintains that temperature. When I took this for a ride last winter it would never warm up enough to come off a choke.

 

I forgot to mention this is 304 stainless steel so it’s not going to go away

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Edited by AB-Buff (see edit history)
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Lynn, can I ask what diameter are your stainless washers under the acorn nuts? ARP sells three different diameters (.812, .765, .705). I have the right acorn nuts and ordered the same studs you bought, but I need washers so I can start putting things together.


Thanks!

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Posted (edited)

I bought the .812. I ended up using a thicker washer that I had that’s .845. If I had not needed the thicker washer I would use the .812. They both look nice with the nuts. You don’t want something that’s real big. I took material off my head to raise the compression ratio. That’s why I use the thicker washer.

Lynn

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Edited by AB-Buff
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There was an article in Skinned Knuckles many years ago about the speed of the flow of coolant through the radiator. It turns out that the faster coolant moves through the radiator the more heat is transferred to the air. I would not try to slow it down. The number of fins and their design has a lot more effect on heat transfer than coolant speed.

 

I raced flatheads back in the early 1950's and we used washers to slow the coolant down as it would shoot out of the cap, like your Lincoln was doing. When we started to use cars from the late 1940's, we went to pressure caps to keep the coolant in the radiator. It worked much better than the washers. It kept the coolant in the engine and radiator with out over heating. We ran without thermostats. I don't remember any cracked blocks after we started to use the pressure caps and we were always fixing cracks in the valve area before.

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On 4/14/2021 at 1:30 PM, AB-Buff said:

I bought the .812. I ended up using a thicker washer that I had that’s .845. If I had not needed the thicker washer I would use the .812. They both look nice with the nuts. You don’t want something that’s real big. I took material off my head to raise the compression ratio. That’s why I use the thicker washer.

Lynn

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Lynn,

   How much material did you take off of the head, how much do you think it raised the compression ratio and do you notice any difference in performance?  

Chuck

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Hi Chuck

I took off .150 inches at least that’s what I asked for I ended up at .160” off. That seems like a lot but the aftermarket heads seem to be deeper than the original heads. When I CCed them the volume much larger than stock.  When you take that much off you have to go in and mill out for the valve clearance. Which I did myself. Anyway I would not take more than .100 inches of the face of a stock head. If you do you’ll have to go back in and spot face for valve clearance. I ended up at 7.56 to 1 compression ratio which I think is good. It runs fantastic I can literally go out and just bumped the starter when its cold for about two seconds and it starts. I’ve also advance the timing to 10° before TDC and I’ll try and go a little more later. If I remember correctly on a stock head, if you take .100 inches off depending on your bore and the head gasket you use you’ll end up somewhere around 6.5 to 6.8 to 1. Do some measurements before you cut!

Lynn

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 3/21/2021 at 1:16 PM, AB-Buff said:

Well we have the fan assembly off it’s probably a good time to repack the bearings. The seal was a felt seal. I tried to find a modern seal for it and nothing seem to be available in metric or an inch. So I had to make another one out of felt. You can take the whole thing apart but you have to be very careful not to ruin anything. Literally this fan runs on a spindle that you could use on a go cart. After it is assembled if you put the little cover that’s on the fan last you can put a grease zert the fill line and pump that full of grease while slowly turning it. Once that’s done you’ll never have to touch it again are used a little bit of silicone sealant to put the cap on, Its called “the right stuff” it’s fantastic

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Lynn, do you remember how thick the felt was for the seal you made? I figure I should re-grease my fan hub as long as I have things apart. I don't have any felt on hand but I can pick some up. Do you recall?

 

Thanks!

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Matt I wanna say it was half-inch? I didn’t have any half-inch but I did have quarter so I made two and just put them both together. I put grease on them and stuffed them in there, it seems to be doing well I’ve got about 300 miles on the car and I don’t see any issues with it. Felt seals are pretty forgiving. I could not find an off-the-shelf lip seal that would adapt to it very easily without doing a lot of work.

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On 5/19/2021 at 3:25 PM, AB-Buff said:

Matt I wanna say it was half-inch? I didn’t have any half-inch but I did have quarter so I made two and just put them both together. I put grease on them and stuffed them in there, it seems to be doing well I’ve got about 300 miles on the car and I don’t see any issues with it. Felt seals are pretty forgiving. I could not find an off-the-shelf lip seal that would adapt to it very easily without doing a lot of work.

 

I hate to keep asking questions, but how did you disassemble the fan hub, specifically the felt seal and retainer? Press? Mine aren't coming apart and I don't want to use any real force. The outer race of the outer bearing is also staying put but I don't see much need for getting that one out.

 

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Matt

I'm having a herd time remembering exactly what I did but I think I had a rod that was bent at the end that I could tap on the race from the inside to get it to come out.  The hub is just stuck together and after I put mine in the solvent tank I think it just fell apart.  It may have been stuck from some type of gasket sealant.  Just be careful and not rough with it. 

 

Took a few minutes to think about it some more.  I think I put it in the press and started to press the inner race, bearing and seal out as one from the opposite side.  When the seal came out with the bearing I stopped and pressed the race back in.  Does that make since?

Lynn

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