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1956 Buick 322 overheating ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Razorshotrods, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Razorshotrods
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 346

    Razorshotrods
    Member
    from Phoenix

    Hey guys, i took the thermostat out of the 322 and it still overheats, do i need to run a thermostat, i have heard yes and no?? who knows FORSURE? the raditor was flush and everything is flowing fine. but stillover heating.
     
  2. Judd
    Joined: Feb 26, 2003
    Posts: 1,894

    Judd
    Member

    Over heating all the time at idle or what.
     
  3. Razorshotrods
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 346

    Razorshotrods
    Member
    from Phoenix

    Well, i should mention it is Phx, 100 degrees plus, i drive it in the morning and it doesnt overheat when 85-90 degrees but in afternoon in traffic it overheats when i do the same route home? just wondering if i NEED a thermostat?
     
  4. olds34dude
    Joined: Aug 8, 2010
    Posts: 62

    olds34dude
    Member
    from florida

    my experience has always been, that all else being ok, you need the stat to slow the flow of coolant through the radiator ,so that it is in there long enough to get cooled down; without it the water gets hot and just keeps going thru at full speed, not getting a chance to get cooled down in the rad. Then again it could be a couple hundred other things..
     

  5. Razorshotrods
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 346

    Razorshotrods
    Member
    from Phoenix

    so i should put one in?
     
  6. grapp
    Joined: Aug 16, 2008
    Posts: 457

    grapp
    Member

    Have you checked the radiator hoses to make sure they aren't colapsing under throttle? The water pump will suck the hose closed if it doesn't have a wire spring in it, and make it over heat when you drive it...
     
  7. Jkustom
    Joined: Oct 8, 2002
    Posts: 1,680

    Jkustom
    Member

    Yes for the thermostat, My 322 always ran hotter with out one.

    Is your fan shroud there?
     
  8. Razorshotrods
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 346

    Razorshotrods
    Member
    from Phoenix

    will install thermostat tomorrow, new hoses and not collapsing, yes the shroud is there. thanks for the help guys..,
     
  9. Strange Agent
    Joined: Sep 29, 2008
    Posts: 2,879

    Strange Agent
    Member
    from Ponder, TX

    This.
     
  10. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,110

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    The thermostat meters the water going to the radiator, so can cool efficiently in the radiator core. Taking out the thermostat may help it cool at idle, but not above idle.

    This condition magnifies with a blocked radiator. My suggestion would be to take it to a radiator shop, have a block test done. If block test is good, have the radiator rodded out, then install thermostat. If the block test is bad, then head gaskets, etc. will have to be taken care of, along with possible radiator rod out.

    In any event run with thermostat, even a 160 degree will help.
     
  11. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,959

    missysdad1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'd suspect your problem lies elsewhere.

    Do a full flush of the cooling system and have your radiator boiled out professionally.

    Check the unlikely things, too, like fan belt tension, fuel mixture and ignition timing.

    Sounds silly, perhaps, but check your coolant level every day in hot weather. These cars do not have sealed systems and can evaporate and/or "burp" out a lot of coolant in a short time.

    It may still run warm on hot days, but should not seriously overheat if all is well mechanically.

    My '55 Special has a Chevy 350 with a stone stock cooling system and it runs right on the thermostat (180 degree) even in 100+ degree weather in traffic. Texas is pretty much like Arizona these days...

    Good luck!
     
  12. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,068

    TagMan
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Define "overheating". 200°F, 230° ????
     
  13. Judd
    Joined: Feb 26, 2003
    Posts: 1,894

    Judd
    Member

    My 56 Special had over heat problems idleing in traffic and it was the air resurculating over the radiator between the hood and radiator. I put a rubber isulator tube for plumbing pipe on the rod that clips to the hood to hold the hood isulation above the radiator and it cure the over heating problem. I loaded the only shot I have if you look close at the bottom front of the hood you may be able to make out what I did.
     

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  14. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,013

    Brad54
    Member
    from Atl Ga

    As someone said, check the level every day: it doesn't have a catch can, so it will puke water out when it overheats.
    Add a catch can, and that will help.
    Make sure the radiator cap's seal is also good--they dry-rot.

    If you still have the original 4-blade fan, throw it away. Get a good reproduction steel fan, the largest that fits in the original fanshroud. I have a reproduction 18-inch 7-blade clutch fan in my '61 Suburban, and it moves A LOT of air. It's set back 8 inches from the radiator, and I don't have the shroud on it yet, and it still sucks a piece of paper tight to the radiator. You can get them as fixed or clutch... I have a clutch fan for gas mileage considerations. A quality reproduction steel fan is expensive, but well worth it.
    I don't like the Flex Fans... too many stories of guys exploding the aluminum or fiberglass fans, while the sticker on their steel fan says not to rev it above 4,000rpm. Not a real confidence builder.

    I run a 160-degree t-stat in the Suburban in the summer (atlanta), and bump it up to 180 in the winter. The 160 opens sooner, regulating the temp a little lower, giving me some extra time when stuck in bad traffic. As others have said, you NEED to have a t-stat in there.

    I've also had t-stats go bad.. and had a friend go through FOUR brand new ones in a racing Shelby Mustang three years ago. The fifth one worked, and the car stopped overheating. He tried everything else, and kept coming back to the T-stat.

    And as someone else said, check the timing and fuel mixture. If it's running lean, it'll run hot, and if the timing is off, it'll run hot.

    Finally, I'm a huge fan of Water Wetter. It breaks the surface tension of water, so it fights air bubbles inside an engine block. Ever see a pot of water heating up on the stove? The side of the pot gets covered in air bubbles before it boils... the inside of your engine is the same, and air is an excellent insulator, while water contacting the metal pulls heat out.

    If you've got an auto trans, switching over to a separate trans cooler will take a heat source out of the radiator as well.
    -Brad
     
  15. With my 56 Buick I had the same problem. I had the radiator reconditioned and fixed the problem it had quite a blockage.
     
  16. deadendcruiser
    Joined: Jul 18, 2007
    Posts: 691

    deadendcruiser
    Member

    My 322 overheated after a long road trip last year. Had to do a parking lot flush. I had "cooked" out all the years of grime in the water passages after driving it so long. After flushing it out haven't had any trouble. And ditto on the trans cooler idea.
     
  17. imnezrider
    Joined: Apr 27, 2010
    Posts: 199

    imnezrider
    Member

    I have to agree with most all the advice here. Just a tip...always keep in mind that these engines didn't overheat when new, so it may be a process of elimination. I was a service manager at a Buick dealership in '59 and if any model was prone to overheating, it was the '57. They were so marginal (Texas) that Buick actually sent us "recalibrated" gauges to install so that customers didn't "worry so much". When possible, we even installed them without a customer's knowledge. I guess you could say it was the first of the recalls.
     
  18. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,555

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC


    LOL, this explains why my 57 reads right in the middle of the N at about 220
     
  19. Razorshotrods
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 346

    Razorshotrods
    Member
    from Phoenix

    just put a 180 thermostat in and BINGO, problem solved, drove it in traffic in 105 degree heat already for 45 mins and sits just above the N on the guage, Thanks for all the help.
     
  20. Strange Agent
    Joined: Sep 29, 2008
    Posts: 2,879

    Strange Agent
    Member
    from Ponder, TX

    That Scottish bastard! This sucks to hear. I was actually applauding Buick for putting "real" gauges on the dash of the '57... to know this just takes all that joy away.

    Is there anyway to tell if my gauges are the "recalibrated" ones or the originals?
     
  21. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,555

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    Probably only by putting a known accurate gauge on the engine.
     
  22. nailheadroadster
    Joined: Jun 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,522

    nailheadroadster
    Member

    This is exactly what I did after watching my temp gauge always read hot after a highway drive then sit at a stoplight. Turns out that the hot reading was actually about 195. LOL Made me feel better, but I kept the gauge in there and hidden under the dash so I can pull it down every once in awhile to check the "real" temp, not just the "H" temp.
     

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