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Flathead running tempersture?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Edsel58a, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. Edsel58a
    Joined: Jan 17, 2008
    Posts: 757

    Edsel58a
    Member

    What is acceptable?
    I am looking at a flathead powered car and the seller tells me on a hot day, it will run about 220 degrees on the highway. Is this too high? Seems it to me. If not on the highway, it runs about 190. Well, if I buy it, I need to drive it home about 800 miles.... any advice? Thanks
     
  2. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Pretty hot. I would like to see a steady 180. Is it very large bore??
    Anyway, if it HOLDS 220 with no tendency to go up, it is driveable. Also, if no tendency to escalate, the problem is likely something fixable like timing and not a disaster like a cracked block.
     
  3. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    Running hot won't hurt it, as long as it doesn't lose water. Sounds like the rad could be bigger, or maybe the air isn't getting to it good.
     
  4. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    If it is a '49-up and has stock distributor, it very likely has inadequate are completely defunct advance, dumping excess combustion heat into the water-jacketed exhaust system.
     

  5. Edsel58a
    Joined: Jan 17, 2008
    Posts: 757

    Edsel58a
    Member

    It is a 1953 engine... The owner in Texas drives it on a daily basis with no problems, just hot day driving on the highway.

    Oops on the heading typo.....
     
  6. 4dFord/SC
    Joined: Sep 12, 2004
    Posts: 837

    4dFord/SC
    Member

    As an interim fix, put some Water Wetter or Purple Ice in it--should lower the temperature by 10 degrees or so. Just a suggestion.
     
  7. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    First thing when you get it home, then, check out actual running advance. This requires trickery...you can't get valid results from a stock '53 by revving it up on the highway, you have to check what is happening under actual road conditions.
    You will very likely find poor advance operation at road speeds.
     
  8. Cataldo
    Joined: Jun 13, 2008
    Posts: 76

    Cataldo
    Member

    Sounds dumb, but check to see if it is actually running that Hot, or if it is just the gauge. I have seen that happen quite often.

    P.S. those infared (sp) temperature guns don't seem to be all too accurate. Get a conventional thermometer and stick it on the radiator, or tape it to a radiator hose. that should give you a good estimate on the actual temp.
     
  9. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    VERY good point...plug in a good mechanical temp gauge even before taking the distributor out to the garbage!
     
  10. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    JohnEvans
    Member
    from Phoenix AZ

    AND pre test ANY new mechanical gauge before installing it by putting it in a pan of boiling water. Cheap or SW or Autometer etc. seen all of them 20 degrees off.
     
  11. Edsel58a
    Joined: Jan 17, 2008
    Posts: 757

    Edsel58a
    Member

    Never heard of it.... Where can I get it?

    All great things to look for..... Thanks Guys
     
  12. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,407

    LUX BLUE
    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    another thing to keep in mind is that it has been FREAKISHLY hot here lately- 22 days of 100 plus last month.

    Where is the car? there are bunches of Flathead gurus around here I could turn You onto if You wanted it looked at before the Long drive home....
     
  13. 4dFord/SC
    Joined: Sep 12, 2004
    Posts: 837

    4dFord/SC
    Member

    AutoZone, Pep Boys, etc.
     
  14. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 11,071

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio

    Running a non known flathead for 800 miles at 65 mph is not something I would look forward to. If the system isn't pressurized you may end up loosing coolant at those speeds and overheat. Be sure to also take a bathtub of water with you. Good luck.
     
  15. Mine runs 170 degrees on highway in middle of summer. (170 mph would be ok too!!)
     

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