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Projects Hard start and dying when warm after overheating

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by NAES, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 434

    NAES
    Member

    Hey guys. During the summer the radiator gave up the ghost on my '53 Chrysler. Ended up overheating the engine and blowing coolant all over the engine bay.

    I replaced the radiator with an aluminum one and converted it to and electric fan with shroud. That seems to be working well.

    The problem now is that it takes a while to get it started when cold and there are times when it stumbles at idle. Hot startes are a hit and miss proposition. So my once super reliable, jump in and go anywhere wagon has left me with feeling uneasy about taking her out and leaving me stranded.

    Now with a new year and new motivation I'm ready to start trouble shooting. Of course head gasket was the first thing that came to mind but cylinder pressure in all 8 banks is between 110-125. No different that before the overheating episode.

    My plan is to go through the fuel system and replace the filter and inspect all the lines for leaks/cracks. I'll also pop the carb off and take a peek inside. Its been at least 5 years since I've touched it. Vacuum lines will get a once over as well.

    Other than that does anyone have any additional suggestions? It's jigh time I treat this girl right again.

    Basic specs.
    360 junkyard engine with unknown miles. Compression 110-125 on all cylinders.
    Edelbrock 4bbl 650 carb
    Stock fuel tank, new lines (when I built the car)
    Mechanical pump (new when I built it)

    Thanks as always everyone! Wish me luck. NAES

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  2. theboss20
    Joined: Dec 30, 2018
    Posts: 154

    theboss20

    How is the starter preforming? If it go soaked it could be cranking slow...also clean the connections on the coil. Antifreeze tends to break-down electrical connections. What type of a starter relay do you have? The ones used on Chrysler products was not waterproof and can cause your issues. Pull your distributor cap and plug wires and clean all the connections and copper tabs. Or just replace them because they are hard to clean.


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  3. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 434

    NAES
    Member

    Starter cranks things over just fine. I put a new battery in over the summer and cleaned all the contacts during that time. Ignition is electronic with a stand alone electronic coil.

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  4. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 434

    NAES
    Member

    So I just got done going through the fuel system up to the carb.

    I had a failed fuel line that was sucking air into the system and most likely draining the system enough to prevent the mechanical pump from priming the carb bowl.

    While I was at it I fixed a nagging tank issue. The drain plug has been weeping for over a year so I went ahead and drained the tank and repaired it (I hope!). The long dead remains of a gasket crumbled away so I used an O-ring and a copper crush washer along with some Indian Head shellac. Thats in the tank drying now. I'll refill in the morning and test the system.

    If issues persist then I'll pull the carb and go through it.

    Maybe it was just bad luck that the fuel system and radiator happened at the same time.

    The culprits!
    20190102_124956.jpeg 20190102_121311.jpeg 20190102_145454.jpeg 20190102_145508.jpeg 1546474212336.jpeg

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  5. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,035

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    seems that you are on the right track for finding/fixing gremlins
     
  6. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 434

    NAES
    Member

  7. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 434

    NAES
    Member

    Tank seal is holding up nicely so far. No hints of a leak anymore.

    Set the timing and futzed with the carb. She has been falling on her face for a while and I just figured the engine was getting tired. A little snooping uncovered a roached vacuum line. Swapped in a new one and she's back to her old self. Feels like when I first built her all over again! As a bonus the power brakes grab a little better too!

    Time to put a few more miles on her! NAES 20190104_131316.jpeg

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  8. theboss20
    Joined: Dec 30, 2018
    Posts: 154

    theboss20




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  9. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 434

    NAES
    Member

    And the saga continues......

    After all the work she was still running hot. A quick run to the parts store got the radiator burping. So I wen through the cooling system and discovered the thermostat stuck almost completely closed. A new Stant 180* is in there now.

    I had been running straight tap water with the plan of switching it later but never got to it. A small hose leak revealed an issue I've not seen before. A ton of mineral deposits similar to the white build up on batteries. After a little google-ing it looks like the water interacting with different metals may have caused a chemical reaction. White vinegar and minimal scrubbing removed the external corrosion. I filled the cooling system with 1/2 gallon of vinegar and water, warmed it up, flushed until clear three separate times in the hopes of descaling the block. It seemed to have helped as each time a bunch of cloudy, brown tinged water came out. I refilled the system with 50/50 antifreeze and distilled water this time. Fingers crossed that the deposits won't come back to haunt me.

    Cooling system has aluminum, iron and copper in the mix. If anyone has advice or solutions, please chime in. Summer is right around the corner!

    NAES 20190312_134110.jpeg 20190312_134124.jpeg 20190312_134119.jpeg 20190312_150405.jpeg

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  10. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,297

    gene-koning
    Member

    Change the air filter as well. It looks pretty bad, and getting it coated with coolant will reduce the amount of air that can pass through it. Gene
     
  11. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 434

    NAES
    Member

  12. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,690

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Great that you kept a cool head while checking all systems...(difficult to do when working on your own machinery!)
    Darned old hard water sure takes a toll on aluminum...a mild abrasive and some more vinegar may clean the oxidation off the surface.
    Kudos for using the 360 engine, as I keep suggesting the 318 & 360 to customers (and older MoPar owners) over the SBCs and SBFs too often seen in the engine rooms of these stately old Chrysler products!!!
     
  13. MantulaMan
    Joined: Jun 19, 2018
    Posts: 23

    MantulaMan

    Check your motors earth straps. Of they are bad then the current will find any route it can back to earth, including through the coolant. Of this happens you get electrolysis in the coolant and it eats the motor.

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  14. The test is simple enough. Find your multimeter and (carefully) while the engine is running, remove the radiator cap. Set the multimeter for volts DC to the smallest increment and dip the + lead into the radiator coolant and the place the - lead onto the - side of the battery. It ought to read zero but if it does show voltage no matter how small there is electricity going through the coolant to ground. I added a ground to my aluminum radiator and added a zinc anode sacrificial drain plug https://www.amazon.com/Flex-lite-32...adiator+anode&qid=1552931133&s=gateway&sr=8-1

    If I were going to do it again I would have had a radiator shop add another drain bung for the anode and kept a drain fitting in the original one.
     
  15. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 434

    NAES
    Member

    Hey Mike. This 360 has been nothing but awesome! Pulled from a '73 B300 van. Has plenty of torque to move it down the road. I did swap to a 4bbl intake and carb but ither than that its stock. Backed by a 727 with a stage 1 shift kit for a little firmer shifts. Totally unnecessary in the wagon though!

    Mantula. Thank you for the tip. Off to try it out today!

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  16. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 434

    NAES
    Member

    Ok there is stray voltage going through the coolant. Next step is to clean my grounds and retest. Then if I can't track it down its time for a zinc annode I guess.

    Again, thanks for that tip!

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  17. MantulaMan
    Joined: Jun 19, 2018
    Posts: 23

    MantulaMan

    Cleaning the grounds will help but it may be a short somewhere that is causing the problem. Likely offenders are the coolant temp sensor or electric choke (if you have one). Just unplug them and see if the voltage goes. If all else fails you can get non conductive waterless coolant.

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  18. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 434

    NAES
    Member

    So here's another update. Unfortunately she's still getting too hot. I just drove from LA to Vegas for Viva Las Vegas and the final leg from Primm to our hotel was dicey.

    She stalled about 100' off the freeway offramp in Primm. That was after a 100 mile run from Barstow. It ran great on the freeway going 70-75mph the whole way. Temp gauge was right in the middle which is an improvement from the pre-radiator swap where it always leaned to the hot side of the gauge. I let it cool down for 20-ish mins, poured a little gas in the carb and she fired up. I had to keep the RPM's up to keep her from crapping out on the 30 minute drive to Vegas. On the surface streets I threw her in neutral and had the revs going. The electric fan was on but it wasn't enough to keep the temp down. When we parked,the radiator burped and farted for about 10 mins. I'm about to park it in the show for the next 2 days and hopefully troubleshoot while I'm there.

    If anyone has any ideas, please throw them out there!

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  19. Radiator return hose gone soft and collapsing and restricting coolant flow?
    Should have a spring former in it.
     
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  20. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 673

    6sally6
    Member

    ^^^^^^^^^^^
    This
    Have you checked the float level in the carb?
    6sally6
     
  21. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 434

    NAES
    Member

    Radiator hoses are good. No issues there.

    I haven't popped the top of the carb off to check float level. How would that affect cooling though?

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  22. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 434

    NAES
    Member

    The only other variable I can think of is the water pump. It shows no signs of leaking and doesn't make any noise but the mineral deposits I've seen growing on the outside of the engine could possibly occur inside too, right? When I did the engine cleanout with vinegar I had the engine on and could see water surging out in rhythm with the idle as I flushed the engine so I assumed it was moving coolant. But I could be wrong.

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  23. If you remove the thermostat, and run the engine with the radiator cap off, you should be able to see coolant flow.
     
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  24. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 434

    NAES
    Member

  25. MantulaMan
    Joined: Jun 19, 2018
    Posts: 23

    MantulaMan

    It sounds like you're running lean. A lean carb would mean it would overheat at idle as when you are on the freeway the idle circuit isn't used. Try winding out the mixture screws one full turn and see what difference it makes. If the mix is right you should be able to pull a small vaccum line and see the revs pick up a little. If the engine revs way up then its too rich, if it just dies then its too lean.

    Lean mix burns hotter, just like a blowtorch.

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  26. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,297

    gene-koning
    Member

    First of all, you need to get a real temperature gauge with numbers on it so you really know if the motor is running hot, or if there is some other non-temperature related issue causing the motor to die.

    If a proper temp gauge shows an actual overheating problem:
    A lean carb will cause a motor to run hot, so will ignition timing too far advanced. You will want to check the float level, and maybe the ignition timing. If the float level is low, adjusting on the idle mixture screws is not going to make any difference, and a low float level will cause problems with or without an overheating condition.

    Lets be sure the motor is actually running hot. Gene
     
  27. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 434

    NAES
    Member

    Thanks guys for the tips. I can work through those troubleshooting steps and see whats happening with it.

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  28. Mr T body
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 1,996

    Mr T body
    Alliance Vendor
    from SoCal

    Throw one more probable in. Check the mechanical advance, vacuum canister and ignition timing.
     

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