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Radiator Question's

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by The Hyena, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. The Hyena
    Joined: Nov 29, 2004
    Posts: 141

    The Hyena

    1. I live in Vegas (118 degrees F today)

    2. I drive a 54 Mercury sun valley (with a 302 motor)

    3. It gets HOTTTTT

    sooo the question is....

    I personally think i need a better radiator, so which do you guys think is best for keeping the engine cool ??

    What set ups do you guy's like (electric fan, mechanical, Both... with shroud or without etc...)

    can yall gimme some ideas and where to buy it..... how bout also if i wanted to go with a bigger radiator installation tips too....

    Thanks in Advance you guys rock...
  2. Mate there are dozens of ways you can go but there wont be one quick and easy fix. You may find some trial and error.
    First, how old is the car? If its been together a while start with a good clean out of the motor and radiator.
    Get rid of the thermostat.
    An electric fan with a large swept area is good, two smaller ones if they will cover a larger area. (They wont be seen as pushers on the front of the rad)
    Also run the mechanical fan.
    Look for a shop that still builds radiators, a good shop will be able to find a core that is larger and will fit into your tanks and side bands with little or no modification if need be. A thicker radiator (extra rows) will cool better provided you have the air flow. Failing that a good shop can have a core custom made to fit, may cost a little though!
    Hope some of this helps.
    My step father owns 3 radiator shops, I learned a bit from him!
  3. AnimalAin
    Joined: Jul 20, 2002
    Posts: 3,417


    My experience trying to keep motors cool around here indicates that an adequate radiator is required; bigger is better, but exotic is not required. A good fan (mechanical preferred) that is well shrouded completes the package. It also helps if you don't hyperventilate every time the gauge goes to 220 and steady.
  4. rebarsfords
    Joined: Feb 17, 2004
    Posts: 477


    When I got a leak in my last radiator, in my 67 Ford wagon
    with a 302.... I replaced it with an aluminum one from Summit.
    That made a difference for me. It does run cooler.
    A fan shroud makes a difference, too.

  5. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    from Phoenix AZ

    Sorry DocWatson But I must take exception to your idea of thermostat removal. The cooling system is designed with the restriction to flow a thermostat causes,removal will let the coolant circluate to fast. Old racers trick was a washer with a hole 5/8-3/4s in it to slow down the flow. Main reason this was used was to preclude any chance of a stat failing and a DNF.
    Hyena : First make sure your radiator is clean ,have it boiled out at a shop. Is it getting hot ie over 220 or so in trafic or on the road. Remember fin count per inch is as important as the number of rows of tubes.Another thing to check is the timing set corectly and advance working, a bit retarded from where it needs to be will cause heating.
    Been dealing with the heat in Phoenix and cars for 50 years. Need a bit more info as to how it's acting for more of my .02.
  6. The Hyena
    Joined: Nov 29, 2004
    Posts: 141

    The Hyena

    "First make sure your radiator is clean ,have it boiled out at a shop. Is it getting hot ie over 220 or so in trafic or on the road"

    It gets hot both in traffic and running on the freeway.... (Im changing the rear end so it doesnt run at such a high rpm on the freeway) but its at a steady 220

    " hyperventilate every time the gauge goes to 220 and steady"
    I DO !!!!!

    p.s. electric fan('s) inside the engine bay or pusing from the front ??
  7. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    from Phoenix AZ

    Personally a mechanical fan and shroud. But if electric pullers work better. Just to make sure of something get a radiator shop to do a "Block Check" on it to see if you are getting any combustion gases in the cooling system. Think Auto Zone rents them also. Pain in the ass to spend money on the wrong repair,thats why I like to know no leaky head gaskets etc.
  8. The Hyena
    Joined: Nov 29, 2004
    Posts: 141

    The Hyena

  9. Nerner
    Joined: Jul 2, 2005
    Posts: 73

    from New Jersey

  10. I'm doing well with a Walker 4-core radiator circa 1985 with an in-service date of 1993 in my 32 roadster.
    Shroud, mechanical 17" Hayden fat blade stainless fan.
    Runs 188-190 degrees when rolling, 192-196 degrees in traffic.
    Idled through the In & OUt Burger line the other day with 100 degrees ambient, temp got to 200 and stayed there.
    I shut down a couple times due to slow orders ahead, temp went to 205 and when I got out on the street it went down to 200 for the trip home.

    The hood top and side panels are liberally louvered.

    That said and talking to locals they state that Walker radiators are doing ok for them, but several have had Walkers and a locally built aluminum two row radiator.
    The consensus was the aluminum radiator ran cooler.

    The aluminum radiator was about half the price of the Walker.
    I have yet to run it, but one one nice part was the new radiator is thinner and there's more room forward and I can run two V-belts on the 31 on 32 rails roadster project where I can run only one on the 32.

    It helps to have a good auto trans cooling setup.
    Otherwise it just heat soaks into the engine block - and vice-versa - and brings the temps up there although neither the engine or trans have overheated except for the trans getting warm on a slow winding mountain road.
    That due to the 2400 rpm stall converter.
    Other places, no problem with the trans getting hot.

    Here in Kingman it gets almost as hot as Las Vegas, maybe 5 degrees cooler on the hotter days.

    I'd be prone to give an aluminum radiator a try on your Merc.
    I was always amazed at how well the little skinny radiator on my 88 Mustang GT cooled during hot weather, slow traffic and with the A/C on.

    And . . . fwiw, I've ran around Las Vegas on a hot day with the temps at 109 degrees and the 32 did ok.
    A bit much for me and I gave up early.

    Interesting thing about the 31 on 32 rails roadster, there's room in the engine bay for an A/C condenser.

    Who woulda thunk?
  11. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton

    One more thing to throw in- a quality aftermarket high flow water pump
  12. Johnnyzoom
    Joined: Jun 23, 2006
    Posts: 319

    from Florida

    Running alluminum radiators on two cars in Fla. and the temp drop is drastic. I'd suggest hiding an accurate new temp guage somewhere if you're not confident in the one you have now, second the check on the timing advancement, and check the specs on your Merc for radiatior cap pressure. I also cheat with a little water-wetter and that has helped. Florida heat is rough on cars, I don't envy you guys out in Az.

  13. Yeah . . . but it's a dry heat.;)

    You knew that one was coming....:D

    90 degrees F right now, 28% humidity and the girls are complaining.
    I think more about the hairdo's than the humidity....:rolleyes:

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