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Vintage altered without a radiator. Let's talk about it

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Brad54, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,015

    Brad54
    Member
    from Atl Ga

    I'm going to start in on a vintage-style Altered, based on a family member's racer from the early '60s.
    It ran a Super Stock-prepped FE, and he said it was rock-solid reliable for the three years he ran it (it held a national MPH record all three years) and they never had to do more than check the plugs; "and we only did that because we felt like we had to do SOMETHING between rounds!"

    It had the original expansion tank on it, so the engine was filled with water to absorb the heat, but there was no radiator. I've seen a lot of vintage FEDs with no water in the block, and the freeze plugs out of the block.

    This is a race car, with no chance of ever running anywhere other than the drag strip and in the pits.
    I know a lot of econo rails, super-comp cars, and even FEDs today run small radiators.

    If I ran a radiator, it'd be in the back, under the deck lid, and I wouldn't have a water pump on the front of the engine--I'd run a marine bilge pump to circulate the water, and maybe a small electric fan on the radiator.
    If I do it this way, I'll run feed and return lines to the back of each head, but then I need to figure out where to route them, etc.

    What are people's thought on the topic?
     

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  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,161

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    On the cooling system/no cooling system or coolant, if you have been around drag racing long enough you have probably figured out that there are a lot of different theories on the subject of drag car cooling and especially when it comes to a car like that. I's suspect that the idea behind running a radiator on the cars you mentioned is to either maintain a certain temp in the engine or to hopefully cool the engine down quicker between passes. That might be to run an electric pumps and fan to cool it down between passes or even do the weed sprayer trick on the radiator as you run the coolant through the system with the electric pump. Some may have the need to drive the car back part way to the pits and need the cooling as the track they normally run at doesn't like chase cars running down the track during bracket racing.
     
  3. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,155

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Why you see cooling systems on cars is to maintain the engine heat as a controled variable in the tune up when running on a fixed ET, Too hot or cold will affect your ET specially when one is cutting it close with the numbers. These cars often get back into the lanes imediatly after the last pass (hot lapping)and there is no time for cooling so maintaining XXXtemp adds consistentcy.
    I run a water pump and flow coolent thru my heads only so as to eliminate the hot spot between the exhaust valves on a sbc.
     
  4. ardyboy
    Joined: Mar 5, 2008
    Posts: 664

    ardyboy

    we tow our car to the staging lanes and back up the return road to the pits. We run alcohol. The only cooling system we have is a remote pump pushing water through a trans cooler. Never to hot in the summer but sometimes we have to build heat up in the cooler times.
     

  5. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 10,020

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I never ran a radiator on my altered and I burned gas. Don't run one on my Bonneville car, and it burns gas. This year I helped Bob Dalton with his car on alcohol and he has no water. Went 395 according to the recorder. 382 through the lights. Said the EGT never went over 900. Ran all week. Nothing broke.
     
  6. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 4,503

    1934coupe
    Member

    I run a small aluminum radiator after market Honda and a Marine 12 volt bilge pump. In fact I have a new spare I'm selling for $85. I tow to staging, start the car up it warms up to about 140 make a run 190/200 at top end and then tow back the return road. Hilborn injected SBC.

    Pat
     
  7. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    I'm starting to gather parts to build pretty much what you are planning, an old school T altered to run the brackets, and I have wrestled with the question about running a radiator or not. I think the main reason I would want one is because I won't have a tow car waiting for me at the end of the strip, and also if I have to restage and run consecutively. The motor would probably be ok for one run, but it is those other two circumstances I am concerned about.

    What I may do is run the electric water pump into a tank of some sort and circulate that water, that would provide some cooling, but not like a radiator. I would prefer to not run a radiator if I can, simply for the cosmetics. Guess I can try it without one and then add one later on if needed.

    Don
     
  8. boutlaw
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,231

    boutlaw
    Member

    Your family member must have had a pretty functional setup when he ran back in the day and since you plan to replicate his car, why not run it like it was run back then, especially if you plan to only race the car. I was wondering why you would machine the heads to accept water inlet/outlet lines rather than use the existing water pump inlets on front of block? I run an FE in my coupe on the street with the radiator in the trunk, using an inline return Stewart water pump and an electric water pump on the front of the block. Definitely will follow a build thread on this one.

    BOutlaw
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  9. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,015

    Brad54
    Member
    from Atl Ga

    Well, one thing is he had a push vehicle with him the whole time, no front brakes and hung the laundry on every pass, then got pushed or towed back to the pits.
    I'm going to run front discs, no 'chute, and will drive back to the pits, and drive to the staging lanes.
    I'm not sure how that'll work out with no radiator.
    If I use the existing water pump outlets on the block, I'll have to run the lines past the engine, and it'll be pretty visible. If I do ports in the back of the heads, I can run the lines across the back of the block, through the firewall and down the inside of the body pretty cleanly.

    -Brad
     
  10. pnevells
    Joined: Sep 5, 2008
    Posts: 466

    pnevells
    Member

    We do not run a radiator on our nostalgia altered, we run alcohol, keep it on the rich side, We have hot lapped this car with no issues at all, We fill the motor with water keep water level down about couple of inches from manifold , run a high pressure cap
    We have more of an issue getting the motor warm, even with fuel shut off pulled out half way, it runs out of fuel before it gets warm, this is a mild SBC
     
  11. willys_truck
    Joined: Mar 4, 2005
    Posts: 781

    willys_truck
    Member

    Depends on if you are running gas or alcohol. Alcohol runs a LOT cooler than gas.
     
  12. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,781

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    If you decide to run a small radiator, Northern makes a decent welded aluminum with 3/4" pipe outlets designed for race service. It's only 16"x19" outside dimensions, but I ran one on the street and it kept things cool except in hot weather. About $250, and has 1/4-20 bosses welded to the tanks for mounting. #209648 It would fit behind the rear axle easily.
     
  13. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Man, Pnevells, I love your altered and it is VERY close to what I want mine to look like........sbc and all. :)

    One of you guys needs to do a tutorial on how to run alcohol, I know it entails more than just a jet change, and it would be nice to learn the ins and outs of it. I think it would fit in somewhere here as it is traditional.

    Don

    [​IMG]
     
  14. i ran a altered in the late 70's with a small block cheby and power glide. used a very small toyota wagon radiator with a moroso elect. water pump drive. not very noticable with a T radiator shell and fuel tank/ small wing on the front. drove it to th line, made a pass, put the chute out and turned the pump on after. by the time i got back to the pits, temp was around 190 degrees. befor that we had the water pump holes capped with blocks and drain plugs, and a radiator cap onthe intake. we were at a race above dothan, al. at a outlaw track and the weather was so hot, on the second pass the intake split and busted where the temp gauge was at. after that weekend, before going to run at us 19 dragway in albany,ga, we added the cooling system.
     
  15. If you are running a FE the earliest FE's had Core Plugs in the end of each head and extra's in the front of the block. I've got 1 set of Machined chamber 1958 Edsel heads that way. Pretty sure if you found a pair it wouldn't be too hard to fab up water flow from a rear mounted Radiator to the back of each head.
     
  16. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,015

    Brad54
    Member
    from Atl Ga

    "Northern" what?
    That sounds about like what I'm looking for, through 1/4-20 is pretty damn small for mounting bosses.
    -Brad
     
  17. difioretin
    Joined: Dec 12, 2013
    Posts: 3

    difioretin
    Member
    from new york

    Alcohol runs a LOT cooler than gas. [​IMG]<!-- / message -->
     
  18. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 4,503

    1934coupe
    Member

    On E-bay

    GODSPEED GSP 92-00 CIVIC EG EK DELSOL 2 ROW DUAL CORE ALUMINUM RADIATOR TURBO/NA

    I run this I had a friend heliarc the outlets I needed,

    Pat
     
  19. bigjsp
    Joined: Nov 30, 2013
    Posts: 10

    bigjsp
    Member

    Vega radiator with a fan and water pump with electric motor. Even ran a thermostat to make it more consistent
     
  20. never ran one on the old "195".....




    195 AA-HR.jpg
     
  21. leon renaud
    Joined: Nov 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,935

    leon renaud
    Member
    from N.E. Ct.

    The A/Altered 33 Chevy coupe my club ran between 60 and 67 ran both a 392 Hemi and a 430 Merc they never ran a radiator on either engine.
     
  22. I used a water tank with a remote water pump from a small travel trailer on both my Gassers.
    Just water in the block-no radiator on our altered.Went to alchoal and ran a dry block.
    Was pushed to staging and towed back to the pits.
    Never had a problem with either set up.
    SPEEDY
     
  23. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,149

    Tman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I thought you were a technical guy !?:D:p

    Here
    http://www.northernfactory.com/
     
  24. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,015

    Brad54
    Member
    from Atl Ga

    I AM a tech guy! The thing that makes me a good tech guy is that I know what I don't know, and I don't worry about admitting I don't know it!

    Thanks for the link. I kept thinking "Northern Tool!"

    -Brad
     
  25. I fabbed a tank that kind of looks like a T radiator and used a "water puppy" bilge pump that had a constant duty (B2) relay right next to it so all I had to do was run a small wire into the cockpit. Used it to establish the right temp for consistency on the ETs. It had plenty of capacity for racing in Las Vegas.
     

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  26. rd martin
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 2,449

    rd martin
    Member
    from indiana

    Glad everybodys talking about this ,hoping to get my dragster finished and some laps this year. Been debating about alky or gas, pump /no pump. Keep up on the info if anybody else wants to chime in please.
     
  27. hog mtn dave
    Joined: Jul 14, 2004
    Posts: 1,344

    hog mtn dave
    Member

    I run a radiator, fan and water pump. They were all part of the combo when we ran carbureted gas and were needed. I don't need them running injected alcohol but left them on because the system was well thought out and already in place. I do like the peace of mind that I can drive it anywhere without worrying about getting hot, clogged up return roads for instance.

    If my engine was exposed I would have taken them off just because it looks better though.
     
  28. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 3,155

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    Might be hard to see,

    A river rat water pump that is also my fuel pump extention so it it cam driven (no switches,no wires, no battery) and a water container bolted to the front. Pull water out of the tank and feed directly into the heads below the center exhaust port. The water exits directly oppisite on the intake side and routed back to the tank. Pressure overflow is plumbed to the headers with a temp gauge at the bottom of the tank. I have not had to surface my aluminum heads in 14 years of running blown alc
     

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  29. stealthcruiser
    Joined: Dec 24, 2002
    Posts: 3,748

    stealthcruiser
    Member



    It's only 16X19 , Brad........It'll be a plenty strong mount........;)



    Unless you're going to sit on it..................:eek:
     
  30. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,015

    Brad54
    Member
    from Atl Ga

    frickin' DAMN... that's why you're on my list of "People to listen to."
    Great info. I especially like the cam-driven part of the set-up.

    -Brad
     

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