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weird flathead cooling problem

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by junk yard kid, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,720

    junk yard kid
    Member

    Well it doesnt run hot, but it's happy water level is suddenly lower than before. Like a gallon or two lower. So its a '35 ford 5 window with a 8ba, 39 trans and 4.11 gear (im adding overdrive) So it doesnt go fast. It uses the truck pumps and wide belts. Has an alternator and electric fan on the front of the stock radiator put in by the previous owner. I run waterwetter in it. The car has ran at 190 since i got it and put the 180 thermostats in it the day after i got it (even on hot days). It had restrictors in it. I recently added duel carbs and a bubba distributer ( SB dizzy) advanced 2-3 degrees. It seemed to run fine and not loose any water. then i went and put the aluminum water necks on it and it seems thats when it started. I am not sure because i only drove it a few times after the dizzy carb swap. The thermostats where working fine before. Now i noticed that on initial warm up it goes up to about 220 then doesnt go above 190 and loose a gallon or two of water. Its not in the oil and i dont make a big steam cload but i did see some wisps coming from the drivers water pump. what gives?
    Should i take out the thermostats?
    I will test them when i get home i guess and look at my plugs.
    Could the 2-3 degrees of advance cause this?
    Could being to lean cause this?
    I dont get it cause it was fine before and i changed so much.
     
  2. A lot of things could cause it. If you bouight off the rack T stats that could be your problem. Sometimes they stick, then pop loose when they get enough pressure against them.

    if I had steam comming put of my water pump I might suspect the seal. but I would take a look at the stats first that is the easiest.

     
  3. blown49
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 2,213

    blown49
    Member Emeritus

    Either too lean or not enough advance will cause it to run hot, Is the vacuum advance hooked up and where. Sounds like too little advance to me.

    Jim
     
  4. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,720

    junk yard kid
    Member

    Yah they were off the rack t-stats, but from a good supplier. I suspect them too its just weird that they worked ok before.

    No vacume advance, its got a mechanical small block chevy dizzy, with modded advance.
     
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  5. Saxon
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,157

    Saxon
    Member
    from MN

    Retarded ignition will cause overheating. Lean conditions can as well. Sounds like the thermostats are working as it goes to 220 then drops when they open to 190.

    I want to say flatheads operate at 180-220. Better at 160-180.

    Sbc sometimes need to be burped, but I've never needed to do that with a flathead. Did you fill it up and see if it went down again? If so, the waterpump seems suspect.
     
  6. thunderbirdesq
    Joined: Feb 15, 2006
    Posts: 6,838

    thunderbirdesq
    Member

    Blown headgasket blowing combustion gasses into the water jacket maybe. That will build pressure in the cooling system and push coolant out without an overheating condition.

    Where is it losing coolant, out the overflow?
     
  7. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,720

    junk yard kid
    Member

    Yes it seems the coolent comes out the overflow tube. But it doesnt make a mess whitch is odd cause it dumps behind the fan.

    I did fill it up again and it did it again. I can smell waterwetter when i drive it .
     
  8. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,720

    junk yard kid
    Member

    Does anyone else think i should advance it more? I believe it has a stock cam, but it pulls to 4 grand.
     
  9. Saxon
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,157

    Saxon
    Member
    from MN

  10. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,720

    junk yard kid
    Member

    No pound cap, they dont even make new caps for the radiator.
     
  11. Saxon
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,157

    Saxon
    Member
    from MN

    Correct me if I'm wrong, you should be able to see bubbles in the radiator then.
     
  12. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,720

    junk yard kid
    Member

    Ya i would think so, but i cant even see water. Ill get her hot and make sure the water is full and see if i can see any.
     
  13. poolmike
    Joined: Jul 28, 2009
    Posts: 71

    poolmike
    Member

    Do you have a overflow catch can? If not, install one. you would surprised to see how much you lose out the overflow. My flathead does the same thing....initially spikes up to 210ish, then drops to 180 and sits there regardless of what the truck is doing. I don't have a catch can on my radiator, but when I top the thing off, I will lose a gallon in one week, and not a bit more.
     
  14. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,720

    junk yard kid
    Member

    no, and unfortunetly the outlet is behind the fan and id have to pull the grill or radiator to get a hose on it. I lost my water going only like 6 miles.
     
  15. Saxon
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,157

    Saxon
    Member
    from MN

    It'd would be worth a try to see before you think about pulling heads to chase the water loss.

    Check plugs for lean condition. Pull the temps, drop them in a pan of water on the stove with a thermometer and see then they pop. Do the easy stuff first. Personally I don't think 190 is all that hot but losing water is an issue.
     
  16. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,720

    junk yard kid
    Member

    Yah thats where im at, Ive checked t-stats before like that, this time i used a laser thermomter gun and checked temp on housing and block and saw in the rad when they opened. ill try that first i guess. Im not worried about 190 just the water loss. Im going home now to check it out, be there in a half hour. ill give update and pics for fun.
     
  17. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    No pound cap, meaning unpressurized system? Only problem is that when you worked on the system, you refilled it when you were done.
    With no recovery system, a cooling system finds its own level, then stays there if there isn't a heating problem.
    When you fill, you filled it to the top. As it warmed up and stuff expanded, it blew out the water that no longer fit. It was already down, I think, to that level when you were used to things and your only problem was that you refilled to the top!
    A happy no-recovery system will blow out water till the level is around a couple of inches down in the tank; it will look about full if you pull the cap while hot, down a bit if you pull the cap cold (unpressurized system, so you don't risk blowing your head off by pulling cap hot). If what I am describing is indeed the case, the water level will stay at its new level once that level has been established by a single warming up. If you don't add water, it will stay right there, if you do add water it will blow right down to where it wants to be.
     
  18. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 6,509

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    To check for exhaust-gas streaming caused by a bad head-gasket:
    Remove water-pump belt. Remove upper rad hoses at engine. Remove stats. Coolant level should be near the top of water-necks on heads. Start engine. Check for bubbles in water-necks. Bubbles=exhaust-gas streaming.
     
  19. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,720

    junk yard kid
    Member

    Bruce, i know what your talking about, the problem is that the happy level was two gallons short.

    Ricky thats a good idea.

    Well i stopped on my way home and got some 160 stats and put them in. It runs at like 160 now. Might be a bit cold.

    Now theres new problems tho. I took out the plugs and they were all black. So then i looked up at my air filter and there the true helmet kind. I so i took them off and started it up, No black smoke out the tailpipe (there used to be a little and it smelt like gas when i reven it. I figuered cause of duel carbs.) Now it sputters and or a miss as i accelerate. i checked the points and they were at like .010 so i set them at .020 and i pulled a plug and it was starting to turn brown at elctroad and the curved bit. Checkd the timing and it was still at +2-3

    I think ill clean the plugs off after dinner and clean them. I cant drive it long enough to see if it spits up too much water anymore.
     
  20. Saxon
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,157

    Saxon
    Member
    from MN

    How goes it?
     

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