ford 390 big block over haeting at idle - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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ford 390 big block over haeting at idle

Need help with over heating 1965 ford galaxie 390 , I willtry and make a long story short, when I bought the car 8 years ago the enginewas rebuilt by Ed Wright in Brookville ohio, the car ran nice and cool neverwent over 170, it had long headers on the bottom gasser like headers . Istarted banging the bottom the headers inn and the car started to get hotterover time , so I went to shorty headers and it even ran hotter, so I replacedthe water pump and radiator, still no luck ran hot at idle, replaced the thermostat and checked timing still no luck runninghot at idle, it does fine going down the road but a nice steady climb at idle orred light to 200+ , so I installed a new 3 core 3” thick radiator with a highoutput electric fan that helped but still ran hot at idle, 200 it just tooklonger for the temperature to rise with the electric fan setup, so by friend Ipulled the engine this spring replaced everything with new ford parts puteverything nut and bot back to stcok, replaced the headers with cast-ironmanifolds new gaskets the whole 9 yards, I really thought that would do thetrick cast-iron manifolds, painted the engine drop it back in and guess whatyep stilling running hot at idle 200 trust me ive replaced everything and ivechecked everything 20times (it runs finedriving down the road 170 max) but as soon as I stop a nice stead climb in temperaturebegins and steadily climbs to 200 , you can feel the heat just rolling off theengine,

New radiator 3 core extra wide
New water pump
New thermostat (165)
Checked timing
New belts
New hoses
nice tight fan shroud
New 7 blade fan to push more air
The fan blade is on the correct direction
New radiator cap correct poundage
Ive done it all and 3 times or more
There are no water leaks around the heads or anything likethat
Runs and starts perfect
I think it inside the engine ?
I don’t think the head gaskets are on backwards, but the paint did peel off quick on the castironmanifolds on back cyl
this su#[email protected] because I've worked to hard on this car and the engine to get things so perfect and back to factory specs, everything was done with the utmost quality and care and professionalism
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Last edited by mcpherson4055; 08-03-2019 at 12:43 AM.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-03-2019, 04:34 AM
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Re: ford 390 big block over haeting at idle

Well 200 isn't too hot for safety, but I understand your frustration.

Assuming head gaskets aren't on backwards, which would always overheat, the only things are

1 - airflow / fan design
2 - water pump and and shaft speed
3 - bad radiator
4 - ignition timing set wrong (even if it looks right)

So, if you would take some pictures or give part numbers, here is some info

1 - Which fan did you use? Part number best, but if you have a good description that's good too. Flex fans aren't great

2 - What is the diameter of your water pump and crank pulley on the groove that holds the fan belt. The crank has to be bigger or at least equal to the fan

3 - Doesn't sound like a radiator, but, how are you bleeding the system, not wanting to offend, just some guys do odd things. I let them idle cap off / heater valve open until thermostat opens

4 - Have you ever checked if your balancer is correct? If it slipped or a bad pointer / balancer combo, it could be 6-8 degrees off, if timing then set to specs, it can drive a TON of heat

I will try to tell you what I think after you report back, but there isn't much inside that can make it idle slightly hot (not horrible but annoying I'll add) like that

One last comment, how are you measuring temperature?

70 Sportsroof, 427 FE/489 cid, TKO-600, 31 spline 4.10, A/C. modified Mass-flo EFI/reprogrammed A9L/CnC ported Victor.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 06:20 PM
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Re: ford 390 big block over haeting at idle

I am having this exact problem in my 69 Torino fastback, also 390. Ran fine around 190 until I. took the solid mount. fan off the water pump and put a pair of electric puller fans on it. started getting hot so I put an aluminum champion radiator in with a new pair of matching fans, still got hot. went to put a colder stat in and it already had a 160. (between that and the solid mount fan id say this is a problem the previous owner was chasing as well) put a factory stat in thinking "maybe the coolant just isn't staying in the radiator long enough to cool off... no change. today I checked the timing and ended up putting a new vac. advance on because the timing was jumping up at idle with it plugged in as well as mounted an additional 1000 CFM pusher fan on the front of the condenser. STILL GETTING HOT. it got up to 250 sitting at a red light in stop and go traffic earlier. I refuse to believe there is no solution to this problem. it stays at a comfortable temp as long as it is moving down the road. however when parked idling it just starts climbing. Other than the water pump I don't know what else to try... this engine supposedly only has about 5k on it and judging by the way it runs I believe it. However it doesn't have the gt heads on it, I was told this engine came out of pulling truck so I suppose its possible they threw whatever ole water pump was laying around on it. I digress... too frustrated with it. going to switch to the 79 bronco for the rest of the week for my ''classic fix."


P.S. I am 26 and didn't grow up working on these like a lot of the guys on the forums... If you think I'm missing something obvious I won't be offended if you ask.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-06-2019, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ford 390 big block over haeting at idle

Well,, my buddy is a supper good mechanic so we are going to deep drive this problem in a few weeks, check everything over from top to bottom and dot all the eyes again, I will let you know what we come up with

Thanks
Scotty
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 04:18 PM
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Re: ford 390 big block over haeting at idle

Mine...390 fairly stock, mild cam. Live in South Florida...hot! But no overheating problems. You seem to have done everything right. The only additional suggestion I have is the thermostat! Dump it! I have always gutted my thermostat, leaving the 3/4 inch hole always open. No heat problems for last 25 years. You just never know how 'well' those thermostats are working. That is all I got...lots of luck!
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 04:54 PM
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Re: ford 390 big block over haeting at idle

depends on where he lives huh. might need the heater sometime. engine is much more efficient when at operating temp
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 05:00 PM
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First off, I do not have a 390,I have a 351c. I ran into many issues of hot idling and run on thermostat while car was moving. After all these years I found that the running ported vacuum advance was my problem. Manifold vacuum is the way to go. For years I ran ported( I mean only Chevy's run manifold advance) and just recently found out how wrong I was. Car runs cooler, better, less soot on plugs, and exhaust is way less stinky. Try manifold vacuum before the fine comb session. My 2 cents worth.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 06:21 PM
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Re: ford 390 big block over haeting at idle

fordman, don't know where you get your info, but i bet the engineers who designed the system knew what they were doing. also not many chevies ran manifold vac to the distributer.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 08:35 AM
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Re: ford 390 big block over haeting at idle

"Check Timing" and.... where was it at?
Initial?
Total?
Vacuum connected to Ported or Constant?
Timing with Vacuum line connected?
What type distributor and Ignition box?
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 06:43 PM
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Re: ford 390 big block over haeting at idle

I would love to know the answer to this great mystery myself I have a 460 same thing I get up around 225 it takes mine about 45 minutes to get there and when I crank it up cold and go in about 6 or 7 miles its 230
I tried adding a pusher fan ehhh didn't help I think it actually hurt a bit I see we all have a strange issue going on from the 351,390 and 460 what did we all goof up lol something extraordinarily stupid I bet we just are not seeing it I tore mine down to the short block and went back up I used correct type and installed correctly the head gaskets I only found 1 small area where I had a intake leak I used the FEL-1231 gasket they helped ALOT but not quite right




new build 20 hrs on it 8 test drives
northern radiator
be cool radiator
3 diff sets of fans
frostbite radiator
perma kool fans with perma cool shroud
hood on and hood off
aluminum heads
head gaskets are on right I tore it down to check
correct intake gaskets
36 total timing 0 set at the #1 piston true tdc
35 gpm elec pump
I used a 180,190,200,no stat a gold restrictor and a blue
billit distributor msd
msd 6al
8.8 wires
colder plugs
msd multi step
twin throttle body fuel injection afr 12;8;1
roller rockers
bushed pistons 9;8;1
mild cam degreed
motor 30 over


DUNNO PFFFFFFFFFFFFTTT I FEEL YOUR PAIN I have 14k in my motor and I am ready to take it out maybe if I roll a cheby engine in the shop next to it would scare it straight
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-08-2019, 08:48 PM
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As a general rule I go by if runs hot at idle low speed its fan if it runs hot at high speed its radiator
I have a 390 in a 66 ranchero ,1st combo was big block copper radiator and large flex fan no shroud ran cool at any speed but would overheat in traffic
2nd combo using now is aftermarket big block allow radiator and a full spar fan and shroud assembly ,no master what outside temp when those fans cut in it brings the engine temp down.
But what I have found is alloy radiators dissipate heat so good I have a fuel boil issue.
So even though you might have a dig electric fan I think you may need a fuel shroud as well
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-10-2019, 07:45 AM
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Well, a new water pump didn’t fix mine. I have absolutely no idea what the problem is now.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 05:13 AM
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Let me ask y’all this:

Seeing as my 390 in particular is a fresh build (roughly 5k Miles) what could be the chances the head gaskets could be at fault or even the heads? I know nothing about the internals or the guy who put the engine together. Could gaskets be on wrong? Could the heads be warped?

These are not GT heads... do the GT heads have cooling passages that non GT heads don’t?
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 05:33 AM
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ford 390 big block over haeting at idle

Everybody please read, especially where Danny talks about "ported vs manifold."



https://www.460ford.com/forum/42-gen...-engineer.html
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-11-2019, 07:41 AM
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Re: ford 390 big block over haeting at idle

he didn't read his history books. read the last post
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