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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey Guys, I know this has been asked but now that it's fricken hot outside here 100+ I don't drive the 66 much. It gets hotter (195) when I drive at highway speeds but goes back down to 180 when I drive slower. That's without the AC on so imagine what the temp would be with that on....super hot! Driving around without the AC on kinda defeats the purpose of it. I've got the stock radiator and water pump but I do have a heavy duty six blade fan on.....I took the clutch fan off since I don't trust it.

I know there must be a simple fix but I don't understand why there wouldn't be enough air flowing thru the AC condenser and radiator to cool at high speeds.....should I put the clutch fan back on? I just put in a new 180 thermostat and antifreeze and I see no leaks. This car has always done this when it gets hot outside and it sucks!

The car runs great other wise but maybe this is a clue.......when I turn the heater on to help cool her down faster, it doesn't help. I've checked the timing and it's dead nuts.

How do I check to see if the vacuum advance is working right....maybe it's not working at all.
 

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190-200°F is normal for a 180°F thermostat. If the temp goes up in cruise, it's usually either insufficient flow or retarded cruise timing. Test your vac advance with a hand vac pump and gauge. Disconnect the tube from the carb or manifold (plug that port) and hook the pump to it. Watch your idle timing with a timing light and pull vac. Note the vac it begins to cause advance, and the total advance it gives at what vac level. Compare that to your spec's in the service manual if it's a stock or nearly stock engine.

David
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hiya David, I'll be sure to check that vac advance and is it normal for an engine to run sluggish when it gets around 192-193? I started the 66 to see if I might have missed something and watched the temp gauge go up to 192-193 while idling in the garage. The temp never went over 192-193 even with the outside temp at 92.....but the throttle response wasn't as crisp and was getting sluggish. I'm thinking that's normal when a 289 or any engine starts to get hot. The throttle response was better when the engine temp was colder. It's been awhile and I've forgotten the quirks of these older engines.....I just found it odd that the temp never got over 192-193 while sitting there for so long.

I do have a Edelbrock carb on her now so that might have caused some of the sluggish throttle response at that high temp.......I know these carbs aren't the best for performance but it doesn't leak and holds it's setting well. I might get a Holley later but need to get this cruise temp issue under control first.
 

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If it really is at 192° (have you cross-checked your temp with another gauge, candy thermometer in the fill neck, or IR temp gun?), then it's usually just a tuning issue for the carb. It's too lean or too rich (usually too rich) when at higher temp and power is down. If your choke is fully off by about 160-170° (check that), idle re-adjustment at that temp is usually all that's initially required to improve it, but full tuning is recommended.

David
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I thought you weren't suppose to run a car without the radiator cap, to check the temp with a candy thermometer wouldn't it boil all over the place by the time it got to 192?

I might have to replace the plugs too....there stock with stock gap but I'm running a pertronix module in the distributor, maybe a wider gap would help too?
 

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I thought you weren't suppose to run a car without the radiator cap, to check the temp with a candy thermometer wouldn't it boil all over the place by the time it got to 192?
It should not - unless you have other issues. Water boils at 212 and anti-freeze mixtures even higher. Take all safety precautions necessary, and always start with a cold engine. You can check both the temp of the water flowing past from the pump, as well as the flow velocity of the water. It shoud be flowing by at a surprising rate (like somebody stuck a garden hose in the radiator inlet) when the T-stat is fully open.

I might have to replace the plugs too....there stock with stock gap but I'm running a pertronix module in the distributor, maybe a wider gap would help too?
While ignition timing can affect temperatures, the spark plug gap would have no perceivable effect.

  • Have you done the timing tests?
  • Is your shroud good, well sealed, and the fan positioned about half-way into the shroud outlet?
  • When is the last time the system was properly flushed?
  • Has a radiator shop done a cooling system analysis?
  • What are you using for coolant?

Remember, your 190+ temps are normal for that T-stat. If it's pushing too high (especially with the AC on), I would begin with a hi-perf/hi-flow 160°F thermostat swap and diagnose the effect it has in the overall picture. It may not solve the higher temps you are seeing, but it will give a new set of clues that will make the answer(s) easier to see.

David
 

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Discussion Starter #7
David, I had the radiator cleaned and checked a year ago and the fan is half way in the stock shroud. I'm using Prestone 50/50 mix and it's new too. I still need to check the vac advance but I'll get to that soon along with the temp/flow test. I can't wait to check that, I've never tried it, sure hope it flows fast like a garden hose. I don't really want to change out the water pump but if I have to then so be it.

Thanks for the help David.
 

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My 61 Falcon while driving in Cali at speeds OVER 60 would run HOT HOT HOT probably up to 220, but if I went 55 MPH it would stay right at normal 185-190, and when I really hauled ass up to around 85 it would run cooler again.

I moved my fan about 1/2" closer to the radiator and never had another heating problem no matter what speed I was driving nor the temp outside.
 

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If it is really hot out like where I live and your engine starts to feel sluggish once it has been running for 20 or 30 minutes or more, your fuel may be thinning out in the line almost to the point of vapor lock. I'm fighting with that right now in my truck. 195 is fairly normal for highway running temp when it is close to a hunnerd degrees outside.
 

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My Fairlane and Falcon both I've had to put 1" phenolic carb spacers and heat shield sleeving made by DEI over the fuel line from the pump to the carb. I was having issues with vaporloc untill I did those mods.

Jet
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I called the Edelbrock tech line and that's the first thing he said too....the carb is getting to hot. He told me to lower my floats 1/16 to help the problem and put a heat shield on if possible. I've already got a 1" spacer but I still need to move the fuel line so it won't get hotter.

So I'm thinking my Ford is normal but I will try and move the fan in closer to the radiator for kicks to see what happens. I'm sure the weather here in KS is about the same as TX.....it's better then AZ anyday! I left AZ because of the heat, that heat beat up everything to death including me.

I still want to do a flow and temp check on the radiator and see if my guage agrees with my new ordered digital temp toy....hope it's close! That'll be in 2-3 days so I'll keep you guys posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I wanted to show you guys my latest updates on the 289.....I had a lot of polish work done! I had the air cleaner lids/both sides, valve covers and thermostat housing all done. I even painted the distributor cap candy apple red since I can't afford the pertronic billet distributor that comes with a cool red cap. I think the red cap helps set it all off good.....try and look past the AC lines and that big yoke compressor. Sometimes I think a hot rod shouldn't have an AC but for now it does since it works great!

http://i1063.photobucket.com/albums/t518/rickgarrett/66 Fairlane/98073026.jpg


http://i1063.photobucket.com/albums/t518/rickgarrett/66 Fairlane/edd03147.jpg

Those are the extra tall covers waiting for roller rockers later......
 

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Nice. Yes, that cap does add a nice little splash of color. BTW - only the 2nd link worked for me.

David
 

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Both links worked for me.

Looks nice! I like the dizzy cap.

Post a picture without the air cleaner. I would like to see what you have going on for your crank case vent system. I need to do something with the Falcon.

Do you have a Phenolic or Aluminum spacer? The aluminum ones will still let the heat transfer.

Jet
 

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Just a thought but if you think your fuel is getting hot and after looking at your pics your fuel hose is crossing over your radiator and heater hose. The rubber line will transfer the heat. Had that problem with a Mustang a long time back. Your engine looks great.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Good point 998! I never thought about the fuel line crossing over the radiator & heater hose.....I'll reroute it.

I've got a phenolic spacer and I'll post another pic with the air cleaner off when I get home from work later.

Jet, Here's a pic without the air cleaner.....one side has the normal PCV valve and the other side has a oil breather tank. I couldn't find a sure way to keep oil from leaking out onto the valve cover with one of those push in type breather caps. I went with a breather tank which has a drain valve on the bottom of the tank.....I've only drained it once in 1 year and then there wasn't much in it. It works great and keeps the valve cover clean!

http://i1063.photobucket.com/albums/t518/rickgarrett/66 Fairlane/b3d0ec23.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hey guys, I finally did some checking on the cooling system like PSIG mentioned, here's what I found out.

With a hand held temp gun:

Radiator temp.....185 (read off the top of the tank)
Engine temp.......178.5 (this is right at the temp sensor)
Autometer gage..193 or so

That's after driving around highway speed then stopping to check.
I did another check with the cap off to see how fast the coolant was flowing and it seems to be flowing pretty good past the filler neck.

With these results I don't think I'll worry to much. Just wonder if it's normal for an aftermarket gauge to read higher.....of course the temp gun might be a bit off too......
 

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I have found temp guns to be very incorrect on certain metal surfaces.
 

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I have found Autometer gauges to be inaccurate. Oil and fuel for sure, now coolant? Jeez, what am I paying for?
 
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