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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got this car two weeks ago and I am stumped on why she keeps overheating,

heres the specs.

Rebuilt 390 back to stock in 2011. overheated ever since it was installed
Brand new Griffin 2 row radiator, built for car
3300 cfm flex cool fan
mallory dizzy, mechanical old style
180 stat

The car runs strong it just heats up extremely fast at idle and at highway speeds gets up to 210 220 and 230 at will. I have a thermal shooter and the mechanical gauge is correct.

The car did have a 160 stat and still overheated, took the stat out and it still overheated. put a 180 in and still overheating! It is moving water and alot of it. when the stat opens.

so at idle it will try to stay around 190 with the fan on, heats up bad under a load though.

The bottom hose has a spring and is not collapsing.

How can I tell if the head gaskets are on correct. Without pulling the heads and can they be installed incorrectly.
what size pulley should be on the water pump.
Should I change the dizzy to a petronix with a vacuum advance??? I have had the timing set by three different mechanics and myself.


I kind of bought this headache at a good deal and am almost ready to sale it. lol. Not really I love the car.

Here are a few pictures of what I am dealing with. Any help is HUGE.







 

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Welcome, great looking car. There are quite a few discussions on here about overheating and the solutions. I also have a bit of an overheating problem in my 61 in traffic but haven't taken the time to fully address it yet. Looks like you have most of the good parts in place, alot of the discussion hinges on timing and total advance. Good luck and don't give up, these cars make good cruisers.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks and I absolutely love the car. I just checked the head gaskets and they are on correct. Can a bad dizzy make one heat up this fast and bad???? If so who makes a good quality dizzy and should I get another mechanical advance or get a vacuum advance???? This is my first big block and it is a beast by far. but the heat is terrible. It even starts to boil my gas out of the lines at low speeds, and starts to miss. I have to put steel tubing back on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have pulled the plugs and they are a golden brown color. Thats the color I have always been told they run best at, correct me if I am wrong!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok guys so I may be The Idiot of the week, so I got tired of looking for a ghost and decided to look at my little beater truck and measure the coolant temps in different places, and low and behold they were almost the same and this was in a 4 bangger. So I go back to the car and the temp in the radiator coming in is around 185 constant and the gauge is saying 190 to 210 depending on what it feels like.

SOOOO I start looking at all the wiring someone has done at the gauges and guess what. The ground is just dangle banging around under there making a GOOD connection when it wants to. So I Ground her out really good and it drops right down to about 189 192, cruise to town and the fan shuts down at higher speeds and comes on at the stop signs like it should. gauge never goes over 195.

I feel like its a combination of the gauge being off a touch and something is making them jump, and read higher any time I turn on a light or hit the brakes or the blinkers. I am ordering a new set tonight and pray for me that this is all it is.

The car has Never Boiled over. It just gets extremely hot under the hood. Is this normal for these big blocks.

I am Happy but at the same time feel like this is not solved completely, as I could measure the temp on the radiator hose top and bottom and there was only a 10 to 15 deg. difference on the big block as where there was a 40 degree difference on the toyota.

Thanks for all the help so far and I will keep yall updated throughout the week
 

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hatchet job wiring is the downfall for many cars.

when i got my 66, the PO had let a few "professionals" wire things on the car.

There was a dollar store "python" car alarm spidered EVERYWHERE in the main harness. Whoever wiried used black wire for everything. ( awesome to trouble shoot).

His "mechanic" also wired the electric choke directly to the alternator.

We wont even go into the "amplifier wiring" or the was the various senders were "wired".

I finally got frustrated enough that i cut out the OEM harness in its entirety. I'm now installing a american autowire harness.

That gal looks familiar. There's been one the same color that was for sale in TN about 1.5 years ago and then a few months ago I saw it for sale in Indiana. That happen to be it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I got the car off the MS TN line so yes it could be the one you are speaking of. This guy I got it from said he has had it for the last three years though. If anyone knows any history on the car I would love to know it. I have an engine rebuild receipt from 2011 for the car and tons of other stuff. The car was originally from TX from what I have seen in the glove box.

On another note I installed a regular vacuum advance dizzy, new wires, plugs, and a few other things today. Runs a little better but still not as cool as I would like. It has a electric temp gauge and I just ordered mechanical gauge. I am hoping this electric one is reading 10 to 15 deg. to high lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah the rims are a little BLING for me too, But its does add to the resto mod look. I figured leave them until I wear out the BRAND NEW tires then get something a little smaller. Thanks guys
 

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I had a friend some years back who had a hot running Cleveland. He tried everything, until one day he was told that his radiator might be too thick and not allow air to pass through. Guess what? He fitted a thinner radiator, and it ran cooler.

Hold a piece of paper in front of the radiator, and if it sucks hard towards it, then it is OK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah I am starting to think my radiator is my problem, Even though the air flow is massive through it and fluid is rushing through it. "Could it be to much radiator"? I am thinking about buying a new 500 dollar repop one and see how she does. Should I do 3 or 4 core repop? The difference between my top and lower radiator hose is just not as significant as it should be in my opinion. Car runs to damn good to have any engine problems.

I can always use this radiator on my 65 fastback mustang with the 302 to overcool it .

Dont hate on the rims, they look better in person. And remember this is Elvis's old car. He drove it during the making of the song "Down in the GHEETTTOOO lololol"
 

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I don't know about the radiator being too big. Maybe not enough air flow. This may be a stupid question but, which way is the fan turning. Is it sucking the air through towards the engine or towards the grill? And how hot is hot? Just because it's hot under the hood doesn't necessarily mean it's running hot. A mechanical gauge installed correctly will tell the story.
 

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Yeah I am starting to think my radiator is my problem, Even though the air flow is massive through it and fluid is rushing through it. "Could it be to much radiator"? I am thinking about buying a new 500 dollar repop one and see how she does. Should I do 3 or 4 core repop? The difference between my top and lower radiator hose is just not as significant as it should be in my opinion. Car runs to damn good to have any engine problems.

I can always use this radiator on my 65 fastback mustang with the 302 to overcool it .

Dont hate on the rims, they look better in person. And remember this is Elvis's old car. He drove it during the making of the song "Down in the GHEETTTOOO lololol"
LMAO! That's a good one!

About the fan, make sure it's going the right direction like the man just said.

And 200-210 degrees is NOT too much for an FE to handle on a normal basis.
 

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Ok guys so I may be The Idiot of the week, so I got tired of looking for a ghost and decided to look at my little beater truck and measure the coolant temps in different places, and low and behold they were almost the same and this was in a 4 bangger. So I go back to the car and the temp in the radiator coming in is around 185 constant and the gauge is saying 190 to 210 depending on what it feels like.

SOOOO I start looking at all the wiring someone has done at the gauges and guess what. The ground is just dangle banging around under there making a GOOD connection when it wants to. So I Ground her out really good and it drops right down to about 189 192, cruise to town and the fan shuts down at higher speeds and comes on at the stop signs like it should. gauge never goes over 195.

I feel like its a combination of the gauge being off a touch and something is making them jump, and read higher any time I turn on a light or hit the brakes or the blinkers. I am ordering a new set tonight and pray for me that this is all it is.

The car has Never Boiled over. It just gets extremely hot under the hood. Is this normal for these big blocks.

I am Happy but at the same time feel like this is not solved completely, as I could measure the temp on the radiator hose top and bottom and there was only a 10 to 15 deg. difference on the big block as where there was a 40 degree difference on the toyota.

Thanks for all the help so far and I will keep yall updated throughout the week
Sometimes it's the simple things..
 

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I don't know about the radiator being too big. Maybe not enough air flow. This may be a stupid question but, which way is the fan turning. Is it sucking the air through towards the engine or towards the grill? And how hot is hot? Just because it's hot under the hood doesn't necessarily mean it's running hot. A mechanical gauge installed correctly will tell the story.

Excuse me but .. ??? How could the fan be turning the wrong way? hopefully PO would spot a twisted belt.
 
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