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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having an issue with my 289 running a little hot and I hope you guys can help.
First off, its a 66 fairlane, 289/c4. I am running an edelbrock performer manifold and 500 cfm carb.
The previous owner had the motor rebuilt about 7-10 years ago and put a cam in it. It is a bit lopey but runs well. The only info I have on the cam is "Ford h.p. cam" on an invoice from the shop that did the work. There are no part #'s listed and when I called last owner and the machine shop, they had no record or clue.
I am running essentially everything stock, radiator (new brass replacement), water pump, 180 to 190 (don't remember off hand) high flow thermostat, fairly new points and cond, etc... I have an accel super stock coil and that's really about it.
Timing is 8 deg, checked and rechecked point gap, plugs etc...

The car hasn't boiled over (yet) but creeps up on 220+ on hot days and runs like crap. I noticed it runs best at 180-190 and would like to keep it around there.
I put an electric fan on it without any improvement and I don't have a shroud.
I've had the car for about 5 years now and it has been forced into daily driver service so a reliable commute is important.

Could the cam be the culprit? Should I consider a milder cam and lifter set? Should a double core radiator be considered, or both cam and rad? Any other ideas? I am recently unemployed so cost is an issue but I need a reliable ride.

If i missed any pertinent info, let me know. Thanks!
 

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How many rows on the radiator? 2-3 or 4?
 

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Start with the simplest things first when diagnosing a problem. With the cooling system, that would be the radiator cap and thermostat. Are they relatively new and in good operating condition?

Next, Is there crud clogging the radiator tubes? Is the coolant fresh and not murky? Is the water to antifreeze ratio correct? The thermal efficiency of coolant decreases as the percentage of antifreeze increases. No more than 50%.

Running excessively lean can lead to overheating. Check with a tailpipe sniffer (don't bother if the exhaust smells rich) or you can play with the jets/rods in carb (Edelbrock carb?).

There are a lot things you should look into first before you go swapping the cam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@ arnoldtx I want to say it's a 2 row from dearborn classics

@ AdrianS The thermostat is brand new, the rad and cap are about 2 years old. The coolant is clean and I'll have to check the mix but it should be right. I swapped out the intake from the stock 2bbl because it caught fire and also was not enough for the cam. I pulled the heads at the same time because of a broken plug. I made sure the pass head gasket was correct and not blocking the water passage.
Now that I think about it, the carb needs to be dialed in better, I did the best I could between a tach and vacuum gauge. It is an edelbrock carb and I do have the tuning kit for it.
Thanks for the help, first thing is to check the rad cap and get the carb tuned.
 

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The head gaskets are marked to make sure you install them correctly. Did you install them correctly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yep, made sure of that! I wasn't going to pull that thing back apart for a dumb mistake like that!
 

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Was it running hot before you pulled the heads? How big is the radiator? Get measurements. Are you using only an electric fan?
 

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Look at your steam holes and make sure they all match up between the heads, head gaskets and block.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
core is 17x20, I'm using the stock steel fan and a 1250 cfm pusher electric fan. Yes, it was running hot prior to the work I did.

Sorry, I'm not familiar with steam holes but before assembly I made sure passages were clear by first setting the gaskets in place on the block and then the bottom of the heads. I didn't consider head to block.
 

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Why didn't you upgrade to a 4 row radiator when you replaced it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Why didn't you upgrade to a 4 row radiator when you replaced it?
hindsight is 20/20. The one I replaced had a nice leak and I figured that was the issue.
 

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I have had many sbf and in hot weather you need a good radiator and air movement to keep it cool in traffic. Ford always put to small a radiator on them. A 4 row and a fan shrod should fix it. If you go all electric you need a min of 3000 cfm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So besides a good tuning, I guess a good rad is in order.
 

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Does it overheat standing still, driving, or both? In most cases a pusher fan will not work well and will move way more air on the engine side. Take off the mechanical blade and try it. 220 degrees max is not going to hurt any thing either while you work at this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
@ iwantmore - overheats @ idle and moving when hot day or traffic. Cool days, no problem unless idles for to long. I put the pusher on it because there's only about an 1 1/2" between the radiator and the mechanical fan with the spacer.
I haven't let it go over 220 or so just cuz I don't want to chance it boiling over but I think it would have no problem passing 220. Also anything over 195-200, the performance and gas mileage go right down the toilet. I'll give the electric only idea a try later today. But do you think 1250 cfm will cut it alone?

Going to look at radiator prices today, any suggestions on brand or type (aluminum?) for a daily driver. I am recently unemployed so cost is a factor.
Thanks to everyone for their input so far
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Something else I thought of, I do have a small trans cooler. How much of a difference in temp would it make if I added that and not use the one in the bottom of the radiator?
 

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That will only help the trans. A 17x20 2 core just isn't enough on hot days.
 

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8 degrees may be too retarded for your timing. Try bumping it up 2 degrees at a time and stop at maybe 16. Retarded timing will keep heat in the engine like what you are describing.
 

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If you need a radiator and aren't concerned with factory appearing stuff I can recommend the aluminum two row radiators that both Summit and Jegs sell under their names. I think they run about $150. I have one on my Falcon and with a simple flex fan and shroud the car never gets over 180 and usually runs in the 165-170 range. :tup:

John
 
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