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Thread: Cooling at idle issue

  1. #1
    Registered Member Eds56's Avatar
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    Cooling at idle issue

    Hello Tri-Fivers,

    I have a 56 Bel Air, running a 327 SBC with a Big Cam, Holley 4Brl, 180degree Thermostat & 4 speed Tranny. The original radiator was recently rodded and cleaned, it is in the v-8 position without a fan shroud. Currently I have a Derale Performance racing type fan (which I think is part of the problem).

    Running down the road, the temp stays at or below 180, but when I am stopped in traffic the heat hand and gauge both rise rapidly to above 200+ (SunPro aftermarket gauge & OEM dash gauge), once I start moving a few miles down the road it settles back down. Since just always driving and never stopping to idle and or ever getting stuck in traffic is NOT a reasonable option, I figured I would ask those who have already been there and done that for some input.

    Personally, I think I need to replace the FAN and add a fan shroud..... as I obviously need to get the air flow moving correctly. My question to you is, What specific manual Fan and or shroud have you had success with???

    By the way, I would rather NOT move radiator to 6cyl. position therefore I'm NOT sure a clutch fan will work for me.


    Thanks in advance,
    Ed

  2. #2
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    You have answered your own question and described my 56 BA ht cooling issues. I am currently running a 6 blade Speedway fan with shroud on my .060 over 350. No need to apologize to me on the 6 cyl position as I hate the look.

  3. #3
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    Yes clearly you need to get more air moving through the radiator at low speeds. If you can't fix it with a good fan and shroud, I'm not sure you have many options with the stock radiator. An electric pusher fan might help, but I don't like the look of them in front of the radiator. Personally I like the crossflow radiators in front of the support a lot better than the look of any stock radiator. The nice thing is you can put a good electric fan behind them and get great cooling performance. It's just $$$.
    Last edited by chevynut; 05-10-2015 at 11:31 AM.
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension

    You can see my 56 Nomad build here http://www.picturetrail.com/chevynut

    For affordable C4 Corvette Suspension conversions for your car, visit http://www.classicedgedesigns.com

    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax

  4. #4
    Registered Member Eds56's Avatar
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    Thank You for the feedback Mark & ChevyNut,

    I'm definitely starting with a new fan blade & shroud (with fingers crossed).

    Honestly, I have not pushed it very much to see just how HOT it will max out at.... I'll make the changes above and see what that does for it first. Then progress to the next step.

  5. #5
    Registered Member WagonCrazy's Avatar
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    Ed,
    Sharing my experience with my 57 wagon here.
    When I first bought it (7 years ago), it came with a 283, 3 speed column shift, and original "downflow" brass radiator. It had a vintage air system that included a "front side of radiator" mounted condensor. It had a waterpump mounted 6 blade fan.
    In hot weather, stop and go, temps would rise above 200 as well.
    Not enough air flow thru the radiator to allow the radiator to do it's job.
    So I added a plastic shroud to the back of the radiator.
    Not much help.

    After finding these tri5 forums, and reading alot, I decided to spend money and upgrade to an all aluminum PRC crossflow unit, which included a new frame, crossflow radiator, a new AC condensor front mounted, and new dual Spal electric fans "rear mounted" in a custom aluminum shroud. It was about $1500 total, and more than solved the cooling problem.

    I was planning to bling out my wagon anyway, so that was the start. A new 350 engine and automatic overdrive trans came later.

    P3080073.jpg

    Now, to answer your question:
    If you don't want to spend that kind of money on a cross flow radiator setup, and just want to solve this heating at idle problem, what you need more than anything is better airflow thru your existing radiator at low speeds. A rear mounted "puller" electric fan setup with a shroud would be best in my opinion. (eliminate that waterpump mounted fan blade you have). The new electric fans can come with a shroud, are fairly thin (about 2 inches thick) and should mount up to the back of your existing radiator fine, once you remove the water pump-mounted fan blade. Danchuk or others in this industry sell them. Look online.

    My dos centavos here...
    1957 Nomad- LS1/T56 on C4 chassis
    1959 Fleetside Apache 1/2 ton, shortbed, big window, 327ci.

  6. #6
    Registered Member JT56's Avatar
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    Ed reminds me of my old setup. Had a .30 327 with 11:1 solid cam blah blah. Original radiator in the 6 cylinder mount, 180 thermostat with a 6 blade fan with an additional electric fan in front. I still had issues until I went with a cross flow with much more surface area. One thing to consider is timing and a lean condition. Yours sounds like surface area and airflow issue.

  7. #7
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    The answer as most have said is airflow.

    Pusher fans are not a good choice, use only when in a money/time bind as a band aid deal.

    You are limiting yourself with the radiator in the rear (V8) position because you don't really have room for a big mechanical fan and fan clutch, or even the long water pump setup. With the radiator in front you have so many more choices. Not to say you can't do it, it's just harder.

  8. #8
    Registered Member Eds56's Avatar
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    Thank You for the feedback Wagoncrazy & JT56,

    From what I've read lately, it seems the cross flow set up is very effective and may indeed be the where I end up at.

    Today, I was fortunate enough that a local Tri-five guy, gave me a large GM 6 blade fan with the curved tips. I'm going to put it and a new thermostat in later this week. GREAT point (JT56) on the timing and Leanness of carb possible causes. I'll check that too. Just had the carburetor rebuilt not long ago and it does seem to run kind of lean, so that may be part of it as well.

    Thanks again for all the replies

  9. #9
    Registered Member Eds56's Avatar
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    Thanks Rick_L,

    I hear ya and even agree that keeping the Radiator in the V8 position, limits my options. But I have to give it a try. Guess I'm just stubborn like that....lol.

  10. #10
    Registered Member chevynut's Avatar
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    IMO opinion I wouldn't bother with a different fan unless you add a shroud. The shroud will probably help your airflow as much or more than any other fan would and I'm surprised to hear Paul say it didn't change his problem. Don't waste your time and money on a new thermostat...obviously the one you have is working correctly. A lower temperature thermostat won't fix this problem because a thermostat's purpose is to maintain a minimum temperature, not a maximum. And don't let anyone tell you that you need to restrict the coolant flow so it stays in the engine longer....that's BS.

    It seems strange to me that so many guys have cooling problems at idle. It doesn't really matter how much peak power your engine puts out if it's idling because it's not generating much power doing that. In the old days we put big block chevy engines in these cars with the stock radiator with no cooling issues that I can remember.

    If a good fan and shroud doesn't fix the problem, and you don't want to change the down-flow style radiator, I'd be looking at the condition of the radiator, water pump, fan, shroud, and just making sure everything you have is working the way it should and with maximum air flowing through the radiator. You might also take a look at your pulley ratio to make sure there's nothing weird going on there, causing the water pump to turn too slow. There are better down-flow radiators that don't cost as much as a crossflow too.
    56 Nomad, Ramjet 502, Viper 6-speed T56, C4 Corvette front and rear suspension

    You can see my 56 Nomad build here http://www.picturetrail.com/chevynut

    For affordable C4 Corvette Suspension conversions for your car, visit http://www.classicedgedesigns.com

    Other vehicles:

    56 Chevy 2-door BelAir sedan
    56 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    57 Chevy 210 4-door sedan
    1961 Willys CJ3B Jeep
    2001 Porsche Boxster S
    2003 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax

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