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Old 06-10-2013, 02:43 PM   #1
bluesguy
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Default flathead overheating/maybe

this is my first post. i have a custom 50 / 2 door sedan flathead v8 8BA motor. i think its overheating . but i cant find any info. on operating temp.
details. new thermostats water pumps are 4 years old . installed a new 4 row radiator . installed a new flex fan . running on the streets 80 degree day the temp is 190 if i let it idle it climbs to 200. ? some have suggested a push secondary fan / or a fan shroud. any suggestions

thank you /bluesguy
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:05 PM   #2
36tbird
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

You need to find out why it is over heating first. I'd suggest the first thing to look at is initial timing. Then, look at the advance because if you have the stock distributor, they suck, literally and figuratively. Finally, you may need to do the "vinegar cleansing boogie". So, welcome to the 'barn but set aside a lot of time to use the search feature a read about the poor reputation of the distributor and cleaning the coolant passages.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:38 PM   #3
FlatheadTed
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

when sitting the only thing cooling it is the air flow ,add a shroud or another fan ,Ted
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:45 PM   #4
Mike in AZ
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

welcome to the 'Barn....when idling, see what temp it is at, then up the rpm's and see if the temp goes down....from what i understand, stock pumps don't push my coolant when idling...but if while running around, your temp is 190, then doesn't sound too bad...good luck...oh, yeah, good any pics??....we love pics...lol...Mike
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:08 PM   #5
Bassman/NZ
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

Nothing at all wrong with 190. As Ted suggested, a shroud will be better than an electric fan. If your thermostats are the common modern cheapo type, ditch them. They restrict your water flow badly. In fact, that's the first thing I would do. If you find you do need thermos, there's a guy here who makes very high quality ones with full flow especially for flatheads. Thermos are only there for quick warmup, nothing more. You might find you can live without them.
I have good results with a bottle of Purple Ice water wetter, dropped temp about 10 degrees, however some people reckon it doesn't work, so your call. Works in my flattie.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:46 PM   #6
bluesguy
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

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thank you . can i run this without thermostats? everybody says pull them and i cant find out what problems might come up. as for a shroud i've been looking and i cant find anybody that has an aftermarket unit. its an old motor i know and it was overhauled about 12 years ago. whats the vinegar trick never heard of that? also noticed out the blow by tube smoke? this has never happened.

pics to follow soon / bluesguy
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:14 PM   #7
jaxV8carz
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

Are you sure you're getting an accurate temp reading? I was concerned about mine based on the "old" gauge, so I got an infrared gun type and took readings in different places under the hood and decided all was well. I got mine from the Chinese importer, Harbor Freight for less than $30. It comes in handy for other things as well.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

I have the same set-up. If you get a smaller pulley your fan will pull more RPM at idle. I did this on my father.in.laws and it worked. It took awhile to find a pulley but we drilled it out and put the fan on there.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:21 PM   #9
Bassman/NZ
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

Yes you can run quite happily without thermos. A shroud will need to be made. Vinegar trick is replacing your coolant with vinegar solution and running the engine. After a day or two drain, and watch the rust pour out! The flush with a baking soda solution to neutralise the vinegar. Flush again with water, then fill with coolant. Even though you had a new radiator, old flatheads have a LOT of rust, rust flakes, casting sand and core wires in the water passages, and over time this can block up a radiator.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

If the temp gets too high at idle, you definetly need a shroud. As stated there is nothing wrong with 190 deg.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

I have been running with out thermo stats for some time and thinking of putting them back in. with a laser temp gun my engine runs at 160 degrees and never hotter, sometimes cooler, with this temp I am thinking its not getting hot enough to cook the slug and other bad stuff out of the engine .......any thoughts on running a cool engine for long periods?
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

I think if you need to run without a thermostat you have problems with your cooling system. They wont be in there for no reason..
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

Kendall, I,m with Talkwrench, and I think your running too cold. An engine is at it's best efficiency just below boiling and as has been mentioned on a recent thread, 190 is good. Pressure systems came in to allow this (1 pound pressure raises the boiling point 4 degrees, so a 14 lb cap allows temp. up to 268 degrees)
I have heard here that you cant get enough flow through these modern thermostats. If you consider that each side of a flatty's cooling system is separate, then we are only talking about a little four cylinder. These thermostats properly control far bigger engines.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

Bob Shewman makes high quality 180 degree stats that have high flow openings that don't restrict the flow. A consistent 180 degrees seems to be the best operating range. This gives you warm air in cool weather and at 180 you have a cushion if on a hot day you get in slow traffic. Running at 190 to 200 you have a over heating problem with the stock fans in slow traffic. The 32 to 48 stats fit in the upper hoses and the 49 to 53 stats in the goose neck housings. Bob can be reached at
1-610-933-6637 or gadgiteer@aol.com G.M.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:20 PM   #15
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebell View Post
Kendall, I,m with Talkwrench, and I think your running too cold. An engine is at it's best efficiency just below boiling and as has been mentioned on a recent thread, 190 is good. Pressure systems came in to allow this (1 pound pressure raises the boiling point 4 degrees, so a 14 lb cap allows temp. up to 268 degrees)
I have heard here that you cant get enough flow through these modern thermostats. If you consider that each side of a flatty's cooling system is separate, then we are only talking about a little four cylinder. These thermostats properly control far bigger engines.
Yep, but those far bigger engines dont have exhaust ports that go between the cylinders, or 60+ years worth of casting sand, rust scale etc lurking in the water jacket.
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:57 AM   #16
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

The other use for stats is for maintaining a consistent temperature. Temperature variation, particularly rapid cooling (e.g. getting hot going up a long incline, then cooling on a steep descent) creates greater risk of cracking than a consistent temperature. Stats iron out the fluctuations to some extent.
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:14 AM   #17
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

Bassman, I'm talking about what SHOULD be.
95% of all engine failures stem from cooling system faults. Anybody who is not prepared to do everything correctly, cannot expect any sort of reliability.
I am aware that these are "hot" engines because the exhaust ports run through the block, all the more reason to have the cooling system at 100%
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:06 AM   #18
kendall
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

have you guys heard of the old trick, drill a .125 inch hole in the thermostat off to one side?, not to damage it but to keep a little flow constantly moving even if the stats are closed. I don't think I would ever try it, was just wondering if any have heard of this and if there is any benefit to it.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:10 AM   #19
G.M.
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

I drilled 6 .125 holes in the flange of several sets of 160 modern stats and they still
run up in the 200 range when it gets 90 outside. These tests were done on a 39 pick up that will run at a fast idle for 2 hours on a 100 degree day and never get over 180. Bob Shewmans hi flow stats are the only ones I know of that work. G.M.
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:54 PM   #20
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Default Re: flathead overheating/maybe

Yes drill one .3/32 hole to flush out the cold water .any more than that you will not get the benefit of the thermostat
Quote:
Originally Posted by kendall View Post
have you guys heard of the old trick, drill a .125 inch hole in the thermostat off to one side?, not to damage it but to keep a little flow constantly moving even if the stats are closed. I don't think I would ever try it, was just wondering if any have heard of this and if there is any benefit to it.
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