I need to pick your brains out there. 40 Willys, running a 454 BBC, basically stock except cam, intake, carb, fenderwell headers. Aluminum 2-row radiator, electric pusher fan-claimed to be 2900 cfm, no grill, no inner fenders, 160 thermostat, stock water pump with electric drive. Radiator is mounted lower than motor. The problem; I can’t run this thing for 8 minutes before it climbs to 230 and needs to be shut down. At Lebanon I can have it pushed thru the staging lanes, but Epping is uphill. So by the time I hit the traps, I’m rushing down the return road to get it back to the pits where it finally blows out of the catch can vent hole. I’m running straight water, but I’ve tried coolant, different thermostats, no thermostat, restrictors, I have an air bleed on the manifold. I don’t know how to cool this thing anymore. Going to try a higher flow water pump. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
I have a ’69 Camaro COPO big block. I put on a electric water pump and added some water additive thats lowers the water temp and it works.
Thanks. I tried the water wetters, didn’t make a difference. Haven’t tried the electric pump, just the elecric drive.
For starter’s it may be runing to lean and if the radiator water level is below the top of the motor it may also have air pockets
Thanks. I’ve been playing with jet sizes all along depending on the track. So yes, that could be true. As far as the water level, I fill it on top of the manifold with the air bleed open until all the air is out. Is it possible I still have trapped air ?
I had a small block in it prior and never had this problem.
We had this motor in a 23 T-bucket and it ran hot. It wasn’t until we put an electric pusher fan along with the engine fan that it finally ran cool. On the Willys, I can’t run an engine fan and I can’t get another electric one on the motor side of the radiator due to space restrictions.
Is it possible I still have trapped air ?
Yes, try an inline hose radiator fill put it at the highest point and fill from there,
just a little air will give you trouble
Thanks, I will try that.
I need to pick your brains out there. 40 Willys, running a 454 BBC, basically stock except cam, intake, carb, fenderwell headers. Aluminum 2-row radiator, electric pusher fan-claimed to be 2900 cfm, no grill, no inner fenders, 160 thermostat, stock water pump with electric drive. Radiator is mounted lower than motor.
Overheating big blocks are no fun, Cy. About 40 years ago, I had a ’63 Impala SS that we put a 396 in. The only way we could cool it was with a 409 radiator. I’ve had some probelms with my ’32 highboy, too, but that’s another issue altogether (smooth hood sides, narrow engine compartment). Is your radiator narrow, like lots of early car units? That’s often the cause of big motor/high temp problems, as there’s just not as much core area as with (say) a later muscle car radiator. Just a thought. Anyway, your Willys made it in the Dover Drag Strip Reunion coverage I’m running in DRAG RACER Magazine. Just thought you’d wanna know. Good luck with the cooling problems.
The radiator is 25″ x 17″, it’s all I can fit between the rails. It is a 2 core aluminum. So, yeah that could be it, although I see guys running big motors with smaller radiators with no problem. Very aggravating to say the least. I think I’m going to pull the heads next, see if something is going on there.
Thanks Randy, appreciate the coverage!
You bet, Cy. I’m glad my photo guy got you in. Hey, I was thinking about your overheating problem again. Didn’t some of those big blocks have an issue with the intake gasket (or lack thereof) that either opens or blocks the heat riser passage in the center of the manifold? Another idea, what about opening the entire grille area instead of keeping the existing lightening holes? A stock grille would probably allow more in-coming air to reach the core itself. Don’t know, but I’ve gotta go. Tomorrow’s my deadline and I need to spit some more words at the screen. Cheers!
Hey Randy, yes I believe you are right. I’m going to tear it down and see if there is a problem there or with the head gaskets.
I do keep the grill off when I’m racing it and I’ve put in aluminum panels to direct the air in and not around the radiator.
Anyway, that’ll be cool to see the car and the whole Dover Reunion coverage in your mag. Again, appreciate it!
Wanna buy a big block cheap? LOL……take care…….Cy
Cyv….Don’t know if you solved your problem yet but will tell you what I did with the same situation. Had two vehicles (rear engine dragster and the Mustang we have now) with the same condition of low radiator and a overheating problem.
Both needed to establish a high point to fill the coolant system. Both vehicles we added a higher filler neck. The Mustang, we did all kinds of things but the solution was the filled neck. Attached is a picture of the engine in the Mustang, the filler neck is available, Got mine from ART in Clearwater FL.
With the electric water pump the system can be run after filling and the air comes to the top. Refill till no more air shows up in the filler neck. I would also recommend eliminate the thermostat so the system will circulate with no restrictions.