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Old 01-21-2011, 12:50 AM
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Our thermostat opens flow when the engine temp reaches the preset, and closes when the temp falls under the preset temp. It's just that simple, regardless of rpm, radiator temp, or water pump speed.

When I visited Mississippi, I saw things that blew this Yankee Boy away. I saw a motorcycle with a Chevy 350 CU IN engine, and a Mustang with a Chevy 350. Chevy parts are all over the South, and they are cheap.

Southern Boys create mechanical genius in their back yards and barns, using NO money. The 350 Mustang had no fan on the water pump because the radiator had an electric fan. Instead, it had an electric heater motor running the water pump with a short V-belt. Nothing else was on that belt. I thought about this simple setup long and hard:

Our engines get the hottest when sitting idle because the crank-driven water pump and mechanical fan are both going too slow. Water can't move and neither can air.

If you go with an electric radiator fan, 600-rpm won't push coolant fast enough, regardless of air flow. But this 'dual electric' combination blew me away because it's perfect.

The water pump's independent electric motor can run at a constant 2,000-rpm (or so) and satisfy all flow requirements, up to 'full racing' speeds. At the same time, lots of horsepower is saved for the rear wheels because the water pump never needs to spin at 4,000-rpm. Same story with the electric fan; it only turns on when the radiator gets hot.

The answer to our cooling system problems is three-fold: Coolant needs to flow (to convey heat), air needs to flow (to exchange heat), only then can the thermostat regulate engine temp's.
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Old 01-23-2011, 04:49 PM
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I agree with that totally Dave
The other advantage of the electric water pump is they can be set on a timer, similar to a turbo timer runs after shut down for a specified time, so when you shut the engine down it will still run along with the fan to continue to cool the engine and dissipates heat. I'm sure we've all seen that the temp is high after shut down until the water pump circulates the water again.

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Old 01-23-2011, 05:33 PM
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With my 59 Dodge the engine runs better with a 160 degree thermostat, with the 180 she runs hot.... the 59 T-Bird runs fine and I dont see any problems with a 160 or 180, but the Mopar is super picky.
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:49 PM
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What is standard?
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:53 PM
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I'll venture the opinion that the thermostat is to keep the engine from running too cool. Once it gets up to the cutoff for the thermostat and it opens, it becomes irrelevant. So, for example, in the first few miles after you fire the TBird up, it needs all that heat retained to have the engine components at proper operating temperature.

Anders: the Ford Shop Manual for my '58 refers to the two possible thermostats as "Low Temp" and "High Temp".

Trivia: did you guys know the thermostat has paraffin in it? It melts at a certain temp and allows it to open.

I like the electrical ideas for fan and water pump additionally as they allow for manual override. You can anticipate certain situations and start dumping heat sooner (you're on the highway on a hot day but soon to pull off into stop and go traffic. Easier to lose heat now then at a Stop light). (Of course this envisions the driver actually thinking, something today's cars rule out )

Since we are on cooling systems - - - I am curious as to what anyone thinks of a higher capacity water pump for the Squarebirds. I was looking at the 61-3 forum and after some reading realized Ford had produced an alternative water pump for the 390 that moved more water. For a Squarebird owner in a warmer area (Ray in Texas) this might be another option for upgrading the cooling system perhaps in tandem with a 6 blade fan etc.

As it is 8 degrees here, I find all these heating issues pleasant to think about . . .

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Old 01-23-2011, 09:25 PM
gaffney1951 gaffney1951 is offline
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running your engine too cool is not a good thing. Engine oil needss to be 180 deg or higher to do it's job. Probably the ideal temp for your cooing system is 190-210 degrees (heat equals power). Elect. fans can definitely help especially when you shut the engine down (heat soak). I like the idea of an elecrically driven water pump (seen mostly on drag cars), but I'm not totally convinced of their reliability on a street car. I may have to give it a try and see for myself. Also remember that going to elect. fans and/or elect pump drive will necessitate a high out put charging system and the complicate heavier wiring that entails. Edelbrock makes an alum. FE water pump that puts out 30% more flow than the stock unit. Most over heating problems occur at idle or low speeds, our cars are particularly susceptible to this. If you have this problem just try popping the hood release (the backward opening hood makes this a fairly safe option) and watch the temp drop. I'm considering louvering my hood when the new stroker goes in, or using manually activated fans to dump heat out the rear of the wheel wells. Sorry for the long post, just thinking out loud. Mike

Last edited by gaffney1951 : 01-23-2011 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 1960_430_AU View Post
...I'm sure we've all seen that the temp is high after shut down until the water pump circulates the water again...
Yep, because heat rises, and stagnant circulation cannot convey heat away from the engine. In retrospect, engine-driven water pumps and fans are a bad idea, but nothing beats the price. In normal driving conditions they work just fine.

I particularly like the idea that the electric pump can maintain effective flow, even at sustained idle speeds. Centrifugal (OEM) pumps don't have aggressive fins or blades because the coolant needs to 'slip' when the engine is doing 4,000-rpm. The down side is, water pumps are too inefficient at 600-rpm.

Mike, we said the same thing about electric fans and electronic ignition systems. Now all cars have them with 100-amp alternators. If I were to go the electric water pump route, I would take John's suggestion and use aggressive pump fins, but run it at a slower speed to get the same flow rate.

Our coolant works very well with proper flow.
My latest project:
CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

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Old 01-24-2011, 11:44 AM
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To answer the question on what is standard, 180 deg F is standard when used with antifreeze, and 160 deg F would be used with plain water and rust inhibtors only.

Your engine wear is going to be substantially more with a cold engine because as was said the oil can't do its job if not at the temperatures it was designed to operate. The beauty of a water-cooled engine is that clearances can be much tighter than an air-cooled engine because temperature can be controlled more acurately.
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