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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i'm just wondering what the quickest and safest way to cool an engine down is...
my thermostat is rated at 185F, but my temp gauge says closer to 210 when i'm on the highway for a while. i do have to put in a larger radiator, and change the oil for heavier stuff (still the winter weight) so from 10W30 to the usual summer 20W50.
so more or less i was thinking like when i'm in the middle of nowhere and want it to cool faster. like hosing it off, or ice, or what?

it's a fairmont with a 302, all cast iron parts except the headders (steel)
 

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IF you got a car from the 60's or 70's. You could run a straight 20,30,40 motor oil in the hot summer without a problem. The oil will help keep your engine cooler in the summer. Also go down to a 165 thermostat. A trick you can also do is get an old thermostat & punch out the plunger of it. You'll run an open system & still have the proper back pressure in your cooling system. Many people don't realize how important the fan cowl really is. If you don't have one on you should. That piece of plastic can be very important for cooling off the engine. Do you have a flex fan or a clutch fan? Your fan clutch can be bad if you have that. Or you can have the wrong flex fan. Or is it an electric fan? Yes I posted many things here but it's sort of a general question. So I tried to address as many as I can. As for the best way to cool it off when running hot. Time is your best answer. I wouldn't put cold water in a hot engine. Blocks & heads are known to crack that way...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
IF you got a car from the 60's or 70's. You could run a straight 20,30,40 motor oil in the hot summer without a problem. The oil will help keep your engine cooler in the summer. Also go down to a 165 thermostat. A trick you can also do is get an old thermostat & punch out the plunger of it. You'll run an open system & still have the proper back pressure in your cooling system. Many people don't realize how important the fan cowl really is. If you don't have one on you should. That piece of plastic can be very important for cooling off the engine. Do you have a flex fan or a clutch fan? Your fan clutch can be bad if you have that. Or you can have the wrong flex fan. Or is it an electric fan? Yes I posted many things here but it's sort of a general question. So I tried to address as many as I can. As for the best way to cool it off when running hot. Time is your best answer. I wouldn't put cold water in a hot engine. Blocks & heads are known to crack that way...
yeah the shroud is all there, the fan is clutch, and it works fine, but it shouldn't make a difference on the highway doing 70MPH. one of the blades is bent, but otherwise...
It's a 79 fairmont, with an 85 Econoline 302 in it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Would a giant fan in front of the car work if i stopped at a gas station, and opened the hood up? i've seen it done at the strip a few times...
 

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jonzo, I don't think that it makes sense that you run hotter at highway speeds, than you do just running around town. What kind of temps do you get just running around town?

I'm thinking that it is a flaky temp guage.

On the other hand, if you need to lower the temp because the engine is running too hot, turning on the heater will pump some calories out of the system.
 

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On the other hand, if you need to lower the temp because the engine is running too hot, turning on the heater will pump some calories out of the system.
Just have 2 gallons of Gatorade to replenish your own cooling system...:lol:

Are you getting a good coolant flow??? If not maybe it needs to be flushed. Poppy touched on a good possibility. Are your gauges stock that came with the car or after market? Could be a bad gauge. Stuck thermostat if there's little to no flow. But I'd definitely go with @least a straight 20 oil & consider the open system with the punched out thermostat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
if i drive with the heat on full temp, and on Hi, it stays close to 190 on highway.
it stay at 185 when in city, with heat off.
I'm not sure how to check for flow, the thermostat is brand new, but the pump is older...
the gauge is aftermarket, and last year it said i was running at 230 all summer... the oil pressure gauge always said it was at 125psi... that gauge also said i had around 60 psi before i even started the engine...

I am going to change the oil and filter soon as it is coming up on the 3K mile mark. someone once told me the fuel mixture can change it slightly. when i was a mopar nut, i read in a few places that the 426 hemi ran so hot, chrysler had the mixture set really rich, using the fuel to cool the cylinders down...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm thinking that it is a flaky temp gauge.
I've been thinking that for quite a while now... same with the oil pressure gauge...
 

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You can check the flow by removing the radiator cap on a cold motor. Then start the engine. When the thermostat pops open. You should see a nice heavy flow of coolant in the radiator.. When was the last time you flushed the system??? It might be all that's needed. If the Thermostat is new then I doubt it's the problem.Unless you put it in backwards. I humbly admit to doing that before as I was talking with friends & drinking a few beers while working on my Camaro..
 

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Can you borrow one of those infrared thermometers? ANd measure the temp?

I am pretty sure that the temp guage will go full hot if it is grounded, and with added resistance it will go cooler and cooler. Maybe I got that backwards.

I believe that the Oil guage more often than not is not really a guage as much as it looks like one, but rather it is connected to a switch. Under 5 psi it registers low, and the oil light comes on, over 5 psi the switch is closed and the guage shows middle / normal range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You can check the flow by removing the radiator cap on a cold motor. Then start the engine. When the thermostat pops open. You should see a nice heavy flow of coolant in the radiator.. When was the last time you flushed the system??? It might be all that's needed. If the Thermostat is new then I doubt it's the problem.Unless you put it in backwards. I humbly admit to doing that before as I was talking with friends & drinking a few beers while working on my Camaro..
the entire system was flushed last year, as i had upgraded from an inline 6 to the 302.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Can you borrow one of those infrared thermometers? ANd measure the temp?

I am pretty sure that the temp guage will go full hot if it is grounded, and with added resistance it will go cooler and cooler. Maybe I got that backwards.

I believe that the Oil guage more often than not is not really a guage as much as it looks like one, but rather it is connected to a switch. Under 5 psi it registers low, and the oil light comes on, over 5 psi the switch is closed and the guage shows middle / normal range.
it's not that big of a deal, but it just got me worried for a sec. like i said, i planned on using them as a guideline. and all gauges are aftermarket, as well as their sending units...

i just thought of the difference in city and highway. in city the tach is usually close to 1500, on the highway it's hovering just below 3000. that would be my increase in temp over the other end of the equation.
 

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One other option (which I say hesitantly) is to wrap your headers & exhaust. You'll get an increase in performance & cooler engine temps. But the trade off is your exhaust system doesn't last as long. Pretty big trade off if you ask me..
 

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Jonzo,Are you still running the stock 6 cyl radiator? If so that could be part of the problem or preceived problem.If it's the stock 6 cyl radiator it could be an inadequate size or even partialy plugged.Second point is oil.Most people don't look at oil as a coolant,but it does carry heat away.Have you ever considered installing an oil cooler to cut down on some temp increases.I also agree with using a 165 degree thermostat.Back in the day,that was the norm.165 in the summer and 185 in the winter.
 

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johnzo, johnzo, johnzo!

. the oil pressure gauge always said it was at 125psi... that gauge also said i had around 60 psi before i even started the engine...

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Im not trying to crack, but how can you have 60 psi BEFORE YOU EVEN START THE ENGINE????
now, I need to ask, do you have the tri pack of mini gauges? I had two sets... they were electronic If you turn the key, they would all jump up. pretty crappy set up. try switching to the mechanical gauges.
just tryin to help
 

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Try these Equus Gauges from O'reilley Auto. It was about $45 for this triple set and it came with everything to install. I've had mine in the Galaxie for 2 years now with out a single problem, and they are accurate! Best gauges for the low price. In this rare case you get more than you pay for. And they look good too.

Or try online, even cheaper
Performance White Dial Performance 2" Triple Gauge Kit (8200)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
the radiator is from an 89 crown Vic. but when i switched them, there was no difference in size... i think the 6 came with an 8 rad...
 

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I have seen the same problem on a Cadillac, the upper radiator hose would collapse after a couple of minutes at high RPM (2500). The hose would start to close slowly and then totally collapse. A new hose solved the problem.:thumbsup:
 

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Speaking of hot engines... My neighbor just pulled up in her BMW. Turn the engine off & everything blew up.. Her kids were crying & I couldn't tell if it was a blown hose or on fire..Once I got a whiff of that sweet smell of coolant. I knew she overheated the engine & told her not to call the fire dept..Told her hubby to let it cool & fill with water to make sure engine wasn't damaged. He wanted to put cold water in a hot engine. Told him No it was a sure way to warp the heads or crack the block..She told me the check engine light was on & the needle was all the way over. I was like & you kept driving?? DUHHHHHHHH
 
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