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quickest and safest way to cool an engine down

6530 Views 19 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  printman31
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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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.
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..
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..
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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