overheating problems

sicksteve

New member
please see thread below.

I have got to get this fixed, and I've replaced all the parts.

the only possible problem left is air entering the cooling system.

With a bad head gasket, you can get oil in the cooling system, but it is also possible to get air in the system (exhaust stroke).

and like someone said when I did a overheating search, the stock fan/clutch and radiator should be sufficient for the car.

My '76 Riv ran cross-country and ion the desert, and NEVER boiled over. It was completely stock.

I gotta get help on this problem.

any ideas???
 
If you have gasket concerns, do a cooling system pressure check. You will have to have a service station who has a cooling system pressure check kit do it.

I had a problem with what appeared to be a good system on an a/c car. The problem turned out to be solved when I discovered there were actually 3 levels of clutches for the fan. The car was running the middle or HD clutch and when I moved to the "extra HD" for cars with air, it solved the problem. Could that be it?
 

sicksteve

New member
First thanks for the response,

I have just driven all around downtown Minneapolis in moderate heat--my Pug dog doesn't like heat, especially with no A/C--- trying to find a parking spot to get a haircut.It isn't possible.

The car runs great.

OVERHEATING IS A HUGE PROBLEM!!!!!!!

I'll try not to repeat, but I have gotten the same 4-core radiator the car came with after it burst last June. The original was actually in better condition (no bent fins, almost perfect--so the radiator shop fixed it and tested just the radiator to 20 psi--no leaks.

Last year when I bought the car last summer--and the previous owner had a reconditioned air-conditioning system put in (it now needs a new compressor) and the coolant system was freshly flushed.

All did was put a TA water pump on it when the original leaked. And I also added the largest flex-fan.

Never had a problem with it, except putting the new distributor at TDC for #1, when my marks got messed up putting the distributor shaft in the oil pump slot. It ran great last summer, even with MAX A/C, it NEVER overheated, just that dribbling from the water pump

So this summer, of course, it has been eluding me all this season. I work on 3 other Rivieras, which don't have this problem.

The closest association I can make was a '70 Toronado GT--which had all the other stuff like my '73 Boattail. When I moved to the CA Desert, it immediately overheated.

This engine and trans it still great. There's no way I want to risk damaging it. Every two months it gets a 5W-30 synthetic oil/filter change--as do all my cars. I just changed the trans fluid and trans fluid filter and intake O-ring and pan gasket.

I have the Zirgo 3000cfm fan in either full-on or off (I turn it on as soon as I start driving). I'd love that twin 50-amp one that seemed to perfectly fit the core with a shroud. IT is not a fan issue. After running the wasteful flex-fan and not having problems, the problem is something else.

I suppose I could pressurize the system. But I already read the Buick manual to test for a head gasket leak--small enough just for exhaust air to escape into the coolant system, and not oil. You run the engine until it warms up and stick the overflow hose in water/coolant. If there's a stream of air bubbles, it most likely had an air/exhaust leak into the coolant system. That's what happens. How involved is this repair?

Another thing the EGR has no vacuum hose to it. So, it is always closed.

But at this point I need help!! I did a head gasket replacement on the '63 riv 24 years ago
(that was a severe one with coolant in the oil).

I want to fix this myself on a Buick 455, which I haven't done before. I gotta do this ASAP, as my loft building doesn't especially like my working on 4 Rivieras in the underground garage. people treat me as an anomaly, as I am the only person who does work on his car(s).
 

sicksteve

New member
Suggestions?

okay, I did what hate to do--I took it into a garage my ROA coordinator mentioned.

I'm not saying I'm a genus (that's why I'm here), but they said, "obviously you know more about your car than we do. We tested it for exhaust carbon monoxide in the coolant, and there isn't any; The only thing we found is one end tank of the radiator is hotter than the other [obviously--it's cross flow radiator], the water pump works great [that was a TA one i installed last year]."

here are my plans:

TA recommends the two row of 1" tubes. Someone above me in the thread mentioned that perfect derale (sp?) twin electric fans within a shoud.

That stuff is $$$$$$. So, I went to a junk yard and saw a early '90's Roadmaster wagon with twin electric pullers; it was the same as the Impala SS behind it, and a '91 caddy FWD.

The BIGGEST arrangement was from a crown Victoria. It had a mammoth shroud with two electric pullers AND a very large mechanical one.

Does anyone think the 90's Roadmaster or Imapala SS would be sufficient, with a Griffin two row 1" tube radiator, for my 455? It has no smog shite on (except a PCV), but I have it timed to the max with a highly capable electronic ignition system (I've noticed the coil (the old ORIGINAL Jacobs Ultra coil--in an extruded aluminum case, filled with epoxy) gets VERY hot when the engine is running hot. Normally it doesnt
 

Straight Eight

New member
Overheating problems

Did you compare the replacement water pump with the one you took off?

They are made at least two ways. One for a/c cars and one for cars w/o a/c.:thumbsup:
 

sicksteve

New member
They had two models--one with a long inlet and another with a short one. I mathced the tube length.


I told them I tried using the the stock fan ( which works locks up when I put in boiling water), and flex-fan, which had worked perfectly all year until June, when the original radiator Had 1/2" linear crack in the tank near the cap.

I made a big mistake in getting another 'generic' radiator on the web (completeradiators.com). When I used that. It would boil over really quickly.

Then I put a Zirgo electric 16" fan rated at 3000cfm. It just fit in the stock fan shroud. My 20/30 Bosch relay was insufficient.

and the fan really fulled a lot of air, but this radiator really seemed to have low pressure-flow characteristics.

I had the stock one welded,and it definitely was better, but still would over heat for during about 20 miles on the highway, not too much at all under that overheat. It just took longer. Usually at night driving on a slow highway 35W in Minneapolis for about 6 miles it wouldn't boil over.

the relay was almost burning up; I used about 3' of gauge wire for power from the relate and ground from the fan, and ~5' 10 gauge from battery to relay. and just 16 gauge for the ground turn on to a 50 amp toggle switch in the car(yeah, the Switch didn't have to handle that much current but I wanted all the same looking switch).

And then added a 70 amp relay. it would get warm,not hot (oh, and I used a big 30 amp AGU fuse with two 10 gauge wires coming out of the fuse holder to the relay--so the relay is getting enough current without very much resistance.

But this service place were really snobby and of no help whatsoever. All they say was one side f the tank is hotter than the other and no CO in the radiator, and gave up . they wanted to charge me $95 just to hear that.

So when i start asking them more questions, they imply that there's resistance across the radiator. I ask, "is it across the radiator" or within the engine? did you flush out the system?"

Then they said rget didn't want to work on the car. The only other thing he last said was the fan is inadequate.

"I don't know"


When I get there have NOTHING to say, and changed their fee to $66.60---which was weird because the jerk goes i don't wasn't to work on your car"


So yesterday I got a the twin big fans from ab early '90's LT-1 350 caprice that was the same as the Roadmaster's and the Cadillac. I had the fans tested and they do seem like pull much more air

But the on line radiator was junk


Next I'll do the Impala SS/Caprice Roadmaster fans
 
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sicksteve

New member
Did you compare the replacement water pump with the one you took off?

They are made at least two ways. One for a/c cars and one for cars w/o a/c.:thumbsup:
I did notice that and called then before order, they said for my model it would the long one I believe.

here are the Impala SS electric fans with/ powerful motors

..or what about this idea? keep this Zirgo fan stalled(it just fits in the shrould) and add a flex-fan over the electric fan. My Lexus ( ugh! ugh! Ugh!) has a very stiff, mechical clutch plastic fan with high pitch, 2 puller and 2 pushers (whent he max AC is one)

Similarly, the crown Vic has an enormous shroud with electric fans inside and out and a mechanical fan.

Or houabout using the staock 20" x 5 mechanical fan. any ideas?

Please. I like dribing ths car, and will not drive it until I can get this coling thing right.

someone above said tto check the radiatir/coolin systems for leaks at sat 20psi.Coincicendaly the rad shop tested my great condition original with a 20 psi.

This doen't mean air can'be entering from other places

So, I'm a bit frustrated to take a simple car into place,and not have them diagnose a problem, but pay for their time
 

sicksteve

New member
So, now---In Faall weather--with my Zirgo (16" 3000cfm) fan, stock shroud, stock (cleaned, welded and tested) radiator--


it seems to run fine, no over heating.

I'm going for Gold, though. And will install the Impala SS/Roadmaster electric fans.

I'd likle a sxwitch that grounds at >185 degrees.

JUST THE SWITCH-NO MORE RELAYS. i have them, and those packages cost alot with the switch, relay and wiring.
 

sicksteve

New member
If you have gasket concerns, do a cooling system pressure check. You will have to have a service station who has a cooling system pressure check kit do it.
I love this.

service station

People have turned into idiots. The "service station" charged me over $100 to say one side of the radiator was hotter than the other (<roll eyes>). I bitched, and the gave me an "evil" bill for $66.60.

I am fukking serious.

NO SERVICE STATION. I have given up on people.

when I was a kid I worked at gas station. we actually did "service". Whatever they do now is anything but.
 

sicksteve

New member
getting water tempo switch/ TVS off

I have a water temp switch I need to install. The stock water switch (hot light) or TVS do not come out.

I'm letting them soak in WD-40 now

The water switch took a 1" wrench. I'll need a reducer for the New water temp switch (to activate/turn-off the electric fan) from fat-man.
 

Troys69GS

New member
I didnt read every word so this may be a really stupid question. Has the thermostat been changed? Is it possible in backward or even the wrong temperature thermostat?
 

Tonerman

New member
To go along with the thermostat question IS there one in there. You mentioned TA water pump. Forgive me for not knowing if that means as in Pontiac Trans Am. The reason I as is that a friend of mine went through hell to figure out why his Trans Am overheated. Turns out he thought he was doing himself a favor by removing the thermo all together. Big block Pontiacs don't like not having a stat. When he put one in his problems went away. Does anybody know if big block Buicks are the same way?
 
I have recently been through similar headaches. I found the problem was solved when a different partsman noticed that there were actually three options for the fan clutch. Standard, Heavy Duty, and Extra Heavy Duty! The last was available but not quickly. I got it and it took care of the problem. It sucks more air more of the time, you can really hear it.
 

Troys69GS

New member
To go along with the thermostat question IS there one in there. You mentioned TA water pump. Forgive me for not knowing if that means as in Pontiac Trans Am. The reason I as is that a friend of mine went through hell to figure out why his Trans Am overheated. Turns out he thought he was doing himself a favor by removing the thermo all together. Big block Pontiacs don't like not having a stat. When he put one in his problems went away. Does anybody know if big block Buicks are the same way?

TA stands for TA Performance products Scottsdale AZ. There are only 3 Buick performance stops that actually exist in the US. TA, Poston, and used to be KennedBell. The 455 has 2 waterpumps and the aftermarket manufactures commonly put the wrong water impeller in and wont move enouph water. I know this from working at TA Performance. The fan (3 clutch settings) would not over heat his car that fast. More ideas and troubleshooting is nessasary on the 455.
 

sicksteve

New member
Yes. I had the TA water pump.

My electric fans and cleaned, fixed, orginal radiator have prevented overboiling.


One last question: what are the outer threads on the water temp switch or the TVS? I have temp swict for the electric fans--so I don't have to have the manual switch.
 

sicksteve

New member
okay--the mentors here are omnipotent.

I have the stock fan (20 x 5), and fan clutch.

It wouild be niceto get some extra HP buy using the electric--now; it doesn't over heat. But the factory set-up was better.

What is the clutch with the stiffest lock-up? Some one mentioned one for a Suburban with a 454

If going acorss counytry at 120 mph in my '76 didn't cause overheating with the stock set-up (with the crazy original owners special request for a '70 stage1 head and block).

Which clutch should I use?
 

sicksteve

New member
To go along with the thermostat question IS there one in there. You mentioned TA water pump. Forgive me for not knowing if that means as in Pontiac Trans Am. The reason I as is that a friend of mine went through hell to figure out why his Trans Am overheated. Turns out he thought he was doing himself a favor by removing the thermo all together. Big block Pontiacs don't like not having a stat. When he put one in his problems went away. Does anybody know if big block Buicks are the same way?
You NEED a thermostat. You want the the coolant to stay in the rdiatior long enough to dissipate heat.

The thermostat really regulates your whole coolng system.

The engine should warm up as fast as possible. removing the thermostat is going to cause rougher cold weather peformance, shorten the engines lifespan. And it should not be influenced by pressure differentials, and open and close at the appropriate time.

But there are some high-flow ones, I had before, that are MUCH more acurate than these cheapones i got--which can vary significantly than what is rated.

heat up some water on the stove,stick a thermometer in there, and see when it opens. a 180 degre on may actually open at 210.

yes--new cars do have to operate a higher temps for reduced emissions and for better cold-start drivability

I don'tsee why a '60's/'70's Buick should need less than 180 degree thermostat ( 190 was stock for my '73 and '76)
 

sicksteve

New member
I have recently been through similar headaches. I found the problem was solved when a different partsman noticed that there were actually three options for the fan clutch. Standard, Heavy Duty, and Extra Heavy Duty! The last was available but not quickly. I got it and it took care of the problem. It sucks more air more of the time, you can really hear it.
where did you get it? ( X-tra H/D fan clutch)

On my '73, the manual calls for a thermo and torque cloth.

Thanks for reminding me to keep it stock--because its parts were designed for purpose.

But I did want to do an electric set-up to free-up some HP.

Although my 16"Zirgo single biggest, most cfm (3000cfm) electric fan does seem to work, and is the biggest that will fit in the stock shroud--so it seals the core perfectly (there is even a small cut-out in the shroud for the two 10 gauge wires to exit the shroud), I guess I've come to the conclusion the stock set-up is best.

I hate to remove this fan and the custom brackets and re-install the 20" x 5 stock fan, because this set-up is so neat. Only problem is I have to use a manual toggle switch (that just switches to ground to activate the relay).

I bought a 190 degree 3/8" coolant sensor, but I CANNOT budge the TVS or the water-temp idiot light switch, to use either hole with a reducer to accommodate my 3/8' temp switch. (the TVS or water temp idiot light trigger have NEVER been removed from this engine. Last two days, I let it soak in WD-40, and I CANNOT get them to move.

If I run into a store, and let the electric fan continue to coll down the coolant, there have been times where my Optima battery is depleted to a point where I need a jump.This fan takes ~25 amps current. So I have to have that temp switch in there to shut it off 185 degrees.

any advice on how to remove the TVS or stock temp switch? They feel like they're rusted into the intake. This stuff frustrates the ____ out of me
 
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