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Thread: 1963 Skylark 215 heat creep at idle

  1. #1
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    1963 Skylark 215 heat creep at idle

    1963 Skylark, 215 rebuilt engine, was bored out, .30, properly cleaned, no issues with blockage. 160 thermostat, idle mixture not an issue. Transmission rebuilt as well. All new hoses etc, so no issues there. Pertronix ignition and an aftermarket edlebrock carb with a 3/4" spacer for butterfly clearance in manifold.

    Driving, runs 180 no issue and on the highway a bit below. Can cruise around town and it will stay below 200.

    Have bumped up timing a bit around 5 degrees and that seem to help, it improves acceleration which was nice.

    So when it sits running for about 5 minutes, it starts to creep up to 210 and 220, once I get air flow and drive it comes down. I am not sure how high it will go but it seems it will keep going.

    210 220 I don't believe is terrible, but I am concerned if I sit too long at a few lights or traffic, it's going to go higher. So my goal is to figure out how to get it to stay below 200 even in a traffic situation or long lights and stop and go.

    I have done so far;

    - Aluminum radiator
    - Replaced the 4 blade with a 6 blade.

    Some thoughts and questions;

    - Being the original design in 1963 of the fan spacing to the radiator, which is very close, I wonder if the new 6 blade fan is less efficient then the orig 4 blade fan??? Wondering if the 6 blade fan is designed to be further from the radiator then it is now.
    - These cars did not come with a fan shroud, is a universal shroud worth trying?
    - I was considering if all else fails, trying two small 10" electric fans, thoughts if would do the trick?

    Thks all!!!

    Rich

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    A universal shroud is worth trying, you might have to make changes to it but you need a shroud. That's surprising it didn't come with one from the factory. Place a rag in front of your radiator with the car idling in park, if it doesn't cling to the radiator, you don't have enough airflow.

    If you go electric fans, you would still want a shroud anyways. Second best is one big 18" fan or whatever you can fit on there. Buy name brand and spend at least $100. Don't look at cfm ratings between manufacturers, they're as accurate as horsepower estimates on craigslist.

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    Thanks Jacob, will try the rag.

    Yup, no shroud for the 63 skylark just an upper partial finger guard.

    I would prefer one big fan, but the water pump fan flange doesn't allow enough clearance, there is about 1 1/2 " from the water pump to the radiator. I found smaller fans where the ends are about that size, so if I but the ends to the center of the radiator with fan motors to each side, they should clear.

    Will try the shroud first, just ordered one from summit, should have it for the weekend.

    Any thoughts to the after market 6 blade fan maybe not designed to be that close to the radiator as the orig 4 blade fan was?

    Thks

    Rich

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    The closer the fan is the better, but either way the shroud will be the biggest improvement.

    What about a big electric pusher fan in front of the radiator if the shroud doesn't work? you can keep the mechanical fan and have a fan in front of the radiator. I did that on a big block mopar and it helped.

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    There are two supporting cross bars in front of the rad support that are diagonal and bolt to the top plate of the rad support and then the frame that are factory, I assume for rigidity because its a convertible or just to keep the fenders etc from moving, If I remove those I can put a fan but not sure what the consequence will be to the nose possibly moving or twisting. So a bit of a challenge, but eventually will find a solution. Just finished a restore and paint so the last thing I want is the fenders to move around and chip paint. Tried to upload a pic, but believe I am at my limit.

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    - These cars did not come with a fan shroud, is a universal shroud worth trying?


    yes, as Jacob notes, shrouds can GREATLY increase cooling efficiency.

    as i've noted before, 800 hp NASCAR Cup engines get all of their cooling needs accomplished through a grille opening that's about 3" x 16". if you can't keep an idling 215ci cooled down there's a major problem somewhere in the cooling equation.

    you'll note that the heating problem goes away as soon as you start moving. that's an indication that the fan clutch is failing and / or that you're not controlling airflow very well.

    i'm assuming that you changed the fan clutch out when you put the 6 blade on.
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    Update

    Bob,

    The original configuration did not have a fan clutch, and there would be no room to add one if I could, the original design was a 4 blade direct to the pump with just a very small hand protector on the top which also holds the radiator in place.

    So I installed a shroud, modifying it so the blade is half way into it. I definitely see a difference, driving and in light traffic, it stays below 190 at 185, however if I let it sit in the driveway at an idle in neutral with the ambient temperature outside in the low 80's , it will creep up up to 200. Now I haven't let it run long enough at idle yet to see how far it will go I am hoping it would maintain the 200 and I wouldn't be too worried about 210, but anything over that or I would be concerned.

    Looking at the the thermostat, I did last year, modify the thermostat by cutting the center out making a restrictor plate instead, I was considering removing it completely to allow more flow at idle? The temp at the radiator with an infrared light shows 175 and the sender shows about 190, so it seems as you advise a flow issue at idle. Does anyone make high flow Water pump for these cars? That might help a great deal as well.

    Just going over the rebuild, the block was properly cleaned, no issues there and the heads as well. The water pump and hoses are all new as well as an aluminum Champion radiator and replaced the 4 blade with a factory looking 6 blade. I did have to bore the block out, I recall .30 so that may have added a bit more temp from stock. I had assumed however with the aluminum radiator and the 6 blade fan this little 215 should be running cool as ice berg, but these old cars just never seem to amaze me with there little issues

    I would love to post a pic but seems I have maxed out on space here, I will try and delete some old stuff and repost.

    Best,

    Rich

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    Did the car have this problem before the new radiator? Was it installed at the same time as the rebuild? It would sound as though a slight increase in radiator efficiency may also help solve the problem.


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    215 heat creep

    Even though you have tried doing everything, something is not right. I had one of those Specials in the late '60s early '70s. Never had a problem. Is your 6 blade fan a flex fan? No first hand experience but have heard many times they are a no no . Is this fan covering as much of the radiator as the original did? Did it overheat with the original radiator/fan combo? Perhaps try the original fan.

    Just a few thoughts.

    Ben

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    Ben/Bob,

    I did the rebuild in the fall right after I got the car, so not sure what it did in the summer before. However after the rebuild it did overheat which prompted me to go with the Aluminum radiator, which helped then the 6 blade fan (not flex) which not sure did anything, then the modification to the thermostat, then the shroud. I am leaning to trying the orig 4 blade fan, and see what happens there, the new fan is covering the same, both were 16".

    Best,

    Rich

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