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Discussion Starter #1
My 66 coupe keeps having issues with overheating. I am looking at upgrading the cooling system and wanted to get some opinions on these items.

1) ACP aluminum 3 row radiator
2) Flex a lite 3000 CFM electrican fan
3) edelbrock High flow water pump

What are some other items I should look at to upgrade while im at it?

I already recently replaced all old hoses and thermostat.

Thanks!
 

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1) ACP aluminum 3 row radiator

No. If you go aluminum get a 2-row with 1" or larger tubes. It will cool better.

2) Flex a lite 3000 CFM electrican fan

If you go with an electric fan, which I recommend due to the 20-30 horsepower increase, I recommend three types of fan. Spal, the biggest you can fit- if using a stock size radiator. Lincoln Mark VII fan on a 20" radiator. Contour fans on a 24" radiator. Search the web, you'll find info on all of them.

I don't believe the CFM rating on any aftermarket fans other than Spal, maybe Derale.

3) edelbrock High flow water pump

No. Not needed. When it comes to water pumps there are two types in my opinion. Generic and fancy electric. Anything else is a waste. I can attest to this as I bought a Milodon water pump that ended up leaking out the weep hole immediately on first fill. Bought a generic one that was half the price to replace it and it was the same ****ing water pump. Luckily the second one was fine.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/MIL-16230
https://www.ebay.com/itm/332227911024

Those are identical. Not that I think Edelbrock is rebranding generic pumps, I just don't think it's necessary and depending on who you talk to, maybe detrimental.
 

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Under normal circumstances, the stock system is (close) enough. Have you modified the engine? Added A/C? Live in someplace super hot like Texas or Arizona? An electric water pump and 3000 (!) cfm fan is overkill under most situations. Find out why it's running hot first. Maybe the stock radiator is clogged? Engine timing too far advanced? Carburetor is too lean? Original water pump shot? Radiator cap doesn't hold proper pressure?

If everything else checks out good, any decent two-row aluminum radiator should solve it, unless there is a larger, underlying problem.
 

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While aluminum radiators can work, I would avoid the three-core version. The added thickness can cause clearance issues , but just as importantly, aluminum tubes are much wider than the brass ones. Air often has a hard time getting through all the extra fins and tubes when your car is sitting still. Additionally, by the time air has gone over the first two tubes, the air is already very hot and unable to cool the third one, when air flow is slow.

Your best bet is a good 3 core brass, or 2 core aluminum radiator.

High flow waterpumps can be all right, but if you rev to high RPMs, some of them have problems with cavitation, leading to impeller and housing failure. Stock ones work pretty well.

Electric fans are fantastic for cooling your car at a stop, and they steal less horsepower than belt-driven fans too. However, to run one, you may have to upgrade your alternator, and install proper relays.
 

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First question is: Have you replaced the head gaskets recently? If so, are they mounted backwards? (This leads to overheating)

Aluminum vs copper/brass is one of those strongly held opinions. Arguments on both sides and I am not going there !!! I prefer the copper brass and ACP 3 row is reportedly of good quality. If made in USA is important, it is my understanding the only USA radiator currently available is made by U.S. Radiator. Here is a link to one I recently bought for a '66 with a "C" code 289. https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sdk-259-3?rrec=true

Unless your engine is highly tweaked, a factory clutch fan with shroud would be more than adequate and IMHO preferable to an electric fan set up.

On the water pump, I had an Edelbrock on my 390 and it worked very well for more than 16 years when I sold the car.
 

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My 66 coupe keeps having issues with overheating. I am looking at upgrading the cooling system and wanted to get some opinions on these items.

1) ACP aluminum 3 row radiator
2) Flex a lite 3000 CFM electrican fan
3) edelbrock High flow water pump

What are some other items I should look at to upgrade while im at it?

I already recently replaced all old hoses and thermostat.

Thanks!

Have you had the car long? Has it overheated previously? Have you made any recent changes that could be contributing to this condition? Does it overheat while moving or at an idle? Does it have a fan shroud?
 

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Don't forget that coolant ages , loses its effectiveness and you also need the proper concentration of at least 50/50, 60 coolant/40 water is probably even better. You can check the concentration with one of the 99 cent squeeze bulb and floating ball type antifreeze and coolant system tests available at Walmart and your friendly neighborhood auto parts store. I have a very good performing modified 289, and now that I have the proper timing, carburetion, the '66 C6OE-G 7-blade clutch and fan with shroud, a clean engine (with a 20 year old remanufactured stock C6 cast iron water pump) and a new stock-looking 3-row brass/copper radiator that doesn't leak the 60/40 Peak Global Final Charge nitrite and silicate free red coolant and distilled water.... I have made 6 two-hour trips at interstate speeds on 90-plus degree days lately and the needle stays between the T and the E on "TEMP" on the stock gauge. You can do the white vinegar flush and it is cheap and AMAZING. Get everything nice and clean with that, drain it all then remove and clean or replace the thermostat, and put in a new radiator with the 60/40 coolant and distilled water. These cars perform pretty well around 210 maybe 220 degrees.
 

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Simple question, how do you know it overheats? The old stock gauges are not very accurate. I replaced the thermostat housing with one with an additional port. The dash gauge is attached to this port and I installed a new T sensors connected to an Autometer gauge under the dash. Or use an IR gun to check the temperature.



About the coolant concentration, water is better than coolant. In the summer you can run more water than coolant (e.g. 60 water 40 coolant). Some products like Waterwetter claim to decrease the temperature. I haven't tried it, maybe somebody can comment.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I appreciate everyone responses. I hope i answer any questions that were asked in this reply. I recently just got the car and drove for 2 hours straight no issues then heard a hiss noise while on the highway. Hose had broken. I replaced all the hoses and flushed the system multiple times (rust color still visible). Car drove for about 10 minutes then once again heard a hiss noise but this time its leaking from water pump and continues to happen. I live in north carolina so it gets hot but nothing like arizona area. I plan on adding AC soon and upgrading the engine for more power down the road.
 

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You have a lot of good suggestions here. I agree with as stated above. You have to find out the source of the overheating. You have to know the underlying problem. If your radiator is old I would start by having a respected radiator shop look it over and clean it or if you want a new one I would check out ACP and griffin radiators. As far as fans I’d stay mechanical but you could consider one with more blades and check your shroud. I’d also check the water pump and if you need a new one I would stay mechanical there too. When it comes to antifreeze it is added to prevent freezing and I believe it has some other beneficial properties but I don’t think it cools better than water. If it did people would run 100% antifreeze and no water.
 

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While you are doing all this work i would add a gano filter. I don’t remember the brand but I remember reading about one made in Australia that is the cats meow
 

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I appreciate everyone responses. I hope i answer any questions that were asked in this reply. I recently just got the car and drove for 2 hours straight no issues then heard a hiss noise while on the highway. Hose had broken. I replaced all the hoses and flushed the system multiple times (rust color still visible). Car drove for about 10 minutes then once again heard a hiss noise but this time its leaking from water pump and continues to happen. I live in north carolina so it gets hot but nothing like arizona area. I plan on adding AC soon and upgrading the engine for more power down the road.
Drain the system. Flush with white vinegar, and keep on flushing until it's clean. Replace the water pump, it's shot. Run a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water. Make sure you turn the heater on full blast to get the heater core full of coolant, otherwise you're going to have problems. NC temperatures should be no challenge for that car with its stock cooling system, if it's all working.

And BTW, guys... for testing antifreeze, I recently got one of these (anti-freeze refractometer). Cheap, works like a charm, and doesn't retain any coolant. Also works for battery acid and windshield washer fluid.
 

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Filter is good until it actually gets clogged. Gotta check it from time to time. A small leak in my radiator and a sudden unexpected blockage on my top hose filter is what caused mine to overheat on a trip... and I disagree that pure water cools better than a mix. That's why pure water boils earlier than saltwater, etc. Coolant formulas are what they are for a lot of reasons, and keeping the system under pressure also raises the boiling point. I had to finish my trip with pure water, it ran a lot warmer than usual, but when I flushed it and added the coolant to the mix, it cooled right down. I changed the radiator after I got home. If I had a brand new setup with absolutely no water having been in it, I would run one of the waterless coolants.
 

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TONS of good advice, the knowledge of this forum is a huge asset.

I think a pressure test should be one of the first things to check. I'd also mention the amount of scale/rust/calcium/corrosion buildup that can be found in 50 year old blocks and heads can be surprising. If that is part of your issue it will be hard to overcome with increased circulation or heat dissipation, heat absorption has become your problem.
 

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1. Drain cooling system, remove thermostat and reconnect thermostat housing.
2. Flush with fresh tap water.
3. Fill system with tap water and add one bottle of "Shout!" laundry spot remover.
4. Run engine to operating temperature, then continue for 10-15 minutes at fast idle.
5. Drain and flush with fresh tap water.

These steps will remove any petroleum residues from the system.

6. Flush the system using Mercedes-Benz citric acid-based cooling system flush. Repeat as needed until water runs clear. Typically no more than 2 applications are needed.
7. Install new 195*F thermostat.
8. Fill system with coolant mix or, if using a concentrate, dilute only with distilled (NOT filtered or deionized) water.

This is assuming the remainder of your cooling system components are in good condition. If your water pump is leaking, rebuild or replace it. Replace any deteriorated hoses (and belts). If the radiator has "punky" fins, which are corroded or not in good contact with the tubes, recore or replace it.

My recommendations for a "heavy-duty" cooling system for a small block Ford are:
1. Three-row copper and brass radiator equal to the OE specification for "Air Conditioning" applications.
2. Milodon aluminum Performance Water Pump.
3. "RobertShaw" (now made/sold by FlowKooler.
4. Lower radiator hose with anti-suction spring.
5. Heavy-duty THERMAL fan clutch w/OE-style fan.
6. "Air Conditioning" fan shroud.

and the following:

a. Manifold vacuum source for vacuum advance or utilization of DVCV (distributor vacuum control valve) to modulate signal based on coolant temperature.
b. Hot Idle Compensator or electronic throttle "kicker" solenoid to raise idle speed based on ambient temperature (Hot Idle Compensator) or A/C compressor clutch cycling (throttle kicker).
 

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And depending on the year, may need to replace a heater control valve. The 65-66 didn't come stock with one but it's not a bad add for a summer driver to cut some heat from the interior. Needs to circulate during the winter tho so the coolant doesn't just sit in the same place in the heater core etc.
 

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Filter is good until it actually gets clogged. Gotta check it from time to time. A small leak in my radiator and a sudden unexpected blockage on my top hose filter is what caused mine to overheat on a trip... and I disagree that pure water cools better than a mix. That's why pure water boils earlier than saltwater, etc. Coolant formulas are what they are for a lot of reasons, and keeping the system under pressure also raises the boiling point. I had to finish my trip with pure water, it ran a lot warmer than usual, but when I flushed it and added the coolant to the mix, it cooled right down. I changed the radiator after I got home. If I had a brand new setup with absolutely no water having been in it, I would run one of the waterless coolants.
I hope that’s not what I wrote. If so it’s a typo. I’d never run 100% water unless an emergency. I was saying I’d run the 50/50 mix and wouldn’t waste my time going higher mix of antifreeze or straight antifreeze. Running straight water will have a lower boiling point and is corrosive and will shorten the life of your engine
 
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