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Today driving through Irvine in Southern California it was around 85 degrees. I was driving my 65 mustang and the temp stayed around 210 (averaged that) going 80-90 mph. Does this seem a little too hot? This is with the heater on full blast to try and keep the temp down.

My engine is a mild 302, with low compression, iron heads, Hedman long tube headers, a 3+ row HD radiator, 16 inch flex fan, thick shroud, and I run 50/50 coolant/water. I have my timing at 12 degrees, but even at 6 degrees it runs hot. I have a 160 degree high flow thermostat. I also have an oil cooler mounted to the front lower portion of the radiator. And a 13# radiator cap.

My car get hot idling, today it got nearly to 230 with minor stop and go traffic, and this isnt the first time its done this, just now im getting concerned. I have tried the additives to help cool it, forget the name, but that really didnt work. Some friends tell me to try and run a 180 tstat to keep the water in the radiator longer, thus cooling it more, but I dont see how that would work.

What do you guys think? I only have 10,000 miles on this engine and its only bored 30 over. Its a new water pump with the engine too. Also its a new external temp gauge, to I know its telling me the truth. Thanks for you help!!!
 

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Your setup sounds pretty good. How confident are you that the radiator is clear of debris?

A couple of things you could try:
• Replace the flex fan with a stock fan. This will probably move more air.
• Run more water than antifreeze -- water is the best heat transfer agent. Antifreeze reduces the ability of the water to carry away heat from the engine.
• Your thermostat may not be opening all the way, leading to restriction and not enough water flow.
 

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You didn't say how old your radiator was?

I was running about the same setup as you when I lived down there. I went through last summer with no overheating problems. The only difference I had was a new 3 row radiator and an Edelbrock water pump.

I recently cleaned my gano filter out after a little over a year in the car. I was very glad all the junk in the filter was in the filter and not in my radiator. I think there was excess junk because I put it in with a new engine. You might want to consider a gano filter if it isn't too late.

Kevin
 

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Do you know if the car is running lean? I was having the same problem, but turns out my timing was about 7 degrees retarded.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I dont think my cars running lean, but im going to have to check that. The radiator is less than a year old and its a new t-stat, but could be defective, ill have to check into that, thanks for your replies so far!
 

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It shouldn't be overheating at 85* ambient temperature. When did it start running hot? Did it run hot before installing the new radiator? Or, immediately after installing it?

A Gano filter is a good idea. You'll need to take the radiator out, turn it upside down, and flush it with copious amounts of water. This is just to insure there is no junk in the top of the radiator causing you grief. Then reinstall with the Gano.

You'd be better off with a high volume water pump than with a high volume thermostat. I'd use the thermostat that was designed for the car. The opening temperature will not affect your heating problem. At 210*, either a 160* or a 180* will both be fully open, if they are working properly.

Read your plugs to see if they are too white in color. A lean condition will cause overheating, low power, poor economy, etc. You may have to install bigger jets if the plugs tell you it is running lean. Are you sure that nothing has slipped on the dampener to make your timing different than what you think it is? I guess that would be something to check out. Regardless of what it says, it could be off 20-30 degrees from what you think it is if the outside pulley portion has slipped. Have you ever advanced it to where it pinged? That's one sure way to know about where you are. You can slow it down from there to where there is no pinging present, and that should be where it's run.

Sounds like you have everything else set up well. Good Luck!
 

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The temperature rating on the thermostat has no bearing on what temperature your engine will actually stablize at. All it controls is when fluid begins to circulate. If your system can only dissapate enough heat to get you to 210 on an 85 degree day you've got serious problems.

I would check the timing (by the pinging method mentioned already), and flush/clean the radiator and block. Then I would get an electrric fan or a "stock type" fixed SIX blade 17 inch fan.

My car is way overbored (60 over), and all I have on it is a 3 row radiator, no shroud and a 6 blade metal fan. It will run at speed (80 mph) or idle in stop and go freeway/traffic jam type traffic in 100 degree temps and the temp guage hardly twiches (maybe the thickness of the guage pointer). I checked the temp guage against actual temp with a calibrated thermostat and I rarely go above 185/190 (I run a 180 thermo). in other words the system is able to dissapate the heat as fast as the engine produces it.

John Harvey
 
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