Welcome to the Corvette Forums at the Corvette Action Center!

Don't know why I waited this long



I'm tired of fooling with it. Frankly, I don't like the idea of a small block Chevy's temp running over 220 degrees. We know that GM designed the L98 motor to run this hot for emissions control purposes. My cooling system is so borderline that I can't use my A/C in the hot Florida summer unless I'm crusing. If I get in some slow traffic or have to wait at a red light I sit there and watch that temp gauge start creeping up until I have to turn off the A/C, open the windows and s-m-i-l-e. :)

I checked the timing. I have changed water pump, hoses and thermostat. I use a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze/coolant. And I have even tried "Water Wetter". I haven't changed radiators because the previous owner's records indicate that had been done.

Today I ordered a "Be Cool" radiator from jegs. I saw the $20 factory rebate and that did it. I do expect that this (expensive) radiator will solve my problem. I don't know why I waited so long.

I'll let you know,
Fan switch won't help


I forgot to mention that I have the electric cooling wired to be on full time (temporary, summer fix). A fan switch or lower temp thermostat won't help because the whole cooling system is so borderline. I also did a reverse flush of the cooling system. I'm really depending on the new "Be Cool" to do the job, (please)!

OMG thats why when I bought my car from this goof he had the Cooling Fan Hot wire to a switch underneath the dash!!! the fan was either on or Off when off the car runs about 200-230 degrees
and when on (Never turns off) the car runs 165-175 !! I now understand why he did this thanks Ghost Lol (Mabe you should try a hotwired fan seemed to have worked for me Lol)
I got a 180 degree thermo (I felt 160 was too low), a 180 degree fan switch (which controls the 2nd fan), and got a custom PROM which , among other things, turns on the primary fan around 195. Also added Water Wetter. On a hot day (90+), sitting in creep-along traffic, the water temperature now does not get above 200 degrees. Oil temp hits about 206. At highway speeds, water is about 185 and oil 200.

I did a number of other mods in the same time span, so I can't attest to SOTP or Dyno results of just lowering the engine temp. But the car clearly loves lower temperatures. It's a whole different animal on cool days vs. hot days.

Cooler air & operating temperatures = more hp. To give you an idea, I dyno'd my car last December. Dyno results are temperature-corrected to a standard temperature - 56.6F. My car measured about 260hp corrected. But it actually measured 275hp in that cold dyno bay (about 20 degrees ambient). 36 degrees cooler intake air meant 15 additional hp.
i like Al's solution because he is not lowering the normal temp as much as he is stopping it from going higher. Not only are hotter engines (in the combustion chambers) better for emissions (hot engine, not air), but they are more efficient in that they give more HP per unit of fuel used, because less energy leaves thru the cooling system. The perfect engine would be one with no cooling.... until it melted down. I think the trick most racers try for is to keep everything as cool as possible except the combustion chambers. Not easy on a street car. Racers can do other tricks, obviously, like ice buckets for the fuel, cold air, and ultra high compression (and the right fuel) for super hot combustion chambers.
ArtZR1991 said:
Not only are hotter engines (in the combustion chambers) better for emissions (hot engine, not air), but they are more efficient in that they give more HP per unit of fuel used...

Thanks for pointing that out Art, most people don't think of it that way.

I'll vote for the notion of just stopping it from climbing. When I first got my84 and sat at a drive-up window it climbed to 235 before the fan kicked in. Well, not knowing that they do this I freaked out and made a dash for the highway and got it cooled down.
I've tried the 160 stat and don't care for it. But a system that will run 190-210 and stay in that range regardless of where I am would be my main goal. Fortunately my92 runs 190s most of the time. In heavy traffic I just turn on the AC. I know it's a poor solution but I don't have to drive it in heavy traffic all that much. I would just as soon have the fan come on and cylce the temp before it gets to 225. I've tried Water Wetter and still use it but I see no change in the way my car runs.
Radiator Update

I installed the "Be Cool" radiator last weekend and drove it all week before posting the results.

The install wasn't too bad, had to fabricate new core supports for the bottom because the rad core is twice as wide as stock. The replacement rad has flat stock legs welded on the bottom corners which caused a 3/4" gap between the bottom of rad and the core support. I simply inserted 3/4" heater hose cut to length to fill the gap. This prevents any cooling air from going underneath the rad and forces it to go through the rad. The top rubber rad hold down supports had to be trimed wider to allow for the wider radiator. Finally, the fiberglass molding that holds down the rad had to be trimmed out for the filler neck and the top rad hose.

Results are that the new "Be Cool" rad handles the hot temps without overheating. It still goes to 230-235 before electric cooling fan kicks in but I have kit for lower temp sending units. I just wanted to see what the new rad would do before installing the lower sending units.


Corvette Forums

Not a member of the Corvette Action Center?  Join now!  It's free!

Help support the Corvette Action Center!

Supporting Vendors


MacMulkin Chevrolet - The Second Largest Corvette Dealer in the Country!

Advertise with the Corvette Action Center!

Double Your Chances!

Our Partners

Top Bottom