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Hot Vette, in more ways than one..

W

wolf_walker

Guest
Alright, next round of twenty questions..


Put a nice new high flow RobertShaw T-stat in the vette today, 180 degree unit. Hit the interstate this afternoon running about 70mph, was about 90 degrees out.

Man, not plesant. I've never been in such a hot miserable to drive vehicle in my life. And I can stand a LOT from an old car I like. I think I lost about five pounds in that darn thing!

It's like an oven inside, even with both windows down, the floorboards and center console are almost too hot to touch from heat radiating up. So, what's good stuff to insulate the crap out of that car when I replace the ragged carpet?

Second hot problem, which goes along with the t-stat replacement. This thing (74, stock) is showeing 200 degrees on the highway, +/- 10 degrees. Is that normal? I've never actually owned a small block chevy with a real temp guage, but that's warmer than I like any of my other old V8's. I'd almost bet money if you hit the mountains it would overheat the first long grade you pulled in second gear. I tried the 180 t-stat, but it made very little if any difference. The last fellow that worked on it any amount also left word to never run more than the 9lb cap that's on it, which is wrong, it's suposed to be 16lbs. It has never activly overheated since I've had my hands on it, but I'm told it used to on long trips.

So now's the part where you tell me the radiator is cloged up. :(


Replace or re-core? Who has a decent one cheap?

Thanks folks...
 
S

Scott81

Guest
Well I have a 383 that makes a little power, I'm running a 180 thermostat and I have yet to see the temp go over 180 even in Florida heat sitting in traffic. I also have the Edelbrock aluminum water pump and I run dexcool with distilled water and a bottle of water wetter added, but my radiator is stock. My interior gets hot but not too bad since I have the sidepipes I don't have the exhaust heat right under me...and like a dummy I haven't put my AC back in.

I would suggest looking into your radiator (when it's cool of course) to see if it has a lot of mineral build up in there, that could be a problem. You might be able to have it cleaned out. Also make sure the radiator is not obstructed by leaves and other road trash as well as making sure your front spoiler is in good shape if you have one. I was able to buy a new radiator for $20 more than they wanted to recore it for but it's 4 years old now and clean as can be. If you need a new one try DeWitts Tom is a really nice guy and very helpful, when I can afford one I'm dropping in an aluminum radiator with dual SPAL fans....I really hate my fan shroud.

Also for heat you can buy a foil backed heat barrier that goes under the carpet, it's available from a lot of places but I would suggest buying a big sheet and cutting it yourself as it will save you $$$ instead of buying the "Corvette" heat barrier....jacked up price because it's for a Corvette.

Hope that helps a little.
 
B

Bullitt

Guest
Try this thread for tips: http://corvetteactioncenter.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=12217. Also, if you get around to removing the console, inspect the rubber boot that insulates the shifter from the outside. Chances are that it is probably torn. A new boot and some silicone should have you back in buisness on that potential problem. You'll be surprised how much noise and heat gets through there.

--Bullitt
 
C

c4ever

Guest
I don't think 200 is far out of line. My 82 runs at just below 200 with new radiator (OE replacement) new wate pump(Delco) and 160 stat. The new water pump made a huge difference. You may want to take a look along with the other suggestions. I would go with a replacement radiator vs. re-core, if necessary.

As far as cabin heat, the others pretty much rapped it up.



:w
 

77-4speed

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
249
Location
Houston, TX
Corvette
1977 Black L-82 4-speed
If you're going to replace the radiator, I would suggest using a Griffin Aluminum Circle Track radiator from Summit. This radiator can be had in the generic chevy style for ~$300, while the SAME EXACT RADIATOR with the "specific for corvette" moniker will fetcha cool $490. The only problem is that the lower coolant intake is not mounted at an angle. I had to do some work on the lower hose to get it to fit.

You could probably buy some sort of angled converter pretty cheap or possible take the radiator to a machine shop and have them weld on an angled connection. Either way, with the cost savings you could put some money towards the dual fan mentioned above.

My $0.02

-Russ
 
W

wolf_walker

Guest
Well, Advance Auto list's an AC Delco unit for $360, that isnt too bad. I'll probibly get that, a water pump and timing chain while I'm in there.



Any tips on R&R on this radiator and asorted parts? It looks like a real joy..
 

77-4speed

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
249
Location
Houston, TX
Corvette
1977 Black L-82 4-speed
I don't know about the install of the timing chain, but the radiator and water pump are a breeze. I installed my radiator in literally less than an hour (excluding the adjustment of the lower hose, see above). The only catch is to make sure that the fan shroud is seated correctly on the bottom. Mine was not seated correctly and the radiator didn't seem to fit correctly. After some "love taps" I got the shroud in the correct place and voilla! The water pump is also very easy. It's just a couple of bolts and you can easily see what's going on. Just remember to thouroughly clean up the gasket area on the block before puting the new pump on.

If you're going to do all this work, I would seriously consider the Griffin aluminum radiator and dual electric fan setup, as well as a high flow water pump (possibly flow kooler). The electric fan setup means ditching the fan shroud and gives much more room in the engine compartment and also relieves the parasitic power loss from the fan.

Unless you are trying to keep it original, which I completely understand, the dollar amount you would spend on Delco parts would be very close to the parts I mentioned above from summit. Your car would be just as cool or cooler and your engine would have less drag from spinning that heavy fan.

Once again, just my opinion.

Russ
 
W

wolf_walker

Guest
77-4speed, I hear what your saying. Honestly I just don't want to be bothered makeing the Summit aluminum unit you mentioned fit. It's a woman's daily driver, stock, so a stock AC unit and good old clutch fan should suffice. :)

I can handle the timign chain and water pump in my sleep, I just havent had the radiator and shroud out of the thing before.

Please tell me you can hook up the lower hose and THEN put the shroud on? Please? I had a heck of a time getting in there to replace the hose awhile ago, and the shroud wasent real keen on comeing out, so I did it the hard way(as usual).
 

77-4speed

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
249
Location
Houston, TX
Corvette
1977 Black L-82 4-speed
wolf-walker,

The radiator hose was the only thing I had to "make" fit. It entailed cutting the hose at a 45 so that it would slide over the lower connection. It took about 4 tries and 45 minutes to get it right. If I still haven't changed your mind yet, nothing will :)

As far as replacing the radiator, I just loosened my fan shroud. Didn't even have to take it out. Pulled the old radiator and dropped the new one in. Now that I think about it, the lower radiator hose was a b**ch to get off of the water pump. I had to use some vice grips to break it loose. Not too bad, just have to be careful not to break anything!

Since I didn't have to take the shroud off, I didn't have to worry about when to put the lower hose on. I just put the new radiator in, loosely fastened the radiator to the support and worked on the lower hose. Once the lower hose was on, I tightened the support screws and then reattached the fan shroud screws. Once again, I DID NOT have to take the shroud off.

Have fun,

Russ
 
W

wolf_walker

Guest
That's interisting. I very much recall hardly being able to get my hand on the lower hose. Does yours have AC? Maybe mine's in the way? I'll have to look at it again, parts I havent had off I usually don't remember exactly what they looked like.

If it's that easy I may wuss out and leave the chain and water pump till another day. The dealer put a cam in that motor a year or two before it was parked for the remaining decade, so I bet they put a chain on it while they had it out. And the water pump isn't leaking. Decisions, decisions...
 

77-4speed

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
249
Location
Houston, TX
Corvette
1977 Black L-82 4-speed
Well,

Mine is a 77 and yes it does have A/C. Like I said, all I had to do was loosen the screws on the fan shroud so that it would slide back a bit out of the way. It did take some moving and shifting and was a little bit difficult to get out. I think it would have been easier if I wasn't doing it myself. The radiator is pretty heavy. Luckily the **aluminum** radiator was very light so the install was quite a bit easier.

If the water pump isn't leaking, no need to replace it. That also free's up some money for the dual fans! :) The only reason I replaced mine was because as I was driving one day I noticed a lot of steam from behind the car and within 5 minutes or so, the temp skyrocketed to red line. Pulled over and the system was so empty that there wasn't even pressure on the radiator cap!!

I haven't replaced the timing chain and I don't know when it was last replaced. Is that something I should look into? I was under the impression that those things were almost indestructible.

-Russ
 
W

wolf_walker

Guest
Timing chains arent nearly as prone to breaking as belts are, there usually good for atleast 200K, but they do stretch, and that will give timing that jumps around, not catostrophic, but not the best thing for makeing power. Summit has a double roller piece pretty cheap, getting in there to install it is the only problem.

I'll ponder this radiator business, it will be a few days before I order any parts.

I appreciate the info.. :)



Wish to heck this thing was a 4-speed, that's got to be fun..
 

77-4speed

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
249
Location
Houston, TX
Corvette
1977 Black L-82 4-speed
It's a ton of fun! Only wish it were a 6 speed so that I could have great launching torque and still be able to drive on the highway. 3500 rpm at 70mph just feels sooooo wrong. I hate driving long distances at those rpm's. 80 mph feels like the car is going to spin itself apart.

-Russ
 
W

wolf_walker

Guest
~laughter~

You should drive my 4cyl VW diesel truck with a 4spd, turns about 3800rpm@70mph on a diesel motor with a suposidly 5500rpm redline. STILL gets a little over 40mpg though.. :D
 

Jack

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 27, 2000
Messages
1,825
Location
Florence, SC (Timmonsville SC)
Corvette
71 War Bonnet Yellow VERT 71 BH Blue CPE (SOLD)
plastic timing gear teeth

/Russ ... I haven't replaced the timing chain and I don't know when it was last replaced. Is that something I should look into? I was under the impression that those things were almost indestructible.

Many factory GM timing chain sets have a cam gear that has plastic-jacketed teeth ... mine did. The plastic gets brittle with age & heat ... eventually begins to break off in bits that ends up in your oil pan & oil pump screen. If there's any suspicion that you may still have a 25 year old factory chain ... replace it. If you find your old cam gear has bits of plastic missing ... you'll know where to find it. A double roller chain is a good choice. Not all double roller chains are equal, regardless of manufacturer. Noted makers offer them in more than one version. The cheaper sets have 0.200" diameter rollers and many of those have rollers that are longitudinally split and/or the rollers do not actually "roll" on the pin. The better choice is a set known as a "true roller" ... and has the larger 0.250" rollers that do roll and do not have the split ... SpeedPro pn 220-3100, Cloyes pn 9-3100, Dynagear pn 78100, Elgin pn SS 3100, CompCams pn 3100 all meet the better specs and fit all small block sharks ... prices range $35-$70. If you look at the chain side plates on a cheaper set, they usually have a kinda figure 8 shape ... while the better sets' sideplates have a shape like the INDY oval track.
JACL:gap
 
W

wolf_walker

Guest
Well, pulled the radiator today. I throughly want to slap the hell out of whoever designed that radiator mounting setup. I know what they did, they put the radiator and shroud in BEFORE they put the front upper control arms on, and those control arms are so tight agenst the shroud you cannot remove it before the radiator. NOR can you pull it back and pull the radiator strait up, due to the five inch long nipple on the lower passenger's side.
So, now you have a shroud that you cannot remove due to it being wedged into the control arms, a radiator you cannot remove due to it not being able to come strait up, and you cannot kock it sideways with the shroud in there, so what do you do?

Well, you could pull the upper control arms, I think not. You can fiddle and move and slide and flex the shroud and in the process basicaly distroy the radiator, which I did today, or you can, as I finally decided, pull the hood and unbolt the entire damn front radiator support, after removeing the AC condensor ofcourse.
Ofcourse I decided this after I had enough of four hours of being bent over a fender with my back screaming at me and just basically ripped the shroud out, it landed on the shop floor in mostly one piece. Junk engenering, stuff like this really, really gets to me. Things like this is why I will not own a newer vehicle, I've worked on to many in my life.

77-4speed, from the illistrations in my catalogs, yours has a completly different shroud setup, resembeling slightly a 70's full size chevy truck, I think they reliazed the older design was problomatic and fixed it. Too bad for me.

At any rate, the radiator, if it wasent already, is toast. I'll order another one tomorrow, and a high flow water pump, roller timing chain and the headlight vacume hose kit since I have the hood off and "easy" access to the mess in there.

This car is going to put me off C3's for life, when will I learn to just tear them apart down to the last nut and bolt and start over when there this old? I guess I'll quit *****ing..

On a lighter note, I was looking at the hood before I pulled it, and noticed a pair of wires running up the side, seen them before and assumed they were for a hood light. Looked at them today and said to myself, you know, there is no hood light on this thing. Looked closer and what do you know, they run to a little electric solonoid in the cowl enduction that opens when you floor the throttle, and it even still works after I hooked it back up. How nifty. Ofcourse everyone knows a motor ONLY needs clean fresh air when the throttle is on the floor.. :( But atleast it still works.

I think I'm going to go crawl to bed now..

Have I mentioned everytime I work on this car it's a 200mile round trip?

~sigh~
 

77-4speed

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2002
Messages
249
Location
Houston, TX
Corvette
1977 Black L-82 4-speed
Sorry to hear about all the headaches! I guess I filled you with false hope :) I promise though, mine really was that easy. I didn't realize the 74 had such a different configuration. So now that you're planning on replacing the radiator, water pump, etc. are you going with aluminum and electric fans or back to stock with clutch fan? No need for that pain in the @ss fan shroud with electric fans! :) I'm still working ya. You know, you could go to a salvage yard and pick up a dual fan setup from some car in there. I've heard of guys picking them up for less than $10, complete with thermostatic relay. Just ask 69myway what to look for.

Once again, sorry you had such a rough time. By the way, why is it a 200 mile roundtrip to work on the car? Is it out in a barn in the country somewhere?

Russ
 
J

jsimpson

Guest
Start with making sure all of the air is going THRU the radiator and not OVER it. Seal all avenues of air escape around theradiator, and make SURE that you have the spoiler installed properly. Then make sure you have a good fan clutch. If it's the original, it's NO LONGER working properly. The ceramic cloth insulation kits work great, but it's better if you cover them with Home Depot's silver mylar bubble wrap insulation. Insulate everything you can see as well as you can! Mine runs cool as a cucumber even with true duals in South Florida. Don't make the mistake almost everyone makes and buy a new radiator and electric fans before you've made sure that you have a clean radiator, properly operating (new) fan clutch, and all the air directed THRU your radiator. The factory setup works perfectly when it's in good shape.
 
W

wolf_walker

Guest
77-4speed, yeah, from the diagrams I see things are notably different on the eary and late 70's models. Lucky you.. :)
I'll probibly go back with a stock setup, the clutch on the fan is fine, and I don't want to explain to the owner why what's been on there for 30 years isnt good enough anymore. Re: the long drive. It's a long story, but this vette has been a several year long project of mine for a woman who got it when she turned 16, and it was less than a year old at the time. Her father died in the early 90's and the car sat in a barn with multiple problems being that nobody in town would work on it. Along I came and figured, ah heck, this isn't so bad, little did I know about the eccentricities of the C3 vette. She get's all pale everytime I keep bringing her $1500 parts list's for it. Hench my being hesitant to go aluminum and the electric fan route. And honestly I like things like that stock if it will do the job alright, and it should when it's done.

jsimpson, that's a good thought on the airflow, looking at the design I can hardly believe it ever works with as little openings as there are. I know the hood seals are present, just not in really great shape, the lower spoiler is ther, just a little banged up. Those little seams and leaks add up to a large loss of airflow, eh?
 

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