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Discussion Starter #1
Ok..I started to drive the Cougar daily and here's the problem. Whenever I get on the highway and get to 70 the car starts to overheat. Not only that, it seems that I lose acceleration after 70. It's not that it spurts or anything but I have to really hold down the gas to go faster. After a few minutes the car heats up and I start to smell a really funny burning oder. This just started as before I could cruise at 70 and accelerate with no problem. I'm going to put a new water pump and thermostat in tomorrow and, if need be, a new radiator, I was still concerned about the loss of power but I've been told that maybe the water pump is dragging. Any thoughts???? Thanks in advance. P.S. The engine has 55,000 original miles and I think nothing has been changes except the dstarter and battery,
 

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Definatly check the radiator. Thats a common sign of a plugged radiator to overheat at highway speeds. I mean if it original its already lasted longer than it should have. mm
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Forgot to mention that I'm in Florida and it's been in the 90's.It's a 351C 2/V Logan. How would I check the radiator Mark? I've warmed her up with the cap removed and there seems to be plenty of flow in the radiator and when I looked inside didn't seem to be rust or crud. Of course I wouldn't be able to check it at sustained high rpms would I? Would that also answer the loss of power and smell?? I was going to change out the pump and thermostat this evening if I can get the time. If that doesn't help I guess I'll go ahead and replace the radiator too. I forgot that even though the car has low miles most of the parts are over 30 years old. One more thing, I was talked into a 180 degree thermostat. Should I have gone with the original 195 or dropped down to a 160? Sorry for the stupid questions but I'm learning.
 

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i run the 160 in my cats and for that matter all my cars and i live in one of the most gawd awfull hot places on the planet. I prefer them even though there is a slight drop off but so slight in the power department for you to notice you would have to drive at the nhra nationals to make a difference. replace the thermastat first though before you take out the rad, it may just be sticking and not allowing enough water to pass through. First thing always replace cheapest to most expensive, the nice thing is that stuff usually breaks in that order. If that doesnt cure it then go pump the radiator. If your radiator has been maintained properly and at proper mixed ratio it will last a very long time, unfourtantly there were probably po before and most of the time the radiator is the most neglected part of a car. Another way to check is by doing a compressed air check if you have the equipment or know someone who does they can back presure the rad and see how clogged it is most places can do this for a few bucks but for the price your half way to a new radiator anyhow or at least a new pump. Good luck.
 

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Also remember to check that the springs inside the hoses are still intact. If they are rusted out the hoses will still look great but collapse and cut off flow at higher rpms.

If you sping for a new radiator - get a Griffin Alu radiator. It offers approx 30% additional cooling. I bought stock and have a hard time keeping my 390 from overheating.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys. I put the new thermostat in (tested it first) and a new water pump. Still runs hot even in normal traffic. The guage stays in the very high normal range in stop and go. I didn't get a chance to get on the highway yet. I can get a new radiator for $150. Do you think it's worth it to test flow flush" it first?? I see there's a new process out that chemically cleans, does it work? I just want to make sure I don't do any damage dricving it under those conditions, and I'd like to at least run the AC!! Thanks again!
Tony
 

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Tony, "IF" your radiator is still original I wouldnt put any chemicals in it. Radiators detiorate with age and get weaker, and if its already plugged dont hold out much hope of it getting cleaned out with some mechanic in a can. If a new one is only $150 its a no brainer. If in doubt find a good radiator shop and have yours checked out by a pro.

If you do decide to replace the radiator, now is a good time to upgrade it to a higher capacity one. If you now have a 2 core a 3 would be even better since you stay in a warm climate.

I'm also skeptical on the claims on better cooling from the aluminum radiators and belive me I have personaly bought at least 8-10 of em over the years and I never seen that kind of cooling they claim from them. For the record the worst I ever had was a Griffin. Little bitty tubes didnt cool for squat. A Howe or Afco did much better, but I still dont think they were much better than a good regular radiator.

Time and time again these cooling problems come up and as long as the original fans and shrouds are in place the majority of the times it comes back to a plugged old radiator, not including when someone increases motor size or horsepower and didnt increase the radiator capacity accordingly. mm
 

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What mark didnt say about the aluminum rad is that they will also carrode at a much faster rate and need a great deal more monitoring as to mixture as it will leach away into your fluid. aluminum look cool for racers and show cars but if your driving it ya cant beat the old stadby steel.
 

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I took still another approach and had mine re-cored and leak tested. They did a great job. All filled up with new fins and completly stock looking. As far as upgrading to 4 row, I considered it, but i figured if it worked OEM for 35 years it wasn't too critical to upgrade...
 

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Johnny, your approch was probably fine for you as I had considered the same, but found out there was really little money differenace between a new one and a recore job.

The reason I reccomended a upgrade to a larger radiator for Tony is simple, he lives in Tampa Fla where its hot all the time, unlike the weather in Canada where you live. See my point?? mm
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Mark..I think you're right. Here's an update. Replaced the water pump, 180 thermostat and even put in a Imperial Flex fan (don't ask me why but I though since I was under there I would do it) I checked the flow visually and it seems to be fine but I have nothing to judge it against. When I increased the RPM's the flow increased also. I also check the lower hose and it seemed fine. I took it on the highway to work this morning at 70 for about 5 miles..no problem. But now, when I'm in stop and go traffic, the guage starts to rise. If I have to park the car for a few, the heat soak gets pretty bad and, although the car starts every time, it seems to crank much slower and takes a few seconds more to start. I'm going to pick up the radiator this weekend and put it in. I'll also get the timimg checked since I should have a tuneup done anyway. One more thing...I have a lifter noise and I'll have my mechanic check it out, would that also cause it to run so hot?
I appreciate all the help...you guys are THE BEST!!!!!
P.S. I wish my 71 had a bigger grill lol
 

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Tony, a flex fan??? Most of those things dont pull as much air as a stock one!! Probably a reason why your heating up in stop and go traffic now.

No the lifter noise wont cause the heat up. mm
 

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Sorry to hear that the Griffin Alu radiators are particular bad. The magazines praising them may have been influenced by their advertising sales departments. I will look at the other ones mentioned before I upgrade.

It is my impression that the performance engines made in the 60ties for high-octane leaded gasoline all run hotter nowadays on unleaded gas and that stock radiators don't cut it if the cooling setup was marginal to begin with.

I hope his 351W will be fine with a new OEM radiator. My 390PI is still running hot after I have replaced everything but the engine with new OEM parts. If Alu radiators are not better I have no idea what to do next.
 

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Martin, I was just listing my experiance with the griffin radiator, and maybe they are better nowadays, but I do take advertisments with a grain of salt.

I have had several F.E. motors over the years and never found any particurally harder to cool than anything else. I have nothing personal against aluminum radiators but my experiance in stock cars are there not all there bragged up to be especially with the extra cost involved.

You say you went with a stock radiator, what size did you use? mm
 

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The regular 4-core listed for my combo. ($295 here on Maui - thus the jump to Aluminum doesn't seem so high)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Mark I thought the flex fan would pull more air. Show's how much I know and what advertising will do to a guy. Of course I didn't throw away the stock fan so I can certainly put it back on if you think that's the way to go. Here's the latest...and I'm not making it up. I got tired of being hot today so I turned on the AC expecting the guage to go higher. Guess what?? Yep...it actually seemed to run a little cooler. I can't figure that one out. I'm still going to put a new radiator in no metter what. I know it's the original and although it seems ok I'd rather have the peace of mind that I'll have a good one for awhile. Especially down here. Again, I'm learning and appreciate all the help you guys give.
 

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When looking at cooling problems you want to check *the fan clutch as this is many times the reason for improper cooling at stops or idleing. (If your car was equipped with a clutch fan that is.) * A pressurized flushing of your complete cooling system get all the crud out - this may show new leaks aka heater core so dont be suprised if something starts to smell funny inside the car. If your heater core is original plan on changing it out *Check the timing , * pressure check current radiator, *Take out your thermostat - I live in Arizona you Live in Florida unless you live some place where it gets cool you really dont need it. *New hoses, *New 50/50 mix of radiator fluid if you live where it is hot. * Water pump - flowmaster I think the name is that claims they cool better at idle than other brands, something like 20% more flow at idle.
If you are buying a new radiator I suggest a four core steel - make sure it will fit in your radiator braces prior to ordering and has the correct recess pattern for mounting(top and bottom pattern look like original)////SAVE your original radiator and have the data code plate and/or top plate with Fomoco script reused on your new radiaor body. If you ever plan on showing your car you will need it. Your data plate is date coded for your cars particular time of production.
These are the things I did to stop my car from blowing the stock York A/C compressor's head gasket and over heating.

I hope your car didn't over heat and and cause damage - such as freeze plugs or head gasket leaks. I think you said the car doesn't produce smoke when starting, idleing or when running at high RPM under load right?

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #20
No Jon, the car has never really 'overheated" it was just running hot. I did replace the water pump, thermostat, new anti freeze and fan. ( I don't have a "clutch" fan....I think lol). The cap was a repalcement but maybe I'll get a new one. Doesn't seem to have any leaks anywhere and doesn't overflow. I can take the thermostat out?? Others have said that's a no no. I'd like to do that for the summer and then just put one in come January. What can I expect with no thermostat? I've been driving it yesterday and today with the air on..it's been in the 90's. After a while seems to run 3/4 hot but no more. The radiator is original and although it seems okand has only 55,000 it's 30 years old. I was going to replace it during the week just for peace of mind but do you think a simple flush might do the trick? I'll also do the tune up and timing. And of course, I'll cross my fingers for good luck. Thanks!
 
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