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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Mayfield, East Sussex
    Age
    53
    Posts
    144

    Low Engine Temperature

    I have a Ford 351w with new AK radiator and 180 deg (82 celsius) thermostat.

    Engine often runs very cool - 65-70 C in cool climate and perhaps up to 80 C when running in the recent weather. If I keep moving it never gets up to what I believe it should - 90 c ish? - just climbs to 65-70 and sits there.

    If the car is stationary it climbs to 90 C when the fan kicks in and sits there nicely, so the issue is while moving.

    I have tested the thermostat and it opens at the correct temp and is installed correctly plus I have verified the car temp gauge with an IR thermometer in several places on the cooling system.

    So is my issue that I need a higher rated thermostat or that I have too much air moving over the engine whilst driving and that is itself overcooling the engine - ie do I need a radiator grill of sorts, to reduce the airflow - like old Defenders used to have!? I am loathe to reduce the airflow for when the ambient temps are high. Currently the front is open straight to the radiator. When the car is running at 65-70 the current thermostat isnt open anyway so fitting a higher rated one wouldnt help?

    Probably very obvious to all the experts out there and I am happy to be publicly shamed for not working it out myself!

    Cheers
    Andrew
    Andrew
    AK Gen1 - Ford 351W - Dream come true

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Hockley ,Essex
    Age
    58
    Posts
    441
    My Rv8 has an 82 deg C stat and runs at around the 70 deg mark according to my Smiths gauge,
    never had any issues with cooling system .
    The gauge in my cob is exactly that, a gauge .
    Personally I would not get too hung up with the temps you have mentioned and leave well alone
    if you don't appear to have any obvious heating/cooling issues .
    You can get proper instruments to measure what ever you want but do not see this as necessary
    unless you are working to engineering specifications.
    Chris.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    187
    that’s a good problem to have, normally it’s the other way around.

    If the thermostat is functioning correctly then the temp sensor must be in the wrong position, ie measuring the return run after the radiator. 65-70 is probably where you might expect the return from the rad to be if the thermostat was opening at 82.

    when the thermostat is open have you verified the top hose temp with the IR gun is running at 82 +?

    I can’t believe that the engine runs at 65-70.

    engine is running on all cylinders, right?
    Roger

    RamSC 351 Cleveland

    on the road 20 years- nearly finished

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Shipston-On-Stour
    Posts
    658
    Worth checking actual temp before doing anything. If your gauge was 15 degrees out, or reading from the wrong place, you could be running at 85 and topping out at 105 when stood in traffic.
    If it is actually running at 60 or 70 I would try to get it up a bit by changing the thermostat and/or restricting air flow a bit.
    Investigation and confirmation first, then you will know where you are.
    Mine has a tendency to run a bit cool on colder days when you can get air moving through it but in temps like we have been having it’s 90 when moving and 100/105 when in traffic. I wedge a piece of black cardboard across the bottom of the rad in winter. Definitely no need for that at the moment!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Chelmsford Essex
    Posts
    1,668
    Mine will run cooler in cooler 85f temperatures when on the move and air temperature is 10-12c .
    I dont worry about this as I never get white sludge in the oil which shows as poor warming of the oil. As soon as I am stationary these large V8 engines generate lots if heat.
    You could blank some of the radiator area to reduce air flow if your in winter conditions and running the car. Do some experimenting with cardboard .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    West Midlands UK.
    Posts
    3,036
    Whats the oil temperature? Do you have an oil cooler fitted and does that have a thermostat? If the answers are yes and no that could be your problem.
    Supply by blagging, engineering by bodge......

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    249
    Hi. Yep I get the same, 350 SBC, Smiths Cobra Gauge. On tickover the temp gauge will raise to just below 90 on the gauge the fan cuts in and the needle stays constant. As soon as i am on the open road the needle drops to just above the line midway between 50 and 90. I put it down to airflow, as the IR temp reader at various points show the temp about right at various points and the top hose is hot when the stat opens. Rather it read low than hot and as said the gauge is an indicator and may not be accurate. The fact the temp raises on tickover but doesnt boil and is managed by the fan i just keep a watchful eye on it. I am using the Alu rad from AK, Barry
    Last edited by howardbr; 18-06-21 at 02:14 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    187
    So what’s the spec of these AK rads then, I thought they were SD1 variants?

    my ram with a 3 core SD1 struggles to cool it down
    Roger

    RamSC 351 Cleveland

    on the road 20 years- nearly finished

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    249
    Hi Andrew,

    This was my post with readings from 2017 and some further suggestions

    http://www.cobraclub.com/forum/showt...rcooling+chevy

    Barry
    AK Gen 1, SBC 350, 3.54PL Diff, Getrag - Build Start 03/09/2010 Passed IVA 01/09/2014 On the Road 01/10/2014

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    West Sussex
    Age
    63
    Posts
    247
    I've got the 3 core SD1 cooling my 390 FE and have no problems even at over 30 degrees ambient in heavy traffic.
    Now I did have a cooling problems before I fitted a shroud.
    I hardly look at the temps now it just doesn't figure as a problem.
    My shroud is nothing fancy just a frame of 25mm x 12mm box with 2mm aluminium sheet cutout for the fan and sealed with high temp silicon to the rad.

    Fit a shroud for better efficiency and don't worry too much about indicated occasional lower temps.

    Baz

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