1980 Regal w/350 chevy...heating problem.

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  #1  
Old 07-19-08, 07:09 PM
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1980 Regal w/350 chevy...heating problem.

Ok so I've had this heating problem since I put a/c. Right now I have a single core aluminum radiator. I have 2 16" electric fans one behind the radiator and the other in front of the condenser (i know it's not the best way to do it but meh). The car does fine if I'm on the highway with the a/c on. The over-heating comes when I'm on idle in the city with the a/c on. It will get to 210-235 degrees. It's just a basic stock 350 SB chevy.

I know fan shrouds make a lot of difference. So really I'm wondering what I can do to make a custom one DIY that's not expensive and non-metal as I don't have a welder. I was thinking of maybe plexiglass but would that be able to withstand the temps? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 07-19-08, 10:57 PM
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You didn't state what size the radiator is. (length x width) You also didn't state anything about the fans. 16" doesn't give enough info. You radiator could be too small, the fans could be rated for too small CFM. Do you have a theromstat in the car? If not, put one in.

Since you run on the highway without problems my first guess is that the fans do not move enough air. This is a VERY common problem with changine to electric fans. Many electric fans do not have enough air flow to cool much of anything.

If you need a bigger fan, try one from a late model Taurus. These have a fan shroud and are becomming a common fan for engine swaps. They move lots of air. I know of some people that couldn't cool their cars until they tried one of these. They are also cheap from salvage yards.
 
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Old 07-20-08, 02:00 AM
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I believe each is rated at 1800 cfm.

Radiator:
Length: 31" (edge to edge) 26 1/2" (inside/core)
Height: 21"
Width: 1"

Also yes I do have a thermostat in. I'm not familiar with the late model Taurus fan you mention. Would they fit in this application?
 
  #4  
Old 07-20-08, 06:56 AM
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you probably have , but make sure your fans are set up as pusher and puller. electrics don't need shrouds as they are attatched directly to the radiator. you could remove some BTU's with a trans cooler.
 
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Old 07-20-08, 07:46 AM
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Not an expert on 1980 Buicks, but had a similar problem with an older Pontiac.

From your measurments, it looks like you may have a non-A/C radiator. Thats only going to remove so much heat. And even with the 2 fans, you won't get as much airflow around town, as when yer on the freeway.

From the autozone site, you could move up to a thicker HD radiator for btwn $140-200.

Kinda doubt if you'd find a good radiator in a boneyard for a 28 y/o car.
 
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Old 07-20-08, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Not an expert on 1980 Buicks, but had a similar problem with an older Pontiac.

From your measurments, it looks like you may have a non-A/C radiator. Thats only going to remove so much heat. And even with the 2 fans, you won't get as much airflow around town, as when yer on the freeway.

From the autozone site, you could move up to a thicker HD radiator for btwn $140-200.

Kinda doubt if you'd find a good radiator in a boneyard for a 28 y/o car.
Well this radiator is actually a direct replacement/upgrade for a/c and it kept it cool just fine when I had the belt driven fan and original fan shroud. But really I was just wondering if I'd have to go with getting a different fan with more cfm or if I could make a shroud that will allow more airflow.
 
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Old 07-20-08, 03:40 PM
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Yeah, I get ya. Prob with electric fans that I found back in the day, they only pull air thru right in front of the fan, where a driven fan and shroud pull thru the whole core area. With my GTO, I found 2 small fans was more effective than 1 large one, as they covered more of the core.

Making a shroud, or adapting one, might be the best, but it has to be a tight fit or you get too much leakage.

Still got the old parts around?
 
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Old 07-20-08, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Yeah, I get ya. Prob with electric fans that I found back in the day, they only pull air thru right in front of the fan, where a driven fan and shroud pull thru the whole core area. With my GTO, I found 2 small fans was more effective than 1 large one, as they covered more of the core.

Making a shroud, or adapting one, might be the best, but it has to be a tight fit or you get too much leakage.

Still got the old parts around?
Old parts as in the original shroud? I don't have it anymore. One of the reasons I switched to electric fans is there wasn't enough room for the shroud with the new radiator. Would you know if Plexiglas would be able to withstand the heat? I'm also curious about the late model Taurus fan petet mentioned.
 
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Old 07-20-08, 06:04 PM
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Don't think plexi would be a good choice, lexan maybe.

I'd be lookin for something to adapt a stock shroud.
 
  #10  
Old 07-22-08, 06:39 AM
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Your radiator is plenty big enough. Aluminum radiator design is different than the copper/brass. you don't need two rows for a/c. The aluminum uses much wider tubes (usually 3/4" or 1" depending on manufacture)

You don't have enough air flow. The Taurus fan has a shroud and is very powerful. I bought one on E-bay (new for $89) I would have to measure the shroud size after work. Dependinr on the year it will have either one or two speeds. The two speed uses the low speed without the a/c on and the high speed is used when the a/c is on.

You mentioned that it was fine with the engine driven fan so that right there tells you that you don't have enough air flow with the fans you have. The typical GM engine driven flex fans used diring the period you car is pulled around 4500 CFM. (actually more than necessary)
 
  #11  
Old 07-22-08, 04:33 PM
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Here is the fan, it is rated for 4500 CFM.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Ford-...spagenameZWDVW
 
  #12  
Old 07-24-08, 03:42 PM
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oh nice man wish I would have seen this earlier that fan sold for only $46.00 Well thanks for the help I figured it it was the fans not pulling enough air. Tomorrow I'm gonna go to a local salvage yard see if I can find one of these fans. Thanks for all the help.
 
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