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1934 eight cooling system
#1
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Bill Hawley
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It's bee a while since I posted because I generally work slowly and in spurts. Bottom line is that I can't get my car to not overheat. I've forward and back flushed the radiator and the engine separately twice. I've taken the water pump off and looked at it to see if it's intact. It is. It looks old but otherwise OK. I've removed the water jacket cover and inspected the passage. It's clear. Everything seems to be flowing. Water coming out the bottom hose is cooler than water entering the top hose. Temperatures along the water jacket cover seem pretty consistent.
Whenever I run the car, within about 10 minutes the water temperature gets to 200+ and I can hear it starting to hiss out of the overflow. The bellows device seems stuck so I have been operating the car with the louvers wide open.
I feel like it must be the radiator. I know you have advised me to not take the radiator out but I am running out of ideas. Should the water temperature in normal conditions be somewhere around 180 F?

Posted on: 10/1 17:22
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Re: 1934 eight cooling system
#2
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humanpotatohybrid
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Since you didn't mention, do you have a thermostat installed, and what temperature is it for?

There was a post recently by Ross regarding how removing the thermostat can make an overheating issue worse, presumably because the higher flow speed makes the water flow "straight through" the radiator instead of diffusing properly.

Posted on: 10/1 17:34
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: 1934 eight cooling system
#3
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Owen_Dyneto
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Humanpotatohybrid, 1934 Packards do not have a conventional thermostat within the coolant flow. Instead they use a Fulton Sylphon style thermostat in the upper radiator tank to control air flow thru the radiator via shutter vanes. Only a single temperature rating was available, 160 deg. F. which was necessary to keep the coolant below the boiling point of the prevalent antifreeze of the day, methanol.

Bill, normal coolant temperature should be about 160 deg. F., a bit higher under stress like high speeds, mountain driving, etc. I think I've suggested this before, have you had the radiator checked for flow rate? This is the classic standard test. Not necessary to remove the radiator to perform this test. Some test details in the Service Letters, if I've already scanned and can find it, I'll add it here.

EDIT: Using the data for the 901-902 should be satisfactory for your 1100, essentially the same configuration. Also, check that you have the stiffener in your lower hose, or at least that the hose is not collapsed.

Also attaching some info on making a radiator flow rate tester, but your local radiator show should be able to rig something far less elegant and still provide useful info on whether or not the radiator is capable of sufficient flow.

PS - remind us, have you checked for a blown headgasket or cracked cylinder head or block? Checked the ignition timing?

Attach file:



jpg  Radiator flow rates.jpg (206.55 KB)
177_6338c9a1ac371.jpg 746X1892 px

jpg  Radiator flow rate.jpg (380.90 KB)
177_6338ca0e3ad12.jpg 1138X1051 px

Posted on: 10/1 17:47
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Re: 1934 eight cooling system
#4
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humanpotatohybrid
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Thanks Dave, learning something new every day here

Posted on: 10/1 19:27
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: 1934 eight cooling system
#5
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Tim Cole
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Periodical care? Is that like taking care of magazines? I don't miss the destruction of grammar in that business.

Anyway, I assume you have one of those temperature guns? I bought one on sale for $9.99. The temperature throughout the core should be consistent. You also can remove the sylphon (bellows) and inspect the top of the tubes. I don't know who advised against removing the radiator for service, but if the above diagnostic indicates blockage the tanks need to be removed and the tubes cleared with a rod. A cheaper method is to cut open the lower tank only and proceed thus.

If the radiator checks out, then unfortunately the block probably should come off and be inspected, but before that remove the water jacket at least and examine the condition thereof.

Oh, one other item: The lower radiator hose should warm from the radiator toward the engine. If it is warming from the engine to the radiator that indicates blockage. When the engine is warm there should be a uniform temperature decrease from the top of the radiator to the bottom. As a guide warm up your modern car and observe the difference between the radiator intake and outlet (if they are accessible).

Posted on: 10/2 9:47
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Re: 1934 eight cooling system
#6
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Bill Hawley
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Thank you guys for the responses. There are numerous questions and ideas posed here so I will comment or answer each one, hopefully:
1. I've tried to remove the sylphon but even after soaking the screws in liquid wrench every day for a couple of weeks, 5 of the screws won't budge. After seeing what it looks like on a separate post I'm not sure of the utility of taking it out at this point since I can just set the louvers open. It doesn't look like it has much to do with the flow in the radiator.
2. I did have a blown head gasket some time back and replaced it with a new one from Olsen. When I was removing the head I noticed a hair line crack on the top. I had it magnafluxed. The only evidence is on the top. I used JB weld in an attempt to stop any propagation, then rigged a test set up to pressurize the interior of the head (to a low value) and detected no gasses escaping. I also have no evidence of water in the oil or anything like that. I know its not optimum, but that's what I've got.
3. The flow tester info you sent Own is interesting. Thank you for that. I don't have a 55 gallon drum of a calibrated flow handle like shown in the picture but maybe I can rig something up.
4. Both hoses are stiff and do not collapse during operation.
5. I live 10 miles out of a small town that does not have a great deal of services and could not get the car to a radiator shop in any case.

I look through the radiator with a light and see that it has several tubes that run straight from top to bottom, although it seems they are of small diameter. Does that sound like the right core or is it possible this radiator has had the core replaced?

Posted on: 10/3 13:20
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Re: 1934 eight cooling system
#7
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Owen_Dyneto
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Wish I could help more. If the crack you found in the head was in an area exposed to combustion forces, I doubt your JB weld could hold up. If it was in a surface that just faces against the gasket and only has to retain water under gravity force it may well last for a time.

Re your #1, confirming that the Sylphon itself as installed in the top radiator tank has absolutely nothing to do with coolant flow.

After 88 years, I would almost certainly expect your radiator core has been replaced. If not, it's almost certainly suspect. I have an original 1100/1101 radiator out in the garage, I don't see the usefullness but if you think some photos would be helpful let me know.

You can do a meaningful radiator flow rate test without that equipment shown in the factory letter. Remove both hoses and cap off the upper tank outlet. Cap off the overflow tube at the top or bottom. Fill several containers of known volume with water, rig some funnel at the top, and see how many gallons of water the radiator can pass in a given amount of time.

Posted on: 10/3 14:50
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Re: 1934 eight cooling system
#8
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Bill Hawley
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Well, patience and two weeks of soaking in liquid wrench paid off and I finally got the sylphon(?) valve out of the radiator. For some reason the shaft and the springs were fairly rusted. I've been cleaning them up and have cleaned up the exterior of the valve. I am curious as to how it actually works. I assume there is some sort of spring or something that expands as it gets hot? I lowered the exterior into boiling water and did not see the shaft move so I'm thinking it is not functioning. Is there any way to disassemble the valve to clean and repair it?

Posted on: 10/9 13:22
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Re: 1934 eight cooling system
#9
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Owen_Dyneto
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The bellows are actuated by the pressure generated by the volatilization of a low-boiling liquid. Until recently they were still available new as manufactured by the original OEM via Bill Hirsch, but I believe now your recourse is to one of several rebuilders of them, or attempting it yourself. Lots of documentation available on the process.

Posted on: 10/9 15:06
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