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Been waiting for a hot day run

Drone Dog

Jedi Warrior
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as some of you probably are aware i have been watching my engine temps. never have had a Healey before and i was a little concerned about the temp it was runnig in mid-60's weather. So i was waiting for a hot day to see what affect it would have on the engine temp. Today was that day.

my engine had been running pretty consistently lately in that 185-190 range and going up maybe 5 degrees or so at a light. well let's say i have seen it go up 10 if i hit a few lights. the thing i see with this car is that it does not easily recover just because you start moving.

i waited until after lunch so the temp would be up there. when it got to 87*, i set out on a run. i did what i would call a mixed run of highway and stops. 15 miles or so with about 6 or 7 stops. Car started out going up to just over 190 and sat there. about my third stop, i had to wait a little and it went up to i will say 200. ran some highway miles after that but the temp never came back down.

about a mile or so from home, i rememdered a suggestion from dad years ago with another car. i flipped the heat valve over to max. the temp on the car dropped 10* in about half a minute. ok, figured it got some cooler fluid in it, let's wait. but the rest of the way home, it never went back up over 190.

i let the car sit for about 1/2 hour while i made some notes and then went back out. when i fired it back up the temp was 170. i drove the same route and stops as the morning. i was probably 2/3's the way thru the route before the gauge hit 190. in fact i am not sure it actually reached the mark. it stayed just under it. i got caught behind a school bus on the last leg or so and had to wait thru a couple stops. it did climb to 195 then but as soon as i got around the bus, it went back to just under 190.

makes sense. that heater core is decent size and probably adds another 15% to the radiator. not to mention how much more coolant is circulating. when i put my bulkhead back together, i put 1/4" foam in those bulkhead vents so air could not just blow thru them when they were closed. (thinking of cold weather then) So any air escaping the heat system was probably thru the defroster vents. No big deal there. as far as in the car, i had the cool air vent open and i did not notice any difference in temps.

probably the best thing i have done to help my cooling system yet.... and it took so little work.
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Re: been waiting for a hot day run...

That's an 'old school' trick to prevent boiling. Once, coming out of Death Valley up the grade to the Panamint Mountains my BJ8 got up to 212deg, and was headed higher; we turned the heater on high--kinda rough on a 115degF day--and kept it at/below 212 until we leveled off at altitude. There were several newer cars, and a tour bus, on the side of the road with the hoods up.
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Re: been waiting for a hot day run...

I think you are beginning to see why new cars do not have numbers on the temperature gauge. One can get very obsessive watching the numbers. My Bj8 has always run very cool (165). I have watched it climb to 220 (or what ever the high mark is) and back down to normal. Never a drop of overflow or drop in oil pressure. Performance always good. I think your 180 to 190 is fine. You will probably have more fun watching the fuel gauge. I have an ammeter and volt meter as well (belt and suspenders). Fun to watch but nothing really exciting. I even have a clock. I probably should just watch the road.
Drone Dog

Drone Dog

Jedi Warrior
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Re: been waiting for a hot day run...

you are correct. i remember doing it years ago with an old family car. i can also remember a family vacation out there in the early 60's. my dad had a burlap bag hanging over the grill with water in it to help the car run cooler. cars are just so much better these days. we forget those things.

You are correct. My TR6 just has marks with no numbers. it never gets to the mid point on the gauge but who knows what temp that is. i remember when they started going away from gauges to just lights. also remember when they started calibrating the gauges so they only read a qtr of the way. made people happy with the gauges.

been a long time since i watched a gauge. probably the last was the first TR6 i had back in the early 70's. i had that car get hot in a snow storm. while i don't mind this car running around 190, i just want to make sure it can remain stable there. new cars run 200+ but they don't fluctuate.

also i am watching to see if it can come back from hotter temps as i get moving. something i would expect.

i am sure as i get some history with this car, i will feel better about all of it's gauges. right now i am just cautious/curious, especially since i put this motor together and i am far from an expert.

Drone Dog

Drone Dog

Jedi Warrior
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Re: been waiting for a hot day run...

just a last follow up on this topic and i am done.

So i went to a car show on sat. it was cool in the upper 60's. i went ahead and left the heater on max to see how the temp would look now. hahaha. it went right up over the 190 mark and pretty much stayed there all the way to the show. about a 30 mile trip. i tried with the heat on min or max. not much difference.

so as i am sitting in the show in between talking to people i am thinking back about all my different runs. each day i would take a run as the OS temps changed or i was trying something i had done the day before. the first run would be 190+ temp. each time i tried something new on the 2nd run... see bunch of other posts.. and it ran cooler. each time i thought i had found something. then the next day it ran back like it had before. 190+.

the one thing that was consistent was that my second runs ran cooler. what i should have realized is the car is just not a morning person. (i had a couple of daughters like that)

so armed with this new theory i was anxious to start home after the show. And you know what... the car ran about 185 the whole way home. even in towns it did not climb over 190 and then went back down as soon as i was up to crusing speed. well.... except i hit rain the last 5 miles and the car went down to about 175...

anyway, i don't know if the thermostat needs the coolant to get up to 212 plus to completely open or maybe there is some play in the gauge. but there was no other change from going over and coming back. even though i sat for 6 hours or so at the show, and the car cooled down, it ran cooler on the 2nd run.

so the moral of all of this is... if the car runs over 190+ don't worry about it. if it gets hot enough, it will run cooler. wow that should be on a coffee mug or something.

thanks all for your patience on this. i am sure most all of you realized my efforts were going to be futile a ways back. i just hate to admit i dont have control...ha.
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