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Old 01-11-2010, 08:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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383 Stroker Running Hot

Get comfortable this might take a while...

Tow Rig and Trailer


The Blister:


2 years ago I had a 383 built for my turd of an 88 Suburban. Like a dumbass I had it built with Stock Swirlport heads and put the TBI on it. It ran hot with the TBI. (lean) I threw a Holley 750 on it. (It's for towing not crawling). I replace/upgraded everything that coolant comes into contact with. I've tried the timing from far advanced to far retarded 2 clicks at a time. The symptom has always been that it will over heat if it's let idle with the choke on or when dragging a mountain towing. Other than that it's cool as a cucumber.It did this towing light loads but now I'm dragging around about 20k with the pictures above.


I wanted to start over. So, I recently adjusted the valves (got 1 full turn on all), did a full tune up rotor to plugs, Here's where it stands now:

750 Holley
Contender intake
Mild cam
Swirl port heads
High energy HEI dizzy with after market weights and medium springs
MSD 8.5 wires
44 Plugs gapped at .035
Timing at 10 degrees advance
Long tube headers with wide open Thrush mufflers No cats
Stock oil cooler
Stock water pump verified to flow like a fire hose when the Tstat opens ouch
New 6.2l Diesel Radiator
Dual Electric Fans out of V8 Cadillacs controlled by T Stat with a constant duty relay set to about 100 degrees
I'm running a restrictor washer or no thermostat (can't remember) I've tried all temps of t Stats
SM465
4.10s
35's

I have a 180 thermostat I'm going to throw in tomorrow night, look for a vacume leak (Just in case), and play with the timing AGAIN. and that will complete my starting form zero with the full tune up.

I'm pretty confident this will yeild NO results my plugs and everything else looked good when I replaced them. My only other thought is timing advance mechanical and vacume. Then cooler plugs and play with the gap.

I have a set of Vortec heads waiting to be picked up at the machine shop. When I get them I'll upgrade the cam and intake too. It should pop wheelies then.

Anybody have any ideas on getting this thing to run cool now? Should I just wait until I can afford the new mods and deal with it until then?

Thanks in advance for any ideas.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The fans come on at 100*?
Was it doing this prior to your redneck tstat thing?
I would verify that the tstats open and x amount of degrees befor I put one in.

EDIT: Is there anything in front of the rad. tranny cooler etc etc.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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double check with an infra-red gun that it is actually running hot, you may just be getting a poor reading on the guage. I would think that the diesel radiator would be plenty, but it may be slightly restricted.... or just not enough for your setup under towing circumstances. If it is also happening at idle, maybe the fans are not pulling enough air? Just thoughts.... can't think of anything real solid.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've got an adjustable T stat to control fans. I just set it as low as it could go.

I verified one of my many T stats was opening with the top radiator hose in a 5 gal bucket. Flow was uncontrollable.

I have a Fisher plow frame and an A/C cooler in front of the rad. The A/C cooler is not blocked or bent.

I checked temp with a gun last night and the gauge was dead on at 140 degrees after I shut it off.

The fans pull like a tornado. I think the idle over heat may have been the result of a weak solenoid. The constant duty may have fixed that.

The radiator is brand new and big.

Thanks for the ideas. Maybe I'll get to hook up the trailer tonight and check it out more.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm also going to add an idiot lite to verify that the fans are running.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I've got an adjustable T stat to control fans. I just set it as low as it could go.

I verified one of my many T stats was opening with the top radiator hose in a 5 gal bucket. Flow was uncontrollable.
un-restricted coolant flow will allow you too run hot..

you need water slow enough to actually absorb the heat out of the engine..

also how is you crank to water pump pulley setup? over driven, 1:1 or under driven... IMO the only engine the warrent a restrictor t-stats are engien that spen 90% over them time above 6,000rpm
also weres your coollant temp senting unit located at? by the t-stats or in the heads? heads will read hotter by or more 10-20* then by the t-stat in the manifold.. why your spliting two exhuat ports...

still have the holley on there? stepup one jet size... lean engines runs hoter then a rich engine.

bump base timing to 16* or set max timing @ 31* this is with the vaccum advance disconnected.. it should be all in by 3,000rpm.. if you got a decent timing light you can up the advace on it then use the ligh and set TDC @ 0 on the timing tabs and balancer.

you have a ~400hp engine... and a good size carb.. what do yo have for a fuel pump? this could also cause the engine to run lean.. and thus hot..
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I ran it with and without T stats and in this case it was better with out in the summer. I agree with your theory when everything is right.

Pretty sure it's 1:1. I didn't overdrive it yet b/c I got no reasults on the last one doing that.

Sending Unit is in the head and I checked it with the gun from 100-210. At 210 it was reading 190-205 depending on what part of the sender I shot.

I've played with the Jets before. I think it was rich with one size bigger but, I'm going to investigate that again.

Running stock fuel pump with regulator/return and the gauge is steady at 9 PSI when my heads under the hood. I don't think I'm dropping PSI on hills.

I put the Tstat in (with a 1/8 inch hole in it). Ran it and it fell flat at about 3000rpm with timing at 10*. Ambient temp was about 20 degrees. It warmed up to about 160 after I dogged the shit out of it on the mountains. I switched from Defrost to Heat while climbing a hill and didn't have enough vacume to switch until I let off the gas.

Came home and Set the initial timing to 16*. Disconnected all the vacume BS from the Cruise and HVAC and plugged it. Dogged it on the mountains. It did ok. Better at top end but still dead at about 3400rpms. Stayed steady at 180 degrees.

My electric t stat for the fans had a probe that the instructions told me to push into the fins of the radiator. I did that. When I changed the timing tonight there was steam coming out around the probe. What a stupid idea, I knew I should have put it in the hose but, I figured the company that made it should now how to install it. I've never been low on coolant so, I know it hasn't been leaking bad but, pressure loss is pressure loss. I'll pull the rad and get it fixed.

My next plan is to get about 10k lbs behind it and test it out. If it runs cool I'll consider this a success.

I still don't have the hp I should with the money I've got in it. I'm going to check my max timing. I think more advance might help. My high torque starter doesn't mind it. I'll open plugs up to .040 or .045 and up the jets.

I don't know if it's just heads limiting my top end?

Thanks for all the help, this thing has been a thorn in my side for to long.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Also, Idling in the garage my fans dropped the temp at the bottom neck 20 degrees in 20 seconds.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Does it have alum heads?
What temp is 'hot'?
I would want them to turn on at 200 and off at 180ish right in that area would be nice. But that has nothing to do with the sbject at hand.
Run the fans off an toggle switch so you can manually control them to elemintate the probe as being defective.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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210F that not bad honestly.. i would be worried when it starts pushing 220-230.
i have found my 383 runs best at min 160-180* haveing a resticter plate in there will cause it to run cold.. and hurt performance
radiator air flow... what do the fins look like? can you easily see light ont he other side when you look through it?.. dirt, bugs, road debree, bent fins can all kill rad effcientcy.. and lead to running hot.
the quick temp drop would be related to not haveing a full T-stat in.. if i read that right.

as for putting the prob in the fins... im 50-50 on that.. IMO you would get more airflow aross it if you zip-tied it runing wiht the tubes in the rad.. and some were it would be in direct path of hte fan blades.. get the most air flow..but thats me

as for the 383SBC.. sounds like you got a seriously mis-match engine.. with the stock OEM heads..and intake?
they are probly out of breath by 3000rpm.
what camshaft did you put in? remember the specs or who it was?a good set of 170cc-180cc intake runner head with 2.02/1.60 would be very helpfull to your engine. i like edel rpm manifold.. IMO one of the better all around intakes this would allow you to hve good power up to 6500rpm if you wanted to spin that fast

have you put a vaccum guage on the intake to check vaccum? 13inHg or less you will have problems at idle.. 15inHg or more is ideal

thats all i got for now..
hope it helps
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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My definition of hot is it will scream up to 230-240 degrees as soon as I hit a hill. I've pulled over and didn't let it go higher.

Is purple ice like water wetter? I tried that, no change.

The rad and A/C cooler are real clear not gummed up at all.

With the probe in the fins it gets cool air and shuts the fans off after 5 seconds. I think it'll get a better reading in the hose.

The heads are a joke. I think that's why it falls flat at 3000 rpms too. I need to get some money and pick up the vortecs.

This morning I drug the empty trailer to get it inspected after I unfroze a brake. It didn't overheat but, I didn't have the 6000lb rig on it and it was 20 degrees out.

I'll check that vacume thought it was weird last night when it couldn't switch from Defrost to floor heat. That shouldn't take much vacume.

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i like edel rpm manifold.. IMO one of the better all around intakes this would allow you to hve good power up to 6500rpm if you wanted to spin that fast
D
That sounds like a good option. I gotta swap it to do the vortecs anyway.

Thanks for all the help.


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Old 01-13-2010, 12:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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i have never tired vorted heads..

i have ran dart iron eagles and World porduct SR torqure head.. both of which i am pleased with.
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I would say that your towing problem is being under geared. 35's with 4.10 is a horrible towing combo for a small block. Your sub weighs in the neighborhood of 7000, + 2000 for a trailer, + 6000 for your rig, and you are at 14000 lbs + whatever gear and people you are carrying. I would try finding a set of 31 and putting them on there to see if it makes a difference. If it does, then see about regearing it. I would say that will change things though.

As far as heating up at an idle with the choke on, don't leave the choke on after the engine warms up. Chokes are supposed to bring the truck up to operating temperature, then not be used. Seems like an easy fix for me? Does that holley have a manual, or auto choke?

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Old 01-13-2010, 01:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I find the regular thermostats for chevys are fine unless you are under load then they simply don't flow enough. I would try a hi flow thermostat. I had similar issues and when i would take out the thermostat alltogether the motor just wouldnt build any heat at all. I also noted that when it was getting hot the lower rad hose was still very cold. That to me told me my pump and rad are doing their job(edelbrock victor pump and 1" core aluminum rad) but the thermostat was simply too restrictive.
In talking with other people about it I began to realize it is a pretty common issue. Which is no doubt why companies like Milodan and Moroso make the hi flow stats.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm pretty happy with the gearing. I can bang 3rd gear doing 45 MPH at 3000rpms and take it up to 75 MPH at 5000 rpms. I still have 4th for cruising on the highway. I'm hoping to get some long trips in future and I want to have a decent gear for the highway. I just need more power. If I had the time and money I would have opted for 4.56s and an NV4500.

My combination weight is pretty bad b/c the trailer's 4500lbs. I'm usually right around 18,000lbs.

I agree the thermostats are a weak point. I look into the high flow and maybe overdriving the water pump.

Once I get the Rad repaired I'll get some weight on it and see I accomplished anything this round.

When all my kids are in school my wife will start working, buy me an 05 Duramax, and I rip the tongue off the trailer.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-14-2010, 02:40 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Uhm, might your timing be little off?
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:22 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I would say that your towing problem is being under geared. 35's with 4.10 is a horrible towing combo for a small block. Your sub weighs in the neighborhood of 7000, + 2000 for a trailer, + 6000 for your rig, and you are at 14000 lbs + whatever gear and people you are carrying. I would try finding a set of 31 and putting them on there to see if it makes a difference. If it does, then see about regearing it. I would say that will change things though.

As far as heating up at an idle with the choke on, don't leave the choke on after the engine warms up. Chokes are supposed to bring the truck up to operating temperature, then not be used. Seems like an easy fix for me? Does that holley have a manual, or auto choke?
4.10 35" tires swith sm465 @ 65mph he is turning ~2600rpm
once he gets his heads swaped shouldnt have any problem.
31s or 4.56 would let him climb in 4th... dont see how its a bad setup right now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustyrunner View Post
I find the regular thermostats for chevys are fine unless you are under load then they simply don't flow enough. I would try a hi flow thermostat. I had similar issues and when i would take out the thermostat alltogether the motor just wouldnt build any heat at all. I also noted that when it was getting hot the lower rad hose was still very cold. That to me told me my pump and rad are doing their job(edelbrock victor pump and 1" core aluminum rad) but the thermostat was simply too restrictive.
In talking with other people about it I began to realize it is a pretty common issue. Which is no doubt why companies like Milodan and Moroso make the hi flow stats.
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:53 AM   #19 (permalink)
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what kind of compression ratio are you running because sometime if the compression is to high for the heads it will generate way more heat in the water in the heads and not the block
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Old 01-14-2010, 04:27 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I've tried timing everywhere. Literally everywhere.

Big Blaze that sounds like exactly what I got.

I got up at 4AM drove 8 hours round trip to Syracuse and worked 3 hours there. On the way home, I picked the Burb up from getting the trailer inspected, loaded my Chevy Colorado on it to come home. It ran good temperature wise 160-180 the whole way and I even hammered it up a pretty big hill. I hit my yard to get to the drive way, forgetting the hubs were unlocked. Started to spin screwed around a little and hit a stump taking out a marker light on the trailer. This shorted out all marker lights and caused my interior lights to come 1/2 on. I locked the hubs and dicked around some more until either the master or slave went out on the clutch. Unloaded the Colorado. Started the Burb in gear and low 4. Parked in the driveway. I'm done. All I can do is laugh.

I'm pretty happy with the way it runs power wise. I've got power up to 3300 rpms. It seems to be running cool. Next step cam, heads, intake, and finally wheelies.

Thanks for all the help. I thought I'd investigated everything in the last two years and you guys came up with more.

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