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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The 454 is on a 10" lifted Tahoe chassis with a 1978 El Camino body. The image shows the suitably sized aluminum radiator with two possibly under-sized fans. (Mechanics have told me these fans are for a small block). After buying it I immediately noticed after 10 miles of triple-digit Phoenix Arizona temperatures I had to pull off the HWY and cool it down. It reached 255 degrees water temp. Should have turned around and got my money back. Instead I drove it for another 900 miles home. Pulling over every 10 miles until both fans wiring fried and I found a mechanic in Tuscon (Sam's Place Auto Repair) who re-wired the fans (the fan wires had melting due to over-amps). Attached image is of the wires before Sam did a fine job of rewiring. Sam also put a low temp thermostat in it and off I went. But I only got 20 miles between stops to cool it down. Then a rainstorm allowed me to run non-stop with a stabilized water temp of 240. Night temperatures in Ruidoso New Mexico ran it down to 220. But now that I'm home in Portales New Mexico it cannot cross the 3-mile wide town without pushing 240 in a few minutes. And one of the fans has stopped working, possibly a fuse, or the fan itself has burnt. Some factors are:
1) Pheonix elevation is 1086 and it's new home in Portales elevation is 4,100
2) The gas tank of the El Camino is a 2008 Tahoe 27.5 gallon unknown if it has pump.
3) 750 cfm quadrajet 1966
4) Oil being used is Valvoline Synthetic 5 / 30 blended
5) Main seal to 400 auto transmission is leaking
6) 454 is iron headed and stock
7) no air conditioning is installed

Future plans:
1) Bigger fan(s) ?
2) Heat dissipators placed on radiator and alternator possibly starter too?
3) Seperate windshield wiper reservoir used to spray water onto radiator

Any ideas are welcome. 20200713_161017.jpg
20200711_144429.jpg
 

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welcome John
those fans are way too small at 6amps, you need 2 - 30 or 40 or 50amp fans,
and fuses, wiring, relays, temp switch's to power and trigger them..
those 2 little fans would not cool my SBC in south Tx..

x2 on the metal fixture they are hanging on, very poor design..
the metal plate is blocking 1/2 the air thru the radiator..

the fans should not have to run on the hiway, only in town, and in traffic/stopped..
probly need 2 good quality 16" fans mounted flat to the radiator..
I would NOT use the push thru the radiator, plastic pull ties to mount them..

wash the radiator out too, could be full of bugs ??

cant really tell how big the Radiator is,
what size tubes and how many rows ??
how clean is the inside ??

check the Ignition Timing, Retarded Timing will make it run hotter too..
 

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If that radiator is meant for an El Camino then a set of F-body fans & radiator shroud will fit pretty well. Keeps my car cool even with AC on in the FL summer heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would look at the plate over the back of your radator.
Meyer hey thanks for the reply. That plate over the back of the radiator (fan housing plate) is a 50/50 pro and con thing with the people who comment. Some swear by it even. They say it is necessary for the fans to suck thru the whole radiator. But like JJLT1 replied (above) he said they shouldn't have to run on the HWY and only be needed in slow traffic. I cannot get a solid consensus, and will have to use my own common sense. If the fans are not needed on the HWY then I know that plate is not only uuseless, but blocking HWY air. AMIRITE?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
welcome John
those fans are way too small at 6amps, you need 2 - 30 or 40 or 50amp fans,

those 2 little fans would not cool my SBC in south Tx..

x2 on the metal fixture they are hanging on, very poor design..
the metal plate is blocking 1/2 the air thru the radiator..

the fans should not have to run on the hiway, only in town, and in traffic/stopped..
probly need 2 good quality 16" fans mounted flat to the radiator..
I would NOT use the push thru the radiator, plastic pull ties to mount them..

wash the radiator out too, could be full of bugs ??

cant really tell how big the Radiator is,
what size tubes and how many rows ??
how clean is the inside ??

check the Ignition Timing, Retarded Timing will make it run hotter too..
Very comprehensive reply JJLT1. Love the avatar BTW. Blue Angels fan here. Your "F-18" avatar applies to the air flow concept you put forward. I have certified mechanics telling me that backplate is absolutely necessary. But when they say that plate is there to focus suction, I'm looking at it and seeing VENTS on the backplate (see image, they're everywhere) which ... (I loved physics in High School, my brain sees these things) There is no suction then with those vents cancelling out the fan suction. Those vents are even sucking air from the hot side, the ENGINE BAY. If their hypothesis is correct, then that plate should have NO vents, NO holes of any kind. And lets not leave out the plate itself, blocking airflow at higher speeds. Maybe, MAYBE, as you say with larger 16" fans pulling a lot more juice THEN maybe a backplate, but I'm thinking no backplate AT ALL, or cutting it down to a supporting frame for larger, more powerful fans.
Radiator is dirty (bugs) and I'll count the rows and size the tubes shortly. It is running clean fluid though. 40% concentrate with distilled water.
As far as timing I'm betting, after driving that long trip, yeah. Definetely needing a tune up, possible a carb rebuild even. But who would rebuild a 1966 Quadrajet? LOL. Might as well get a used, newer, double pumper. Don't turn me in to the social justice warriors for that last statement please, No presidents were insulted in the making of this text.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A good place to rebuild Quadrajet is Ted and Ardelle at Mountain Man Fuel Systems.

or if you are FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Local-Service/Mountain-Man-Carburetor-Fuel-Injection-159767177390578/
Thanks Old Bear. I think I'll start another topic on that when the time comes.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If that radiator is meant for an El Camino then a set of F-body fans & radiator shroud will fit pretty well. Keeps my car cool even with AC on in the FL summer heat.
F-Body Camaro radiators fit our Elco Fifth-Gen A-Bodies huh? I see your '82 SS grille there in your avatar. Rare puppy you got. Clean! Florida heat is comparable to New Mexico for sure. Nice to have that option thanks for the tip.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My other options, and if anyone has advice on these new options please holler back.
1) Running airflow to the carberator from a hood scoop (rather than sucking hot engine bay air).
2) Attached image is a friend's '55 Chevy (he's selling it BTW) where air is inducted by a forward filter arrangement.This design may work for his '55 Chevy but I'm not sure where the filter could go on my 78 Elky.

131189
 

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Discussion Starter #13
cant really tell how big the Radiator is,
what size tubes and how many rows ??
What's that size? 1/4 inch? Couldn't count the rows. Grille and bumper blocking view. As far as size goes it sits in the Elky lower mounts nicely but it too tall for the hood-latch beam, thus why the previous owner "Flintstoned" with zip ties.
131190
 

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"John78Elky2008Tahoe"
I have certified mechanics telling me that backplate is absolutely necessary.
But when they say that plate is there to focus suction, I'm looking at it and seeing VENTS on the backplate (see image, they're everywhere) which ... (I loved physics in High School, my brain sees these things) There is no suction then with those vents cancelling out the fan suction.
Those vents are even sucking air from the hot side, the ENGINE BAY. If their hypothesis is correct, then that plate should have NO vents, NO holes of any kind. And lets not leave out the plate itself, blocking airflow at higher speeds. Maybe, MAYBE, as you say with larger 16" fans pulling a lot more juice THEN maybe a backplate, but I'm thinking no backplate AT ALL, or cutting it down to a supporting frame for larger, more powerful fans.

X2 - exactly
that's why I did not call that metal fixture a "good quality engineered Fan Shroud"
its a very poor design..
Fan Shrouds are GOOD, I'd rather have a HD Clutch 7-blade Fan and factory Shroud..
better control, automatic, no wire-switches-fuses-relays, and they last for-ever..

the better Shrouds that have vents on the rear, have rubber flaps that open at hi-way speed,,
and close when the fans are on and pulling a suction thru the radiator...
I think I would rather have metal/aluminum doors/flaps that open and close and last for-ever..

the fans are the cheapest ones around.. a AC blower motor will put out more air..
and they will be spinning wearing out the Motor Bushings [probly don't have bearings]
the whole time on the hi-way, and at idle, in traffic..
if you want electric, 2 is better so you can limp home with-out AC..
Hi-Amp = Hi-CFM more air flow, good quality name brand, ball bearing motors..

don't get me started on the "Certified Mechanics"..
I was told only one person in the shop needs to be "Certified"
he sits in the office, in the AC, drinks Coffee, writes tickets, does the diagnostic work,,
the rest are just self appointed "Expert" "Part Changers"
probly all working out of 1 tool box, that someone else owns..
 

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Meyer hey thanks for the reply. That plate over the back of the radiator (fan housing plate) is a 50/50 pro and con thing with the people who comment. Some swear by it even. They say it is necessary for the fans to suck thru the whole radiator. But like JJLT1 replied (above) he said they shouldn't have to run on the HWY and only be needed in slow traffic. I cannot get a solid consensus, and will have to use my own common sense. If the fans are not needed on the HWY then I know that plate is not only uuseless, but blocking HWY air. AMIRITE?
I live in a much cooler climate than you do (Juneau Ak) but have big block, elec fan, elec water pump and at speed no fan needed at 55 plus im in the 160 range, in traffic turn my single fan (no backing plate) and it will idle at 160 to 170 ish with just fan as long as it needs to. I will take a pic tomorrow of the setup.
 

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for next time,
yea you can lower the level a little in the radiator to see the tubes..
.
DPI162 3row, small tube..
that CU162 number they use is actually a 1.25" tube- 1row,
same size core, even thinner, but more efficient radiator ..
Spectra Premium® CU162 - Engine Coolant Radiator

that is basicly a stock small block radiator designed for the very efficient
stock 6-7 blade 17-18" fan / clutch, shroud setup..

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1979-1980 Buick Regal 3.8L 4.9L
1979 Buick Estate Wagon 5.7L
1979-1980 Chevrolet C10 / C20 /C30 /G10 4.1L 4.8L 5.7L
1979 Chevrolet C10 Suburban / C20 Suburban/ G20 / G30 4.1L 5.0L 5.7L
1979 Chevrolet Camaro /El Camino 3.3L 4.1L 4.4L 5.0L 5.7L
1980 Chevrolet Impala / Monte Carlo /P30 5.0L 5.7L
1979-1980 Chevrolet K10/K20 /K30 4.1L 4.8L 5.7L
1979 Chevrolet K10 Suburban / K20 Suburban 5.0L 5.7L
1979-1980 Chevrolet Malibu 3.3L 3.8L 4.4L 5.0L 5.7L
1980 GMC C1500/ G1500 /C1500 Suburban / C2500 /Jimmy/ K1500 Suburban/K2500 Suburban
1980 Oldsmobile Cutlass/Cutlass Cruiser/ Delta 88 5.0L 4.3L
1980 Pontiac Catalina / Grand LeMans/ LeMans
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DPI162 links
POLISH 3ROW ALUMINUM RADIATOR Fit 1979-87 Chevy Blazer Caprice w/26" Core DPI162 | eBay
3 ROWS ALUMINUM RADIATOR Fit 1979-87 85 Chevy Blazer Caprice w/26" Core DPI162 | eBay
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I live in a much cooler climate than you do (Juneau Ak)
Lesse, Alaska vs New Mexico climate. Jeff Foxworthy would have fun with your understatement. Or Bill Ingvall "Here's Your Sign" comic. No insult intended its just damn funny! As Larry the Cable Guy would say, "Thats funny I dont care who you are!"
Yeah I'd love to see pics of your set up Meyer. Thanks.
 

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