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1980 Chevrolet El Camino 305/350
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone gone through this mess? I want A/C without overheating like a new car like hauling as on highway to exit into stop n go traffic lights or sitting in a drive through on 110 degree days with the A/C blasting!!
I installed all new A/C and nothing works better than a $30 used aluminum/plastic Craigslist rad with 1 1" row with mechanic fan with original fan and shroud. I can exit hiway into stop n go traffic longer without having it overheat ( only hitting 220+ then I shut ac off).
Bought a $200 something champion 2 row 1" tubes and exiting highway into a drive thru the temp shot up fast 260++..rediculous it was returned.
Next an $875 Be Cool with 2 electric fans with aluminum shroud with removed mech fan and plastic shroud
- lasts a little longer but still 260++ temps is dangerous blow the motor BS. Wtf is going on I thought a 2 row 1" tubes would handle anything.
I have upper and lower springs in the hoses and replaced 195 thermostats in case. I put a 180 in now and still just overheats too fast. I'm thinking about returning the be cool and try the $30 radiator and put the aluminum shroud with 2 12" electric fans on with the mechanic fan in place also if needed. It's timed at 11 degrees and I have an afr meter thats at 14.7 at idle.. around 12.5 -14.7 while cruising.
I may need to put the Lincoln/Crown Vic 2 speed fan in next idk. Anyone else get their Elco with 110 degree days, ac on and sitting in traffic to not overheat like a new car I'd sure like to know. Thanks.
 

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1964 camino, 350 Vortec, 700r4
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Has anyone gone through this mess? I want A/C without overheating like a new car like hauling as on highway to exit into stop n go traffic lights or sitting in a drive through on 110 degree days with the A/C blasting!!
I installed all new A/C and nothing works better than a $30 used aluminum/plastic Craigslist rad with 1 1" row with mechanic fan with original fan and shroud. I can exit hiway into stop n go traffic longer without having it overheat ( only hitting 220+ then I shut ac off).
Bought a $200 something champion 2 row 1" tubes and exiting highway into a drive thru the temp shot up fast 260++..rediculous it was returned.
Next an $875 Be Cool with 2 electric fans with aluminum shroud with removed mech fan and plastic shroud
- lasts a little longer but still 260++ temps is dangerous blow the motor BS. Wtf is going on I thought a 2 row 1" tubes would handle anything.
I have upper and lower springs in the hoses and replaced 195 thermostats in case. I put a 180 in now and still just overheats too fast. I'm thinking about returning the be cool and try the $30 radiator and put the aluminum shroud with 2 12" electric fans on with the mechanic fan in place also if needed. It's timed at 11 degrees and I have an afr meter thats at 14.7 at idle.. around 12.5 -14.7 while cruising.
I may need to put the Lincoln/Crown Vic 2 speed fan in next idk. Anyone else get their Elco with 110 degree days, ac on and sitting in traffic to not overheat like a new car I'd sure like to know. Thanks.
Hitting 260 degrees multiple times….that makes me cringe.
If your car isn’t overheating until the ac is on, your condenser is getting too hot (clearly). If the AC is on, a fan must be running directly over the AC condenser the entire time the AC is running. Your AC condenser also needs to be much smaller than the radiator otherwise you’ve just blocked your radiator from getting any cold air once the AC is running.
 

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Of course everyone thinks i'm lying but i'll tell you what my setup has been for over 8 years. I have a Spectrum rad with one 1" aluminum core and warrantied for life, a Lincoln two speed fan using the low speed only controlled by a DCC controller. I did opt for the DCC remote mounted multicolor LED to backup what the temp gauge says. The DCC controller is not cheap and he builds them when you pay for it and about a month delivery. THIS SETUP WORKS ! I can sit in 95 degree temp at idle and a/c and it never gets out of normal ! A lot of people make the mistake of setting the fan up on high speed ! If the air moves thru the rad too fast it never picks up as much of the heat ! Laugh at this setup if you wish,BUT,it WORKS and has for many years. By the way I'm running a hybridized 305.
 

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1980 Chevrolet El Camino 305/350
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Yes I thought about putting a fan on the condenser just makes sense now I will, a Lincoln 2 speed Manuel switch til I get a controller I need airflow. I was copying my 97 Camry has just 1" rad with 2 fans that can run idled or run all day 110 temps ac blasting with no condenser fan but it's modern and 6 cyl. Copied the spacing also of condenser to rad at 1 1/4 " away. Unlike the large original condenser the new condenser that AutoZone gave me is thin but ac works good. The $30 1" rad works better but when I install the condenser fan which rad be best then the $30 1 row or new 2 row. The 2 row is in now so see how it does then try the 1 row. Will only be 98 today so running out of 110+ days. It may be quite awhile til I report back with results. Well I noticed this morning that the upper hose a bit collapsed as I had it at the wrong end or it slid to the curved section(I think it slid it's kind of thin) but another test drive coming tomorrow. Today is tv as boxing is on all day..AJ vs Usyk 2..heavyweight title on DAZN for FREE..best deal in boxing imo, then ESPN, then Showtime must haves. I also have a small 5x14" trans radiator helping it's attached to the grill, centered.
Thanks very much VdV8 and Wayne Parrish..I believe you about the 1" row rad with the airflow and have to check out the hybrid set up that's really something.
 

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The Fan blade measures between 18.0" to 18.375" in diameter and it measures approx. 5.75" deep including the fan motor. I will try to get a picture of mine tomorrow but in the meantime you can pull up the MKIII fan online and there are oodles of pictures. Thats an excellent fan and the replacement motors are readily available. With its large fan size and the shroud it pulls a lot of air on low speed .
 

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I have a MK VIII fan installed.
It has the fan blade grill guard over the fan blade, yet it does not have a shroud installed that fully takes air through the complete radiator pass through area.
Mine has 3 inches on each side not inside the shroud. That is 3 + 3 = 6 inches too narrow.
I look forward to seeing which shroud you have. If larger, it might help mine draw air better.

This is what mine looks like:

Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Grille
 

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When I first purchased my '70 it had overheating problems.
The headers would glow red during the day. Everyone felt the heat when I parked next to them.

Problems:
1) Too much play in the lower shaft of the distributor was causing the timing to fluctuate. This resulted in firing spark into cyls at the wrong time.
2) Running too lean on fuel
Replacing with a good distributor/timing and correcting carb fixed the header glowing problem.

3) Controllers, sensors and too small wiring for electric fans.
Replaced sensors and upgraded control system with relays.
The electric fans can draw a lot of power when they start up and when just running.
You need solid electrics in the relays, wiring, and controllers or the fan connectors and fan motors will fail.
Some fans, like the Lincoln MKVIII (M8) can draw a lot of power on startup.
Keep in mind they start up more when you are idling, and air is not flowing through the grill as much. Idling is when your alternator is spinning less and producing less power.
.
From an article by El Camino owner, author and editor, Jeff Smith. Expressed in amps:
Ref The Big Chill: A Budget Approach to a Big Electric Fan that Really Works (streetmusclemag.com)
FanContinuousLoad Spike
T-Bird/M8 Low Spd.26-2837-40
T-Bird/M8 High Spd.32-3548-53 <=====
Taurus Low Speed24-2636
Taurus High Speed28-2940-45
 

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1980 Chevrolet El Camino 305/350
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just thought of a mod may work having to use 110 degree summer air when idling in traffic ac on high (all day long). There's plenty of room for RAD and CONDENSER up front to have their own 'rooms' not allowing the condenser heat going through the rad also. Separate the rad n condenser by a wall or boxed in?
Have rad fans pulling then add another shroud and 14"fan for condenser pushing and positioned closer to the front grill drawing air. Box in the condenser and shroud/fan and have air exit the RIGHT lower area through a 5"x5" hole or so. Then have the rad room draw air through a separate 5x5 from the lower LEFT side. Least the rad will be drawing cooler air from the other side of truck and not sucking hot condenser air. Definitely could have at least a 2+" space between the 2 'rooms' maybe add 2 small fans on top blowing down cooling the 2" space. Probably add a bigger alternator with 3 fans(and 2 small ones).
Just a thought what do y'all think?
Helping it is an afr meter getting best performance and mileage, newer hei timed good, manual fan delete helped a lot added hp and less motor work/heat.
I've oversized 10 guage electric fan wiring w relays and fuses. I feel the 1 1" row rad worked better than the 2 row 1" tubes that seems to generate more heat/area.
Anyone have any thoughts on good or bad or would make other adjustments to this set up for permanent fix?
Thank you.
 

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Bear, I will do my best to get you some pics tomorrow of my shroud . Shoot your e-mail address to me and I'll shoot the pics to you. You will be welcome to post them if you wish since I haven't posted pics on the site yet. Been busy around here but I will try my best to get them out.
 

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Bear, I hope you can get some use on the pics I e-mailed you. If they are not good enough I will back it out in the daylight and get you some. As you can see there is only about 2" on each side that is not covered by the shroud and with the fan on low speed wiring it does a great job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
So I'm trying to permanently keep engine cool at 190-210 with outside temps at 110 with ac blasting in stop n go traffic in Vegas and removed the original shroud and clutch fan to install bigger 2 row 1" radiator with aluminum shroud with 2 electric fans so I don't have to turn ac off every now n then when it reaches 225.

Since my ac just went out I removed the Condenser and put the old 1 row 1" tube rad in and did road trip to see how engine temps faired. Even with no ac and no condenser in the way it eventually gets to 225+.
So the flat aluminum shroud with 2 fans block and reduce airflow. They need flaps but that won't help enough.

Then like Old Bears set up which is great it also allows hiway air in and through entire radiator to cool. I'll then try the nice 2 row rad and see what happens.
Then move the fan in front of the condenser and see what happens. I still think the new 2 row 1" tubes rad must be better somehow and so all the miserable tests with it.
 

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Think about the Mk fans and using the original Lincoln shroud. I have had super luck with that setup.I also run fan at low speed . When building air intake cooling shrouding for aircraft you have to be careful not to have the air run thru at TOO great a flow speed . The air has to flow slow enough to pick up the heat and then discharge it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Yes using the mk fan and shroud having low and high speed will see how each radiator works . Maybe the thin one as all the hot condenser air passing through it also.
Maybe the 2" rad works best idk will find out eventually.
Yesterday I heard a newer Ford truck pull over a few houses down and the fan motor sounded like a prop engine using high speed..it came on twice within a minute so loud
then stayed on low and quiet thereafter.
That's what I'll have!!! Yesterday was 107 degrees.
 

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El Camino Central Founder/Co-Founder N.E.C.O.A.
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Has anyone gone through this mess? I want A/C without overheating like a new car like hauling as on highway to exit into stop n go traffic lights or sitting in a drive through on 110 degree days with the A/C blasting!!
I installed all new A/C and nothing works better than a $30 used aluminum/plastic Craigslist rad with 1 1" row with mechanic fan with original fan and shroud. I can exit hiway into stop n go traffic longer without having it overheat ( only hitting 220+ then I shut ac off).
Bought a $200 something champion 2 row 1" tubes and exiting highway into a drive thru the temp shot up fast 260++..rediculous it was returned.
Next an $875 Be Cool with 2 electric fans with aluminum shroud with removed mech fan and plastic shroud
- lasts a little longer but still 260++ temps is dangerous blow the motor BS. Wtf is going on I thought a 2 row 1" tubes would handle anything.
I have upper and lower springs in the hoses and replaced 195 thermostats in case. I put a 180 in now and still just overheats too fast. I'm thinking about returning the be cool and try the $30 radiator and put the aluminum shroud with 2 12" electric fans on with the mechanic fan in place also if needed. It's timed at 11 degrees and I have an afr meter thats at 14.7 at idle.. around 12.5 -14.7 while cruising.
I may need to put the Lincoln/Crown Vic 2 speed fan in next idk. Anyone else get their Elco with 110 degree days, ac on and sitting in traffic to not overheat like a new car I'd sure like to know. Thanks.
What thermostat are you running, and are you sealing between the radiator and condenser, so air is forced through both? Also, be sure the plastic air damn on bottom is installed.
 
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