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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellas,
I just got my 57 wagon about 3 weeks ago. First thing the radiator gave up the ghost. After much research and digging around, I put a 2 row ECP radiator in it. Now that I'm able to drive it around a bit more, I'm at the stage where the car heats up when stopped in traffic and then cools back down when moving again. I read much on this and it seems a radiator shroud is needed. Here my issue...

My radiator is in V8 position and its not easy to get out. The trans line fittings are a little buggered up and I don't want to strip them (further), the lines themselves didn't really line up that well either. Thus, my shroud solution will be a hit or miss endeavor. Is there any reason that I can't take the sturdy cardboard box my radiator came in and make myself a prototype fan shroud out of it? Something to just run 1-2x in traffic (and driveway) to see how much it increases air draw through my radiator. It would be helpful to experiment a little before pulling trigger on a shroud.

Lastly, part of my reason for wanting to experiment, is because I'm fairly certain that I can't get a normal full shroud in place (without removing my radiator). Thus, my idea is to try and use a 3/4 shroud that covers everything but the bottom. This would allow me to "drop it into place". I'm just wanting to experiment and see if this will help enough for me to actually purchase a new shroud and then chop it up.

Thanks in advance,
CJB

Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Plant
 

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Personally I think it's a very good idea to experiment with a cardboard shroud first to ensure a shroud will fix the issue. I had the same problem you're having, and I went to a sheet metal shop and had him build up a shroud to my dimensions. Went through all the time and money to install it and it compounded my problems. It still heated up at idle, and it ran even hotter at speed. So bad that I had to stop alongside the road and grab my tools to remove it so I could get back home.
Fortunately I had mine built as two halves, upper and lower, that overlapped. So it was easier to install and uninstall. I eventually figured out my overheating issue was a too lean carb for the engine size. I swapped larger jets in the carbs and it never got hot again.
 

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Great idea on the cardboard shroud, I would reinforce it with gorilla tape though, as mentioned a lean idle will heat the engine up and also retarded initial timing will as well.
However I've never run a shroud on any of my builds including a pump gas 548" big block that made 752 hp 687 ft lbs. I've always just used spal fans=lots of airflow through the radiator. For me a shroud is just too much in the way of things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the positive feedback. I sorta thought I might get gently flamed for me idea. I'm in TX and we are already up to 98*. I want to drive it this summer. The cooling issue doesn't seem bad, I've yet to see (let) it get much past 1 o'clock on my gauge. But driving down the highway its way down near 10 o'clock. I really think a tad more air drawing through might be the ticket. If its not, I'm not entirely sure what my next move will be. I have ZERO room for an electric fan and I REALLY don't want to move rad to I6 position. Anybody have have experience with water wetter?

Overall though, I've prolly read a dozen threads on people with similar symptoms. Vast majority say that a shroud cured them. My issue is mine may only be a partial shroud (my rad fan sits very low).

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Water wetter eats paper gaskets, but helps cooling, what is that device on your upper radiator hose? I would hook up a guage that reads Fahrenheit to know exactly what you are running for temps first though.
Its an inline coolant filter. When I put the new radiator in it, I had concern about scaling and rust going into my new radiator. I did the best flush I could but wanted to run this filter system to prevent clogging anything into my radiator. So far it has caught a decent amount of stuff. I'm currently running straight distilled water. But once I remove the filter and replace with a regular hose, I'm going to do a 50/50 mix (and maybe water wetter).

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First and foremost , congratulations on buying a four door 57 wagon.
(I might be a little biased on 57 four door wagons as I own three.)
As for overheating, air flow is important.
You want to make sure you have the proper piece on the hood to match up with the radiator support and have the rubber seal in place between these two pieces so that air is forced through the radiator and not over the top of the radiator support. Also, there is supposed to be a piece on either side of the radiator from the factory that is down low on the engine side of the radiator that helps air flow on all 57s. Very often they are left off when engine swaps are done because people don’t realize how important they are for air flow.
Looking at your engine picture that looks like a flex fan. If it is I would replace that with a better fan that is properly sized for this car.
There are many reasons for a car to run hot. It’s a process of elimination.
Other will chime in with their experiences.
 

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57 210 post dressed as a Bel Air
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I like the temporary shroud idea although I I wonder if aluminum flashing might hold up a little better. Whatever you decide to do please share because others of us may end up in the same situation. Here in southern Illinois, we had about 93/94 yesterday and today. Kind of muggy out. Good Luck.
 

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Have you checked/replaced your thermostat, what type of fan blade do you have. Having airflow is important to keep the radiator cool, you may be better off mounting a pusher fan in the I6 radiator position.
 

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As mentioned, ditch the fan. That's an accident waiting to happen.
And it's way down on the efficiency list for performance.
Going by the oem gauge is a shot in the dark, at best.
Get a real gauge in there before you try to determine the results of the shroud test.
As for the Water Wetter use.... We use RMI 25.
Some "G2" on WW.
Water Wetter and Sludge Buildup | Page 2 | Bob Is The Oil Guy
 
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Hello fellas,
I just got my 57 wagon about 3 weeks ago. First thing the radiator gave up the ghost. After much research and digging around, I put a 2 row ECP radiator in it. Now that I'm able to drive it around a bit more, I'm at the stage where the car heats up when stopped in traffic and then cools back down when moving again. I read much on this and it seems a radiator shroud is needed. Here my issue...

My radiator is in V8 position and its not easy to get out. The trans line fittings are a little buggered up and I don't want to strip them (further), the lines themselves didn't really line up that well either. Thus, my shroud solution will be a hit or miss endeavor. Is there any reason that I can't take the sturdy cardboard box my radiator came in and make myself a prototype fan shroud out of it? Something to just run 1-2x in traffic (and driveway) to see how much it increases air draw through my radiator. It would be helpful to experiment a little before pulling trigger on a shroud.

Lastly, part of my reason for wanting to experiment, is because I'm fairly certain that I can't get a normal full shroud in place (without removing my radiator). Thus, my idea is to try and use a 3/4 shroud that covers everything but the bottom. This would allow me to "drop it into place". I'm just wanting to experiment and see if this will help enough for me to actually purchase a new shroud and then chop it up.

Thanks in advance,
CJB
Maybe your radiator is too small. Not familiar with your product. In a 80s GM truck, a 2-row came with the 305 engine but was insufficient for a 350 and GM used a 3-row.

You should correct your fitting and line issue or it will bite you in the a$$ later.

A partial shroud does not work. Shrouds should cover 360 degrees to PULL the air through the radiator at idle. At speed the ram effect pushes air through the radiator. Ever see a half shroud on any factory design car?

A plastic shroud solved my idle temperature rise on my 454. You can try to reinvent the wheel but the inexpensive products that work are out there.

Generally a full 1-piece shroud is placed over the fan before the radiator is installed.

Also, speaking of fans, lose the riveted flex fan before someday it fails. They are not great air movers. Consider a factory GM 6-7 blade fan.
 

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DEFINITELY correct your fan problem FIRST... Adding antifreeze/COOLANT will also help. Have you checked your timing; having just bought the car, there's no telling what the prior owner did to it.. I'd do ALL of the above before trying to fabricate a shroud...
 

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Two things. When you say it runs hot stopped in traffic, just what is "hot"? If it's staying under 200°, it's not too hot. Well not for plain water, but with a 50/50 mix. Or if it doesn't get as cold where you live, a 50/50 mix isn't needed, running more water will actually cool better, but will boil over sooner.
And like everyone else says Ditch That Tiny Puny Fan! No wonder it gets hot when stopped!
That's a cool coolant filter! First I've ever seen!
 

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I run a pusher fan in conjunction with my engine fan on my 350 SBC. The pusher is controlled by a relay that is adjustable, and I have it set for 185 degrees since my engine runs around 180 almost all the time. In the summer if I get stuck in traffic in high ambient temps the pusher comes on and keeps my temperature at 185 degrees. Then once I get back to driving speeds it shuts off and runs 180 again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you all for the feedback, I appreciate it.

My issue is that I begin to get pushed into a set of parameters based of the given the setup I'm forced to deal with. In hindsight I might should have gone with the I6 position, but I didn't want to make that many changes so quickly. I simply wanted to put it a quality replacement of what I had. But that lead to some cascading decisions (as is all hot rod work). :)

Its a good radiator from engineered cooling products. They came pretty recommended from many of the posts on this sight. But its suppose to be a direct replacement but since its now aluminum, the lower "shell" portion of the radiator is a bit wider that before. This meant the bigger 19" heavier duty fan rubbed the lower radiator shell.
Hand Hood Automotive tire Wood Gas



So I purchased (2) new fan in 17" size to mitigate this. The first one I tried had more aggressive fin shape for airflow, but then the fin trailing edge actually rubbed by harmonic balancer. I was going to buy a spacer to move it fwd. But the slimmest spacer is 1/2" and now it would be back to putting the fan into the lower radiator portion again.
Automotive design Flooring Art Urban design Space


Thus, I went with the slimmer finned fan so that I have room both in front and behind the fan. Once the radiator was actually mounted up, I was successful in getting it about 3/8" further fwd that I'd anticipated, so there is a tiny bit more room than originally thought. But ultimately, I'm sorta bound by all these parameters. Its worth noting that my radiator fan seems to sit low in relation to my radiator. There is not much room from the bottom of my 17" fan to my tranny coolant lines.....this affects fan size choice, and potential shroud options also (which is why I want to experiment with the shroud thing in my OP).

PS- yes, to the now thermostat question. When I did this work it didn't have a stat. So I put a nice 180* edelbrock thermostat in place.
PSS- whoever mentioned the under hood panels and fitment was a good idea. I need to check on those things. I've not considered that at all.

Thanks again fellas!
-CJB
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If those are "flex fans", I hope you are not using them.

Do a search and you will find out why.

I'm not entirely sure what constitutes a flex fan? Someone out there help my find a non-flex-fan that is slim and in 17" diameter. Ideally it need to not go "fwd" from the bolt mount very much and likewise not extend backwards (on the trailing edge) to much because it will interfere with my harmonic balancer.

Thanks
CJB
 

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Thank you for that link! It was eye opening. Considering how clean I've gotten my engine block, I'm glad I didn't set myself back with WW. I'll check out the RMI 25 stuff

-CJB
The RMI folks have a tech list as to how it works and how to float the crude out once it is loosened up.
 

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I'm not entirely sure what constitutes a flex fan? Someone out there help my find a non-flex-fan that is slim and in 17" diameter. Ideally it need to not go "fwd" from the bolt mount very much and likewise not extend backwards (on the trailing edge) to much because it will interfere with my harmonic balancer.

Thanks
CJB
Flex fans aren't the issue, flex fans with riveted blades have had some failures. But even those are not 100% sure to fail, and it depends on the brand and quality. I've had the same 6 blade flex fan with riveted SS blades on numerous cars. I like it so much I've taken it off when I sold cars and replaced it with whatever I could find cheap. It's on my '39 Chev coupe now and is well over 40 years old.

 
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