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Chevy freak '91

Chevy freak '91

Posts : 77
Join date : 2016-10-19
Age : 51
Location : Amsterdam area

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PostSubject: Overheating   Overheating Icon_minitimeWed Aug 07, 2019 2:36 pm

Hey guys,
During my holiday in the mountains I experienced some serious overheating problems with my Chevy Caprice. I've heard that you can solve this by adding external fans in front of the radiator. Which set up works best? Of what type of fans did some of you add to your car? And what's better; with a switch of automatic?
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl

Posts : 5235
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 70
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Overheating   Overheating Icon_minitimeWed Aug 07, 2019 6:16 pm

I would look toward a stuck thermostat, or a collapsed hose. You might even look at the viscous fan coupling.

I put the fans from a FW on my OCC. They work fine. I use a temp sender unit with a switch to turn the fans on at a given temp. I believe Spectre makes a thermostat housing that has a boss for a temp sender. You can use it to ground a relay to turn a fan on. There are different value switched temp senders so you can determine what temp you want the fan to come on, and shut off. You must have it come on after the thermostat opens, and disconnect below a predetermined point that is lower than the turn on temp. I had one that turned on at 210, and off at 198. You could even have the fan come on with the AC, and turn off when the AC is off with the car running. That setup will also turn off when the car is turned off. Just tap into the AC demand line (at the accumulator), and use it to close a relay. If it is automatic, you do not have to remember to turn it off.

My AC guy suggested that I have a fan running on the passenger's side whenever the AC is turned on. He demonstrated the difference with gauges on the AC and ran water over the passenger's side. It made the pressure go down on the "high side" by a substantial amount.

Any good fan will work. They are easy to install. You need a pusher fan for the front. The space that can be used is somewhat limited, because of the cross bracing in front of the condenser. Get a fan that fits the space there.
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silverfox103
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silverfox103

Posts : 2989
Join date : 2008-11-05
Age : 70
Location : Littleton, NH & St. Simons, GA

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PostSubject: Re: Overheating   Overheating Icon_minitimeWed Aug 07, 2019 8:09 pm

If I remember right your Caprice is a 91, does it have the original radiator? If it does it may be time for a new one.

Tom
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jayoldschool

jayoldschool

Posts : 2548
Join date : 2009-06-14

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PostSubject: Re: Overheating   Overheating Icon_minitimeWed Aug 07, 2019 8:31 pm

A stock cooling system is up to the task. So, the issue is that something is not working. Rad cap not holding pressure. Bad hose. Bad rad. Clog. Stuck thermostat. Start with a pressure test and go from there. If history is unknown, change rad cap, rad hoses, thermostat. Flush and fresh coolant/distilled water mix. You don't need extra fans in these cars.
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Chevy freak '91

Chevy freak '91

Posts : 77
Join date : 2016-10-19
Age : 51
Location : Amsterdam area

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PostSubject: Re: Overheating   Overheating Icon_minitimeThu Aug 08, 2019 1:47 am

Thanks for the info guys. @Fred, do you have one or two extra fans? I think an automatic switch works best, but I'm not sure if I would connect it with the AC. Because, running the AC makes the car more warm, especially when doing some hill climbing. Do you have a link for a good fan?
@Tom, I have indeed a '91 Chevrolet Caprice. The radiator has been replaced 8 years ago, but a good flush wouldn't hurt. I believe there a special cleaning sets for a flush.
@Jay, I never have any overheating issues when I drive in normal conditions. but this holiday when it was 95 degrees and I had a hillclimb of 13% and was towing a 1500 LBS trailer, my car got seriously warm. But still, a good flush and new thermostat wouldn't hurt.
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Chevy freak '91

Chevy freak '91

Posts : 77
Join date : 2016-10-19
Age : 51
Location : Amsterdam area

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PostSubject: Re: Overheating   Overheating Icon_minitimeThu Aug 08, 2019 2:45 am

And would replacing my thermostat with a 195 degress thermostat help? Or should I stick to a 180 stat?
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jayoldschool

jayoldschool

Posts : 2548
Join date : 2009-06-14

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PostSubject: Re: Overheating   Overheating Icon_minitimeThu Aug 08, 2019 10:36 am

You shouldn't have a 180 stat. That is for LT1 cars.
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convert2diesel



Posts : 948
Join date : 2009-01-05
Age : 67
Location : Manotick, Ontario

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PostSubject: Re: Overheating   Overheating Icon_minitimeThu Aug 08, 2019 11:00 am

I tend to agree with Jay. The stock system should be more than adequate for the job. Had a 91 Roadmaster with the 305, pulling a 3,000 lb. camper. Hardest it ever worked was a 10%-14% grade over a 10 mile stretch coming out of North Carolina into Virginia on a 95 degree day.

The temps went up a few needle widths but no more.

Time to go over the entire cooling system.

Bill
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Chevy freak '91

Chevy freak '91

Posts : 77
Join date : 2016-10-19
Age : 51
Location : Amsterdam area

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PostSubject: Re: Overheating   Overheating Icon_minitimeThu Aug 15, 2019 1:04 am

Ok uys, thanks. I guess it's time to go over the cooling system like Bill says. I cann't remember the last time I changed the coolant and the thermostat. What's the best stuff to put in the colling system and to get rid off all the junk that's piled up in there?
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl

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Age : 70
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Overheating   Overheating Icon_minitimeThu Aug 15, 2019 8:51 am

Flush it with water. If you use "radiator flush", you will probably be buying a water pump. The radiator flush usually removes the gunk that makes the seal work at the front of the water pump shaft. Or, put a new water pump on it, and use the "radiator flush". You may need a new pump anyway.
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Chevy freak '91

Chevy freak '91

Posts : 77
Join date : 2016-10-19
Age : 51
Location : Amsterdam area

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PostSubject: Re: Overheating   Overheating Icon_minitimeFri Aug 16, 2019 7:53 am

I believe that the wagons had a special tow option package? I think this includes an oil cooler and different gear ratio. I don't think my wagon has these options so maybe that's why it has trouble with a trailer in the mountains
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl

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Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 70
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: Overheating   Overheating Icon_minitimeFri Aug 16, 2019 8:13 am

The tow option for the early wagons had an oil cooler, and a wiring harness for the trailer electrical hookup. Other than that probably nothing. The oil cooler was hooked up to the radiator, and was not a stand alone cooler.

I do not have "extra" fans. I have the fans from a 93 Fleetwood in place of the original mechanical fan. Check your viscous drive for proper function. When they get older, they can fail, causing overheating.

What gear ratio do you have? G code of GU2 (2.73)or GU5 (3.23)? Unless you are pulling a heavy trailer, it should not matter which one you have, the trans will downshift to give you enough power to pull it. You might also try driving in D instead of OD.
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Chevy freak '91

Chevy freak '91

Posts : 77
Join date : 2016-10-19
Age : 51
Location : Amsterdam area

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PostSubject: Re: Overheating   Overheating Icon_minitimeFri Aug 16, 2019 12:04 pm

Ok, I did not know that. I can imagine that the seprate oil cooler did a lot to prevent the wagons from overheating. But before installing extra fans, I'm going to flush my cooling system with a good radiator flush and after that with lots of water, install a new waterpump, and a new thermostat. I believe that since I own my wagon, I haven't changed the thermostat in 17 years. So, I think it's time to do that (lol). Than, fresh new coolant from a premium brand. I think all of that will do a lot for my car, and then I can decide if the extra fan is needed.
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rcktpwrd

rcktpwrd

Posts : 131
Join date : 2019-03-06
Location : Raleigh, NC

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PostSubject: Re: Overheating   Overheating Icon_minitimeFri Aug 16, 2019 5:37 pm

I would think about replacing the water pump, with a new one if possible not a remanufactured one, and see of there is a heavy duty version available. I would also replace the fan clutch with a heavy duty one. Along with the thermostat and coolant.

On the wife's old '89 Suburban, TBI 350, I did that and it made a difference, it did run slightly cooler and the gauge didn't fluctuate near as much. It never had an overheating problem but the pump was going bad...
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PostSubject: Re: Overheating   Overheating Icon_minitime

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