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Old November 27th, 2009, 05:11 AM   #1
bigblockford79
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Default Cooling System For Big Block

I am currently working on putting a 460 in my ranger and I want to make sure that I get enough cooling power so that it doesn't overheat. I had problems with overheating on the dunes with the stock radiator when this engine was in my 79 F250.

I was hoping that some of you on here running big blocks (between 400-600 HP) could lend me some advice and steer me in the right direction. I have no issue spending some cash on a new set-up, but I only want to spend money once and have no future issues.

I am currently planning on running a 2-speed ford taurus fan but that might change as well.

Thanks for any and all help.
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Old November 27th, 2009, 07:00 AM   #2
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The biggest problems I had was not moving enough air & coolant. the radiator was fine, I had a 3 core about 32" wide. when I first started out I couldn't keep it cool. it was burping coolant bad. I took a T stat and cut the ears and dropped out the center, so it is just the orific. that made a huge difference. second was to make my antifreeze mix perfect. I hand mixed it all before putting it in the system and tested it -30* on them old bulb gauges. then it settled down quite a bit. the other issue was when I was moving slow or parked. I had to go to a 7 bladed flex fan to keep air moving. I didn't think to use electric back then.
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Old November 27th, 2009, 07:12 AM   #3
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by the way, check out the differences in pump impellers. stay away from the older cast ones. they didn't seem to maove as much coolant. on the flip side I have seen the stamped sheet metal ones with the paddles rotted off so it was just a spinning disc in water.
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Old November 27th, 2009, 08:15 AM   #4
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My water pump is a reman with a stamped impeller so that should be fine. I was thinking about running an electric pump to get constant flow as well.

Was your radiator a stock one or aluminum. If stock what type of construction was it?
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Old November 28th, 2009, 09:39 PM   #5
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I don't know anything about Fords, but here's what I run in my Jeep. Never have any issues at the dunes with this setup
Jegs universal 2 core radiator, single 16" SPAL fan, Proform electric water pump, no t stat, water and water wetter (mainly just for lubrication/anti corrosion), and it does have the 4 corner cooling. This is on a large ci SBC, but has always worked great on the street and the dunes.
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Old November 28th, 2009, 10:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFRd_CJ5 View Post
I don't know anything about Fords, but here's what I run in my Jeep. Never have any issues at the dunes with this setup
Jegs universal 2 core radiator, single 16" SPAL fan, Proform electric water pump, no t stat, water and water wetter (mainly just for lubrication/anti corrosion), and it does have the 4 corner cooling. This is on a large ci SBC, but has always worked great on the street and the dunes.
Do you happen to know the core size you are running. I already have the summit version of the radiator you have with a 19 X 26 core. This rad had a little bit of a rough time keeping my 302 cool on the dunes. I was however only running a rebuilt stock pump with a 15% overdrive, and a 16" elec. fan pushing about 1650 CFM. This set-up would keep the SB around 210*, but i don't think it will keep up with the BB. I am going to be running a pro-form pump and maybe a taurus electric fan.

Could you take a pic of the front of your engine for me, I would like to see your belt set-up to see the routing after removing the belt driven water pump.

thanks
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Old November 28th, 2009, 10:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFRd_CJ5 View Post
I don't know anything about Fords, but here's what I run in my Jeep. Never have any issues at the dunes with this setup
Jegs universal 2 core radiator, single 16" SPAL fan, Proform electric water pump, no t stat, water and water wetter (mainly just for lubrication/anti corrosion), and it does have the 4 corner cooling. This is on a large ci SBC, but has always worked great on the street and the dunes.
^^^^Please don't do this to a BBF^^^^
(at the very least use the plate as an orifac)

you can get away with it on most SBC stuff. they are easy to cool. the BBF stuff is very different animal when it comes to cooling.
as for the radiator I had in both mine I used the stock 3 core in my drag car and a stock 4 core in my XL with A/c. they were both pigs on cooling. never got above 180*. the newer alluminum radiators is a great up grade if the cores flow enough. you might ask a good radiator shop if they have the specs on the one your running to be sure it flows enough to keep up.
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Old November 28th, 2009, 10:40 PM   #8
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I will definitely keep the t-stat, it really doesn't give any advantage to removing it. The rad that I have is a Summit racing all aluminum 2 row with 1" tubes, with a core size of 19 x 26. I am tempted to try this one first since I already have it. But my hang up is that it struggled some with my SBF and I am doing a tube engine cage and will build it around the rad I end up with. Which means if the rad I have doesn't cool the engine then I get to redo the whole front of my truck.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 12:39 AM   #9
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I don't run a t stat because of spiking issues I had with 2 of my street cars years ago. Not saying you shouldn't, I just don't.
Quote:
you can get away with it on most SBC stuff. they are easy to cool
I know nothing about Fords, but I can say there's quite a few people with SBC's on and off the dunes that have a lot of cooling problems. Not sure I would say they are easy to cool?
My radiator is a two row 1" core. I'd have to measure, but I was thinking it's a 28x19.
Here's a couple of pictures of the front. I run a Powermaster alternator kit that is designed for low mount with an electric water pump.


If you 're going to build around the radiator you choose, I'd go with the biggest radiator you can buy so you know if you do have a problem, it's not that.
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Old December 1st, 2009, 09:34 PM   #10
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BBF, 78 bronco, 500 dyno proven hp. Never got above 180*, Factory 4 core radiator and 19" steel fan. Flex fans are junk on BBF's. Too many rpms and they dont work so well. Get a nice big mechanical fan and a good radiator and a 160* thermostat and you should be fine. Dont skimp on the fan. Cheap flex fans are not the ansewer. I ran my truck on the dunes, trails and in the mud. Never got hot.
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