OVER HEATING ENGINE

GREGj

New member
21
0
1
Buick Ownership
1970 ELECTRA
I have a 1970 Electra with a 455. Supposedly has been detuned for running on unleaded. Has had the heads redone with hardened seats. Has had some overheating problems in the past, (I have had it for 4 years.) but seems to be getting worse. It idles cool. Runs at about 50-55 mph OK but when I speed up the temp starts to climb drasticly. (240+) It will cool down fairly quickly when I slow down. I don't remember if I put a new thermostat in it or just took the old one out. I am thinking possibly the water pump is shot and not circulating water properly. Just want to ask around before I start into it. I have changed out the stock fan for an electric set up and that helped prior, but as I stated, it seems to be getting worse. Anti freeze test out OK and I have added purple ice but I have not had the system flushed. Also was wondering about an electric pump. Any comments on that? And finally, where to get a pump? Thanks.
 

HotZ28

Full Member Since 2005
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SE
Buick Ownership
1996 Roadmaster Limited Collectors Edition 58k - 1996 PAU 2019 Regal GS
If you have not replaced the thermostat, I would suggest that to be be the first step!
 

LARRY70GS

Full Member
2,986
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Oakland Gardens, N.Y.
Buick Ownership
98 Riviera, 70 GS455 Stg1
I have a 1970 Electra with a 455. Supposedly has been detuned for running on unleaded. Has had the heads redone with hardened seats. Has had some overheating problems in the past, (I have had it for 4 years.) but seems to be getting worse. It idles cool. Runs at about 50-55 mph OK but when I speed up the temp starts to climb drasticly. (240+) It will cool down fairly quickly when I slow down. I don't remember if I put a new thermostat in it or just took the old one out. I am thinking possibly the water pump is shot and not circulating water properly. Just want to ask around before I start into it. I have changed out the stock fan for an electric set up and that helped prior, but as I stated, it seems to be getting worse. Anti freeze test out OK and I have added purple ice but I have not had the system flushed. Also was wondering about an electric pump. Any comments on that? And finally, where to get a pump? Thanks.

That is classic insufficient radiator. If you are using an old brass/copper radiator, it is probably at least partially clogged. I don't care what you flush it with, or who boils it out, it will still be clogged. Brass/copper radiators suffer from a reaction called solder bloom. It is a reaction between the solder and coolant resulting in white deposits that clog the tubes.

There is absolutely no reason to waste money on electric fans trying to fix a very basic problem with your cooling system. My 600HP 455 is cooled with nothing more than a stock fan, clutch, and shroud. I have a 2 row Griffin aluminum radiator with 1 1/4" tubes that is now 21 years old. It looks the same inside as it did when I bought it. The engine runs within 5* of the thermostat rating, 180*, ALWAYS. Look for a good aluminum radiator. NO MORE than 2 ROWS, and 1" tubes minimum.


Detuned to run on unleaded fuel? There is no reason for that either. 93 octane pump unleaded should be fine for your engine. What was probably done is the ignition timing was retarded. That alone, will cause your engine to run hotter than it should. Basic ignition timing is one of the most misunderstood topics on old car forums. People have a mental block for it. They think ignition timing begins and ends with setting the initial timing. It does not. As soon as RPM goes above idle, timing is added by the mechanical and vacuum advance mechanisms. Properly setting ignition timing includes a check of both systems, and setting maximum timing.


Your 1970 Buick probably suffers from a number of problems. All easily remedied if you understand basics.

I am a moderator over at V8buick.com

You need to join there. We deal with all the basics there, and the site is dedicated to the 60's and 70's Buick cars and engines. There is no better place for information on your Electra. You may have trouble registering because the Automatic registration there has been disabled because of a recent Spam-Bot attack. I can help you with that.
 

GREGj

New member
21
0
1
Buick Ownership
1970 ELECTRA
That is classic insufficient radiator. If you are using an old brass/copper radiator, it is probably at least partially clogged. I don't care what you flush it with, or who boils it out, it will still be clogged. Brass/copper radiators suffer from a reaction called solder bloom. It is a reaction between the solder and coolant resulting in white deposits that clog the tubes.

There is absolutely no reason to waste money on electric fans trying to fix a very basic problem with your cooling system. My 600HP 455 is cooled with nothing more than a stock fan, clutch, and shroud. I have a 2 row Griffin aluminum radiator with 1 1/4" tubes that is now 21 years old. It looks the same inside as it did when I bought it. The engine runs within 5* of the thermostat rating, 180*, ALWAYS. Look for a good aluminum radiator. NO MORE than 2 ROWS, and 1" tubes minimum.


Detuned to run on unleaded fuel? There is no reason for that either. 93 octane pump unleaded should be fine for your engine. What was probably done is the ignition timing was retarded. That alone, will cause your engine to run hotter than it should. Basic ignition timing is one of the most misunderstood topics on old car forums. People have a mental block for it. They think ignition timing begins and ends with setting the initial timing. It does not. As soon as RPM goes above idle, timing is added by the mechanical and vacuum advance mechanisms. Properly setting ignition timing includes a check of both systems, and setting maximum timing.


Your 1970 Buick probably suffers from a number of problems. All easily remedied if you understand basics.

I am a moderator over at V8buick.com

You need to join there. We deal with all the basics there, and the site is dedicated to the 60's and 70's Buick cars and engines. There is no better place for information on your Electra. You may have trouble registering because the Automatic registration there has been disabled because of a recent Spam-Bot attack. I can help you with that.
Thanks for all the input. I have applied over at v8buick.com but have not heard back. I'll have to get off my butt and start working on this stuff. I lost the garage it was in and now is currently stored due to local fire activity here in CA. (Where all I can get is 91 octane) Aside from running hot and having low voltage a idle it idles like a dying mule after it warms up and was going to work on that after the cooling and electrical...
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