Running Hot

If you ever see the temperature gauge climb out of sight, whether flying or driving, you need to react instantly. Otherwise you will end up doing this.

If you’re flying a piston engine, you might check the cowl flaps or mixture. If the oil pressure is also dropping the engine will soon cease to exist. You must shut it down now and pull over or if flying,  acheive best glide and look for a place to land.

Son#3 had to tear it down to the block and have the head machined after the high temperatures warped it. He did the repairs himself  (with a little help from Dad) laboring evenings into the wee hours. His job and school became hobbies for the week.  He rebuilt and replaced , buttoned it all back up and it still ran hot. Turns out that the computer was shutting down the cooling fans. 

IMG_6006The garage now looks like a “garage” with grease stains and such but he persevered and it now runs like a top. He learned about driving from that.

Next on the menu: A turbocharger.  His first choice was an LS1 engine retrofit but I’d lose my garage for months. Besides, how fast does he really need to go?


8 responses to “Running Hot

  1. Damn – that’s not a small job. I’d be proud of myself for replacing a head gasket and God knows what else.

    • One of my concerns was finding a bag of important left over parts after the repairs were complete. (Hey isn’t this clamp for the fuel line?). A little worried when smoke initially came out of the tailipipe but that was “normal”. I was proud of his work.

      I would not recommend this as a fun weekend project.

  2. Might as well turbocharge it…how fast could that little thing go anyway? 😉

    • Pretty fast. I’m told that the sooper dooper custom built turbo will get him from 0 to 60 in just over two seconds and boost the engine to over 500bhp. I’m a little skepitical.

      How fast could that little thing go?
      ….too fast. But if it “must” be done, I’m in favor of a turbocharger. Swapping out for an mondo sized engine would require a new suspension/axle/transmission. This thing could cost more than an airplane!

  3. virgil xenophon

    It’s just one (damn) thing after another. Just like home renovations, with the last stop at the bank for another loan! LOL

    I once owned a beaut of a 1987 4cyc Dodge Turbo Lancer ES. Had tot pkg–sports suspension, custom wheels, tires, up-grade stereo, moon-roof, the works. All tied up in dark metallic charcoal-gray paint job with dark gray leath. int. Would go like a bat out of hell, but keeping the turbo tweeked for max per. was a maint. bear. Was great car tho, a hatch-back that worked like a station-wagon but looked and performed like a BMW.

    • I did some extensive car work as a lad but most of it was to make the car go, not necessarily go fast. The best one I drove (in the 70’s) was a Barracuda. Wish I had it now.
      It can be an enormous money pit. Folks will spend tens of thousands to upgrade, customize and tweak. The Mecca for many of these folks is the SEMA show to be held in Las Vegas next month.
      I’ll be there.

  4. virgil xenophon

    Barracuda? LOL, Wilco. The very first car I owned was a metallic golden bronxe 1964 “Cuda. Had the large engine, giant Hurst floor shift and sports suspension pkg. My Aunt bought it for me at end of my soph yr for making Deans list for two st yrs. I got it instead of a Mustang as I needed the cube-out space that the hatch-back gave w. the folding rear seats to haul all my stuff from ILL to Baton Rouge and back. LOVED that car. Original tires were Goodyear but I eventually replaced them w. Dunlop Gold Seals for the softer rubber which gave better traction in the corners and rain handling capability. (In those days those were about the only foreign tires one could get that didn’t cost a fortune)Wish I’d kept it–that and my wifes 1971 Challenger. LOL!

    • How about it—another ‘Cuda owner from the way back. Man that was a cool car. Same color too: metallic bronze. Loved the hatchback. There were a whole bunch of great muscle cars launched during the late sixties but I still think it was the best.

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