70 454 correct temp - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 19, 9:03 PM Thread Starter
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70 454 correct temp

Fellas, just picked up my first Chevelle about 2 months ago. Love it! Few minor things here and there, but I'm getting genuinely concerned about the water temp. So, it starts, idles, and drives great! Once it gets warmed up, it runs right around 210-215. I have stock gauges, stock fan, stock rad, stock Tstat (that I know of). When I'm cruising, it stays pegged at 210-220. But as soon as I get in traffic, it climbs pretty quick to 230-240. The other day I was in downtown and lot of start and stop to take pictures, and at one point it read 250. I turned it off, popped the hood, and nothing smelled like it was burning, no steam, no overflow on the ground. So, I started it back up, still at around 240, and started driving down the road and it cooled to around 220-230. Should I be concerned??? Seems a bit hotter than it should be... Temps have been in the low to mid 60s around here. The coolant does look old, so I'm going to do a flush this weekend and see if that helps. But, otherwise...what would you suggest next? Lower Tstat?? I have done a bunch of research and it seems the stock Tstat is a 195, but I get mixed reviews on which to run (195 or 180, even some suggest 160). That would make sense then to see 210 temps with a 195 Tstat. But for it to climb to 240-250, I'm not sure what is next. The car is for the most part in a stock setup.

1970 Chevelle 454, 4 spd Muncie, 12 bolt, 3.31, AC, PS, PB, Ridler 695, Nitto 555
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 19, 9:47 PM
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Re: 70 454 correct temp

Adam, if it has a stock fan and clutch assembly, check the clutch. It should spin pretty freely by hand when the engine is cold, and with resistance when hot. If it spins freely with hot engine, replace the clutch with a Hayden 2747 heavy duty clutch. Of course you may have radiator problems or a bad thermostat, but the clutch is an easy thing to check. I run a 180 stat in my BBC, no problems.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 19, 7:08 AM
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Re: 70 454 correct temp

I would replace the thermostat with a colder one 180° or maybe 160° (like in my car). Even though the factory one is a 195°, for years it has been a common practice to replace it with a cooler one as big blocks have a tendency to run a little hot… BUT… going anywhere over 220° is definitely too hot!

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 19, 7:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 70 454 correct temp

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnugene View Post
It should spin pretty freely by hand when the engine is cold, and with resistance when hot.

It does

1970 Chevelle 454, 4 spd Muncie, 12 bolt, 3.31, AC, PS, PB, Ridler 695, Nitto 555
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 19, 7:56 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 70 454 correct temp

Quote:
Originally Posted by toofastforyou View Post
I would replace the thermostat with a colder one 180° or maybe 160° (like in my car). Even though the factory one is a 195°, for years it has been a common practice to replace it with a cooler one as big blocks have a tendency to run a little hot… BUT… going anywhere over 220° is definitely too hot!

Claude.

Yep, I think I will pickup a 180 stat at Autozone and swap it out when doing my radiator flush today. Hopefully that helps cooler her down. Again, she runs great, just seems to get a bit hot when in slower moving traffic.

1970 Chevelle 454, 4 spd Muncie, 12 bolt, 3.31, AC, PS, PB, Ridler 695, Nitto 555
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 19, 8:27 AM
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Re: 70 454 correct temp

In the south you could get away with a 160 but they say the 180 is the one you want.

I would check the gauge with another if you have one.. At 250-260 it should be spitting and making a ticking noise..
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 19, 10:23 AM
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Re: 70 454 correct temp

Quote:
Originally Posted by vtchopperdude View Post
Yep, I think I will pickup a 180 stat at Autozone and swap it out when doing my radiator flush today. Hopefully that helps cooler her down. Again, she runs great, just seems to get a bit hot when in slower moving traffic.
I see you are in Valdosta, I lived there from 88-95 when I was stationed at Moody AFB. I LOVE that area, I was back last year and WOW it has grown.. Anyway, I run a 160 in my 454 with a 19" clutch fan and it keeps mine nice and cool.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 19, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 70 454 correct temp

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Originally Posted by Bart_Swisher View Post
I see you are in Valdosta, I lived there from 88-95 when I was stationed at Moody AFB. I LOVE that area, I was back last year and WOW it has grown.. Anyway, I run a 160 in my 454 with a 19" clutch fan and it keeps mine nice and cool.

Yep, we have been at Moody for 3 years and love it! Trying to stay another 3 actually!! But thanks for the advice. I'm heading to Autozone in a few minutes to pick up a Tstat and one of those solid state VR715 regulators (pulsing lights), and I'm torn between the 180 and 160. I may go with the 160 since it seems to want to hit 240-250 easily and it's always hot down here.
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1970 Chevelle 454, 4 spd Muncie, 12 bolt, 3.31, AC, PS, PB, Ridler 695, Nitto 555
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 19, 10:52 AM
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Re: 70 454 correct temp

I bypassed my regulator and went with a standard 10SI on mine. I have to ask, is Humdingers restaurant still open there on Bemiss road? lol

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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 19, 11:56 AM
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Re: 70 454 correct temp

Couple things come to mind.
1. Is there a fan shroud on it? Is the shroud proper for the fan and is the shroud positioned properly?
2. Where is the temp reading being taken from. Is it from the head or the intake. If taken from the head it could read as much as 20 degrees hotter than the intake . However 250 seems a little hot.
3. Nasty colored coolant certain ly won't help. Might want to flush out system and change coolant.
4. What kind of shape is your radiator cap in? If it is not holding pressure it will lower the boiling m point of the coolant thereby creating higher temps.
5. What about the shape of the radiator. If the coolant is nasty maybe the rad needs clearned out.

My big block has never run higher than 210. Even in 90 degree weather.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 19, 12:19 PM
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Re: 70 454 correct temp

This is the car with the loose leaking distributor right ?? Have you played with timing it ? Seems like a loose out of time dizzy could definitely cause it to run hot .

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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 19, 1:49 PM
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Re: 70 454 correct temp

First and foremost before throwing money at it, verify if the temp gauge is reading correctly. An IR temp gun is your friend here. Shoot it at the temp sensor.

A 160 stat will not make it run cooler. All it will do is open earlier than a 180 or 195. Usually whatever temp the stat is, is the temp it starts to open. Add another 10-20 deg for fully open.

If you are truly running up to 250 I doubt a stat change will make a difference, unless your current stat is bad. You can check the operation of a stat on the stove in a pot of water and a temp gun/candy thermometer. Just don’t tell the wife.
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 19, 7:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 70 454 correct temp

Flushed the radiator, added new coolant. Pulled thermostat and it was a 160. So, I thought maybe it had gone bad, so I picked up another 160 tstat at Autozone for $12. Put it in and buttoned everything up. Test drive, still was cruising at 210, and in traffic bumped up to 230. The sensor is in the stock location, just above the left side exhaust manifold. The shroud looks to be correct and hugs the fan tightly. The radiator looks to be in good condition both on exterior and the interior (from what I can see with a flashlight). The overflow tube is clear. I also ran the heater to clean out the heater core, and it was producing heat like it should and the lines were warm. The 7 bladed fan has some resistance when engine is cold, and slightly more resistance when engine is hot.

But, I'm still thinking the gauge or sender is suspect... This car was recently restored/rebuilt and it runs like a dream, but according to the gauge, it runs at 240+ if sitting in traffic. I've stopped several times, popped the hood, no burning smell, no steam, no boiling, nothing coming out of the overflow, fan turns fine, nothing coming from tstat housing, nothing coming from any lines, nothing leaking on the ground. I'm not a Chevelle expert, but I'm scratching my head at this point.

1970 Chevelle 454, 4 spd Muncie, 12 bolt, 3.31, AC, PS, PB, Ridler 695, Nitto 555
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 19, 7:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 70 454 correct temp

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSJohn View Post
First and foremost before throwing money at it, verify if the temp gauge is reading correctly. An IR temp gun is your friend here. Shoot it at the temp sensor.

My buddy is sourcing one for me. Hopefully we can use it this weekend. I'll keep everyone posted.

1970 Chevelle 454, 4 spd Muncie, 12 bolt, 3.31, AC, PS, PB, Ridler 695, Nitto 555
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 19, 7:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 70 454 correct temp

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Originally Posted by Seven2bu View Post
This is the car with the loose leaking distributor right ?? Have you played with timing it ? Seems like a loose out of time dizzy could definitely cause it to run hot .

Yes, same car haha. I've only had it a month so I'm still working out all the kinks. My buddy (same buddy) has a timing gun. Coming over this weekend and gonna crush some beers and see how the timing is. But, if it was grossly out of time, I would expect to run rough. It doesn't...but, would a few degrees cause it to run lean and get that hot...?

1970 Chevelle 454, 4 spd Muncie, 12 bolt, 3.31, AC, PS, PB, Ridler 695, Nitto 555
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