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1966 LeMans, rag top

gjones gjones
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 09/12
Posted: 09/19/12
12:30 PM

Hi. This is the first time posting on any auto forum, and am having hot running issues. I've read old posts about this subject, and think I narrowed the problem to the head gaskets, thought not positive. I have: 1966 Lemans convertible. 326cid. automatic trans. PO's changed intake to Edelbrock,w/a knock-off Carter afb competition series 9635sa 4barrel(625cfm), timing cover to accept newer 11 bolt water pump. Installed new water pump (not happy with it-impeller looks like alternator vanes- am looking for an 11 bolt with cast iron spiral impeller that doesn't cost$300)     Engine has lower than normal compression, probably from needing a valve job-sprayed oil into cylinders on compression test-little change).Installed new 3 core aluminum high flow Champion radiator. Installed new radiator shroud&finger guard.The engine runs quite well,aside from it running on the hot side(200-230).It takes about 10-15 minutes of idling at 190, then creeps up in temp.Forget about running it up the road at this point. She has a Mallory electronic distributor & coil w/vacuum advance.(works). When the temp goes above 200, both top AND bottom hoses start to get REAL TIGHT and scary looking, so I shut it down and get away from it.Never has boiled over,though. Has had 5 different thermostats in it,(some I've drilled small holes in it, has had 3 different radiator caps on it. I've run it with no thermostat. All to no avail. I've backflushed and front flushed it,seems clear. Have NOT pulled freeze plugs yet to flush.(Don't really want to).Here's the trick it plays: start it up, let run 15 minutes,210 degrees.upper & lower hoses turn into tight extruded footballs.Shut down, wait until cool. Restart with radiator cap off. Let run 10 minutes 185 degrees.10 more minutes-185 degrees, but now a constant stream of bubbles appears in the radiator. Install cap. At this time, it will idle maybe 20 more minutes, or a 20 minute easy drive. Then back to 220 and shut down time. Timing is at 6degrees before tdc. I have tapped down the water pump divider plate as far as possible to that cheesy looking impeller.No luck.Is this pump cavitating,or could it be a bad head gasket? There is NO white smoke from the exhaust. Any ideas are welcomed. Thanks (P.S. I'm a Chevy man- never seen the likes of this in my life)!  

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