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Getting enough air flow for AC!!

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farna View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jun/29/2017 at 8:38am
Just venting here a bit... I've been having a problem getting enough cooling air flow in my 63 Classic with AC. On a hot, over 90 degree humid day engine temp will creep up if I have the AC on stopped at a light. So far it hasn't gone over 215, but if I got stuck in traffic for long I think it would. Have a Jeep J-10 three core radiator and a pair of 12" electric fans. Going to add a 9" electric pusher fan on a toggle switch to see if that helps. I'm a bit dubious about putting a pusher fan in front of a puller fan... seems like the pusher would block air flow, at least when cruising and the pusher isn't on. I figure it won't hurt to try it though. Temp comes back down after I get back up to cruising speed for a couple minutes, but that won't help in big city rush hour traffic where I might be creeping along at 10-30 for a while!

I may just need a new radiator, as the Jeep three core is used. Engine cools great though, won't go over 200 with AC on cruising even on a hot day, and usually runs 90-195 (195 thermostat) -- if it hits 200 it's only for a minute or less, probably the thermostat opening. Maybe a new aluminum radiator would be a bit more efficient than the old brass one... but would it be enough?
Frank Swygert
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 6768rogues Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/29/2017 at 8:57am
I have had very good results with aluminum radiators even the generic ones on eBay.
Do you have an automatic transmission? I once had another brand that had an automatic and I put in a good transmission oil cooler plumbed between the tranny and radiator to precool the tranny fluid before it hit the radiator and it dropped the indicated temp of the engine about 15 degrees.
Also if there is space between the edges of the condenser and the radiator you could seal them up with foam pipe insulation or something similar. Lots of air leaks through there. It won't help idling with the fan pulling air through, but cruising or with a pusher fan it will help.
You probably thought of it, but blow out the condenser and radiator to be sure their fins are clean.
I don't worry until I see the engine approaching 235 degrees. Boiling is bad and with a 14 lb. cap it will not boil until it gets over 254 degrees at sea level.


Edited by 6768rogues - Jun/29/2017 at 9:05am
Why Ramblers? Chicks dig 'em. Whatever it is, I can take it apart.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 304-dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/29/2017 at 9:15am
Just so you know... even our newer Honda has trouble in sit and go traffic in hot humid weather. I swear we are about to boil over with the air on. Dual fans and a thin plastic radiator.

I think you will do just fine with out a pusher fan. If you can fit an electric fan setup from a Ford Contour with a J20 radiator, and a tranny cooler if needed will do just fine. Them electric fans working together will pull a lot of CFM.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun/29/2017 at 6:21pm
I might be over worrying about it. If it was just me I'd turn the AC off if I got caught up in gridlock, roll the windows down, and just sweat it out and grumble, but will have the wife with me driving the 16 hours from Lexington, SC, to Kenosha for the Homecoming meet... then back, of course. She won't be so forgiving of me or the car for dragging her along!  I ordered a 9" fan to put in front anyway. I will just have time to put it in and test it. As long as it doesn't hurt I'll be okay.

I have an external trans cooler, just in front of the lower part of the radiator. No cooler in radiator at all. I ran a Taurus fan when I had a two core radiator. Temp would creep up on a hot day with the two core and AC even cruising on the freeway at 65, so definitely a coolant/radiator capacity problem -- fixed with three core rad. Does great on the road now, just start to creep up after 2-3 minutes stopped when hot outside.

I might end up getting a three core aluminum radiator later...
Frank Swygert
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/17/2017 at 9:18am
The 9" pusher fan sort of saved the day. I turned it on when gauge showed about 210 and it would hold if traffic was moving some, but would still creep up if traffic was really slow (like the 10-15 mph all the way through Chicago for about an hour and a half!). Other than going through Chicago, only had to turn the AC off once more, stuck for about 30 minutes in Indiana construction. It was still cool enough in both instances that rolling a window down and using the blower only was still reasonably comfortable for the short times involved. On the trip home I started cutting that extra 9" on at about 200 and it held off running up to about 220 (where I shut the AC off) noticeably longer.

If I get a chance I may go to the local pick-n-pull and see if I can find a Contour fan setup. I think the two fans I have just don't pull hard enough. Most OEM fans pull more. If the Contour fans are anything like the Taurus fan I was using I know they will pull more than the ones I have now. It's either that or add a second 9" pusher on the other side...
Frank Swygert
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 6768rogues Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/17/2017 at 3:35pm
You discovered the reason that manufacturers went to temperature lights instead of gauges. If you had a light that came on at 225 or higher, you never would have known that the temperature went up.
Why Ramblers? Chicks dig 'em. Whatever it is, I can take it apart.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/27/2017 at 6:03pm
I didn't find a Contour fan setup in my local Pull-A-Part. Several Contours, all four cylinder models with a single large fan similar to the Taurus fan. Have to have a V-6 model for the dual fans. Did find a similar setup in a V-6 Probe though. Looked like it just might work... but it won't! It uses two different fan sizes, one about 15", the other maybe 13". The bigger fan is 4.25" from front of shroud to back of motor. I only have 4" of clearance -- need something no more than 3.5" at the thickest point. Looks like I'm going to have to order another fan for the front. A little tighter on the driver's side, will probably go with an 8" instead of a 9". though I really hate to!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/27/2017 at 6:20pm
Did some more research and find that the Contour fan is only 3.3-3.4" thick. I think I'm going to pursue that instead of adding another. Will just have to look some more. Have found new replacements for $85.95 + shipping, might have to go that way. I'm a little leery of aftermarket replacements though... might not be up to Ford specs.



Simplest wiring for two speed fans (use two temp sensors):



Edited by farna - Aug/27/2017 at 6:25pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ollie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/27/2017 at 7:31pm
I am going to add AC to my 258 Concord some day. I have learned thru experience cooling with AC is a challenge. I learned on a 440 which is a hot running engine.

Frank you are on the right track in my opinion. Its all about fans !!! And I mean at least 2 fans. They have high dollar 2 and 3 speed fans out there also. Mopar-guy posted a link to a company just recently.

I would wire the low speed straight to the compressor. High speed to a temp sensor in the out flow hose of the radiator.

I agree with your statement about the pusher fan together with a puller fan. Puller is better. The combo did help you out so you know your issue is you need more air flow.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep/07/2017 at 7:37am
I scored a Contour fan set yesterday! I don't think they are any larger diameter than the fans I run now, but they probably pull more air anyway. I had a 16" aftermarket fan before I got the Taurus fan in my non-AC car -- the Taurus fan is about the same size and pulled a LOT more air. Will give that a try before going to another pusher fan. 
Frank Swygert
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