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Thread: Engine bay heat

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    Aspen and Volare Junior Member Custom Coupe's Avatar
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    Engine bay heat

    Hi all - just finished swapping a warmed over 318 in my 1979 Aspen (was slant six). I have a 195 thermostat, small rad and clutch fan, engine does not overheat, but the engine bay heat seems excessive - inner fenders, air cleaner all very hot to the touch. I'm running stock manifolds, not headers, so I didn't expect things to get so hot under the hood. Do any of you experience the same thing and is it anything to be concerned about?

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    Aspen and Volare Super Member 77rr2x4s's Avatar
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    Is the exhaust well sealed and not leaking into the engine compartment? If your not overheating or the engines temps are not up there then I would say it`s normal. You may get some help by going with a 180 t stat.

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    Yes, exhaust is sealed. I have an infrared temp gun and the front top of the engine is running at 195, just like it should. Manifold and heads are a lot hotter - 300-400. The old slant six used to have a little more room in the engine compartment and it didn't build up as much heat - this one just seems to stay very warm under the hood. I know headers would generate a lot of heat in the engine compartment, but I didn't expect the manifolds would throw off that much excess heat. It is possible that I'm running a little lean or might have my timing advanced too much - my spark plugs are pretty white. Still tinkering with the set-up.

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    Aspen and Volare Super Moderator aspen79's Avatar
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    Having everything under the hood too hot to touch is normal. If the engine is running 195-220 degrees (i.e. not overheating), no need to worry.
    1979 Aspen Sunrise 500". Bought in 1987 with 72,000 miles and a mighty E24 California emission 90hp leaning tower of power/4-speed
    1996 Dakota with a torque monster (not) 3.9L V-6 and automatic owned since 1998. Now demoted to winter duty
    2008 Ford Mustang V6, the new summer daily driver

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    Aspen and Volare Member 76Beeper's Avatar
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    White spark plugs do indicate a lean set-up.
    Not enough timing will also create more heat.
    Double check your initial and total timing.
    If you have a better than stock cam in it, you can have initial right up to 15 to 18 degrees BTDC.
    Keep the total timing around 32 to 34 degrees (no vacuum advance plugged in)
    With the vacuum advance hooked up the mid cruise timing can go as high as 50 degrees, which is fine with a light load on the engine, like in cruise mode.

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