Dart By Degrees


After many years of searching through bookstores for your magazine, my wife finally bought me a subscription. I kind of miss the bookstore.
I have a 1963 Dodge Dart GT Convertible which is in very nice shape. It has a 225 slant six, and I have taken it to several local shows. I would like to drive it to more distant events. The main problem with the car is that it runs hot. I have replaced all hoses, water pump, belts and thermostat. The radiator has gone through several iterations. Following your success with Glen Ray Radiators, I sent my radiator to them. They are really experts and nice to deal with. They rebuilt the radiator and improved the situation but still the temperature rises (not as high as before). On startup, it rises slowly to about 180 (thermostat) but then will rise to near the top of the gauge. I know these gauges are temperamental so I purchased an infra‑red thermometer. A neat device. It confirmed that the temperature was indeed about 180 at the gauge midpoint and then rose to 195 nearer the gauge end. Any suggestions?

Are you saying that the temperature never gets above 195° F.? Does it ever actually boil? Does the temp increase mostly in city or highway driving?

Before Glen Ray the temperature would rise to 205° F. and would be above the “normal” range indicator on the gauge, very close to the end of the gauge. This worried me. Since then it has not risen much above 195° but I haven’t pushed the car, it was garaged all winter. It will rise to 195° just idling in the driveway and the car feels hot. I have not seen the coolant boil. I have not run the car on the highway very much in recent times because of this apparent overheat. It would be nice to have an accurate gauge.

I agree that your cooling system isn’t working to specs. While 195° isn’t really a problem, a slant six in cool weather should never see anything over the thermostat spec temperature. So, some ideas…

Be sure ignition timing is at specs, and that both advance mechs are working correctly
Be sure all factory air dams, hood/yoke seals, etc. are in place and undamaged
Be sure fan is mounted to specs (typically about 1Ëť to rad core)
One oddball idea: On engines with steel water pump impellers, I have seen the fins rust away. With the cap off, look for lots of water flow. If not, take the pump off for an inspection.

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