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Ranger overheats

crazyeye

Well-Known Member
I've got a Ranger with a 302 swap in it. It overheating. I changed out the t-stat and changed the radiator cap as well. but it's still doing. the only other thing I can think of is the radiator is to small. any advice would be appreciated.

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Ol' Curmudgeon

RDC's resident crackpot
Under what conditions is it overheating?
 

JDDurfey

Well-Known Member
There are several things you should look at before you just assume the rad is too small. If you do think that is the problem, a tape measure and a factory vehicle with a 302 would be a good way to see how much smaller your rad is. You already changed the thermostat. That was a good start. But here are some things I would look at.

Are you losing coolant any where or is it bubbling out the radiator vent hose? Pull your rad cap, do you have bubbles coming up while the engine is running? If so, bad head gasket and you are bubbling coolant out of the radiator making it run hot when the coolant gets low.

You should get an infrared thermometer and check how much the radiator is cooling. Check the difference between the inlet of radiator and the outlet. I honestly don't know how much of a drop in temperature you should have, but there should be some. If there isn't much drop, you may need to get a new core for your radiator. Back in the day, we had them "rodded out" but I don't think new radiators are done like that much any more. You may have some sections plugged and they are not allowing coolant to go through. This can be checked with your temp gun by spot checking the temp of the actual radiator to see if there are cooler sections than others.

Another thing to consider is the fan. If you are running a conventional belt driven fan, you need to make sure the radiator shroud is installed correctly so the fan is pulling air through the radiator and not from around the radiator. If you have electric fans, make sure they are moving enough air.

I dealt with an over heating modded truck years ago and we did everything we could think of, but sitting in traffic in Phoenix it would always over heat. Finally we put some hood vents in that helped move air through the engine bay and it solved the problem. It also dropped the trans temp as that was a problem too. When you think about it, you are tying to suck air through the radiator into a closed compartment. Where is the air to go? It has to go around the engine and down toward the ground where there is already plenty of air going by. I am no engineer, or an exceptionally smart person, but in my experience adding the hood vents helped and that is the reason I figured they helped.

Lastly, is the engine running lean? That can also have an effect on engine temp.

Hope that helps.
 

crazyeye

Well-Known Member
quick update I think figured out the problem. it has this rinky dink coolant reservoir. I took a stock one off my Explorer and hook it up to it. it idled for a half our without over heating.



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JDDurfey

Well-Known Member
I can't tell from your pictures, but it looks to me like that is just an over flow bottle. That really shouldn't have any affect on the over heating issue. Your rad looks new, so I doubt it is plugged up.

Do you only have one fan? I can't tell from the pics.
 

Ol' Curmudgeon

RDC's resident crackpot
Maybe when it puked he thought it was hot??? :confused:
 

RojoOjoRacin

Well-Known Member
How big is the radiator? How many fans? Is there a shroud?Are they high cfm spals?
 

crazyeye

Well-Known Member
it definitely overheated before I changed out the t-stat. it has dual mushimoto fans on it. temp Guage would go up to 210 before then I would shut it off. I'm going to take it out tomorrow and find out for sure.

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Moss2

Well-Known Member
Looks like air has an easier time going around the radiator than through it. Need to block off some area around it and above to the hood to create a low pressure area behind that pulls air through radiator. all that air pushed under by the skid plate will shoot up behind the radiator.
 

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
side tanks require surge tank! also highly recommend a swirl tank.off road eng. luv them
whats happening is you are loosing any expansion capabilitys , the top few inches become an ' expansion tank' and u loose that much cooling efficiency.especially on cross flow which usually side tanks are for
 
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