Classic/Antique Car Repair/1952 pontiac

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Question
I have a 1952 pontiac chieftan...L-head ,,straight 8 engine,,,auto  trans....I have a problem with it heating up when driving slow in town traffic, The engine and everything has been completely re-built. Any suggestions as to what I can try to stop this problem??????????

Answer
Sounds like a problem that I had in the way back machine. I was working in a Ford dealership (1957) as a line mechanic. The body shop had rebuilt a head on collision wreck to put it on the used car lot as a low mileage cream puff. But low and behold it developed a low speed over heating problem that blew a couple of sales. It ended up in my stall to cure. The up shot of the story is that when the body shop put it together they installed the fan backwards so that it was blowing the air out through the radiator instead of drawing it in. At low speed there was enough forward direction that the air over the radiator was just standing still. Turned the fan around and problem solved. Worth checking. Secondly that pontiac engine had a stamped steel water distribution tubes inserted into the block that directer coolant to the underside of the valve seats. I this tube is rusted out or missing it can cause overheating. However before I did anything I would want to verify the temperature gauge. I would either use an infrared temp gauge to measure the temperature on the thermostat housing or use an after market gage. And don't rule out a sticking thermostat.

Classic/Antique Car Repair

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Brad Sears

Expertise

All automotive including antique and collectible. However if the car has been modified I can only answer in general terms and maybe get you pointed in the right direction.

Experience

Automotive tech instructor. Syndicated auto columnist 1970's though the early 1990's. Syndicated auto radio talk show, Ask Brad About cars, CBS Radio 70's through 90's TV Show "Last Chance Garage" 1980's PBS-TV syndicated. Auto instructor for the following companies: Fram Autolyte Holly Carter AMF Ford Motor University Of Conn Blue Hills Technical School Sugar River Technical Center Grew up in a family garage in Needham Mass and turned wrenches from the age of 14.

Publications
Manchester Union Leader, Nashua Telegraph, Motor Service Magazine, Yankee Magazine, Popular Mechanics (Saturday Mechanic early 80's), Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and lots more.

Education/Credentials
More than I care to remember. Basically Franklin Technical Institute in Boston, Northeastern University, Fitchburg State Teachers College, Tufts University, and a lot of factory schools along the way.

Awards and Honors
Moto Award winner. And much more.

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