common cure for BBC & SBC overheating

Old 08-24-2011, 07:52 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
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Default common cure for BBC & SBC overheating

I wasn't sure where to post this but I would like to offer info to others expierencing the time, expense, patients I did with what I have found out is a simple repaig and a very common problem. OVERHEATING. 1st off I am not sure how common overheating is on anything other than SBC & BBC. But I know anything with a serpentine belt either OEM or aftermarket can suffer the same issues. After being away from racing, etc for yrs. I recently put together a basket case purchase. Its a GEN V 540 BBC. Making a long story short after all the normal attempts to repair the overheating problem I had with 3 diff heat range thermos, new alum big a$$ rad., hoses, restrictors, belts, 2 water pumps, I almost got to the point of removing the heads and check the head gaskets before I went into my 'common sense' moode. It seems that anything that has a serpentine belt the water pump has reverse rotation. Counterclock rotation {ccr} My basket case had a brand new serp belt set up. Billet Brkts., belt, bolts, etc. Of course I used them...LOL It also had a brand new water pump which I also used. The thing is the only way the belt would fit, was making to water pump rotate in the clockwise rotation. {as you look at the engine} I never let it get over 210 before shutting it off, so I have no idea how high of a temp it would have went. But nothing I changed or did threw out the painfull and aggravating process of attempting to repair it helped one little bit. Within 10 minutes this mildly built 540 would be on 210. It took about 6-7 minutes to get to 180 and then in 3-4 it would slowly but steadily go up to 210 before I would shutit down.
So you folks that have overheating problems and have changed to serp belt systems, or even just changed water pumps make sure your water pump is rotating in the proper direction....DOOOHHH ! After phone calls to 2 big name rad mfgrs., 2 big name belt conversion guys, and few different engine builders, not one asked me about direction of water pump rotation. What they did do was want to start a long drawn out process and blame everything else. Everything I used is brand new, and was part of the engine installation. I heard everything from fans not putting out enuff CFM, bad thermos, water pump impeller spinning on the shaft, cores in rad not large enough, timing, lean run, you name it I heard it. With exception to the simpilest of all. Water pump rotation. After all the guys I have read on many different threads that found the same problem I would think that would be the very 1st thing anyone should check, but yet I never even gave it consideration. Too many diff generations, too many diff configurations, too many useless shinny items. Not enough common sense.
Remember anything from OEM with a serp belt the water pump turns counter clock wise. Anything with a V belt typically turns clock wise. has some pretty simple diagrams and great info in refrence to all this. Look under standard and reverse flow pumps !
Hope this helps someone.
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