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[oletrucks] Radiators and hi-stall converters

To: Old Trucks List <oletrucks@autox.team.net>
Subject: [oletrucks] Radiators and hi-stall converters
From: J Forbes <jforbes@primenet.com>
Date: Fri, 07 Apr 2000 16:12:50 -0700
This is turning out to be kind of interesting!

I've never thought of a high stall torque converter being used to reduce
engine heat before.  I have known that a high stall converter will
generate heat, which needs to be removed by the transmission
cooler...whether the cooler is in the radiator, or external.  Usually
external coolers are in front of the radiator, and when the air is
heated by the tranny cooler, it will be too hot to be able to cool the
engine any.  If it's an internal cooler, the small size of it will still
be very efficient, since it's in liquid instead of air.  So, either way,
a high stall converter will raise the temperature of the engine.  I
don't know how much it will go up, probably not enough to make a
difference as far as the engine overheating or not.  Putting the tranny
in neutral when idling keep it from making heat, if it is a problem.

I can also see that a high stall converter may drop the engine
temperature a little bit, because the idle speed adjustment would be
lower to get the same idle rpm (in gear)...meaning the engine will be
working a bit less at idle with a high stall converter.  I really doubt
you would notice this difference, either, and putting it in neutral will
again solve the problem.

I run high stall converters behind my higher performance engines because
it really makes a difference in how the truck accelerates, especially if
the cam has a long duration, and not much low end torque.  Of course, I
cheat and use switch pitch converters (a special feature of non-Chevy
TH400s from 1965-67) so I get the benefits of low stall speed while
cruising, plus the greater acceleration....I just have to flip a toggle

AS far as trying to keep a big engine cool, you need as big a radiator
as you can get, with as big a mechanical fan as you can get, and a good
shroud.  I've never seen an electric fan that could move anywhere near
as much air as a 18" 7 blade clutch fan.  In fact, I had two 14"
electric puller fans on my 55 Belair (supercharged 454, cross flow
radiator) and it didn't work too well...so I switched to a big clutch
fan, and it cools at least as well, plus less noise, less wear on the
alternator, and less worry.

oletrucks is devoted to Chevy and GM trucks built between 1941 and 1959

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