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63 Avanti electric fan


ken1007
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Completed frame off last week on 63 Avanti R2, new or rebuilt just about everything. Engine runs hot with new 3 core radiator and 180 degree thermostat. Operates at about 190 when moving but goes up to near 240 when at idle and discharges thru radiator cap. Have installed multiple 12 inch fans on other Studebakers but would like to install on large fan (20 inch that will move a lot of air) on the Avanti. Area is about 25 inch by 21 inch. Has anyone installed one large fan, if so which one? ken, Deltaville Va

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Was your engine rebuilt to put out more horsepower? More power puts out more heat and can easily overcome the engines ability to shed the heat.

On my '70 Avanti I have a Flex-a-lite Black Magic electric fan rated at 3300 cfm. Due to the canted radiator it makes for tight clearances at the bottom between the fan housing and the crank pulley, but it is sufficient. Whether the Studebaker engine will make for more or less clearance I can't say. It does work very well and generally stays below 200 degrees under all conditions...usually less than that.

I also have the Saturn air deflector mounted under the front end...that was before the electric fan was installed and it alone made a big difference. It directed more cooling air up to the radiator and likely lessened airflow disturbance under the car. Since it only helps at speed it offers no value at idle where you're having your problem, but it is a worthwhile addition. It costs less than $30 at a GM dealer and is an easy install.

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Was your engine rebuilt to put out more horsepower? More power puts out more heat and can easily overcome the engines ability to shed the heat.

On my '70 Avanti I have a Flex-a-lite Black Magic electric fan rated at 3300 cfm. Due to the canted radiator it makes for tight clearances at the bottom between the fan housing and the crank pulley, but it is sufficient. Whether the Studebaker engine will make for more or less clearance I can't say. It does work very well and generally stays below 200 degrees under all conditions...usually less than that.

I also have the Saturn air deflector mounted under the front end...that was before the electric fan was installed and it alone made a big difference. It directed more cooling air up to the radiator and likely lessened airflow disturbance under the car. Since it only helps at speed it offers no value at idle where you're having your problem, but it is a worthwhile addition. It costs less than $30 at a GM dealer and is an easy install.

Bruce, This was a stock R2 overhaul. what I'm thinking is to install fan on outside to cover as much of the radiator as possible, 3300cfm sounds go, what is its diameter? ken (after thought) I have an 89 Avanti that is not at all stock and it stays at 180-190 degrees under all conditions. Studebaker 289's tend to run hot for some reason.

Edited by ken1007
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Check actual temperature with a separate thermometer in case gauge reading is inaccurate. If gauge is accurate pull thermostat and check that it is opening at right temperature. I have bought new thermostats that were bad.

I had my engine rebuild with recent frame off restoration. The engine is an R2+ build with R3 valves and ported heads, aluminum intake and R3 exhaust. The estimated horsepower is 340~350. We used a custom aluminum radiator and 160 deg thermostat. My car also is running its original factory AC system (with Sanden compressor & R12) as it was an R1 with air before restoration. At speed the car runs 155~160 degrees even in 90-100 degree Oklahoma temperature with the AC on. Coming back from South Bend, I got stuck in a traffic jam for about 45 minutes on I-70 West of Indianapolis due to construction. I kept the car running but turned off the AC and rolled down the windows in mid to high 90's temperatures outside. The car at times would idle a little rough requiring a little toe tapping on accelerator but never got pass 195 F.

One other big factor is when Michael Myer has an engine rebuild, the machine shop he uses to clean the block dips and flushes them about 4 times as they claim Studebaker blocks are one of the hardest to get the water jacket clean, hopefully your block was cleaned sufficiently.

I wish you luck and keep us informed.

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Ken...

The Flex-a-lite Black Magic fan like I have is a puller fan. If you want a pusher type it will have to be within a different line. Flex-a-lite has several fans that might do. Check out Summit Racing's website as they carry Flax-a-lite as well as other brands. You should be able to find one that does what you need. Since you have an R2 and no a/c condenser you have room on the radiator front to work with.

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Ken, you've probably checked all of this, but I have to ask because something is wrong with the setup. The Avanti didn't overheat like that when new and with a clean block and new radiator, it shouldn't overheat now.

1. Have you confirmed the correct ignition initial and centrifugal advance? Retarded ignition is guaranteed to cause hot running.

2. Avanti with AC had a larger fan with thermostatic clutch. What are you running at present?

3. Do you know you have the correct heads? One builder didn't realize there were R2-specific heads and was ending up with R1 compression.

4. An air dam helps at highway speeds, but not so much at idle. Verify the inlet area seals to the radiator all the way around in front and the fan shroud seals in the rear. I've seen several cars with holes in the lower pan and pieces of the shroud missing. Any air leaks means air bypassing the radiator.

I use the Dodge Viper electric fan on my hot rod Studes with Packard V8s. It's a big two speed and will suck pigeons off the sidewalk while you're at a traffic light.

jack vines

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Ken,

My rebuilt R2 engine is just being installed. Do you have break in recommendations. Is it possible that your new rebuild is just tight and creating more friction heat? Will an R2 engine run cooler without the Paxton? Will it break in properly without the Paxton? When apart we checked the heads and they are correct R2. My rebuild was occasioned by a piston top melt.

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Ken, you've probably checked all of this, but I have to ask because something is wrong with the setup. The Avanti didn't overheat like that when new and with a clean block and new radiator, it shouldn't overheat now.

1. Have you confirmed the correct ignition initial and centrifugal advance? Retarded ignition is guaranteed to cause hot running. A. Not yet, person who rebuilt motor wants a few more miles on engine to do final check and adjustments, He is a retired NASCAR engine builder so I sure he will get all this correctly done. I did advance and retard engine and that made no difference.

2. Avanti with AC had a larger fan with thermostatic clutch. What are you running at present? A. not sure what fan I have but know that it just barely clears shroud.

3. Do you know you have the correct heads? One builder didn't realize there were R2-specific heads and was ending up with R1 compression. A. Do have correct head.

4. An air dam helps at highway speeds, but not so much at idle. Verify the inlet area seals to the radiator all the way around in front and the fan shroud seals in the rear. I've seen several cars with holes in the lower pan and pieces of the shroud missing. Any air leaks means air bypassing the radiator. A. no problem when driving, and shroud is is complete except for cut out for top radiator hose.

I use the Dodge Viper electric fan on my hot rod Studes with Packard V8s. It's a big two speed and will suck pigeons off the sidewalk while you're at a traffic light. A. googled Dodge Viper fan that's the cfm i'm looking for but I do no think it will fit

jack vines

jack, thanks, ken
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Ken,

My rebuilt R2 engine is just being installed. Do you have break in recommendations. Is it possible that your new rebuild is just tight and creating more friction heat? Will an R2 engine run cooler without the Paxton? Will it break in properly without the Paxton? When apart we checked the heads and they are correct R2. My rebuild was occasioned by a piston top melt.

I used to use break in oil but for last several cars overhauls, rebuilder recommended VR-1 race oil (presumably because of zinc content). This is an R2 but do not have the charger back from rebuild, Jon Meyrs says no problem in running without it. thanks Ken

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Michael Myer did my engine build and restoration. We used Valvoline VR-1 20w50 (has 1400 ppm Zinc and 1300 ppm Phosphorus) . Use the silver label VR-1 it is a complete oil package with additives and is street legal. The black label VR-1 is only for the drag strip and racing. In addition we added a bottle of Lucas Engine Break-in oil Additive. http://www.lucasoil.com/products/display_products.sd?iid=82&catid=9&loc=show

After break-in I changed the oil just using just the Valvoline VR-1 without any additives.

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