540 heat issues
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540 heat issues

  1. #1
    Already miss the 310/562 2manymustangs's Avatar
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    Default 540 heat issues

    Merlin III / Brodix aluminum head 540 chebby

    I have to confess that I laid hands on a chebby this weekend while waiting for coats of high build primer and spot glaze to dry...

    One of my cousins customers has this engine, purchased new as a crate engine from Jegs in a street car...

    This thing runs HOT HOT HOT and wont cool down... THey have put in a few different thermostats, aperatures/orfaces, run with NO thermostats... The A/F gauge shows the car being fat... The heads just came off to check out the water passages on the head gaskets... It was recently gone through by a professional and well known engine shop... It was tuned by one of the local leading tuners...

    AGAIN, the AF gauge shows that it is FAT... The temp gauge was double checked with a MECHANICAL temp gauge, both read identical...

    The radiator is new and is a MONSTER custom made NEW aluminum unit with a full shroud and two high CFM fans that are confirmed running in the right direction...

    Timing was bumped back to a base of about 15 degrees and it is full in at around 32degrees advanced at 3kRPM (dizzy was REcurved by the tuner)...


    QUESTION: Is this Merlin III block a siamesed bore block??? Are they prone to steam pockets???

    The engine runs very strong and comes up to 180 in the time period I would expect it to and seems to level off slightly but then the temp just keeps inching higher and higher until we shut it down around 215... Various temps on the heads/block were taken with a instant read laser thermometer...

    -Hydraulic roller cam
    -presently using a conventional water pump BUT did have a high dollar electric pump which acted the same way...
    -trans cooler is external and is showing about 150 degrees trans fluid temp...
    Pat Eason, the voice of reason...
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  3. #2
    steelcomp was here
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manymustangs View Post
    Merlin III / Brodix aluminum head 540 chebby

    I have to confess that I laid hands on a chebby this weekend while waiting for coats of high build primer and spot glaze to dry...

    One of my cousins customers has this engine, purchased new as a crate engine from Jegs in a street car...

    This thing runs HOT HOT HOT and wont cool down... THey have put in a few different thermostats, aperatures/orfaces, run with NO thermostats... The A/F gauge shows the car being fat... The heads just came off to check out the water passages on the head gaskets... It was recently gone through by a professional and well known engine shop... It was tuned by one of the local leading tuners...

    AGAIN, the AF gauge shows that it is FAT... The temp gauge was double checked with a MECHANICAL temp gauge, both read identical...

    The radiator is new and is a MONSTER custom made NEW aluminum unit with a full shroud and two high CFM fans that are confirmed running in the right direction...

    Timing was bumped back to a base of about 15 degrees and it is full in at around 32degrees advanced at 3kRPM (dizzy was REcurved by the tuner)...


    QUESTION: Is this Merlin III block a siamesed bore block??? Are they prone to steam pockets???

    The engine runs very strong and comes up to 180 in the time period I would expect it to and seems to level off slightly but then the temp just keeps inching higher and higher until we shut it down around 215... Various temps on the heads/block were taken with a instant read laser thermometer...

    -Hydraulic roller cam
    -presently using a conventional water pump BUT did have a high dollar electric pump which acted the same way...
    -trans cooler is external and is showing about 150 degrees trans fluid temp...
    Have you undone a radiator hose and checked the flow of the system? Is this a cross flow radiator?
    If God is your co-pilot, change seats!
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelcomp View Post
    Have you undone a radiator hose and checked the flow of the system? Is this a cross flow radiator?
    Haven't checked the flow yet but that is a good idea, yes, it is a cross flow radiator and the fans have very good coverage on the radiator core...

    We ran the car for about 15 minutes on Friday night for 6-8 miles, very cool temps out at 11PM and it acted the same way on Saturday when it was about 90 degrees out after about 6-8 miles of miles of running... The amount of air across the radiator doesn't seem to change much, 60 MPH of air on the radiator OR just driving 20 MPH... THe owner wanted the fans running 100% of the time so that is how it is wired presently...
    Pat Eason, the voice of reason...
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manymustangs View Post
    Haven't checked the flow yet but that is a good idea, yes, it is a cross flow radiator and the fans have very good coverage on the radiator core...

    We ran the car for about 15 minutes on Friday night for 6-8 miles, very cool temps out at 11PM and it acted the same way on Saturday when it was about 90 degrees out after about 6-8 miles of miles of running... The amount of air across the radiator doesn't seem to change much, 60 MPH of air on the radiator OR just driving 20 MPH... THe owner wanted the fans running 100% of the time so that is how it is wired presently...
    Do you remember if the top and bottom radiator hoses are on the same side, or opposite sides of the radiator?
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelcomp View Post
    Do you remember if the top and bottom radiator hoses are on the same side, or opposite sides of the radiator?
    Opposite sides, upper is on drivers side and lower is on passenger side... The radiator looks to be a nice piece...

    I think I will suggest a piece of clear hose in place of the upper to check it COLD while running and have a look at the flow since the thermostat is out still... OR just let it dump into a bucket and see how well the pump pushes...

    DO you know if the bores are siamesed in any of the Merlin blocks???
    Pat Eason, the voice of reason...
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    I wonder if the water pump is for reverse rotation or is it a normal pump being turned backward by the owner putting a serpentine belt system on it and accidentally running it backwards.
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    You can take the top hose off @ the radiator and put a garden hose in the radiator fill. Plug the top hose inlet @ the radiator, keep the radiator full and let it come out of the the top hose and just dump on the ground. You might want to remove Tstat.
    One other question: Which Brodix heads, and do you have cam specs?
    Siamese cyls is not the problem. What head gasket are you running?
    Last edited by scott foxwell; 08-12-2013 at 01:53 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminal Velocity View Post
    I wonder if the water pump is for reverse rotation or is it a normal pump being turned backward by the owner putting a serpentine belt system on it and accidentally running it backwards.
    Good point

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminal Velocity View Post
    I wonder if the water pump is for reverse rotation or is it a normal pump being turned backward by the owner putting a serpentine belt system on it and accidentally running it backwards.
    It's possible, but most replacement water pumps these days are "dual" rotation.
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    Lower hose collapsing when it gets warm?
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    Was this a fully assembled crate or long block? ]

    Whos assembly. GM GEN block, or aftermarket Merlin or Dart?



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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manymustangs View Post
    Merlin III / Brodix aluminum head 540 chebby

    .
    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    GM GEN block, or aftermarket Merlin or Dart?
    His story is long, but he says it's a Merlin III in the first line, then he goes on to say it was a Jegs crate engine.
    Last edited by obnoxious001; 08-12-2013 at 02:24 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by obnoxious001 View Post
    His story is long, but he says it's a Merlin III in the first line, then he goes on to say it was a Jegs crate engine.
    Yeah, I saw that after I posted. I understand the "crate" thing, but I know a couple people that call short blocks "crate" engines. Just never heard of a Jegs crate with Brodix heads before. World assembly with Merlin heads, Dart assembly with Dart heads. But never a Merlin with Bordix heads.
    Wonder whos assembly it is. Maybe Blueprint's.



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    Last edited by gn7; 08-12-2013 at 02:42 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminal Velocity View Post
    Lower hose collapsing when it gets warm?
    Welllllllllllllllll, it DID initially and that was due to the ONLY fuck up I could find on the cooling system... It had some kind of SEALED air tight puke tank on the radiator overflow/discharge... It would suck in the upper and lower as the car sat and cooled... I decided that this was wrong and that there was no real way for the system to purge air out of the block and heads effectively so I put a conventional can / overflow on that vents to atmoshere so that it can not only expand and puke out overflow but AIR... We did purge quite a bit of air out of the upper hose, filled the hose with coolant and quickly put it back on the radiator... Keep in mind there is no thermostat so I am not thinking "air lock on the thermostat" but rather getting air out of the block/heads... It WAS initially sealed air tight but I changed that so it could puke to atmosphere...

    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    Was this a fully assembled crate or long block? ]

    Whos assembly. GM GEN block, or aftermarket Merlin or Dart?
    The story on the engine is as follows... It was a Jegs crate engine that was built with the MerlinIII block/Brodix heads as far as I know and is a 540... Don't know who's guts they come with...

    At any rate, after my cousin finished about 1 1/2 years of body off resto/frame up/patches/paint/detail/mechanical (brakes/driveline/suspension/etc) on a 70ish Chevelle, the guy somehow was screwing with his new carb after having the car home about two weeks and up in flames the whole car/garage went... Total loss on probably 50-60 K invested... SO after insurance settles he buys back what is left and has a reputable local shop go through everything and REassemble the engine with new parts where needed... The engine has landed in some kind of full size Monte Carlo (late 80's, nice clean car)... Tons of cool stuff on the car... For a CHEBBY that is...
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