Radiators and Cooling In Old Kenworths

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by jldilley, Aug 18, 2022.

  1. jldilley

    jldilley Medium Load Member

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    Hello, everyone. I was recently watching a Chad Keegan series about changing the radiators out on his K100’s. The radiators look massive and I was surprised to learn that the rad in his ‘83 K100C ( BC 400) was even bigger than in the ‘90 K100E (3406B).

    I’ve been a little concerned as I I definitely plan to run my K100 across all states (minus California) in the summer, including Arizona, west Texas, etc. where the temperatures get extreme. When prompted, though, he said his tractors never get above 200 degrees no matter the weather or how hard he runs and never once has the radiator fan kicked on. He runs in the NW Ohio area.

    So what has your experience been with older tractors in the extreme heat? These old cabovers seem to be cold blooded. For reference, my tractor is a 2000 with an N14.
    Thanks for your comments.

    ~Josh
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2022
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  3. SmallPackage

    SmallPackage Road Train Member

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    Rad. tech has changed over the years. They don’t have to be as thick as they used to be anymore.
    Had my original rad in my Pete 351 recored back in ‘09. This is a butterfly hood so the rad is external and the polished nose of the truck, so just buying one in a box isn’t an option. The original core was 6” thick pure copper and weighed close to 100lbs. The new custom made core is 3” thick aluminum and half the weight.
    NTC 350 sc after cooled (known to get hot fast in a hard pull back in the day). With grille shutters open and no fan on It will run 120 degrees in summer just tooling around with no load.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2022
  4. jldilley

    jldilley Medium Load Member

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    Now that is old school trucking. I love it.
     
  5. kranky1

    kranky1 Road Train Member

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    We had a W924 here with a Small Cam 335 that was rebuilt as a 380. If you had any fuel on it at all below 1700rpm it went volcanic almost instantly. Moving the crusher with it you had to roar it 1900-2000 to keep it from melting. Good truck though, as long as the engine ran you could fix anything else with a ball-pein hammer and a pair of vise grips.
     
  6. SmallPackage

    SmallPackage Road Train Member

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    Water pump design. The cpl 160 350 sc’s were the first for the “suitcase” style. Uncle ordered this truck with the 335 which was big power in ‘67. Standard engine in a Pete at the time was the 250. He ran south Tejas up thru the Montana Rockies for 30 years and 3 overhauls. When it was time for it’s fourth in ‘92 he pulled the 335 and put in this 350 out of one of his ‘74’s. He always said the 350 lowered his stress level because the temp control was so much better.
     
  7. roundhouse

    roundhouse Road Train Member

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    At least with the cabovers the air can pass right through the rad and straight out the back of the cab

    Seems that would help , verses a conventional where the hot air has to get pushed down under the cab to escape
     
  8. SmallPackage

    SmallPackage Road Train Member

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    All that heat vents right up thru the hole in the floor for the shifter tower. If not sealed good you can feel the extra rush of air every time the fan kicks on.
     
  9. kranky1

    kranky1 Road Train Member

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    I had two Freightliners with 3408’s in them. One was a Powerliner and the last one had an American cab with the small grille opening. Needless to say one cooled itself a lot better than the other.
     
  10. kranky1

    kranky1 Road Train Member

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    I think it was the pump made the cooler efficient enough to actually work. There didn’t seem to be a hell of a lot of difference between uncooled and cooled engines before they changed the water pump.
     
  11. SmallPackage

    SmallPackage Road Train Member

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    Those old round water pumps with the copper o-ring seal never allowed you to get the belt tight enough and if you did it wouldn't stay tight long. Have to have a “special” tool or mickey mouse screwdriver to rotate it for belt tension.
     
    kranky1 Thanks this.
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