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Malco Gasser coolant flow


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Greetings.  This question intended for those familiar with the automotive power area, with a drag racing history knowledge backup as well.  (I'm surely lacking in both areas) I am aware that George Montgomery used the Ford 427 SOHC engine in the Mustang Gasser, and that the 'storage tank' forward of the motor was partitioned off to fuel and coolant sections.  I know how the fuel was pumped thru the line up to the area above the blower drive; no problem.  What eludes me is how the coolant was circulated from the tank, thru the line to the plate on the forward facing surface of the engine block, thru the motor, then out of the opposite side of the block, and thru the return line to the tank.  What 'pumped' this coolant flow? Was there an electric pump in the tank, or some other device outside of the motor that moved the coolant?  If there was a standard engine coolant pump on the motor then I sure missed it looking at as many photos that I could find.  Please pardon my lack of knowledge in this area folks; am a newbie at plumbing car models and I'm interested in the 'then revolutionary' Malco Gasser Mustang.  Thanks.  (I figure the only dumb question was the one that I was afraid to ask; LOL)

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I'm not familiar enough with this car to give you a definitive answer, but in general, coolant reservoirs on a lot of drag cars were nothing really but "burp" tanks, giving the hot steamy coolant somewhere to go other than out on the track.

Many drag cars today, and for quite a while now, have no cooling systems whatsoever. Water jackets filled with "cement' were once common, and solid billet blocks with no water jackets at all are seen frequently these days.

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23 minutes ago, Joe Nunes said:

Bill, how long (?) can a drag car or hot rod engine run without circulating coolant?  I have often wondered about this; as an example, the Green Hornet dragster is sans radiator and hoses. 

It depends. Certain classes of drag cars that are pushed to the line, fired up, staged, run, and shut down really wouldn't benefit that much from circulating coolant. We're only talking about 30 seconds running time.

Some drag engines, like those that run on alcohol in particular, get enough cooling of the piston crowns and valves from their fuel to prevent catastrophic failure.

IIRC, Danny Thompson's recent Bonneville record car had solid billet blocks, with no provision for cooling, and those engines ran for several miles flat out. His father Micky Thompson's Challenger 1 had large onboard coolant tanks, but no radiators, and simply circulating cool fluid from the tanks was deemed sufficient, in the interest of eliminating aero drag from radiators.

"Hot rod" engines, on the other hand, assuming a "hot rod" is a street-drivable car, will need a functional circulating cooling system to prevent melt-down. HOWEVER...we'll usually run newly-built engines for 30 seconds to a minute or so to check for oil pressure and oil leaks prior to adding any coolant.

But honestly, I'm not current on how things are done today in drag racing. I know some real racers who ARE current frequent this forum, so I'll leave the definitive answers to them.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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If I remember correctly. Depending how Alcohol fuel is mixed an engine can be run without a radiator. Same goes for Nitro Methanol the more Methanol added the engine runs cools until it ignites in the combustion chamber.

I think

Mike

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2 minutes ago, Mike 1017 said:

If I remember correctly. Depending how Alcohol fuel is mixed an engine can be run without a radiator. Same goes for Nitro Methanol the more Methanol added the engine runs cools until it ignites in the combustion chamber.

I think

Mike

The fuel basically cools the critical parts valves, pistons etc... I know it's like that for methanol, but not sure on alcohol 🤔 

But on a top fuel car the sprak plugs have already melted away by half track so the engine is basically a diesel for the remainder of the run just igniting off pressure and residual cylinder heat.

I would have chimed in about the Malco, but I'm not familiar with the car.

But standard practice back then would be to hard block the engine...basically fill it with concrete. That increases structural interegrity of the block and keeps the temp up for better combustion..

 

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11 hours ago, Scott8950 said:

I think Ohio George put the fiberglass mustang body onto the willys chassis. Here are some engine shots of the Malco and Mr gasket mustangs.

173407013.jpg

oGeorgeMontgomeryMalcoGasser24-vi.jpg

Montgomery built both Mustangs (blue '67, and red '69) on Willys frames.  NHRA changed Gas class rules for '67 to allow fabricated frames, but George had already started on the '67 car.  He could have used a scratchbuilt frame for the '69, but he probably just used what he knew would work.  

As for the radiator, the cars had them because the rules required one.  For one pass down the track, the car might run for a minute or two at most.  There were no rules to prevent circulating coolant through the engine in the pits between rounds, which is pretty much what everyone did anyway.  Some of the Gas class "radiators" look more like old bed frames, just a few tubes with no cooling fins.  Just there to meet the letter of the rules.

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This is an interesting discussion because I have seen a number of photos that show a "hot rod" style vehicle either without a radiator or if a radiator is there it's sans hoses. And, admitting that I know nothing about nothing, at times I wondered how did they do that and still drive the car. 

Joe

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23 minutes ago, Joe Nunes said:

This is an interesting discussion because I have seen a number of photos that show a "hot rod" style vehicle either without a radiator or if a radiator is there it's sans hoses. And, admitting that I know nothing about nothing, at times I wondered how did they do that and still drive the car. 

Joe

If the car was street driven I guarantee it had a radiator and pump circulating coolant... or else it would overheat within a few minutes.

52 minutes ago, Mark said:

Montgomery built both Mustangs (blue '67, and red '69) on Willys frames.  NHRA changed Gas class rules for '67 to allow fabricated frames, but George had already started on the '67 car.  He could have used a scratchbuilt frame for the '69, but he probably just used what he knew would work.  

As for the radiator, the cars had them because the rules required one.  For one pass down the track, the car might run for a minute or two at most.  There were no rules to prevent circulating coolant through the engine in the pits between rounds, which is pretty much what everyone did anyway.  Some of the Gas class "radiators" look more like old bed frames, just a few tubes with no cooling fins.  Just there to meet the letter of the rules.

Most guys would throw bags of ice on the engine... since alot were hard blocked, there wasn't a way to circulate coolant. They were mainly interested in cooling the heads and intake.

The ice bags and fans are still a pretty common practice today.

 

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3 hours ago, Joe Nunes said:

This is an interesting discussion because I have seen a number of photos that show a "hot rod" style vehicle either without a radiator or if a radiator is there it's sans hoses. And, admitting that I know nothing about nothing, at times I wondered how did they do that and still drive the car. 

It's not really a "discussion".

You can NOT operate an engine designed to be liquid cooled on the street with no liquid cooling system. Period.

The engine WILL terminally overheat, aluminum pistons WILL expand more than cast-iron bores, and they WILL seize solid. Period.

BUT...drag racing engines typically run for such a short period of time, they CAN get away with no cooling system.

As I said earlier, some classes of drag cars had nothing but coolant reservoirs, no radiators, no circulation. But they can NOT be driven as regular vehicles. Period.

Even if these appeared to be "hot rod style" vehicles, they were set up for drag-racing only. Period.

NOTE: One popular early setup was nothing but a crossover pipe between the water jackets on the heads, or the water pump ports on the block face, with a coolant cap for filling. And again, this is a drag-racing only setup and can NOT be used on a street-driven vehicle. Period.

The crossover below is similar, but is equipped with a big fat AN fitting to connect it to an overflow can, required so as to not dump fluid on the track (or possibly to plumb it to an electric pump or radiator, again depending on whether class rules require a functional cooling system...but of course, in that case, there would be very obvious coolant lines to and from a radiator or reservoir).

Water Filler Necks - Crossover Tubes - Dragster - Race - Page 4

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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2 hours ago, lwmontgomery said:

Hey Ace,

Is the pipe crossover in your photo similar to what was used on stock Buick Nailhead motors from the 50's and 60's? 

Similar in appearance, but not the same in function. The nailhead crossover includes a thermostat housing on top, that's coupled to the upper radiator hose, and a lower connection to the top of the water pump.

Previously Sold Engines - Buick Nailhead Engines

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Below is the only photo I've seen that clearly shows the water lines on the blue Mustang supercharged incarnation.

There is a roughly Y-shaped pair of small diameter hard lines that run to the timing cover, on either side of the blower drive. Passages through the chain (timing) cover connect to the water jacket ports in the cylinder heads.

These appear to be "steam" lines, vented into the reservoir tank, with no return connections visible.

What IS visible is a small diameter "burp" or overflow hard line connected under the coolant pressure cap on the reservoir. This line runs down to a transverse tubular catch tank (edit) which appears to be the front frame crossmember.

malcoengb.jpg.06ba3d3f1cd5cf92f7242295c4c81637.jpg

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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