First long drive

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    This morning I went for the first long drive in my 1933 1247. The temp. was in the 90’s . The first thing was to put gas in the tank about ten miles from home and check the head temp with a infrared thermometer. I got 203 on the drivers side head and 159 on the front of the radiator. I am running preston 50/50 and will try water and rust inhibitor later. The generator is now working fine after a trip to the shop,turned out it was just some poor connections. I had to use the electric fuel pump most of the trip as the mechanical pump did not keep up from time to time. When it started to starve I pulled out the electric pump switch, and no more problems for ten min. or so. I finally just used the electric pump. I don’t know what the problem is as I rebuilt the mechanical pump with a new rebuild kit. I had no other problems for the hour and a half drive.

    When I got back to the house, the head read 222 degrees,soon dropped to 210 right away and the front of the radiator was 156 degrees. I made a list of things to do: 1. see if the thermostat will open wider. 2. wrap the exhaust pipe. 3. adjust the passenger side front brake as it was 70 degrees hotter than the others.4. Find boots for the hand brake and the gear shift.5. Send out the speedometer cable to be fixed as the end which fits into the three speed broke off when I took it apart at the start of the restoration. 6. fix the mechanical fuel pump. And as always you guys suggestions would be great. we are now up and running. Thanks again Doug


    Doug, your still running way too hot. Nobody who paid Pierce Arrow prices when new would have settled for an answer that they “always run hot”. Gas boils at 145 degrees, so an electric pump on a Pierce V-12 is a must. When you park it hot the fuel will boil out of the float bowls. Everyone I know uses a electric pump to make starting faster.


    Thanks Ed. Your help is just what I need. I was surprizes at the high temp. on the heads yesterday, and will be looking for any and all ways to cut it down. Please let me know if you have any ideas as what to try next. I am thinking , wrapping the exhaust,putting the new splash pans on to help in air flow over the engine ?? Although that dosen’t seem right. More test drives are in order. Doug


    Changing your coolant to pure water will help. Water conducts heat better than a glycol mix. Did you clean out your radiator or recore it during the restoration? Are you sure the waterpump seal is not letting air in which allows the coolant to foam further reducing the coolant’s heat-conducting abilities.

    Is your fuel line in the original location from the tank to the fuel pump? Re-routing the fuel line to outside the frame, keeping the line as far away from the hot exhaust system will reduce the fuel temperature in the fuel line, reducing vapor bubbles forming, creating ‘vapor lock’ in the fuel system.. An electric pump helps, but having cool fuel in the line will allow the mechanical pump to work much better.

    What is the temperature of the water neck where it comes out of each head, before it goes into the upper radiator hoses? And what is the temperature of the upper radiator tank, measured below the water level in the tank?

    Your thermostat only controls the radiator louvers.. I’d mechanically prop the louvers open untill you get your heating issues solved.

    Hope this helps..

    Greg L.


    Thanks Greg, I found that the fuel line that goes between the carbs was not wrapped. That should help as it’s only inches from the exhaust . I will take another test drive and recheck the temp, then drain the preston, and put water in and see what the temp. is then. I also found that the cable for the spark advance was not set quite right. Full advance was not really full. Thanks for everyones help. Doug

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