A high-performance LS engine generates much more heat than a Chevy Gen I small-block engine or a Pontiac V-8 that originally came in many of the F-Body cars, so you need a cooling system that effectively and efficiently dissipates and manages the heat. Therefore, you need the correct components, adequate capacity, and proper calibration for the high-performance engine you have installed in your F-Body. A proper cooling system helps produce horsepower and protects your sizable investment in your LS engine. Interestingly, the coolant system on the LS engine lineup is not entirely different from a Gen I Chevy small-block that was installed in most of these first- and secondgeneration F-Bodies. The LS has two major ports: One comes into the engine while the other moves hot coolant out of the engine and into the radiator. Thankfully General Motors did away with the reverse cooling LT engine that seemed more of an experiment than a wellthought-out system.
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Have ls steam line hook up you tried?
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Tech Features News Videos. What are these crazy looking tubes on my LS engine and why do I need them anyway? Tags: EarlsEarlsVideo.
The LS has two major ports: One comes into the engine while the other moves hot coolant out of the engine and into the radiator. Thankfully General Motors did away with the reverse cooling LT engine that seemed more of an experiment than a wellthought-out system.
These are three typical water pumps. The one with the larger bells is the most versatile as it can be made to fit the F-Body and the Corvette-style balancers.
Early F-Body cars run an openbottle cooling system. However, a closed pressurized cooling system with a closed overflow bottle provides higher pressure and much better cooling than a standard open system.
In addition, the extra capacity of the bottle in a closed system offers more cooling. When installing a closed pressurized system, the lower line should be integrated into the return heater hose. The vent hose from the cylinder head should be hooked to the small upper nipple on the bottle.
Nov 14, The coolant steam line is designed to vent excess air pockets from the coolant system. Air is the enemy of any proper cooling system and this system does a nice job of removing unwanted air pockets without a lot of mess. When performing a swap, you need to route and connect the tube to the upper radiator hose. This line must be hooked up or the. LS Steam vent issues are becoming easier to navigate around with aftermarket kits. C&R Racing has created a LS engine steam vent kit (part # ) that can be assembled in several different configurations. When plumbing a LS steam vent line, something one may not consider is what obstacles will be in the way of a functional and aesthetically pleasing routed vent line. Dec 12, Since the exit is lower than the water in the cylinder head, they added a steam line. 71 Chevelle LM7 l genIII hp / Th / Quick Performance 9 inch housing, Ford Traction - Lok, Moser Axles, Gm Disc / Drum brakes.
Although you may be tempted to use the original radiator from your F-Body with your new LS engine, this is not the right move and does not meet your high-performance goals. The original hose was about a foot longer but the center section fit perfectly and now it clears the idler arm mount.
Photo Courtesy Mary Pozzi.
I highly recommend upgrading your radiator as cheap insurance to protect against heat in your engine. Newer radiators are vastly more efficient, lighter, and use more reliable components such as electric fans and have larger cooling capacity.
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While you can use a small-block radiator on an LS swap, there is one major difference. The standard small-block radiator works exactly the same way as the LS specific radiators do, the difference is, you guessed it, the placement of the upper radiator hose. Mary and her crew had to trial fit the upper hose in the same manner as the lower hose. As the fitting for the water pump was a smaller diameter than that for the radiator neck, I used a reducer available at parts stores to get this hose working with the LS swap.
The old direct-fit aluminum radiator and SPAL fan combination was used to cool the old small-block. It worked just fine and would probably work with the new Mast LS3.
However, I upgraded the entire car and I needed to ensure the engine had excellent cooling so the engine could run at its best and not overheat. This comparison of the new aluminum core support from AutoRad and a stock core support shows that the AutoRad is significantly bigger and lighter.
Here is a close-up of the thermostat housing and heater core passages. The large port is the lower radiator hose and the two smaller ones are for the heater core. You might run into this problem as well, which kind of threw me for a loop.
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I ended up using a plastic elbow that reroutes the hoses. Using an old coat hanger, I mocked up the basic shape of the radiator hose and this provided a sense for the required length of the hose. Obviously, it was a custom application.
After searching my local Napa Auto Parts store, I finally found the correct hose for this application. The bends on this hose matched fairly well and the inside diameter ID of the hose was close enough for my comfort. I dug around the cooling hose bin for quite some time before I found the right hose.
DIY Junkyard 4 Corner LS Steam Vent
I performed the same basic procedure for the lower hose as well. This option might be for you, but remember it takes a bit of work to make it work properly and not look like a hack job.
A myriad of aluminum cross-flow radiators are available for LS swaps into first- and second-generation F-Body chassis. These part numbers may have been different in previous years and are not direct-fit hoses.
In addition, they may be somewhat difficult to install and may take some muscle and trimming to get them in place. Looks like a factory part after I trimmed it to fit better. Notice the clearance with the LS engine and no need for a clutch and fan blade assembly.
The upper and lower radiator hoses now need to be run. This is for both upper and lower sizes. You might have to cut and adjust a bit on each hose to make it fit just right but if done correctly, it looks factory. This radiator and fan combo boasts a percent surface area gain over a stock radiator and a percent surface area gain for even the best radiators on the market, which is impressive.
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A radiator that can keep it all under control is a big bonus to us. In addition, if I choose to upgrade to even more power in the future, this unit is up to the task and one less thing for me to worry about.
To install this radiator, the core support needs to be replaced.
If yours looked as butchered as mine did, replacing it is probably a wise thing to do. Another reason I went this route is that the stock LS radiators typically have a sandwiched design; the two side-headers are made of plastic and are joined to aluminum cores. This is typically the weak spot in a modern radiator and after repeated heating and cooling cycles those joints wear down and eventually leak and need replacing. The AutoRad radiator has in and out ports for the radiator hoses on the same side of the radiator; this is different than a typical GM setup.
The radiator also came with two electric fans each requiring 18 amps of power. The Mast wiring system is a bit different, so it works with one fan. However, I was able to connect both fans as the Mast harness has a amp relay and can handle the power of both fans at once.
May 06, Geoff, Some radiators are LS engine specific and they will have a small threaded hole to insert a fitting and tie into the steam vent tube. If your radiator doesn't have that option I have seen others tie the steam vent directly inline with their top radiator hose. In an LS engine, the thermostat is in the water pump housing, which is locating much lower on the engine when compared to the old SBC set-up. With the LS design, the temperature and flow of the coolant is regulated before the coolant ever enters your engine.
A typical LS system has a relay for each fan. You may have to modify yours to fit your application.
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The radiator and fan combo has been installed just like the stock one would have been with two on each side of the radiator. The supplied catch can for the radiator mounts on the cap side with the same two bolts that hold it in place.
The fans came with a premade wiring harness. Because the Mast harness comes with wires for electric fans much like the stock ECMhook up was a breeze by simply splicing the ECM wires into the fan harness. AutoRad throws in all the hardware you need so this really was a no-brainer. The accessories can interfere with connecting the upper radiator for certain engines and setups for folks who want to run a stock first- or second-generation F-Body radiator or in applications where a turbo or supercharger has been added.
An additional benefit to dualpass radiators is that they keep the coolant in the radiator longer.
This allows the fan to remove more heat, and it increases the ability of the radiator to cool more efficiently. Every LS engine is equipped with a degree thermostat.