If you read the "Turning Dirt to Asphalt" story written by Rob in this issue, you saw a little part that talked about the water temperature in our engine. Ever since we owned this car the water ran 180-190 degrees, ideal temperature range. This season that changed. It started off slowly, what used to be 180-190 turned into 190-200. Then 200-210. Well, after all the testing and practice at Charlotte County we were staring at 240...never a good thing. An engine running 240 has the potential of leaving a mark...all over the track.
Was there something wrong with the brand-new radiator?
The computer-designed one-way internal passages flow more coolant at a higher velocity tha
Was a hose collapsed?
I wasn't sure, but let me make one thing clear, at speed, the motor never ran that hot, it was only after I slowed down or pulled into the pits that the temp climbed and the engine started puking water out of the overflow hose.
This made me especially concerned because the Charlotte County race was on pavement and everybody told me that the car would run hotter on asphalt. Plus, putting all these dirt drivers on pavement for the first time, we were going to have a bunch of cautions. I could just see the temperature gauge climb through the roof during a yellow. By the way, if you did read "Turning Dirt to Asphalt" then you already know I was concerned about the cautions for nothing.
The Edelbrock Victor Pro 8819 water pump features a billet aluminum impeller with a revise
Anyhow, after qualifying, we took some time out to check out the engine. With the motor running we could see a faint wobble in the fan. By the time the 50-lap race was over, the wobble was a bit more noticeable. It was becoming clear that the water pump was on its way out. Not wanting to risk a major engine problem, we chose not to ignore the pump issue and as soon as we got back from Charlotte County we began hunting water pumps.
There aren't any rules governing water pumps in our series so the field is wide open. Now, you can spend anywhere from $50 to $320 on a water pump. But this story is all about choosing the right water pump.
Before we get into actually making our choice, let's do a little water pump review. Not to insult anybody's intelligence, but water pumps are a critical component of a race engine. If you think of the water running through the motor as its blood, then the water pump is its heart. There are several critical areas of a water pump such as the internal passages, the impeller and the seals. When choosing a water pump, you need to look at each of these areas as well as the hub, bearing and gaskets.
However, as important as the physical design of the pump and the quality of components used in it, is the rest of the cooling system. Items such as the fan, radiator, pulleys and hoses work together with your water pump to keep your engine cool. Believe it or not, it's possible to pump the water through the motor so fast that it won't do a good job of cooling, which is why some people run restrictors in the radiator. That is, however, the subject of another story. The point here is choosing the right water pump is about matching it to your whole cooling system.
The beefy 3/4 inch pilot shaft with its integral ball/roller bearing will withstand higher
This hub is machined from billet steel for strength and black-oxide coated for corrosion r
One of the most important features of this pump is also probably the least costly. Instead
Step one is to pull the radiator out so you can easily reach the water pump. Photo by Bobb
Our 362ci open motor can put out upwards of 600 hp which means we need a pump with an equal amount of muscle, but we don't have to go break the bank to do it. We settled on Edelbrock's Victor-Pro Circle Track Water Pump (Part #8819) for several reasons. This pump is an upgraded version of the #8816 water pump. Specially designed for the needs of circle track and endurance racing engines, it features an improved right-side outlet passage. This computer-designed outlet passage, as well as the one-way internal passage, flows more coolant at a higher velocity than a stock pump, even at lower rpm. The inlet diameter of 1.84 inch is big enough to feed enough water to keep our motor cool under green and caution (reason #1).
The 8819 features a billet aluminum impeller with a revised impeller entry, as well as a larger design that produces greater pressure and volume. Like the internal passages, great flow and more pressure will yield better cooling under race conditions (reason #2).
With the radiator gone, it's easy to see the four bolts that hold the pump to the block. P
This particular pump also has a black anodized finish and 0.100 inch thicker rear cover for greater durability (reason #3). We liked the fact that the 8819 comes with auxiliary water fittings at 90 degrees to the block and a beefy 3/4 inch pilot shaft. The shaft with its integral ball/roller bearing will withstand higher tortional loads at high rpm's while the fittings will allow us to fabricate a custom plumbing system at a later date. Available with AN or NPT auxiliary fittings, we opted for the AN-10 in keeping with the other fittings on the car.
Everything on the 8819 is upgraded for racing applications which is important, especially since the car gets bounced around a lot on the unforgiving dirt tracks around Florida. The hub is machined from billet steel for strength and black-oxide coated for corrosion resistance and durability.
Remove the fan, remove the bolts and then off comes the pump. Photo by Bobby Clark
One of the most important features of this pump is also probably the least costly. Instead of a standard gasket this pump has an O-ring which provides a far superior seal. Again, this is especially important to me since we race on dirt. To maximize the seal your pump should really have an O-ring instead of a gasket.
Here's something else to look at when choosing your water pump, it should provide the maximum amount of cooling with equal distribution to both sides of the engine block, preferably within a 1 percent variance between sides. By eliminating hot spots and providing even cooling throughout, the engine will produce optimum power from every cylinder without detonation and pre-ignition.
Four old bolts off, four new bolts on and the finished product is ready for a test session
So now that we've figured out which water pump to use and have seen the important attributes of why we chose the 8819, it's time to get our hands dirty. Installing a water pump is actually a relatively simple task, definitely not as complex as getting a 2002 Dirt Late Model chassis to turn on asphalt.
We start by removing the radiator and shroud followed by the fan and the pulleys. With everything out of the way, the only thing left to do is remove the four bolts holding the pump to the block. When installing the new pump, it's a good idea to put in all new hoses and, potentially, a new radiator depending, of course, on your budget and the age of your current one. We already have our new C&R radiator in the car so the only thing in addition to the new pump was to upgrade the hoses. We put our ultra-lightweight BLP pulley system back on along with the four-blade fan. Next up is a test session where we'll run a bunch of laps in preparation for our next dirt race. We'll let you know how it goes.
A water-pump dyno? That was something new to us, so we had to check it out. Designed and built by Edelbrock, this special water pump dynamometer is set up to test water pumps in a "real world" setting that simulates the conditions of an actual engine. The "coolant" in the dyno is pre-heated to reflect the actual temperature of the coolant in a running engine. The sensors collect flow numbers, temperature and pressure data as well as how much horsepower is required to turn the water pump. This gives Edelbrock the complete picture about the efficiency of the water pump design. Once the information is collected, engineers can use Edelbrock's QwikData data acquisition system to create graphs, charts and view the information in a number of ways. The data is used to develop water pumps that will exceed the additional cooling system demands of a high performance engine.