88 Formula running too hot. Any suggestions ?

I have an '88 Formula Firebird with the 5 Liter TPI Engine. It has always run at about 190 to 215 degrees. Occasionally it would go up a little over 220 if I was sitting in traffic or something like that.
Just recently it has started running at about 220 to 235 degrees.
It seems the faster I go the hotter it runs. This is a little too hot for comfort considering that if the thing had a normally calibrated temp gauge it would be nearly pinned at this temp . My first thought is to back flush the radiator and change the thermostat (PITA). I have a feeling this will not fix it though. Any ideas out there ?
My Temp gauge looks like this. Notice how 220 is in the middle ! This is so you won't freak out since the car runs at close to that temp. If it was calibrated correctly 220 would be almost all the way to the right. The red zone is at about 250 - 260. My car used to run where the * is. Now it runs where the ^ is.
| | |      | * | ^ | |         | | 100 220 260
Thanks for any suggestions you might have.
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Is the front air dam still intact? (The lieelt black rubber piece under the radiator that sticks down to catch the air) Cause you said it runs hotter the faster you go....
-Geno 1985 Blue Camaro 2.8L w/T-tops (148k and going... getting worried) 1988 Blue Firebird Formula 5.0L w/T-tops (For sale for $2,200) 1985 Brown Firebird 5.7L w/5-Speed (No T-tops though) Still looking for an '82-'84 T/A w/T-tops for parts from one
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Driving my 85 T/A in the summer on the highway, with no air damn resulted in lower temps. Driving at less then 30 to 35 MPH would cause it to get very hot. When moving, F-bodies will draw air thru the radiator. At low speeds, or idle, they draw very little with the air damn removed.
My car does not have one due to nose damage from the previous owner. When it gets the nose from the 88 GTA it will get one. Charles
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Yes the front Air Dam is in good condition. How did you swing a 5.7L with a 5 speed. I know that was not an option at the factory. Did you rig that yourself ? Any Tranny problems with that combo ?

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The engine was a swap... planning on taking it out and putting it in the formula and putting that 305 in the 'bird and selling it. So we'll see. Wish me luck. :)
-Geno 1985 Blue Camaro 2.8L w/T-tops (148k and going... getting worried) 1988 Blue Firebird Formula 5.0L w/T-tops (For sale for $2,200) 1985 Brown Firebird 5.7L w/5-Speed (No T-tops though) Still looking for an '82-'84 T/A w/T-tops for parts from one
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First of all, 190 to 220 on a gauge is normal. Heck unless you have a 160 degree thermostat, your thermostat would close if your coolant temps dropped below 168.
Second, the factor temp gauges in most of my cars show between 180 and 230 when operating, warmed up, most of the year. The only one that shows less then that is in my 84 C-10 Pick Up. It reads low until 210, then it reads high. 20 year old gauges will do that. I don't worry until it heads for the 260 mark, which it has been past before.
Your problems are probably minor, maybe a bad temp sender for the fans, or the block. Maybe it just needs to have the radiator pressure tested, and cleaned. As well as a new thermostat, and block flush. Charles
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I know on my '85, my temp reads 10-15 degrees higher than the engine actually is.. had it tested cause I was worried.. and turns out fine.
-Geno 1985 Blue Camaro 2.8L w/T-tops (148k and going... getting worried) 1988 Blue Firebird Formula 5.0L w/T-tops (For sale for $2,200) 1985 Brown Firebird 5.7L w/5-Speed (No T-tops though) Still looking for an '82-'84 T/A w/T-tops for parts from one
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I probably should mention that the fans are coming on when they should. The first fan at about 225 degrees and the second at 235 or when the AC is on. In the past the car never even reached these temps on the highway.
Anyone ever change the thermostat on one of these. Do I really need to remove the intake plenum as the book says ? It looks like I might be able to just remove the throttle body to get the clearnce I need.
Also when back flushing do I install the Tee fitting into the heater hose that goes into the heater control module or into the heater hose that goes to the top of the radiator. Won't the thermostat be closed when I run the cold water through the system ?
Thanks for your assistance - Tom D. -
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On 24 Sep 2004 07:23:09 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Tom D.) wrote:

Just did it a couple of weeks ago as a matter of fact. I also have a Tpi 305 under the hood. It took about an hour to do, not much of a problem. You'll need tall and shallow sockets, a universal joint, 12 point box wrenches, and replacement hose clamps. I didn't have to remove the plenum, but I did unbolt the throttle body and move it to the side as much as possible to get to the front bolt on the water neck. Get a new gasket for the throttle body.
I had to replace my thermostat because my 88' got jealous. I saw a 77' or 78' T/A for sale and had to stop to see what the asking price was. A little too much for my taste, or at least for a Olds 403, auto tranny, worn interior, dirty undercarridge, drum brakes, you get the idea. When I got back into my car it started like it had vapor lock and as I left the parking lot I watched the temp guage just keep rising. Luckily I was only a couple of miles from home. It's not the first time that one of my cars have done this to me. Anyone one else have similar stories?
...Ron -- 68' Camaro RS 88' Firebird Formula 00' Mustang GT Vert
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Sounds like a rough 77/78.
I went to the "U Pull It" yards I frequent here in the northeast with a buddy into Oldsmobiles and we did quite alright :).
I was perusing the stock and came on a 77//78 T/A that must have been a track car at one time. Inside the car was a rust free left fender, it still had two good tail lamps, and a hood scoop (although it's cut out).
I think I got everything for under $40, I bought a load of other stuff with it for the other cars. Got a nice front bumper for my S10 for $25 there too :).
You do well at these places when you find 'em and know what to look for :). Joe--ASE Certified Parts Specialist & 10th Ann.Club Tech Director '80 Carousel Red Turbo T/A, 27k orig. '79 "Y89" 400/4 speed 10th Ann. T/A, 57k orig '84 Olds 88 Royale Bgm 2 dr, 307 "Rocket" (lol), 143k and still going.... '91 S10 Blazer 4.3Z
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On 25 Sep 2004 12:17:32 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Bigjfig) wrote:

The one I was looking at had a trashed interior and the undercarridge was just horrible. The paint was ok for being 20+ years old. When I was a teenager I'd be picking cars up like that for $500 all day long.

In the last 2 weeks I have gone to 2 car show/swap meets and can not believe what people are asking dollar wise for 1st gen cars. It just makes me want to never sell mine all tha more. I also notice more and more that people are hanging the shaker scoops on the hood on 2nd. gen T/A's instead of properly on the intake assy. THis last weekend I was at Englishtown for the fall meet, picked up 4 WS6 wheel caps for my 88' for $40, a 50th anniversary NASCAR/Hurst shifter ball ($5), and some sheet metal for my 68'. This weekend coming up is the big meet at Carlysle Pa. It ought to be fun.
...Ron

-- 68' Camaro RS 88' Firebird Formula 00' Mustang GT Vert
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Ron:
I normally hit that meet too. LOL. I'm the guy with my ball cap on backward (if the sun is beating on my neck) with the Craftsman tool catalog in my back pocket checking the prices of these over-selling guys.
My friend who normally goes with me to these meets made the crazy idea of getting married this past weekend up in Weehawken, NJ near the ferry there. A nice touch (he is a fireman and so was his late father-in-law) was that the marine pumper boat came by the windows of the reception on the water and sprayed water and did a nice light display.
I told him never to get married on a swapmeet weekend again :).
Joe--ASE Certified Parts Specialist & 10th Ann.Club Tech Director '80 Carousel Red Turbo T/A, 27k orig. '79 "Y89" 400/4 speed 10th Ann. T/A, 57k orig '84 Olds 88 Royale Bgm 2 dr, 307 "Rocket" (lol), 143k and still going.... '91 S10 Blazer 4.3Z
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RSCamaro wrote:

I'm one of those people. As far as I know, I'm stuck with this crappy solution, as this Performer RPM intake and carb raise the air cleaner too much.. so I've got the shaker bolted to the hood and a dinky little air filter that barely squeezes into the shaker with the hood down.
Oh, and I don't have that intake assembly.. :/
--
Amrit
ICQ: 3173735
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Sure you can :). Throw out that non Q-jet carburetor, get the original rejetted and reworked and it will outperform that "replacement" version 100 times over.
You won't see any non Q-jet equipment on any of my GM products. Ever. :)
Joe--ASE Certified Parts Specialist & 10th Ann.Club Tech Director '80 Carousel Red Turbo T/A, 27k orig. '79 "Y89" 400/4 speed 10th Ann. T/A, 57k orig '84 Olds 88 Royale Bgm 2 dr, 307 "Rocket" (lol), 143k and still going....
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Amen! I'm a big believer in the humble Q-jet. Complex & hard to understand BUT when you do understand it, it is the most "tunable" carburetor made. AND for the people that say it is just something to get groceries with, I offer a couple of photos:
http://home.mindspring.com/~andywarren/_uimages/100_0748_8.JPG
http://home.mindspring.com/~andywarren/_uimages/100_0747_8.JPG
This little Q-jet belts out over 500 horsepower!!! No, it's not my car just one I saw at the local dragstrip. You can tell by looking at the underhood goodies that this guy could afford a Damn-Good carburetor. and that is what you will see sitting on top of his motor... Andy W.

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Get Doug Roe's Q-jet book and it's not all that hard when you net it out and work with it :). Joe--ASE Certified Parts Specialist & 10th Ann.Club Tech Director '80 Carousel Red Turbo T/A, 27k orig. '79 "Y89" 400/4 speed 10th Ann. T/A, 57k orig '84 Olds 88 Royale Bgm 2 dr, 307 "Rocket" (lol), 143k and still going....
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gen
too
times
:)
going....
and
Good point Joe, I picked the book up, quite an incredible amount of info in it thats for sure. Be nice if I had an extra 17057202 or similar core laying around though so I can keep driving while i rebuild the carb.
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Bigjfig wrote:

Heheh.. While I read yours and everyone's replies, and don't doubt that you know what you're talking about, I do think that the carb is the least of the problem. This Performer RPM intake is quite a bit taller than the Torker intake that was on the car before, along with a Quadrajet. The situation was the same at the time, I wasn't able to fit any decent sized air filter under the hood, and the shaker still had to be bolted up to the hood.
--
Amrit
ICQ: 3173735
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