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Author Topic: Radiator Cooling Efficiency  (Read 1332 times)

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Offline Scott Montoney

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Radiator Cooling Efficiency
« on: August 02, 2011, 01:32:51 PM »
OK everyone,  it's been too quiet on this forum.

I'm considering my winter project for my car. I'd like to improve the engine cooling while retaining the original integrity and look of the system.  My car just doesn't like to sit in slow traffic for very long.
I was wondering if it is possible to replace the core of the radiator with newer cooling fins?  Are newer cores more efficient?  The other thought is to mount a 6V axillary fan to the front of the radiator where it wouldn't be seen very well but it could push air through the radiator even in stopped traffic.
Any thoughts?
Scott
"Gertrude" a.k.a. "Troidl"
1952 - 220 Cabriolet B

Offline Stephen Dietrich

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Re: Radiator Cooling Efficiency
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2011, 03:04:28 PM »
When was the last time the radiator was cored? One of the first things I will do when I get an old car is first have someone flush the engine and then take the radiator out and have it cored.  Stephen
Stephen Dietrich
1952 MBZ 170Da OTP
1952 MBZ 300 Cabriolet
1978 Porsche 911SC Targa
1962 Porsche 356B Super

Offline John Ellis

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Re: Radiator Cooling Efficiency
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2011, 07:41:04 PM »
First, is your thermostat working at the right temperatures?  The thermostat should start to open between 175>185 deg F and be fully open at 185 deg F.  You can do this on your stove top in a pan of water.  Also, the arrow on the thermostat should be pointing toward the radiator (I know this sounds obvious, but it is like the first question a computer tech asks, is the computer plugged in?).

Comb the fins, boil-out and pressure test definitely!!!! ....... core replacement if you find some of the tubes plugged or a leak in the core.  A good radiator shop will be able to closely match your core.

Jim Axman, some time ago, replaced his fan with an electric 6 volt radiator fan.  I believe that he removed his fan from the water pump and placed it behind the radiator.  I do remember that it solved his problem of overheating.  I like your idea of a front mounted radiator fan so that the engine compartment remains original looking.  Would you use a toggle switch to activate the electric fan?  Is there enough room to fit a fan between the radiator and grille?
« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 07:43:21 PM by John Ellis »
John Ellis
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1958 190
2007 Porsche Cayman

Offline PyroPete

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Re: Radiator Cooling Efficiency
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2011, 09:59:52 PM »
Scott,

It does sound as though your radiator is clogged up. It should not be an issue to have the radiator recored. I have had the radiators on my '60s american muscle cars recored for more efficient cooling (more power = more heat generated) without changing the outside factory appearance of the radiators. Modern radiator cores pack more tubes into the same space thereby affording more efficient heat exchange.

Once the radiator is functioning correctly, the fan should displace enough air without adding auxilary electric fans. These cars were known for thier cooling efficiency back in the day.

Good luck
Pete

Offline Scott Montoney

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Re: Radiator Cooling Efficiency
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2011, 06:47:41 AM »
Wow, several things to address:

Stephen/John - I don't have a record of it ever being re-cored.  About four years ago I did take it to a shop to have a minor leak repaired.  I know it was pressure tested, cleaned, and repainted.  I don't know if there was any kind of a "flow test" done.

John - Yes, I did the thermostat "stove top test" about a year ago and it works properly.  On a relatively cool day, I can watch the temperature needle fluctuate around the temperature that the thermostat opens.

Pete - Thanks for your comments on past experiences in having new cores put in.

John - yes, there looks to be plenty of room between the radiator and grill.  I would probably just use a toggle switch to engage when I need it.  Some fans have various ways to measure the temperature and turn on/off automatically, but it usually involves additional exposed wires.

Yes, I did see Jim's modifications before he sold his car.  He had removed the stock fan and mounted the electric fan behind the radiator to pull the air through.  He had an external thermal switch that mounted to the radiator to turn the fan on/off.  He had also replaced his generator with a new alternator, but I don't recall if he was running 6V or 12V.  (Not that it matters for this discussion.)

So, I believe I will certainly have the core replaced in order to remove any doubt about it. 
I'm undecided what to do about the electric fan as a supplement.  This would be the ideal time to add it if I ever thought I still might need it.  Maybe I'll wait to see what the radiator shop has to say regarding the condition of the old vs new core.
 I still have several months before I start into this project.
Keep the input coming.
Scott
"Gertrude" a.k.a. "Troidl"
1952 - 220 Cabriolet B

Offline roadster36

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Re: Radiator Cooling Efficiency
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2011, 05:21:59 PM »
First, is your thermostat working at the right temperatures?  The thermostat should start to open between 175>185 deg F and be fully open at 185 deg F.  You can do this on your stove top in a pan of water.  Also, the arrow on the thermostat should be pointing toward the radiator (I know this sounds obvious, but it is like the first question a computer tech asks, is the computer plugged in?).

or do you drill the 2,5 mm hole in the thermostat valve?
And is the hole mounted upside?

Jan

Offline John Ellis

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Re: Radiator Cooling Efficiency
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2011, 08:42:58 PM »
Where is the hole drilled?
John Ellis
1953 170Vb
1958 190
2007 Porsche Cayman

Offline Scott Montoney

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Re: Radiator Cooling Efficiency
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2011, 10:10:58 PM »
The thermostat is fine! 
If it wasn't, I would be having far more problems all the time, and not just when I'm sitting in stopped traffic and only when the air is well over 90° F outside.
"Gertrude" a.k.a. "Troidl"
1952 - 220 Cabriolet B

Offline John Ellis

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Re: Radiator Cooling Efficiency
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2011, 12:03:22 AM »
I agree Scott, it does sound like it is working fine.  I just wanted to know about the hole that Jan was referring to.  I couldn't see any hole anywhere on my thermostat.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 12:07:19 AM by John Ellis »
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2007 Porsche Cayman

Offline braveman170

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Re: Radiator Cooling Efficiency
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2011, 12:21:59 AM »
Hello,

Are you sure that the engine water system is clean? Or is it full of rusty stuff in the bottom. I had a lot of stuff in my engine before restoring it.

If you do not have enough flow trough the engine it doesn't matter what you do with the radiator.


Lars

1953 170Sb W191
1967 250SE W111 Coupé
1994 E320 W124 Convertible

Offline Stephen Dietrich

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Re: Radiator Cooling Efficiency
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2011, 01:15:24 AM »
This is why it is important to have the engine flushed prior to any radiator work. If the engine is full of sludge, it will shorten the life of a re-cored radiator.  Stephen
Stephen Dietrich
1952 MBZ 170Da OTP
1952 MBZ 300 Cabriolet
1978 Porsche 911SC Targa
1962 Porsche 356B Super