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Radiator specs and getting a custom rad built? - Engine & Ancilliaries/Gearbox - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content


Radiator specs and getting a custom rad built?


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I'd like to improve my cooling system as it's now evident that the second I hit traffic or slow to a standstill my temperature rises quickly which leaves me on tender hooks. Talking to various people at the show on Sunday the overall suggestion was to get a 3 core or evan 4 core built, anyone had a new bigger rad fitted and what has been the result? Someone menrioned a guy in Redditch but I forgot to get his details?

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Good upgrade and well worth doing, personally

Would just go for 3 core as 4 core is a bit of an

overkill unless your planning a crazy engine upgrade also 3 core will do the job and cost less.

Plenty of people doing custom rads out there

Would also look into an aluminum one but

Will cost but proven to cool better and a weight

Reduction as added bonus.

Can't remember who I used it was that ago,

But you just send the rad of to them and they

Will make it triple core and will be cheaper option

Than the aliminium one.

So plenty of options, would also try mike at lotus

Bits to see who he uses or may be able to supply you one.

A

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Yes I had a 4 core built for my Excel and it worked a treat even in the South of France and Italy. Unfortunately it sprang a leak this year and carries on regardless with a touch of radweld. I have purchased an alloy high efficiency one from ebay but its yet to be fitted.

Looks good but others have had dodgy ones sent out so I cant gurantee anything.

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I've been looking at those also....

 

Although they are advertised for the elite/eclat, I think they are really for the excel and someone commented that the mounting methodology is different between the cars.

 

A bit of inginuity would probably make it work fine however?

 

Its a good price for an alloy rad.

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Any links to these rad options? The guy I spoke to on Sunday said it eradicated his over heating immediately, "never gets above 80" what he said, wedge TVR. Seems like the best solution and not a lot of money for what they do really.

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Your current rad is probably filled up with gunk (somewhat) and has diminished in capacity to cool as it did when new. They all go this way in time.

 

I took the original out when I put in a much bigger engine that made a lot more heat (power) so I had a custom brass one made. Yeah, it is heavier but it will outlast an aluminum one and you can fix it if it starts to leak where an aluminum is much more difficult to repair.

 

My new one is a 4 core, 4 gallon rad and cools just fine in my 4.9 L Buick aluminum V8 pumping out over 300 hp and 360 ft/lbs of torque so this large of one is over kill for the stock 907 lump for sure.

 

So you may not need a enlarged one. 

 

My new one was a tight fit just like the old one. It is just thicker and fits nicely through the same opening in front of the engine.

I spend $500.00 US to have mine built.

 

There are many ways to get extra cooling for your engine.

 

I posted this the other day on cooling and some tricks that I have done, all helping to keep things at the right temps. 

 

end of the page.....

 

http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/53963-evans-waterless-cooling/page-3#entry573423

 

Richard

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Looking at this from a different angle, the things that makes the car heat up when stationary are likely to be a combination of airflow and water flow.  I've had issues with the fan relay, and if you haven't already, I suggest checking that the fans are kicking in nice and early.

 

I owned a three litre Alvis for about 15 years, and people always had problems with those overheating in traffic.  Partly it was the crank driven fan - everyone fitted electric fans, partly it was gunked-up engine waterways, but partly it seemed to be an inherent lack of water flow at idle.  Some people reported great results by adding supplementary electric water pumps - if I remember correctly from some Mercedes diesel.  

 

I'm not knocking the idea of getting rid of a gunked-up rad, but I do wonder if rad capacity is necessarily the only way to improve cooling.

Edited by Herc
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Yes Herc, you are probably right a good flow in the system is vital to the operation. Bare in mind I dont know the history of this car and I suspect a 38 year old rad, although the coolant looks clear from gunk I'm sure a new rad will help. Infact the more I look into this, you find recoring companies everywhere and they all make custom spec rads to your requirements most for around the £200 mark, I've just found one around the corner from me so I'll give them a visit. I've also found loads of race aluminium rads on the net, and there's bound to be an off the shelf 3 core at the same width/height as the original, most again come in at 200 odd quid.

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BALLS! I'm just in the garage now and have noticed something rather interesting that would stop airflow! Who remembers way back when I took out the air conditioning, well guess what is in the way sitting in front of the radiator? You've guessed it, the bloody air con rad! I'm thinking that's gunna impede things right, remove that and surely that's gunna help?

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The Lotus engine throws out a lot of heat at idle which has to go somewhere so operational fans that cut in early are vital. My car has new rad and water pump but the temp gauge still rises quickly when slow moving/stationary - particularly in hot weather. As you probably remember I've filled it with waterless coolant so there's no pressure in the system and it has a boiling point of 180 degrees so a good safety margin, so if you are worried I'd recommend you do the same.

 

ATB Richard

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If you do get a new radiator, I always recommend Winner Racing.  They're a Ebay-based company from China so you might be sceptical initially (as was I).  I had a custom sized radiator made to fit in my drag Evo and they made it exactly to spec.  Inlet and outlet right where I wanted it, good quality welds and had no complaints at all.  Just an option for you :)

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  • Gold FFM

Had mine recored to 3 rows at a local rad shop.

Most big cities have a radiator specialist who can do that type of thing. Think mine was about £200 to have done.

Mine never overheats - has three big high flow eBay fans strapped to it as well. When stopped in traffic it does slowly rise - but comes down rapidly when the fans kick in....

Only here once

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One major thing, that made a huge difference I have also done, to keep things cool, is to cut out the behind front bumper center hole on the body. IMHO, this should have been done at the factory.

 

This is the place where all you UK guys hand your license plate. I used an aluminum 1/4 inch plate for a reinforcement over the front of the body that would hide behind the bumper and enough on both sides of the cutout to be strong and keep the integrity of the front nose of the car. Then I cut the hole which is rather large and right in front of the radiator.

 

This over doubles the air intake to the rad and ac condenser. I also put the series two front air-damn in place which also collects a good amount of air. 

 

My 1974 Elite, 110th built, had only a small flap, from the factory, hanging down and picking up almost no air into the bottom of the engine. So these improvements contributed to a no heat issue, for me, which is vital in any aluminum engine. Especially a modified V8.

 

Right now, I am rebuilding the air dam just in front the engine from the bottom of the radiator to the top of hood vent (bonnet) just in front of the engine. This is suppose to direct all hot air, from the radiator, out to the atmosphere and kept away from blowing around the engine compartment keeping things just that much hotter. Clever idea but it was only a partial air dam and not very pretty.

 

I also coated my exhaust headers with a space age ceramic, metallic coating that keeps the heat inside the exhaust ( releases another 6 hp or so in my engine by helping to scavenge the exhaust ) and is reported to lower the engine bay temps by 70 F.

 

http://www.jet-hot.com/

 

All these help and of course there are more ways like Red Line's "water wetter:" which is advertised to lower temps by 20 F. Just add to your coolant.

 

 http://www.redlineoil.com/Products.aspx?pcid=10

 

hope this helps some

 

Richard

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   Charlie, 

 

       I would look at this as a sensible option and upgrade, as the radiators old it will always be a weak point and probably

        best to replace when possible as we all know Murphys law it will go eventually anyway at the most in appropriate time.

 

       Coolant does not always show itself as gunked up, more so on old cars it turns into crystalizeses ,  ref coolant flow we

        even used to weight radiators against a brand new one and the weight difference would be the crystallization in the radiator,

        you could still put a hose pipe and flow water through one end and it would flow out the other but reduced flow or enough

        to reduce performance on the track.

 

       Have not had a look at the ebay listing that one of the lads linked yet, but as long as its not made in China you should

       it should be ok.  

 

        Regards Danny

A

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Cheers lads, decision made, the ac condenser is coming out this weekend, that should at least give a better flow at the front end. In the mean time I'll visit that recoring company, see what they offer. Below is a photo of the condenser, that tiny slot underneath it is the only route in for air to flow to the rad, removing it will increase the flow massively.

20150825_191844_zps9l0lfp9t.jpg

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Why the need for updating? Did elites suffer with over heating from new? If the original radiator when new worked ok then a new one the same size will now. where an engine swap has happened I can see why, but not when it has the original one.

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I hear what you are saying but if I'm going to go to the trouble of removing the ac condenser, may as well get the rad out and get a bigger one in there, especially as there is no real price difference between the stock unit to a improved 3 core. I want the best for my Elite, and I'll go the above and beyond to get there. All good fun, photos of the removal pending on my build thread...

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I might be dreaming but I'm sure I have heard that engines run hotter on better modern fuel, compared to the 70s?

This might account for some of the difference.

Can see the sense in removing the air con rad - this is likely to be clogged up and impede air flow significantly.

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Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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I think someone told me at Brands Hatch the other Sunday that the Elite radiator needs to be 'sealed' against the surrounding bodywork to force air through the cooling fins, so this is worth checking at the same time.

 

ATB Richard

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Yeah that's coming out and after inspection last night it looks worse for wear and is completely redundant seeing as I've taken out the air con anyway and its heavyish. Also once removed you have a massive cavity for a big depth of radiator without having to do anything, the space is there waiting to be used. I don't know what depth they come in, but there's well over 100mm to play with, not that you'd need anything that big.

Edited by CharlieCroker
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I've found this for a Toyota MR2, looks like a fit and cheap for what it is, including fans and shroud. My only concern is the outlet is high rather than low on my current rad. What do we reckon, with a new hose here and there, worth a punt?

http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&id=111752143899&alt=web

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Charlie,

why is there a back panel blocking air flow from areas other than where the fans are? If the fans aren't operating (when the car is moving?) surely there is a lot of barrier to natural air passage? Or am I missing something?

 

Otherwise, it looks like a good deal, assuming it will fit.

Is the price for that bit in Yen or £?

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The back panel is to draw all the heat while static, its not just a flat panel its like a pan, hence just like a normal radiator cowling,

 air can still travel through at speed due to the gap and also get maximum pull over surface area when static when the fans cut in ;)

 

 Expensive for a punt but it looks like a good deal to be honest as long as the quality is ok ?  you can always stick it back

 on fleabay, but rekon it would not be hard to retro fit !   I say go for it ;)

A

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