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Thread: Reproduction TR3A Grille

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    Obi Wan
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    Reproduction TR3A Grille

    I have a reproduction grille in my TR3A and an original radiator with the crank hole.

    The car tends to run at an indicated 200 and will rise a bit in stop and go traffic but drops back to 200 when I get moving.

    The radiator was flow checked before I installed it, I do have the cardboard deflector fitted and I am driving in Georgia where it is about 80 to 90 when I am driving.

    The openings in my reproduction grill are 0.51" by 2.85" I have seen a post somewhere that said the original grill had larger openings. About 20% more open area.
    Has anyone got any info to support the idea that this could be one reason for higher temps in some cars?
    The Roadster Factory grille has openings that measure 0.61" by 2.95"

    Anyone added a deflector/scoop at the bottom of the radiator to get more air into the area of the radiator that is shielded by the lower part of the apron?

    I want to keep the crank hole if at all possible.

    Was thinking maybe Wizzard made a crank hole rad but they said not possible.

    David
    TR3A TS75524L

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    Jedi Warrior
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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    I know that Geo Hahn and I have both installed fabricated deflectors at the bottom. You may be able to find information on those through a search. It helped a little, but did not help for stop and go driving.
    Bob

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    Obi Wan M_Pied_Lourd's Avatar
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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    Hi David,

    Yes, there are a couple of guys that run a custom bottom air deflector...Iím sure they will jump in here shortly. Have you though about switching your stock fan out for the tropical fan?

    Bob must have been typing at the same time

    Cheers,
    Tush
    81 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce, 81 Triumph TR8
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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    FWIW, the last time I fought with overheating, the radiator shop said my radiator "flowed fine". After struggling and trying many fixes; I finally took it back and asked them to rod it out anyway. Turns out, although the tubes were open to flow, they were coated on the inside with what the shop called "mud". Probably a mixture of stop leak (I had a lot of trouble in the past with cracks in the top tank), rust and water deposits.

    When they finally did get the rods forced through all the tubes, a half dozen or so leaks sprouted, so I had them re-core it. I did not opt for the crank hole, but I could have. The re-core solved all my cooling problems, like magic. (Of course, by then I had done a lot of other changes, which I didn't remove.) The result actually holds temperature quite a bit better than my modern cars do!

    I suspect (but don't know) that adding the crank hole is a lot easier with a brass radiator than aluminum. I've been told that aluminum radiators can't be repaired at all; and to add the crank hole basically requires cutting some tubes and soldering them shut.
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    It would seem that the size of the grille openings would make a difference, and Standard Triumph thought so also and fabricated larger slots into the grilles on some of their works cars. I don't know if anyone is reproducing those but there might be a market for them if someone did.
    http://www.tr3a.info/FAQ_grill.html
    Note also that 200 seems a bit hot if that is accurate. Does it run lower on cooler days or nights? If so you might try a colder thermostat.
    Tom
    1960 TR3A TS73117 (under endless restoration, owned since 1964)
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    Yoda Geo Hahn's Avatar
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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    This photo shows the repro and an original grille on the same car. OPenings on the original are larger, especially noticeable around the corners and around the crank hole.



    In the top photo you can just see the plywood air dam that I used - no proof that it helped but no harm either.

    Quote Originally Posted by TomMull View Post
    It would seem that the size of the grille openings would make a difference, and Standard Triumph thought so also...
    Bob Schaller thought so too. Crossing Texas to get to the 1987 TRA Meet in Ohio he finally hacked a big hole in his car's grille to improve cooling.



    Of course he was pulling a TRailer.

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    Thank you.

    That was the post that got me thinking about grille openings but I do not think I saw the factory team mod.

    I do need to do some more testing. IR thermometer to check the gauge for a start.
    I have not driven much in cooler weather or at night yet.

    I am running The Roadster Factory Yellow fan.

    Looking at the rad bottom tank protector plate it looks like a good area to mount a deflector.

    David

    Quote Originally Posted by TomMull View Post
    It would seem that the size of the grille openings would make a difference, and Standard Triumph thought so also and fabricated larger slots into the grilles on some of their works cars. I don't know if anyone is reproducing those but there might be a market for them if someone did.
    http://www.tr3a.info/FAQ_grill.html
    Note also that 200 seems a bit hot if that is accurate. Does it run lower on cooler days or nights? If so you might try a colder thermostat.
    Tom
    TR3A TS75524L

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    The Wizzard guy said they could not weld up the tubes like you do on a brass radiator but they did do a few radiators with crank holes by extending the bottom tank up a bit and putting a hole in the tank.
    Do not think that would help on the TR as there is so much of the tubes below the crank hole location.

    One of my ideas is to have 2 tube areas with a gap in the middle wide enough for the crank.

    I hate it when people say "Can't be done" Had a reputation at work for looking for ways to get it done.
    One boss use to say "Nothing that Time and Money won't fix" I worked in a Mechanical development department and sometimes we spent lots of time and money but usually got it done. Had some costly failures.

    David
    TR3A TS75524L

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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    You might also try looking for an original AMCO aftermarket "Vista Grille", which has a reputation for flowing air well because of having round tubes that are spaced well apart from each other. The Vista Grille looks non-stock, however - and some prefer its appearance to the cheap-ish factory stamped aluminum grille.

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    Darth Vader Marvin Gruber's Avatar
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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    The aftermarket grill slats are narrower than the original grill but willing to say that would be not enough blockage to interfere with cooling for normal driving. I would consentrate on the radiator. Some folks will agrue with me but run it with out a thermostat for a few miles and see how it does. If it runs much cooler then you know you have radiator problem. You can also change up timing to see if that helps.
    Marv

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    Jedi Hopeful Graham H's Avatar
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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    Hi David,

    If the temp goes up in stop and start traffic and then comes down to 200 at normal driving it would seem your cooling system is working ok but the thermostat is what is keeping the temp at 200., I would try a cooler thermostat.

    Graham
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    Hello Graham

    I will have to check to see what thermostat I have in there now. I did do the partial bypass blockage mod.

    David
    TR3A TS75524L

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    Yoda
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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    What I did that made a difference in cooling off the car was I had the radiator record, tropical fan, and a sleeved thermostat. Since then the car rarely goes over 185; it has to be a hot July day and I am stuck in traffic to go over 185 and it comes down quick when I get moving. If I am driving in the mountains in winter and going downhill too much, the car gets too good and dies.

    Anyways, a tr3 is a difficult car to keep cool in traffic in summer. If I lived in the South, I would be tempted to run without a thermostat. I know some good professional mechanics that would say a thermostat balances the temperature evenly throughout the motor so the front is not cooler than the back of the engine, probably correct. But, a tr3 is different fish IMHO. In your case, I would run it without a grill to experiment a little. Then if nothing happens take the thermostat out and see what happens. Plus if I had a nice original radiator, I would set that off to the side and perhaps pony the 250.00 for the wizard delivered and see what that does.

    I just have a special place in my heart for original stuff. Then if you found it was the radiator, I would look for a real quality guy to pull the top tank and maybe the bottom off the original radiator and rod it out. Thing is-- he is going to probably want 180.00 to rod it.

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    Yoda
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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    Forgot this
    The rodding out is a maybe also because the radiators are 60 years old and some of those plugged channels are plugged tight and will break before they become unplugged, and if that is the case you have the wizard to fall back on because you are probably never going to sell the car, and you will have better more accurate information.
    steve

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    Before I got too excited about the 200F part, I'd want to double or triple check that the gauge is accurate. Those old mechanical gauges often read high, especially if the engine has ever been overheated.

    Also worth noting that non-contact ("laser") thermometers can be wildly inaccurate when shooting aluminum. You'll get a much better reading from cast iron or a painted surface. If you must shoot aluminum, put a sticker on it first and shoot the sticker. Or paint will work too.

    But if it stayed at 200F indicated, and didn't creep up in traffic, I'd call that good enough and let it be.

    Oh yeah, the larger grill slots were actually a production modification as well. It appears that the prints somehow didn't survive, as reproduction grills are made to the earlier pattern, but the factory definitely recognized the problem. http://www.tr3a.info/FAQ_grill.html
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

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    Yoda Geo Hahn's Avatar
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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    Quote Originally Posted by TR3driver View Post
    ...Also worth noting that non-contact ("laser") thermometers can be wildly inaccurate when shooting aluminum. You'll get a much better reading from cast iron or a painted surface. If you must shoot aluminum, put a sticker on it first and shoot the sticker. Or paint will work too...]
    The flat-black painted target on my car with an aluminum intake manifold:



    And I agree - triple check. That is an LCD temp strip next to the target. My gauge seems fine -- 'trust but verify' as the guy said.

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    Hello Geo

    On vacation at the moment so I can't do any checks.

    I like the Temperature strip and the target. Will have to get that on first to get some accurate info.

    The gauge is a modern mechanical copy of the TR gauge.

    David
    TR3A TS75524L

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    Went for a run this morning while the temperature was about 70 The car stayed about 2/3 the way between the 185 mark and the next line to the right. On the way home later in the day when the temperature had gone up to the mid 90s the car was running much closer to the line between 185 and 230.
    Used an IR temp gauge when got home and shot the brass nut that holds the temp bulb in the thermostat housing and got 190.

    David
    TR3A TS75524L

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    And what did the gauge read when your IR gun said 190?
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

  21. #20
    Obi Wan
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    Re: Reproduction TR3A Grille

    Hello Randall

    Sorry should have included that piece of info.

    It was on the line between 185 and 230.

    Davd
    TR3A TS75524L

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