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Thread: New Radiator

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    Luke Skywalker KVH's Avatar
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    New Radiator

    The new aluminum ones have come down in price. If I buy one will I really notice any difference or will I still overheat at Arizona summer red lights? (assume I'm properly tuned)

    Will I still want an electric auxiliary fan?

  2. #2
    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: New Radiator

    IMO new aluminum isn't much better than new brass as far as cooling. So how much improvement you see depends a lot on the condition of your old radiator.

    Also IMO, you shouldn't be overheating at red lights, unless they are unusually long or you have just stopped from driving hard (eg 70 mph on freeway, then stop for several minutes at the end of the off-ramp). The gauge will creep up while sitting stopped, but not fast enough to boil over during a normal red light. (Stop and go traffic is a different problem, though.)

    But the electric fan is probably still a good idea. I hear traffic jams happen even in Tucson
    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: New Radiator

    The only people who think Tucson has traffic are the ones who never lived in SoCal.

    Almost anything you do in the fan department will be an improvement over those butter paddles STC used for fan blades.



    For years I used manually controlled electric fans - effective but I always wondered if they blocked significant air when off & driving at speed. Figured it was a trade-off worth taking.

    More recently (after throwing a couple of original fan blades) I went with an improved crank-mounted fan. I use the TRopical Fan but many alternatives are also out there. They are so effective I ditched the electrics.

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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: New Radiator

    I switched to the aluminum radiator plus the yellow fan and like the result. Our temperatures here rival those in AZ with 110+. They go higher but I seldom drive when it is hotter than 110.
    Charley

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: New Radiator

    Quote Originally Posted by Geo Hahn View Post
    For years I used manually controlled electric fans - effective but I always wondered if they blocked significant air when off & driving at speed.
    As a side note, I use only an electric fan, mounted as a puller. I finally built an automatic controller that works, but ran for many years with only a manual switch, first 15+ years on my previous TR3A and then on the current TR3. I tried keeping the stock fan with the TR3, but it got hot coming home from TRfest 2009 (big traffic jam on the 101, almost 2 hours to go 30 miles) and I decided to go back to the electric setup from the 3A.

    Although powering it can be an issue (I'm still running the original 19 amp generator, you should have the later, larger unit) I really like the result otherwise. The fan never comes on at speed, only when I stop suddenly (eg freeway offramp) or I've been sitting at a light for more than a minute or so. Running a 185F thermostat (no sleeve and bypass fully open), and the gauge never goes above the '5' in '185' (which is where I have the fan set to come on).

    115F is about my limit as far as ambient temperature goes, but the engine stayed cool. And I really like no longer having to keep one eye on the gauge all the time.

    It's my belief that the electric fan poses significantly less restriction mounted as puller instead of pusher; possibly even less than the engine mounted fan does. As a puller, the fan freewheels at higher speeds, allowing the air to pass with relatively little restriction.

    But my experiment with the Stag seemed to show that mounting the electric fan in front of the radiator reduced air flow at speed. Might not apply to all cars, and YMMV, but it ran hotter at speed with the electric pusher than with either the stock crank-mounted fan or no fan at all. (I went back to stock as soon as I could find the necessary replacements for the broken parts.)
    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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    Luke Skywalker KVH's Avatar
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    Re: New Radiator

    Randall are you saying that you have no fan working when driving at speed? No stock fan, and not even an electric fan unless and until you reach 185 when the switch kicks in?

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: New Radiator

    Quote Originally Posted by KVH View Post
    Randall are you saying that you have no fan working when driving at speed? No stock fan, and not even an electric fan unless and until you reach 185 when the switch kicks in?
    Yes, exactly. Well, except that the fan doesn't come on until the water coming back from the radiator is about 190F

    At anything above about 30 mph, no fan is needed. The "ram air" effect moves enough air through the radiator without the fan. In fact, I once drove a TR3A through most of an Indiana summer with no fan whatsoever, just by turning off the key (and coasting) every time I had to stop. Annoying and tedious, but better than walking ! I wouldn't try that in Los Angeles traffic of course, but things were different back then in small town Indiana.

    PS, even when sitting still, the electric fan does not run constantly. Obviously the times vary with ambient temperature and so on, but it usually only runs for 40-50 seconds and then shuts off for 20-30 seconds. One of my future projects is to build a fan controller that uses PWM (pulse width modulation) to only run the fan as fast as necessary. I think that will reduce overall power consumption as well as reducing noise.
    Last edited by TR3driver; 01-12-2015 at 12:10 PM.
    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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    Re: New Radiator

    When I rebuilt my 4A I thought about the aluminum rad. vs. having the existing one re-cored.
    Used aluminum on my race cars for a weight advantage. Took the old one to a reputable shop in
    the area which also redid my fuel tank. Could've lived with the results; but didn't like the way the temp.
    went up during the usual traffic jams. Went with the Macy's fan and had my problems solved.
    Harry

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