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KEEPING YOUR HEALEY RUNNING COOL.......

drambuie

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Here in Illinois the weather has been great so far! Roads are free of salt and clean this december and january. I have been taking advantage of it and driving my 67 BJ8 on a regular basis! The tempertures ranging from 32 to 45 degrees. I am running a new custom built aluminum radiator with a proper 160 degree sleeved thermastat. Driving at 40 to 70 mph my Healeys temperture is 135 to 140 all day long! Yes..... My gauge is correct! On days when the temperture is 80 and above i am running at 180. It is very apparent to me the aluminum radiator is a huge factor in cold weather, As the aluminum gets very cold with the colder air being forced in at speeds 40mph and above, Which in turn keeps the coolent at very low tempertures. The increase in power is also very apparent as well. Last year i was running my stock factory radiator and at cold tempertures it would run at 180 degrees. So the aluminum radiator really makes a big difference in colder weather. However, In warmer weather 80 degrees and above, It seems to cool at the same rate as the Stock factory radiator. I am still using the factory 4 blade fan. If the texas cooler fan ever comes on the market again, I will install one to further upgrade the cooling system. In warm weather a better fan is sorely needed even with a aluminum radiator and a proper sleeved thermastat. When i first took delivery of my healey,I had serious cooling issues, It would overheat even in freezing tempertures! About 190 degrees at 45 mph and above, and quickly shot up to over 200 at a stoplight. The previous owner had a modern type 160 degree thermastat installed, which blocked off coolent to the motor. Once i installed the proper original factory type sleeved thermastat, And corrected the motors timing,It made a world of difference. Cooling the healey down to 170 to 180 degrees on hot summer days that where 80 degrees and above. Also adding a coolent recovery bottle is a must on any old british car, As it keeps the radiator topped off to the brim and seals your cooling system. As apposed to dumping hot coolent through your overflow tube all over your healey and your driveway! I can't stress this enough. Now,I know most of you who have owned healeys know most of this by now! However, I thought sharing my findings would help some of the people who are new Healeyist on BCF. Hope this info helps some of you. Happy New Year everyone. <span style="font-weight: bold"> </span>
 

BigGreen

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drambuie said:
... Hope this info helps some of you. ...

Sure it does, thanks

Hans
 

Michael Oritt

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Drambuie--

You said: <span style="font-style: italic">"Also adding a coolent overflow bottle is a must on any old british car, As it keeps the radiator topped off to the brim and seals your cooling system. As apposed to dumping hot coolent through your overflow tube all over your healey and your driveway!</span>

An overflow bottle will not keep the radiator full, but a coolant recovery (this is probably what you meant to say) system will by retaining any coolant puked out of the radiator due to expansion in a bottle and drawing it back into the rad as the system cools down and contracts.
 

Michael Oritt

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Here is the way I have one set up on the 100. In order to provide a good run for the hose from the radiator tank neck to the recovery tank I rerouted the metal pipe to lead to the right. Otherwise it is just a matter of finding the appropriate sized tank and mounting and plumbing it.
 

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Michael Oritt

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and...
 

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AUSMHLY

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tahoe healey said:
I've learned to fill the radiator to about an inch from the top and it now never over flows.

I was under the impression that if one overfills the radiator, after a good ride, it will overflow the extra till it has the right amount left. Am I misinformed?
 

Patrick67BJ8

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AUSMHLY said:
Rich, are you saying...Just don't get paranoid and fill every week?
3's a charm :smile:
Three times is for people that are slow to grasp this. I enjoyed his post all three times I read it! LOL
 

TimK

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I have never had an overflow since I installed the right deeper cap (from a truck I think) and keep the level 1" below the bottom of the cap sealing surface. This even when the radiator core was partially plugged with silt and temp was above 212.
 

Legal Bill

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Great original post. Avoiding overflow is one issue and lowering the operating temp is another. I think I'd like to do both, but I am willing to try the original fill to within an inch method this summer and see how it works before I spend time adding the MGB overflow tank I obtained form another site member.

As for the operating temps, I think I am going to try the sleeved thermostat and, as the OP points out, the Texas Cooler if it every becomes available again. I may also try building some shrouding around the radiator as others on the site have recommended in the past. I'm not interested in rushing to get a new radiator.
 
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This will probably start a debate, but this discussion got me thinking ...

All modern cooling systems--since probably around 1970 or so--have little to no header tank (some have small tanks on the side). With not much of a header tank to handle coolant expansion, an overflow/recovery system is mandatory. Also, the cooling system (radiator) on even some modern cars seems minimal. I suspect this was done to a) save some space and allow for greatly sloped hoods and b) save money on brass and/or aluminum (most of the header tanks are plastic now). Since Healeys have a large header tank IMO no recovery system is needed as long as you fill to the proper level (or let the system find its own level, as some of us apparently do). IOW, a coolant capture/recovery system is just doing the job a header tank used to do.

I'm a 'car libertarian.' I say do what you darn well please with your own car, even if it's not to my taste, but I have to say I think a recovery system in a Big Healey is unnecessary clutter in the engine bay for normal drivers (I think they're required in some racing venues). I'm not against mods--I have a Pertronix ignition and a spin-on oil filter adapter--I just don't think this is a good one. If you have overheating issues find the cause (it's generally accepted that lack of airflow in the engine compartment is the main cause). An extra pint of two of coolant in a 7.5qt system isn't going solve an overheating problem.

My opinion, folks. Flame away.
 
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