• Hey Guest!
    If you enjoy BCF and find our forum a useful resource and want to ensure we can stay online...
    Please consider supporting us by **Upgrading**
    (PS: Subscribers don't see this banner)
Tips
Tips

Taking a chance on a Chinese-made aluminum radiator for my Bugeye

DanLewis

Jedi Trainee
Offline
I've been fighting overheating problems ever since putting a 1275 into my BE. Anytime the outside temp was 80F or above, the engine temp would creep up to 195-200F at idle or after driving at 70 mph for 15 minutes or so. I've flushed the radiator, eliminated all anti-freeze, added Water Wetter (which also provides lubrication for the water pump), checked the timing, checked the richness of the carb, etc., but was still having problems.

I've finally decided that the OE radiator is just too marginal for the 1275. I ordered a Geo Metro radiator, but it turned out to be too tall. 'Sent it back and ordered this Chinese-made aluminum radiator from eBay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/130895679557?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649


I've been wondering how good they were for a long time. I tried to find someone who had one installed and could offer an opinion, but no luck. It's supposed to arrive this Thursday. As soon as I get it installed and we've had some more warm weather, I'll let everyone know if it was worth the $300.

Dan
 

bug_sixty

Jedi Warrior
Offline
What about the accuracy of the gauge? have you pulled the bladder and put it boiling water....taking into account your elevation of course..
 

walt

Freshman Member
Country flag
Offline
Dan - I'm in a similar boat - Bugeye with a 1275, broken original down flow, need replacement, want aluminum. Did you try:

https://wizardcooling.com/category/59-austin-healey-bugeye-sprite.aspx

and if so did you reject them only on price? Has anyone got experience with one of their radiators on an uprated Bugeye?

Your results will be useful to many of us.

Walt

60 Bugeye with 1275 & rib case, (and many parts in boxes) getting ready for paint etc.
 
OP
DanLewis

DanLewis

Jedi Trainee
Offline
What about the accuracy of the gauge? have you pulled the bladder and put it boiling water....taking into account your elevation of course..

Yes. It was indicating 200 in boiling water, so if anything it reads low.
 
OP
DanLewis

DanLewis

Jedi Trainee
Offline
Hi Walt,

Dan - I'm in a similar boat - Bugeye with a 1275, broken original down flow, need replacement, want aluminum. Did you try:

https://wizardcooling.com/category/59-austin-healey-bugeye-sprite.aspx

and if so did you reject them only on price? Has anyone got experience with one of their radiators on an uprated Bugeye?

Your results will be useful to many of us.

Right - Primarily on price, although that one didn't have a cowling, which I think should be important. But after spending so much on other remedies that didn't work, I really didn't feel like I could justify the price tag they're asking anyway. :smile:

Dan
 

Jim_Gruber

Yoda
Country flag
Offline
So is the radiator outlet on the bottom on the correct side for a 1275? I did have an issue with the 1098 in my '68 with a Crossflow. Bottom hose needed to turn an awfully tight bend to get it to fit. Was always concerned that under high load i.e runs on the expressway at 70+ MPH that the lower hose could partially collapse under high load thus inhibiting water flow. Not sure if that will be an issue with this radiator or not. Does the crossflow have the lower hose on the opposite side? I had an issue with extended runs watching the temps climb to + 200, as soon as I hit the off ramp, temps would drop to below N by the time I got to the end of the exit ramp.
 

PAUL161

Great Pumpkin
Silver
Country flag
Offline
My question is, are you saying in your first post, no one here in the states builds aluminum radiators? That's not so! Most speed shops have contacts with custom rad builders. As long as an item is made here, I'd rather pay one of our people extra than give anything to the chinese! This is one of the reasons we are loosing a lot of our businesses! JMHO. PJ
 
OP
DanLewis

DanLewis

Jedi Trainee
Offline
Hi Jim,

So is the radiator outlet on the bottom on the correct side for a 1275? I did have an issue with the 1098 in my '68 with a Crossflow. Bottom hose needed to turn an awfully tight bend to get it to fit. Was always concerned that under high load i.e runs on the expressway at 70+ MPH that the lower hose could partially collapse under high load thus inhibiting water flow. Not sure if that will be an issue with this radiator or not. Does the crossflow have the lower hose on the opposite side? I had an issue with extended runs watching the temps climb to + 200, as soon as I hit the off ramp, temps would drop to below N by the time I got to the end of the exit ramp.

The two hose connections are in the same place as the downflow radiator I have in my Bugeye. IIRC the bottom hose connection on the crossflow is on the opposite side and is why the crossflow requires a crossover pipe.

Dan
 
OP
DanLewis

DanLewis

Jedi Trainee
Offline
Hi Bill,

My 1275 does fine as long as it is moving. When I stop and idle the temp startes to climb. I installed an electric fan and I turn it on at 180 and it stays there until moving and the timp comes back down.

'Sounds like you're a bit better off than me since mine climbs if I drive for 15 minutes or more at 70 mph. I guess it just bothers me that the radiator design wasn't more conservative. I'm just spoiled by modern cars (like my 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe) that never overheats - even when we were driving in 115 degree weather in Southern California last summer. There's no way I could do that in the BE. :smile:

Dan
 
OP
DanLewis

DanLewis

Jedi Trainee
Offline
Hi Paul,

My question is, are you saying in your first post, no one here in the states builds aluminum radiators? That's not so! Most speed shops have contacts with custom rad builders. As long as an item is made here, I'd rather pay one of our people extra than give anything to the chinese! This is one of the reasons we are loosing a lot of our businesses! JMHO. PJ

'Sorry, what I meant was I was unable to find any BE owner who had reported their own experience after installing one of these radiators.

Dan
 
OP
DanLewis

DanLewis

Jedi Trainee
Offline
I got an email about this special this morning
https://bugeyeparts.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network
And I agree with what is said about Chinese product in this
https://www.speedwellengineering.com/engine/speedwell-aluminum-radiator/

I was aware of both of those, but in both cases the price was just too rich for my wallet and both apparently require an electric fan since neither had a cowling. Let's just wait and see how well the Chinese one cools. I know that won't answer the reliability issue - only time will tell.

Dan
 

Pythias

Jedi Knight
Country flag
Offline
A couple of comments.

It's my understanding that there is no difference in the ability to cool between a crossflow and downflow radiator in a Spridget. While I have no experience personally, in my talks with those who have much more experience in such things, this is what I have retained, ergo there is nothing to be gained or lost in changing from one to the other. Changing to aluminum, more cores, electric fans etc, does seem to help, from what I have read in the forums and from "the list".

Another solution that I have been considering, is to change to (Evans) Waterless Coolant. Once that has been done, you're done. boiling point of over 250 degrees, never freeze, and never have to flush again as it is totally non corrosive. While not cheap, it is certainly less than $300, a lot less effort, and you KNOW it's gonna work to keep the car from ever over heating.
 

bug_sixty

Jedi Warrior
Offline
Did you get a quality thermostat? Did you pickle the head and block? Also, I think in an earlier post I mentioned that there are two water pumps.. one is a deep vane with larger dia. inlet than the outlet of the BE rad.. This setup would inhibit the engineering of the 1275 cooling... I ran a "Fast road cam" 9.75 comp, etc. in Denver and never had sustained temp problems.... ran an electric fan (very important) set at 190 and even sitting in traffic in 85 deg after coming off the freeway was never an issue.. yea it goes up a bit over 200 in the extremes but lets face it we're all WAY over what OEM wanted to run at... 165 deg... except in the dead of winter..haha My biggest concern was vapor lock because of the header...and no heat shield...so I setup the fan to run for 10 min's after the engine was shut down....only one time did it not work and that was in the fuel line not the manifold.
 
OP
DanLewis

DanLewis

Jedi Trainee
Offline
Did you get a quality thermostat? Did you pickle the head and block? Also, I think in an earlier post I mentioned that there are two water pumps.. one is a deep vane with larger dia. inlet than the outlet of the BE rad.. This setup would inhibit the engineering of the 1275 cooling... I ran a "Fast road cam" 9.75 comp, etc. in Denver and never had sustained temp problems.... ran an electric fan (very important) set at 190 and even sitting in traffic in 85 deg after coming off the freeway was never an issue.. yea it goes up a bit over 200 in the extremes but lets face it we're all WAY over what OEM wanted to run at... 165 deg... except in the dead of winter..haha My biggest concern was vapor lock because of the header...and no heat shield...so I setup the fan to run for 10 min's after the engine was shut down....only one time did it not work and that was in the fuel line not the manifold.

I've tried two different thermostats (180F and 160F) that used different designs. I bought the engine from someone else who had done the rebuild, so I assume they must have "pickled" the head and block. The water pump is less than a year old; 'not sure which of the two styles it is, but I can tell you that it has an aluminum body instead of cast iron.

Dan
 

bug_sixty

Jedi Warrior
Offline
Well, the so far the biggest unknown on the bucket list is if the engine was pickled... Some... either forget or because of wanting to do a quickie rebuild clean but don't boil because it adds time and money...iron castings rust and the rest is left to chance.. anyway to find out now? Water pumps are alum mostly now...do you save receipts? you could get the part# and trace back..anyway Hopefully, the new rad has the larger dia opening... All in all so far the pickling is the unturned item given that the timing etc. etc. is straight up... Others could chime in tooo Hap, are you out there???
 
OP
DanLewis

DanLewis

Jedi Trainee
Offline
Hi Bill,

It's my understanding that there is no difference in the ability to cool between a crossflow and downflow radiator in a Spridget. While I have no experience personally, in my talks with those who have much more experience in such things, this is what I have retained, ergo there is nothing to be gained or lost in changing from one to the other. Changing to aluminum, more cores, electric fans etc, does seem to help, from what I have read in the forums and from "the list".

That was my understanding too.

Another solution that I have been considering, is to change to (Evans) Waterless Coolant. Once that has been done, you're done. boiling point of over 250 degrees, never freeze, and never have to flush again as it is totally non corrosive. While not cheap, it is certainly less than $300, a lot less effort, and you KNOW it's gonna work to keep the car from ever over heating.

I've seen the Waterless Coolant mentioned before and it does sound like it's worth buying - sort of like insurance against boil over - but even if that can't happen until 250F, I know that I'd still get really nervous seeing my temperature gauge that high. I know that may be a bit irrational, but then that's just me. :smile-new:

Dan
 

bug_sixty

Jedi Warrior
Offline
Hi Bill,



That was my understanding too.



I've seen the Waterless Coolant mentioned before and it does sound like it's worth buying - sort of like insurance against boil over - but even if that can't happen until 250F, I know that I'd still get really nervous seeing my temperature gauge that high. I know that may be a bit irrational, but then that's just me. :smile-new:

Dan
I believe the chemistry majors can chime in but water HAS the best heat exchanging properties...the issue is its boiling point thus additions which raise it AND take away cooling potential..
 

bug_sixty

Jedi Warrior
Offline
Hi Bill,



That was my understanding too.



I've seen the Waterless Coolant mentioned before and it does sound like it's worth buying - sort of like insurance against boil over - but even if that can't happen until 250F, I know that I'd still get really nervous seeing my temperature gauge that high. I know that may be a bit irrational, but then that's just me. :smile-new:

Dan
I believe the chemistry majors can chime in but water HAS the best heat exchanging properties...the issue is its boiling point thus additions which raise it AND take away cooling potential..
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
J TR2/3/3A Taking engine out, etc. Triumph 16
H Taking out the engine Austin Healey 2
RickB MGB Taking a run north this weekend, Bellingham & Blaine MG 4
simon1966 Does taking a stock BN1 and adding M bits increase its value? Austin Healey 10
Got_All_4 TR2/3/3A 2 questions; raising the body and taking out that lean to the right Triumph 12
B mgb taking the high road Spotted 0
tinman58 General TR Taking Mom for a ride Triumph 7
B Maybe selling my Bugeye? Taking a poll - Spridgets 18
I Help taking apart the generator please. Spridgets 9
P Taking the plunge for a Big Healey Austin Healey 14
regularman Thinking about taking in another midget Spridgets 2
bugedd Taking apart front end Spridgets 7
K Wedge Taking the wedge to the Cape- Triumph 4
KLUTZ MGB-GT Engine in.. GT taking shape.... MG 4
J Is there a secret in taking out a gas tank? Triumph 6
T Taking apart a clutch M/C Triumph 10
Jim_Gruber Sudden electrical miss - I'm taking guesses on thi Spridgets 5
RickB CLUNK taking off with spirit Spridgets 34
Popeye Taking body off frame Triumph 0
J Almost through taking it apart. - bunch of picture Triumph 10
vping Prothane, Nylatron or V8? Taking Recommendations. MG 13
Tullamore Weekend fun taking pictures of my Spidgets Spridgets 14
J Taking the dash out Triumph 5
Steve Anyone feel like taking on a project? Other British Cars 2
Team_Sprite I'm leaving you, and I'm taking the kids....... Spridgets 33
dosedtoaster taking delivery - 61 bug eye Spridgets 29
G Taking the Load Off.... Triumph 4
G TR2/3/3A Quick Help - taking the cover off a TR3 tranny Triumph 3
E Taking it all off Triumph 7
jaybird Taking stuff off MG 15
Moose33 Doing it in your garage, or taking it to a garage? MG 20
P TR6 TR6 wheels - free for the taking Triumph 10
huck6 Considering Taking the Plunge Triumph 41
N Chance at a historic Sprite! Spridgets 8
NutmegCT Now's your chance! Other Cars 3
John Turney Another Chance to Own a Factory Rally Big Healey Austin Healey 0
David Townsend Chance to Get Gerry Coker Signature Prints at Enclave Austin Healey 8
S 1967 3000 MK3 BJ8 Suspension is so stiff - any chance to improve comfort ? Austin Healey 10
Rut Here's your chance! Spridgets 16
T TR4/4A If by chance your TR4a tranmission won't mate.... Triumph 5
bugedd Last chance before it becomes a planter Spridgets 11
G Could be your chance ! ! Triumph 2
jackq Last chance for two Minors in wrecking yard Other British Cars 1
dougie Another Chance on the '65 Sebring Sprite Austin Healey 3
J TR2/3/3A chance to buy dads TR3A! Pic added Triumph 51
Mickey Richaud Here's Yer Chance! MG 6
kodanja Last Chance Crusie Ct TR Reg. Triumph 5
Brosky TR6 Second chance on Special Order white/blue TR6 Triumph 8
timbn2 are these from a BN1/BN2 by chance...? Austin Healey 20
jlaird Here's your chance Spridgets 2

Similar threads

Top