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MG MGA - Electric cooling update

Back in the depths of winter, I removed the pump-mounted fan on my bog-standard 1500 (running with 32 degrees full mechanical advance) and fitted a thermostatically operated electric fan manufactured by Revotec. The thermostat was set to operate at 212F on the gauge and would cut out at around 190F. In the cold weather the water temperature rarely strayed much above 190F, but as the weather warmed up, it was apparent that the electric fan was unable to reduce the temperature to the cut-out temperature whilst stationary at tickover (it did, however, drop to 190F whe going along). This did make me a bit skeptical of the fans ability, but I have stuck with it because the engine runs so much better without having to spin that piece of yellow metal all the time.
So here are the results so far. Today, the hottest day of the year so far, 23C with a 'real feel' of 26C. I have just done a 20 mile 'there and back' journey involving a 3.5 mile stretch of motorway-type (A14) driving. On the out going journey, the temperature hit a maximum of 200F on the normal road at about 50MPH, rising to just short of 212F at 70MPH on the 'motorway' section. As I reached my destination, the temperature was just over 212F with the fan running. On returning to the car after about ten minutes, the temperature had risen to over 230F, but the engine started and ran absolutely perfectely, the temperature dropping to 212F after a few seconds. On the return trip the temperature sat at 212F for the 70MPH dash, and after a brief small rise above 212F, dropped over the next few miles of 40-60MPH driving to about 200F. As I came to a halt at my home, the temperature was again at 212F, so I left the engine ticking-over with the car in full sun for ten minutes. The electric fan managed to reduce the water temperature to 205F.
During the entire journey the engine ran faultlessly with not the slightest hint of 'vapour-lock', even when re-starting with the gauge showing 230+F!
I have reduced the antifreeze mixture from 50% to 10% for the summer and this made quite a difference in the cooling efficiency, well worth trying if you want to lose a few degrees. I also have a coolant recovery system fitted, without it, I don't think I would be able to run those kind of temperatures and not lose a lot of coolant.
So all in all, I wouldn't have known that my coolant was running that hot if I had not had a gauge to tell me, so OK so far, the experiment continues!
Lindsay Sampford

Sounds like you have a big cooling problem

I remember a very hot summer a couple of years back when we were travelling to the south of France. I suspect the temperature was in the 30 to 35 region and whilst travelling forward the temperature would be rock solid at 190. During slow running and stop starting in the french small towns the temperature did get too much for the mech fan but at these times the temperature only reached 205ish.

The benefit of a high ratio anti freeze mix is that it raises the boiling point of your coolant and will thus allow the engine to run far hotter without the problem of boiling!
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

Those temps don't sound bad, looks like your electric fan is doing the job okay. Have you checked the calibration of your temp gauge? Many are not terribly accurate and tend to read higher than actual temperature.
B Young

Lyndsay, I suppose that so long as the water doesnt boil and you are not getting carb vapour lock then the indicated temperature is just a number ( albeit a fairly high number! compared to my car) and you can just ignore it.

I always thought my temp gauge was reading lower than it should (it normally runs between 165 and 175 under most conditions with its larger than standard injected moulded fan fitted ).
I have checked the water temp though, using a digital thermometer and the gauge is within a degree of being spot on.

Im sure I recall you saying that you have checked your gauge before but like Bob suggests, I would double check its accuracy sometime.

Otherwise, if ever you drive the car into Southern Europe in the summer, you may need to remove the radiator cap and fit some safety valves and a whistle!

Colyn


Colyn Firth

B Young, I don't think it is too far out but if anything, I think it reads about 5 degrees high. There seems to be a lot of paranoia about 'overheating', but the important thing is, does the engine run well and does it keep its coolant, so far mine does both of those things.
Bob, antifreeze does increase the boiling point, but plain water shifts heat better, so it is a compromise between the two. 205 degrees isn't enough to cook an egg let alone a 'B series engine!
Lindsay Sampford

It depends on the thermostat. If the car has a 190 degree stat installed and the engine gets hotter, then the cooling system is not doing its job. Once I was at an event near Barnsley for MGAs where Bob West was trying to help someone with an overheating issue. I suggested that perhaps the radiator of the car was blocked, he looked at my car and suggested my engine remained cool because I had a weber throwing fuel at it?

Rightly or wrongly as you say Lindsay a lot of stuff is said about overheating MGAs. To me if the radiator is clear and the set up is correct then the thing should run at 190.

I am probably wrong but if your system was on the edge today then it will not cope with hot temperatures. But that is only my opinion.

When I was racing a few years ago most of us used high ratio antifeeze mixtures to avoid boiling maybe it was the wrong thing to do? I still do that with my road cars.
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

Bob, the MGA cooling system is marginal. Not enough air goes through the grille to the rad, and I think that the replacement radiators are not as good at cooling as the originals, pretty soon all the coolant in the rad is nearly as hot as the top hose! It's a thing we are stuck with unless we can get hold of the original cell-core rad and probably the fuel MGAs were designed to run on. But does it really matter? Modern lubricants are able to cope with higher temperatures, so as long the coolant stays put where's the problem? I want to find out whether an MGA engine is happy to run at modern engine temperatures, if it isn't, the yellow fan goes back on. It certainly ran a lot cooler with the yellow fan pulling air through the rad all the time, in fact 190F most of the time in summer, but is it necessary? I will find out.
Lindsay Sampford

Lindsay

I am still interested in the optimum temperature for maximum efficiency and/or power. I wonder if there is some equivalent results for the B series engine as the A, see quote below. This might suggest that you are running too hot for optimum performance. PS thanks for reply on fuses this morning.

"There are a number of elements involved in controlling water temperature. Some confusion over what to sort first when over-heating occurs leads to wasted time and money, and possibly terminal engine damage. Maximum power is usually generated from A-series engines at 70 – 75 degrees C (160 to 170 degrees F). The main problem with this on a road car is the oil’s unlikely to get hot enough for maximum performance – the results outlined previously. Another being that the heater (where needed) will be grossly inefficient. So, excluding race-cars, the optimum temperature to aim for is 85 to 90 degrees C (185 to 194 degrees F)."
John Francis

I am finding that with the new engine, the running temperatures are as low as with the old one, and I am running the SUs, not the Judson. In 10C temperatures on Sunday morning I had to close the radiator blind to get above 50C running temperature at the cylinder head.

I strongly suspect that having an old engine with silted up coolant passages is the prime cause of most overheating problems, and that the standard systems in good condition are perfectly adequate to keep the car running without overheating problems.

Maybe the cure should be to have the block hot tanked instead of investing in symptom cures like electric fans, high performance radiators, water wetter etc.
dominic clancy

"If the car has a 190 degree stat installed and the engine gets hotter, then the cooling system is not doing its job."

Respectfully, the above statement is not true. A standard thermostat set the lower temperature only and has little or not affect on the upper temperature. I believe that what Lindsay is very normal. As for the antifreeze boasting the boiling point for coolant, it does, but the pressure that the system is run at has a much greater effect on the temperature at which the coolant will boil. A 50% solution of antifreeze will raise the boiling point to 226 degrees F, where as a 8psi pressure cap will raise the boiling point of plain water to 233 degrees F and a 16 psi cap will raise it to 252 degrees F. A combination of a 50% mixture of antifreeze and water and a 8psi cap will set the boil point at 248 degrees F. Cheers - Dave

PS anyone who would like to have a chart of the above, e-mail me at SUfuelpumps@donobi.net
David DuBois

Lindsay

Are you monitoring your mpg in conjunction with your experiment? May be the nest test is to lower the electronic thermostat sensor by, say, 10 degrees and see what results you get.

For me, in this experiment, it does not matter what radiator problems or engine waterway blockages you may or may not have. These remain a constant in your experiment. The variable is the stat temperature you set.

Steve
Steve Gyles

PS. Hope I have not confused you by saying 'stat'. I am of course referring the the temperature sensor that controls the electric fan. Sorry. 3rd glass of wine.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Steve, that would be an interesting thing to do, I will start monitorng at my next fill as long as my car doesn't turn into a kettle as 'Big Fan' Colyn suggests! I think lowering the thermostat would just result in the fan running more than it does already. I am a bit disappointed that it is unable to drop the temperature to the cut-off point at much above 15C ambient, but I think that might be due to the density of the rad cooling tubes stopping the fan from moving enough air through them. Water ways are all clear (I can drain water from my block tap!) and the radiator is new.
Lindsay Sampford

Right Steve maybe David has confused it too David I assume you were talking about the Stat that controls the fan, I was refering to the thermostat in the cylinder head that controls water flow and temperature.

I and I would hope everyone else knows that pressure does increase the boiling point. :)

Lindsay I do not agree with the point about an MGA being on the limit? that I feel is simply a myth and there are hundreds of MGAs running without issue. Do you not think that if it was on the limit with a mere 1500 engine installed how on earth does it manage to cool a 1950 overbore flame thrower? LOL?
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

Bob - I too was talking about the thermostat that controls water flow and temperature. The stated temperature on them is the temperature at which they open, thus they control the lower temperature. Once they are open, they have no further control of temperature above that point. I run a 195 degree F thermostat in our MGB and it go right up to around 200 degree F on any long climb on a hot day. On the other hand in the cool temperatures that we normally have in the Puget Sound region of Washington state, the temperature sits at 195 degrees whether I am puttering around town or running on the freeways (motorways) at 70 plus (provided there are no state patrols in sight). Looking back at your statement, it could be that you and I are saying the same thing:-) Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

Thats the whole point when the cooling system is working correctly then the temperature will be controlled by the thermostat temp in this case 195

When the heat generated is more than the cooling system can deal with the temperature will rise and the thermostat will be open all the time. If the equalibrium point is below the boiling point of the system then then engine will be fine. But running above the thermostat value suggests the system is struggling to do its job.
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

Just wondering about the integrity of my 40+ year old bellows type thermostat. As the archive seems to favor the use of a blanking sleeve plus modern style thermostat, so I have ordered these and will see if they will drop my temperature a tad. Not that I am really worried about the temperature YET, but it is likely to get hotter and what will happen when I ask the car to leave the fens and start climbing hills next month? The yellow fan is in the boot!
Lindsay Sampford

MGA's are notorious for over-heating. We took our 1600 to Silverstone some years ago and ours was the only car at the Concours without a temperature-controlled electric fan! It sometimes goes over 100F here in summer but I have the radiators rodded out (removing the bottom tank so as not to disturb the outward appearance) every few years and this overcomes the problem. Not too difficult and I can drive the car summer and winter without problems. I think it may be restricted air flow through the grille, the factory often removed some of the slats in competition and I note that Mark II's had vertical slats and MGB's also have an upright grille.
Barry Bahnisch

Lindsay
Just to add my experience. When I bought my car 3 years ago it came with the standard 6 blade yellow fan and a Kenlowe in front of the rad controlled by a thermostat with hand setting and an overide switch on the dash complete with operating light. The MGA is a MK 2 Coupe. I have never had an overheating problem except when I had the timing way out . I now set the timing at 32 max, The engine was rebuilt some 15000 miles back with a mild road cam and slight skim of the head giving a comp ratio of 9.5 I also run the 123 ignition.
My car normally runs between 170-180 degrees- on a 150 mile run last weekend it stayed at those temps rising to 190 on a half hour burst on the A1 at 70/80 mph The electric fan never seems to cut in (set at 195 )except when stationary with the ignition off when the temp rises and it cuts in and rapidly cools it down.
Interestingly the MPG on that run according to the dip stick !! was 38 mpg My average MPG over the last 3 years as kept by Steves spreadsheet is 29.5
Paul
P D Camp

Paul, I think, as Barry says in the post previous to yours, that the MKII grille makes a difference.
Lindsay Sampford

I did the same as Barry

The cores of the radiator must be clear and the only way to do this is to recore the radiator.

I learnt when racing that after a year I was begining to see overheating problems at very hot circuits. I went to my local rad specialist and asked him to built me a larger raiator. He rang me the next day and asked me to pop down and see him. When I got there he showed me how my core was getting blocked with sludge from the water. I simply rebuilt that radiator correctly and started using distilled water and not water from the tap, never had further problems.

So naturally when building my MGA about 10 years ago I also had the radiator re-cored and since then have only used pure water and anti freeze, thankfully to this day I have not had to fiddle with
water wetter
removing slats
fancy electric fans
blanking sleeves
rubber strips on top of rad
etc etc.

However I do have a supplimentary fan that I can swich on manually. I installed it after that exceptionally hot run to France incase the normal fan ever struggled when stationary. I have never switched it on!
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

Lindsay

You may want to consider a radiator exchange through Bob West. His are very close to original and I for one have never had cooling issues with mine - if anything, too efficient!

Steve
Steve Gyles

Lindsay,

you mentioned a coolant recovery system fitted to your car. Is this like Steve Gyles'?

cheers,

Grant :-)
G Hudson

Grant, exactly the same as Steves and thanks to him I fitted it. A simple but brillant mod that keeps your cooling system full to the brim and stops your car from leaving embarrassing puddles everywhere!

Bob, I have only ever used distilled water and antifreeze since I rebuilt the engine and replaced the radiator.

Steve, I have an old rad I could exchange, are they expensive?

I will just repeat that I have no problems with excessive heat when the standard fan is fitted, but I would like to run with an electric fan ONLY. This is for performance, fuel economy and safety (six-blade metal fans have been known to disintegrate with disastrous results).
Lindsay Sampford

I find this a really interesting subject as I have been considering replacing my oversize industrial injection moulded fan with an electrical one for quite some time.

I have often wondered why many MGAs are fitted with both an mechanical fan and an electric one as I would have expected that a modern efficient electric fan would flow more than enough air through the rad to cool the engine.
The only reason I can think of that would explain this is that the air flow through the engine via the front grille kind of stalls at higher road speeds because of the restrictive nature of the engine compartment.
If this is the case I could see that the mechanical fan may still be the only means of providing airflow through the rad even at higher road speeds.

We need to see if any of Steve Gyles aeronautical friends can arrange some wind tunnel time to check this out.

I have even considered experimenting by just removing the fan from my car and trying some high speed runs to see how it affects the running temperature.
It could give some very interesting information and may help me answer the question of whether to convert to a sole electric fan or to keep with my mechanical one.

Colyn
Colyn Firth

Colyn when travelling forward the fan does nothing. The amount of airflow forced into the radiator by the forward motion is far in advance of anything the fan can achieve.

So the fan is only required to draw air into the rad when travelling at very low speed or stationary.

later vehicles than the MGA but before electic fans were used would have what is called viscous fans. These fans had a fluid coupling that would lock the fan when warm but release it when cool. This allowed the fan to function when stationary and "freewheel" when travelling forward, thus saving on fuel.
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

Thanks Bob, my first thoughts on fans were all about viscous coupled fans too and I looked into the subject quite some time ago but havent been able to source one that anyone would recommended for fixing to an MGA.(Yet)

There is also an American firm who makes a range of metal mechanical fans with blades that flex over a certain fan speed and "feather" to reduce their effect to improve effeciency. (cant recall the makers name at present) But no one I know has tried one yet so far as I know.

I would have thought that the standard type mechanical fan would still be adding thrust to the air entering the grille even at motorway speeds and therefore wasting horsepower. (My plastic fan certainly makes enough noise at all engine speeds to make me think that this is the case!)

Neil Ferguson in Oz has fitted two smaller electric fans to his car (8 inch in diameter I think) and he finds that these cope very well with the summer heat over there so I think the electric fan route must be a sound one. He at first used to carry the original mechanical fan around in the boot just in case, but he has since found that this is not necessary.

So I am following Lyndsays fan saga with great interest and I am really looking forward to seeing if a single electric fan will do the job.

( I may still try testing the running temp with the std fan removed just to see what happens at normal cruising speeds. I think I had better pick a route with no chance of traffic jams or traffic lights first though!)

Best of luck Lyndsay and keep us updated.

Colyn

Colyn Firth

Colyn, I would think that with no electric fan in front of the rad to impede the airflow, yours would run cooler than mine, but you would be in trouble if you stopped moving for more than five minutes! I reckon mine would run cooler if I could get more air through the rad, but I think it is too restrictive, both for the fan and the roadspeed air. Given the right core design, I think it would work.
Lindsay Sampford

Want to see if your grille is restricting air flow. Remove it and run the car.

I did this last Summer. The aftermarket grille my car had was not far off a complete air block.

ALL my cooling problems went away without the grille in place.

I'm going with the stainless mesh insert until I find a reproduction grille that doesn't restrict air flow (or not too much anyway).

Just got the SS mesh over the winter, so I don't have any comparison numbers between mesh insert vs. no grille (grille surround and vertical slats insert) at all.

BTW: I too suspect airflow might have been a reason for the MkII grille.
Dave McCann

Dave, my grille is a Moss (USA) repro, and as you say, it was like a brick wall to airflow. I opened the slats up a bit and it made a huge difference. Before I opened the slats, it got hotter at 60MPH than 30MPH. After I opened the slats, it ran hotter at 30MPH than 60MPH! I could probably open the slats a little more, but I'm not sure I would like to remove the slats, I see them as a 'feature'.
Lindsay Sampford

I came across an mga in Italy last year that had every other slat removed, i never gave it a thought at the time but that may well have been done to aid the cooling, didnt look to bad, Vin
Vin Rafter

Got a blaking sleeve and 82 degree thermostat from Moss, but couldn't see how to fit both. The flange on the blanking sleeve was too big in diameter to fit into the recess in the thermostat housing, and if I popped the thermostat on top of the blanking sleeve, there was nothing to hold it concentric with the sleeve. Can anyone give any experience of fitting these two items together? In the end I fitted just the thermostat and saw an immediate improvement in the cooling systems' performance without the yellow fan, so maybe the old bellows thermostat was not functioning correctly.
Today took a 'test run' of 102 miles, 20C with a northerly breeze, 10% antifreeze mixture, fifty- fifty mix of unleaded/super unleaded in the tank, no mechanical fan, just elelectric fan. On the outward journey (trailing wind), after the initial warm-up, the temperature remained at 190F for the first 6 miles and then rose to about 195F. Out onto the A14 and sustained 70MPH for about 10 miles, temperature just short of 212F. Over the next 30 miles or so, the temperature ranged between 200F and 212F until we reached our destination. The engine ran pefectly throughout, pulled really well and accelerated briskly without even a hint of pinking.
The return trip was head-wind and the temperature remained between 190F and 195F apart from a rise to 200F through the Cambridge stop-start traffic. Arrived at home with the electric fan stopped, but it did start while I was getting the key to unlock the garage.
Although todays temperature was a bit cooler, I am very pleased with the results. I think I just need to open the grille slats a little more and I feel quite confident about tackling The Lake District with no mechanical fan next month!

P.S. I think that Super unleaded probably makes for cooler running, but not proven yet.
Lindsay Sampford

I may be wrong Lyndsay but I was under the impression that you only need to fit the blanking sleeve if you decide to run the car "without" a thermometer.

It apparently is meant direct the flow better through the engine and prevent localised overheating in the block.

(Hope I have understood the theory behind this correctly)

Glad you are happier with the running temp Lyndsay

Colyn
Colyn Firth

Colyn, I don't like the idea of just the blanking sleeve for an all-weather road car. Running a cold engine for miles and miles does it no good at all. While trawling through the archives, I found several reports of folk who had fitted both the sleeve and the stat because the sleeve stops the recycling of hot coolant through the head and forces it out through the top hose to the rad. Modern stats (other than repros supplied by Moss US) don't have the rising sleeve that cuts off the bypass port in the thermostat housing when the stat opens, so the blanking sleeve serves that purpose. How much difference closing that port makes I don't know, but mine is a lot better now I've ditched my old bellows/sleeve themostat for the modern type. Aparently the 7lb radiator cap can cause the bellows type thermostat not to open fully, they were designed to work with a 4lb cap.
While trawling the archives I also found out the following:
The Sebring MGAs raced with no fan at all, well I guess they never got held up in traffic!
Boy racers in the '50s used to remove their fans to get that extra 'edge' on their mates (and hope they didn't get held up in traffic!).
At least two postings said that John Twist had suggested that the operating temperature for an MGA with a 7lb rad cap can be anything between 170 and 225 degrees F.
Lindsay Sampford

Lindsay, I managed to fit the blanking sleeve AND the thermostat together. I did it about 18 months ago, so my memory's hazy on this, (and I hope this is indeed correct) but I think I very carefully trimmed a little off the perimeter of the thermostat. I was also advised to drill a 1/16" hole in the thermostat's flange which I did also.
I have to say though, that even though I could see the logic of the blanking sleeve, in practice I noticed little or no difference in the car's cooling performance.
If I may say too,I had to smile when I read of you trialling your cooling arrangements on a 20 degree C day! For us that's pretty cool weather. I'm trying to make my car deal with ambient temperatures well into the thirties!
Incidentally I DID find a radiator shroud made a very great improvement in cooling at a standstill and at slower speeds, but I still find the temperature will climb to as high as 220F on long steep climbs and sustained high speeds on our warmer days. This doesn't seem to bother the car at all though, just the driver (me) a little.
I by the way just run the standard engine driven fan, with no electric auxiliary fan. I doubt a second fan would help much with getting more air through-flow at high speed, though I certainly can see the sense of not wasting engine power with spinning a fan when it's not required.
T Aczel

T A, the real problem is that the temperature gauge on an MGA gives us too much information. Forget the numbers, and imagine a little white block on the left of the gauge extending from 90F to 95F with 'C' next to it. Now imagine a little red block extending from 225F to 230F with 'H' next to it. A section in the middle of the gauge from 180F to 190F is marked 'N', then none of us would worry until the needle got close to, or on the red mark, right? I've driven plenty of cars with CNH temperature gauges right close to 'H' and never had any kind of problem, and I am convinced that the MGA is no different. My old ZA Magnette was always nudging the 'H', did I ever lift my foot off? No chance! In over a 100,000 miles of driving that car, never did it boil up.
Lindsay Sampford

Lindsay

It's quite amusing, that from your opening post, when you just wanted to update us on your experiment, you have ended up with a deep analysis from us all on the 'faults' with your cooling system!

I will speak with Bob West today (if he is open) to find out the cost of his exchange radiators.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Lindsay.....Your comment on the use of the temp.gauge is spot on. I put my twin fan arrangement in about 12 months or so ago and drive the car up hills and over distances without considering the detail markings on the gauge. I put in a high temp thermo and set the fan cut in very high ( about 190oC I recollect) and since then don't think about it. I just drive and the system operates and regulates . No vapour problems, overheating etc etc.. The car feels different and has a load more umph ..admittedly in combination an overflow/return bottle to ensure a full radiator and with the 5 speed box and a total retune using the gunson scope ( great bit of kit ). Very happy with the car now..only wish I could get my 74 Jeep CJ6 to run like it. The only consolation on the latter is the ground clearance when working underneath.
but awaiting the Judson from George.....!!!

Neil Ferguson

The fans are 9 inch Craig Davies..recollect a comment that they were 8inch.
Neil Ferguson

Steve, I would like a bit more cooling for peace of mind, it's a fact that the electric fan doesn't get the temperature down like the mechanical fan, but the engine is gradually proving from the way it behaves at higher than normal temperature, that I don't need that peace of mind. It is certainly true what Neil says about the extra umph! I do like his double fan set-up. I am now recording fuel and mileage to see if the lack of driven fan improves economy.
Lindsay Sampford

Lindsay, I think Vin bought a new exchange radiator from Bob West last summer before his epic European trip. He switched it because of a leak rather any than overheating problems and he probably can tell you if there was any improvement in cooling after he fitted it.

Neil, sorry it was me who from failing memory thought you had fitted two 8 inch fans.
Correct size was 9 inch Craig-Davies.

Colyn
Colyn Firth

Lindsay

If you want to become a boring statistician like me, I can give you a copy of my mpg spreadsheet!

That said, it highlighted a a sudden reduction in mpg (rear filter box on upside down) and confirmed the consequence of dragging brakes. It is a useful tool in health monitoring.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Steve, sounds interesting, could you email it to me?
Lindsay Sampford

One point I don't believe I mentioned was that when I was looking for an electric fan design to fit I wanted a size that would fit under the recess of the top header tank and sit straight ont the face of the radiator. Two reasons for this.Main one is it ensures the air is pushed through the radiator for max cooling affect ( I also put rubber seals between the fan plastic edges and the radiator face ) and does not just get bounced sideways off the dense fins. Secondly it leaves almost the same space for hand access in the plenum area. I initially wanted to use one fan and bought a cheapo 10in unit on ebay for trial and error but could not get it to fit the above criteria.I homed in on the craig davies 9in as it fitted and then found I could get two of them in as well side by side and wire and use the same thermo. control. A very large area of the radiator has forced air exposure ..not just a central circle... and when the fans are on there is a gale coming through the radiator.

Neil Ferguson

Lindsay

I have just been chatting with Bob West. He now provides a recoring service, not an exchange. The cost is £145 + vat + postage (£15 - £20).

He says the secret is to find a recorer who understands these old cars. Most just stick modern style cores in the rads. He reckons it is essential for the MGA that the rows of cores must be inline, not staggered as is the modern trend. He sees countless numbers of customers coming to him with overheating problems. On the surface their rads look pristine and clean; a quick check shows staggered cores. He replaces them with inline cores and, hey presto, running cool.

I won't tell you what he thought about Moss Europe radiators.

He has one of his cored radiators in LBL 301, which he assisted in the Mille Miglia a couple of years back. It ran all day in 35 degrees at about 190; just the occasional rise in standing traffic.

I can vouch for his rads. With my 'corrected' temp gauge I run at 185 with the standard 6-bladed metal fan.

If you or anyone else decides to go the Bob West route give him a call first on how to pack the radiator for the courier. He does see some nightmare packaging with corresponding tank damage etc.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Steve, thanks for that information, both of my rads are staggered 3 row, and the engine ran at the same temperature (190-200 with the mechanical fan) with both of them, so I guess that's what causes mine to run warmer. I find that when I put my hand in the area in front of the rad when the fan is running, I can feel little jets of warm air coming forward from the rad in various places (the fan is sealed to the rad in the same way Neils is), probably air bouncing back out of the rad because it can't get through.
That is a good price, I will get in touch with Bob.
Lindsay Sampford

One key to successful cooling is: how many fins per inch does your core have? Is it 12, 14, or 16 fins per inch? Because the more fins/inch you have, the less air will freely travel through the core. I had a 16 fin/in. core made, mounted an electric fan in front, and most of the air bounced off the radiator. So, replaced it with a 14 fin/in core. A real plus would be to mount an electric fan BEHIND the rad. Resistance would be much lower when PULLING air through the rad, allowing more volume through the core.But, I can't find an electric fan thin enough for the job. You could move the rad forward about 3/4", but the water pump boss that holds the belt pulley and mechanical fan would require mods. To keep cool in NM, I had a second rad built, mounted under the plenum,just rear of the lower, front valance. Cut 2 holes in the replacement fiberglass valance, disconnected the heater and ran hoses to the second rad.So, what's the thinnest electric fan available? Tyler
C.T. Irwin

Tyler, both of my rads are 12 fin per inch.
Lindsay Sampford

Tyler..agree with you totally. A puller would be much more effective andd suit the fan/resistance characteristic much better. I did a fair amount of research into the dimensions of fans and available space and made a few simple 3D models . I looked at making a new fan boss ,siting the fan offset from centre etc etc and searched widely for a fan thin enough. Nothing was available to fit
without some severe butchery to the bay layout.
Neil Ferguson

This thread was discussed between 20/04/2011 and 28/04/2011

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This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGA BBS is active now.