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Old 05-15-2012, 10:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Upgrading Radiator System Questions on Components



As I continue to have cooling issues with what is most likely air pockets in the system, Ive decided to go ahead & replace a few of the components of the radiator/cooling system.

Since I will be removing the clam to install brake lines & replacement calipers up front, I might as well take this opportunity to replace the radiator while everything is apart.

So far my research is leaning towards going with the prorad, upgraded silicone radiator hoses & Radium's new Coolant Tank. I am open to suggestions for radiator choices. My preference is something that drops in & clears OEM mounting locations without need for modifications if possible.

My question is, would it be beneficial to look into the prorad puller fans or continue using the stock fans? My research hasnt come up solid with anything noting if the puller fans will fit on top of the radiator & allow for proper clearance or if I will have to do any sort of modifications to fit the radiator + cooler fans. Do the fans effectively help promote lower engine temps vs using an upgraded radiator + stock fans? I do plan on keeping the A/C if that matters.

Anyone out there with experience on these parts that could chime in?

My driving primarily consists of commute & a few hours of mountain drives per week (this is where I see temps rise quickly). I autox maybe once a month when time permits & would hit up the track at most 2-3 times a year when Im ready to bring the Exige out (currently using an S2K for track).

Thanks!
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The fans are a big part of the problem. The stock pushers actually contact the fins of the AC core and flatten them. The result is WAY WAY less airflow going through the core.

Best bet:

1) remove pushers all together and install pullers.

2) Straighten the fins from the OE fan damaging them... May have to remove the AC core to do this... or just replace the AC core...

3) The stock radiator actually cools OK if it's not being blocked by flattened AC core fins and pusher fans... That said, you're going to have much of this apart so you might consider replacing the radiator core before it developes a leak (As they typically do). As far as cores go, stay with SINGLE PASS cores. Elise Parts sells a nice single pass Pro-Alloy radiator (I keep a few of them in stock at all times). It's very similar to the sector Pro-Alloy 3 pass radiator, but the Elise Parts design of single pass works correctly (made by the same company, Pro-Alloy). The 3 pass cores create MASSIVE pressure drops across the core in our application (atleast our stock fitment application), ie. volume is far too low to work real well


Good luck,

Phil
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Last edited by turbophil; 05-15-2012 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The fans are a big part of the problem. The stock pushers actually contact the fins of the AC core and flatten them. The result is WAY WAY less airflow going through the core.

Best bet:

1) remove pushers all together and install pullers.

2) Straighten the fins from the OE fan damaging them... May have to remove the AC core to do this... or just replace the AC core...

3) The stock radiator actually cools OK if it's not being blocked by flattened AC core fins and pusher fans... That said, you're going to have much of this apart so you might consider replacing the radiator core before it developes a leak (As they typically do). As far as cores go, stay with SINGLE PASS cores. Elise Parts sells a nice single pass Pro-Alloy radiator (I keep a few of them in stock at all times). It's very similar to the sector Pro-Alloy 3 pass radiator, but the Elise Parts design of single pass works correctly (made by the same company, Pro-Alloy). The 3 pass cores create MASSIVE pressure drops across the core in our application (atleast our stock fitment application), ie. volume is far too low to work real well


Good luck,

Phil
Hello Phil,

Thanks for chiming in; its always a good learning experience for me when you drop some info!

I wasnt aware of this issue of the AC fans touching the AC core! This might explain this humming sound/vibrations I feel whenever I turn on the AC - something seemed off in the front clam & I was thinking it was just the condenser working hard at it.

Would one say - yet another *surprise* poor design Lotus left for the discovery? Everytime I find something odd in the engineering for the price point; Im just like - seriously!?

Is the AC condenser the part inbetween the radiator & bottom piece illustrated here?


Are there any clearance issues with the ProRad pusher fans? It would be nice to find a way to activate the fans a little sooner that 206F ~ Ive read of a few people that have incorporated some kind of electrical system in tandem. What I find odd is that the fans just die when the ignition is turned off; I would think there would be some kind of sensor to allow the fans to remain on until the Radiator has been cooled to a safe temp: much like how Honda does it.

Good tip on the single pass; I'll research more!

Are you referring to this: http://www.eliseparts.com/products/s...aded-radiator/
or this: http://www.eliseparts.com/products/s...sure-radiator/
or... http://www.proalloy.co.uk/cgi-bin/si...07&id=proalloy

Thank you Phil.

Last edited by slightly2ned; 05-16-2012 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 05-19-2012, 03:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by turbophil View Post
The fans are a big part of the problem. The stock pushers actually contact the fins of the AC core and flatten them. The result is WAY WAY less airflow going through the core.

Best bet:

1) remove pushers all together and install pullers.

2) Straighten the fins from the OE fan damaging them... May have to remove the AC core to do this... or just replace the AC core...

3) The stock radiator actually cools OK if it's not being blocked by flattened AC core fins and pusher fans... That said, you're going to have much of this apart so you might consider replacing the radiator core before it developes a leak (As they typically do). As far as cores go, stay with SINGLE PASS cores. Elise Parts sells a nice single pass Pro-Alloy radiator (I keep a few of them in stock at all times). It's very similar to the sector Pro-Alloy 3 pass radiator, but the Elise Parts design of single pass works correctly (made by the same company, Pro-Alloy). The 3 pass cores create MASSIVE pressure drops across the core in our application (atleast our stock fitment application), ie. volume is far too low to work real well


Good luck,

Phil
Phil great info. I pulled the front clam with the intent of removing the AC condensor. The job looks to be more than I bargained for as I thought the condensor was on top. Is there any easy way to get to it without having to remove my twin oil coolers as well as the radiator? Now you got me thinking I should replace the radiator while I'm there. I wasnt having any cooling issues. I really never got temps over 190 at speed.
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Oil coolers shouldn't have to move at all.


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Old 05-19-2012, 12:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Call me if you need help or get stuck.. Make sure you buy a set of swivel wratcheting crescent wrenches. Makes this job a million times easier.


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Old 05-19-2012, 05:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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+1 Rad comes out easy after the clam is off. Leave the oil coolers in place (if you must) and just disconnect the rad from the AC core and radiator support...
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Old 05-19-2012, 05:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Phil,
Is the Pro-Alloy radiator larger than what comes from Lotus in a Cup 260 car?
Thanks!
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Old 05-19-2012, 05:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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slighty2ned, have you decided on what radiator you are going to get? I have been reading up on them too.

Thanks
Vince
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Old 05-19-2012, 05:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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FWIW- I have a big single pass and my MAX engine temps were about 160 at the race this weekend with ~400whp... That's the kind of temp control you're looking for, IMO...

Cheers,

Phil
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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FWIW- I have a big single pass and my MAX engine temps were about 160 at the race this weekend with ~400whp... That's the kind of temp control you're looking for, IMO...

Cheers,

Phil
Very good numbers! Do you have the condenser still there?


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Old 05-20-2012, 06:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Phil,
Is the Pro-Alloy radiator larger than what comes from Lotus in a Cup 260 car?
Thanks!
The proalloy is 45mm core and standard is 42mm I believe. Also the Proalloy is described as "twin row" while standard is "single row" whatever that means.
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:44 AM   #13 (permalink)
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FWIW- I have a big single pass and my MAX engine temps were about 160 at the race this weekend with ~400whp... That's the kind of temp control you're looking for, IMO...

Cheers,

Phil
Mine have been running 187 degrees with a lot less HP so it looks like there is efficiency to be gained. I'm pulling my condensor and changing to puller fans at the same time.
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:45 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Very good numbers! Do you have the condenser still there?


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From my conversations with him he does not.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:56 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Got yah I'm sure that helps a bit


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Old 05-21-2012, 06:51 AM   #16 (permalink)
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After looking over the data, my peak temp was actually 158 on track. The engine loves to run at those temps. That's pretty impressive since my average RPM is now close to 8000rpms on the track with the sequential box

Most of the data I see from folks shows that they're not running on the stat. If you're not running on the stat, then your cooling system isn't up to the task.

Info on my cooling system is in the "rides" section of boefab.com. But here are the basics with some pics.

- Big single pass radiator. Rad and mounting supplied by Brent and then I converted to single pass. Nice bit of kit, but not for the novice installer. Quite a large amount of work for this beast. The single pass Elise Parts rad is PnP and a pretty easy installation and a MUCH better fit for most DIYers, IMO.
-Removed impeller from mechanical pump to disable it. The pump is just an idler pulley now.
-Remove Stat all together
-Add a 30gph DaviesCraig electric water pump up front as seen in pics
-Block off heater lines at motor.
-Block off the "u-bend" bypass at the block (the stainless steel heater transfer pipe was removed with the heater block-off plate)
-Remove AC and AC Core (I decided a long time ago that if it was too hot to drive the car with the top off then, there's no point in driving the car--- not that I drive this car on the street much anymore anyway though! Same rule applies on the street cars though
-Single 8" puller fan (you don't need much of fan to keep temps reasonable in the pits with this much cooling).

You end up with VERY simple cooling system that's very easy to service and VERY efficient. You also pick up some power by eliminating the drag from the mechanical water pump and you totally eliminate pump cavitation from the variable RPMs of the mechanical pump...

Anyone can implement all or part of the above and get GREAT cooling efficiency gains. My suggestion is to start with the AC core and fans. Get the fans top-side and if you're going to keep the AC--straighted the AC core fins (or replace AC core from fan damage). As I mentioned earlier, you have to take a fair bit of the front end apart to do this. Might as well replace the radiator when you're in there and use high volume single pass when in there to help the stock pump from cavitating any worse than it already does among increaing coolant volume as well.

You might also notice that I have removed the pods for the oil coolers since the oil cooler is now moved out back where it should be. Again, MUCH MUCH easier service on the front end. I can have the clam off the front in about 20 minutes with no fancy fasteners. Just better access to the OE fasteners with parts removed/relocated.

Here are some pics (pardon the mess. Some cell pics from the initial installation...)

Phil
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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slighty2ned, have you decided on what radiator you are going to get? I have been reading up on them too.

Thanks
Vince
Im glad to see this thread has a lot of progress & great info. Thanks everyone for chiming in!
Im looking into following Phil's suggestion for the Elise Parts single pass radiator but not sure which one it is from these links. Anyone?

Are you referring to this: http://www.eliseparts.com/products/s...aded-radiator/

or this: http://www.eliseparts.com/products/s...sure-radiator/

or... http://www.proalloy.co.uk/cgi-bin/si...07&id=proalloy
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:41 AM   #18 (permalink)
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It's called the "upgraded radiator". Link I have for it is : Elise Parts - Engine & Gearbox - Cooling - Aluminium Upgraded Radiator

They also carry the 3 pass version that sector does (probably just to compete with each other akin to CVS and Walgreens.lol.), but again, better off sticking with single pass. More volume flow= more better cooling

Cheers,

Phil
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:26 AM   #19 (permalink)
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It's called the "upgraded radiator". Link I have for it is : Elise Parts - Engine & Gearbox - Cooling - Aluminium Upgraded Radiator

They also carry the 3 pass version that sector does (probably just to compete with each other akin to CVS and Walgreens.lol.), but again, better off sticking with single pass. More volume flow= more better cooling

Cheers,

Phil
Thanks for confirming Phil! Im still in for keeping the AC, so will have to check to see if any of the fins are bent & determine the condition of the condenser if its worth repairing or replacing.

As for the oil coolers, im going to research around the boards further on relocating the oil coolers to the rear. Generally speaking though; would it be as simple as:

- Deleting one of the oil coolers from the system (1/2)
- Relocating one to the rear with shorter lines

or am I totally off & does this entail a totally new oil cooling kit to relocate to the rear & the OEM parts are not salvageable?

In my particular application, the car isnt dedicated to track so I want to make sure that any modifications I do to cooling are optimized for road & track.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:32 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I got mine from Elise-shop and im happy with it. Not sure if it's pro alloy or not. I went back and forth between Elise-shop and eliseparts and I got the Elise-shop one because it was cheaper when taking shipping into consideration


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