Should my radiator return be cool at the onset of 200F water temp?
The thermostat in my 2005 Elise failed and the engine was very slow to reach running temp - the usual o-ring jam failure. I replaced it early this year with the Duralast 15078. Refilled the coolant with the Airlift. Everything seems fine. But now in the Texas summer I'm worried that I'm running too hot. The water temp reaches 197 or so within 8-10 min. Sitting at idle or in stop-and-go traffic in the hot sun (with AC) I get 208-214F. 200+ is common in normal city driving, with or without AC. I have the BOE tune so the fans are running on high at 196+. So tonight I put the rear on the ramps and went through the bleeding process, pretty much making a mess as coolant was oozing right away. One thing I noticed is that as the car ramped up to 200F, the inlet side of the radiator was starting to warm up but the discharge side was still cool to the touch. Is this low of flow through the radiator normal? Seems little odd to be running the fans on high if there ain't much heat to reject, but maybe that's pre-emptive. The heater was certainly blowing hot. Another complicating factor is this is the first summer I'm running without oil coolers, after doing the BOE cam to replace my wiped OEM cam. Maybe all this is normal, but I'm a little suspicious that there isn't enough coolant flowing through the radiator. Any perspectives welcome!