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Discussion Starter #1
We ran the car hard for something like 9 20-minute track sessions -- several of them back-to-back (it helps to have gotten invited to a private track day @ Thunderhill).

- At steady state (warmed up, on the highway), the coolant temp gauge reads 210F (real autometer, no Harbor Freight janky stuff).

- We currently are running SuperSTANT 180F thermostat.

- Partly out of laziness (they didn't require it), and partly because we were rushing to the track after a long day of replacing all the shocks/struts on the car again, we ran our normal antifreeze/water mix instead of 100% water (as will be required for Lemons).

- We also sold the front valence that sits between the bumper and the radiator and forces air through it.

- I have also rigged the heater to run 100% of the time to blow hot air through the evaporator and out the passenger side window.

- No white smoke on the drive home and the coolant level remained constant throughout the track day.

Problem/Annoyance:
As things got hotter (80-85F outside) and we really worked the tbird, we noticed the coolant temp climbing all the way up to 230F (the next tick would have been full max 250F. When we saw this on the gauge, we'd back off and take it easy for a lap before harassing the BMW drivers again.

Running the heater didn't help dramatically when the car was above 210F and it certainly didn't bring the operating temp below 210F. The temp would fall back to 210F and it was game on again. Towards the late afternoon, this would occur about 2 laps out of ~10 we would have per session. I'm sure we won't push the car as hard, we will be pushing the car for much longer than this track day.


Planned Changes
1) We plan to run water vs. coolant and that should help.

2) We plan to add a relay override so that we can run the fan with the engine off in the paddock.

3) We plan to add a front diffuser/underbody that should hopefully force more air THROUGH vs. around the radiator.

4) We'll also add stuff to block off air going around the sides

Questions
Q: Should we go back to the OEM temperature thermostat? Our "chief mechanic" aka the smartest of the monkeys on our team, is worried that if the thermostat is open all the time and never closes off, the coolant isn't spending enough time in the radiator to cool down. What say you folks?

Q: We are CONSIDERING a second radiator (perhaps roof mounted or through the car back to a trunk radiator. Do you guys think out water pump can handle pumping that extra load? Considering we will need to run coolant pipes + shielding conduit if the fluid goes to a trunk radiator, that plan is less than ideal (vs the demolition derby style up the roof idea). We could also consider moving the radiator up to the roof entirely. That would blow my aerodynamic plans though.

Q: Any other thoughts on how we should optimize cooling for this car?

Thanks,
-g
 

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Q: Should we go back to the OEM temperature thermostat? Our "chief mechanic" aka the smartest of the monkeys on our team, is worried that if the thermostat is open all the time and never closes off, the coolant isn't spending enough time in the radiator to cool down. What say you folks?
Old-school mechanics know this. ;)

Once the t-stat is open, it is open. Doesn't matter if it's 160* or 195*.

What does matter is flow. Back in the day, it was common to pull out the t-stat, but often led to more cooling issues since now there was no 'restriction' and the coolant would rush through the radiator too quickly. So... The t-stat would then be replaced with an orifice to regulate the flow. The trick was the size of the opening.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Old-school mechanics know this. ;)

Once the t-stat is open, it is open. Doesn't matter if it's 160* or 195*.

What does matter is flow. Back in the day, it was common to pull out the t-stat, but often led to more cooling issues since now there was no 'restriction' and the coolant would rush through the radiator too quickly. So... The t-stat would then be replaced with an orifice to regulate the flow. The trick was the size of the opening.

Since our operating temp seems to be 210F, it doesn't matter if I go with a 180F or 195F thermostat. Both will be fully Open at operating temp (please confirm) so as long as we have the thermostat in the system to regulate the flow, the net performance of the cooling system will be the same?

Any other ideas on how to provide additional cooling to the engine?
Oh, BTW, our AC condensor is our transmission cooler and this is smack dab in front of our radiator (typically with 180F temp fluid).

I'm guessing that blocking off any ways for air to get around vs. going through the radiator/condensers is the best way to go.


Q: Since we don't care about looks, I can also cut out the bumper area where the thunderbird logo sits. Would that help things?

-g
 

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Since our operating temp seems to be 210F, it doesn't matter if I go with a 180F or 195F thermostat. Both will be fully Open at operating temp (please confirm) so as long as we have the thermostat in the system to regulate the flow, the net performance of the cooling system will be the same?
Yes.

Might want to look at a flow restrictor instead of the thermostat in there - since with a restrictor, the main problem is time to warm up - and I bet you won't have THAT problem.

Cooling - Dangit, too bad you're budget limited ... there's some 2-core and 3-core radiators out there to replace the stocker.

I'd put a valance back on it, to help force the air back into the radiator, if I were you.

Also, make sure the "felt" (not sure what it really is!) that helps seal the front to force air through the radiator is installed and sealed properly.

RwP
 

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Since our operating temp seems to be 210F, it doesn't matter if I go with a 180F or 195F thermostat. Both will be fully Open at operating temp (please confirm) so as long as we have the thermostat in the system to regulate the flow, the net performance of the cooling system will be the same?

Any other ideas on how to provide additional cooling to the engine?
Oh, BTW, our AC condensor is our transmission cooler and this is smack dab in front of our radiator (typically with 180F temp fluid).

I'm guessing that blocking off any ways for air to get around vs. going through the radiator/condensers is the best way to go.


Q: Since we don't care about looks, I can also cut out the bumper area where the thunderbird logo sits. Would that help things?

-g
Anything you can do to direct more airflow will help, especially with the condenser as a tranny cooler. I know my cars have a definite temp increase driving hard on the highway with the AC on vs. Off.

I forget the parts applications, but the same engine t-stats for different vehicles will have different flow due to design. You may want to check a parts jobber and compare t-stats. If you find one with a smaller water passage, it may be worth a try.
 

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Hello

I run a restrictor. 7/8"

Q. What size lower pulley do you have?
Q. stock single core rad.?

Try spacing the oil cooler farther form the rad.
Mine is behind the rear seat.(where the gas tank used to be)

Q. What fan do you run?

I run about 220* after a hard 30 lap race. As you run all day, Don't know
what to tell you.

:wavey:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hello

I run a restrictor. 7/8"

Q. What size lower pulley do you have?
Q. stock single core rad.?

Try spacing the oil cooler farther form the rad.
Mine is behind the rear seat.(where the gas tank used to be)

Q. What fan do you run?

I run about 220* after a hard 30 lap race. As you run all day, Don't know
what to tell you.

:wavey:
Answers:
1) Lower pulley = crankshaft or power steering pulley? We are running the stock one.

2) We run a stock single core radiator. Is there a truck radiator that would be an upgrade that we can physically fit into this car? I know that we could run a Cobra radiator but Cobra = $$$ outside our budget.

3) We run the stock fan. is there a cost effective upgrade I can snag from the junkyard?

4) I've read about restrictors and several sites highly recommend against restrictors as the may cause hotspots.
http://www.4g63turbo.com/tech/tstat.html
http://www.stewartcomponents.com/tech_tips/Tech_Tips_3.htm

We have ~5 months to finish up the theme, aerodynamics, and further reinforce the car's cooling capabilities.

Priorities:
Our #1 priority will be to construct a front diffuser/valence that will direct the air. I will also use Coroplast/door gap sealer to prevent air from sneaking past the sides of the radiator as well.
 

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Answers:
1) Lower pulley = crankshaft or power steering pulley? We are running the stock one.

2) We run a stock single core radiator. Is there a truck radiator that would be an upgrade that we can physically fit into this car? I know that we could run a Cobra radiator but Cobra = $$$ outside our budget.

3) We run the stock fan. is there a cost effective upgrade I can snag from the junkyard?

4) I've read about restrictors and several sites highly recommend against restrictors as the may cause hotspots.
The lower crank pulley. Try to keep 1 to 1 with water pump pulley.

I have run a Fox 2 core from a 84 t-bird. need to make mounts.

Stock fan? electric of mech?

I only run on short track, 30 to 50 laps(big 1/2 mile oval)

What nose do you have? I like the 94-95 ones myself.

:wavey:
 

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tranny cooler air is not going to cool your engine well; move it somewhere, or get cool air past it somehow.

That will probably help more than anything else.

Unless you mount the radiator on the hood, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The lower crank pulley. Try to keep 1 to 1 with water pump pulley.

I have run a Fox 2 core from a 84 t-bird. need to make mounts.

Stock fan? electric of mech?

I only run on short track, 30 to 50 laps(big 1/2 mile oval)

What nose do you have? I like the 94-95 ones myself.

:wavey:
Is the Fox 2 core from an 84 Bird significantly? I think we may be playing with fire by trying to run a 27 year old radiator out of a junkyard instead of a 15 year old one ;)

Stock Electric Fan.

We have the 94-95 nose on our car. I briefly toyed with the idea of a Couger front nose (I don't care if it's a hackjob and the front lights don't fit well) just to re-emphasize the fact that we are planning to be "Team Thundercats Thunderbird" ... but that seems like a bit too much effort and cost for minimal ROI.

Thanks for all the suggestions here folks. Please keep them comin'.
-g
 

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Discussion Starter #11
tranny cooler air is not going to cool your engine well; move it somewhere, or get cool air past it somehow.

That will probably help more than anything else.

Unless you mount the radiator on the hood, lol.

Yes, we considered that the heat soaked air coming through the tranny cooler wasn't doing the radiator any favors.

You LOL about mounting the radiator on the hood but that does merit consideration....

Roof Mounted radiator.
Pros: super cooling for both ATF and Radiator (ATF would remain up front).
http://murileemartin.com/wordpress/?p=68

Cons:
- ruins our aerodynamics
- possible pleasant situation if we spring a leak since we won't have any side windows and all that hot water starts gushing down.

Q: Could our water pump push the coolant UP to the roof mount radiator? Could it do that in addition to going through the front mount radiator?

I'd rather not consider relocating the radiator to the trunk as that would be a serious undertaking (all coolant/fuel/etc hoses going through the passenger compartment must be inside a metal conduit. That's a serious pain.

Hood Mounted A/C Condenser/ATF Cooler.
Pros:
- easy to do as we would just extend the hoses we have already made to connect the hardlines from the AT to the condenser.
Cons:
- That's going to be NASTY if that stupid thing springs a leak.

Q: How much cooling would we get with that thing mounted slightly raised but parrallel to the hood? We can't mount it perpedicular to the airflow as we couldn't see.

Downgrade to aftermarket ATF Cooler
We have a used Aftermarket cooler that is approximately 1 foot square. I don't think it would be effective enough to use which is why we ditched it.
 

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Since your not concerned about looks, you could cut the bumper between the lights and rivet sheet metal to make a duct. Its almost free and should improve your cooling alot. On top of that you dont have to move anything. Also you should post some pictures of the car
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Since your not concerned about looks, you could cut the bumper between the lights and rivet sheet metal to make a duct. Its almost free and should improve your cooling alot. On top of that you dont have to move anything. Also you should post some pictures of the car
Roadrunner:
Would you mind clarifying exactly what you mean about where you think I should add sheet metal?

Please refer to the quick and dirty pic I took below.
I apologize for the angle but this bird barely fits into my garage in SF.
I was standing on the steps trying to take as low an angle as possible.

1) I believe you are suggesting that I cut where I have marked the RED lines. This should detach the tbird logo and open up the entire area underneath the hood and between the front headlights. Please confirm that this is what you meant.
Q: Also, IIRC there are a few push pins that hold that piece there. The bumper is attached in other places and will still remain secure even if I take this center attachment point out, right?

Now, comes the part that is confusing to me. I have spare aluminum or can use cloroplast (read election signs) to add ducting as needed.
1) BLUE Line: If I add a piece panel in where the blue area is, I'm basically creating a "top" so that air doesn't spill over and run between the hood and the radiator. Is this what you meant by a duct?

2) Green lines: I'm not sure if you also meant adding ducting at the "new" top of the bumper going towards the radiator and/or on the sides.

Q: If this is what you meant (in addition to or in place of the duct measured in blue), why?

The gameplan is to have a front diffuser that extends all the way back to the radiator. Any air making it in from the center section will have to go through the AC-condensor-turned-ATF cooler AND radiator. If it spills to the left or right towards the headlight or down towards floor, the side seals and the bottom diffuser will force the air through the radiators.

Thanks again for your reply. All of your thoughts are really helping us make this a badass, if underpowered track-jalopy.



Regards,
-g
 

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Roadrunner:
Would you mind clarifying exactly what you mean about where you think I should add sheet metal?

Please refer to the quick and dirty pic I took below.
I apologize for the angle but this bird barely fits into my garage in SF.
I was standing on the steps trying to take as low an angle as possible.

1) I believe you are suggesting that I cut where I have marked the RED lines. This should detach the tbird logo and open up the entire area underneath the hood and between the front headlights. Please confirm that this is what you meant.
Q: Also, IIRC there are a few push pins that hold that piece there. The bumper is attached in other places and will still remain secure even if I take this center attachment point out, right?

Now, comes the part that is confusing to me. I have spare aluminum or can use cloroplast (read election signs) to add ducting as needed.
1) BLUE Line: If I add a piece panel in where the blue area is, I'm basically creating a "top" so that air doesn't spill over and run between the hood and the radiator. Is this what you meant by a duct?

2) Green lines: I'm not sure if you also meant adding ducting at the "new" top of the bumper going towards the radiator and/or on the sides.

Q: If this is what you meant (in addition to or in place of the duct measured in blue), why?

The gameplan is to have a front diffuser that extends all the way back to the radiator. Any air making it in from the center section will have to go through the AC-condensor-turned-ATF cooler AND radiator. If it spills to the left or right towards the headlight or down towards floor, the side seals and the bottom diffuser will force the air through the radiators.

Thanks again for your reply. All of your thoughts are really helping us make this a badass, if underpowered track-jalopy.



Regards,
-g
Yes the bumper has other attachment points. And yes thats exactly what Im talking about.
I reason I say make a duct is in that large area you cut it would keep the air flowing to the radiator and not over or to the side. Think hvac vents in your car, you move them to direct the air flow. So you would rivet or use sheet metal screws to the core support on the top, out over the headlights. This can be used in conjuncter with your defuser.
It also wouldnt hurt add to the sides of the cut out by the headlights and fan it out. This will shovel air in after it has been pushed up by the defuser.

Besides that I would keep the general shape of the bumper as that will push air over or under and you will have both covered. I think this will keep your bird cool
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Since your not concerned about looks, you could cut the bumper between the lights and rivet sheet metal to make a duct. Its almost free and should improve your cooling alot. On top of that you dont have to move anything. Also you should post some pictures of the car
I wouldn't say I'm "not concerned about looks" but perhaps my tolerance/acceptance of what a good tbird looks like may be a little more flexible than the average TCCOAer :)


Tonight I cut out the center part between the headlights. I also cut down along the line on the bumper cover line that happens to be the top of the real metal bumper as well.

I will add ducting as soon as I scrounge up the proper material (no elections ; maybe I'll hit up my real estate agent for old signs.)

The new gap I created is pretty significant. Incidently, the thunderbird logo is for sale and I'm happy to trade it along with anything else in my for sale thread for that corner market light we are missing.

Personally, I think it looks a bit JDM like an S13 Silvia now :)
Regards,
-g


Before:

After:
 

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Remove the bumper and enlarge the cutouts in the foam and metal bumper reinforcement to allow the 94-95 bumper "air scoops" to function better. Then reinstall the bumper.
 

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Remove the bumper and enlarge the cutouts in the foam and metal bumper reinforcement to allow the 94-95 bumper "air scoops" to function better. Then reinstall the bumper.
Hello

Do you mean remove the bump cover.
then remove the foam.
Open the holes in the metal bumper.
Then reinstall the bumper cover?

I instead of opening the holes I cut the bottom half of the bumper OFF.
I also cut a hole where the license plate used to be.

But the best addition was the air deflector. pushes the air up into the opening of the 94-95 nose.(behind & under the bumper)

Also remember I MUST run a 2bbl. carb.
Kinda small on a 351w at 6000+ rpm.
this is where some of my heat comes from, A top end lean condition.

:wavey:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hello

Do you mean remove the bump cover.
then remove the foam.
Open the holes in the metal bumper.
Then reinstall the bumper cover?

I instead of opening the holes I cut the bottom half of the bumper OFF.
I also cut a hole where the license plate used to be.

But the best addition was the air deflector. pushes the air up into the opening of the 94-95 nose.(behind & under the bumper)

Also remember I MUST run a 2bbl. carb.
Kinda small on a 351w at 6000+ rpm.
this is where some of my heat comes from, A top end lean condition.

:wavey:
Tbirdtess:
If I see your pic correctly, it looks like the entire bumper cover is intact (upper and lower) BUT you cut the "lower half" of the actual metal bumper.
Q: Do i understand you correctly?

I have no problems cutting/cutting the bumper cover but if we are talking about modding the actual metal bumper, I must first consider how much I trust the driving skills of my fellow teammates (and myself) first ;)
-g
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I could use some feedback on enlarging the front vent holes before I take a sawzall to these fins.
Please check out these pics.

1) Right now, in each of the existing bumper openings I'm considering removing the two vertical "fins" per bumper opening that directs straight-flowing air at an angle towards the center of the radiator core.
Even if all the air that comes forward is still redirected towards my ATF cooler/radiator core anyway, I don't want to cause any unanticipated consequences.

I didn't take Fluid dynamics when I was getting my EE degree so I'd like some other opinions here.

Q: Do you folks have any ideas as to WHY these fins exist in the first place? The only advantages I can see are as follows:
1) prevent you from seeing an ugly radiator in the hole
2) prevent rocks from taking chunks out of your A/C condensor
3) slow down the air as it is coming in from the front.

I could use some advice here as to if this would be a bad idea.

Thanks,
-g

PS. I have no plans to enlarge the whole totally and remove the outermost "fin". Based on what I could see, that fin sits at the edge of the radiator anyway. If I enlarged the whole so it blows straight in, I would see spillover from the air going AROUND my radiator instead of through it as I want.



 
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