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> Electric Thermostatic Cooling fan
Martin Hamilton
post 29 Sep 2017, 13:46
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Before anyone says "we've discussed this before" in my defence I have done a forum search but
(1) The on-topic thread (forum link) didn't answer my questions, but this was in 2011
and
(2) the other results are buried within some quite long threads so I thought the easiest way was to ask!.

Soooo, I want some advice about the above. My 59 traveller will only be used on dry days and most likely for some touring or visiting shows. The latter probably means some traffic jams on warmish days and driving anywhere in the UK nowadays also means traffic, often stationary, so I'd like to have a thermostatic fan. I understand I might gain a horse or two by removing the old fan blades (?)

Questions:
  • Kenlowe seems to be a well-regarded brand, would this be the right one to choose - any suggested alternatives?
  • Sucker & blower - which is which (my assumptions may be wrong!) sucker on engine side of rad [rear] blower on bumper side of rad [front]?
  • Sucker or blower - which is best / easiest to fit? (and why?)
  • On the Wolseley thread (above) it was mentioned that a sucker was a difficult fit to the engine-side of the rad, anyone know what the situation is with a ser IV Oxford?
  • Also it was mentioned that the fitting of a sucker was easier than a blower..... A blower (presumably fitted to the front of the rad) requires drilling & mounting bars although in 2011 P45 mentioned ""pull-through" type fittings"... do these work for a front-mounted fan?. Anyone know what the situation is now, are they still available?
  • I have an alternator conversion so am assuming power consumption shouldn't be an issue, especially after converting my lighting to LED (?)
  • Mount the fan as high as possible on the rad?
  • worth also installing a manual switch (presumably via a relay?)?
  • Any other suggestions, comments, hints & tips?
Cheers!

Martin

This post has been edited by Martin Hamilton: 29 Sep 2017, 13:48
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webmonster
post 1 Oct 2017, 06:58
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I'm interested in this topic too.
Pip fitted a 'leccy fan to his 4/44 quite a few years ago and seems to have been successful.
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rustyroger
post 1 Oct 2017, 16:45
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On a lot of the American car forums I use this topic has been beaten to death, revived, and beaten to death many times. Bear in mind American cars were designed to cope with Alaskan winters and Arizona summers.
Millions of cars ran perfectly well from the factory both in Phoenix traffic jams and Interstate c high speed cruising.

If your cooling system is in good working order then it will be just fine in stock form, most BMC cars were overcooled if anything back in the day, I remember my father saying how his mk1 Isis both ran better and gave better fuel mileage after he covered the bottom third of the radiator.

Does it run hot now, either idling in still air or driven hard?. If it runs fine I think you are trying to fix a problem you don't have.
Unless the car has been modified, apart from fitting an alternator that is.

Roger.
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Martin Hamilton
post 1 Oct 2017, 19:08
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QUOTE (rustyroger @ 1 Oct 2017, 17:45 ) *
On a lot of the American car forums I use this topic has been beaten to death, revived, and beaten to death many times. Bear in mind American cars were designed to cope with Alaskan winters and Arizona summers.
Millions of cars ran perfectly well from the factory both in Phoenix traffic jams and Interstate c high speed cruising.

If your cooling system is in good working order then it will be just fine in stock form, most BMC cars were overcooled if anything back in the day, I remember my father saying how his mk1 Isis both ran better and gave better fuel mileage after he covered the bottom third of the radiator.

Does it run hot now, either idling in still air or driven hard?. If it runs fine I think you are trying to fix a problem you don't have.
Unless the car has been modified, apart from fitting an alternator that is.

Roger.


Aaah well British cars were designed to run in a much narrower temperature band and the summers of my youth were populated with overheated British cars at the side of trunk roads on hot summer days.

So could removing the existing fan blades and having a thermostatic fan eliminate the overcooling and lead to better mileage (MPG) and improved performance, albeit marginally?

Perhaps we could solve a problem (overcooling) that is there, whilst protecting against the tendency of old cars to overheat in some circumstances?

If the old design is so good, why have themostatic fans been adopted universally in all new vehicles?

Triumph Stags were renowned for overheating and a UK TV program (For the Love of cars) rebuilt one nut and bolt and decided that the overheating was down to poor manufacture and poor quality - and when remanufactured properly overheating wasn't a problem. They spent 3,000 hours on that car and had the engine, gearbox and every other system refurbished and rebult from scratch to a total cost (I estimate) of way, way, over £100,000. So if there's a doubt about the drivetrain is it better to
  • Leave it alone and hope it doesn't overheat and trash the engine
  • Spend a king's ransom on having the engine rebult professionally
  • Fit a part costing £150 (?) to prevent any possibility of overheating
Just asking all these questions, I'm genuinely interested in your advice mate.
Cheers
Martin

This post has been edited by Martin Hamilton: 1 Oct 2017, 19:09
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Penguin45
post 1 Oct 2017, 23:40
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Optimising the cooling system as it stands is the starting point. Spending money on uprated electric fans may well end up merely papering over the cracks. To that end, strip the cooling system and flush out the radiator, forward and backwards repeatedly. Hoses, heater too. The block can be flushed as well, although removing the core plugs and "rodding out" can produce surprising (horrible) results. New thermostat is always a cheap and effective one; getting the ignition set exactly right can also make a major difference to the running temperature of the engine. Most of that will cost you time and some pennies and will give you a far better idea of the state of the engine before lashing out on the toys.

If you really want the electric fan, the puller fan in close proximity to the rear of the radiator is the most efficient mounting. Removing the fan blade from the water pump creates enough space and prevents the two fans from interfering with each other due to their different air flow abilities and flow rates. You say that the car already has an alternator, so electrical power is not an issue, but switching the fan is. You will need a sensor (usually some sort of capilliary thermostat trapped in the top hose) and a relay to take the load off the thermostat. Most people add a manual over-ride switch as a "just in case" measure. This should be routed through the relay.

The "pull through" fixings mentioned earlier are really a glorified form of TyRap which push through the fins of the radiator. Never fancied that as an idea myself. Making suitable bracketry is not difficult.

Kenlowe are ceasing retail manufacture, so get in there quickly if that's what you really want, but I would address the issues outlined in the first paragraph first.

I would further point out that my Austin 1800 has the mighty 1800cc 5 bearing "B" engine in it, running a mechanical pusher fan off the water pump through the radiator and after the cleaning and fettling process runs just below the middle of "N" on the temperature gauge under all conditions.

But, it's your car, so the choice is entirely up to you.

Cheers,

P45.
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rustyroger
post 2 Oct 2017, 09:09
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QUOTE (Martin Hamilton @ 1 Oct 2017, 20:08 ) *
Aaah well British cars were designed to run in a much narrower temperature band and the summers of my youth were populated with overheated British cars at the side of trunk roads on hot summer days.

So could removing the existing fan blades and having a thermostatic fan eliminate the overcooling and lead to better mileage (MPG) and improved performance, albeit marginally?

Perhaps we could solve a problem (overcooling) that is there, whilst protecting against the tendency of old cars to overheat in some circumstances?

If the old design is so good, why have themostatic fans been adopted universally in all new vehicles?

Triumph Stags were renowned for overheating and a UK TV program (For the Love of cars) rebuilt one nut and bolt and decided that the overheating was down to poor manufacture and poor quality - and when remanufactured properly overheating wasn't a problem. They spent 3,000 hours on that car and had the engine, gearbox and every other system refurbished and rebult from scratch to a total cost (I estimate) of way, way, over £100,000. So if there's a doubt about the drivetrain is it better to
  • Leave it alone and hope it doesn't overheat and trash the engine
  • Spend a king's ransom on having the engine rebult professionally
  • Fit a part costing £150 (?) to prevent any possibility of overheating
Just asking all these questions, I'm genuinely interested in your advice mate.


Cheers
Martin


I bet a lot of the overheated cars you saw (and me, I'm past my first flush of youth too (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif) ) were badly maintained, and featured plenty of sidevalve Fords Sit up and beg Populars and Anglia relied on thermo siphon cooling and didn't have a water pump.

Fitting a good modern thermostat will control the running temperature better, removing the mechanical fan blades will make it a bit quieter. You will need an electrical fan if you do this.

Thermostatic fans are almost universal in transverse mounted engine vehicles because it overcomes the designers problem of driving a mechanical fan with this layout. Some Peugeot models actually had the fan belt run from the side mounted water pump pulley, turned 90 degrees and turning a fan behind the radiator. I don't think any other makers copied this idea.

However inline engined cars, which are normally upmarket models still have clutch or viscous fans, supplemented with electrical fans normally linked to the air conditioning system in many cases. Electric fans do save a little power, and reduce noise, I have no argument with that.

Trimph stag engines, and its cousin the Dolomite engine were notorious for appaling quality control problems. Many engines were assembled with casting sand still in the blocks!. Triumph had the problem of demand exceeding production, to speed things up quality nosedived. Chrysler has a similar reputation damaging experience in the 1950's.

You say you have a traveller, which model?. Whichever one it is it will have had any manufacturing defects fixed long ago, now you are dealing with age and wear problems.
Like P45 says, properly flushing out the cooling system, particularly the block, and making sure the radiator is in good hape, will go a long way to preventing trouble in the first place. I would add that old cars overheating on long trips is often due to a scaled up radiator, flushing won't fix this, and adding fans won't help either. You can still get your radiator recored for a sensible cost, you might even be able to get an exchange replacement if you have a popular model like a Morris Minor.

This is worse case scenario btw, a thorough service and tune up might be all you need.
Does your car have a working temperature gauge?, keep an eye on it and you won't wreck your engine if something goes badly wrong, like a hose splitting or core plug coming out.

To sum it all up, I suggest not throwing £££ at your car that it might not need, and might not fix an underlying problem. Simple precautions and sensible maintenance will keep you smiling as you take your car out for enjoyment.

Sorry about the long winded reply, but I wanted to address each point you raised.

Roger.

This post has been edited by rustyroger: 2 Oct 2017, 09:16
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Martin Hamilton
post 2 Oct 2017, 10:50
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QUOTE (rustyroger @ 2 Oct 2017, 10:09 ) *
I bet a lot of the overheated cars you saw (and me, I'm past my first flush of youth too (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif) ) were badly maintained, and featured plenty of sidevalve Fords Sit up and beg Populars and Anglia relied on thermo siphon cooling and didn't have a water pump.
-
snip
-
Sorry about the long winded reply, but I wanted to address each point you raised.

Roger.


No worries Roger, your and P45's reply were exactly what I was looking for. The only cars I have personal experience of overheating were a 1963 Hillman Imp and a 1960 Hillman Husky - none of my 14 Morris/Austin/BMC cars ever let me down (well, not with overheating anyway!) so perhaps I'm getting over-cautious with this.

The core plugs on my 1959 Oxford Series IV are not original so I'm hoping the insides may have been cleaned up at some stage when these were installed. I do have a new set though, but the old ones just didn't want to budge and even with an experienced motor engineer helping we decided to leave be for now. The thermostat (and housing) are brand new.

Quietness is not a requirement now that I've replaced the bulkhead-mounted "el crappo" fuel pump fitted by the previous owner with a proper Morris 1000 SU "sucker" pump. Incidentally I did buy the correct AZX1331 pusher pump brand new, only to find that none of the mountings near the fuel tank were present and all pipework had been neatly re-arranged for an engine-compartment mounted pump (albeit one that sounded like a heavy machine gun) so if anyone needs an AZX1331 for £70 plus postage, do let me know.....

Yes there's a working temp gauge.

Flushing the system was way down my list but now the arthritis in both my hands has reached a point where I dare not / cannot use vibrating tools I've given over the last bits of bodywork resto (small repair panels in doors & front wings and a re-spray) to a professional who can use cutters and sanders etc. - which means I can promote all those things that require spanners, sockets and screwdrivers.

So I can now get on with the cooling and fuel systems and the electrics.

Thanks for the responses
Cheers!
Martin
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Fred Oldham
post 2 Oct 2017, 13:47
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When I rebuilt the engine in my A90, I raked out all the crud from the block, the reborers fitted new core plugs and I assume removed any further rubbish. The heater and pipe work were flushed and the radiator re-cored with a bigger more efficient core. It has a homemade electric fan courtesy of a previous owner and it still gets hotter than I would like, if the temp gauge is to be believed. Only on the hottest day in heavy traffic do I start to panic, but so far the needle hasn't gone off the scale!
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Martin Hamilton
post 2 Oct 2017, 14:11
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QUOTE (Fred Oldham @ 2 Oct 2017, 14:47 ) *
When I rebuilt the engine in my A90, I raked out all the crud from the block, the reborers fitted new core plugs and I assume removed any further rubbish. The heater and pipe work were flushed and the radiator re-cored with a bigger more efficient core. It has a homemade electric fan courtesy of a previous owner and it still gets hotter than I would like, if the temp gauge is to be believed. Only on the hottest day in heavy traffic do I start to panic, but so far the needle hasn't gone off the scale!


Thanks Fred.

I know my ignition timing is not spot on - the timing marks were not where I expected them (but having consulted the manual I see earlier engines have an arrow near the top of the timing cover) and the carb is rich (needs a rebuild) so mine is also a little hot.
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rustyroger
post 3 Oct 2017, 08:42
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Hillman Imps were notorious for water pump problems, due to underdeveloped design, and the blocks and heads often suffered from not having the correct antifreeze, the Arrow engine used in most of their cars was a conventional design not noted for overheating problems

Perhaps you got unlucky!. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Roger.

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Martin Hamilton
post 4 Oct 2017, 11:54
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QUOTE (rustyroger @ 3 Oct 2017, 09:42 ) *
Hillman Imps were notorious for water pump problems, due to underdeveloped design, and the blocks and heads often suffered from not having the correct antifreeze, the Arrow engine used in most of their cars was a conventional design not noted for overheating problems

Perhaps you got unlucky!. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Roger.


Yep I was extremely unlucky, Roger, because on my first long journey with the Imp in 1973 - it overheated and I believed I needed to release the pressure and allow it to cool sufficiently so add some liquid. So, cover the cap with a cloth and turn it only enough to release the pressure, remove hand and wait. However, what I didn't know was that the lugs on the cap - or the top of the rad - were defective and as I moved my hand away a jet of superheated steam blew the cap and cloth off and proceeded in a northely direction up my arm and across chest resulting in some pretty serious burns. I still have the scars, both mental and physical

Fortunately, that was the last car I've owned that overheated, but I'm sure you can understand why I have a thing about cars not overheating.

Cheers!
Martin
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webmonster
post 6 Oct 2017, 09:01
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My Isis (series II with the 'square-mesh' grille) does get too hot in traffic jams. I believe it may be a problem with the series II only with that grille. I have heard of people fitting the new style Austin Healey fans or larger radiator cores.
I've also just had new core plugs fitted. Apparently some were never seating correctly, so perhaps the cooling system was never quite pressurised properly. I will know soon (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

My Oxford was getting too hot with overly advanced timing (pinking whilst going up hills). Much better now.

Another thought - checking our old metal fans for cracks can be a good idea. A friend with an Isis in Australia had a blade let get and it cut a neat hole in his inner wing!
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rustyroger
post 6 Oct 2017, 10:48
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QUOTE (webmonster @ 6 Oct 2017, 10:01 ) *
My Isis (series II with the 'square-mesh' grille) does get too hot in traffic jams. I believe it may be a problem with the series II only with that grille. I have heard of people fitting the new style Austin Healey fans or larger radiator cores.
I've also just had new core plugs fitted. Apparently some were never seating correctly, so perhaps the cooling system was never quite pressurised properly. I will know soon (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

My Oxford was getting too hot with overly advanced timing (pinking whilst going up hills). Much better now.

Another thought - checking our old metal fans for cracks can be a good idea. A friend with an Isis in Australia had a blade let get and it cut a neat hole in his inner wing!


I'm not sure if this is correct, but I understood some British cars of this ear had the option of a 4 blade fan instead of a 2 blade one. I know Australia gets much hotter than the UK does. I'm also aware that BMC could be pig ignorant about adapting their cars for overseas markets.
A classic example was exporting Morris Minors to lhd countries with the key lock only on the passenger side. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif)

Incidentally I have cured a number of American cars with overheating problems by putting the radiator cowl back on after the owners had removed it to fit electric fans!.

Roger.
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Martin Hamilton
post 6 Oct 2017, 11:05
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QUOTE (rustyroger @ 6 Oct 2017, 11:48 ) *
I'm not sure if this is correct, but I understood some British cars of this ear had the option of a 4 blade fan instead of a 2 blade one. I know Australia gets much hotter than the UK does. I'm also aware that BMC could be pig ignorant about adapting their cars for overseas markets.
A classic example was exporting Morris Minors to lhd countries with the key lock only on the passenger side. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif)

Incidentally I have cured a number of American cars with overheating problems by putting the radiator cowl back on after the owners had removed it to fit electric fans!.

Roger.


Thanks to you both.

I'm prety sure my ignition is out as I couldn't find the timing marks - I now know to look for the arrow on the casing. Further, the engine is running very rich - the engine starts fine without operating the choke and once running, pulling it out makes no difference. Finally, I'm working through the electrics (as you may have noticed) so the car simply isn't fit or legal to drive on public roads.

So for now any thoughts of an electric fan have gone onto the back burner until everything else has been sorted - but thanks for all the advice, once its on the road and doing some mileage I'll know if I have an overheating problem.

ps, I have a 4-blade fan.

Cheers
Martin.

This post has been edited by Martin Hamilton: 6 Oct 2017, 11:13
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rustyroger
post 7 Oct 2017, 09:56
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Does it have an SU carburettor?. They were known for wearing the jet, giving a rich idle, although normally fine if the throttle was opened for normal driving. Unleaded petrol makes them wear out very fast.
If that is the case replacing the needle and jet is a straightforward task for anyone used to working on them. Getting hold of one might be a slight problem, but not an insurmountable one I think.

Roger.
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Martin Hamilton
post 7 Oct 2017, 11:30
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QUOTE (rustyroger @ 7 Oct 2017, 10:56 ) *
Does it have an SU carburettor?. They were known for wearing the jet, giving a rich idle, although normally fine if the throttle was opened for normal driving. Unleaded petrol makes them wear out very fast.
If that is the case replacing the needle and jet is a straightforward task for anyone used to working on them. Getting hold of one might be a slight problem, but not an insurmountable one I think.

Roger.


Hi Roger

Yes, its an SU carb and there are overhaul kits available for them for about £40 (I think) - or there's a guy I've found (G.W. Carbs - Glen Watson 07803 593126.) who will strip, refurbish and rebuilt for around £150, leaving you with what appears to be a brand-new one.


I find the latter an attractive proposition - you can't buy a new SU carb for my Oxford (as far as I'm aware) but an HS2 for a Morris Minor is around the £200 mark.

The Oxford has an unleaded head (a recent re-conditioned one) but so was the previous head and I have no idea how many miles the car has done using unleaded (or how many miles the car has done period!) but the carb is in a dire state.




Cheers!

Martin


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