Lotus Elan

Radiator Sizes?

PostPost by: Madbury » Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:40 am

Hi,

I'm intending to get my Radiator recored by TTR. However it seems this is only worth doing if you have one of the rectangular newer radiators.

Simple question really, how can I tell if I have one of these later rads? What are the dimensions of the surface? I don't want to send off an older squarer radiator and pay all that postage for nowt.

Any help gratefully received :)

Cheers Trev.
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:20 pm

I'm a bit confused, I believe the larger rectangular radiator is the older style. I have the older style and when I got it recored, the radiator repairer asked if I wanted a high efficiency core (more rows I think), for an extra fiver. Works a treat & only around ?65 a couple of years ago. I have no idea why they changed the size, as I would have thought it makes cooling even more marginal.....Anyone throw light on the reason?

Jeremy
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PostPost by: elans3 » Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:33 pm

Hi Trev, Yes I believe the longer, radiator is the earlier one, very much like the Triumph Herald unit, but with the top radiator inlet stub pointing the other way.
Having had both, the "long" one on two S3's, (a 67 DHC S/e, and the current one, a 66 DHC S/E), plus the smaller one on a 71 S4, I can say that the older longer one certainly seems to keep cool longer in traffic.
In fact if I did have a later car, I'd change to an earler radiator definitely.
All three were in excellent condition, so they performed like for like.
I have also just obtained a good Herald radiator, unsweated the top stub, reshaped it slightly, turned it round and resoldered and painted it, to be used as a spare if ever needed. Princely sum of ?15 !
Regards
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PostPost by: flyinggellyfish » Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:15 am

I have spent a bit of time on sorting my +2 rad and did a little research on it . When I bought my '68 +2 it had the later narrow body rad with the side plates on . It had been recored wth 4 rows in it and never gave any overheating problems . As it was the incorrect rad for the year of my car , I spent some time trying to source the correct rad . After asking around it seemed the early wide rad was quite hard to find as was not a common rad . The wife has a 1360 Hearald and also had the narrow rad fitted but the rad cap is in the centre of the header tank not at the side as on Lotus . I was given a wide body rad for the Hearld and thought I may fit it to the +2 but the rad cap being in the middle would foul the bonnet . I eventually sourced the correct wide body rad after speaking to my Triumph contacts . The 'donor' rad for early +2 comes from a European spec Spitfire . This has the rad cap on the side and is the correct fitment in the car . I had mine recored , again with as many rows as possible for maximum capacity . I am yet to test it . But my original narrow body rad with 4 rows is in a friends S130 and is performing well .
I asked the Triumph guys about the wide body rad availability and was told that Lotus had used up all the supply of European Spitfire rads they had had when Lotus were building their cars and Triumph refused to produce any more so they supplied the narrow one then on as more readily available . The people who race Spitfires also want the wide rads so there is a bit of a supply problem out there .

Rick
1968 Elan +2 . Now going back together after 18 years , you just can not rush these things .<br>Rick
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PostPost by: Madbury » Wed Jun 15, 2005 9:19 am

Cool (pun intended ;))

Thanks for the advice all. I naturally assumed that the later rads were the bigger ones due to the marginal cooling.

I don't have an overheating problem parse, but talking to TTR it would seem that trying to keep the engine temp down is the cheapest way of getting a little more power out of the engine. They do a recore service for the wider rads (circa ?200).

Looks like the one in my car is one of the later squarer models, so I might consider one of their alloy replacement rads instead.

Cheers
Trev.
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PostPost by: Hamish Coutts » Thu Jun 16, 2005 12:33 pm

S130 +2.

I've just had my rad recored (May 2005). The repair man was horrified when he saw my rad. He said the core was from a Herald 1200 - it was no wonder I had cooling problems! The cooling tubes were fairly wide apart and it had 2 rows of them.

He replaced the core with one specified for a Triumph 2.5pi. (Same size core but with tubes much closer together, still 2 rows of tubes). He said the core should be able to handle cooling the twink easily as it would be about 50% more efficient.
Whole job cost ?100.

Regards,

Hamish.
"One day I'll finish the restoration - honest, darling, just a few more years....."
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