Lotus Elan

What's currently the best radiator/fan solution?

PostPost by: jbeach » Sat May 14, 2016 8:22 pm

Dear Elan owners with radiator experience:

This has been discussed here many times, but I'd be grateful for the latest advice based on present availability.

I'm replacing my current radiator and want the best currently-available cooling solution. I need to eliminate the creeping temperature gauge I experience in heavy traffic during South Carolina summers. Cost is a factor, but not the governing factor. I'm more interested in only doing this once and I'm willing to pay a bit more to accomplish that.

I understand ignition timing and carburetor tuning (lean/rich) can also affect operating temperature, but for the purposes of this discussion lets assume both are within specs.

So what are the best solutions and from where are they currently available? I have generally considered

A modified Spitfire/Herald brass/copper radiator with Clive Baker's dual fan setup:

spitfire-and-clive-dual-fan.png
spitfire-and-clive-dual-fan.png (260.04 KiB) Viewed 2199 times

But where can I get a re-cored radiator with a modern, three-row tube arrangement?

The Tony Thompson Racing 26R style aluminum:

ttr-26r-style.png
ttr-26r-style.png (47.88 KiB) Viewed 2199 times

I know my decision shouldn't be governed by this, but I really like the look of an aluminum radiator in the Elan engine bay. However, the TTR radiator is smaller than the Spitfire/Herald unit and is only 2-row. Will that matter? Is there another aluminum option? Plus, because the TTR unit is smaller and a cross-flow design, Clive's dual fan setup cannot be made to fit. Do you know of a full-width aluminum downflow solution?

While I'm willing to order from the UK, I'd like to source at least the radiator from the U.S., if possible.

As a final point, I'd prefer something I can install without a bunch of fabrication.

Thank you in advance!

John
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PostPost by: jbeach » Sat May 14, 2016 9:13 pm

It does occur to me if I can find an aluminum radiator based upon the original S3 radiator style (downflow) and dimensions (full-width), that would also allow me to use Clive's fans. This might be my best of all possible worlds.

Thanks again for your help,

John
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PostPost by: adigra » Sat May 14, 2016 9:25 pm

Hi John,

I have exactly what you mention in the second post, bought from Coolexperts (they have an ad in the vendor section) with the twin Cliveboy fan setup, including his excellent brackets which make fitting much better. In fact I also have Clive's thermostat/filler housing which has the adjustable fan switch on it. I also had coolexpert build my radiator without a filler since Clive's setup renders it obsolete.

I have zero overheating worries now. Traffic or hot weather present no problems at all.

Not the cheapest solution, but it certainly works.

Regards,
Adi
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PostPost by: jbeach » Sat May 14, 2016 10:40 pm

Perfect, Adi. That might be the fastest solution ever delivered!! If CoolExperts still makes this radiator, I truly don't think I'll need to look any further. :D

Cheers,

John
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PostPost by: mbell » Sun May 15, 2016 1:20 am

I've basically done the same as Adi but had a second hand spitfire radiator modified to remove filler and adjust house connections rather than cool experts. If I was doing it again I do the same but buy a new spitfire radiator.
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PostPost by: adigra » Sun May 15, 2016 10:22 am

When doing mine, I was in two minds about it regarding Spitfire vs. aluminium, and had my original one recored, but once I decided to blank off the filler, I thought to start from scratch. Besides, I really like the clean look of it.

The radiator was built for the Elan, so it fits like a glove, but as mentioned, the brackets from Clive not only make it easier to fit, but allow for some adjustment and a bit of extra clearance for the fans.
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PostPost by: nigelrbfurness » Mon May 16, 2016 8:29 am

Here's my (and others) cheap solution. An aluminium VW Golf radiator, using the original mounts modified to suit the Golf mounting lugs. I also used the original S4 fan, again just a slight modification to the original mounting frame. Cheap thermostatic switch and silicon and stainless hose bits off Ebay. The whole thing cost me less than ?100 and took half a day to fit. Temperature is now totally stable at 80C (thermostat temp) all the time on my 1760cc engine.


img_1846.jpg and
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PostPost by: 7skypilot » Mon May 16, 2016 10:38 am

I was also searching for a cooling solution that allowed the S4 to run up the Stelvio Pass (in the Italian Alps), in summer, and in traffic with the engine remaining cool.

A TT 26R alloy rad, with TT header tank, combined with a Revotec fan from Clive works superbly. I moved the rad a little further forward to allow clearance for the fan to be mounted on the rear of the rad. Clive's electric 'stat, with a manual override switch (the 'panel light' dash switch) complete the plot.

All works very well indeed, in the mountains, in traffic or on track - the engine stays cool even though the driver is often hot and bothered!

A final, and minor job, is to fit a LED in the drilled out centre of a dash mounting bolt to indicate when the fan is working. Water-clear LED's are almost impossible to see when mounted in the centre of these cross-head bolt but indicate just fine when the fan comes on. I've used a similar idea for a (very bright) low oil pressure light and a rain light warning light.
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Mon May 16, 2016 10:42 am

I installed TTR's 26R radiator, swirl box and electric fan. No issues what so ever and last summer I was driving in 90 degree F temperatures without an issue. I have a high performance twin cam in my S1 (about 150HP) so the potential of engine overheating needed to be completely dealt with up front.

I am very happy with the results. It was worth the cost (shipped everything from the UK).
dsc06697.jpg and

dsc06694.jpg and
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PostPost by: mbell » Mon May 16, 2016 6:30 pm

adigra wrote: the brackets from Clive not only make it easier to fit, but allow for some adjustment and a bit of extra clearance for the fans.


I got the brackets too. Mounted them the "wrong" way around to give a little more clearance between fans and engine. This is another added benefit losing the filler neck, allowing the radiator to be mounted further forward with out fouling the bonnet.
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PostPost by: jbeach » Tue May 17, 2016 4:53 pm

Thanks for the helpful info, everyone.

I'm about to hit "Purchase" on an unpainted Coolex aluminum radiator. I'm making my final decision between the Coolex dual-fan setup and Clive's. While I do see an advantage to having the radiator delivered with fans mounted to Coolex's welded-on brackets, I believe the Coolex fans are front-mounted (awaiting confirmation from Coolex). If so, I'll likely go with Clive's, as I like his rear-mounted Revotec fan solution.

I'll post some photos when I finish the install.

I've truly appreciated everyone's help!

John
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PostPost by: jbeach » Tue May 17, 2016 4:56 pm

And one more thing . . . regardless of the fan setup, I'll be using Clive's thermostat housing, adjustable brackets, and a few other items he offers.

JB
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PostPost by: adigra » Wed May 18, 2016 11:09 am

Good point about the brackets. I requested Coolex don't fit any as I was planning to use Clive's.
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PostPost by: mariodschy » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:01 am

I have a S3 wide radiator with 2 fans fitted, first fan start at 87?C and the second starts at 92?C and also gives a temp high indicator lamp, both fans can be startet also manualy on the dasboard, the switches and lamps are fitted instead of the ash tray.
Next year i'll fitt a Coolex rad with 2 fans fitted on the timing side.
Here are pictures and the wireing diagram:
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PostPost by: coolexperts » Mon Jun 13, 2016 2:03 pm

Hello All,
This might make a difference to your decision. I have just sourced a vast amount of cutlass bladed turbo fans and have reduced the cost of the single and twin fan setup dramatically on my Elan range of radiators. If I can direct you you our sponsors page at:
our-sponsors-f48/www-coolexperts-cooling-systems-t25946.html#p170665
I hope these will be of interest to you.

Steve (AKA Mr Cool) 8)
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