Lotus Elan

Front mounted radiator plumbing

PostPost by: snowyelan » Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:23 pm

Hi All,
I'm in the process of deciding if I should mount my spitfire rad in the nose or the usual place. I think I need to cut and reposition the intake coolant tube too avoid the bonnet sweep when it opens. Does anyone have pics of this type of installation?
I like the idea of a nose mounted rad for easy access to the engine and the ability to mount the fan as a puller.
Thoughts/pics?

Thanks,
Scott
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PostPost by: webbslinger » Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:11 am

Yes, I moved my radiator forward. You will have to check that the headlight mechanisms aren't in the way. I went to fixed headlights at the same time. My radiator could be an inch or two farther aft and it would have left more room for the air filter but there's just enough room.
Moving the radiator forward really gives a lot of room to work on things. I wouldn't consider moving mine back.
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PostPost by: miked » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:00 am

I did this with an S4 and put a £35 VW polo rad in the nose. Puller fan, loads of room. However the big old vac pods inhibit getting a cold air feed as webbslinger points out. I went to Nissan electric actuators for the head lamps as they could be mounted further outboard each side. Giving more room.
I have the thread running with the bike carbs and just mauled my proverbials off trying to get past the rad with the light pod mech in the way.
Achieved it, just, but am sorely tempted to repeat the electric actuator job to make some room. I realise that the benefits of getting to cold air is debatable but i like to do it.
The room infront of the engine is a massive benefit for access and aesthetics IMO. I was never happy with the braking on the 2 litre Zetec Elan even with big brakes and 4 pot calipers. In the room I have fiited a servo on flexible pipes. Not pretty but very practical and proper brakes. Again loads of opinions out there but I needed/wanted a servo.

:D
Mike

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PostPost by: snowyelan » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:39 pm

Thanks for the info. It appears the VW rad is a bit smaller than the spitfire unit I have. Trial fitting leaves little to no room for the intake duct and the coolant top pipe interferes with the bonnet when it opens. I could have the tube rewelded to point it towards the left and run the hose under the bonnet track against the wheel well. Thoughts?
Scott
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PostPost by: fatboyoz » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:07 am

Hi Scott,
My ‘68 S4. Wide S3 radiator (standard on early S4), standard mounting, recored to 3 row, two Davies Craig 9” fans mounted on the front and controlled by a top tank mounted thermo switch, on at 82 off 77 degrees, and a 74 degree thermostat. No waterpump mounted fan.
Runs and behaves well in SE QLD.
Cheers,
Colin.








snowyelan wrote:Hi All,
I'm in the process of deciding if I should mount my spitfire rad in the nose or the usual place. I think I need to cut and reposition the intake coolant tube too avoid the bonnet sweep when it opens. Does anyone have pics of this type of installation?
I like the idea of a nose mounted rad for easy access to the engine and the ability to mount the fan as a puller.
Thoughts/pics?

Thanks,
'68 S4 DHC
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PostPost by: Davidb » Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:30 pm

I fitted a front mounted radiator to my car and there is no way I would consider going back to original! The original was a bad compromise to enable the use of the engine driven fan I believe. With modern electric fans why would you keep the engine driven fan?

Gary Anderson did some very good mods to Elans and documented them here. His radiator conversion is what I followed: viewtopic.php?f=39&t=15346

I found a slightly used Griffin radiator on ebay and flipped it upside down and had a friend reweld the mounting feet on the opposite side. With a 12 inch fan bought for $20 on ebay I have driven in 40 degree heat with out any problems. I believe this Griffin radiator is no longer made although I am sure they would make one to order.

Edit: just found this listing on ebay--https://www.ebay.com/itm/Griffin-Radiator-Scirocco-22x13in-DPR-2-r-1-25-w-filler-2-58185-X/153642940222?epid=507476409&hash=item23c5d5373e:g:zxIAAOSwZ4dZHrA-


The Moroso filler neck is 1/10th the price of a 26R filler and works just as well--I discovered after buying a 26R filler/tank...

I recently had to re and re the engine and simply left the rad in place. When it comes to checking timing it is so simple to see the marks.
Last edited by Davidb on Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: seniorchristo » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:45 pm

I have a forward mounted radiator installed by a previous owner. I like the installation but as previously stated it does not allow passage of air filter trunking to the nose. My preference would be a less wide radiator with inlet and outlet tubes in the original locations but I haven't found one yet. :)
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PostPost by: Davidb » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:49 pm

Senior Christo and others: I fitted the Griffin radiator in the forward position and was still able to retain retractable headlights (since removed) and air trunking to the intake.

I will post a photo of my installation when I have time.
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PostPost by: seniorchristo » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:48 pm

David
Does your radiator have the inlet and outlet tubes in the correct position? I believe the Scirroco radiator has them both on the righthand side.
Thanks
Chris :)
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PostPost by: Davidb » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:37 pm

Chris, I swapped mine over by cutting the mounting tabs off the bottom and having a friend weld them on the other side. I thought that Gary Anderson's installation was too untidy looking with the hose crossing in front of the engine. The way mine is installed the hose crosses at the bottom and lays on the 'floor' out of the way.

The ebay listed radiator that I posted has intake and outlet in the perfect position for the Elan. The advantage of the 'Scirroco' style though is that the coolant crosses the radiator twice.

I did not mount the rad as far forward as I could have-I didn't see any advantage and possible disadvantages: interfering with headlight operation, reducing room for filter, moving weight further forward...(But with the headlight pods etc removed would that make a difference? Who knows? Who cares? It works very well is all I care about! :)
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PostPost by: seniorchristo » Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:11 pm

This link is for Griffin radiator with inlet and outlet in the proper locations. The inlet tube is 1.5" and the outlet is 1.75". Are these the proper sizes? Otherwise this looks like it will work.
https://www.griffinrad.com/page6un.php? ... =2-25185-X
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PostPost by: Davidb » Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:21 pm

I cannot measure mine because the hoses are on and filled but I think that is the same as mine.

You don't need the filler neck-there is room, just, for it but if they can supply one without...

Edit: That is the same radiator as I listed earlier-$234 with free shipping on ebay.
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PostPost by: seniorchristo » Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:19 am

David
The Griffin radiator link you provide is different than the one I referenced,( part# 2-55185 vs. 2-25185-X).
The one you reference is slightly larger in width and height with larger cooling tubes. I would prefer to use the smaller one to ensure room for the air hose. The seller assures me the inlet is top left and the outlet is bottom right. :)
Thanks
Chris
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PostPost by: Verve » Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:44 pm

I`ve just had an alloy rad` made by the Good Guys at Coolex , to specifically fit in the nose ...

I`ll post some pictures when I fit it in due course ... nice full alloy rad` , with a puller fan & drain down outlet ...

Paul .
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PostPost by: Davidb » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:43 pm

Chris: It appears both listings are for radiators 22x13". {Both with the same part numbers.} That is the size of the radiator I fitted and it has lots of room for the cold air hose (see photo). Edit: Also the radiator you listed is 50% more expensive.

If you can get one without the filler neck it would give you more flexibility in mounting and, you don't need the filler anyway-use the Moroso filler I would suggest.

Edit: This is currently on ebay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Griffin-Alumin ... 0667.m2042
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