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The Gentleman's Express: Tech-Tips from the JIOC

Table of Contents

Cooling Problems

Author: TECH

Engine got the hots! There are only five components in the cooling system, radiator, pump, fans, thermostat and fluid. To start the evaluation, are all fans operating as and when called for? If not, fix them so they do. Next, from cold, start the engine with the radiator neck cap removed. The fluid should lie there quietly until the engine warms up, at which time it should be flowing visibly towards the radiator.

Then note the following:

  1. On startup, flow beginning immediately indicates a damaged thermostat, jammed open. Should it not flow fast, when warm, is another good indication of the need to replace it. Use the Stant S370-160 (160 degree).
  2. If it starts to overflow the neck when heating up, then we have a radiator which is plugged up. ‘nodding’ is supposed to clear the passages and can be done at nominal expense but bet you’ll be having heating problems again within a year. So, do it properly and have the radiator re-cored with one of the high-performance ‘Eskimo’ type cores. You’ll be glad you did. They do run cool. The radiators in the Mk III cars are so easy to remove, with just the’ clamping bridgepiece. The Mk II is somewhat more difficult!
  3. Replace all hoses now that’ you have the opportunity.
  4. Refill the system with water and anti-freeze, a 50-50 mixture, and an ounce ortwo of soluble oil (StaLube or equivalent) for lubrication and rust prevention.

If the above do not do the trick, and the flow appears low in volume, the pump is maybe the last culprit, and is mentioned last as it is the hardest to change. Replace it with one of those mentioned in Chapter I.

The results of your labors will be rewarded with a very cool-running engine which will stay that way for an appreciable period. Consider that the radiator you removed might have been there for many years and suffered much abuse. Remember to replace the coolant at least every two years. That’s cool!

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Contents copyright 2008, 2009 - Jody F. Kerr

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