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Author Topic: Keeping Kool  (Read 11978 times)

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Offline aussieneil

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Keeping Kool
« on: October 10, 2013, 04:35:19 PM »
After fitting a specially-built (for LPG) high-compression 202 into my camper the existing 3-core radiator was keeping up, but only just.

I spent a fortune ($600) getting a new radiator made up using standard top and bottom tanks and side brackets, but then found to my alarm that the core was so thick I couldn't fit it in due to the engine-driven fan. After some careful measurement and making up cardboard mockups I determined I could just fit a pair of Davies Craig 9" fans, but calculations showed they probably wouldn't keep up under the worst conditions, such as a long, slow climb on a hot day.

The fans were purchased (along with an adjustable electronic sensor switch) and I carefully made the brackets from angle steel (I strongly disagree with mounting them directly to the radiator core), the whole lot installed with a lot of care (all bee's dick clearances) and then we headed off for an 8-day trip culminating in taking part in the 2013 Bay to Birdwood Classic. A pic of the Beddy is on the ABC website here, and another good pic at the start is here.

It did the whole 2500km well, but on a number of occasions got a lot hotter then I'd like - climbing the endless Adelaide Hills freeway, and driving home with 80km/h tailwinds seriously impeding the entry of any air through the radiator.

On getting home I decided to make some changes. Not only is the standard radiator grille ridiculously constrictive, but as everyone knows the front chassis crossmember and even the standard (early type) bracket for the bonnet latch stop a lot of air. as if that isn't enough, any air that does come in the front would simply take the path of least resistance, around the two sides and over the top os the radiator.

The grille was removed, and another sacrificial grille was carefully cut to vastly open up the intake area. The huge differences can be seen here.



Then, using fabric reinforced rubber sheeting I made flexible panels that blanked off the open areas to each side of the radiator (leaving entry points for the heater air intake and a hose that feeds cold air to my air filter inlet), and importantly across the whole top area which folds into the grille panel when fitted and seals it all off. All air hitting the grille simply HAS to go through the radiator (as well as heater and induction inlets as described). Additionally, rather than cut the front chassis crossmember and the main bar of the bullbar, I fashioned a flexible scoop from the same rubber material which scoops air from well under the bullbar bottom bar and feeds it directly into the bottom section of the radiator through the bottom panel opening. I'll try to get some more detailed photos of this in future, but you may be able to make it out in the two photos of the finished product below.





The results have been astounding! On a recent 220km trip in quite warm conditions, the thermo fans didn't have to come on once, so great is the ram air flow through the radiator. Temp stays steadily where the 82 degree high-flow thermostat allows it to be.

A great side-effect of discarding the engine driven fan is noticeably better fuel economy and power, and a much, much quieter cabin at cruising speeds!

The grille, by the way, I simply made using leftover aluminium J mold from the camper body (it's the edge moulding). I reckon it looks pretty damn good!

Cheers to all,

Neil

PS feel free to see many other pics and follow other links before and during restoration of our Bedford Dolphin camper here.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 04:47:22 PM by aussieneil »

Offline Marishka

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Re: Keeping Kool
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2013, 05:08:44 PM »
That's an awesome idea and looks great as we'll Neil
I once had a Bedford camper with the Millard conversion on the back
And the previous owners had installed 2 x 3in lengths of ex hurst pipe
The full length of the vehicle inderneath
They connected the 2 pipes at the back with a flexable radiayor hose
And had the bottom radiator hose fitted to 1 pipe at the front and the original water pump
 connected to the other pipe.
It gave the cooling water heaps more litres and the pipes underneath helped cool the total water capacity

I'm going to do your idea and this 1 I just mentioned to my poptop camper soon.

Thanx for sharing your idea Neil,

Cheers marty

Offline aussieneil

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Re: Keeping Kool
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2013, 05:38:03 PM »
That's an awesome idea and looks great as we'll Neil
I once had a Bedford camper with the Millard conversion on the back
And the previous owners had installed 2 x 3in lengths of ex hurst pipe
The full length of the vehicle inderneath
They connected the 2 pipes at the back with a flexable radiayor hose
And had the bottom radiator hose fitted to 1 pipe at the front and the original water pump
 connected to the other pipe.
It gave the cooling water heaps more litres and the pipes underneath helped cool the total water capacity

I'm going to do your idea and this 1 I just mentioned to my poptop camper soon.

Thanx for sharing your idea Neil,

Cheers marty


Thanks Marty. Funny thing you mention the pipes - I actually seriously considered using the aluminium piping in the bullbar for exactly the same thing! The thought of Public Liability claims for burned hands put me off the idea...

But the airflow thing, especially blocking off the easy exits to the sides and on top of the radiator, makes an incredible difference. Glad to share it!

Neil

Offline rumax

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Re: Keeping Kool
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2013, 06:38:03 PM »
I like the idea of the pipe under the truck to add extra cooling capacity, but how did it go near the exhaust pipe?
I have read the old posts on overheating and have wondered about wrapping the exhaust. Had anybody done this & does it work.
The other idea works a treat as well. My 300E van has the area above the radiator blocked off from the factory with a card insert.
Trouble is they were not replaced by lazy mechanics... :(
When I made a metal replacement my van ran noticeably cooler.  :)
Workin for the weekend!

Offline Sammy

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Re: Keeping Kool
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2013, 10:27:23 AM »
nice work there! and i totally agree about engine driven fans sapping heaps of HP!
No matter what the question is, the answer is always more horsepower!

Offline Warren

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Re: Keeping Kool
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2013, 01:29:09 PM »
The grill looks fantastic Neil

Wonder how a standard grill would work with the shrouding you did ?

Warren
I used to be vague..................Now I'm not so sure

Offline aussieneil

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Re: Keeping Kool
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2013, 03:33:14 PM »
The grill looks fantastic Neil

Wonder how a standard grill would work with the shrouding you did ?

Warren

Thanks Warren. And yes, the shrouding would work perfectly with the standard grille. Using that heavy flexible rubber fabric you simply make a left and right panel (with the grille removed) and a long strip right across the top wide enough to tuck into the grille panel when you replace it. At least then the air the standard grill lets through has to pass through the radiator, not take the path of least resistance to the sides and over the top!

Neil

Offline aussieneil

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Re: Keeping Kool
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2013, 03:35:42 PM »
nice work there! and i totally agree about engine driven fans sapping heaps of HP!

Thanks Sammy. I was actually quite surprised by the leap in fuel economy and power. At high revs the engine driven fan definitely pumps more air, but the problem is it's doing it all the time when it's not really needed!

Neil

Offline druid

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Re: Keeping Kool
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2014, 08:02:34 PM »
Nice look. I too have a scoop under the bullbar, and 2 craig davies, mine are larger fans as I run a holden rodeo 6cyl radiator 2 core. The radiator uses all available room and fits in beautifully with the addition of a couple of brackets top and bottom, beaut thing is , is that I can remove the radiator in a 5 min. New ones are about 300 bucks and easily available, being aluminium and plastic they are heaps lighter too. I have a heater core from a car that I may install on the side or underneath to use if I do some heavy towing or hill climbs but at this stage I am happy with the cooling capacity and have done a few long treks with the temp gauge sitting happy :D

 

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