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Best Strategy for Traffic Jams


Paul H
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Triumph Vitesse Mk2 

Planning to venture further afield this year with the potential of traffic jams as some motorway travel is expected .

Ive completed all the necessary overhaul ie Replacement Radiator, Heater Matrix, Hoses, stainless pipe connecting to heater, water pump, thermostat , heater control , standard box filter with extension tubing through to front grille. So far not had an issue with overheating and temp reading is approx 82 - 92 on the dial . 

My question is assuming i am in a slow moving traffic jam do I keep the engine running , switch off ? My thoughts were that in a long tail back I could open the heater control as this would provide temporary water cooling and then with the blower ( now a Nisan Micra motor ) draw the heat from the matrix - Is this practical or a waste of time .

Any input welcomed 

Paul 

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I'd advise against switching off - as long as there's a fuel flow to the carbs, even at idle, there's less chance of the dreaded evaporation. 

I've tried the heater trick many times, no idea if it helps at all, but it's got to remove some heat and therefore can't hurt. Best advice is to keep the system clean and as efficient as it can be, and it should perform alright.

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Paul,

I feel your apprehensiveness (is that a word?) My car blew a head gasket crawling down the M4. I SHOULD have pulled onto the hard shoulder and stopped, but I kept thinking, well, we're moving forward and it will likely clear. It didn't. :unsure: Crawling forward is the worst for overheating, with the mechanical fan at it's least effective.

On the other hand turn the engine on/off briefly and water doesn't circulate and temperature continues to rise.

I'm still pro the mechanical fan, if the system is clean and operating correctly you should be OK. My problem was eventually tracked down to a partially blocked water pump.

I notice both Colin and I say "should be OK"  :blink: And I'm drawn to adding an electric fan to be used in emergency, if I can't get off the motorway.

Doug

 

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I agree with Colin and Doug not to switch off the engine.  The coolant will stop circulating and the engine will get hotter as a result.  With the engine running, the circulating coolant should keep things more constant.  Turning the heater on will help to take some heat away, so worth doing if you fear it's going to overheat.

Have you considered an electric fan?

Tom

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If it looks like you are going to be stuck in traffic for a long time then switch off.

Unlike the Herald and Spit using the heater makes very little difference apart from over heating the people in the car! If moving slowly then yes keep the engine running.

As I have found in the past the replacement rubber washers used to mount the rad to the chassis give to much heat insulation when compared with the original neoprene type.

Therefore I removed these and used large tapered, to get the rad angle right, metal washers. This transfers the heat from the rad frame down into the chassis and does help with the cooling.  No problems with vibration. But, if the weather is cool then engine does tend to run on the cold side.

Dave

Washers.JPG

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Found when stopping the engine for a short time, as in getting petrol, on the restart temp needle goes well into the red but comes down to normal very quickly. Have tried using the heater when in traffic as said do not know if it makes much difference except to passengers but in a convertible not a problem.

Regards

Paul

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2 hours ago, dougbgt6 said:

 

I notice both Colin and I say "should be OK"  :blink:

Paranoia loosely cloaked in 2018 legal-speak. If I say: "It WILL be ok", and it isn't, I'm probably liable to legal action for posting incorrect advice on a public forum and COULD end up being sued by someone who follows the advice and has a breakdown, or damage is caused to their car. 

On the other hand, if someone else comes in with THE definitive answer covering all the options, then I can say: "and THAT as well..." thereby appearing knowledgeable. :) 

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2 hours ago, dougbgt6 said:

Paul,

I feel your apprehensiveness (is that a word?) My car blew a head gasket crawling down the M4. I SHOULD have pulled onto the hard shoulder and stopped, but I kept thinking, well, we're moving forward and it will likely clear. It didn't. :unsure: Crawling forward is the worst for overheating, with the mechanical fan at it's least effective.

On the other hand turn the engine on/off briefly and water doesn't circulate and temperature continues to rise.

I'm still pro the mechanical fan, if the system is clean and operating correctly you should be OK. My problem was eventually tracked down to a partially blocked water pump.

I notice both Colin and I say "should be OK"  :blink: And I'm drawn to adding an electric fan to be used in emergency, if I can't get off the motorway.

Doug

 

Hi Doug, thanks for input, I thought adding a fan impeded air flow to the radiator 

Paul 

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Unfortunately under the Vitesse bonnet there is little room available for an electric fan.

Mechanical Fans- I have tried the two version of the yellow fan and the large blue late 2000 saloon fan, and there was no advantage in any of them. They all gave similar results.

Another option that has been used in the past is to fit a lower temp thermostat i.e. 74 deg C. GTS102. The Vitesse 6 for most of its production was fitted with a 71 deg C Stat.

Dave 

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Hello Paul.

We did a trip to France a couple of years ago in the Vitesse and I prepped the vehicle thoroughly which included adding an electric fan - 120W x 12V. As you know it is impossible to site the fan at the front of the rad and even if that was possible it will naturally impede air flow.

I fitted the largest dimension fan possible and included an override switch on the dash which can be used if you sense "trouble at mill" and gets the cooling process going sooner rather than waiting for the fan to kick-in via the fan stat. Originally I wired the fan to cut off with the ignition, but I changed that this winter and it now carries on running after the engine has been switched off. The benefit of that it carries on pulling air through the rad to cool it quicker than the previous set-up.

As mentioned there is negligible space between the rad and the water pump pulley, but there is just enough (see photo). My fan is not tight against the rad core it sits away by about 5mm which seems to assist the heat being dissipated. Since taking that photo, I have changed the water pump to a grease nipple type and this has provided slightly more room between the unit and the fan casing.

The fan takes a couple of minutes to do its job before switching off. Additionally I also connected a multimeter to see what the battery drain would be and the result was about 0.3volts during that period of time; so no problem with the fan draining the battery.

We got stuck in very heavy crawling traffic just outside Rouen for about an hour and the day was sweltering. The fan ran for most of that time and kept the needle below the red so it did its job thankfully. I turned on the heater for a short while but decided against it in the end as I wanted to test the fan fully. One aspect often overlooked is that if the outside temperature is hot then the fan will be pulling hot air through the rad; although the cooling process will occur it is regulated somewhat by the ambient temperature.

I agree with NOT turning the engine off and if you have fitted stainless steel carb heat shields that will do much to deflect any fuel vaporisation.

By the sounds of it you have done all the right things to make your cooling system & cooling process efficient.

When my Vitesse rad requires a re-core I will uprate it to a 3 row hi-performance matrix which is what I have done with the Alpine and is certainly advantageous.

Just a few discussion points and I hope they may be of assistance ??

Personally, an electric fan is a bonus.

Regards.

Richard.

DSC00119.JPG

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3 hours ago, dave.vitesse said:

As I have found in the past the replacement rubber washers used to mount the rad to the chassis give to much heat insulation when compared with the original neoprene type.

Therefore I removed these and used large tapered, to get the rad angle right, metal washers. This transfers the heat from the rad frame down into the chassis and does help with the cooling.  No problems with vibration. But, if the weather is cool then engine does tend to run on the cold side.

Hello Dave.

That is very interesting and something I would never have thought about.

Very tempting to try that out.

Regards.

Richard. 

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I think using the heater as an additional rad must help. Maybe not a lot, but if it pulls heat out then it is helping. But really needs to be a convertible with roof down.

2 years ago on the 10cr the 28year old electric fan lost its bearings on day 1 in my spitfire. I got very good at heat management, especially on autobhans when we were cruising at 3 figures, then you get a jam. Found that lifting the loud pedal and slowing down in gear is the most effective way of cooling the engine. Then flipped the heater on. A couple of times I switched off as it looked like a long wait, but the car started ok. 

I know the arguments for and against electric fans. Part of the issue may be people fitting cheap unbranded fans that are often half their quoted power. Not much use. And the fact people expect them to cure all ills, but if the rest of the system is not up to scratch it just won't help. So a good rad with a good fan (spal!) It should do a great job. I recently heard of a fan controller that varied the fan speed. Just wish I could remember where. But VW and others used 2, possibly 3 speed fans in many cars, so you could have a fan come on at say 85 degrees on slow speed, and full speed at 92. That would be a good thing.

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Richard, Its worth a go. When stuck in traffic on the M1 coming back from Donnington a number of year ago the outside temp was 85+ deg C. The temp gauge went up to three quarters. No boiling and no fuel evaporation. Both the gauge and temp sender were working correctly.

The mod all came about when I replaced the rad and of course fitted new mounting washer. From then on I had temp problems when stuck in traffic. I put the original, well worn, rad back thinking it was the new rad. No, this gave similar results. Refitted the, also well worn, neoprene washers and the well worn rad, and I was back to where I was before I change the set-up. Next step old rad and metal washers, and temp goes down against the neoprene set-up when in traffic. Finally metal washers and new rad.

Looks like you may have modified the mechanical fan mounting spacer to obtain room for the electric fan?

Dave

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1 hour ago, Paul H said:

I thought adding a fan impeded air flow to the radiator 

 

11 minutes ago, classiclife said:

it will naturally impede air flow.

Yes, I've heard that before, but the electric fan will rotate when you're on the move and I'm not sure then how much it will actually impede the flow. Most moderns have their fans on the front. The brain on an old modern of mine lost contact with its radiator fans, so  I rigged up a toggle switch on the dash to turn them on as and when required. I drove 400 miles to Scotland without turning them on. But the return journey was stop start, 10 minutes in stationary traffic and  I had to flip the switch.

I'm still a mechanical fan...... fan but it all has to be working and in good order. At some point I'm gonna experiment with a small electric fan on the front for emergency use. 

Doug

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1 minute ago, dougbgt6 said:

Yes, I've heard that before, but the electric fan will rotate when you're on the move and I'm not sure then how much it will actually impede the flow.

Hello Doug.

I had to do the opposite when fitting an electric fan to the Alpine - in front of the rad, due to lack of space between rad and block. 

To date I have not seen any ill effect by front mounting with the needle remaining where it should. I suspect that most trouble with classic vehicle cooling systems is the actual cooling system not being up to spec as far as  maintenance is concerned; it is IMO a system of the car that is all too often overlooked and not fully understood. 

Regards.

Richard. 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, dave.vitesse said:

Looks like you may have modified the mechanical fan mounting spacer to obtain room for the electric fan?

Dave.

The only job done with the crank pulley was to take the mechanical fan off; certainly no mods undertaken unless the PO may have done something I'm not aware of. I'm near enough certain it is original spec, if I understand your enquiry properly.

Regards.

Richard.

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I have also been looking for a fan for the front of the rad on the GT6 again for those few times that there is a jam  I am also worried  about it reducing the standard flow. The ones I have seen seem to have a large central area for the electric motor so has anyone seen any where the motor is more compact?

Aidan

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Blitz and Aidan.

Ideally between the rad and block BUT in the scheme of things it is likely to make very little difference at our level of vehicle use.

As mentioned earlier, I run two classics one with a front fan (push) and the other behind the rad (pull) both vehicles behave well so it really is a case of deciding what your own requirement is. The motor unit of the fan in front of the rad is not going to cause any issues as such - you need to be pragmatic about such situations.

I know recently in The Courier, Cookie has removed his electric fan and reverted to mechanical, which underlines what suits you and your vehicle best.

Get the cooling system basics correct and you can then decide if an upgrade to an electric fan is for you.

Regards.

Richard.

 

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At risk of !!!  My 1600 with unwrapped 631, std rad but fitted a much quieter 7 blade plastic would run for hours without missing a beat 

If the rad and stat are all  ok it should do what triumph spent months of testing in test cells and daft hot countries to be sure the car 

would take you pretty much anywhere from the shops to  a jam on the m25 without mnt etna errupting

 

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