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spitfire 1500 number plate effecting cooling


Chris Bracey
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Hi. In last few days my spitfire 1500 has been running near the 3/4 marker so not over heating but definately warm. Looks like the previous owner used just water so will give it a flush and new antifreeze but does the number plate position reduce airflow ? I see most 1500/mk4s with same number plate position so assume it doesnt. 

 

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Chris,

GT6s yes, Spitfires probably not. Spitfire radiator is much wider than GT6 so not so prone to number plate obstruction. If you've only been running on water a flush and new anti freeze is a great idea. Also it's been quite hot lately!  :wub:

Doug

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Hi Chris, how old is the rad, has it been recored recently? Even with the best flushing out (not tried caustic soda though?) Ive never managed to get them back to the performance of a new core/rad and Ive read that a recore is recommended every 20yrs. However those cheapy aluminium jobs available look great and do have good reports on here......

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Plain water is a slightly better coolant than water/antifreeze mix, but not significantly so. However, it allows corrosion and that causes issues. 

I have had reasonable success with speedflush, but a good hose out first is a good idea. That means most hoses off at one end, and the block drain plug out. Press a garden hose, cut square, against the block drain and that can shift a load of crud, though a poke with wire to remove solid deposits may be needed first. Likewise flush the heater, both directions, several times. Then the rad. Top, bottom, keep going until no more deposits come out. Flush the pipe under the carbs.

Then fill with water, run for a bit and drain. Then add a flushing agent of choice. No point in starting until you have the loose stuff out ...

It may help. No promises. But the test of a rad is seeing what happens on a motorway as you increase speed. If it gets hotter the faster you drive, the rad is not up to the job.

Temp senders and gauges are not really calibrated, so different combinations can give different readings. However, they are fine for comparing so in this case the warm weather has seen a slight increase in running temp. Not really unexpected, but worth checking all is well.

Oh, re number plate, I have mine on brackets so it is over the spoiler and a bit of the grill. No cooling issues.

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I use distilled water from a dehumidifier (not from a combi boiler which is acidic) along with antifreeze and have no problem. Some also advocate adding central heating system corrosion inhibitor such a fernox, but I haven't tried that. There are also numerous 'brews' posted here (do a search) including soda crystals and coca cola (phosphoric acid), to clear out the waterways. I have also dropped the numberplate down.

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With regards to the number plate affecting the airflow to the radiator. I would agree it does if you have the brackets attached to the bumper, when I had my Spitfire back in 1983  and used as a daily runner I fitted home made brackets to the front chassis rail and then had holes for two positions. One for summer, lower down and for winter which was higher to restrict air flow.  In addition I would fit either a summer or winter thermostat as well.

I forgot about this with a GT 6 and it would over heat until I moved the number plate, which resolved the problem, kick myself for this stupid mistake. 

So move the number plate, it will help.

Graham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Pete Lewis said:

One can only guess they introduced the front spoiler to counteract blocking the air flow with the reg plate in an attempt to scoop

Having fitted a 1500 spoiler to my Mk4, so driven it both with and without I very much doubt that's why it was added.  Adding the spoiler makes a huge difference to the net lift generated over the bonnet and so at motorway speeds the steering's nice and firm, rather than rather quite light without.

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The normal approach with the 1500 Spitfire is to drop the number plate below the grill, fit a full length rad and use a standard 82 c Thermostat. After that lot it's all peace and light. Half way mark on the temp gauge.

Over heating has always a problem with the 1500 Spit, standard, in hot UK weather.  When we get some that is.

The small rad was the same as used in the 1147 and 1300 cc engines and not really man enough for the job. Plus the later Spits had the number plate placed in front of the grill. Groan.  

The 88 c is normally used in the winter months and yes it does improve the heater just when you want it! 

Dave 

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I keep thinking about cutting a seal out of Viton sheet so I can pop in a warmer thermostat in winter and a cooler in summer, without having to use a new paper seal each time. Having a slightly warmer thermostat makes a big difference to the cabin heater!

Cheers, Richard

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Hi,

 Just fit a 88°C thermostat. It will be toasty in winter & OK in the summer.

I do not know why one would fit an 82°C thermostat. Both stats will be fully open at less than 99°C?

A 88°C stat is going to warm your car up quicker. Very important for short trips.

Cheers,

Iain.

 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Colin Lindsay said:

That used to be illegal on road-going cars; has the legislation changed?

I think there was an exemption for either/both e-types and elans. And if you squint a spit is like an elan, GT6 an e-type. Besides that, chances of getting into trouble is about zero.

I have a set of letters (they are the rigid plastic type, as used on raised digit plates) paired silver. I intend fixing them, without a plate, to the front grill. It may actually be elans that did that too? 

 

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Yep, thats the idea. Mine are dark silver now, colour is legal but not as obvious as white, nice and subtle. Just thinking about fixing method, probably small machine screws (the original plastic bits on the back are hollow, so should accept a 2.5mm thread..) and ally strips. Maybe a dab of epoxy...

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