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Honda Radiator in a Vitesse


ahebron

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I have read about people fitting Honda Civic radiators to thier VitesseI
I believe it to be a 1992-2000 EK, EG B16, B18 that is used.
Here in NZ I can buy a 3 row 52mm thick Aluminium one for NZ$132 delivered which seems a rather good deal.
My 55 year old one fitted in the car has been repaired may times and rattles when shaken so has some solder floating about inside it does n ot want to come out.

What I want to know is what modifiactions need to be made to fit the radiator, obviously I need to make some mountng brackets and get then attached to the sides and some reworking of the plumbing is needed to hook it up to the engine. As the radiator is narrower than the Vitesse I will need to sort out how to mount the engine valances at the front. I have probably answered my own questions.

Thanks

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Hi, yes Ive got one fitted about 3 years ago and Im very pleased with it. As you say far cheaper and lighter than an original with a pretty easy installation. I bonded a length of 50mm alloy angle to each side with epoxy metal which is rather stronger than it needs to be but allowed other sections of angle to be bolted into place to give the chassis mounting brackets and smaller ones for the side valance fixings. I bought some 30mm alloy tube and an additional Triumph radiator hose which I cut down for both the water connections. The original top hose was used without modification while only the top half of the lower one was needed for the return.

Ive got a Spal fan fitted between engine and rad with both the mechanical fan and its boss removed and its controlled by a Chinese adjustable electronic thermostat with sensor pushed into the rad fins.

It works well and cools far better than the old knackered radiator but obviously doesnt look original so I might change to an Escort aluminium radiator at sometime as these are a better fit although more expensive than the bargain Civic unit.

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It's not much different on height but width yes. However the tube spacing is 1cm instead of 1/2" so there's 105 tubes instead of 90. Also the cooling fins are attached to the tubes better so the heat transfer is improved. Saying that a new standard rad can do the job but at almost 4 times the price!

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41 minutes ago, johny said:

It's not much different on height but width yes. However the tube spacing is 1cm instead of 1/2" so there's 105 tubes instead of 90. Also the cooling fins are attached to the tubes better so the heat transfer is improved. Saying that a new standard rad can do the job but at almost 4 times the price!

Exactly!

And then try buy one in NZ and it would be more expensive!

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What I'm wondering is how the Honda version compares with the alloy versions specially made for the Triumph range; it may beat the original radiator by quite a margin but are the proper full-width Herald or Spitfire versions better still, or at the very least equal?

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I think a full width ally rad would be very good as although only 2 row rather than 3 its got far more front area and at a reasonable price however as said theres no way one will go in a Vitesse or GT6. If you compare them the Herald/Spit engine being shorter allows the rad to be fitted further back where the chassis rails drop down so you can have a reasonable rad depth. On the sixes at the front to go across the chassis rails the rad would have to be very small on height so thats why Triumph fitted a rad that went between the rails and to cover for the reduced area increased to 3 and 4 rows (Vitesse and GT6 respectively).

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Yes it wants to be as high as possible to make it easier to fill the heater. Mine works as before, I put coolant in the rad and half expansion bottle, then while driving operate the heater knob a few times and it starts to work no problem.

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I have one.   AS said above you nned to consider how you will mount it - I made some alloy brackets and had them TiGged on - and that the top hose connector is in a different place.     I hade to fabricate a new thermostat housing top that pointed to the other side, and use some fancy Samco hose bends.

 

New radiator 2 (1).jpg

New radiator 2.jpg

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1 hour ago, ahebron said:

And hopefully one last question.
I see you have an electric fan but did you try it with the mechanical fan as according to my specs the Honda rad is 100mm shorter than the Vitesse one.

I dont see any problem with using the original mechanical fan. True the Honda rad is not as wide as the original but fits more tubes in less space and if mounted centrally should get good coverage from the crank fan although Im not sure how close the bottom hose connection will be...

Sorry havent got any pics of my installation which looks easier than John's although not as professional!

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Hi,

If you chose an aluminum radiator, Pick one without a radiator cap. You will need to add an expansion tank to the system. Additional cost & time to mount.
You will end up with a much superior system than you can achieve with a capped rad.

Cheers,

Iain.

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I got to the radiator in my Vitesse 6 today and armed with a tape measure I deduced that the Honda rad will not fit well with the mechanical fan.
So for know an I will stick with the original radiator and when I can access a radiator shop I will get the tap resoldered.

Thanks for all the answers and hopefully they will help others.

 

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No Idea,
The car hasnt been on the road for 37 years but the radiator looks clean when I remove the cap. I straightened the fins a few weeks back and that was when I damaged the drain tap.

IIRC I had the radiator worked on about 20 years ago😉
I was looking at Ford Escort Mk1 RS2000 radiators today and they look like they will almost fit and the hoses are in the correct places.
But as I have temporarily become one of the unemployed I think I should reduce spending till I get work again

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15 hours ago, SpitFire6 said:

Hi John,

 Is the coolant tank where you refill the system & if you take the cap of the radiator it leaks out from there?

cheers,

Iain.

Yes, top it up at the bulkhead tank

But have to admit - I clamp the hose and check the rad top tank too!

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1 hour ago, ahebron said:

No Idea,
The car hasnt been on the road for 37 years but the radiator looks clean when I remove the cap. I straightened the fins a few weeks back and that was when I damaged the drain tap.

IIRC I had the radiator worked on about 20 years ago😉
I was looking at Ford Escort Mk1 RS2000 radiators today and they look like they will almost fit and the hoses are in the correct places.
But as I have temporarily become one of the unemployed I think I should reduce spending till I get work again

Yes I've got a 4 row ally Escort rad new from eBay at 90 pounds waiting to be installed in my Vitesse. It should be very good fit and look great but I'm loath to disturb the Honda set up as it works so well!

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