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Engine Cooling
#1
  This topic is about my 1960 MG MGA 1600
mga1960 Avatar
mga1960 Tom Fant
Pinckney, Michigan, USA   USA
Sustained highway driving at high ambient temperatures causes my temp gage to creep up to 210 degrees. I have read numerous reports that indicate the cowl vents, while intended to evacuate hot air from the engine bay, actually allow air in at highway speeds and cause high pressure inside the engine compartment. I wonder if anyone has tried installing small fans below the cowl vents that blow air out the vents. Would this help high speed cooling?

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bills Avatar
bills Bill Spohn
W. Vancouver, , BC, Canada   CAN
In reply to # 3469946 by mga1960 I wonder if anyone has tried installing small fans below the cowl vents that blow air out the vents. Would this help high speed cooling?

No.

Nothing wrong with 210 deg if it is a hot day.

The usual cause of overheating is silted up block and/or radiator. One telling test - open, and if that isn't productive, unscrew the valve at the rear on the passenger side of the block and see if coolant runs out. It is located at the bottom of the water jacket and if that is crudded up, you will only get partial benefit from coolant flow. They can be so badly silted that you need to break the curd out with a long thing drift and a hammer!

The radiators also need to be checked and sometimes boiled or recored with a better modern style core material.

Look to the source rather than trying to bandaid the problem.



Bill Spohn www.rhodo.citymax.com/carstuff.html
Current: 1958 MGA Twincam (race car (170 bhp)),1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe (98 bhp)
1957 Jamaican MGA (200 bhp)1965 1971 Jensen Interceptor (350 bhp)
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe (350 bhp)
2007 BMW Z4M coupe (340 bhp)
Recent: 1969 MGC roadster (175 bhp),Jensen CV8 (375 bhp),
1969 Lamborghini Islero S (350 bhp), 1988 Fiero GT turbo (300 bhp)
North Vancouver BC

Mitchman2 Avatar
Mitchman2 Mitchell Andrus
Mills River, North Carolina, USA   USA
Engines run best at higher temps. Pressurized systems came about to raise the coolant temp above 212*.



Buy a man a plane ticket and he flies for a day,
push a man out of an airplane and he'll fly for the rest of his life.

'30 Model A Ford
'53 MGTD
'58 MGA

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ghnl Avatar
ghnl Eric Russell
Mebane, North Carolina, USA   USA
1961 MG MGA "Calvin"
How is the overall tune of the engine? Timing & mixture both can have noticeable affect on coolant temps.



Eric Russell ~ Mebane, NC
1961 MGA #61, 1981 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider, 1991 Honda ST1100

59mgaguy Avatar
59mgaguy John Terschak
Wakeman, Ohio, USA   USA
1930 Ford Model A "Jenny"
1959 MG 14/28 "Jessie"
1974 MG MGB "Oooops"
I use to be worried about the temperature till I spoke with Mike Ash. Mike told me not to worry the engines take a heck of a lot of heat. So I found out last fall. No problem..


Attachments:
temp running warm.jpg    27.2 KB
temp running warm.jpg

mga man Avatar
mga man Mac A
Tehachapi, California, USA   USA
My engine runs hot at or above 210 when running 60 or so mile per hour down the highway. The engine has been rebuilt by aptfast of Riverside Calif. and only has about 3000 miles on it. I restored the car from ground up with radiator being cleaned in a professional radiator shop, new hoses and newer plastic fan with more vanes to move more air. Also used Water Wetter that helps a bit and adjusted timing ups and down and readjusted and readjusted the mixture ratio multiple times and by the way did I say I also readjusted mixture ratio. Oh well with all that, my MGA engine still runs uncomfortably hot . I have read all these posts from owners stating that MGA engines run hot with no problems and they like to operate at about 210 F or more on the highway. with no problems.

Personally, I do not buy it. First with engine running hot and fast there are a humongous amount of hot air that gets pushed into the cockpit, no matter how much you insulate the floor and around the trans tunnel. Second, you will end up loosing your head gasket like mine did. So, I do not buy all the optimisms from people saying it's OK to run the engine at 210 to 220 F. temps.
I replaced my head gasket and blame part of my problem on the fact that the engine needs to be broken in. That is the only logical explanation I have come to. If my engine continue to run the way it is for a while longer, I will use your suggestion to install some sort of micro fans to push air out from the cowl vents (very good idea) and install a fan to push air in from the front air dam. Engine running hot intermittingly s one thing but running at 210-220 for entire length of a one hour trip (except when you are going down hill) is not acceptable.

bills Avatar
bills Bill Spohn
W. Vancouver, , BC, Canada   CAN
Still disagree with the band aid approach - you shouldn't need to resort to things that the majority of the cars don't need. If you do, the fault lies with your engine, not the cooling set up.

Before this makes you too crazy, I suggest that you forget about what the gauge says and double check - borrow a temp sening gun and shoot the top rad tank and see if it agrees with the gauge.



Bill Spohn www.rhodo.citymax.com/carstuff.html
Current: 1958 MGA Twincam (race car (170 bhp)),1962 MGA Deluxe Coupe (98 bhp)
1957 Jamaican MGA (200 bhp)1965 1971 Jensen Interceptor (350 bhp)
2009 Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe (350 bhp)
2007 BMW Z4M coupe (340 bhp)
Recent: 1969 MGC roadster (175 bhp),Jensen CV8 (375 bhp),
1969 Lamborghini Islero S (350 bhp), 1988 Fiero GT turbo (300 bhp)
North Vancouver BC

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gary s Avatar
gary s Gary Starr
N Illnois, USA   USA
Agree with Bill 100%. Get an infrared thermometer and double check. My car only goes over 200 in heavy traffic,runs 190ish down the road. 1600 with small cam.060 bore,oil cooler,everything else as it left the factory.

bikermga Avatar
bikermga Peter Tilbury
Surrey, BC, Canada   CAN
Mine goes over 212 if pushing hard up hill on a hot day. Not a problem.

Ethanol in the gas makes MGAs run hotter, I believe. Tuning the car a little richer will help, as will adjusting the timing.

Also check that you have the insulator blocks on the carb intake manifold in the correct position - they should be between the heat shield and the carbs.

Peter.

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Blueosprey90 Avatar
Blueosprey90 Jeff Sienkiewicz
New Milford, CT, USA   USA
Hap Waldrop built my engine and installed a fender washer instead of a thermostat. It's hard for me to get the car up to temperature to the point that I sometimes block off the radiator to warm it up. He wants me to quit pussy footing around and idle up to about 3,000 rpm so it warms up fast. I would say it never gets above 190 degrees, but I'm usually fighting to get it over 160 for the first three or four laps (7-8 miles). My old engine with a 180 degree thermostat would run to about 210 degrees.

Every second slat on my grill has been removed. I also run a Moss radiator shroud.

You might consider options to insure that all air goes through the radiator. Make sure your fan is not installed backwards, felt blocking piece between top of radiator and bonnet, blocking off the side heater duct.

See post #6 here for the fender washer tip. http://www.mgexp.com/phorum/read.php?41,536799,537005#msg-537005

Rob Z Avatar
Rob Z Silver Member Rob Zucca
Camarillo, CA, USA   USA
1960 MG MGA
That does seem a bit warm and also agree with Bill. Something's amiss. That aside, read the cooling tech on Barneys site. These cars came with cell core radiators and I think the modern coring available these days don't cool as well. I intend to have an old timer build me one at some point........providing I can find one....other than me........



"Time flies like an arrow......Fruit flies like a banana"

Mitchman2 Avatar
Mitchman2 Mitchell Andrus
Mills River, North Carolina, USA   USA
Regarding the dash thermometer: I installed an electric fan during the restoration. The sensor is set for 190*. I hear the fan come on just as the dash thermometer hits 190*. Seems the dash thermo is dead-on even at 59 years old.

On those hand-held temperature shooters... What you aim at matters. Easy to Google the chart, some materials emit at differing rates and are sometimes not allowing a level of accuracy we might think we're getting.



Buy a man a plane ticket and he flies for a day,
push a man out of an airplane and he'll fly for the rest of his life.

'30 Model A Ford
'53 MGTD
'58 MGA

Rob Z Avatar
Rob Z Silver Member Rob Zucca
Camarillo, CA, USA   USA
1960 MG MGA
Yep. The IR thermometers are handy to check for hot spots. Best way to calibrate the temp gauge is to stick the bulb in boiling water and see if it goes to 212. If not, pull the needle and put it there.

In reply to # 3470999 by Mitchman2 Regarding the dash thermometer: I installed an electric fan during the restoration. The sensor is set for 190*. I hear the fan come on just as the dash thermometer hits 190*. Seems the dash thermo is dead-on even at 59 years old.

On those hand-held temperature shooters... What you aim at matters. Easy to Google the chart, some materials emit at differing rates and are sometimes not allowing a level of accuracy we might think we're getting.



"Time flies like an arrow......Fruit flies like a banana"

stagepony Avatar
stagepony Silver Member Jinno Louie
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA   USA
1960 MG MGA "PFC"
1970 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner "Corporal Lane"
1972 Volvo P1800 "Cadet"
I've not tried Bill S's procedure of cleaning the silt from radiator and block but I'm going to do it!

For better cooling also try; correct thermostat, radiator cap, ensure that there is fan shroud,
that fan is correctly mounted and perhaps try a plastic 7 bladed fan.

My mechanic recommends an oil cooler for me since I'm running a supercharger which
makes engine work harder.

Spitfire Dave Avatar
Spitfire Dave Dave B
Denver, Colorado, USA   USA
If you want to know if air is being sucked into the engine compartment at speed, tie 6" pieces of string to the little slats in the vent trim. If the air is going in, the strings will be sucked in with it. If the air is being sucked out, you'll see the strings flying above the vent. This little experiment will save you the trouble of installing fans below the cowl vents.

Also, you said you already have 3000 miles on your rebuilt engine, so you are WAY past the break-in period. You can rule that out as a cause.



Dave
1960 MGA 1600

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