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Engine Cooling

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abowie Avatar
abowie Andrew Bowie
Adelaide, SA, Australia   AUS
1961 MG MGA 1600
1967 Jaguar E-Type "Rob's Car"
Despite my respect for several of the posters above, I don't agree that 210F is an acceptable running temperature for your car in any circumstances.
I agree that checking your gauge is a good start.
If it is accurate then you need to work out why the car overheating and fix the problem.



Andrew B, Adelaide SA
MGA 1600 and some Jaaaaags
www.projectetype.com

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mga man Avatar
mga man Mac A
Tehachapi, California, USA   USA
A. Bowie is absolutely right. I can not believe any engine should or would want to operate at temperature range upward of 200F.

bills Avatar
bills Bill Spohn
W. Vancouver, , BC, Canada   CAN
In reply to # 3472704 by mga man I can not believe any engine should or would want to operate at temperature range upward of 200F.

Look at the conditions the original poster referenced.

Quote: Sustained highway driving at high ambient temperatures causes my temp gage to creep up to 210 degrees. I

My coupe cools very well, but in rush hour driving through Reno once in an ambient temperature of 100 F. it never got below 200 F. It caused no problems and wouldn't unless you get into a boiling situation (which would happen sooner with a 7 lb cap than a modern higher pressure cap).

Most modern engines are run at higher temperatures that the old cars for efficiency and come to no harm.

It is possible that the OPs cooling system is sub-par, in which case the answer may lie with the possible causes and cures posted by myself and others, or it is possible that the conditions he was driving under simply exceeded the capacity of the system even in optimal condition - the answer in that case is to slow down.

Boiling causes damage to engines; high temps short of boiling just cause wear and tear on the driver's nerves.

I always have my radiators renecked to suit a modern depth cap and fit a reasonable pressure cap for a bit more safety margin.



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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bikermga Avatar
bikermga Peter Tilbury
Surrey, BC, Canada   CAN
Mr Bowie,

As you and I disagree, perhaps you can explain why you think 200 - 210 degrees F is excessively hot for an MGA engine.

Peter.

ghnl Avatar
ghnl Eric Russell
Mebane, North Carolina, USA   USA
1961 MG MGA "Calvin"
If all the components of the cooling system are in good condition then the coolant should run at the temp the thermostat opens fully. If it runs considerably hotter than that then something is not in good condition.



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

bikermga Avatar
bikermga Peter Tilbury
Surrey, BC, Canada   CAN
Mr Russell,

The thermostat may well open at 165 or 185F depending on the one installed.

However, it is fully open at that temperature, and for all temperatures over these figures. It does not control the temperature. Engine coolant temperature will go above these figures for a number of reasons - the ambient temp may be high, the car may be under load like going uphill, the timing may be out, the mixture may be too lean, etc.

Even if the engine is perfectly tuned, it may run at 195F on a cool day, or 210F on a hot day, with the same thermostat installed. The MGA was designed to run at 220F without anything being not in good condition, and this is not a boiling temperature.

Peter.

mga1960 Avatar
mga1960 Tom Fant
Pinckney, Michigan, USA   USA
Thanks everyone for your comments.
I feel like I should clarify the purpose of my original post. The condition I described only occurs when pounding the expressway at 75 to 80 mph for hours on end when the ambient temperature is 90 degrees or above. The car does not boil so I am not concerned with damaging the engine.
The purpose of my post was based on my engineering background and a curiosity about whether or not there was a good way to evacuate hot air from the engine bay at speed. By removing the hot air it would create a lager temperature differential across the radiator which may result in lower operating temps in these driving conditions.

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Gary E Avatar
Gary E Silver Member Gary Edwards
Kernersville, ,N.C., USA   USA
Take the hood off next time we have a hot day and and see if that actually makes a difference.



Gary

Blueosprey90 Avatar
Blueosprey90 Jeff Sienkiewicz
New Milford, CT, USA   USA
On the forums devoted to my other "sporty car", the hot-weather-go-fast guys obsess about oil temps much more than they obsess about water temps. smileys with beer

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bills Avatar
bills Bill Spohn
W. Vancouver, , BC, Canada   CAN
In reply to # 3472984 by Blueosprey90 On the forums devoted to my other "sporty car", the hot-weather-go-fast guys obsess about oil temps much more than they obsess about water temps. smileys with beer

Quite right, too. On one of my other sporty cars, they don't even bother with an oil pressure gauge - they have an oil temperature gauge and there is an indicator around the periphery of the tachometer that shows a variable red line depending on oil temperature. If the temp isn't high enough the red line is lower - you can't use above 7,000 until things warm up.

Water temp is a pretty much yes/no issue. If it isn't boiling, there isn't a problem. If it is, shut it off. Oil pressure is a matter of degree - too cold and the shear force of cold oil in the bearings can have dire effects - I once had to run on cold oil and the main bearings turned in the block, shearing off or flattening the locating tangs, just from the force from the cold oil. Too hot and you will ruin your bearings and possibly damage the crank.



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

Spitfire Dave Avatar
Spitfire Dave Dave B
Denver, Colorado, USA   USA
In reply to # 3472994 by bills Water temp is a pretty much yes/no issue. If it isn't boiling, there isn't a problem.

This is spot on. Hear what the venerable John Twist of University Motors says about "overheating" and when you should worry about water temperature:



And dino motor oils don't start to break down until they get over 240 either. Synthetics even higher.



Dave
1960 MGA 1600

ghnl Avatar
ghnl Eric Russell
Mebane, North Carolina, USA   USA
1961 MG MGA "Calvin"
In reply to # 3472825 by bikermga Mr Russell,

The thermostat may well open at 165 or 185F depending on the one installed.

However, it is fully open at that temperature, and for all temperatures over these figures. It does not control the temperature. Engine coolant temperature will go above these figures for a number of reasons - the ambient temp may be high, the car may be under load like going uphill, the timing may be out, the mixture may be too lean, etc.

Even if the engine is perfectly tuned, it may run at 195F on a cool day, or 210F on a hot day, with the same thermostat installed. The MGA was designed to run at 220F without anything being not in good condition, and this is not a boiling temperature.

Point taken. I posted a quick reply - leaving out the fact that a poorly tuned engine may indeed run hot - above the thermostat's rating.
However, I stick by my assertion that if everything is in good condition the engine (coolant) should run at the thermostat's temp rating. I do not agree that MG designed the engine to run at 220F. I'd agree that there is unlikely to be any damage from running at that temp but that is not 'normal'. Note what John Twist says at about the 2:30 mark in reply #26.



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

kenroscoe Avatar
kenroscoe Ken Roscoe
El Dorado Hills, CA, USA   USA
1958 MG MGA
...and I thought my post on adding rear disc brakes stirred the pot. Mine runs hot too. Everything you guys posted has merit, but heat is the enemy of today's zincless motor oil. (Zinc helps it stick to surfaces lubricants better, causes higher CO readings. The old double edge zinc isssue. I have aluminum radiator, cooling fans, relocated my 18 row oil cooler below the cowl plate. Still + 210 on warm days, plus it uncomfortable to drive. Next step is to remove the grill slats replace with chrome mesh screen. I'll report back, Also who ever has the tag line about pushing the dude out of plane, classic well done. Bars open sign always on for "A" team drivers. Watch you tube 85 Indy spin and win to get your drive fast mojo going...

bikermga Avatar
bikermga Peter Tilbury
Surrey, BC, Canada   CAN
I have driven our roadster without a grill fitted. No difference, but that was in Africa! It runs fine here in North America.

Our coupe has a stainless steel mesh grill, and runs too cool, in my opinion. It rarely goes over 165 degrees.

Also, it makes a difference if your grill is an after market one, or an original one. See the article on NAMGAR.com titled "Are your curtains (drapes) open or closed?" Cecilia has started to make and sell new grills that match the original design using original tooling.

For better air flow you might think of lifting the rear edge of the bonnet.

Peter.

dominic-ch Dominic Clancy
zurich, zurich, Switzerland   CHE
I fully concur with Bill Spohn's assessment. I would also suspect that most people with hot running engines are running on factory timing settings, and would benefit from retarding the timing a little bit to adjust for modern fuels. FOr those who experience climbing temperatures on long high speed runs, I would suggest adjusting the carbs a flat or two richer, as that is a typical sign of running a little too lean.

My own car, with a standard original radiator core, a block that has really clean cooling passages and a free running drain tap, struggles to even reach the thermostat temperatures, and on a cold day I have to use a radiator blind to get over 50C. This is even with a supercharger fitted. The MGA didn't have a reputation for overheating when new, and by addressing the issues as I describe, I have cured a few overheating problems for others too.

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