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Old 05-08-2012, 08:28 PM   #1
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Default Using heater core as a second radiator with different reroute.

With our chumpcar, we are stuck with the an oem auto radiator due or forced to take penalty laps. I am trying to find a way to utilize the heater core as a secondary radiator. We are using the 1.6l waterneck in the rear and are contemplating moving the heater supply cover that was in the rear to the front and running a 5/8'' line to the heater core mounted in the mouth of the car. It would then return to the coolant line right before entering the radiator.

Would this not promote enough flow through the rear of the head even with the relatively small 5/8 hose? Normally in this situation I would simply use a 1.6l/kia neck in the rear and block off the front combined with an aluminum radiator, but unfortunately that is not really an option.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:22 PM   #2
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In stock form the heater core is very well ducted. Take the dash off and see for yourself. It receives fresh air from the cowl and has it's own fairly powerful fan built in. Leave it all in, tape off all but the passenger vent, and duct a hose to the window, and leave the heater on full blast the whole time. I've done this when I was having over heating issues, worked like a charm, although I didn't have it ducted out the window, that part sucked.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:42 PM   #3
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Well that would be good except that the entire inside is gutted and stuff has been welded in the way of being able to use the stock system. That hole in the cowl had to be welded shut, so I am limited on options for that.

How strong is the OEM pump? Do you think it has enough power to constantly push water to the rear of the car? It may be an option to rear mount the heater core (or another junkyard radiator) in the trunk.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:25 PM   #4
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Build a box of some sort, and mount the heater core, fan and ducting in the passenger side, and duct the hot air out side or through the floor.

This will shorten the path from mounting in the trunk. Just a thought.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:44 PM   #5
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Rob, two things:

1: In the diagram you have drawn, there will be essentially zero flow though the heater core, as there is no pressure differential across it.

2: Any coolant you take out of the front of the head is coolant that the rear of the motor is robbed of.

At a minimum, you need to route the water which is exiting the heater core to the inlet of the water pump (lower radiator hose), in order to promote coolant flow through it.

It would probably also be beneficial to source water for the heater core from the back of the head, post-thermostat, and block off the front outlet. Essentially, just put the heater core in parallel with the main radiator. And having done that, make damn sure that the heater core has good airflow through it so you're not creating a non-functional bypass around the radiator.

(I assume that you are free to relocate the heater core to, say, an upright position protruding through a hole cut in the hood.)


Actually, I just had a brilliant idea. Or maybe a dangerously idiotic one. I'm, not sure which.

Go out and scavenge a dozen heater cores. Place them on top of the hood, upright. Eliminate the main radiator altogether, and plumb the opening in the front bumper straight to the intake (poor-man's ram air induction.) Work the theme of the car around the dozen heater cores on the hood. Maybe put little Barbie heads on them or something.

Grille of Damocles be damned.

(Wait, you said Chump Car, not LeMons... Well, think of something.)
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
At a minimum, you need to route the water which is exiting the heater core to the inlet of the water pump (lower radiator hose), in order to promote coolant flow through it.
OK this makes sense. For some reason I hadn't even thought of the pressure differentials and how that makes the flow work. I had thought of this whole thing about 3 minutes before posting it up.

I had tossed around the idea of putting it up through the hood, but had worried about having the whole unit above the radiator cap and making it hard to get the air out.

All of this needs to be done and tested in the next week, so we will see how much actually gets done.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:34 AM   #7
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Better Theme and they look at less. hint
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:14 PM   #8
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Seriously for chump car unless you need it for defrost or something just take the heater core out. The car cools better without any flow bypassing the radiator and the diagram you show you will have almost no flow through it anyway. There is next to no pressure difference between the front and back of the head to cause coolant to flow.
As long as you have good hoses and the system holds pressure you won’t need a radiator cooling fan either

Bob
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:55 PM   #9
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Robert - If it's the cost of a better radiator that's got you all in a bind I may have an option for you to keep from going too much more down this path.

I've got a beefy aluminum radiator that came out of an NB but had been modded for an LS motor (I think the water neck and hot water return have been moved). It's been sitting on a shelf in my garage for the last 18 months since it's not a direct fit for an NB with factory plumbing and I don't know anyone doing an LS swap. I've never tried to sell it but I couldn't bring myself to throw it out because it's still good.

$20 plus shipping and it's yours.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:24 AM   #10
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Chris, that's awesome. The only problem is what they will asses the value of the radiator at and not necessarily what I paid for it. That may still be an option though. I'll send you a PM.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:09 AM   #11
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Run an 8 valve 2.0L VW motor. We ran that thing for 7 hours straigt at Laguna with a cracked header tank and half full of coolant and saw no ill effects loss of power or over hot. makes good torque and power compared to a Miata as wel and the engines are dirt cheap as well. I think VW must of forgot they weren’t making an air cooled motor.
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