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TorontoTim

Early 4 Water Return Pipe

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Hi Chaps,

 

I have a (presumably not uncommon) problem with marginal cooling under prelonged "spirited" driving in my early TR4. I'll be flushing out the engine, radiator and heater, etc. plus taking the overdue opportunity to fit an electric fan, uprated water pump and thin-belt conversion as well as convert to an alternator while I'm at it.

 

However - while hunting around the cooling system, one thing has puzzled me that I am sure can be answered here...

 

The metal water return pipe (between bottom hose and intermediate hose returning water to the water pump housing) has a significant flattened/dented section which looks like it's intentional, as it would not otherwise clear the steering rack mounting. Note, my car is chassis number 217 so has the earlier vertical mounts.

 

Although I've also ordered a new stainless pipe to replace the squished one, does anyone know whether the squish is just a bodge or is it was standard for these early cars? It looks like the cross-section has probably been halved which can't be helping the cooling situation...

 

Many thanks,

Tim

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My car has the earlier rack mounting (to a pair of arms rising vertically from the chassis) and there is no flattening whatsoever of the pipe.

Perhaps one of the curved hoses is incorrect or has been cut short, causing the pipe to be sitting in the wrong position? If you have everything apart, it would be worth replacing the hoses anyway - they don't last forever, as I discovered when (for a completely different reason) that pipework was disconnected on my car, revealing an otherwise invisible crack in one of the hoses.

 

On a TR4, you need as much cooling as you can get, as the radiator is not really large enough, in my opinion. Add to that the stupidity of a Radiator Duct which is wider than the radiator itself, thus permitting air to avoid passing through the radiator at all! See my articles in TRactions 112 & 156, repeated in the Technicalities CD as Sections B18 and B19, for more information.

That pipe needs to be circular in cross-section to give you the maximum flow!

 

By the way, if you have an electric fan, you can purchase (Moss or Revington - I believe they differ in design) a pipe with a boss for mounting a thermostatic switch, thus avoiding the problem of a weeping top hose where the capillary exits the water system.

Ian Cornish

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I have just had a look at my car - almost impossible to take a photo from above looking down there, I'm afraid, and my welded-in skid plate blanks off the view from beneath!

However, I could see there's a good 1" clearance between the rack and the metal pipe, and a small finger's width between the vertically-rising bracket (on which is mounted the rack) and the metal pipe.

I have a feeling that if the hoses at top and bottom were swapped (i.e. were mounted in the incorrect positions), then the metal pipe might interefere with the rack. These hoses are not identical, so it's important to have the correct hose at each end of the pipe, and to get everything correctly aligned before tightening the hose clips.

Ian Cornish

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Thanks, Ian, as always. You might have hit on it with the two hoses being switched - I'll be replacing them anyway, so I'll let you know the result.

 

At least my expectation was correct that the squish wasn't standard!!

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Ians quite right that the bottom and inermidiate hoses are different, however the "fit and forget" silicon hoses are listed as one part no. only so they must be the same. They can still be fitted ass about face though :lol:

 

Regards

Dale

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There's an early TR4 engine in my TR3A and there was no dent in the downpipe! I replaced the downpipe for a s/steel item with a boss for the electrical switch.

 

And there's a lot to read about improving the TR's cooling. Did you consider the partial blocking of the small hose that leads away from the thermostat housing? Thus forcing the coolant to go through the radiator, where it's cooled down. Perform a search and you'll read a lot of interesting stuff about this modification!

 

You can also find information about upgrading the radiator core with modern style elements. These core elements are better for 'losing' the heat.

 

Menno

Edited by Menno van Rij

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Tim, Good to hear of such an early TR4. There can't be many surviving that are older than yours. I personally only know of one in UK but I dare say I'm not that well informed.

Just to confirm that I have a 1962 TR4 with the early steering rack mount and there was no flattening in the pipe in question when I got it, nor on the stainless steel pipe I have replaced it with.

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