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TR2 overheating

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Please forgive the fact that this is not the first time I have posted this problem on the forum. Overheating on my 2 is still a big pain in the backside. I have had the head off and cleared a load of rubbish from round no. 4 cylinder. The water now flows like Niagara Falls from the drain plug in the block. The radiator is new and I've checked that it is clear. I have run both with and without thermostat and it makes no difference. Yet if I go for a quickish run, having warmed the thing up to approx. 85C, the damn thing boils within a couple of miles.

 

There is no heater but more significantly, though the manual states that the cooling system has a capacity of 13 pints of water, I can only get 11.5 pints into it. Even allowing half a pint for errors, what is taking up the space of a pint? That's a lot of space.

 

I have the following in mind:

a) The car has a steel 3A apron so I thought about buying a duct set (part no. 803440/8) to bung in front of the radiator. Has anyone tried this and did it do any good? I'm a bit strapped for cash so I'm reluctant to spend even a tenner on something that's not worth while.

 

B) An uprated water pump. The existing standard water pump is in good nick, however, there is a gap of 8mm plus the length of the 'nose' between the impeller blades and the pump housing. That gives a lot of scope for water to be just sloshing around in the housing that, apart from not being pumped, may impede the water that is being pumped. If I were to take this route, who's pump is the best and is it likely to fix the problem? A friend who fitted an uprated pump (Moss part I think) to his 2 said the benefit was 'marginal'! It's a bit expensive but if it did the trick ...

 

I had considered 'water wetter' but I've read such horror stories about it that this is definitely a non-starter. In any case the real answer is to find the source of the problem.

 

So gentlemen, if any of you can assist with a helpful comment or suggestion I would be most grateful.

 

Thanks

Rod

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The radiator ducting is essential if you have a 3A style front apron. Could be your number 1 problem. Basically you have to stop the air going round the outside of the radiator. If originality is no problem then you can save money by fabricating something out of the kind of plastic sheet used for estate agents for sale signs. Plenty about.

 

You should always run with a thermostat in place. The car can actually run hotter without it (though mine ran hotter with it - but that was because it was in back to front when I got the car).

 

Make sure you have a flow restrictor in the thermostat bypass line if you do not have a shrouded thermostat. Search the forum for ample discussion on this.

 

I have an uprated water pump. With the car when I got it. I would not have fitted it myself and I feel vindicated because it does not seem to make much difference. In fact, with my expert (!) mechanical eye, it is either a crappy casting or I can detect signs of cavitation errosion on the backs of the impeller blades. Not good - lowered pressure leading to localised boiling.

 

The standard mechanical fan is pretty naff when queuing in traffic but the car should not need any fan assistance to keep cool when actually moving.

 

Nick

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Rod,

You are living in Oxfordshire, so I suggest you contact the Leader of the nearest Group (Chilterns? or are you further west?) - I am sure someone can be found to come and help you.

A TR2 shouldn't need any ducting beyond the natural shape of the inlet in the apron - it is TR3A onwards where the design allows air to avoid the radiator!

Does water flow freely through the radiator, I wonder?

Have you got an airlock? Unusual, but anything is possible!

Is the water pump's pulley actually turning the impeller?

Ian Cornish

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A TR2 shouldn't need any ducting beyond the natural shape of the inlet in the apron - it is TR3A onwards where the design allows air to avoid the radiator!

Ian,

He has a TR3A front apron on his TR2. However, I've never had the ducting on either of my TR3As and never had an overheating problem in the past, other than blown radiator, head gasket or hose (although I do now have a blower fan and plastic mechanical fan fitted as a precaution).

My money's on an airlock - plenty of advice on removing air on the forum already which I won't repeat here, but worth draining then jacking up the front end and refilling verrrry slowly.

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HI Rod,

I had a similar problem and I simply used a bit of plastic ducting, the sort that is spiral wound wire with plasic covering. It is about 6" diameter.

It is fitted from just behind the grill and round to the front of the engine using cable ties.

Sounds crude but it works for me plus of course ,electric fan, flushed block and stainless steel heat shield between exhaust manifold and carbs.

Hope this helps

Roger

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Hi Rod

 

I've responded to this type of problem a few times now:

 

My engine was rebuilt to 89mm with a lead-free head and suffered from intermittent overheating and air locks (top hose hot and bottom one cold).

 

Given that the rad, water pump, hoses and waterways are all ok, these are the measures that worked for me and are offered as general advice.

 

If you do suspect an air lock, you don't necessarily have to drain and refill simply remove the rad cap and run the engine to temp, look for air bubbles and then after 5 -10 mins replace the cap - this should clear the system of air, but if that doesn't cure the problem then:

 

1. Dump the thermostat: I was running with the original bellows fitted!

 

2. Cut out the centre mechanical parts from a modern wax type thermostat and fit it: this then acts as a semi-restrictor and backs up the water allowing it to cool in the rad. Without it, the water would just pass through the rad limiting cooling affect.

 

3. Fit a restrictor in the bye-pass hose; otherwise the water will just circulate and "bye-pass" the rad for the most part. Without the restrictor there is a chance of creating local hotspots in the engine with consequent results!

 

4. For the restrictor, I used a washer with a 1/4" hole (GHF314 from Moss is ideal) or you could use a 10p piece and drill it with either 1/8th or 1/4". You will need to use a second jubilee clip behind the washer to keep it in place and prevent it slipping down the hose under pressure. Ensure the washer/coin is fitted hard against the bye-pass housing outlet inside the hose.

 

5. Fit a Kenlow or similar. I fitted a 13" Kenlow Blower 2000 Series (13/B); this works a treat and fits neatly on the rad and is supported by the internal lip on the apron on a 3A.

 

6. Definitely fit the rad ducting, this is often overlooked as discussed in other posts: it's a must.

 

7. Finally, ensure the correct rad cap is fitted: 4psi (with rad neck extension (2/3/4) and 7psi without (4/4A) with the correct length neck otherwise water will just deposit itself under your car via the overflow tube.

 

With all these measures in place my 3A now runs at 170-180f with outside temps up in the mid-eighties and only in heavy traffic does the Kenlow need to come on now. I've set this at 185f.

 

Hope some of this of use. Good luck

 

Cheers

Andrew

Edited by Andrew Smith

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I had the same symptoms and it turned out to be the incorrect and differing levels of the liners installed by a Sussex engine builder who could not read the copy of the manual that I supplied. I took the engine up to Darryl at racetorations and he rebuilt it properly.

I also have an uprated radiator, original fan and an expansion bottle with a pressure cap and the radiator only has a blanking cap. This gives some extra coolant and the rad neck is always full up to the top.

I think that your problems are liner height related.

Good luck, Richard

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I had the same symptoms and it turned out to be the incorrect and differing levels of the liners installed by a Sussex engine builder who could not read the copy of the manual that I supplied. I took the engine up to Darryl at racetorations and he rebuilt it properly.

I also have an uprated radiator, original fan and an expansion bottle with a pressure cap and the radiator only has a blanking cap. This gives some extra coolant and the rad neck is always full up to the top.

I think that your problems are liner height related.

Good luck, Richard

 

Many years ago I re-built another engine for my 3a.

The old engine...and original.. did not overheat in any conditions.

The new one did...and also when stopped after a run the temperature gauge climbed.

To cut the story short ..I did all of the things suggested in previous posts to no avail.

In the finish I substituted 'known' parts from the 'old' engine. Water pump, thermostst...etc etc. no effect until....

 

Out of desparation the last part I changed was the water pump housing.....the difference was unbelievable...I could not make it overheat now if I tried.

 

I think that there were different housings/pump combinations over the years....and they don't mix.

 

Maybe the car/tractor variants were different and mix-ups occured when spare became difficult to obtain.

 

I will try to measure the differences one day but when the problem was solved I was so relieved that I left well alone....17 years ago.

 

Regards Dick.

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When I was restoring my 1958 TR3A from 1987 to 1990, I bought over £1600 worth of parts from Cox & Buckles while they were still in Kingston-on-Thames and had it all air-shipped to Canada. One of these items was a new water pump. I seem to remember it cost £50. The new pump had a cast iron impeller with 4 thick but rather smallish straight vanes. Not only was the height (thickness) of the impeller less than my original brass impeller, but the OD was about 1/4" smaller. I never used the cast iron impeller. I assumed it would never pump the volume of the original pump. With the small impeller, I assumed that there would be a lot of spinning but less fluid flow because of the clearance all around the "new" impeller. I asked my neighbour who has a lathe to turn me a new impeller shaft made of stainess steel and to install the brass impeller that had come from the original S-T water pump that came on the TR when I bought it brand new in 1958. I used the new body (housing) for the pump and the seal/bearing assembly. With the shaft made of stainless, it has not become rusty. With the original impeller, it pumps as the original pump did. It has never leaked.

 

It has never been an issue in over 102,000 miles of driving since 1990.

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What an amazing forum this is. Really helpful responses started to arrive before the ink was dry and are still coming. I'm overwhelmed by the time and effort put in by you all. Thank you all very much. I now have a plan of action and will keep you posted but I'm no spring chicken and wheels turn fairly slowly!

 

I have a couple of supplementary questions:

 

1) I notice that my radiator cap is 7psi when it should be 4. What effect does this have apart from raising the water boiling temperature even higher? I will buy a 4psi one in any case as they're relatively cheap.

 

2) How do you tell whether the water pump housing and water pump match (see Dick's response)?

 

Thanks again

Rod

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What an amazing forum this is. Really helpful responses started to arrive before the ink was dry and are still coming. I'm overwhelmed by the time and effort put in by you all. Thank you all very much. I now have a plan of action and will keep you posted but I'm no spring chicken and wheels turn fairly slowly!

1) I notice that my radiator cap is 7psi when it should be 4. What effect does this have apart from raising the water boiling temperature even higher? I will buy a 4psi one in any case as they're relatively cheap.

Rod

 

Firstly, that's what you get when you join the best TR club catering for all TRs. B)

 

Secondly, I can only offer an answer to the first question - the 7psi rad cap will allow too much pressure to build up in the rad resulting in the thing ballooning and probably blowing the core - others on here may be able to speak from personal experience........ :rolleyes:

 

The TR Register of Oz has a useful article, see Cooling a sidescreen TR

 

Cheers

Andrew

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Rod

 

Firstly, that's what you get when you join the best TR club catering for all TRs. B)

 

Secondly, I can only offer an answer to the first question - the 7psi rad cap will allow too much pressure to build up in the rad resulting in the thing ballooning and probably blowing the core - others on here may be able to speak from personal experience........ :rolleyes:

 

The TR Register of Oz has a useful article, see Cooling a sidescreen TR

 

Cheers

Andrew

 

Blimey Andrew, I hardly had the chance to put the kettle on and you were answering. Thanks. I hadn't even considered that the radiator was built to a pressure.

 

The Oz article is brilliant and should be required reading for all sidescreen owners.

 

Thanks again

Rod

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Please forgive the fact that this is not the first time I have posted this problem on the forum. Overheating on my 2 is still a big pain in the backside. I have had the head off and cleared a load of rubbish from round no. 4 cylinder. The water now flows like Niagara Falls from the drain plug in the block. The radiator is new and I've checked that it is clear. I have run both with and without thermostat and it makes no difference. Yet if I go for a quickish run, having warmed the thing up to approx. 85C, the damn thing boils within a couple of miles.

 

There is no heater but more significantly, though the manual states that the cooling system has a capacity of 13 pints of water, I can only get 11.5 pints into it. Even allowing half a pint for errors, what is taking up the space of a pint? That's a lot of space.

 

I have the following in mind:

a) The car has a steel 3A apron so I thought about buying a duct set (part no. 803440/8) to bung in front of the radiator. Has anyone tried this and did it do any good? I'm a bit strapped for cash so I'm reluctant to spend even a tenner on something that's not worth while.

 

B) An uprated water pump. The existing standard water pump is in good nick, however, there is a gap of 8mm plus the length of the 'nose' between the impeller blades and the pump housing. That gives a lot of scope for water to be just sloshing around in the housing that, apart from not being pumped, may impede the water that is being pumped. If I were to take this route, who's pump is the best and is it likely to fix the problem? A friend who fitted an uprated pump (Moss part I think) to his 2 said the benefit was 'marginal'! It's a bit expensive but if it did the trick ...

 

I had considered 'water wetter' but I've read such horror stories about it that this is definitely a non-starter. In any case the real answer is to find the source of the problem.

 

So gentlemen, if any of you can assist with a helpful comment or suggestion I would be most grateful.

 

Thanks

Rod

 

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Please forgive the fact that this is not the first time I have posted this problem on the forum. Overheating on my 2 is still a big pain in the backside. I have had the head off and cleared a load of rubbish from round no. 4 cylinder. The water now flows like Niagara Falls from the drain plug in the block. The radiator is new and I've checked that it is clear. I have run both with and without thermostat and it makes no difference. Yet if I go for a quickish run, having warmed the thing up to approx. 85C, the damn thing boils within a couple of miles.

 

There is no heater but more significantly, though the manual states that the cooling system has a capacity of 13 pints of water, I can only get 11.5 pints into it. Even allowing half a pint for errors, what is taking up the space of a pint? That's a lot of space.

 

I have the following in mind:

a) The car has a steel 3A apron so I thought about buying a duct set (part no. 803440/8) to bung in front of the radiator. Has anyone tried this and did it do any good? I'm a bit strapped for cash so I'm reluctant to spend even a tenner on something that's not worth while.

 

B) An uprated water pump. The existing standard water pump is in good nick, however, there is a gap of 8mm plus the length of the 'nose' between the impeller blades and the pump housing. That gives a lot of scope for water to be just sloshing around in the housing that, apart from not being pumped, may impede the water that is being pumped. If I were to take this route, who's pump is the best and is it likely to fix the problem? A friend who fitted an uprated pump (Moss part I think) to his 2 said the benefit was 'marginal'! It's a bit expensive but if it did the trick ...

 

I had considered 'water wetter' but I've read such horror stories about it that this is definitely a non-starter. In any case the real answer is to find the source of the problem.

 

So gentlemen, if any of you can assist with a helpful comment or suggestion I would be most grateful.

 

Thanks

Rod

 

 

 

Have you checked the balance weights in the distributor as I have had them stick, I 'd check the timing then go for a run and all would be ok until I started to open her up then it would over heat, as you speed up the advance and retard advances the timing and push the balance weights out, I have had them stick out keeping the timing advanced and overheating the engine.

The problem was finding it as each time I came back switched off connected the strobe they had dropped back.

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I'm new to this forum and came across this topic, which is of great interest to me.

 

Here's a little history...

 

About 30 years ago, as a foolish youth, I bought a basket case, non-running, rusted our TR-3A with the intent of doing a complete nuts-and-bolts, ground-up restoration. Over the following decade, I followed though and completed the project, with the exception of a few remaining cosmetic details.

 

During the restoration, I had the original hole-in-the-center radiator baked out and checked by a radiator shop and completely rebuilt the engine (this included magnafluxing the head and block). Because my resources were stretched in those days, I have the sleeves bored out and installed oversized pistons. I did notice that the water pump housing was pretty badly pitted, but there were no replacements for it back then.

 

When I first started the car and attempted to adjust the timing and carburetors, it overheated to the point that any adjustments were useless. I did, however, discover that, if I started the engine cold and kept it up to speed, the engine would not overheat. The engine would always overheat at stop lights and slow-and-go traffic, which is the norm here is sunny California.

 

Of course, I was going through all of this in the pre-internet days and had very few resources to troubleshoot the problem. Over the last 20 years, I've attempted to resolve the problem, but only halfheartedly.

 

Now I'm going to attack the problem on multiple fronts:

 

* New alloy radiator

* Electric fan (puller configuration, so the original fan must be pulled)

* New alloy water pump housing

* New six-bladed water pump

* New sleeved thermostat

 

If these new parts don't resolve the problem, then my approach is to:

 

* Make sure the cooling system in properly bled

* Restrict the bypass hose, as suggested by Andrew (even though the sleeved thermostat should have the same effect)

 

Failing success after these fixes, I will pull the engine out and install a new liner/piston set.

 

Any other ideas on what to check/replace/modify at each of these stages would be very much appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Gordon The Yank

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7. Finally, ensure the correct rad cap is fitted: 4psi (with rad neck extension (2/3/4) and 7psi without (4/4A) with the correct length neck otherwise water will just deposit itself under your car via the overflow tube.

 

 

I've read that the 7psi cap is preferred on all TR3s. This is also suggested in the Brian Richards article:

 

http://www.tr-register.com.au/Files/technical/cooling2.htm

 

"Whilst the original cap was set at 4PST it is common and desirable to use a 7PSI cap these days. Caps do not give a lot of problems and can be easily checked at most workshops."

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Hello Rod,

 

Here is what I was told on this side of the pond when I got my TR3B. The explanation is long and drawn out, and you can regard it or disregard it. My feelings won't be hurt.

 

Cooling problems are universal on the TR2 thru TR3B. It is due to the fact that the original-type thermostat is not available, or is very expensive when available. The original thermostat had a sleeve on it that would slip down over the bypass, and allow less water to go thru the bypass, allowing more water to the radiator. The modern regular thermostats do not have this sleeve, so TOO MUCH water is bypassing the radiator.

 

This is remedied in several ways. Here are the fixes:

 

1. Purchase an original thermostat. I hear that they fit the Jag XK120, so there is an [expensive] starting point. They are about $50 over here, while the modern one is $3.25.

2. Next is the one that my mechanic did, and is mostly done over here. Remove the bypass. Fill it with JB Weld, or a similar "weld" that will completely close it off. Then drill a 1/4" hole thru the weld material, thus greatly reducing the water going thru it. (I also had an upgraded water pump added, and a cooler thermostat since I live in Texas, where it doesn't get cold enough to freeze and require a hotter heater. These last two were overkill, as the bypass is the solution.)

3. Lastly, there is this jury-rig: Block off the "top lower" hose with a flat washer or a coin with a hold drilled in the middle. This washer has to be held in place with an extra hose clamp, which is a quick loss of a point if you are a Concours type. Personally, I don't see how it can work, as all it does is limit the water flowing thru the entire cooling system, and still doesn't address the flow thru the bypass. (Unless I am missing something.)

 

My cooling problem have been resolved. The hottest I have gotten it (knock wood) has been 185º (95ºC), sitting in traffic for a long spell. Out on the road, she stays at 160, which is where she should be, as she had a 160º thermostat.

 

Ask around, and see if anyone else over there uses this bypass "fix."

 

Good luck with your TR-2!

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"Whilst the original cap was set at 4PST it is common and desirable to use a 7PSI cap these days.

 

I would add this caveat to those who intend to increase their cooling system pressure relief, e.g. from 4 psi to 7 psi. If you have a Smiths heater fitted and it has the original matrix, an increase in pressure (almost double) is likely to start a leak. If you rarely use the heater, you can remove it and install a bypass. If you depend on heat either keep the 4 psi cap or replace or re-core the matrix.

 

One other thing, check your heater hoses on a regular basis (and if you must upgrade to a 7 psi cap). 180 degree coolant on one's genitals is not fun. :o

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Under no circumstances change to 7 lbs radiator cap. You will get leaks everywhere.

The pump and housing are vital and my solution was the differing heights of the liners. Once we got it right all problems went away.

Racetorations replacement pump, liners perfect and 4 lb cap, problems over.

Good luck, Richard :)

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Under no circumstances change to 7 lbs radiator cap. You will get leaks everywhere. The pump and housing are vital and my solution was the differing heights of the liners. Once we got it right all problems went away. Racetorations replacement pump, liners perfect and 4 lb cap, problems over.

Good luck, Richard :)

FWIW - I agree with Richard, and if you’re lucky (?) enough not to get any leaks from the hoses, then you'll most certainly balloon your radiator and that'll be curtains. :(

 

Cheers

Andrew

Edited by Andrew Smith

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I would add this caveat to those who intend to increase their cooling system pressure relief, e.g. from 4 psi to 7 psi. If you have a Smiths heater fitted and it has the original matrix, an increase in pressure (almost double) is likely to start a leak. If you rarely use the heater, you can remove it and install a bypass. If you depend on heat either keep the 4 psi cap or replace or re-core the matrix.

 

One other thing, check your heater hoses on a regular basis (and if you must upgrade to a 7 psi cap). 180 degree coolant on one's genitals is not fun. :o

 

Frank, I beg to differ! Sometimes 180 degree fluid on the genitals can be a very comforting experience! Setting: cold fall night in 1963, in a 1958 TR3, on a drive from San Pedro, California, up to San Francisco. Convertible top left in trunk of friend's car who left for his home. Weather foggy and COLD. Light jacket, no gloves, good heater, for what it is worth with the top down and tonneau up.

 

Let me tell you, the HIGH POINT of that long trip was SPILLING A FULL CUP OF HOT COFFEE INTO MY CROTCH! (My hands were too cold to hold the coffee cup.) For a brief 30 seconds, the heat was wonderful. Now the worst news. Very soon that hot coffee turned COLD. I was an "alto" by San Jose, and a full-blown soprano by the time I reached San Francisco at 2:00 am. Ended up sleeping under the tonneau cover and starting the motor every hour or so, to keep from freezing to death. Twenty years old, and an idiot.

 

Like my Grandad said, "If you are young and stupid, you are young and stupid. If you are old and stupid, you haven't learned a damn thing."

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Sometimes 180 degree fluid on the genitals can be a very comforting experience!

 

 

I'll have to take your word for it! :o

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In my experience, there is absolutely no reason not to use a 7lb cap on a Sidescreen car if the radiator, heater and all hoses, joints etc, are in good order. (As they would need to be with even a zero lb cap.)

 

My radiator was re-cored last summer and it was tested safely to at least 10 PSI. The heater in my car is of Claytons manufacture and there is no problem with leakage in that item. Our Register Spares here in Australia supply only the 7lb cap to my knowledge, although other members may know otherwise.

At the time of fitting the new radiator, I installed a thermostat for a 3 litre Nissan. The disc on this thermo. requires grinding down to fit the seating in the TR housing, but this is easily done by holding it against a bench grinder and rotating. When open, this thermo. matches the through-flow of the skirted type, where the standard types now available are next to useless in flow, allowing most of the water to circulate around in the block via the by-pass. Obviously, the by-pass needs a restrictor, as water will always take the easiest path. My fix was to machine up a brass plug to an interference fit in the by-pass and drill a 3/8" hole through it. At this time the original temperature guage was overhauled and fitted with a new bulb and capilliary. The modification now allows a rapid warm-up and temperature rarely exceeds 185 deg.F., even after long idle periods. The car has no other modifications and is running the standard fan.

 

This mod. is fully detailed in the Australian Register of Technical Tips.

 

Regards,

 

John

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Hello Rod, I have a TR3 engined car that is bone stock and also suffers from overheating after a brisk run or at stoplights. I believe that the problem with these engines is twofold but can be traced to the same cause. Poor flow distribution as the poor flow from the pump 'wafts' through the hole in the block effectively cooling only #1,2 cylinders to the thermostat setting as the flow bypasses most of #3 and #4 cylinders. That and the fact that I discovered this last week by experiment, that the standard pump with 85 thousands of an inch end clearance does not pump at all at 500 RPM pump shaft speed. In fact, just to get it pumping takes 900 RPM pump shaft speed and then if the speed is slowly reduced to 600RPM, the flow stops completely. I made a washer 77 thousands of an inch and used JB weld and 3 rivets countersunk, to affix it to the base of the water pump housing. This makes clearance on my pump about 8 thousands of an inch. I performed the test again, and flow starts at 500 RPM and is at least 4 times the flow it had just above 600RPM before the modification, and at least double the flow at 900RPM shaft speed. It is now works like a pump should, and this was done with the standard 4 vane impeller. With extra pressure and flow, the back of the engine should see more coolant and have fewer hot spots and boiling. Boiling produces vapour, and just like air, this robs 'pressure energy' from the system which reduces flow even further. I'm going one step further, and have made a backing plate for the pump housing that contains a nozzle and some smaller holes. It's function is to provide some back pressure to force coolant through a penetration (1/4 inch pipe thread elbow, and a hose barb) I've made in the discharge side of the housing to distribute some flow to the rear petcock hole. I have diverted by this method, about 1/6 the flow to the rear of the engine without reducing overall flow by much at all. With the pump clearances corrected, it will still have at least double the flow it had before anyway. The nozzle should force more flow by #1,2 liners and still have adequate flow to the front of #3 liner. The small holes drilled in the 1/8 aluminium backing plate were used to fine tune the flow ratio, and ensure that the front of #1 cylinder gets adequate cooling too. I'll be installing this next spring and testing its effectiveness at that time. Hope this information helps, Fred Winterburn (owner of TR3 powered Morgan, serial #3504) Ripley, Ontario Canada

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