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Introduction

Thecoolingsystemdeceptivelysimpleyetdevilishlycomplicated.Likemanythings
yourrigscoolingsystemsisoneofthosethingsthatseemssimple,thatmostpeoplethink
theyunderstand,butwhich,behindthescenes,isactuallyalotoffairlycomplicatedstuff
workingtogetherinafinebalance.Ornotworkingtogetherwellwhichisoftenthe
problem.
Inreality,underthehood,coolingsystemscontainalotofprettysophisticatedengineeringlawsofthermodynamics,pressure,turbulentandboundarylayerflow,aerodynamics,etc.

Asaresult,becausecoolingseemssimple,eventhoughitisnt,aLOTofmisinformationandtenaciouslonglastingmythsexistsurroundingit.

So,letmegetthisouttheredesigningacompletecoolingsystemisnoeasytaskespeciallyifitsforahighperformancerigthatsrunhard.Ittakesalotofknowhow.Sowhatareyoutodo?

Well,theeasyandobviousansweristoenlistthehelpoftrueprofessionals,likeGriffinThermalProducts.Youcallthemup,explainwhatkindofvehicleyouhaveandwhatyouwanttodowithit,andthey
willdesign,build,andsupplywhatyouneed.

TheseguysreallyknowtheirstufftheydoeverythingfromOEM,racing,offroad,&highperformance,toindustrial,locomotives,andaircraft.

Soifyouhavethemeans,andyoujustwantresultsskiptotheendofthisarticle,ogletheprettypictures,thensimplycallthemupandorderyourown.

Butyoudontnecessarilyhavetoengineeryoursystemtobuildsomethingthatworks.Asmuchasthereisrumourandmyththerearealsomanytriedandtrueapproaches,manywelltested
components,andmanyrulesofthumbthatDOwork.Thetrickistellingthemapart.

So,forthoseinterestedinalittlemoretechnicaldetailthanjustwhomtocall,thatswhatthisarticlewillattempttodosortthemythfromthetruthandpresentsomesolidtechtohelpyoudowntheroadof
puttingyourownhighperformancecoolingsystemtogether.Attheveryleast,itwillhelpyouhaveamoreproductiveandmeaningfulconversationwiththeexpertsatGriffinwhenyoudocallthemtoorder
whatyouneed.

Contents
PhysicsandChemistry.
CoolingSystemBasics.
PumpPerformanceCurveandTotalSystemPressureDrop
CoolingSystemComponents
LScoolingsystemcomponents,plumbing,andparticulars.
HowtoBuildaKillerCoolingSystem.
Myths
GriffinThermalProducts"KingoftheHammers"RadReview

PhysicsandChemistry
InthisarticleI'mgoingtoforgotoomuchdetailintermsofphysics,equations,andlawsofthermodynamicstheygetprettycomplicatedprettyquicklyandwillbogmostofusdown.Havingsaidthat,there
areafewbasic"laws"weshouldjustremindourselvesofbecausetheycropuptimeandagainandkeepingtheminmindwillhelpkeepusfrommakingmistakesorfallingpreytothoseeverpresent
mythsthatsurroundcoolingsystems.

1)Metal,enginecomponents,fluidsandgassesallexpandwhenheated.

2)Heatriseshotfluidwillriseinasystemandcoolerfluidwilldescend.

3)Airorvapourislighter(lessdense)thanliquidandwillrisetothetopofanyclosedsystem.

4)Liquidsareincompressible.

5)Substancescanchangestatebetweenliquidandgas(vapour).Boilingwater(aliquid)turningintosteam(gas)isanexampleofthis.Whenexactlythischangeofstateoccurs,dependsonthe
temperatureandpressureoftheliquid.Thegreaterthepressurealiquidisunder,thehigherthetemperatureitboilsat(turnsfromliquidtovapour).

6)Heatspontaneouslytransfersfromhotterobjectstocoolerobjects.Therateatwhichthistransferoccursdependsprimarilyonthedifferenceintemperaturebetweenthetwo(thedeltaT).Whenthe
differenceisgreat,thetransferoccursextremelyrapidly.Asthetemperaturedifferencedecreasestherateofheattransferdecreasesexponentially.ThisfactisanexpressionofNewton'sLawofCooling
andunderstandingitiscriticaltodispellingoneofthegreatestandmostoftenquotedmythssurroundingcoolingsystems.Agoodexampleofthislawcanbeseenwhenquenchingaredhotpieceofsteel
inabucketofwater.Atfirst,thetemperaturedifference(deltaT)betweentheredhotsteelandthewaterishugethereforetheinitialheattransferoccursatagreatratethesteelinitiallycoolsveryfast
almostinstantaneously.However,afterthisinitialcooling,thedeltaTismuchsmaller,sotheremainingcoolingoccursmuchmoreslowly.Ifyouremovedthesteelafterasecondortwoithascooledalot
butitwillstillbewarm.Tocontinuecoolingthesteeltothetemp.ofthewater,youhavetoleaveitintherequiteabitlongerbecauseasitcoolstherateofcoolingcontinuallydecreasesaswell.Inshort
initialcoolingisfast,butsubsequentcoolingoccursmoreandmoreslowlyuntilcoolingthatlastlittlebittakesalong,longtime.Rememberthiswe'llcomebacktoit.

CoolingSystemBasics
Avehicle'scoolingsystemisdesignedtodoonethingmaintaintheengineattheproperoperatingtemperature.NotethatIdidn'tsaythepurposeisjustto"cooltheengine".Thisisoneofthefirstand
mostoftenoverlookedaspectsofacoolingsystem(whichisn'thelpedbythename).Yes,it'spossibleto"overcool"anengine,anddoingsocanbealmostasdamagingasallowingittooverheat.Thisis
becauseallenginesaredesignedtooperatemosteffectivelyandreliablyatacertaintemperature.Thisnormaloperatingtemperaturetakesintoaccountinternalclearances,oilviscosity(whichvarieswith
temperature),andcombustionefficiency(whichaffectspower,economy,andemissions).Toohot,andcriticalclearancesarelost,oilbreaksdown,preignitionoccurs,metalcompositionischanged,parts
starttoweldtogetherandseveredamageoccurs.Toocoldandcombustionisincomplete,powerproductionisreduced,emissionsareexcessive,economysuffers,andoilneverreachestheproper
temperatureandthereforeviscosityandisthereforetoothicktoprovideproperlubricationespeciallybetweencriticalsurfaceslikemainandrodbearings.

Tobefairthemajorityoftheworkthecoolingsystemmustperformistoremovefromtheengineheatproducedbycombustionbutagoodcoolingsystemmustalsobedesignedtoallowtheengineto
comeuptoproperoperatingtemperatureasquicklyaspossibleandthenkeepitthere.

Powermakesheat.Themorepowertheenginecreates,themoreheatitcreates.Aswonderfulastheyaresparkignitioninternalcombustionenginesareactuallyprettydamninefficientbeasts.A
typicalenginewillloosemorethan30%ofthepoweritproducestoheatproduction.That'saLOTofheat!Peakcombustionchambersurfacetemperaturescanexceed500Fandthetemperatureofthe
combustionitselfcanexceed3000F.Infact,ifyouweretorunanenginewithoutacoolingsystem,evenforonlyashorttime,thetemperaturesproducedcouldquicklymeltthepistonandfuseittothe
cylinder.Clearlythen,coolingisveryimportantinordertokeepthisandothercomponentfailuresfromhappening.

Butthat'snotalleveninaworkingenginewithacoolingsystem,wellbeforetotalcomponentmeltdownoccurs,ifthecoolingsystemisn'tuptoscratch,excessiveheatinandaroundthecombustion
chamberwillcausepreignitionanddetonationbothofwhichhavemajornegativeaffectsonpowerproduction,efficiency,andlongevityoftheengineandcancauseplentyofdamageoftheirown.

ThereasonI'mpointingthisoutistwofold:Firstsoyouhaveagoodappreciationforhowmuchthecoolingsystemdoes(andthereforewhyit'sworthinvestingthetimeandmoneyintogettingitright).
Secondly,soyouunderstandthat,justbecauseyourengineisn'tblowingsteamouttheradcapormeltingpistonsdoesn'tmeanthatit'sworkingoptimallyandcouldn'tusesomeimprovement.Samegoes
fortheguydownthestreet(orontheinternet)who'sadviceyou'reconsideringtakingjustbecausehesays"Ijustpluggedthesteamportsandhaven'thadanyproblems"doesn'tmeanhiscoolingsystem
workswellorthatitwon'tcauseproblemsdowntheroad.

PumpPerformanceCurveandTotalSystemPressureDrop
Fluidflowsbecauseofpressure.Itnaturallyflowsfromregionsofhighpressuretoregionsoflowpressure.Thisbasictheoryexplainseverythingfromhowairplanesflytoweatherpatterns.Whenfluidflows
throughapipe,likeagardenhose,thereisfrictionbetweenthefluidandtheinsidewallsofthepipe.Thisfrictioncreatespressuredrop.Pressureiswhatcausesthefluidtoflow.Ifthepressuredropsto
zerobeforetheendofthepipe,thefluidwillnotcomeouttheenditwilljuststopasifavalvewasclosed.Therefore,inorderforfluidtoflowthroughthepipe,thepumpmustbeabletogenerateenough
pressuretoovercome,orequal,thetotalpressuredropinthepipe.

Takeourgardenhoseasanexample.Saywehaveithookeduptoa10PSIpump,itis20'long,andhasasprinkleronthedischargeend.Whenweopenthetap,acertainflowwillcomeoutthesprinkler.
Thepumpcreatespressure,andthatpressurecausesthewatertoflowtowardsaregionoflowpressureinthiscaseambientatmosphericpressureoutsidethesprinkler.Ifweadda100'lengthtothe
hoseweaddawholebunchoffrictionandthereforeincreasethepressuredropinthehose.Ifthepumpstillcontinuestoproduceonly10PSIwewillgetreducedflowandthereforereducedoutputoutthe
sprinkler.Ultimately,ifweaddenoughhose,thepump'soutputpressurewillnolongerbeabletoovercomethetotalpressuredropandnothingwillcomeouttheend.Ifweconnectedahose5mileslongto
thetaponour10PSIpump,nothingwouldcomeouttheend.

Ifithelps,wecanthinkofthetotalsystempressuredropas"backpressure"againstthepumpbackpressureagainstwhichthepumpmustpumpinordertocreateflow.

Now,thesesamerulesapplyequallytoacomplexseriesofpipes,tubes,passageways,manifolds,andrestrictionsastheydotoasimplesinglepipe.Pumpoutletpressuremustequaltotalsystem
pressuredropforflowtooccur.Pumpoutletpressureisreferredtoas"head".Thereforeheadmustequalbackpressure.Simpleenough,right?

Inthecaseofourcoolingsystem,itisjustthatacomplexseriesofpipes,tubes,passageways,manifolds,andrestrictions.Allthevariouscomponentsinducesomepressuredropinthesystemsome
large,somenotsolarge,buttheyalladdupandthepumpmustbeabletoovercomethetotal.Inaddition,thecoolingcircuitisaclosedsystem,meaningtheoutputfromthepumpreturnstobecomethe
inlettothepumpthefluidflowsinacircularroutesothatifthepump'sheadcannotovercomethebackpressure,flowstopsandthereisnothingreturningtothepumpforittocontinuepumping.
Anautomotivewaterpumpisacentrifugal,nonfixeddisplacement,vanetypepump.Thepumpcreatesthepressureandflowrequiredtocirculatethecoolant.Thepumpmustproduceenoughpressureat
itsoutlettoovercometherestrictionsinthecoolingsystem.Inotherwords,thecoolantpassagesintheradandenginecreateacertainamountofbackpressure.Thepumpmustbeabletogenerate
sufficientheadinordertopumpthecoolant.

Now,pressureandflowaredirectlyrelated.Dependingonitsdesign,construction,andspecificationsapumpwillproduceacertainheadforagivenflow.Stateddifferently,apumpwillbeabletoproducea
certainflowrateforagivenamountofbackpressure(orresistanceinthesystem).

Aswementioned,inpumpspecificationterms,thepressureapumpcreatesatitsoutletiscalled"head".Forcentrifugalautomotivewaterpumps,asheadgoesup,flowgoesdown.Thismakessenseall
we'resayingisthegreatertheresistancetoflowinthesystem,thegreatertheheadthepumpmustproduce,andthelessflowthepumpwillcreate.

Ifyoudrawagraphofanyparticularpump'sperformanceinthisregard,itiscalledthe"characteristicperformancecurve"ofthepump,orsometimesjustthe"performancecurve".Hereisacompletely
hypotheticalexamplecurve,justtoillustratethepoint.Thevaluesarenotintendedtoberepresentativeoftypicaloractualpumpperformance.

Asyoucansee,thepumpcreatesmaximumheadatzeroflow.Thismakessenseifweblockthepumpoutlet(zeroflow)thepumpwillcreateitsmaximumpressure.Alternatively,wecansaythethepump
isabletoflowthemostwhenthehead(orthebackpressureoftheplumbingsystem)istheleast.

Thepumpwillalwaysoperatesomewhereonitsperformancecurve.Therefore,ifbackpressureduetorestrictionsinthecoolingsystemgoesup(totalpressuredropincreases),pumpheadmustgoupand
thereforepumpflowgoesdown.Thisisimportanttokeepinmindaswegenerallywanttomaximizeflowforthemostefficientcooling(assumingwehavetherequiredairflowtomatchhighcoolantflow).

Truecoolingsystemengineeringwouldincludemappingpressuredropthroughoutthesystem,becausethispressuredropaffectsmorethanjustflow.Asweshalldiscussmomentarily,pressureisalso
importantindeterminingtheboilingpointofthecoolantandinmaintainingconsistentandcompletecontactintheblockandcylinderheadpassagewaysbetweenthecoolantandthehotengineparts.

Inaddition,sincepressuredropisleastatthepumpoutletandincreasesthroughthesystemrestrictiontoamaximumatthepumpreturn,thismeansactualsystempressureisgreatestatthepumpoutlet
andleastatthepumpinlet.Knowledgeofsystempressureatcertainpointsisanimportantconsiderationindeterminingoptimumlocationofcertaincomponentsliketheradcap,steamvents,andsurge
tanks,asweshallsoonsee.

Sincemeasuringandmappingpressuredropthroughoutthesystemisbeyondthecapabilityofmostenthusiasts,fordesignandplumbingconsideration,generallythecoolingsystemissimplydividedinto
the"highpressure"sideandthe"lowpressure"side.

Theareaswhererestrictionarehigharesaidtobethe"highpressure"sideofthesystem,andareaswhere
restrictiontoflowarelowaresaidtobethe"lowpressure"sideofthesystem.Essentially,thelowpressuresideis
theareaaftertheheaterandradcoreupuntilthereturn(orinlet)sideofthewaterpump.

Inthispicthelowpressuresideisshadedingreen,everywhereelseisconsideredthehighpressureside.

Ingeneral,theradiatortankafterthecoreandthereturnlinetothepump,alongwiththereturnlinefrom
theheaterarethelowpressureside.

Don'tworryaboutalltheotherdetailsinthispicatthistime,we'llcoverthemingoodtime.

CoolingSystemComponents
Thefollowingarethebasiccomponentsofanycoolingsystemandsothissectionappliestoanyvehicleoranyengine.Followingthiswe'llhavealookatsomemorespecificGMGenIII/IVV8("LS")cooling
systemtech.

WaterPump

Thewaterpumpisacentrifugaltypenonfixeddisplacementpumpthatcirculatesthecoolantthroughtheblock
andheadswhereitcollectsheatfromtheengine,andthenthroughtheradiatorwhereitiscooledbyairflowing
throughtherad.

Thesimplerulewithwaterpumpsisthehighertheflowthebetter.Thereasonforthiswillbecomeclearlater
(anddon'teverlistentoanyonewhosaysawaterpumpcanflowtoomuchandnotletthecoolantcooldownin
theradiatorpuremyth.ButI'mgettingaheadofmyself).

Coolant

Thecoolantistheliquidlifebloodofthesystem.Itsjobistoabsorbtheheatfromtheengine,andthengiveupthis
heatintheradiatorasairflowsoverthevanesattachedtothetubesthatcarrythecoolant.Coolantmustalso
conditionandlubricatethesealsinthewaterpumpand,inallbutthemostrigorouslymaintainedracevehicles,
inhibitcorrosioninthemanypassagesofthecoolingsystem.Finally,invehiclesrunincolderclimates,
thecoolantmustnotfreeze.

Anentireseparatearticlecouldbewrittenaroundthedebateovercoolanttypesandbrands.Ratherthangetinto
allthathere,let'sjuststicktothebasics.

Heat(orheatenergy)ismeasureinunitscalledBritishThermalUnits(orBTUs).ABTUistheamountofenergyrequiredtoraise1poundofwater1F.

Withoutknowinganythingaboutthermodynamics,it'sobviousthatthebestcoolantisonethatcanabsorbandgiveoffthemostheatenergyperdegreeoftemperaturechangeitexperiencesinother
wordsitshouldbeabletoabsorbandcarryawayalotofheatenergywithoutgettingtoohotitself.Thispropertyiscalled"specificheat".Aliquid'sspecificheatisthenumberofBTUsittakestoraisethe
temperatureofonepoundofthatliquid1F.Inotherwords,thehigheraliquid'sspecificheat,themoreheatenergyitcanabsorbperdegreeoftemperaturerise.Wewantthecoolanttoabsorbalotofheat
energywhilesufferingthelowesttemperaturerisepossiblethatwaythecoolantcancarryawaythemostheatwithoutgettingtoohotitselfandboiling.Ifthecoolantboilsitbecomesavapour(gas)andis
nowuselesstous.
Itturnsoutthatplainolddistilledwaterhasthehighestspecificheatofallliquidscommonlyusedforcoolant.Waterhasaspecificheatof1meaningonepoundofwatercanabsorb1BTUfora
temperatureincreaseof1F.

A50/50EthyleneGlycol/watermixhasaspecificheatof0.5,meaningittakesonly0.5BTUstoraisethetemperatureof1poundEthyleneGlycol/watermix1F.

A50/50PropyleneGlycol/watermixhasaspecificheatofonly0.3.

Therefore,ittakestwiceasmuchheattoraiseapoundofwater1Fthana50/50EthyleneGlycolmixandoverthreetimesasmuchheattoraiseapoundofwater1Fthana50/50PropyleneGlycolmix.

Ultimately,whatthismeansisthatstraightwatercancarryaway50%moreheatthan50/50EthyleneGlycolmixand70%moreheatthan50/50PropyleneGlycolmixperdegreeperunitvolume.

Ofcourse,howmuchheataliquidcanabsorbwithoutboilingisalsoafunctionofthepressureactingonthatthatliquid.Theboilingpoint,alsocalled"vapourpoint"isthattemperaturewhereaparticular
liquidturnstovapourwhichwedon'twant.

Nowthemorepressurealiquidisunder,thehigheritsboilingpoint.Thisispreciselywhycoolingsystemsarepressurized.Inthecaseofwater,ourmostefficientcoolant,weallknowthatatatmospheric
pressureitboilsat100Cor212F.However,ifwepressurizethewater,itsboilingpointincreasesasfollows:

Pressure(PSI) BoilingPoint(F)
0PSI 212F
10PSI 239F
20PSI 259F
30PSI 273F
40PSI 286F
50PSI 297F

Wecanseefromthechartthat,ifwewererunningstraightwater,unpressurized,itwouldboilat212Fwhichisnogoodasthisisperilouslyclosetothedesignednormaloperatingtemperatureofmany
modernengines.However,ifwepressurizedthatwatertoevenonly10PSI,itwouldn'tboiluntil239F.Manymodernvehiclecoolingsystemsarepressurizedto1418PSI,highperformancesystemsto
2224PSI,andracingsystemsto2931PSI.Attheextremeendofthescale,Formula1racecarspressurizethecoolanttoasmuchas50psiandhaveengineoperatingtempsofabout265F.

Now,atatmosphericpressure,bothEthyleneGlycolandPropyleneGlycolhavehighervapourpointsthanwater,andthistrendcontinuesathigherpressures.Thatmeanstheywillnotboiluntiltheyreach
highertemperatureswhichinturnmeansa)thattheycancontinueabsorbingandtransferringheatattemperatureshigherthanwateriscapableofandb)thattheyprovideagreatersafetymargin
againstcoolantboiling.Commercialcoolantmixturesalsohavealowerfreezingpointthanwaterandcontainadditiveandconditioningpackagestolubricateandinhibitcorrosioninthecoolingsystem.

Ultimately,whichcoolanttousewilldependonyourcircumstances.Formost,thebenefitsofanEthyleneGlycolmixorperhapsevenaPropyleneGlycolmixoutweighitslowerefficiency.Ofcourse,rather
thanrunthenormalOEMrecommended50/50mix,onecanalwayscustomtailoramixtogainsomeoftheadvantagesofacoolantmixwhileretainingasmuchoftheefficiencyofstraightwateras
possible(e.g.a75%water/25%EthyleneGlycolmix).Ifyoudobesuretocheckthatthevapourpointandfreezingpointofthecustommixmeetsyoursystem'sneeds.Thisisnormallyindicatedinalittle
tableonthebottle.However,forthoserunningvehiclesatthetopedgeofperformancethatseerigorousregularmaintenanceandareneversubjecttofreezingtemperaturesstraightdistilledwateris
undoubtedlythemosteffectiveliquidtouseforcoolant.Manyfolkswhodorunstraightwaterwillalsoaddasmallbottleofsealconditioner/corrosioninhibitor,suchasPrestoneSuperAntiRust,tokeep
thewaterpumphappy.

Radiator

Theheartofthesystem,ahighquality,appropriatelysizedradiatoristhesinglemostimportantcomponentinthe
coolingsystem.

We'lllookathowtospecaradiator,whomakesthebest,andwhatthebestfeaturesare,ingreatdetaillaterin
thearticle.

Theshortstoryis:GetthebiggestaluminumradiatorfromGriffinThermalProductsthatyoucanpossiblyfit!

Fan(s)andShrouds

Ofcourse,aradiatorisnousewithoutafanortwotopullairthroughit.

Byfarthebestfansareelectrical"puller"fansandthebestofthosearemadebySPAL.

Electricfansoffersuperiorcontrol,flow,mountingflexibility,andahostofotheroptionsnotavailablefrom
mechanicallydrivenfans.Inrecentyears,thepopularityoffrontwheeldrivecarswiththeirtransverselymounted
enginesthatobviouslymustuseanelectricfanhasledtomajoradvancesinelectricfanperformanceand
computercontrolthatoldermechanicalfanscan'tmatch.

Theonlyrealchoiceforaperformancecoolingsystemisa"puller"fanonethatismountedbehindtheradiator(inrelationtotheairflow)andsuckstheairthroughtheradiator.Theyarefarmoreefficient
than"pusher"stylefansthatmountinfrontoftheradiatorandpushairthroughit.

Allfansshouldbeshrouded.Withoutashroudyourvaluableairflowisdramaticallyreducedandallmannerofcomplicatedaerodynamicscangoon,essentiallyleavingyourexpensiveperformanceradand
fancombostifledandunabletodoitsjobbeforeithadachance.

RadiatorCap

Theradiatorcapisthe"pressurereliefvalve"ofthecoolingsystem.Itconsistsofapressuresensitivespring
loadedsealassemblythatsealsthecoolingsystemfromtheatmosphereandtherebyallowsittobuildtheall
importantpressurewewerejusttalkingabout.Inadditiontoraisingthevapourpointofwhatevercoolantisused,
systempressureisvitalforkeepingcoolantincontactwiththemetalsurfacesofthecylinderheadsandblock.
Consistentcontactbetweenthecoolantandtheenginepassageways,particularlyintheblockandheads,isvital
topreventlocalizedboilingorsteampocketsinthecombustionchamberareasofthecylinderheads.

Also,blockpressuremustbeadequatetoensureuniformcoolantdistributionfromthefronttotherearoftheengine.Lowpressurecanoftenresultininsufficientcoolingaroundtherearcylinderswhichis
whycertainengineproblemsalwaysshowupfirstintherearcylinders.

Steampocketsorlocalizedcoolantboilingcanoccurwhenexcessiveheatisgenerated(becauseofaleancondition,excessiveignitionadvance,orfaultycoolingsystem)causingthecoolanttoreachits
vapourpointandspontaneouslychangestatefromliquidtogasinotherwordsboil.Thisissometimesreferredtoas"flashingtosteam".Theproblemusuallyoccursfirstinthecombustionchamberarea
becauseitisthehottestregion.Whenthishappensaviciouscyclebeginscylinderheadhotspotscausesteampocketssteampocketstendto"stick"inthehighestarea(thehead)steamcannot
contributetocoolinganddisplacesmuchneededcoolanttheexcessivelyhotcylinderheadexperiencesdetonationand/orpreignitionwhichinturncreatesexcessiveheatwhichcauseshotspotsand
localizedcoolantboilingandsteampocketstoformandsoon.

Adequatesystempressure(alongwithaproperlyfunctioningcoolingsystemandproperlytunedengine)helpsensurethatthecoolant'sboilingpointissufficientlyhighthattheformationofsteamdoesnot
occurandthecyclecannotbegin.
Keepingthecoolantunderpressurealsohelpstopreventcavitationinthewaterpump.

Thepressureinthecoolingsystemcomesfromtwosources.Thefirstisfromtheactionofthewaterpumppumpingthecoolantthroughtherestrictedpassagewaysandplumbingofthecoolingsystem.

Secondly,sincethecoolingsystemisaclosedandsealedsystemandliquidsarebothincompressibleandexpandwhenheated,pressureinthesystemresultsfromthenormalexpansionofthecoolantin
thesystemasitheatsup.Normally1217PSIpressureiscreatedwhenthecoolantexpandsasaresultofgoingfromambienttemperaturetonormalengineoperatingtemperature.

Theradiatorcapservestoregulatemaximumsystempressure.Aproperlyfunctioningcoolingsystemingoodworkingorderwillnotnormallygenerateexcessivepressure.Butundercertainconditionslike
excessiveheatgenerationorcomponentdegradation/failuresystempressurecanbuildwellbeyondnormal.Ifthispressurewereallowedtobuildunchecked,eventuallycomponentdamagewouldoccur
includinghosesblowingoff,sealsbeingblown,anddamagetothepumpandradiatorandanyothercomponentnotabletowithstandtheelevatedinternalpressure.

Toavoidthis,aradiatorcap(safetyvalve)isinstalledthatisdesignedtoopenatacertainpressure.Acalibratedspringnormallyholdsasealinplacethatkeepsthesystemsealedandpressurized.
However,ifsystempressurebuildsbeyondtheopeningpressureofthecap,thespringforceisovercome,thesealretractsfromitsseat,andthesystemisopenedtoatmosphere.Whenthishappens,
excesspressureandfluidvolumeisallowedtobleedoffinacontrolledmannertoarecoverytank,throughasmallfittinglocatedjustabovethesealseat.

Theradcapalsoservesasthepointofentryforfillingthesystemwithcoolantandforbleedingtheairout.Theradcapmustbeinstalledatthehighestpointofthesystem.Oftenthisisontheradiatoritself,
butwhenthisisnotpossibleduetothepositionoftheradiator(i.e.thetopoftheradisnotthehighestpointinthesystem),theradcapmayinsteadbeinstalledonapressurizedsurgetank,asweshall
soonsee.

Aswepreviouslydiscussed,becausepressuredropincreasesasthecoolantflowsfromthepump,throughthesystem,andbacktothepump,systempressureisnotequaleverywhere.Thisisanimportant
considerationinradcaplocation.Theradcapoperatesonthesystempressureatitslocation.Ifitwerelocatedinthehighestpressureportionofthesystem(thepumpoutletorradiatorinlet),itwould
regulatesystempressurebasedonthathighestpressure,meaningpressureelsewhere(forexample,inthebackofthecylinderheads)wouldbesomethinglessthantheratingontheradcap.Thiscould
meanpressureinthecriticalenginepassagewayscouldbeasmuchas10PSIormorelowerthantheradcappressureratingwhichisnotgoodforcoolingperformance.It'salsodifficulttoaccurately
measuresystempressureatalllocations,soyouprobablywouldn'tevenknowhowlowthepressurewasinthecylinderheadswiththeradcapinstalledinthehighpressuresideofthesystem.Inother
words,withthisarrangement,youmayinstalla20PSIradcapandexpectcoolantboilingpointtobe259F,butactualpressureintheheads,whereboilingwouldoccurfirst,wouldbelessperhapsonly
10PSI,andthereforeactualcoolantboilingpointwouldonlybe239Fsome20Flessthanyouthink!Forthisreason,theradcapmustbelocatedonthelowpressuresideofthesystemeitheronthe
appropriateradtankoronaremotemountedsurgetank.

Regardlessofthelocation,thebestadviceistorunthehighestratedcapthedesignandconstructionofthesystemwillallow.Forthededicatedseekingultimatecoolingperformance,thismaytakesome
messyandriskytrialanderrormostoftentheresultofacapratedtoohighisablownhose,butitcouldalsoleadtoacrackedradiator.Somecommonvaluesare:

Stock:1418PSI
Highperformance:2224PSI
Racing:2931PSI.

Theradcapalsohasaspringloadedvalvethatcanopentoallowcoolantentrybackintotheenginedescribedbelowinthesectionon"overflowtanks".

Thermostat

Thethermostatisthe"brains"ofthecoolingsystem.Recallhowwesaidthatthejobofthe"cooling"systemwas
actuallytoregulateorcontrolthetemperatureoftheenginetokeepitascloseaspossibletothedesignednormal
operatingtemperatureatalltimes?Itisthethermostatthataccomplishesthis.

Thethermostatislocatedinanareabetweentheengineandtheradiator.TheclassicsmallblockChevyV8locatedthethermostatonthe"outlet"sideofthemotor,intheintakemanifold.Whencold,the
thermostatwasclosed,andthispreventedflowofcoolanttotheradiator.Whentheenginewarmedup,thethermostatopenedandcoolantwasallowedtoflowtotheradiatorandbacktotheengine.The
newerthirdandfourthgenGMV8'slocatethethermostatonthe"inlet"sideofthemotorspecificallyintheinlethousingofthewaterpump.Withthisdesign,whencold,coolantispumpedthroughtherad,
butispreventedfromreturningtotheengineuntilthetemperatureofthethermostathasbeenreached,atwhichpointthethermostatopensandthecooledcoolantreturnstotheengine.

Similartoaradcap,athermostatcontainsaspringloadedsealingmechanismbutinsteadofreactingtopressure,itreactstoheat.Mostthermostatsdothiswithwhatiscalleda"waxmotor".The
waxmotorisacylindercontainingawaxpelletthatactsdirectlyonthethermostatpiston.Asthewaxheatsup,andexpands,itforcesthepistontoopenthesealandallowcoolanttopass.

TheGenIII/IVinletthermostatlocationisdesignedtoeliminatethefollowingconditions/problems:

1.Withtheolderoutletdesign,anairpocketcouldbecreatedunderthethermostatafterthethermostatwasinstalledfollowingmaintenanceorservicetothecoolingsystem.Sincethecoolantwas
preventedfromreachingthethermostat'swaxmotor,thethermostatdidn'topenandallowcoolingtobeginuntiltheairpockethadgottenhotenoughtocauseitwhichwouldhappenmuchlaterthan
forcoolant,andoftentoolatetopreventoverheatingandcomponentdamage.Thisexcessiveheatwouldbebadforanyengine,butcanbeespeciallydamagingforaluminumcomponents.
Eliminationofthisairpocketisoneofthereasonswhyoldschoolracerswoulddrillasmallbleedholeinthethermostat'sflange.
2.Thesecondproblemisthermalshockthatmayoccurattheradiatorwhenhotcoolantisreleasedbythethermostatwhentheambienttemperatureisnearfreezing.Thissuddenreleaseofvery
hotcoolanttoaverycoldradiatorcouldcausethermalstresscrackingintheradiator.
3.Becausetheoldstylethermostatswerelocatedatthetopoftheenginewherecoolanttemperaturesarehighest,andbecauseanyvapourortrappedairalwaysseeksthehighestpointinasystem
andthereforecouldgettrappedbeneaththethermostat,thisdesigncanleadtounwantedthermalcyclingastheareaofthethermostatheatsandcoolscausingthethermostattorepeatedlyopenand
close.Thenewerinletlocationdesignwasdesignedtoeliminatethispotentialthermalcyclingproblem.

OverflowTank

Allsystems,regardlessofwhethertheyalsouseapressurized"surgetank"ornot,mustuseanoverflowtank.

Alsoknownasanoverflowcatchtank,overflowbottle,catchcan,expansiontank,orrecoverytanktheoverflow
tankhasasimpleinstallationandjob.Itmerelyconnectstothe"dry",outside,nonpressurizedareaimmediately
belowtheradcapbutabovetheradcapseal,sothatintheeventtheradcapopensdueto
overtemp/overpressurization,thehotcoolantandgasthatisexpellediscollectedsafely.

ThispicillustratesthefillerneckonmyGriffinrad,whereyoucanclearlyseetheoutlettotheoverflowtankabove
(or"onthedryside")oftheradcapsealseat.

Theoverflowtankisnottobeconfusedwithasurgetankorcoolantrecirculationtankthoughtheydoappear
similar.

Theoverflowtankservesnofunctioninthenormaloperationofthecoolantsystem.Itonlycomesintoplayifthere
isanoverpressurizationandtheradcapopens,andthenitonlyservesasasafe,environmentallyresponsible
collectionpointforexpelledcoolant.

Ifthesystempressurereachesthecapspressurerating,thecapsspringiscompressed,forcingthevalveopen
andallowingcoolanttoescapethroughtheoverflowtubetotheoverflowtank.Aftersuchanevent,asthesystem
coolsitcontracts,creatingvacuumthatopenstheotherspringloadedvalve,intheradcap,allowingcoolantin
theoverflowtanktobesuckedbackintotheradiator.

Theoverflowbottlecanbedistinguishedfromthesurgetank/recirculationtankinthat:

Itisnotpressurized
Ithasnopressurecap.Itmayhaveanonsealingcaptoallowinspection,ornocapatall.
Ithasonlyonelinerunningtoitfromthefittinglocateddirectlyabovetheradcapsealseat.
Itwilloftenhaveadraincockorvalveinstalledinthebottomformanualdraining(whichwouldn'tbepresentonasurgetank).

Thedifferencesbetweenthetwowillalsobecomemoreclearoncewegettothesectiononplumbing.

SurgeTank

Thesurgetankisacompletelydifferentanimalfromtheoverflowtank.Itisanintegralpartofthecoolingsystem
throughwhichcoolantcontinuallyflows.

Thesurgetankalsogoesbymanyothernames,addingtothecommonconfusionbetweenitandtheoverflow
tank.Youmayseeitreferredtoasarecirculatingexpansiontank,pressuretank,recirculation
tank,coolantexpansionfilltank,deaerationtank,andothers.

Asurgetankservestwopurposes.Firstitallowsfor"remotemounting"oftheradcapinsituationswherethetop
oftheradiatorisnotthehighestpointinthesystem.Secondly,itservesasadeaerationchamber,allowingfor
continualandeffectiveremovalofanyvapour(airorvaporizedcoolant/steam)inthesystem.

Howitdoesthiswewillexamineindetailinthesectiononplumbing.Fornow,understandthat,unliketheoverflow
tank,thesurgetankisplumbed"inline"inthecoolingsystemandthereforehascoolantcontinuallycirculating
throughit,andisthereforeapressurizedcomponentofthesystem.

Surgetanksmaycomeinmanydifferentforms.Theonepicturedaboveisa"Corvettestyle"tank,andtheone
picturedtotheleftisagenericaftermarketone.

Regardlessofitsexactform,asurgetankcanbedistinguishedfromanoverflowtankbythefactthat:

Itisapressurizedcomponent.
Ithasthedistinctivefillerneckopeningatthetopformountingtheradcap.
Itwilloftenhavemorethanoneinletport(butnotalways).
Itwillnothaveadraincockorvalveinstalledinthebottomfordraining.
Itwillhaveanoutletportsothatcoolantcanflow/circulatethroughit.
Itstillrequiresanoverflowtank.

Itisalsoimportanttonotethatthesurgetankdoesnottaketheplaceoftheoverflowtankitisusedinadditiontotheoverflowtank.Thiscanbeseeninboththeexamplesabovewhereyoucanclearly
seethefittinginthefillerneck(theoverflowtube)thatconnectstotheoverflowtankexactlythesamewayitdoeswhenthefillerneck/radcaparemounteddirectlytotheradiator.

TemperatureGauge

Ofcourse,it'simportantthatyoubeabletomonitortheperformanceofyourcoolingsystem,so
ahighqualitygaugeisamust.

Notbeinganarticleongaugesandinstrumentation,Iwon'tgointoallthedetailsofselectinggaugeshere,except
thefollowingimportantconsiderations.

Frommyaviationexperience,itisagoodideatohavethenormaloperatingconditionofallgaugesappearata
consistentlocationonthegauge,normallyatthe12o'clockposition.Thisway,aquickglanceisallthatis
requiredtoverifythatall"temperaturesandpressuresareinthegreen"(meaningallOK).

Differentgaugeshavedifferenttemperaturesatthe12o'clockposition,ascanbeseenfromtheaccompanying
photographs.

Dependingonthedesignedoperatingtemperatureofyourengine,whenselectingagauge,alongwithother
considerationsyoushouldconsiderselectingagaugethatdisplaysthecorrectoperatingtemperatureatthe12o'
clockposition.Thegaugespicturedhereappearinorderfromcoolesttowarmestintermsofthetempindicatedat
the12o'clockpositioninorder180F,200F,and230F.

Thisleadsmetotheotherpoint.Weoftentalk,asIhavedonehere,asifthetemperatureonthegaugewerethe
temperatureoftheengine,butthisisn'tentirelyaccurate.

Whatthegaugereadsisthetemperatureofthewater,orcoolant,atthepositionofthesensororsendingunitit's
evenmarkedrightthereonthegauge"WATERTEMP".

Thiscanbeanimportantconsiderationwhenselectingwheretomountthesensororsendingunit.Wemustalso
understandthedistinctionbetweenthiswatertempandtheactualtempoftheengine.
Coolanttemperaturesdonotaccuratelyreflectactualmetaltemperaturesintheengine.Themetalcanbeseveralhundreddegreeshotterthantheadjacentcoolant.Thismeans,dependingonthegauge
sendingunitlocation,coolanttemperaturesmayread"normal"whiletheactualtempofthecylinderheads,forexample,maybeexcessive.Therefore,thelocationofthegauge'ssendingunitorsensormust
bechosencarefullysomewhereinthecylinderheadisoftenagoodchoice.

Assumingthegaugesendingunitisproperlylocated,anenginetypicallyrunsmostefficientlywhenthecoolanttemperatureiskeptaround200F.Thiscomesbacktomaintainingtheproperoperating
temperatureagain.Atthistemperature,thecombustionchamberiswarmenoughtocompletelyvaporizethefuelmixtureforimprovedcombustion,andtheoilsviscosityisattherightpointsothatitcan
properlylubricatetheengineandpresentminimalparasiticdrag.Anenginethatistoocoldisnogood!Donottrytodesignyourcoolingsystemsothatyourenginerunsalldayat160F!

Formost"normal"engines,250Fisaboutthegreatestwatertempindicationyoushouldtolerate.Beyondthisandtheengineshouldbeshutdownorallowedtoidleuntilitcoolsdown.Incidentally,thisis
anotheradvantagetoelectricfans.Becauseanelectricfancancontinuetorunwhentheengineisnotrunning,andbecausehotcoolantwillriseandbereplacedbycoolercoolant,andbecausetherad
inletisatthetopandtheengineinletatthebottomcoolantwillcirculateandyoucanactuallycooltheengineevenwhenitisn'trunning.

LSCoolingSystems
Whilethepreviousinformationisapplicabletovirtuallyanycoolingsystem,thissectionwilldealwiththespecificsofthecoolingsystemsonthirdandfourthgenerationGMV8engines,andinparticular
myTurnkeyEngineSupplyLS2.

Thefollowingillustrationisadiagrammaticrepresentationofageneric"LS"coolingsystem,completewithheater.

Startingatthewaterpumpandfollowingthenumbersinsequence,here'stheflowofthesystem:

1.Thewaterpumppumpscoolantoutofthelowertwoportsonitsbacksideandintotheblock.
2.Coolantcirculatesthroughtheengineblock...
3....andthroughthecylinderheads.
4.SpecialLSspecific"steamtubes"or"engineventlines"areinstalledontopofthecylinderheads.Asvapourorsteamwillalwaysseekthehighestpoint,anysteampocketscreatedbylocalhotspots,
particularlyinthecylinderheadexhaustvalvearea,willmigrateupandintothesteamtubeswhichwillcarrythemandasmallamountofcoolantawayandeitherintoaportlocatedatthetopofthe
rad(asshownhere)andfromtheretothesurgetank,ordirectlytothesurgetank(dependingonapplication)wherethesteamisseparatedfromthecoolant.
5.Coolantreturningfromthecylinderheadsentersthetwoupperroundportsontheleftandrightbacksidesofthepump
6.Somecoolantcirculatesthroughthewaterpump'sbypasscircuitandisagainpumpedbackthroughtheengine.Thiskeepsthecircuitflowingwhenthethermostatisclosed.
7.Hotcoolantexitsthesmaller,rear"heaterout"portofthethermostathousingonthewaterpump.Thistakesittotheheatercore.Theportis5/8"".
8.Afterexitingtheheatercore,coolantreturningfromtheheaterpassesthroughthesurgetanktokeepcoolantcirculatingthroughthattank.
9.Afterpassingthroughtheheatercoreandthenthesurgetank,coolantreenterstheengineviathelarger,front3/4""heaterin"portofthethermostathousingonthewaterpump.
10.Hotcoolantexitingfromtheenginethatdoesn'tfollowthepump'sinternalbypasscircuitexitsthewaterpumpviathetop11/4"portandentersthetopoftheradiator.
11.Hotcoolantflowsacrossanddownthroughtheradiator,coolingasitgoes.
12.Cooledcoolantexitstheradiatorviathelower11/2"outletandreturnstotheinletsideofthewaterpump.
13.Returningcoolantisblockedfromreenteringthewaterpumpinletifthethermostatisclosed.Whenthecoolantontheinside(engineside)ofthethermostatreachesthetemperatureofthethermostat
(e.g.190F)thethermostatopensandthecoolcoolantentersthewaterpumpinlettobecirculatedthroughtheengineagain,startingoverat#1.
14.Aradiatorbleedorventportlocatedatthetopoftheradiatorconnectstothesurgetank.Anyairorsteaminthesystem,especiallythatcomingfromtheengine'ssteamtubes,willnaturallyseekthe
highestpointandwillthereforeexittheradiatorviathisportandtraveltothesurgetank.Atthesurgetank,coolantandsteamenterandthesteamorairisseparatedfromthecoolant.Thelighter
steam/aircollectsandremainsinthesurgetankatthehighestpoint,justbelowtheradcap,tobeeliminatedfirstintheeventtheradcappurges.Thecooler,densercoolantgoestothebottomofthe
surgetankwhereitiscollectedbytheflowreturningfromtheheatercoreandcirculatedbackthroughthesystem.
15.Intheeventofasystemoverpressurecondition,theradcapopensandburpsexcesscoolantandsteamoutofthesystemtobecollectedbytheoverflowtank.

Ascanbeseen,thesurgetankisanimportantandveryusefulcomponentofthesystem.Followingareafewmoredetailsontheuseofasurgetank:

Oneoftheprimereasonsformountingapressurizedsurgetankinthecoolingsystemistheflexibilityitgivesinthemountinglocationoftheradcap.Becauseitisthepressurereliefvalveofthesystem,the
radcap:

1.Mustalwaysbelocatedatthehighestpointofthecoolingsystemotherwiseitwillbeimpossibletogetacompletefillofcoolantandairwillbetrappedinthesystem.Also,whentheradcapisthe
highestpointinthesystem,steamandairwillnaturallymigratetotheareajustbelowthecap.Intheeventthecapventsduetoexcessivepressure,thesteamandairwillbepurgedfirst.
2.ShouldbeonthelowpressuresideofthesystemotherwisethehighpressurecreatedbythewaterpumprunningathighRPMcantendtounseatthecapandblowcoolantout,leadingto
overheating.
3.Shouldbelocatedinanareaoflowcoolantvelocitysothattheanysteamoraircanseparatefromthecoolant,evenathighRPM.

Thesurgetankprovidestheidealenvironmentforsatisfyingallthreeoftheserequirements,andprovidesalowvelocity,lowpressureenvironmentfordeaerationofthecoolant.

Whenplumbingasurgetank:

Thebottomofthetankisconnectedtotheinletsideofthewaterpumpwitha1/2"or3/4"line.Inthesystemsshownabovetheheaterreturnportisusedforthispurpose.
A1/4"to3/8"ventor"bleed"linefromthesideofthesurgetankisconnectedtotheengine'ssteamports(ifithasthem)orfromthehighestpointofthelowpressuresideoftheradiator.Thatisif
connectedtotheradiator,thebleedlinetothesurgetankmustoriginateatthetopoftheradiatortankthatdoesn'thavethenormalradiatorinletfromthewaterpump.Thisisbecausecoolantvelocity
andpressurearehighatthatlocationwhichwouldforcehighvelocity,highpressurecoolantthroughthelinetothesurgetank,defeatingthepurposeofthesurgetank'slowpressure,lowvelocity
environmentfordeaeration.Thebleedlineallowscontinualcirculationofsomecoolantthroughthesurgetank.
Thesurgetankmustbelargeenoughtoallowtheairtoseparateasthecoolantflowsthroughit.Airinthesystemwillthenmigratetotheareajustbelowtheradiatorcap,againsothatitwillbeforced
outfirstifsystempressureexceedstheradiatorcap'srating.
Thesurgetankshouldbefilledtoaleveljustbelowtheinletports,asshowninthesystemdiagramabove.

Thecontinualdeaerationthatasurgetankprovidescanbeahugebenefittoyouroverallcoolingsystem.Wealreadydiscussedallthebadthingsthathappenwhensteamorairaretrappedinthecooling
system.Inadditiontothose,considerthat2%airinthesystemresultsin8%lessheattransfer,but4%airresultsinawhopping38%less!!Thecontinualdeaerationofthecoolantmaybeenough
advantagetoallowyoutorunasmaller,easiertofitradiatorwithasurgetankthanthesizeyouwouldhavetorunwithonlyanoverflowtank,forinstance.

Ifyourenginedoesn'thavesteamports,andtheradislowerthanthetopoftheengine,thebleedlinetothesurgetankmustcomefromthehighestpointontheenginebecausethisiswheresteamandair
willnaturallygravitateandgettrapped.Afittingonthewaterpumpinthesamepassageastheoutlettotheradiatorcanbeareasonablecompromise.

Ifyouaddasurgetanktoasystemthatalreadyhasaradcapontheradiator,youneedtopermanentlysealtheradiatorradcaplocation,oratleastinstallontheradacapwitharatingsignificantlyhigher
thanthesurgetankcapwillhave,sothattheradiatormountedcapwillnotopenbeforethesurgetankcap.

Now,here'sacloselookatsomeoftheothercomponentsinthe"LS"coolingsystem:

Here'sthewaterpumpmountedtothefrontoftheengine.

Thisparticularexampleisa2002CamaroLS1waterpumpmountedtomyTurnKeyEngineSupplyLS2.

Thepumpisabeltdriven,castaluminumunitofcentrifugalnonfixeddisplacementdesignwithadouble
shroudedimpellertoimprovepumpingefficiencyandtotalpumpoutput.

Thepumpincorporatesacrossover/bypasscircuitasdescribedabove,1.25"outlet,1.5"inlet,and
integratedthermostathousingwithheateroutlet(5/8")andinlet(3/4")ports,locatedontheenginesideofthe
thermostatjustinsidetheradiatorinlet.

Backsideofthewaterpumpshowingcoolantflowpath.

A=Waterpumpoutlettoheatercore,5/8".

B=Waterpumpinletfromheatercore,3/4".

C=Waterpumpinlet/thermostathousing(intoenginefromradiator),11/2".

N=Waterpumpoutlet(outtoradiator,fromengine),11/4".

Coolantpassagesintheblock.

Notetheblockhassiamesedbores.Thismeanstherearenowaterpassagesbetweenthecylinderbores.Alotof
developmentwentintothedesignoftheGenIVwaterjackettogetgoodheatrejectionwithouttheneedforwater
betweenthebores.

Coolantpassagesinthecylinderhead.

ThispictureillustratestheLS"steamtubes",alsoknownas"coolantventlines"or"enginebleedlines".

Youcanseethatthelinesoriginateatportsinthefrontandrearoftheleftandrightcylinderheads.

Thispictureisofacarengine,thetruckengineshadsteamtubesoriginatingonlyfromthefrontofbothheads.

Moststock"LS"engineshadthesesteamlinesroutedtothetoplowpressuresideoftherad,althoughsome
applicationsranthemdirectlytothesurgetank.

Ihopebynowthatyoucanseewhysimplycappingthesteamportsatthecylinderheadsisareallybadideaasthiswillallowsteamtogettrappedexactlywhereitcandothemostdamage.

Youmayalsoreadwherefolksrunthesteamlinesbackintothelowpressuresideofthecoolingsystemsometimesbyputtingafittingonthethermostathousing,andsometimesbyplumbingthemdirectly
backintotheheatercorereturnport.Iimaginethatthehopeisthatanysteampocketswillthengobackintothegeneralcoolingsystemflowwiththehopethattheywouldeventuallymigratebacktothe
areabelowtheradcap,whereveritmaybe.Ihavetobehonestthisstrategymakesnosensetomeatallandisnotsupportedbythelawsofthermodynamics.Itseemstomethatdoingthisisaskingfor
thesteamtojustrecirculateuntilitgetstrappedsomewhereatthehighestpointofthesystempossiblyinthesteamlineitselfbeforeitturnsdowntogotothelowwaterpumpinlet.

Regardless,thebeststrategyistoplumbtheLSsteamtubeseithertothehighpointofthelowpressuresideoftheradordirectlytoasurgetank.

P=steamtubeoutletatfrontofmyLS2rightcylinderhead.Thismustbeplumbedeitherdirectlytoasurgetank,
ortoaportatthetoplowpressuresideoftheradiatortank(notthesidewiththeradiatorinlet).

LS1thermostatlocatedintheintegralthermostat/pumpinlethousing.Thisparticularthermostatisratedat180F.

7=CoolantTemperatureSensor(CTS).

TheCTSmonitorsenginetemperatureandtellstheEngineControlModule(ECM)whentheenginehasreached
orexceedednormaloperatingtemperature.

CTSdataisusedinawiderangeoffunctions,fromtellingtheECMwhentousecoldstartupenrichmentmodeto
turningontheelectricradiatorcoolingfanstofuel/sparkadjustmentsandengineovertempprotection.

ThecoolanttemperaturesensorprovidesimportantfuelinginformationtotheECMwhentheengineisbelowitsnormaloperatingtemperature.ColdenginesrequiremorefueltooperatesotheECMuses
theCTSinformationtoenrichtheair/fuelmixtureinmuchthesamewayanautomaticchokedidoncarburetedengines.Dependinguponhowcoldtheengineis,theECMwillincreasethebasepulsewidth
valuesobtainedfromitsmainfueltableandthengraduallytaperofftheincreaseastheenginewarmsup.TheCTSisalsousedforseveralothertemperaturedependentfunctionsincluding:the
modificationofidlespeed,IACmotorposition,andsparkadvanceaswellasdetectingengineoverheatsituations.

5=1/4"NPTportforelectricalwatertemperaturegauge.

Thisportisa12mmx1.5mmmetricfittingonthestockLS2,butontheTurnKeyengineitis1/4"NPTtomatch
99.9%ofthegaugesoutthere.Thismeansthatyoudon'thavetotryandmakeadaptersortaketheheadoffjust
todrillandtapforagaugesender.
Recallwhatweweresayingaboutthedifferencebetweenthetempsensedbyandindicatedonthegauge,andtheactualoperatingtemperatureoftheengine.Combinethiswiththeinformationaboveon
theroleoftheCTS,andweseethatitmakesgoodsensetolocatethegaugesensor(rearofrightcylinderhead)whereitwillgetsimilarreadingsastheCTS(frontofleftcylinderhead)sothatwecansee
essentiallythesamedataastheECMdoes.Then,withsomeknowledgeoftheECM'sprogramming(whichwillbebasedonthedesignedoperatingtempoftheengine)wecaneasilymakeinformed
decisionsaboutthedatadisplayedonthegauge.

Forexample,onmyengine,whenenginetemperature(asreadbytheCTS)reaches235F,theECMgoesinto"limphome"modewhereitlimitsrpmto2000.

OverallshotofmyLS2showingallthecoolantinletsandoutlets.

LSCoolingSystemPlumbingVariations
Nowthatwe'veseenthedesignandcomponentsofthestandard"LS"coolingsystem,let'shavealookatafewpossiblevariationsbasedonswappingan"LS"motorintoanonoemvehicle.

NoHeater
Manyengineswapapplications,betheyhotrodsoroffroadrigs,deletetheheatercore.Thefollowingdiagramillustratesacoolingsystemwheretheheaterhasbeendeletedbutastocklikesurgetank
setupismaintained.

Thesystemflowisasfollows:

1.Thewaterpumppumpscoolantoutofthelowertwoportsonitsbacksideandintotheblock.
2.Coolantcirculatesthroughtheengineblock...
3....andthroughthecylinderheads.
4.Thesteamtubescarrysteamandasmallamountofcoolantintoaportlocatedatthetopoftherad(asshownhere)andfromtheretothesurgetank,wherethesteamisseparatedfromthecoolant.
5.Coolantreturningfromthecylinderheadsentersthetwoupperroundportsontheleftandrightbacksidesofthepump
6.Somecoolantcirculatesthroughthewaterpump'sbypasscircuitandisagainpumpedbackthroughtheengine.Thiskeepsthecircuitflowingwhenthethermostatisclosed.
7.Hotcoolantexitingfromtheenginethatdoesn'tfollowthepump'sinternalbypasscircuitexitsthewaterpumpviathetop11/4"portandentersthetopoftheradiator.
8.Hotcoolantflowsacrossanddownthroughtheradiator,coolingasitgoes.
9.Cooledcoolantexitstheradiatorviathelower11/2"outletandreturnstotheinletsideofthewaterpump.
10.Returningcoolantisblockedfromreenteringthewaterpumpinletifthethermostatisclosed.Whenthecoolantontheinside(engineside)ofthethermostatreachesthetemperatureofthethermostat
(e.g.190F)thethermostatopensandthecoolcoolantentersthewaterpumpinlettobecirculatedthroughtheengineagain,startingoverat#1.
11.Aradiatorbleedorventportlocatedatthetopoftheradiatorconnectstothesurgetank.Anyairorsteaminthesystem,especiallythatcomingfromtheengine'ssteamtubes,willnaturallyseekthe
highestpointandwillthereforeexittheradiatorviathisportandtraveltothesurgetank.Atthesurgetank,coolantandsteamenterandthesteamorairisseparatedfromthecoolant.Thelighter
steam/aircollectsandremainsinthesurgetankatthehighestpoint,justbelowtheradcap,tobeeliminatedfirstintheeventtheradcappurges.Thecooler,densercoolantgoestothebottomofthe
surgetankwhereitiscollectedbytheflowreturningfromtheheatercoreandcirculatedbackthroughthesystem.
12.Afterpassingthroughthesurgetank,coolantreenterstheengineviathelarger,front3/4""heaterin"portofthethermostathousingonthewaterpump.The"heaterout"portisblockedoff.
13.Intheeventofasystemoverpressurecondition,theradcapopensandburpsexcesscoolantandsteamoutofthesystemtobecollectedbytheoverflowtank.

AftermarketSurgeTank
Unliketheabovesystem,thissetupnotonlydeletestheheater,butalsousesanaftermarketsurgetank.

The"Corvettestyle"surgetanksthatwehavepicturedsofararenotverycommon.

Muchmorecommonareaftermarkettypesurgetanksthathaveasinglelargelowerreturnport(usually1/2"NPT
orAN10)andoneormoresmaller(1/4"or3/8")upperinletports,suchasthisonefromCanton...

...orthisonefromAfco.
Thefollowingdiagramassumesanaftermarketsurgetankwithtwoinletports.Ifadualinletsurgetankwerenotavailable,asimilarsystemcouldberunbuttheenginesteamtubeswouldhavetoberunto
therad,andtheradventportruntothesinglesurgetankinlet.

Inthissystem:

1.Thewaterpumppumpscoolantoutofthelowertwoportsonitsbacksideandintotheblock.
2.Coolantcirculatesthroughtheengineblock...
3....andthroughthecylinderheads.
4.Thesteamtubescarrysteamandasmallamountofcoolantdirectlytothesurgetankwherethesteamisseparatedfromthecoolant.
5.Coolantreturningfromthecylinderheadsentersthetwoupperroundportsontheleftandrightbacksidesofthepump
6.Somecoolantcirculatesthroughthewaterpump'sbypasscircuitandisagainpumpedbackthroughtheengine.Thiskeepsthecircuitflowingwhenthethermostatisclosed.
7.Hotcoolantexitingfromtheenginethatdoesn'tfollowthepump'sinternalbypasscircuitexitsthewaterpumpviathetop11/4"portandentersthetopoftheradiator.
8.Hotcoolantflowsacrossanddownthroughtheradiator,coolingasitgoes.
9.Cooledcoolantexitstheradiatorviathelower11/2"outletandreturnstotheinletsideofthewaterpump.
10.Returningcoolantisblockedfromreenteringthewaterpumpinletifthethermostatisclosed.Whenthecoolantontheinside(engineside)ofthethermostatreachesthetemperatureofthethermostat
(e.g.190F)thethermostatopensandthecoolcoolantentersthewaterpumpinlettobecirculatedthroughtheengineagain,startingoverat#1.
11.Aradiatorbleedorventportlocatedatthetopoftheradiatorconnectstothesurgetank.Anyairorsteaminthesystem,willnaturallyseekthehighestpointandwillthereforeexittheradiatorviathis
portandtraveltothesurgetank.Atthesurgetank,coolantandsteamenterandthesteamorairisseparatedfromthecoolant.Thelightersteam/aircollectsandremainsinthesurgetankatthe
highestpoint,justbelowtheradcap,tobeeliminatedfirstintheeventtheradcappurges.
12.Thecoolantatthebottomofthesurgetankreenterstheengineviathelarger,front3/4""heaterin"portofthethermostathousingonthewaterpump.The"heaterout"portisblockedoff.
13.Intheeventofasystemoverpressurecondition,theradcapopensandburpsexcesscoolantandsteamoutofthesystemtobecollectedbytheoverflowtank.

OldSchoolOverflowTankOnly
Thoughiteliminatestheadvantagesofthesurgetank,dependingonthecapabilitiesoftherestofyourcoolingsystem,itispossibletorunasystemwithjustanoldschooloverflowtank.Ofcourse,this
requiresthattheradcapbemountedontheradandthattheradbethehighestpointinthesystem.Italsodemandsthattherestofthecoolingsystembecapableenoughthattheadvantagesofthesurge
tankdesigncanbesafelydoneawaywith.However,withagoodenoughsystem,andespeciallyabigenoughradandgoodenoughairflow,eliminatingthesurgetankcansaveyousomespace(astheiris
noneedtofindaplacetomountthesurgetank),savealittleplumbing,savealittleweight,andsimplifythesystemalittle.

Thereareahugenumberofoverflowtanksavailablefromtheaftermarket.

ThisonefromCantonincorporatesasighttubeforcheckingthecoolantlevelinthetank,aswellasanon
pressurizedcap.

ThisonefromMorosohasneitherasighttube,noracap.
Thefollowingisthesimplestofallsystemsweshalllookat,andthereisacertainbeautyinsimplicity.Itdeletestheheaterandthesurgetank.However,itforgoesthecontinualdeaerationcapabilitiesof
thesurgetankandrequiresthattheradmountedradcapbethehighestpointinthesystem.Notehowever,thatthesteamtubesarestillcorrectlyplumbedtotheradiator.Ofcourse,neverplumbthesteam
tubesdirectlytoanoverflowtank!!

Inthissystem:

1.Thewaterpumppumpscoolantoutofthelowertwoportsonitsbacksideandintotheblock.
2.Coolantcirculatesthroughtheengineblock...
3....andthroughthecylinderheads.
4.Thesteamtubescarrysteamandasmallamountofcoolanttothetopoftheradiatorwherethesteamisseparatedfromthecoolantandcollectsjustbeneaththeradcapseal.
5.Coolantreturningfromthecylinderheadsentersthetwoupperroundportsontheleftandrightbacksidesofthepump
6.Somecoolantcirculatesthroughthewaterpump'sbypasscircuitandisagainpumpedbackthroughtheengine.Thiskeepsthecircuitflowingwhenthethermostatisclosed.
7.Hotcoolantexitingfromtheenginethatdoesn'tfollowthepump'sinternalbypasscircuitexitsthewaterpumpviathetop11/4"portandentersthetopoftheradiator.
8.Hotcoolantflowsacrossanddownthroughtheradiator,coolingasitgoes.
9.Cooledcoolantexitstheradiatorviathelower11/2"outletandreturnstotheinletsideofthewaterpump.
10.Returningcoolantisblockedfromreenteringthewaterpumpinletifthethermostatisclosed.Whenthecoolantontheinside(engineside)ofthethermostatreachesthetemperatureofthethermostat
(e.g.190F)thethermostatopensandthecoolcoolantentersthewaterpumpinlettobecirculatedthroughtheengineagain,startingoverat#1.Boththe"heaterin"and"heaterout"portsare
plugged.
11.Intheeventofasystemoverpressurecondition,theradcapopensandburpsexcesscoolantandsteamoutofthesystemtobecollectedbytheoverflowtank.

BlockingtheLSHeaterPorts
InmanyofthesystemsI'veillustrated,asinmanycustomenginetransplants,theheaterisdeletedandtheheaterportsblockedoff.Here'showtoblockofftheLSheaterports.

Unboltandremovetheengineinlet/thermostathousingandthermostat.

Firmlygrasptheheaterhosefittingswithvisegrips,twist,andremovefromthehousing.Theyareonlypressedin
andthiswillcausenodamage.

Usinga1/2"NPTtapforthelarger"in"port(shown)anda3/8"NPTtapforthesmaller"out"port,carefullytapthe
ports.

Youdonotneedtodrilltheportstosizepriortotapping.

Besuretofollowallthenormalgoodpracticesoftappingaholelubrication,backoutthetaptoclearthechips,
etc.
Youdon'twanttoscrewitupandhavetobuyawholenewwaterpump!

Thechipswillcollectinthepumphousing.

Andcaneasilybevacuumedoutwhenyou'refinished.

Threadscut.

NPTplugsinstalledwithPTFEsealingtape.

HowtoBuildaKillerCoolingSystem
OK,sonowweknowallthebasicswhatthepartsare,whattheydo,howthesystemflowsandisplumbed,whatpressuredoesforus,etc.Nowwhatdistinguishesagood,capablecoolingsystemfroma
lousy,inadequateone?Howdoyoubegintodesignorbuildacoolingsystemforyourrig?

Thequickansweris,youshouldmaximize:

1.Theflowofthecoolantthehigherthebetter.Moreflowwillalwaysequalmorecooling.Dothiswithahighflowwaterpump,largehosesandpassageways,largeradiusbends,andkeepingthe
passagewaysasfreeofrestrictionsandblockagesaspossible.
2.Theflowofairthroughtheradquality,highCFMfans(likethosefromSPAL),properlyshrouded,aswellasappropriatebodywork/ductingtoensureairflowsthroughtheradandnotaroundit.Don't
leantheradwayback,asairwillflowoverratherthanthroughit.
3.Thesurfaceareaoftheradiatorusethebiggestyoucanpossiblyfit.Moredetailsonradtechtocomeshortlybutagain,shortstoryisbuyanaluminumonefromGriffin!
4.Thepercentageofwaterinthecoolantforcooling,aswehavediscussed,waterisbestuseashighasapercentageasyoucangetawaywith(withoutfreezing,boiling,orcorrodingthesystem)
5.Pressure.Usethehighestratedradcapyoucanwithoutblowingahoseorcrackingtheradorsomeothercomponent.Morepressureequalshighervapourpoint(boilingpoint)whichnotonlymeans
lesschanceofsteampocketsorboilover,butalsothatthecoolantcancontinuecarryingawayheatattempsbeyondwhichlowerpressuresystemswouldhavemaxedout.
6.Turbulence.Turbulent(orrough)flowofcoolantthroughtheradensuresthatasmuchhotcoolantaspossibleisexposedtothecoolingsurfacesofthetubes.Ifflowistoosmooth(laminar),onlyathin
outerlayerofcoolantiscooledintheradandanundisturbed,hotcoreofcoolantgoesuncooled.That'suncool!Griffinhavesomesupertrickwaysofensuringturbulentflowintheirhighperformance
rads.

HereareGriffin's"10CommandmentsforMaximumCooling".Iagreewiththemall(I'msurethey'dberelievedtohearthat)astheyapplytomostnormal,streetdrivenvehicles.Forraceorotherhigh
performancevehiclestheonlyexceptionsIwouldtakearewithregardstothethepressureoftheradcapandthepercentageofEthyleneGlycolorPropyleneGlycolinthecoolant,aswehavediscussed.

1.Thoushallmakeroomforanadequatecoolingsysteminthedesignofyourenginecompartment.
Firstthingsfirst.Whenplanningyourperformancevehicle,rememberthatyourebuildingittodrive,nottositandsteam.Planadequatespaceforthecoolingsystemincludingtheradiator,fan,
shroud,overflowtankandmountingbrackets.Talkwithacoolingspecialisttohelpyousizethesystemforyourvehicle,engineanddrivinghabits.Considertheinvestmentcomparedtothetotal
costofthecar.

2.Thoushallshroudthyradiatorwhenusingafan.
Fansmoveairthroughtheradiatorassistingincoolingtheengine.Afanwithoutashroudisbetterthannofan.But,considerthis.Atidleorcruisingspeeds,youneedtheentirecoolingsystem
workingatitsoptimum.Anunshroudedfanismovingairthroughonlytheportionoftheradiatorequaltothesurfaceareaofthefan.Forexample,ona32Ford,theareaofa15.50fanisabout
189sq.in.thecoreoftheradiatorisapproximately371sq.in.Thismeansthatalmost49%oftheunshroudedradiatorisnotreceivinganybenefitsofthefan.Shroudingyourradiatorletsthe
fanpullairthroughtheentirecore.

3.Thoushalluseanelectricfan.
Ruleofthumb.Onlychooseamechanicalfanoveranelectricfanifitsyourfarmtractor.Anelectricfanispreferredbecausewhenyouneedafanthemost(atidleorcruisingspeeds)anelectric
fanisdeliveringmaximumairindependentofengineRPMs.Fansthatmove20002300CFMsareworththeinvestment.Preferenceshouldbegiventoapullvs.apushfan.Mountedon
theenginesideoftheradiator,apullfandoesnotinterferewithairflowathighwayspeeds.Allshroudedfansshouldbeontheenginesideoftheradiator.

4.Thoushallconsiderairfloworhowaradiatorcools.
Withoutadequateairflow,aradiatorisjustareservoirforhotwater.Coolanttransfersheattothetubesthetubestransferheattothefinsairmovingthroughthefinsdissipatestheheatfrom
theradiator.Youneedsufficientopeningstotheradiatorthatchanneladequateairtotheentiresurfaceareaoftheradiator.Youmusthavearadiatordesignthatallowstheairtopasseffectively
throughtheradiator(widerandtallerisbetterthanthicker).Youmustconsiderhowtheheatwillbeevacuatedfromtheenginecompartment.

5.Thoushallusetheproperwaterpumppulleyratio.
Toobtainthemaximumoperatingefficiencyrateforyourwaterpumpathighwayspeeds,youshouldoverdrivethepumpby3035%.Checkyourpulleyselection.Mostaftermarketpulleysarea
1:1ratio.Fora3035%overdrive,thecrankpulleyshouldbeapproximately77/8andthewaterpumppulleyapproximately53/4.Thisoverdriveprovidespropercoolantflowfrom
theengineandthroughtheradiator.

6.Thoushallconsidertheeffectsofthepressurecap.
Thehigherratedthepressurecap,thehotterthewaterhastogettoboil.Onepoundofpressureraisestheboilingtemperature3F.A16poundcapraisestheboilingpointto268F.If
yourengineisdesignedtorunat200F,a1416poundcapshouldbesufficient.Runningahigherpressurecaptopreventboiloverisputtingabandaidonanotherproblemthatneedstobe
fixed.Higheroperatingpressureplacesadditionalstressontheentireenginesystemandincreasesthepotentialofhosesburstingandpossibleinjury.

7.Thoushallunderstandtheoperatingtemperaturesoftodaysmodernengines.
Allengineshavenormaloperatingtemperatures.Runningenginetemperatureswellaboveorbelowrecommendedtemperaturescouldcausedamage.Mostoftodaysenginesoperateinthe
180210Frange.Pollutionlaws,newoilblendsandhighercombustiongasolinehaveforcedenginedesignchangesthathaveincreasedoperatingtemperaturesoverthepastdecade.
Consideryourenginesnormaloperatingtemperatureswhenselectingyourradiatorscoolingcapacity.

8.Thoushallalwaysuseathermostat.
Thethermostatcontrolsenginecoolanttemperature.Itstopstheflowofcoolantthroughtheradiatoruntilthecoolantreachesthethermostatspresettemperature.Operatingyourenginewithin
itstemperatureparametersreduceswear,helpscontrolemissionsandturnsanymoistureinthecrankcasetosteamwhereitisremovedbythePCVsystem.Selecttherightthermostatforyour
enginesoperatingtemperaturerange.

9.Thoushallprotectthycoolingsystemwithrecommendedcoolant.
Itisessentialtouseapremiumcoolantthatprotectstheradiator,othermetalpartsandseals.Todayscoolantsareascientificblendthatnormallyincludeswaterwetterandcorrosioninhibitors.
Useofacoolantthatcontainsnosilicateisrecommended.Silicateisanabrasiveandcancausegelformationandwaterpumpfailure.A50/50mixofcoolantandwaterprovidesthebestoverall
coolingefficiency.Propermaintenance(regularflushingandchangingofcoolant)willextendthelifeofyoursystem.

10.Thoushallspendthymoneywisely.
Ifyouarehavingcoolingproblems,beginbylookingattheleastexpensivefixesfirst.1)Addanelectricfan.2)Shroudyourfan.3)Checkyourbeltsandhoses.Slippingbeltsorcollapsedhoses
meantrouble.4)Checkyourradiatorcap.5)Flushandrefillwithpremiumcoolant.6)Usetheproperthermostat.7)Cleantheradiatorofforeignmaterials.8)Overdrivethewaterpump2030%.
9)Checkyourwaterpump.Shouldcoolingproblemspersist,itmaybetimeforanewperformanceradiatorfromGriffin.CalltheGriffinCustomerServiceDepartmentat18007223723for
assistanceinselectingthecorrectradiatorforyourrequirements.
**WARNING:Improperwiringcancauseelectrolysisanddestroytheradiator.Pleasemakesureradiatorisnotusedasaground.**

Nowwewillcoversometechdetailsandadviceonselectingthemaincomponentsforanycoolingsystem,butfocusingespeciallyonacoolingsystemforanoffroadrigpoweredbyaGenIIIorIVGMV8

TheRadiator
Firstlet'sjustgooverthemainpartsoftheradiator,because,asusual,somefolksinsistonusingtermslooselyorincorrectlywhichcanleadtoconfusion.

Thetanksareconnectedbythetubes.Coolantentersthetankwiththeinletport,andflowsbetweenthetanksviathehollowtubes(whichareactuallyverywideandthinincrosssection,notround).
Sandwichedbetweenthetubesarethefins.Thepartthatformstheactualjointbetweentherowsoftubesandthetanksiscalledtheheaderyoucan'tdistinguishitinthispic,butyouwillseeapicofthe
headerlaterwhenIshowyouaGriffinRadbeingbuilt.Thecombinationofallthetubesandfinstogetheriscalledthecore.Thus,thetwomajorcomponentsarethecoreandthetanks.Thecorewillalways
havemanyrowsoftubesbetweenthetopandbottomoftherad,butitmayalsohaveoneormorerowsoftubes(fromfronttoback)foreach"row"betweenthetanks.Youcan'teasilytellthis,becausethe
rowsoftubeswouldallbeonebehindtheother.Somefolksinterchangetheword"core"for"tubes"sothatyoumayhearthemsaytheyhavea"3corerad".Whattheymeanisthatthecoreoftheirrad
uses3rowsoftubes,oneinfrontoftheother,foreach"row"betweenthetanksnotthattheradhas3completecores!
Thereisnoonemagicformulatospec'ing,buying,orbuildingatopqualityradiator.Therearemanycomplicatedinterrelatedfactorsatplayanddesigningandbuildingagreatradiatorisbothartand
science.Fortunately,thisissomethingGriffinThermalProductsarevery,verygoodat.Keepinmind,asyoureadthefollowingconsiderationsthataradiatorisonlyasgoodasthesumofitsparts,that
thereisalotmoretoaqualityradiatorthanmeetstheeye,andthattherearefewhardandfastrules,despitewhatsomewouldhaveyoubelieve(forexample,youcan'tsaythata3rowradisalwaysbetter
thenasinglerowrad.)

Asyoureadthissection,keepinmindthatthejoboftheradiatoristoexposeasmuchhotcoolantaspossibletotheinsidesurfacesoftherowsoftubesthatconnecttheradiatortanks.Heatisthus
transferredfromthecoolanttothetubes.Fromthetubes,theheatistransferredtothefins.Airflowpassingoverthefinsthendissipatestheheatintotheair.

Thatsaid,herearesomeofthefactorstokeepinmindwhenselectingorspec'ingaradiator:

Material

Thereisonlyonechoiceofmaterialforatopqualityradiatortodayaluminum.Notonlydoesithaveaveryefficientrateofheattransferitalsohasfarsuperiorstructuralstrengthcomparedtoan
oldercoppercoreradiator.Thismeanstheradiatorwillbeabletowithstandhighersystempressures.Thegreaterstrengthofaluminumalsomeansthealuminumradiatorcanbebuiltwithwidertubes
whichallowmoredirectcontactbetweenthecoolantandthetubesurfaceaswellasmorecontactbetweenthefinsandtube,bothofwhichincreasetheradiatorscapacitytodissipateheat.Becauseof
thesewider,moreefficienttubes,analuminumradiatorwith2rowsof1"tubesisequivalenttoacopperradiatorwith5rowsof1/2"tubes!Thegreaterstructuralstrengthofaluminumalsomeansthat
radiatorscanbebuiltwithverywidecoreswithoutriskofcollapse,whichprovidesgreatercoolantcapacityandgreatercoolingsurfacearea.

Allthingsconsidered,analuminumradiatorwillbemoreefficient,longerlasting,stronger,andlighterthanatraditionalcopperradiator.

SurfaceArea

Surfaceareaisking.Getthebiggestradyoucanfit(lengthxwidth).Infact,ifmaximumcoolingperformanceisyourgoalconsidergettingabiggerradthanyoucanfitandthenbuildingthechassisaround
therad.ThisisexactlywhatIdidwhenbuildingthecoolingsystemformy525HPLS2.Iknewitmadealotofpower.Iknewpower=heat.SoIchoppedoffthewholefrontofthetruckandbuiltanewfront
endspecificallyaroundmyGriffinrad.Surfaceareayes,it'sthatimportant!

Thereusedtobeanoldschoolrulethatstatedthataradshouldbe1squareinchforeverycubicinchofenginedisplacement.Thiswasanoldrulefrombackinthedayswhenmaking1hppercu.in.was
consideredprettyhighperformance.Thesedaysenginesareroutinelymakingmorethan1hppercu.in.sotheruleneedsrevisingsincecoolingcapacityisrelatedtopowerandnotjustenginesize.

Forhighperformanceuselikeoffroadracing,myruleofthumbistosizearadbasedon1.1sq.in.perhpproduced.Thisisafairlyconservativeruleofthumb,whichworkswellforaluminummotors.

Herearesomecommonradsizesandtheirareasinsquareinches:

width height Area


(in.) (in.) (sq.in.)
22 19 418
31 19 589
31 16 496
28 19 532

Turbulence

Itisveryimportantthatthecoolantflowingthroughtheradiator'stubesdoessoinaturbulentor"roughandtumbling"fashion.Thisissothatthemaximumamountofhotcoolantcancomeintocontactwith
thesurfaceofthetubessomaximumcoolingcanoccur.Iftheflowisnotturbulent,butinsteadissmoothor"laminar"innature,athinboundarylayeroffluidwilltendto"stick"totheinsidewallsofthetube,
insulatingtherestofthefluidfromthecoolingsurfacesofthetube.Theresultis,theouterboundarylayercools,butthehotinnercorenevergetscooled.

Thefollowingdiagramillustratesthedifferencebetweenlaminar(bad!)andturbulent(good!)flow.

Thereareanumberofwaysaradiatororcoolingsystemdesignercanachieveturbulentflow.Theyinclude:

Ensuringsufficientvelocityofthecoolantflow.
Optimaltubeshape.Widertubeswithsmallcrosssectionalareaallowforbetterturbulence.Thisisanotherexampleoftheadvantagesofaluminumithasthestrengthrequiredforfewer,wider
tubes.
Theuseofspecialtechniquesintheconstructionofthetubesthemselvessuchastheadditionof"turbolators"orsmallfinlikeprojectionsthatpromoteturbulentflowinsidethetubes.Such
techniquesrequireadvancedengineeringandflowmodellingtostrikethebestbalancebetweenpromotingturbulencewhilemaintainingadequateflowandminimizingpressuredropthrough
theradiator.IntheirlatesthighperformanceproductsGriffinemployapatentedportedMicroExtrusiontubeconstructiontechniqueusinga3000seriesaluminumalloyfordurabilityandenhanced
fluidturbulation.

Thickness

Ifyouhavemaximizedthesurfaceareaandthere'sabsolutelynowaytogoanybigger,thentheremaybesomeadvantagetousingathickerrad.

Addingthicknesstoaradiatordoesnotincreaseitsefficiencytothesameextentasincreasingitssurfaceareadoes,butaslongasthereissufficientairflowitwillnotdecreasetheefficiency.

Thickerradiatorsdohaveslightlymoreairflowresistancethanthinnerradiatorsbutthedifferenceisminimalatspeedwhenthereisgoodairflowthroughtheradiator.Whereissuescancropupisatidle
whenthefan(s)alonemustsupplytheneededairflow.Useofaquality,properlyshroudedfanorfansisamusttoproducetherequiredairflowatidleandslowspeedconditions.Ofcourse,thisistrueto
someextentinallcase,butespeciallysowithparticularlythickradiators.

Youmayhaveheardpeopleclaimthatinstallingathickerradiatorresultedinanetdropincoolingability.Thismaybeattributedtooneoftwopossiblecauses.First,thefan(s)andshroudingmaybe
inadequatetosupplytherequiredairflow.Second,inthecaseofolderradiators(especiallycopper)thatusednarrowtubeswithfairlylargecrosssectionalarea,theincreaseinthicknessandtherefore
tubes,actuallyreducedcoolantvelocitytothepointthatthecoolantflowlackedtherequiredturbulence.Innocase,however,canadropincoolingwithathickerradbeattributedtotheairgettingfullyheat
soakedbeforeithasflowncompletelythroughthethickradthisisanoldwives'talethatmayhavecomeaboutasaresultofmisdiagnosingoneorbothoftheaboveconditions.

Rows

Onerow?Tworows?Threerows?(Orerroneously,singlecore?Doublecore?Triplecore?)Whichisthebest?Thereisnohardandfastrulehere.Thenumberoftubesineachrow(fromfronttoback)is
onlyapartofaradiator'soveralldesign.Onecannotsaythattworowsarealwaysbetterthanone.Italldependsonthesizeandprofileofthetubes,aswellasalltheotherdesignfeaturesoftheradiator
nottheleastofwhichistheoverallsize.Thebestbetistochooseorspecaradiatorusingtheothercriteriaforwhichtherearefirmguidelines(aluminum,largestareapossible,etc.)andthenleavethe
otherdesignelements,suchasthenumberofrows,toatrustedexpertsuchasGriffin.

FinDensity

Normally,thegreaterthedensityoffinsbetweenthetubes,themoresurfaceareathereistobesubjectedtocoolingairflow.However,thereisalimitmoreisnotalwaysbetterandtoomuchofagood
thingbecomesabadthing.Imagineafindensitysohighitwasalmostasolidobviouslythatwouldnotbeoptimalforcoolingasnoairflowcouldpass.Anotherfactorinvolvedintheoptimalfindensity
calculationistheoperatingconditionstowhichtheradiatorwillbesubjected.Dirty,cloggedfinsareinefficientandevenuseless,andextremelydensefinsareverydifficulttokeepclean.Notonlythat,but
thefinsarefairlydelicateandcleaningthemcansometimescausedamagethatagainreducestheirefficiencyorrendersthemuseless.Forthesereasons,oftenthebestchoiceforanoffroadrigisa
slightlylessdensefincountcomparedtoastreetortrackcarandtheoverallresultwillbebetterrealworld,inservicecooling.Griffinunderstandsthisand,unlikesomeothers,willnotjustsellyouthe
productthatsoundsbestonpaper(highestfindensity).Rather,theywilltakethetimetounderstandyourapplicationandwilleitherdesignacustomproductforyouorsellyouanofftheshelfproductbest
suitedtoyouractualneeds.

Flowcrossanddown

Almostallradiatorstodayare"crossflow".Thissimplymeansthatthetanksareonthesidesofthecore,andthatthecoolantflowshorizontallythroughthetubesfromonetanktotheother.

Acrossflowradiatorwithtanksonthesidesofthecore.

Yearsago,mostradiatorswere"downflow"designwhereonetankwasontopofthecoreandonewasbelowsothatthecoolantfloweddown,vertically,fromthetoptanktothebottom.Thisstyleisstill
populartodayinsomecirclessuchasthehotrodscene.

Adownflowradiatorwithtanksaboveandbelowthecore.

Many,manymythsandoldwives'talescanbetracedbacktotheolddownflowstyleradiatorsandtheirdesignandconstruction.Wewilldealwiththeminaseparatesection.Fornow,unlessyouaretrying
toreproduceaclassichotrodlookorareintentonreplicatingthefactorysetupinarigthatoriginallyusedadownflowradiator,knowthatacrossflowradiatoristhebetterdesignbecause:

Inacrossflowradiator,theradiatorcap(pressurereliefvalve)islocatedonthelowpressure(noninlet)sideoftheradiator.Thispreventsthepressurecreatedbyahighflowwaterpumpfrom
forcingcoolantpasttheradiatorcapathighengineRPM.
Becausetheradcapisreallyapressuresensitivereliefvalvethatsetsthesystempressure,whenitislocatedonthehighpressureside(asitisinadownflowradiator)it"senses"thehighpressure
sideandsetsthesystempressurebasedonthisandthereforeoverallmaximumsystempressureisless(thevalveopenswhenthehighpressuresidereachesthecap'srating).Incontrast,whenthe
capislocatedonthelowpressure(noninletside),asitisinacrossflowradiator,thecap"senses"andsetsthesystempressurebasedonthelowpressuresidewiththeresultthatoverallsystem
pressureishigherinthisconfiguration.Forexample,a22PSIradcaplocatedonthelowpressuresideofacrossflowradeffectivelybecomesa10PSIcapifitwerelocatedinthehighpressureside
ofadownflowradiator.
Becausetheradcaponadownflowradiatorislocatedonthehighpressureinletside,coolantflow/velocitymustbereducedsothatradpressuredoesn'texceedthecap'srating.Aswehaveseen,
whenflowisreducedsoiscoolingefficiency,andwhenvelocityisreduced,soisflowturbulenceandthereforecoolingefficiency.

Flowsingle,dual,triplepass

Thediagramatleftdepictstheflowinasinglepasscrossflowradiator.

Thetanksarecompletelyopeninsideandcoolantflowshorizontally,inonedirectiononly,fromtheinlet(high
pressure)sidetotheoutlet(lowpressure)side.

Thisresultsintheinletandoutletbeingonoppositesidesoftheradiator.

Ifaradcapismountedonasinglepassrad,itislocatedonthelowpressure(outlet)side.

Picturedatleftisadualpasscrossflowradiator.

Inthisconfiguration,theinletandoutletarelocatedonthesamesideoftheradiator,andthetanktowhichthey
attachisseparatedinhalfvertically.

Thisforcesthecoolanttoflowfromtheinlettotheoppositesidetank,thenbackthroughtheradtotheoutlet,as
pictured.

Thisessentiallydoublesthelengthofthetubesbetweeninletandoutlet,halvesthecrosssectionalareaforflow,
andresultsin:

Increasedpressuredropacrosstheradfromtheinlettotheoutlet.
Decreasedflowrate.
Highervelocityandmoreturbulentcoolantflow,withattendantincreasedheattransfercoefficient.
IntermediatedeltaTbetweenthecoolantandairflowonthesecondpass.

Let'stakeacloserlookatwhyallthisissoandwhatitmeanstoourcoolingsystemperformance.

Manypeoplemistakenlybelievethatadualpassradiatorcoolsbetterbecausethecoolant"goesthroughtheradtwice"andtherefore"spendslongerintheradandcoolsmore".Weknowthatthisisnotthe
case,because"timespentintherad"isnotadefiningfactorofhowwellaradcools,andthatflow,turbulence,anddeltaThaveafargreatereffectoncoolingefficiencythantime.Inaddition,therearea
greatmanyaspectsofradiatordesign,includingtubewidth,tubeheight,numberoftubes,tubeconstruction,andfincountthat,inadditiontoflowpattern,allcombinetodeterminethecoolingefficiencyof
aradiator.

So,thequestionisdoesadualpassradcoolbetterorworsethanasinglecrossflowrad?

Theansweris"itdepends".Tounderstandwhythisisthecase,weneedtorecalltheprinciplesofPumpPerformanceCurveandTotalSystemPressureDropandapplythemtothedualpassradtosee
whatishappening.

Wealreadyknowthatpressureandflowarerelated,andthereforehowincreasingtheeffectivelengthofthecoolingtubeswithadualpassradincreasespressuredrop(backpressure).

Ifweexaminethepumpperformancecurve,wecanalsoseehowtheincreasedheadrequiredbytheincreasedbackpressureofthedualpassradalsocausesareductioninflowbecausethepumpalways
performssomewhereonitscurve,andsinceitsheadhasincreased,theflowitproduceswillbeless.Thefollowingdiagramillustratestheconcept,butonceagainthevaluesarenotintendedtobe
representativeofanyrealworldconditions(Ijustmadethemuptoillustratetheconcept).

Theintersectionoftheredlinesontheperformancecurverepresents
theflowandheadofatheoreticalsinglepassradsay90GPMat8PSI
head.Theintersectionofthebluelinesontheperformancecurve
representstheflowandheadofatheoreticaldualpassradsay70
GPMat14PSIhead.

Howlargeaneffectonpumpflowtheincreasedheadrequiredforadualpassradhas,dependsonthespecificpump'sperformancecurveandhowlargeapartoftheoverallsystempressuredroptherad
is.

Now,tounderstandthedualpassrad'seffectoncoolantvelocity,weneedtointroduceonelastequationthatrelatesflow,area,andvelocity.

Flowinapipe(orradiatortube)isequaltothecrosssectionalareaofthepipemultipliedbythevelocityofthefluid.Ifthatconceptisdifficulttograsp,itmayhelptothinkoftheunitsinvolved,asin:

Flow(q)=Area(A)xVelocity(V)or

cubicfeetperminute=squarefeetxfeetperminute

(note:1cuft=7.48USgallons)

Thismakessensethelargerthepipeand/orthefasterthefluidismovingthegreatertheflow(themorefluidwillpassthroughthepipeinagiventime).

Now,sinceq=AxV,thismeansthatifyoudecreasetheareaorthevelocity,theflowdecreasesandbythesametoken,ifflowremainsconstantandareaisreduced,thevelocityorspeedofthefluidmust
increase.

Inadualpassradliketheonepicturedabove,thecoolantonlyhashalfthenumberoftubestoflowthroughatatimethatis,thecrosssectionalareaishalved.Andbecauseq=AxV,sincetheareahas
halved,foragivenflowproducedbythepump,thevelocityofthecoolantdoubles.Becausevelocityincreases,sodoesturbulence.Velocityalsohasabeneficialeffectontheheattransfercoefficient(how
welltheradiatorshedstheheatinthecoolant).

Lastly,inadualpassradiator,thedeltaT(temperaturedifference)betweenthecoolantandtheairflowwillbelessonthesecondpassthanitisonthefirstpasswhichmeansheattransferfrom
thecoolanttotheairwillbelessonthesecondpassthanthefirst.

Soagain,ingeneral,whencomparedtoasinglepassrad,thedualpassradhassomedegreeof:

Increasedpressuredropacrosstheradfromtheinlettotheoutlet.
Decreasedflowrate.
Highervelocityandmoreturbulentcoolantflow,withattendantincreasedheattransfercoefficient.
IntermediatedeltaTbetweenthecoolantandairflowonthesecondpass.

Ofcourse,allthisisalsoacircularprocess.Areaisreduced>velocitygoesup>pressuredropgoesup>headgoesup>flowgoesdown>velocitygoesdown(rememberq=AxVatalltimes)>
pressuredropgoesdown>headgoesdown>flowgoesup>andsoon(thesystemquicklyreachesapointofbalanceorequilibrium,itjustisn'teasytocalculatewithasimpleequation).

Therearetwofinalconsiderationswithregardstoadualpassradiatorcomparedtoasinglepass:
Adualpassconfigurationisidealforlocatingtheradhosesonthesamesideoftheengine,asisoftenthedesiredconfigurationwith"LS"motors.Thisisespeciallyimportantifyoudon'thaveroomin
acrampedenginecompartmenttorunanupperradhoseoverthetopofthefan(s).

Inadualpassradiator,theradcapislocatedonthetankthatdoesn'thavetheinletandoutlet.Thisessentiallypositionsitbetweenthehighpressureinletandthelowpressureoutletorinaregion
of"mediumpressure".Thisisanimportantconsiderationinchoosingaradcappressureratingforadualpassradiator.However,thisregionof"mediumpressure"isarelativetermgiventhegreater
totalpressuredropthroughadualpassrad.

Howallthesefactorsbalanceoutandthereforetheoveralleffectoncoolingsystemperformanceofreplacingasinglepassradwithadualpassraddependsonwhich,ifany,ofthesefactorsisthelimiting
factoronthatsystem'sperformance.Attemptingtocalculateandquantifythisisacomplexproblemrequiringadvancedknowledgeoffluiddynamicsandthermodynamicsandadvancedmodelling
techniques.Itislikelywellbeyondtheabilityofanyenthusiast.

Thebestwecandoisunderstandthegeneralprinciplesatplay,andthenconsulttheexpertsastowhetherornotadualoreventriplepassradcanorwillbebeneficialtoyourcoolingsystem.Onecannot
definitivelysaythatadualpassradalwayscoolsbetterthanasinglepassradorviceversa,buttherearecertainlycaseswhereadualpassradiatorcanbeverybeneficialifappliedtoaproperly
engineeredcoolingsystem.ThebestadviceIcanofferis:beforeconsideringadualpassortriplepassradiatorforyourvehiclebesuretoconsultcoolingsystemprofessionalslikethoseatGriffinThermal
Products.

InletsandOutlets

Inletsandoutletsshouldbechosentomatchthediameterofthewaterpumpinletandoutlet.Inthecaseofthe"LS"motorsthewaterpumpoutletis1.25"andtheinletis1.5".Theycanbeplacedoneither
sideoftherad,eithertogether(asinadualpassradiator)oronoppositesides(asinasinglepassortriplepassradiator).ForolderconventionalV8's,Chevyenginesnormallyhadtheradinletontheleft
andtheoutletontheright.InFordstheywerereversedwiththeinletontherightandtheoutletontheleft.OntheoldergenIGMV8'sthewaterpumpoutletwasusually1.5"andtheinlet1.75".

FillerNeck/RadCapLocation

Ashasbeencovered,ifyouaregoingtousearadiatorwithafillerneckandmounttheradcaptotheradiator,thefillerneckshouldalwaysbeplacedonthelowpressuretanki.e.theonethatdoesn't
havetheradiatorinlet.

AdditionalPorts&Plugs

Dueconsiderationshouldbegiventothelocationandsizeofsteamportsandsurgetankventports.Remembertheyshouldbelocatedonthelowpressureside,justbelowtheradcap.Mosthigh
performanceradsdonotincorporateabuiltindrainplugatthebottomsincethiscancreateanunnecessarypotentialleakpointandmostracerswouldn'tuseadrainportformaintenancesincethewhole
systemusuallycomesapartforinspectionandreplacementasnecessarywhenmaintenanceisscheduled.Griffindoesnotnormallyinstalladrainintheirraceradiatorssincemostracersdontuseadrain,
and,giventhewidevarietyofchassisaraceradiatorcanbeusedin,itwouldbeimpossibletofindalocationforthedrainthatwouldsuiteverypossibleapplication.

Airflow
Thebestradiatordoesnogoodwithoutadequateairflow.Airflowismeasuredincubicfeetperminute,orCFM.Inyourdesign,besuretoallowforadequateairflowatbothhighandlowvehiclespeeds.
Airflowdesignforlowspeedsisfairlyeasyyouneedoneormoregoodquality,powerfulfansandagood,completeshroud.Withoutashroudyoucanlooseasmuchas50%oftheCFMyouwould
otherwisehave.

Ensuringgoodairflowathigherspeedsismoredifficult,becausehighspeedairflowcandoweirdandwonderfulthingsandyouneedtoaccountforaerodynamicflowanddifferentairpressurezones.
Ratherthanteachaclassonaerodynamics,herearesomebasictips:

Radiatorlocationandangleiscriticaltoensuringgoodhighspeedairflow.Thebestinstallationforcoolingpurposesistohavetheradstandstraightupverticallyintheairflow.Ofcourse,thisdoesn't
helpthecar'saerodynamics,visibilityoverthehood,aesthetics,orenginecompartmentpackagingverymuchandbringsusintoconflictwiththeruleaboutusingthelargestradpossible.Ifweinstall
averytallrad,thereoftenjustisn'troomtostanditupstraight.Asaresult,manypeopleleantheradbackatanangletolowertheoverallheightinthechassis,whilestillfittingalargerad.Youhaveto
becarefulwhendoingthisthoughifyouleanitbacktoofar,especiallyifyouhavepoorductingoftheairtotherad,airwillflowupandovertheradinsteadofthroughit.Whenthishappens,ahigh
pressurezoneiscreatedbehindtherad,andasweknow,airflowsfromhightolowpressure,nottheotherwayaround.Thisisbasedonthesameprinciplebywhichairplanewingscreateliftanda
carburetor'sventuriworks.Whatthiscanmeanis,athighenoughspeeds,thepressurebehindtheradcanbesomuchhigherthanthefaster,lowpressureairflowingovertheradthatnoairisableto
flowthroughtheradevenwiththefanson.Itseemsstrange,butphysicscanbeabitchthatwaysometimes.Ipersonallybelievethatquiteafewfolkstendtoleantheradbackwaytoofarwithout
understandingortestingtheeffectsofhighspeedairflowandthehighpressurezonecreatedbehindtherad.Ifyoudohappentodothisthecarwilloverheatandnothingelseyoudowillhelp.You
simplyhavetohavegoodflowthroughtheradatthespeedsthevehiclewillrun.
Inconjunctionwithmaximizingairflowthroughtheradiator,yourdesignmustallowadequateenginecompartmentventilationtoallowtheairthatflowsthroughtheradtoexittheenginecompartment.
Notbecauseitishotairandwouldotherwiseheatuptheengine(theengine'smakingplentyofitsownheatalready)buttoavoidcreatingahighpressureregionintheenginecompartmentthat
wouldpreventfurtherairflowthroughtheradiator.
Minimizetheobjectsinfrontoftheradthatblockairflow.Thereareusuallyalotofthingsthattakeupspaceinfrontoftheradthegrill,lights,winch,auxiliarycoolers,etc.Alloftheserobtheradofits
airflow.Yourdesignshouldminimizetheobstructioninfrontoftheradthatblockairflow.
Dependingonthefindensity,aradiatorhassomewherearound1/3ofitssurfaceareaasopenspacethroughwhichtheairflows.Maximumcoolingcanoccurwhenthegrillorprotectionissuchthatit
hasnolessthan1/3openspace.Inotherwords,trytodesignthegrillsothatitdoesn'taddtotherestrictionofairflow.
Ifyoumountauxiliarycoolers(likeapowersteeringcooler)infrontoftheradthatrelyontherad'sfanstopullairthroughit,keepthegapbetweenthecoolerandtheraddownto1/43/8",1/2"max,
toensureairispulledthroughthecoolerandnotarounditbeforeenteringtherad.
Creativebodyworkandductingmayberequiredtoensuremaximumairflowthroughtherad.Justbecauseitdoesn'tlooklikethere'sanythingimpedingairflow,doesn'tmeanthatthereisn'thighair
pressureistheinvisiblekillerofairflow.Forexample,onmanyproduction"sports"cars,thelowerairdamsaretherenotjusttoscrapeoneverycurbandbump,butbecausetheyarecriticalin
preventinganairflowinducedhighpressurezonebehindtheradiatorthatcanseverelyimpedeairflowthroughtherad.

Fans
Aspreviouslymentioned,electricfansoffersuperiorflow,mountingflexibility,andcomputercontrolcomparedtomechanicalfans.Yearsago,itusedtobethatmechanicalfansofferedthebest
performance,buttodaythatisn'tso.MechanicalfansaresubjecttoproblemswithvibrationduetoairturbulencewhenrunathighRPM.Thiscanleadtoprematurewearonthewaterpump.Mechanical
fanscanalsoconsumeupto20ormorehorsepower.Viscousthermoclutchesusedtocontrolmechanicalfanscanbeinconsistentandunreliableandoffernocomputercontrol.Mechanicalfansarelimited
intheairflowtheycanprovideatidleandslowspeedsbecausetheyareturningatlowRPM.Becausethemechanicalfanattachestotheengineandnottheradiator,clearancemustbemaintainedsothat
anychassisorenginemountingflexdoesn'tcausethefantoeattheradiator(whichisbadforcooling!).Thismakesshroudingamechanicalfanamoredifficultandcumbersomeaffairthatconsumes
valuableunderhoodspace.
Bycontrast,electricfanscanbeveryneatlypackagedandintegratedwiththeradiatorandshroud.

Becausetheyaren'tcoupledtoenginespeed,electricfanscanproducefullairflowallthewaydowntoidle.

QualityfanslikethosefromSPALareruggedandreliablewithsealedwaterproofmotorsandtoughplastic
housings.

Becausetheyareelectricallypowered,electricfanscanbecomputercontrolledbytheengine`sECMor
thermostaticallycontrolledviaathermistor(atemperaturesensitiveswitchinstalledinthecoolantflow).

Electricfansareavailableinalargevarietyofstylesandsizestofitanysizeorshaperadiator.Iliketoruntwo
smallerfansinanoffroadrigsimplyforredundancy`ssakethatway,ifonequits,youstillhaveoneoperational.
Youdon'tgetthischoicewithamechanicalfan.

"Puller"styleelectricfansthatmountbehindtheradiatorandpullairthroughtheradiator,asshownhere,arethe
bestchoicebecausetheyarebothmoreefficient(movemoreairforgivenfanRPM)thanpusherfans,andthey
obviouslydon'tblockairflowfromthefrontoftheradlikea"pusher"stylefandoes.

Afan'scapabilityismeasuredinCFM,aswehavenoted.However,theconsumerneedstobecarefulwhenshoppingforafanbyratedspecs.Anygivenmeasurementforafan'sCFMmustbetaken(and
thereforeshouldbequoted)atagivenairpressure(heythatsoundsfamiliarpressureandflowbeingrelated!Manphysicsrocks!).Toooftenthisinformationisnotquoted,andyoucanbetthatthe
CFMspecisthereforeratedat0PSIwhichisnotrepresentativeofactualoperatingconditions.Justasimportant,afan'sflowspecshouldalsoincludethevoltageprovidedandamountofcurrentdrawnfor
eachpressure/CFMrating.Thisisagoodsobersecondcheckofafan'sclaimedcapabilities.Beextremelywaryofafanthatclaimsitpulls3000CFMwhiledrawingonly10ampsit'sjustnotrealistic.

MyGriffinradiatorusestwin305mm(12")SPALVA01AP70/LL36Aelectricaxialmotorpaddlebladehighperformanceindividuallybalancedfanswithsealedwaterproofmotors.

Fromthespecsheetofthefans,thepressure/flow/ampsspecsareasfollows(notethattheunitsinthetablearemetricthefansareItaliandontchaknow!):

Andhereisthegraph,takenfromthisdocument.
WaterPump
Becausecoolingefficiencyisdirectlyrelatedtocoolantflow,themoreflowthebetter,thehigherthewaterpump'soutputthebetter.Typicalsmallblockwaterpumpsflowanywherefrom3550gallonsper
minute(GPM)whichissufficientforstocklikepowerinthe200+hprange.The"LS"seriesofwaterpumpsflowabout100GPMwhichisequivalenttoahighflowSBCwaterpumpandsufficientfor5600+
horsepower.Aftermarketpumpsformanydifferentenginesareavailablefortheharshestracingconditionsthatcanflowupto180+GPM.

IfIwerespendingmoneyonahighperformanceaftermarketpump,Iwouldmakesureitcamesuppliedwithacharacteristicperformancecurve,ifonlytomakesurethatthesupplierreallyknowshisstuff,
andisn'tsimplymarketingsomethingwithalabelof"highflow"or"highperformance".

Becauseflowisking,itisnotgenerallyadvisabletouseanunderdrivepulley(largerpulley)toslowdownthewaterpump.Therareexceptionwouldbeifyouregularlyrunaracemotorat7000RPMor
more,asthisisaboutthemaxRPMthatawaterpumpiseffectiveat.Becauseofthecentrifugaldesign,atveryhighspeedsthewaterpumpcancavitateandpumpmoreairthancoolant,sointhiscasethe
pumpwouldneedtobesloweddownbutremember,thisisonlytrueforthoserunningconsistenthighRPMs.Ofcourse,byslowingdownthepump,whatyougainonthetopendyoulooseonthebottom
soatlowRPMthepumpwillbetooslowandthecoolingsystemwillsufferfrominadequateflowwhichisn'tnormallyaconcernforracecarsthatarealwaysrunatnearmaxRPM.Foreveryoneelse,
someclaimthatbyunderdrivingthewaterpumpsomehorsepowercanbesaved,andwhilethismaybetrue,thesmallgainisusuallymorethanoffsetbypowerlossduetohighertemperaturesthatresult
fromthereducedcoolantflow.

Ontheotherhand,ifyoususpectthatyouarenotgettingalltheperformanceyouneedfromyourcoolingsystemyoucanusuallysafelyoverdrive(speedup)thewaterpumpby2030%toincreaseflow
andthiscanmakeanoticeabledifferenceincoolingperformance.

Thefirstindicationofaweakorfailingwaterpumpmayoftenbeobservedasaproblemwiththerearmostcylinderssuchasaleancondition(evidentinplugreadingsorexhausttemperaturesorapre
ignitioncondition).Thisisbecausetheengineblockandcylinderheadwaterjacketsformamanifoldthroughwhichthewaterpumpmustpumpthecoolant.Ifthepumpisunabletoproducetherequired
pressureorflow,thefarthestpointfromthepump(therearcylinders)willexperiencetheproblemfirst.

Thermostat
Myrecommendationistoalwaysuseathermostat.Thereasonissimpleitsjobistoregulateoperatingtemperaturessothattheenginewarmsupasquicklyaspossible,andthenremainsatthedesigned
operatingtemperature.Withoutathermostat,theenginemaytakefartoolongtowarmup,andinsomeconditionsmaynotwarmupproperlyatall.Whentheengineisbelowoperatingtemperaturetheoil's
viscosityistoohightoproperlylubricatetheengine,particularlythecriticalbearingclearances.Combustionefficiency(andthereforepowerproduction),emissions,andcomponentwearalsosuffer.

Onethingtobecarefulofthough,whendesigningyoursystemandusingathermostat,istoensureyourwaterpumphasaninternalbypasscircuit(referbackto#6intheflowdiagramsabove).Mostdo,
butsomeaftermarkethighflowracingpumpsdonot.Forthesepumps,aspecialthermostatwithabypassholeisused,ortheuserdrillstheirownbypassholesinthethermostat(typicallyonetothree
3/16"holes)sothatthesystemcanflowwhenthethermostatisclosed.

Ifyouchoosetorunwithoutathermostat,donotusearestrictor.Therestrictorwilldonothingforyouexceptreducecoolantflowwhichultimatelyreducescooling.

Yearsagorestrictorswerepopularfortworeasonsthatdonotholdtruetoday.First,aswehavediscussed,olderradiatordesigns(largecrosssectionalareacoppertubes)werepooratpromotingthe
necessarycoolantturbulenceintheradiator,soarestrictorwasusedtocausethecoolanttobegintumblingasitexitedtheengineandenteredtheradiator.Secondly,withenginesthathadthethermostat
locatedintheoutletoftheenginecombinedwithdownflowradiatorsthathadafairlylowpressureradiatorcaponthehighpressureinletside,ifthethermostatwasremovedtheincreasedpressureseen
bythecapfromthewaterpumpcouldcausethecap'sratingtobeexceededandthevalvetoopenandpurgecoolant.Sincethisopeningoftheradcapiswhatregulatessystempressure,itmeantthatthe
overallsystempressurewouldnowbelowerthecapwouldopensoonerthanifthethermostatwereinplaceholdingbackpressureinthecylinderhead.Sincesystempressurewasnow
lower,coolantvapourpointwaslower,andthereforethecoolant'sabilitytoeffectivelycarryoffheatfromtheengineathighertempsreduced.Thisinturnwouldresultineventualoverheating.Manyfolks
erroneouslyassumedthattheoverheatingwasduetothecoolantflowingthroughtheradiatortooquicklywiththethermostatremoved,thatitdidn'thavetimetocoolintherad.Asaresult,restrictorswere
usedto"slowtheflowofthecoolant"andthecarstoppedoverheating.Unfortunately,thesefolksdidn'tunderstandtherealcauseandeffectoftheoverheatingthattheyexperiencedafterremovingthe
thermostat,andthisledtotwoenduringmythsthatpersisttoday.

Whatwasreallyhappeningwasthattheremovalofthethermostatdidn'tcausethecoolanttoflowtoofasttocool(weknowthisisanimpossibility),butrathercausedaconditionwhereeithersystem
pressure(andthereforecoolantvapourpoint)wasloweredorwheretheradpurgedcoolantwhichcausedthecartooverheat.Theendresultwasthesamethecaroverheatedbutthecauseandeffect
wereconfusedandsothemythsthata)removingathermostatcancauseacartooverheatandb)coolantcanbepumpedtoofastthrougharadiatortocoolproperlybegan.Neitherofthesearetrue.

Ofcourse,today'scrossflowradiatorsthatlocatetheradcaponthelowpressureside,donotsubjecttheradcaptothemaximumpressurecreatedbythewaterpumpandsoarenotsusceptibletothe
pumpforcingcoolantpasttheradcap.Wealsoknownowthatallsystemsbenefitfrommaximumflowneverfromreducingflow.

Ultimately,reducersreducetheflowofcoolantwhichactuallyhurtssystemcoolingefficiency,notimprovesit.

Plumbing&Bleeding
Coolanthosesshouldbeaslargeaspossibleconsistentwiththediameterofthewaterpumpinletandoutlets.radiatorinletsandoutletsshouldbespec'dtomatch.SmallBlockChevystypicallyusea
1.5"engineoutletanda1.75"waterpumpinlet."LS"motorstypicallyusea1.25"waterpumpoutletanda1.5"waterpumpinlet.

Wherebendsarenecessary,theyshouldbelargeradiusbends.Itisagoodideatousesomesortofinternalsupportinsideahosebendtopreventthehosefromcollapsingandreducingorshutting
offcoolantflow.Highqualityhosesandperiodichosechecksandreplacementareamust.Ifafairlyhighpressureradcapisused,considerationshouldbegiventodoubleclampingallhoseconnections.
Thehigherthesystempressure,themorecriticalhoseinspectionandreplacementbecome.

Theuseofstainlesssteelbraidedhosesinthecoolantsystemisactuallyadetrimenttocoolingastheoutermetalbraidservestoinsulatethehoseandtrapheatinside.Theuseofallmetalpipeorhoseis
ok,asitwillactuallyhelptodissipateheat.So,allrubber,orallsilicone,orallmetalhoses(withrubberconnectors)areok,butmetalcoatedorsleevedrubberhosesshouldbeavoided.

Inaddition,stainlesssteelbraidedhoseswithANstylefittingsareoftensoldinkitswithsmallerIDthanthestandardhosestheyreplace.There'snothingwrongwithANstylefittingsperse,buttheyshould
onlybeusedwithcarefulknowledgeoftheIDofthefittingsandhosesoastoavoidunnecessarilyreducingtheIDoftheplumbingandtherebyrestrictingcoolantflow.

Whenfillingacoolantsystem,eitheraftermaintenanceorforthefirsttime,therewillalwaysbesomeairtrappedinsideanditisimportanttobleedthesystemofthisair.Herearesometips:

Theradiatorcapmustbethehighestpointinthesystem.Ifthiscan'tbeachievedontherad,useasurgetanktoremotemounttheradcap.
Ifyouhaveanengineoutletthermostat(asinaSBC),drillasmallbleedholeintheflangeofthethermostattopreventairfrombecomingtrappedunderthethermostatoninitialassembly.
Trappedairandproducedsteamalwaysseekthehighestpoint.Ifyouarefortunateenoughtohave"steamtubes"usethemandplumbthemcorrectly!Donotsimplycapthemofforplumbthemback
intothesystematapointlowerthenthecylinderheads.
Thecoolingsystemwillonlyachievefullsystempressurewhenitisfilledcold.Awarmsystemcontainscoolantandtrappedairthatarealreadyexpandedduetotheheat.Ifyouopenawarmsystem,
fillit,andthensealitwhenitcoolsthecoolantwillcontractandyouwillnothaveafullsystemandtheresultingtrappedairwillcompressundertheactionofthewaterpumpandpreventthesystem
fromachievingfullsystempressure.
Neveruseanaftermarketthermostathousingthatmountstheradcapinthehighpressure(outletfromengine)sideofthesystemhighwaterpumpRPMwillforcecoolantoutofthecap.
Makessuretheengineisingoodconditionandtunedup.Thiswillcauseyourenginetoworkmoreefficientlyandthereforeproducelessheatatidleandslowspeeds.Nomegacoolingsystemcan
makeupforunderlyingmechanicalorfuel/ignitionproblems.Atooleanconditionisoftenfoundtobetheunderlyingcausefactorinanenginethatoverheatseitheratspeedoratidle.
Electrolysis
Electrolysisisthenamegiventochemicalchangesthatarecausedbypassinganelectriccurrentthroughanelectrolyte.Anelectrolyteisanonmetallicelectricalconductorinwhichcurrentiscarriedbythe
movementofions.Coolantisanelectrolyte.Inacoolingsystem,thechemicalchangecausedbyelectrolysisresultsinthestrippingawayofmetal(aluminumions)fromtheinsideoftheradiator.This
damagesandcaneventuallyweakenanddestroytheradiator.Theuseofdissimilarmetals,particularlybrassorsteelwithaluminum,aswellascontaminatesandcorrosioninthecoolantandtheuseof
waterwithhightraceelementsallcontributetoorcompoundtheharmfuleffectsofelectrolysis.Topreventelectrolysisandcorrosionfromdamagingyourcoolingsystemyoumust:

Usedistilledwater.
Useanappropriatemixtureofwaterandcommercialcoolantthatcontainscorrosioninhibitors.
Notuseanybrasscomponentsespeciallyfittingsscrewedintotheradiatorasbrasspromoteselectrolysisinaluminum.
Ensurethatnoelectricalcurrentpassesthroughthecoolant.
Usenylonorrubberwashersorbushings,toisolatethealuminumradiatorfromsteelchassismountingtabsandsteelfasteners.Usestainlesssteelfastenerstomounttheradiatoronordertoreduce
thechanceofelectrolysis.

Thesourceofharmfulelectricalcurrentpassingthroughthecoolantcaneitherbefromthecircuitsofpoorlygroundedvehicleelectricalcomponentsseekingground(inwhichcasethecurrentwillbeDC)or
fromstaticelectricitydevelopedinthedrivetraincomponents(transmission,transfercase,andaxledifferentials)seekingground(inwhichcasethecurrentwillbeAC).Bothareharmful.

Methodstoeliminatecurrentinthecoolantandthereforeelectrolysisinclude:

Ensuringthatallelectricalcircuitsareproperlygrounded.
Ensuringthatdrivetraincomponentshaveanappropriatepathtogroundespeciallyifsuchcomponentsaremountedwithrubberorothernonconductiveisolatorsorbushings.
Installingagroundstrapfromtheradiatortothechassis.

Inordertotestforelectrolysis,itisnecessarytouseamultimetertocheckforvoltageinthecoolant.Theprocedureisasfollows:

TotestforDCvoltage:

1.Connectthenegativetestleadofthemeterdirectlytothegroundterminalonthevehicle'sbattery.
2.Setthemetertodisplayfrom015voltsintenthsofavolt.
3.Haveanassistantholdthepositiveprobeofthemeter'spositivetestleadinthecoolantandmakesureittouchesonlythecoolant.
4.Takeareadingwitheverythingoff.
5.Cranktheengineandtakeareadingwhenthestarterisengaged(turningovertheengine).
6.Starttheengineandturnoneverysingleelectricalsystem.Takeareadingwiththeenginerunningandallelectricaldevicesoperating.
7.Inallthetestslistedabove,ifvoltagereadsfrom0.0to0.3voltsinanironblockengine,orfrom0.0to0.1voltsinanaluminumengine,youshouldn'thaveaproblemwithelectrolysis.Readingsaslow
as0.5voltsinanironengineor0.2voltsinanaluminumenginearecauseforconcernandmustbecorrected.

IfyoudetectDCvoltageinthecoolantusingtheabovetest,youwillneedtorepeatthetestasyousystematicallyswitchoffelectricalsystemsonebyoneinordertoisolatethecircuitthatisatfault.Once
thecircuitisisolated,youmustcorrecttheimpropergroundingsituationinthatcircuit.

ThereisnorealpracticalwaytotestforACvoltagegeneratedbystaticelectricity,unlessyouhaveaccesstoachassisdyno.Groundingeachofthedrivetraincomponentsisagoodpreventativestep.

Finally,ifyoudetectedcurrentinthecoolant,aftercorrectingtheelectricalproblem,alwayschangethecoolantasitwillhavebeendamagedbythecurrent.

Myths
Forthosethatclingtenaciouslytomyths,IamgoingtotakeonelastcrackatforeverdispellingtheGranddaddyofthemallwhenitcomestocoolingsystems.

Themythisstatedaseither:

1.Coolantcanbepumpedtoofastthroughtheengineforittoabsorbenoughheat,or
2.Coolantcanbepumpedtoofastthroughtheradiatorforittocoolproperly,or
3.Coolingcanbeimprovedbyslowingtheflowofcoolantthroughtheradiatorsoitcoolsmorecompletely.

NONEoftheseistrue.ThesimpletruthisthathighercoolantflowwillALWAYSresultinhigherheattransferandimprovedcoolingsystemperformance.

Thereasonthemythissopersistent,isthat:a)withoutknowledgeoffluiddynamicsandlawsofthermalconductionitdoesmakeakindofintuitivesenseandb)itisbasedonatinykerneloftruth,butthat
kerneloftruthdoesnotexplaintheoverallsystembehaviourandso,interpretedoutofcontext,leadstoacompletelyerroneousconclusion.

So,let'sstartwiththetinynuggetoftruth.Ifyouhadasealedrad(noflow)fullofhotcoolant,andsubjectedthatradtoairflow,yes,thelongeryouleftthecoolantintherad,themoreitwouldcool.However,
ifyouweretoplotthatcoolingovertime,youwouldfindthattheRATEatwhichthecoolingtakesplaceisanexponentialcurvethatdecreaseswiththetemperaturedifferencebetweenthehotcoolantand
theair.Putanotherwaywhenthetemperaturedifference(deltaT)betweenthehotcoolantandtheairflowislarge,heattransfer(cooling)initiallytakesplacevery,veryquickly(almostinstantaneously).
Butasthathappens,andthecoolantcools,thedeltaTbecomesless,andtheRATEatwhichfurthercoolinghappensgetslessandlessuntilthepointwherethecoolantandairarealmostthesame
temperatureandcontinuedcoolingtakesaverylongtime.ThisisNewton'slawofcooling.Toillustratethis,recallmy"quenchingsteelinabucket"analogy.

Agoodexampleofthislawcanbeseenwhenquenchingaredhotpieceofsteelinabucketofwater.Atfirst,thetemperaturedifference(deltaT)betweentheredhotsteelandthewateris
hugethereforetheinitialheattransferoccursatagreatratethesteelinitiallycoolsveryfastalmostinstantaneously.However,afterthisinitialcooling,thedeltaTismuchsmaller,sothe
remainingcoolingoccursmuchmoreslowly.Ifyouremovedthesteelafterasecondortwoithascooledalotbutitwillstillbewarm.Tocontinuecoolingthesteeltothetemp.ofthewater,
youhavetoleaveitintherequiteabitlongerbecauseasitcoolstherateofcoolingcontinuallydecreasesaswell.Inshortinitialcoolingisfast,butsubsequentcoolingoccursmoreand
moreslowlyuntilcoolingthatlastlittlebittakesalongtime.

Sowhatdoesthismean?Basicallyitmeans,thelongerthecoolantstaysintherad,thelessefficientthecoolingthattakesplaceistothepointthattherateofcoolingissoslowastobedetrimentalto
overallsystemcooling.Bettertodumpthebigloadofheatrightawayandgobackquicklyforanotherloadthanhangaboutwaitingforalastlittlebitofinsignificantcoolingtohappen.

Tounderstandfully,wehavetoputourradbackintothewholesystemwherecoolantisflowingandconsidertheeffectsofflowrateonthesystemasawhole.

Slowingthecoolantintheradmayallowthatcoolant(thecoolantintherad)todissipatealittlemoreheat(butnotmuch),andataneverdecreasingrate(exponentiallydecreasing)BUTsincethecooling
systemisaclosedloopsystem,youalsohavetoconsiderwhatshappeningoutsidetheradiatorifyouslowtheflowespeciallytothecoolantintheengine.Ifyouslowthecoolantthroughtherad,you
slowthecoolantthroughtheenginetoo.Andthiscoolantissubjecttothesamelawsthegreatertheinitialtemperaturedifferencebetweentheengineandthecoolant,thegreatertherateatwhich
thecoolantabsorbstheheatfromtheengine.BUTifweleavethecoolantincontactwiththeengineforlongerbyslowingtheflowthroughtherad,thedeltaTbetweenengineandcoolantdecreasesand
withittherateatwhichthecoolantintheengineabsorbstheheatfromtheengine.Meanwhiletheengineisbangingawayproducingheat,butthecoolantisabsorbingitataslowerandslowerratethat
heathastogosomewhere,andsincetheslowcoolantisbecominglessefficientatabsorbingititstaysinthemetalandthemetaloverheats!

Meanwhile,backattherad,you'rewastingtimetryingtoshedthelastlittlebitofheatwhenthedeltaissmallinsteadofcarryingawaythebigchunksofheat.Andthesituationjustgetsworseandworsein
adownwardspiral.

Imagineemptyingatruckloadofsandusingasmallwidemouthcontainervs.alargernarrowmouthcontainer.Thejobwillgetdonequickerbymakingmoretripswiththesmallercontainerthattakesless
timetofillandempty,ratherthantakingthetimetofillthelargernarrowmouthcontainerandthentakingthetimetoemptyitthatextrainthelargernarrowmouthcontainerisntworthitbettertodump
theloadandgobackformore.

Or,howaboutthisforthosewhoarefansofelaboratemetaphors

Imagineacirculartraintrackwithtwostationsoppositeeachotherandrailcarsthatfillthewholetrack.Onestationhasanendlesssupplyofpassengerstryingtogetonandtheotheriswheretheygetoff
anddisperse.Yourjobasthetraindriveristomoveasmanypeopleaspossibletokeepthemfromaccumulatingattheembarkationstationandcrushingeachother.Nowimaginethepassengercarsare
funnelshapedontheinside.Thismeansthefirstbigbatchofpeoplecangetonandoffquickly,butcompletelyfillingthecartakesalotlongeraspeoplehavetosqueezeintothenarrowerportion.
So,youcoulddrivethetrainslowly,onlymovingalongaftereachcarhascompletelyfilledandcompletelyemptiedbutefficiencywillbegreatlyreducedasittakessolongtogetthoselastfewpeopleon
oroffthecarmeanwhiletheneverendingsupplyofpeopleattheembarkationstationneverstopsandthesystembacksupandthepeoplegetcrushedbecause,eventhoughmorepeoplegetonoroff
eachcar,thewholesystemislessefficient.

OR

Youcoulddrivethetrainfast,quicklyloadingandunloadingthebig,easytofill,portionofeachcar,forgetaboutthesmallerportion,andkeeppickingupanddumpingoffalargegroupofpassengersasfast
asyoucan.Infactthefasteryougo,thebetterthemoreefficientatmovinglargenumbersofpeoplethesystemwillbe.Screwthelaststragglerstheyreinsignificantandwonthelpyoujustmove
thebigchunkandmoveon,goingbackformore,moreoften.

Soyouwanthighflow/high(turbulent)speedsoitpicksupanddumpsoffthemostheatquicklyitsinefficienttotryandshedthelastlittlebitofheatwhenthedeltaissmall,andcanleadtooverheating
becauseyourewastingtimenotcarryingawaythebigchunksofheat.

GriffinThermalProducts"KingoftheHammers"RadReview
Nowthatyouareallcoolingsystemexpertsyouarefinallyreadytoseeandappreciatetheawesomenessofthebestoffroadradiatormoneycanbuythe
GriffinThermalProducts"KingoftheHammers"Radiator
Forthosethatmaybeunfamiliar,thenameistakenfromthenameofthetoughest,mostgruellingonedayoffroadraceintheworldtheKingoftheHammers(KOH).Youcanlearnmoreabouttheraceat
theofficialKOHwebsite.Sufficetosay,theraceisabsolutelybrutalonequipment,notablycoolingsystems,andtheGriffinKOHradwasspecificallydesignedanddevelopedtocooloffroadracerigsunder
thebrutalonslaughtofhourafterhourofcombineddesertracingandtortuousrockcrawling!

Inshortitisonehellofaradiatorbuiltforthetoughestjobaradiatorcanbeaskedtodohere'salook:

ThefirstthingyouneedtoknowisthatGriffinisatruemanufacturer.Almostanyonecanbuycomponentsandassemblearadiator,andthetruthisthatalotofsocalled"manufacturers"dojustthat.Griffin
isanintegratedmanufacturer.Theymakethetubes,fins,headers,sidebands,mountingbracketsandtanks.Bycontrollingeverystepofthemanufacturingprocess,theyproducearadiatorwith
componentsthatareperformancematchedforoptimumcoolingcapability.AGriffinismorethansomeofftheshelf,onesizefitsall,cookiecutterproduct.Itisaperformanceradiatormadetomeetthe
customer'sspecificapplication.

TheotherthingyouneedtoknowisthatGriffinmanufactureahugerangeofradiatorstosuitmanyneedsandapplicationsfrombudgetreplacementmodelstocustomraceradiatorsliketheoneI'mabout
toshowyou.Assuch,afterreadinganddigestingthisarticle,thefirstthingyouneedtodoiscallandspeaktotheappropriateexpertaboutyourneedsandapplication.

TotalkoffroadapplicationsandabouttheKOHrad,callVicePresidentTomBeebeand/orOffRoadSalesTechBenjiDurhamwhoarebothreachableat1800RACERADand18648455000.TellthemI
sentyouandtheywilltakecareofyourquestionsandneeds.

Afterspeakingtothem,ifyoudecidetohaveaKOHoffroadraceradiatorcustombuiltforyoulikeIdid,thefirstthingyouneedtodoisprovidethemwithadiagramofwhatyouneed.Theytoldmethey
accepteverythingfromfullCADdrawingstodoodlesonthebackofabarnapkinbutobviouslythebetteryourdiagramthemorequicklytheywillbeabletoproduceyourradiator.

That'sbecause,afterdecipheringyourdiagram,thefirstthingtheywilldoissendyouaproperengineeringdiagramofwhatyouhaverequestedforyourapproval.

Onlyafteryouhaveapproved,signed,andreturnedthediagramwilltheybuildyourcustomunit.

IendeduphummingandhawingoveroptionsandwhatIwantedandwesentthediagrambackandforthafewtimesastheymadethechangesIrequestedeachtimeIchangedmymindorthoughtof
somethingelse.

Neveroncedidtheyloosepatiencewithme.

Thiswasmyoldsetupwithapuny28x16rad.

NotonlywasitnotgoingtocoolthenewLS2,butlookingbackitwasn'treallytheprettiestlookingfrontend
either.

AsImentionedearlier,aftersomeheadscratchingIdecidedthat,insteadoffittingthebiggestradIcould,Iwould
redothefrontendtofittheradIwantedwhichwasapprox.31"x19".

Iwasn'tkiddingwhenIsaidIcutthewholefrontendoff...

...notkiddingatall!

FirstcamethebasicredesigntofitthesizeIwanted.

AnditlookslikeIwasenjoyingmyselfbackthenyouknowthewayyoudoatthebeginningofaproject!

Then,beforemakingandsendingmyinitialdrawingtoGriffin,Ididabunchoftestfittingwithadrywalland2x4
mockuptogettheexactdimensionsIwantedsothattheradwouldtucknicelyintothechassis.

Acoupleof2x4blockswereusedtoholdtwopiecesofdrywallapartattherightdistancetosimulatea3"
thickradiator.

IknewIwantedtolaytheradbackalittle,topreventitfromstickingwayupinfront.

Butnotsomuchastoinduceflowproblems.

Isettledonabout20,andthetopenginecovercradlewasbenttoclearthemockupradattherightangle.

NowIwascommitted!

TogettheheightandangleexactlywhereIwantedthemwhilemaintainingaslargeasurfaceareaaspossible...

...thelowerendofthetankswouldhavetobenotchedtofitbetweentheframerails.

AtthispointIwassurehopingthatGriffinhadn'toverstateditwhentheysaidtheycouldbuildanythingIcould
draw!

Aftersendingthemmychickenscratchdrawing,theyproducedtheengineeringdiagramandwesentitbackand
forthafewtimesasthedetailswerefinalized.

Hereismyfinalapproveddiagram.

Andtheyhadn'toverstatedanythingsureenoughtheyweregoingtobuildmemyradexactlyasIhadwanted!

Note:Somedetailandthedimensionshavebeenremovedfromthediagramatlefttopreventunscrupulous
entitiesfromknockingoffGriffin'sproducts.Theactualdiagramyougetisfullblownengineeringdiagramwithall
thedimensions.

WiththediagramapprovedGriffinsetaboutbuildingmyrad.Here'salookbehindthescenes:

HerearetheCNC'dheaders.

Hereisthecoreassembled,postwasher,andjustbeforegoingintothebrazeovenwhereitwillbevacuum
brazedwithamagnesiumbasedcladding.

Here'sthecoreheadingintothe1200Fbrazeoven.

Here'sthecoreafterthebrazeoven,completedandreadytohavethetanksTIGweldedon.

HerearetherawmaterialsusedfortheCchanneltanks.

HeretheradiatorisbeingTIGweldedtogether.

TheradiatortankmaterialfortheKOHradiatoris0.125"thick.

Here'saninterestingtechtidbitthatyouwouldn'tknowfromreadingmostothermanufacturersmarketingmaterial.

Alotofsocalledmanufacturers(mostofwhomareactuallyjust"assemblers")liketomakeabigdealaboutnotusinganyepoxyintheirconstruction.Thethinlyveiledinsinuationisthatthosewhodoare
somehowusinganinferiorprocessto"glue"theradiatortogether.Ifyoudon'tknowanybetter,theymakeitsoundasifthemerementionofepoxysignalssomecheapthrowawayproduct.Whattheydon't
botherexplainingiswhatepoxyuseisreallyabout.Sohere'salittleusefultechonthesubject.

First,Griffinscoreisalwaysweldedtothetank.Griffindoesnotuseanyglueinthemanufacturingprocess.

Second,atGriffin,epoxyisasecondaryprocessappliedtosomeradiatorstoincreasedurability.AllGriffinradiatorsarevacuumbrazedwithamagnesiumbasedcladding.Thepurposeoftheepoxyisto
relievetheshearstressonthetubetoheaderbrazejointtoensurealongleakfreelifeforradiatorsusedinextremeconditions.Thecommonmisconceptionisthatepoxyisusedtoglueradiators
together.Somemanufacturer'smaydothis,butGriffindoesnot.

Andremember,becausetheymakesomanydifferenttypesofradiatorsforsomanydifferentapplicationsfromracecarstolocomotivestoaircraft,andbecausetheymanufactureeverythingfromscratch
inhouse,theyusemanydifferentdesignsandtechniques,dependingontheproductinquestion,andnotalluseepoxy.Infact,myKOHradiatordoesnotuseanyepoxyatallinitsconstructionI'mjust
makingamealoutofthisissuebecauseit'saperfectexampleofthetypeofmisinformationcontainedinmarketinghypepassedoffas"tech"bysomanycompaniesthatticksmeoffsomuchit'soneofthe
reasonsIgotstartedinwritingtecharticlesinthefirstplacemanyyearsago.

PhewIfeelbetternow!

Andhereistheshroudthathasbeenpunchedandformedandiswaitingforthetheadditionoffans,followedby
installationontheradiator.

Ashorttimelater,thisgiantboxarrivedinmydriveway.

Insidewasaverycarefullypackedradiator,someinstructionsheets,andaradcaptapedtotheinsideofthebox.

Radcap.

TheradcapisacoolbluecolourstampedwiththeGriffinlogo.

Theradiatorwaswellprotectedforitsjourney.

BeforeIevengotitoutoftheboxIstartedsnappingpicturesoftheawesomebuildquality.

ThisisthenotchinthetanksIrequestedtoclearthelowerframerails.

Thequalitywasevidentimmediately.

Andeverything,includingthelocationofthefillerneckandtheorientationoftheoverflowtubewasexactlyasI
hasspec'd.

Outoftheboxatlast,itwasanawesomepiece.

Herearethedetails:

31"x19"aluminumsinglerow,crossflow,dualpass(akadualflow)KOHraceradiatorusingasinglerowof68mmhightechextruded3000seriesaluminumalloytubeswithpatentedportedMicro
Extrusionconstructionand12finsperinchforoffroaddurabilityandenhancedfluidturbulation.
Standardfillerneck,17PSIradcap,overflowtubepointingleft.
Chevydualpassstyleinletandoutlet(bothonrighthandside).
LSsteamtubeportlocatedjustbelowfillerneck.

Here'sadetailedlook:

Fillerneckonleftsidetank.

3/8"NPTporttowhichIwillconnectmyLS2steamtubes.

Theportislargerthanneededforconnectingthesteamtubes,butIchosethissizesothatIcanconvertfroman
overflowtankonlysetuptoasurgetanksetuplaterifIneedto.The3/8"portislargeenoughtobeplumbedtothe
surgetank.Ofcourse,Iwouldneedtocapoffthefillernecktoo.

I'llbehonesttheonlyreasonIdidn'tplanonasurgetanksetupfromtheoutsetisthatmyfrontendredesign
didn'tmakeallowancesfortheroomneededtomountasurgetank,andthatonlybecause,atthetimeIdidthe
design,Ididn'tyetfullyunderstandallthebenefitsofasurgetanksetup.IfIweretostartover,Iwouldplana
surgetankfromtheoutsetbutatleastIhadtheforesighttoorderalargeenoughporttosupportasurgetankin
thefuture.

1.5"radiatoroutletonlowerrighttank.

Customnotchtocleartubularframerails.

1.25"radiatorinletonupperrighttank.

Notchandoutlet.

Iorderedtheinletandoutlettobeinstalledatanangle,sothattheywouldbelevel(horizontal)withtherad
installedinthechassisandleanedback20.

Griffinwerehappytooblige.

Aluminummountingbracketweldedtoupperchannel.

Fillerneck.

Thesearenoordinarytubes.

Theyareconstructedusingthelatestaluminumextrusiontechnology,foraddedflow,cooling,strength,and
overalldurability.

Inside,whereyoucan'tsee,theyareportedtoenhancefluidturbulation.It'sapatenteddesigntheyaskedmenot
tophotograph,butIcantellyouit'sdamncool!

Alsonotethe12finsperinchdesign.

Extrudedtubingisthenewestandmostexcitingthingtohappeninthecoolingworld,especiallyforoffroaduse.

Asanexample,thesenewextrusionsaresosuperiortoolderstyletubesthatasinglerowoftubeisequivalentto
twoolderstylerowsoftubes,andismuchmoredurableandridgedforallofthehardhitsoffroadusecandish
out.

MyKOHradiatorusessinglerowsof68mmextrudedaluminumtubesformaximumcoolingperformance.

Anothershotofoneoftheuppermountingbrackets.

Topfrontviewofthecompleterad.

Frontview.

Sideview.

Theradis3"thick.

Withtheshroudandfansitisatotalof7.76"thick.

Thefansaretwin305mm(12")SPALVA01AP70/LL36Aelectricaxialmotorpaddlebladehighperformance
individuallybalancedunitswithsealedwaterproofmotors.

Thecompletespecsheetforthefansrevealthat,combined,theypull3280CFM.

Here'sthecompleteflowchart,takenfromthespecsheetandconvertedtoImperialunits.

Airflow Airflow
Current
Static (CFM) (CFM)
draw
Pressure
perfan
(PSI) one Combined
fan fans (Amps)

0 1640 3280 16.5


7 1493 2985 17.4
14 1316 2631 17.7
21 1062 2124 17.9
28 702 1404 18.7
36 502 1003 20
43 366 732 20.9
50 195 389 22.1
57 0 0 22.8

AsanexampleofwhyitpaystodealwiththeexpertsatGriffin,andwhywhentheysaytheybuildtosuityour
applicationitisn'tjustsomemarketingdrivel,isthefactthatIoriginallyaskedforlargerfansthatwereratedat
evenhigherCFM.

Griffinpersuadedmethatthiswouldnotbethebestoption,asthisparticularmodeloffanfromSPALismuch
moreruggedthanthemodelIhadoriginallyaskedfor,andisfarbettersuitedtooperatinginthepunishingoffroad
environment.

It'snicewhenexpertstakethetimetokeepyoufrommakingamistakeinsteadofjustsellingyouwhatever.

SPALhavethistosayabouttheVA01AP70/LL36A

FromourHighPerformancefanlinethisfanisdesignedforindustrialandextremeoffroad
applications.Ithasaveryruggeddesignwithanaggressivepaddleblade.Itisaradiatorfanthatis
sometimesusedinpairs.Itisalsousedinoilcoolers,ACcondensersandintercoolers.Itfeaturesa
fullysealedmotorthatiswaterproof/dustproof.Eachfanisindividuallybalancedforlonglife.

Inaddition,Griffinexplainedthattheyarerecommendedforoffroaduseduetotheruggeddesign.Theywillnot
deflectundertheshockasmuchastheotherfans.Thesefansarealsoverycloseinperformancetothelarger
fansduetheirlargermotorsandaggressivebladepitchbuttheyarebettersuitedtotheharshoffroad
environment.

IwillbecontrollingthefansviatheMEFI4marinefuelinjectionECUthatcamewithmyTurnKeyEngineSupply
LS2asitisalreadyequippedtocontroldualelectricfans.

ThefollowinggalleryofpicsshouldallowyoutocomeascloseaspossibletoappreciatingthequalityandcraftsmanshipevidentintheGriffinKOHradiator.Whenyou'redonelookin'goorderyourown
youWILLNOTbedisappointed!
MountingtheRadiator
Thereareagreatmanywaystomountaradiatorpin,threadedboss,tab,clevis,bracket,saddle.Whicheveryouchoose,onethingisconstanttheradiatormustbeisolatedinsomewayfrom
thechassisusingsomeformofrubber,urethane,orotherpliablebushingmaterial.Thisisparticularlytrueinoffroadapplicationwherevibrationandchassisflexareunavoidable.Failuretoisolate
theradiatorinthismannerwilleventuallyleadtofailureit'snotaquestionof"if",but"when".

Inmyopinion,thebestwaytomountaradiatorinanoffroadchassisiswithalowercradleorsaddletypemount.Thesaddleshouldeitherbefulllengthtosupporttheentirerad,oratleastunderthetanks
astheyaretheheaviestandstrongestpartsoftheradneverjustunderthecore.

Here'salookathowImountedmyGriffinKOHradiator.Idon'tclaimthatthisisthebestmountingever,butitshouldgiveyousomeideasaswellasillustratethestrengthandsupportaffordedbyalower
saddletypemount.

Earlymockupofmountinglocationwithrealradiator.

Thisshotnicelyshowsthepurposeofthenotchedtanks.

Noticehowtheradiatorinletishorizontalwiththeradleanedbackthat'swhyIaskedthattheinletsbeweldedto
thetankatanangle.

Checkingbacksideclearance.

Rightsideshowingradiatoroutletjustinsidechassismembers.

TheradiatoroutlettucksperfectlywhereIwantedit!

IknewIwantedasaddlemount,butIcouldn'tfindanycommerciallyavailableisolatorsorbushingsthatwouldfit
myradandchassisinthewayIwanted,soIsetouttomakemyown.

IendedupusingsomeChevy4x4trucktransmissionmounts,cutinhalf.

Withalittleworkonthebandsaw,Ihadthemnotchedtofitperfectlyunderthelowerchanneloftherad.

Topisthestocktrannymount.

Belowarethetwohalvesofonecutinhalfunmodifiedontheleftandcuttofitontheright.

Howtheisolatorfitstothebottomoftherad.

Ifelttheywerelargeandrugged,providedthenecessaryisolation,andtheimpregnatedsteellentacertain
amountofstructuralrigidity.

Ispacedtheisolatorsonthelowerchanneloftheradwheretheydidn'tinterferewiththeshroudmountingonthe
backsideoftherad.

Byusingan"open"stylemountingtrayandseparateisolators,Iwon'ttrapsand,mud,andgravelbetweenthe
aluminumradiatorandthesteeltraywhichcouldotherwiseleadtocorrosionbuildupandabrasionofthe
aluminumradiator.

Lastshotofthelowerradiatorsaddlemount.

Forthetopmount,Iorderedtheradiatorwithmountingbracketsweldedon.

Theseradiatorbracketsbolttobracketsonthechassis,witharubberisolatorbetweeneachone.

Theseisolatorsareactuallyrubbershockbushingsfrompinmountstyleshocks.

Frontviewoftheuppermountingarrangement.

Packagingisalwaysahugechallengewhenbuildinganoffroadbuggy...

...andGriffin'sabilitytocustombuildmeexactlywhatIneededwasahugebenefitthatallowedmetopackage
thingstightlywithnowastedspace.

Tokeepthe"hood"aslowaspossible,Ibuiltthistricklittlerollbarfortheradiatorcap.

Closeupoftheradcaprollbar.

Ialsobuiltasmallrollbarfortherightside,justtoprotecttheupperrightcorneroftheradiator.

Ihaveabsolutelynodoubtthatthisawesomeradwillkeepthe525HPLS2coolunderanyconditions!

Conclusion
Ifyouwanttobuildabadass,raceready,highperformancecoolingsystemforcompetitionorjusttroublefreetrailriding,youneedonlyfollowtheBV7SecretstoCooling:

1.HIGHESTcoolantflowpossible.
2.HIGHESTairflowpossible.
3.BIGGESTradiatorsurfaceareafitable.
4.HIGHESTwatercontenttolerable.
5.HIGHESTpressureradcaptolerable.
6.HIGHESTturbulenceachievable.
7.HIGHESTqualityradiatoronthemarketwhichforoffroadtrucks,buggies,Jeeps,and4x4's(oranyothervehicle)meansahightechextrudedaluminumradiatorfromGriffinThermalProducts.

Sources:
GriffinThermalProducts
100HurricaneCreekRoad
Piedmont,SC29673

18007223723or8648455000
Fax:8648455001
Email:sales@griffinrad.com

http://www.griffinrad.com/