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#1035633 - 11/27/07 01:56 AM Cardboard over radiator in winter.............
byez Offline


Registered: 10/21/07
Posts: 434
Loc: Canada,North America,Western H...
Any precautions when blocking the radiator? At what temperature is it too warm to do this? -5 C? 0 C? Ok to idle with the cardboard in front?

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#1035636 - 11/27/07 02:08 AM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: byez]
flatlandtacoma Offline


Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 1078
Loc: Illinois
I would say it is safe at 50F (+10C) or below. It should be okay to idle - I wouldn't seal the whole thing off or anything, just cover a good majority of it.
_________________________
'99 Tacoma 5VZFE 125k miles
'03 Civic Si K20A3 135k miles
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#1035637 - 11/27/07 02:18 AM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: flatlandtacoma]
byez Offline


Registered: 10/21/07
Posts: 434
Loc: Canada,North America,Western H...
I should be good to go then. I won't see +10 C till April.

Just planning on sealing off approximately half to three quarters of the radiator.

Thanks

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#1035639 - 11/27/07 02:23 AM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: byez]
Shannow Online   content


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 34946
Loc: Oz
Depends how adventurous (and attentive) that you want to be.

I had one of these


with a 1.9 litre 4 cyl pushrod (classic Holden 6 cut down to 4).

I put the thermostat in the lower radiator hose to get the heating/cooling happening the way that I wanted it. The Varajet was leaned off badly, with EGR at idle, and full vacuum advance at idle.

The front grill part was covered (in duct tape to start with, air con tape for second effort...looks like chrome from a distance).

I left the area beneath the bumper free to access air to the radiator, from as low as possible. Removed the cooling fan, and lifted the trailing edge of the bonnet to increase the thermosyphon (of the air system).

The car could be idled for 8-10 minutes in 25-30 degree (C) conditions without getting outrageous. A slow walking pace was enough to get it back under control if the prevailing breeze upset the syphon.

Soo....after long winded post.

I resticted the cooling system while keeping the total cooling system.

Blocking off the radiator in part restricts the total capacity, and should only be used in poor ambient temps.
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#1035793 - 11/27/07 10:58 AM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: Shannow]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 18007
Loc: Upstate NY
I have never understood why the thermostat does not negate the need for cardboard over radiator in the winter. If its super cold out, then just a tiny bit flows through the radiator, if its hot, then a lot flows.
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#1035800 - 11/27/07 11:16 AM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: Donald]
CBDFrontier06 Offline


Registered: 04/26/06
Posts: 1979
Loc: Dallas, TX
One cold January day in Wyoming, I think the ambient temp was hovering around -30 and the wind was howling. I parked my 86 Civic Si facing into the wind and left it running while I ran into a grocery store. The car had fully warmed up on the trip to the store, but when I got back in the car to leave, the temp needle was back down to "C" even though the car was running, and the vents were blowing cool air. A few blocks away, the needle returned to normal and the vents resumed blowing warm air.
I don't think the thermostat is always effective in certain situations where the engine isn't producing enough heat to overcome the outside cold.

To prevent this from happening again, I installed the bra and slid some cardboard behind the grille screens, effectively blocking airflow into the radiator. It helped a lot. You just have to be careful to remember to remove it when temperatures warm. I've seen more than one car come into my shop overheating because the customer forgot about the cardboard. It's an 'out of sight, out or mind' situation.

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#1035807 - 11/27/07 11:32 AM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: CBDFrontier06]
dwendt44 Offline


Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 3637
Loc: Central Wisconsin
If the thermostat is working properly, there should be no need to block off part of the radiator. If the engine isn't pumping heat, the thermostat closes down and the only circulation is through the heater core.

That said; since many cars have cross flow radiators, blocking off one side would be more technically correct,would it not?
My 2
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Too large of a gas tank,
or too loud of a horn,
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#1035809 - 11/27/07 11:37 AM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: CBDFrontier06]
NYEngineer Offline


Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 1175
Loc: NY, NY
I used to use 85- 86 Ford vans with 300" sixes with carbs as feild service vehicles. Those required cardboard to have ANY heat in the winter. Later on, I got a 94 with the injected I6. It had HOT heat in the winter without any cardboard. I never figured out why.

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#1035938 - 11/27/07 02:25 PM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: Donald]
Shannow Online   content


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 34946
Loc: Oz
 Originally Posted By: Donald
I have never understood why the thermostat does not negate the need for cardboard over radiator in the winter. If its super cold out, then just a tiny bit flows through the radiator, if its hot, then a lot flows.


Donald, a guy down here (who I bought the lower hose thermostat kit from) made a statement that the thermostat on the outlet of the engine was a great device for providing constant temperature water to the radiator.

Radiator provides near freezing water to the engine, overcooling the front cylinders (where Oz 6s and V-8s typically develop their biggest ridge).

With the lower hose thermostat, driving at zero degrees C there was no warmth whatsoever in the top tank. The block could dissipate all the heat required. Replacing the normal thermostat, the top tank would be way too hot to touch.

Many (most?) cars now control both inlet and outlet temperature.
My 1987 J-Car did, 1983 BMW does, 1990 4Runner did, and 2003 Navara does.
_________________________
2003 Navara 3.0Di - Edge 5W30/25W50
1997 Caprice L67 - Magnatec Stop Start 5W/30/Penrite SAE30

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#1035981 - 11/27/07 03:27 PM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: Shannow]
flatlandtacoma Offline


Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 1078
Loc: Illinois
 Originally Posted By: Shannow
the thermostat on the outlet of the engine was a great device for providing constant temperature water to the radiator.

Radiator provides near freezing water to the engine, overcooling


This explains it very well. If you watch the temperature gauge in the extreme cold, it actually drops when the thermostat opens. Cardboard helps with this problem a lot.
_________________________
'99 Tacoma 5VZFE 125k miles
'03 Civic Si K20A3 135k miles
JD LT160 Kohler CV460 510 hours

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#1035983 - 11/27/07 03:29 PM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: Donald]
rpn453 Offline


Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 4844
Loc: Saskatchewan
 Originally Posted By: Donald
I have never understood why the thermostat does not negate the need for cardboard over radiator in the winter. If its super cold out, then just a tiny bit flows through the radiator, if its hot, then a lot flows.


Sounds like you've never experienced -40F! Sheltering the engine bay allows the engine to warm up much quicker and keep the coolant warmer (so more heat from the heater). The block will be warmer when you start it up after plugging in, and will retain heat longer when parked. Some vehicles (Dodge Cummins diesels, for example) will never even reach anywhere near operating temperature driving around the city without a winter front. My Mazda's transmission doesn't warm up without a winterfront, leaving the shifter and clutch very stiff.
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#1036095 - 11/27/07 05:32 PM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: rpn453]
mechtech2 Offline


Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 19479
Loc: Chicago Area
Old Volvos had a crank in the interior of the car under the dash that would raise and lower a radiator screen. Many trucks mount covers/shields in front of the radiator for cold weather operation.
In really cold temps it is better all around to keep that radiator from overcooling.

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#1036238 - 11/27/07 09:10 PM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: mechtech2]
Curious Kid Offline


Registered: 02/20/05
Posts: 1183
Loc: Vermont
Interesting note concerning the lower hose thermostat. Yes my temp needle increasingly fluctuates for the first few thermostat cycles as ambient start-up temps drop. There's also tanny cooler's as hinted, mine which is through the engine coolant radiator as well as through an add-on tube-fin unit, which I cover when the cold hits.

Blocking air flow through the engine compartment makes sense, and as I recall with my sister's toyota tercel on a -20's day, running the cabin heater was enough to drop coolant temperatures below normal (thermostat ok). I'm get'n chills!

Take care.
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#1036264 - 11/27/07 10:01 PM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: Donald]
tom slick Offline


Registered: 05/26/03
Posts: 9082
Loc: Central Coast, Calif.
 Originally Posted By: Donald
I have never understood why the thermostat does not negate the need for cardboard over radiator in the winter. If its super cold out, then just a tiny bit flows through the radiator, if its hot, then a lot flows.



A typical automotive thermostat (wax pellet type) doesn't regulate flow, it's only either open or closed. for example a 190*F rated thermostat is fully closed at 189* and fully open at 190*.
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You get what you pay for...
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#1036295 - 11/27/07 11:00 PM Re: Cardboard over radiator in winter............. [Re: tom slick]
Shannow Online   content


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 34946
Loc: Oz
tom slick,
that was another point from the guy with the thermostat kits.

The thermostat doesn't know that there's cold water approaching unitil it gets there, which is typically a full engine volume's worth.

Closes, recirculates untilall back up to opening point and repeat.
_________________________
2003 Navara 3.0Di - Edge 5W30/25W50
1997 Caprice L67 - Magnatec Stop Start 5W/30/Penrite SAE30

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