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Author Topic: Converting my old copper radiator to aliminium  (Read 634 times)

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Maystro

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Converting my old copper radiator to aliminium
« on: January 31, 2020, 09:38:39 PM »
I want to get a new radiator and I'm over these old expensive copper core radiators which I have had 2 in the last 6 years. 
For the price I will be happy if I get 3 years out of one as long as it is still doing the job of cooling my engine. 
My problem is my engine is a 1981 model 998 so I cant find a straight swap.  They all seem to be the pre 1976 varieties with top out let on the opposite side of the bottom inlet. 
So what parts will I need to change over to one of these common cheap aluminium radiators, eg: like longer radiator hoses and maybe even a different thermostat housing. 
Also what is the best depth of radiator to get 40mm 50mm? 
Do you keep your original radiator shroud or bugger it off?
One more question, I was going to keep the heater but because I live in North QLD, I will never use it.  All them hoses are starting to be a problem with changing things so is there going to be any blanking plates needed?
Your ideas are most welcome. 

FNQ

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Re: Converting my old copper radiator to aliminium
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2020, 10:48:55 AM »
Hi i cant really help you with radiator hose differences - except to say if you change over to aluminium you may need a new set of hoses.


I recommend a 72-74 degree thermostat not the 80ish degree one -




Going through two radiators in 3 years, to me means that all the crude in your system was not flushed and accumulated again - ( easily done by the way and not knocking your cleaning /flushing - as i too have presented what i thought was a perfectly cleaned cooling system - only to have brown gunk reappear ) So dont necessarily knock the good old trusted radiator. (Especially if you get the good density australian version (16 fins per inch ) if i recall - i wouldn't trust the lesser fins variants in North Queensland. 


Heater matrixes in my observations are often the culprit for adding crud, and leaking!




I used to live in Cairns and have successfully run both copper and aluminium cores albeit in mini mode and not in a moke.


The first thing i noticed is that the extra coolant capacity of a 'expansion tank ' is sometimes the difference in hot summer traffic.- i use the moke expansion tank plumbed in as an expansion tank and not just an overflow. ( So pressurised radiator cap on the expansion tank and just a cap on the top of the radiator) - the heater matrix can be used as your extra capacity of water - but heat ends up in the cabin.


If you want to go alumimium


I would recommend 50mm rad  but make sure the size is right - as going over 50 can sometimes mean trimming shrouds etc - so they adverstise as a 50mm radiator but on specs the total size maybe 56 etc - there are plenty with the correct width so just look until you find one


I personally like the standard distances in fan proximity to radiator and no changes to the shroud - as i think the air flow through the engine bay and directed through the radiator to under the wheel arch is an important part of a cool running motor ( although i have seen shroudless arrangements running well - so it really is my preference only here.


On my variants- neither had a heater matrix) - but i plumbed the cylinder 4 outlet ( heater offtake) back into the bottom hose - Theoretically not the best thermo placement , but it certainly helped keep the cars cool.


I also ran an auxilliary radiator set up at one stage ( using a commodore heater matrix) but deleted it , as it didn't get up to temp unless thrashed.


I still run both configurations -the copper one rodded and resoldered cost a fortune comparatively  but does its job in my street machine ( although only a weekend car)
The aluminium one is in service in a race mini and performs slightly better than its copper predecessor - but the old one had some fair amount of fin damage due to its age.


The road motor runs glycol about 30 percent in the copper rad and pressure cap is either 13 or 14 psi.


The race motor runs penrite 10/tenths at whatever they recommend, but have run pure water on more than one occasion


Best of luck with cooling your beast, Cheers Darryl


Maystro

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Re: Converting my old copper radiator to aliminium
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2020, 10:34:12 PM »
Thanks Darryl,  Very informative and I like getting advice from guys in the same area as me.  FNQ is that Far
North QLD? 

Everyone is telling me copper rads are better but my cheap wad side kicked in when I could get this deal.  https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/323895843899
It says 40mm core but an outside width of 55mm which is about identical with my stock 1981 radiator.
A brand new aluminium radiator with blue silicone hoses.   

I have the expansion tank already because it is a 1981 Moke.  Although I like your tip about swapping radiator caps.  I always have an empty radiator and a full expansion tank???

Now I just have to buy a different front facing thermostat housing and a radiator bracket to match.  Also I'm thinking I'm going to need some sort of a solid pipe to join heater pipes. 

By the way, how did you know my Moke is a beast.   It really sounds like one with its Kent 286 cam??

FNQ

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Re: Converting my old copper radiator to aliminium
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2020, 09:44:21 AM »
Hi Maystro, 


yes FNQ does stand for my former location - maybe i should do a 'artist formally known as Prince' type name tag ?
I got hold of a length copper pipe to use as the joiner for my hose setup


The radiator you pointed to is a good price but is only 40mm core.. this ebay number  253356121057  is a 50mm core with overall width only 52 and i would definitely go for a 50 mm core if it fits.  ( I think Worley was the seller i used but i cant go back far enough in my purchase history  , , i have bought 4 -   , 3 in race motors ( not all mine) and one as my spare - and touch wood all have been good ( which ever you end up buying from buy a new rubber o ring for the bottom plug - the guy who welded my spigot on, suggested it -   i am not plugging (pun intended) any particular ebay seller so takes your pick - but my son inlaw ( a alloy welder by trade) gave the welding on my rad a high pass mark, and an unbelievable pass mark relative to its pricepoint)
as for Mokes - 286 cam is pretty wild for that engine, but the low weight of the Moke is a godsend.


All mokes are beasts! - Cheers Darryl

Maystro

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Re: Converting my old copper radiator to aliminium
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2020, 08:20:18 PM »
Thanks mate, that radiator looks like the goods especially seeing they have managed to get a 50 mm core in a smaller outside dimension than the 40 mm one I was looking at although the postage is pretty steep.
 
I found something similar which apparently has the same outside dimensions however the side rails don't look like they are tucked in as far as the one you pointed out but they reckon it is he same size.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/50MM-for-AUSTIN-ROVER-MINI-1275-GT-1959-1997-Aluminum-Radiator-Hose-BLUE/323711331292?_trkparms=aid%3D1110001%26algo%3DSPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D20160323102634%26meid%3D7711318cb2a748e28e57e3e33d164729%26pid%3D100623%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D223423172398%26itm%3D323711331292%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2047675&_trksid=p2047675.c100623.m-1
 
But anyway it comes with a swag of extra blue silicone hoses for $30 bucks extra than the bare radiator.  Would I be able to use any of these hoses on a 1981 Moke?  They look pretty bizarre to me.



 

FNQ

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Re: Converting my old copper radiator to aliminium
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2020, 08:46:27 AM »
hi maystro


from the silicone hoses , i reckon you might get a top hose out of them ? Hard to tell (my spatial awareness isn't that good). It also maybe just a stock photo and not the actual hoses. Best of luck with whichever way you decide to go. ( did you count the fins per inch on the old Rad?

Maystro

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Re: Converting my old copper radiator to aliminium
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2020, 09:38:09 PM »
Thanks mate, 
I have no idea how to measure fins per square inch? 
I do have a set of digital calipers if that helps? 
However both my copper core rads are original items which have the rear facing thermo housing, so what ever is the stock for a Leyland 1981 Moke. 

Oh by the way, I never had a cooling issue except that I tried to be clever and change the fan belt without removing the radiator which worked until I found I put a whole in the core. 

Although maybe I do have a cooling issue because if I drive my Moke to the shops and leave it parked for more than 5 mins it wont start till I leave it to cool down which usually takes about 30 mins. Maybe another topic I should start up.

 

Terry

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Re: Converting my old copper radiator to aliminium
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2020, 09:25:04 AM »

Although maybe I do have a cooling issue because if I drive my Moke to the shops and leave it parked for more than 5 mins it wont start till I leave it to cool down which usually takes about 30 mins. Maybe another topic I should start up.
 

I would be looking at the carby(needle and seat) or the coil for that problem.

Terry
I'm not questioning your powers of observation; I'm merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.


Cujo. 1999 - 2016

FNQ

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Re: Converting my old copper radiator to aliminium
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2020, 09:38:14 AM »
For general interest only and not moke specific, but i found a reasonably unbiased article about radiators copper or brass.


https://www.customlineclub.org.au/Alum_v_Copper_Brass_Radiators_June_2011.pdf


I hope the link works , otherwise just cut and paste. Fins, tube size cross flow, downflow etc it shows how many factors influence cooling. I will finish by saying in my experience Both copper and aluminium can be made to work well

T.O.M

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Re: Converting my old copper radiator to aliminium
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2020, 07:21:57 PM »
good read thanks

Maystro

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Re: Converting my old copper radiator to aliminium
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2020, 11:27:02 PM »
Ok I have a 50 mm new aluminium radiator I want to put in my 1981 Moke.  This rad is a work of art. 
I have silicone hoses which match up to my rad but I need  a new thermostat housing which Im guessing the standard   https://minisport.com.au/mini-moke-forward-facing-thermostat-housing should work. 
My real dilemma is in the radiator/ thermo bracket which I need.  Do I need this because a 1981 Moke is similar in dimensions to a 1275 GT Clubman? 
https://minisport.com.au/mini-moke-1275-gt-top-radiator-bracket-black

Drakman

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Re: Converting my old copper radiator to aliminium
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2020, 09:37:41 AM »
Hi Maystro,

I had  a similar issue with my Moke when i put a 4 core radiator in with the 998cc engine.  I had to make my own thermo housing to radiator bracket because the GT one was too long.  Is the clubman one a bit shorter?  I did get one the correct length but i can't remember what car it was off.

I'll try and find some pics.

Drakman

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Re: Converting my old copper radiator to aliminium
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2020, 10:06:19 AM »
The longer bracket on the right is the std 998, std radiator bracket.  The shorter bracket on the left is most likely  what you are looking for.



I'll see if i can find the GT bracket, i am fairly sure it was too long with my set up.  You might be able to tell that the bracket on the guard is longer than the above brackets.  This one is a GT bracket i believe.


Drakman

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Re: Converting my old copper radiator to aliminium
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2020, 10:10:25 AM »
I ended up solving the whole issue by rubber mounting the radiator to the body, no brackets needed now.


Maystro

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Re: Converting my old copper radiator to aliminium
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2020, 09:24:07 PM »
Thanks Drakman,  That is a sweet looking engine bay and love the uncluttered  look without the housing.
 
I'm confused looking at those 2 rad brackets because looking at the original Moke one, none of the brackets look long enough after all they still have to secure into 2 out of 3 of the same head studs. 
Here is a pic of mine which is a standard 1981 Moke bracket.


I'm really interested in your rubber mounted setup.  What does this involve and do you get any noticeable loss of cooling efficiency without the shroud? 
Thanks Brad.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2020, 10:26:29 PM by Maystro »