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Understanding your Cooling system.
#1
This excellent writeup was provided by Q45mm of Honda-Tech.com

Q45mm Wrote:  Okay, I have been inspired from some previous posts about "How can I gain more horsepower?"

I See people recommending turbo's, Pistions, Cams, yada yada yada. Yet I have yet to seen someone explain the vital importance of the cooling system. So I am here to save the day with some info.

Let's start with some basic info:

Less than 40% off the heat generated through combustion is turned into Horsepower (this term is called thermal efficiency, now this is only applicable to a N/A vehicle, if you are F/I this number will change drastically anywhere from 50% - 200% almost 2x as much).

This means that 60% of the heat occuring from this air fuel mixture is let out through your exhaust and through your cooling system.

Now lets start with the basic components of the cooling system are.
1. Radiator
2. Fan (Electric / Belt driven)
3. Water Pump
4. Cap
5. Thermostat
6. Hoses
7. Coolant

Now these are all equal in importance, no one is greater then the other.

Now lets check out the basic out the basic functions of these.

Radiator- Exchange the heat into the atmosphere in exchange for cold air. This is called a heat exchanger, Heat exchanger are devices where 2 or more moving fluids streams exchange temperature. with out mixing.

Fan- The fan is an assistant in moving air toward the radiator accompanied by the fan shroud. Now in most cases the fan is an accessory item the reason I say this because most fans do not kick in at highway speeds on in the city because air movement is so great at high speeds so in theory you can basically get rid of your fan at the track for weight saving, but be careful of the temperature and the number of passes you are making.

Water pump- Is like the heart, keeps the circulation with out it you can will die.

Cap- To keep the system under a constant flow the cap keeps the system closed to the atmosphere, and also keep the system under a certain pressure.

Thermostat- A temperature controlled valve allowing coolant to pass through to the radiator when hot to allow heat exchange and closed to allow for warm up when cold.

Hoses- Like the vessels keep everything connected.

Coolant- The carrier, that allows for all of this to happen.

When to upgrade radiators?
This question has baffled many of us. The basic guide line is if your vehicle is making 10% or less Horsepower then stock and you never really beat on your vehicle you really don't need a upgrade. But if your radiator is more then 4 years old and you are generating about 20% more power than stock or do and kind of track/ road racing you should consider and upgrade.

There are so many out there, which radiator to pick?
When choosing a radiator you must understand there are a lot of factor that play apart of this process such as core lenght, width, thickness, tube thickness, tube spacing and fin density. Now I can't tell you exactly what to get because there isn't a basic guide for this. All I know is companies have spent thousand into research, and have designed certain radiators for certain applications for example a radiator designed for track is going to have a better cooling capacity then a drag. So call the companies and ask. But in general a equal balance of all the properties makes the best radiator.

Now updating fan?
If you are and electric fan which most of us are we really don't have any options for update unless there is a double electric fan some where out there that I am unaware of so keep it as it is or find a bigger fan.

Coolant.
For coolant to be able to carry heat it must remain in its' liquid form and not turn into a vapor this is very important.
Let us take into consideration Boiling point. Pure water boils at 100 degrees Celsius and freezes at 0 degrees Celsius, this is all under normal atmospheric conditions. Now if we apply pressure to like 14.7 psi the water will not boil till 121 degrees Celsius, and when you install a 18.9 psi cap water Will not boil till 124 degrees Celsius.

Wait, but pressure is not the only important part of this, mixture is just as important. Ethylene-glycol AKA Antifreeze is a fluid that has chemical additives to prevent rust and to lubricate the water pump. Now using a mixture of water and anti-freeze has its advantages and disadvantages, Using a 33% solution will raise the boiling point 4 degrees Celsius, and using a 50% solution will raise the boiling point 9 degrees Celsius. But here's the bad Antifreeze does not have the same heat capacity as water it is actually 20% less. So a 50/50 mixture (1 quart) that passes through the system will only be able to carry 80% of the heat, while the pure water can take nearly all away. So this led to the sports world to use pure water and rust inhibitor and boosters that reduce surface tension.

In the bigger picture though when water freezes it increases almost 9% in volume, and if this where to happen it could cause major harm in cold weather, but here's the savior again, a 33% mixture will drop the freezing temperature to nearly 16 degrees Celsius and a 50/50 mixture will drop the point to almost 37 degrees Celsius.

So now I bet you're in a world of wonder of what to fill your car with?
First you must determine the lowest temperature you are going to encounter and then add the least amount of Ethylen-glycol in coordination with this, usually there is a chart for you to follow on the back as a guideline. But if you are using less then 50/50 mixture please use the additives.

So in the end my friends don't forget to think about the cooling system, If you do be prepared for a multitude of problems.

Please feel free to comment, and add more
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#2
good find once again artik
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#3
lost of crazy info but some of it should have been expanded upon alittle more. i dont have that expertise so i cant claim to do that unfortunately.
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#4
Good info Mike. According to the info, I should have replaced my radiator years ago. I am still rocking the original radiator though. I never gave upgrading my radiator a second thought but perhaps I should. Gotme
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#5
I upgraded to an aluminum radiator because my oem one cracked.
Love the aluminum one. Has never failed.
edit by: Adam SkunkdSiR
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#6
I upgraded to mishimoto because of the swap. Single core d series rad wasn't going to cut it with the new motor.
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#7
(07-28-2010, 06:19 PM)Z3RO Wrote:  I upgraded to mishimoto because of the swap. Single core d series rad wasn't going to cut it with the new motor.

How do you like it? I was thinking of getting a Mishimoto radiator and a slim fan (undecided what size I need).
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Cute Girl Aficionado. Honda Basher. Traditionalist. 27 Years Old. Mafia Stylus 893.261.6669. 性交の雌犬はお金を得る
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#8
Mike, if your boosting, get the 13" 1300 cfm from Xenocron.com
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#9
(07-28-2010, 08:36 PM)EsotericImage Wrote:  Mike, if your boosting, get the 13" 1300 cfm from Xenocron.com

Rock

Thanks Rob, I wonder if Eli keeps that part in stock as well.
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#10
well, the usual 12" and 14" fans pull under 1000 cfm (esp mishimotos) which dont do a good job at cooling.
the 13" im referring to has a nice netal backing and is a pulling monster. I like to hear it hum when my turbo timer is on. Sounds like my car has alot more under the hood.

........... well, just looked and now they say theyre rated at 1500 cfm.. maybe this is a newer unit. Mine didnt come with an install kit.. this one does. this one is also 12 bucks more then what i paid.

http://www.xenocron.com/maradyne-13-slim-fan-p-308.html

they also have an 11" but i didnt look at the specs
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