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Old 28th April 2010, 18:15   #1
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Default Engine cooling

In the past couple of years since the inception of this forum there have been several serious engine cooling issues related to 4x4 vehicles narrated in various threads. Off-roaders go to remote places and stress their vehicles. One thing you really want badly in a 4x4 is a dependable cooling system. The consequences of not having one are catastrophic, e.g. warped heads and head gasket leaks. You can suffer severe engine damage possibly way out in the middle of nowhere if you do not have a stone-reliable cooling system. This is one area of design and maintenance where you do not want to take half-measures or gambles. You want your cooling system to work first time, every time.

I have started this thread to get educated. My Invader runs a little hotter than I feel comfortable with and it is only 6 months old. I want to improve it. How do you improve your engine cooling system? What aftermarket electric fans really work? What other issues are outstanding?

I want a cooling system that will work beautifully at 19,000 feet. How do I get it? I have a MDI3200tc in my Invader.

For you new folks, an intro to this topic can be found here:

HowStuffWorks "Search"

Last edited by DirtyDan : 28th April 2010 at 18:33.
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Old 28th April 2010, 18:50   #2
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Before finalizing cooling system as the culprit check if other parameters are also OK, for e.g. timing, engine oil/lubrication, compression check etc. It would be nice if someone could chart out a step by step guideline to troubleshoot these. Also there a few thumb rules which need to be followed for a cooling system to work effectively, for e.g. the position of the radiator w.r.t. fan, the deflector and shroud orientation. Tampering with these may also effect ROA (Rise over ambient) values.

Spike
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Old 28th April 2010, 19:29   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
Before finalizing cooling system as the culprit check if other parameters are also OK, for e.g. timing, engine oil/lubrication, compression check etc. It would be nice if someone could chart out a step by step guideline to troubleshoot these. Also there a few thumb rules which need to be followed for a cooling system to work effectively, for e.g. the position of the radiator w.r.t. fan, the deflector and shroud orientation. Tampering with these may also effect ROA (Rise over ambient) values.

Spike
It runs really good. It is 6 months old and I do not see reason to check the compression now. It has no other symptoms. I change engine oil religiously. The crappy temp gage reads between middle and hot on hot days. It reads just over half on cold days. I need better gages (anybody help with this?) and I want it to run cool when climbing the Himalayas where I live.
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Old 29th April 2010, 13:22   #4
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Dan, Thanks for starting this thread!
I have a new Gypsy which is as old as your invader.
From what i've seen in fellow Gypsy owners here, they have an additional electric fan in front of the radiator on their Gypsies and they are operated on-need basis with a switch. (I guess, these fans are of Wagon-R).
Do you think this would suffice @ high altitudes? (I dream of driving up there some day in my Gypsy )
I've also read on the forum, a few members have changed their stock radiator to a bigger one. Would this also be necessary or would a good stock radiator with an additional fan do?
Cheers,
Deepak

PS: Envy you! I'm missing those yummy pizzas @ Namgyal Cafe (McLeod)
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Old 30th April 2010, 10:40   #5
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Keeping an eye on this thread. I'm also facing this overheating issue.

Dan,

Quite a bit has been discussed on my Classic thread as well.
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Old 30th April 2010, 10:57   #6
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An often overlooked factor, and one that's VERY important, is the design of the radiator cowl. A good radiator cowl makes the primary fan work much more effectively, and can make a huge difference in stressful conditions.

Owners of old Jeeps (the kind from Mayapuri) would do well in checking the thermostat. In all probability, its not working like it should.

A high-flow multi-core radiator is a must. Most ol' Jeeps owned by enthusiasts typically run larger radiators (as mine is). Remember to choose the right radiator cap too.

After a wet OTR, its a must to clean the radiator. I've seen muck, pebbles and dirt severely blocking the front of mine. A pressure wash (from both sides) is ideal. Of course, don't forget to get a radiator flush atleast once a year (for the offroaders).

P.S. Every Mahindra CJ / MM has had overheating issues at some time or the other . I've yet to come across one that hasn't faced this problem.
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Old 30th April 2010, 11:18   #7
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One more thing you guys can try. During the installation of AC in my Gypsy the fitter has changed the pulley which rotates the mechanical fan. He installed the smaller one to have more RPM for fan; this somehow worked for me.

Cheers!

Alok
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Old 30th April 2010, 11:21   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Power View Post
One more thing you guys can try. During the installation of AC in my Gypsy the fitter has changed the pulley which rotates the mechanical fan. He installed the smaller one to have more RPM for fan; this somehow worked for me.

Cheers!

Alok
Hmmm. Makes sense. Can anyone highlight any disadvantages of this? Is the plastic fan rated for a particular rpm?
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Old 3rd May 2010, 09:03   #9
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Default Descaling

Hi Tejas,

I installed a OEM Size (Dimensions) 4 Core Radiator and started using water + coolant last year before TPC09, and without the Thermostat the Coolant Temp used to stick to 60 Degrees, every year after TPC, I fit the Thermostat.

This year I removed the thermostat just before JEEPTHRILLS 5A, and a very interesting thing happened.

Twice my vehicle over heated all of a sudden especially on long runs, and the overflow tank would bubble out a whitish/greenish froth/clay.

I realised that the coolant also act as a descaling compound and removes the scales from the water jacket and after it is churned by the water pump it finally sttles in the radiator, and in high speed or continuous runs effects the cooling and boils to the over flow tank.

This happened a few days ago and again there was silt in the over flow tank, I drained the cooling system and block before the mini-rebuild in March-April and now once in a while the new/fresh coolant reacts with the scales and removes them.

DB Sir and Spike can commet on this.

Regards,

Arka
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Old 3rd May 2010, 12:25   #10
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AFAIK, engine coolant contains "rust inhibitors" these prevent any rust formation. In a way they help in removal of sludge and scale formations in the coolant circuit.

Spike
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Old 3rd May 2010, 12:46   #11
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At high altitudes, esp 19000 feet, even the best cooling systems start giving issues due to rarified air there.
I have not been able to find any terrain which is 19000 feet high, so the highest I have gone is 18400-18500 feet or so.
At that altitude, in first low gear(4x4 low ratio), very low speed, high rpm(midrange-high midrange), the safari went into limp home mode. The ECU automatically does this if the coolant temperature goes slightly above 100 degrees(as opposed to 96-97).
so all you can do is park, and wait for it to cool down.

In an old engine, there is no ECU to shut down the engine. so you have to keep a keen eye on the temp guage.
Also remember, water starts boiling at 80 degrees or even less in such low pressure environment, so if your cooling system has a hairline evaporative leak, you will loose coolant.

Nevertheless, make sure your cooling fan is good. Safari has 2 primary fans, which go full blast as the engine heats up. Even then, on the M.La climb, I had this limp home issue due to rarified air.

On your invador, probably if you are climbing a high mountain pass at high midrange, watch the temp guage.
If its creeping above the normal range(half mark), even if not going to red zone, be sure that at the higher passes(17000+) you may have to stop and stare for some time.
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Old 8th May 2010, 01:27   #12
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First of all, a 6 month old Jeep should have a cooling system in perfect working order. My 1999 MM550 had a very effective stock cooling system with a temperature gauge that would not move past the halfway point if I was on the plains or half way to Leh.

Take care of the following and the cooling system should work well:

Radiator in perfect condition (no rebuilds or repairs). Just buy a new OEM radiator when required. I absolutely do not recommend and repairs done on a radiator. Repairs typically end up blocking parts of the core and reduce efficiency. Repaired radiators typically leak.

As mentioned by GTO, the radiator must be shrouded. A FULL shroud, with the fan blade 50% in an 50% out of the shroud.

Good working condition thermostat valve.

50:50 mix of coolant and distilled water (no hard water). Needless to say the coolant mixture should be clean and relatively free of rust.

Radiator cap must work correctly to pressurize the cooling system. A pressurized cooling system increases the boiling point of coolant. Boiling coolant=no heat transfer from engine to coolant=overheating. This is especially important for high altitudes since the boiling point is significantly reduced.

Make sure all hoses are in good shape and replace if there are any cracks.

Driving style is also important: Don't under rev and lug the engine up long uphill grades. This puts a big load on the engine with a low rate of coolant pumping. Don't over rev either, since that will generate a large amount of heat.

I have upgraded my cooling system to a Tata 407 turbo, OEM radiator with integrated plastic shroud and dual electric fans. It is a HUGE aluminum radiator that barely fits, and it just works great. I drove from Manali to Leh last year and the temp gauge did not budge past half way.
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Old 8th May 2010, 01:42   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ex670c View Post

This year I removed the thermostat just before JEEPTHRILLS 5A, and a very interesting thing happened.

Twice my vehicle over heated all of a sudden especially on long runs, and the overflow tank would bubble out a whitish/greenish froth/clay.
Yea and I got a nice coolant bath .

Can a descaling additive be considered?
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