Curing Overheating

How did your Sprite/Midget cope with the summer heat? Not too well? OK, so now's the time to fix it before you forget, and before next Summer surprises you.

You should have one. If it has been removed, the car will run hotter, not cooler. The standard thermostat opened at around 85C - too hot. Fit a quality low temperature thermostat, say, 74C.

Water pump
The standard water pump had pressed metal blades on the impeller, and would almost keep a 948cc engine cool. The pumps fitted to 1275cc engines had a deeper cast iron impeller, with closer tolerances, and are much more effective. If you haven't checked your pump, do it now. And if you have the earlier style pump, you might even find all the blades have corroded away, and in effect you have no pump! Fit the later cast impellor pump.

Water Pump

If you have the original pressed metal 2 or 4-blade fan, change it for the later 6-blade plastic fan.

4 blade fan     6 blade fan
Your vertical flow radiator will have 66 tubes and 12 fins per inch. The water filled tubes transmit the heat to the fins, which transmit and radiate it to the air. A heavy duty radiator is available, with 106 tubes and 18 fins per inch. More tubes + more fins = better cooling. I can supply these on exchange, or can re-core your radiator. Price is the same.

Radiator conditioner or "coolant"
If you have Glycol in your cooling system, please empty it out. Glycol is a great anti-freeze, and will also raise the boiling point of the water, both of which are irrelevant unless you drive in sub-zero conditions or your cooling system is ineffective and the water is boiling in the first place. And Glycol is a lousy conductor of heat. It doesn't take it away from the engine, and it doesn't transfer it to the radiator fins, as well as even pure water. With Glycol, your engine will run hotter, and the higher concentration of Glycol you use, the hotter the engine will run! There are plenty of other radiator conditioners available that don't use Glycol. We sell a Penrite product.

Oil Cooler
Your oil also contributes to the cooling of the engine. It does however run at a very high temperature, typically 130C to 140C, and in The Fright I have seen 170C! Cooling the oil will help keep the water temperature down. All 1275cc engined cars had an oil cooler as a standard fitment, but they can easily be added to earlier cars. The two favourite spots would be on the radiator support (as in The Toolbox) or where Noddy has his underneath the radiator. Noddy stays so cool that, in winter, we need to remove the scoop and block off the radiator!