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Converting Radiators

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#1 maystro


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Posted 31 January 2020 - 12:24 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. 


#2 nicklouse


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Posted 31 January 2020 - 01:38 PM

I guess you will just need a standard UK thermostat housing and the correct top hose for your engine size.


ps a copper core rad is better than an aluminum core rad.


pps if you live in a hot area the heater unit is a useful extra cooling unit and the extra water volume also helps with the ability to manage heat.  

#3 Moke Spider

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 05:43 PM

Most new complete copper radiator's you'll buy these days I've found are very thin in the core and give trouble sooner or later. Where you are, apart from being an inferior radiator and potentially harmful to the block and head, I wouldn't recommend an aluminum radiator, it will also give poor life.


I'd suggest having yours re-cored but find a shop who used Adrad Cores, last time I looked, their copper cores were made in New Zealand.


If you are keen to convert to a forward facing thermostat housing, you'll need the Thermostat Housing, Top Radiator Support Bracket, and if retaining the Heater, a new Lower Hose that has the Heater take off on it. If you are not retaining the Heater, you need a blanking plate for the Heater Tap on the Cylinder Head. Noted you'd like to remove the Heater, but be aware that you do need it to comply with ADR15 and also, it helps with cooling as it serves as an Auxiliary Radiator.


Be aware however, that in one regards, this is an inferior set up as you'll find the Top Radiator Support Bracket tends to break it's 'ears' off where they bolt up to the Thermostat Housing after a while as they are fairly thin.

#4 justminis


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Posted 31 January 2020 - 10:41 PM

I live about 4 hours north of you and have quite a few of the Top Radiator Support bracket that you will need if you convert.  Drop me a PM if you are interested.  


I've lived in this area all my life and been playing with minis since the late 60's and the only issues I've had with the old copper radiators has been when the core has been rotten or blocked with crud.  Once replaced or cleaned properly, all good.  I would keep the original radiator shroud.  Would also recommend fitting a copper expansion tank off a Morris 1100 or a Moke.  Before refitting the new/cleaned out radiator, give the block etc a good flush out to get as much crud out as possible.  Other thing to do is to put the toe piece of some pantyhose/stocking into the top inlet of the radiator to catch any crud from going into the radiator.

#5 BaronVonchesto


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Posted 01 February 2020 - 12:06 PM

I drive a 998 with a japanese SARD aluminium radiator fitted. I think it was made for the 1298 as its a tad bit too large and doesnt sit flush with the wing, but man it works great! Never ever experienced overheating ever, and my thermostat controlled electric aux fan almost never turns on except in a traffic jam on the hottest of days.

It might be overkill for the UK, but for hot and sunny Malaysia, its perfect!

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