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Understanding your COOLING SYSTEM

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Old 02-16-2006, 05:28 AM   #1
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Default Understand your Cooling System.

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

I See people recomending turbo's, Pistions, Cams, yada yada yada. Yet I have yet to seen someone explain the vital improtance 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 efficency, now this is only applicable to a N/A vechile, if you are F/I this number will change drasticly 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 (Electiric / 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 exhcange temperture. 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 excessory item the reason I say this becuase most fans do not kick in at highway speeds on in the city becuase air movment is so great at high speeds so in theory you can basicly 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 certian pressure.

Thermostat- A temperture controled 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 vesels 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 vechile is making 10% or less Horsepower then stock and you never really beat on your vechile 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 alot 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 becuase there isn't a basic guide for this. All I know is companys have spent thousand into research, and have designed certian radiators for certian applications for example a radiator designed for track is going to have a better cooling capacity then a drag. So call the companys and ask. But in general a equal balance of all the properties makes the best radiator.

Now updating fan?
If you are and elecritc 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 un aware 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 improtant.
Let us take into conciderator Boilng point. Pure water boils at 100 degrees celcuis
and freezes at 0 degrees celcius, this is all under normal atmposphere 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 celcuis.
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 celcius, and using a 50% solution will raise the boiling point 9 degrees celcius. 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 increeses almost 9% in volume, and if this where to happen it could cause major harm in cold weather, but here's the saviour again, a 33% mixture will drop the freezing temperture to nearly 16 degrees celcius and a 50/50 mixture will drop the point to almost 37 degrees celcius.

So now I bet you're in a world of wonder of what to fill your car with?
First you must determine the lowest temperture you are going to encounter and then add the least amount of Ethylen-glycol in cordination with this, usally there is a chart for you to fallow 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


Modified by q45mm at 12:58 PM 2/16/2006


Modified by q45mm at 1:29 PM 2/16/2006
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Old 02-16-2006, 05:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Phenomenal HP Gains With Your Cooling System. (q45mm)

This is a nice informative post...
You should definatly also post this in the faq's section so others can quickly find it later down the road: https://honda-tech.com/zerothread?id=642479
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Old 02-16-2006, 06:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: Phenomenal HP Gains With Your Cooling System. (mwieczorek43)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwieczorek43
You should definatly also post this in the faq's section so others can quickly find it later down the road: https://honda-tech.com/zerothread?id=642479
Thank you sir, just did as you said.
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Old 02-16-2006, 07:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: Phenomenal HP Gains With Your Cooling System. (q45mm)

this might be a little extreme.. but what about polishing the pats of the oil/coolant. blend the radius of the oil pump, maybe a oil cooler in the front
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Old 02-16-2006, 07:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: Phenomenal HP Gains With Your Cooling System. (GarageAlchemist)

Your thermostat opens and closes at certain temps to ensure proper rate of heat dissipation. This may negate the effect of changing to a primarily water based solution. Also the surrounding air temperature plays a big role in the heat exchange process. Maybe using a water solution with an engine block heater would do the trick for the wintertime.

I believe most people remove the thermo if they're on a race track.

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Old 02-16-2006, 07:46 AM   #6
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that is so true.
i see the point now.
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Old 02-16-2006, 07:51 AM   #7
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Great Information.
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Old 02-16-2006, 07:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: (hondafan62269)

yeah. You can run 200hp motors on stock radiators. No need to change them just because you did a swap. And I don't see how anything right here is supposed to add hp.
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Old 02-16-2006, 08:04 AM   #9
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Nice info, to bad its almost totatly useless a radiator won't give you ANY power
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Old 02-16-2006, 08:30 AM   #10
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no power in these mods........../thread
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Old 02-16-2006, 08:40 AM   #11
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great post
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Old 02-16-2006, 08:41 AM   #12
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Default Re: (z6)

Okay it was just a catchy title, sorry there is not direct hp related info.
But it seem that you don't understand the fact of thermal efficency since that goes hand in hand with hp. So instead of me typing up a informative post about thermal efficency I suggest you do a little research.
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Old 02-16-2006, 08:55 AM   #13
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Default Re: (q45mm)

Quote:
Originally Posted by z6
no power in these mods........../thread
I agree. After i read the thread, i thought the same thing...
But IMO that doesn't take away from the fact this is good usefull information. I'm personally am more concerned with efficiency, than hp numbers.
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Old 02-16-2006, 09:14 AM   #14
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Default Re: (mwieczorek43)

man can a mod change the title or something? its setting the tone for a lot of negative comments on a post that is informative.
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Old 02-16-2006, 09:24 AM   #15
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Okay mods please change the tittle..
Im reporting my self
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Old 02-16-2006, 09:25 AM   #16
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Awesome write up.
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Old 02-16-2006, 09:53 AM   #17
 
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Default Re: (sohcvtec1995)

it is a good write up...also the cooling system effects the power more inderectly than directly, no none of those things will give you power but if your motor runs so incredibly hot it could overheat or create so much heat that you loose power
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Old 02-16-2006, 10:18 AM   #18
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Default Re: Understand your Cooling System. (q45mm)

nice...
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Old 02-17-2006, 02:58 AM   #19
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Default Re: Understand your Cooling System. (q45mm)

Bump for more people to see.
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Old 02-17-2006, 03:17 AM   #20
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Default Re: (DC2TEGGA-GSR)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DC2TEGGA-GSR
it is a good write up...also the cooling system effects the power more inderectly than directly, no none of those things will give you power but if your motor runs so incredibly hot it could overheat or create so much heat that you loose power
Thinking the same thing.

Nice write up, and you didn't skip anything. People should know this stuff.
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Old 02-17-2006, 04:24 AM   #21
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Default Re: (q45mm)

Quote:
Originally Posted by q45mm
Okay it was just a catchy title, sorry there is not direct hp related info.
But it seem that you don't understand the fact of thermal efficency since that goes hand in hand with hp. So instead of me typing up a informative post about thermal efficency I suggest you do a little research.
yeah but by changing radiator size you won't increase thermal efficiency. Thermal efficiency is ability of the engine to use the heat that is produced to make power. The more heat it gives away (thru the block and such) the less power it will make. It's hard for me to explain.
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Old 02-17-2006, 05:44 AM   #22
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yeah but by changing radiator size you won't increase thermal efficiency. Thermal efficiency is ability of the engine to use the heat that is produced to make power. The more heat it gives away (thru the block and such) the less power it will make. It's hard for me to explain.
Yes very true, but you're missing the point of the Post. It acutally had more to do with the basic break down of the cooling system rather then increasign your Radiator size or horsepower. As I said with the radiator size it actually will increase thermal efficency, if you would like to me to go into a long summary of how I will be glad to but for now I will let you ponder with the terms of A/F mixture and temperture. (It is very indirect) Oh yeah and if you don't belive me go get on your GT3 video game, yes a video game and enhance your cooling system and see if you have a gain of horsepower. (I know it's a game but it is very true)
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Old 02-17-2006, 05:24 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by q45mm

Yes very true, but you're missing the point of the Post. It acutally had more to do with the basic break down of the cooling system rather then increasign your Radiator size or horsepower. As I said with the radiator size it actually will increase thermal efficency, if you would like to me to go into a long summary of how I will be glad to but for now I will let you ponder with the terms of A/F mixture and temperture. (It is very indirect) Oh yeah and if you don't belive me go get on your GT3 video game, yes a video game and enhance your cooling system and see if you have a gain of horsepower. (I know it's a game but it is very true)
Yeah but it doesn't matter. Engine stays in the same coolant temperature all the fucken time, due to the thermostat. BTW those idiots that put 160 degree thermostats in, actually loose hp and wear out the block. Ring end gap is set to a certain spec for a reason, so at that temperature it won't cause cylinder scoring, and create maximum seal.

Second of all in GT 1-4 you can't change your raditor genious. You are changing the intercooler, that's what gains you power. God just stop...
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Old 02-18-2006, 03:55 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABK

Yeah but it doesn't matter. Engine stays in the same coolant temperature all the fucken time, due to the thermostat. BTW those idiots that put 160 degree thermostats in, actually loose hp and wear out the block. Ring end gap is set to a certain spec for a reason, so at that temperature it won't cause cylinder scoring, and create maximum seal.

Second of all in GT 1-4 you can't change your raditor genious. You are changing the intercooler, that's what gains you power. God just stop...
LOL your first statement is absolutly false.Sorry im really done arguing with you, but we can atleast agree on the fact that its informational.
Never actually played the game
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Old 02-18-2006, 04:36 PM   #25
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LOL your first statement is absolutly false.Sorry im really done arguing with you, but we can atleast agree on the fact that its informational.
Never actually played the game
I'm not arguing, I'm debating. I just swear alot. It does stay at the same temperature, once it's warmed up.

Anyways you are confusing thermal efficiency and cooling system.

Thermal efficiency is ability of the engine to use the thermal energy and change it into mechanical energy. Nothing to do with a cooling system. Cooling system just extracts all the thermal energy that wasn't trasfered into mechanical to prevent overheating. This is fucken dumb but I can't really explain it to you. Go take some physics classes or something.
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