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Pystalchemyst

Mod to reduce temperature

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Having been in a fender-bender and the impact rolling the hood up a bit I decided to do a little modification now along with the repair. I did take pictures of the damages but I have to find them so I will probably add them to this post or later date. Suffice it to say that the hood impacted the elevator controls for the headlights themselves. The actual knobs for the elevators were shattered and the posts sticking through the hood. It made it a little difficult to open. However she took it like a champ and since I had a spare Reatta for parts I took it upon myself to do the repair (FYI my spare is being parted out for those that may need some component that I may be able to supply).  I'm going to show some  pictures of the modification I did which reduces the underhood temperature as registered at the temperature gauge for the engine anywhere from 5 to 10 degrees depending on outside air temperature and velocity of the vehicle itself. I do not now see temperatures go above 204 degrees while sitting in traffic on a warm day. Before the radiator would hit boiling point and occasionally higher when sitting on hot asphalt in the day sun. Additionally if necessary this can easily be piped for ram air induction. Those of you with chargers and boosters may find this interesting as the ductwork only has a slight problem with a 90-degree elbow which would go in right below the driver side headlight. This modification will eliminate any type of hood work as far as ducting goes (for those of you with before said chargers and boosters) that may have been considering or looking into a hood-mounted RAM system like is used on the  fire chicken and trans am's. These pictures are of the rough work after painting and before the fitting of the bra and bug shield that goes over the hole. It's pretty basic metal work and a few hours in the dark running my hand over the surface to get the general shape down correct again to match the headlight hoods.  All paint is rattle canned and wet sanded Duplicolor #381 (dead on Buick match) and ACE High Gloss clear. There wasn't much Bondo used at all, and most of the bending of the metal was done with a 3 foot monkey wrench and a couple pieces of curved carbon fiber panel. Of course my hammer set saw some sweat time. But all in all I'm fairly proud of this one as it came out good and matches the underhood contour plastic piece and has a definite effect as intended upon the temperatures. The hardest part of all of this has been alignment adjustments to try to get the body lines correct prior to me finding the new bumper and shimming it out. Care must be taken to not strip out the torx bolts holding the hood in place because of the force that's on them.

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Edited by Pystalchemyst
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Below is a photo of my car that I posted in 2015 that shows what I thought GM might could have done with the grill and air dam of a Reatta to get more air in.  There are similarities to your photos but what I did was computer generated. You did yours with a hammer and a saw. My way was a lot less work.

 

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Yes and my way is currently working. And your CAD doesn't work because of the headlight hood motors. If you don't have panel in front of them then you are creating a very problematic thing called drag. Which would slow the vehicle down and cost more fuel. Unless of course you install ratcheting cable elevators for the headlights. Or only drive in the day. 

 

I didn't use a saw. It was a Dremel. And pliers, and vise grips, and channel locks, and muscle. My Mac WAS jealous though....lol. It threatened to only run Windows from that point forward so I had to give it some Cortana crunchies for a snack.

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I am happy this mod. is working for you but I am not clear how adding potential airflow over top of the radiator aids the cooling unless something else was wrong before? The openings at the front of the black plastic are designed to line up with the normal gap below the hood? The front lip of that plastic shroud is usually all wrinkled as yours is and I have found it looks and works better if the steel stiffener below the front edge of the shroud is placed on top of the plastic and then refastened. I know I live in a generally cooler climate but even with a front mount intercooler, and two stacked plate oil coolers for the engine oil and transmission, engine temperature has never been an issue. Of course I do have the large advantage of rarely sitting in significant traffic so there is that😎

 

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Having had a heating problem in my '89, 210 - 220, I replaced my water pump with no improvement, changed the thermostat with no improvement, then emptied the antifreeze then cleaned the cooling system with no improvement then ordered a new radiator then my temp held at 180 the temp of the thermostat - successful.  I am wondering if the fender bender loosened the corrosion inside of the radiator and it has blocked a part of your radiator causing less cooling area.  Just remember that your radiator is now 30 years old and could now have a lot of corrosion inside.

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Its always been my understanding that the Buick 3800 V6 engine was designed from the factory to run normally at 210-230 degrees with an OEM 195 degree thermostat.  I spoke with Denny Manner at a Buick Heritage Alliance dinner in 2016 regarding the operating temp of this engine.  That was his answer.  He was one of the engineers of the 3800 V6 that are in our Reattas.

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5 hours ago, ship said:

Its always been my understanding that the Buick 3800 V6 engine was designed from the factory to run normally at 210-230 degrees with an OEM 195 degree thermostat.  I spoke with Denny Manner at a Buick Heritage Alliance dinner in 2016 regarding the operating temp of this engine.  That was his answer.  He was one of the engineers of the 3800 V6 that are in our Reattas.

I have heard the same and generally agree. Long term, I have found mileage is usually better with a hot engine, but, as with everything there are side effects. High temps. under hood tend to deteriorate rubber and plastic items more rapidly and from my own experience on my performance foolery indicates it likes a cooler engine, too cool for normal long term operation.

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That's performance "halfoolery"

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I agree that hotter temps probably translate into better gas mileage but that's not a major consideration for me since my Reatta is mainly driven on the weekends. I realize a pressurized coolant system raises the boiling point of the coolant well above 212* and the engine is happy operating that way,  but the trade-off is increased pressure that puts additional stress on the hoses and engine gaskets.  On older cars I like to keep the engine coolant temperature low. My Reatta seems to perform better when it's running cool.  Years ago I added a relay controlled by a temperature probe that turns the radiator fans on at ~190* and off at ~175*.  That keeps the engine below the boiling point even when sitting still in traffic.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, DAVES89 said:

That's performance "halfoolery"

😎  I guess that's even the correct amount of letters. 

By the way, what happened to the OP? A drive-by poster??

Edited by 2seater

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I have a 4 core aluminum radiator, 1/4 inch smaller water pump pulley, a 160% thermostat,, fans reset to a lower temp.

 a scoop under the front grill. That works very well as long as I 'm moving, and I still overheat at a long red light.

 

So what's my problem?

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2 hours ago, jon L said:

I have a 4 core aluminum radiator, 1/4 inch smaller water pump pulley, a 160% thermostat,, fans reset to a lower temp.

 a scoop under the front grill. That works very well as long as I 'm moving, and I still overheat at a long red light.

 

So what's my problem?

Do the fans come it at full speed right away or low speed and then high at a higher temperature? In other words, do they still work like stock but at two lower temperatures? What temperatures are you seeing?

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A 4 core radiator should have plenty of capacity to cool the engine down. I'm guessing you have an airflow problem caused by a fan not turning on soon enough or the fans aren't working properly.  My fans running on high are capable of cooling the engine down with just the stock radiator.  Your SC engine might have something to do with it but I don't know what it would be.

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