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Thread: Spring, fall, and cooling issues

  1. #1
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Spring, fall, and cooling issues

    Every year in spring, we have the blossoming of trees and flowers, and with that comes a lot of pollination (I hope this is the right word). In fall then, leaves are falling and of course, we collect them with our cars.
    This spring there was a tremendous amount of pollination here in Germany. This, and leaves left over from last fall have created a damage that potentially could have been avoided. Hence this thread.

    First a rough sketch of the radiators:


    We are looking at the car from the front. First, you see the condenser of the air condition, then the cooling coil of the power steering, and finally the radiator.
    Apparently, the air reachest the engine radiator at the very end.
    Between the two radiators, there is a small gap needed for the cooling coil of the power steering.
    In my car, this gap had filled up partially with leaves from last fall, and even more with pollen and dirt such that the radiator had lost more than a third of its cooling surface:



    It is difficult to see on the photo, however, the little spaces in the radiator were partially filled up completely:


    Even this reduction in cooling surface should not result in severe problems for a stock engine, in my case a couple of extreme conditions came together, leading to an overheating of the engine:
    - hot temperatures
    - laps on the Ring with strong acceleration
    - small distance to the car in front of me (see video)
    - one third less of cooling surface

    The temperature indicator is dampened a lot around the middle position, hence it only roughly tells you about the actual temperatures. Once it starts moving to the right, it will hit the red area almost instantly. This makes it a bit difficult to react appropriately, especially, because I wasn't prepare for the consequences.

    Summary:
    At least once a year this gap and/or the radiator should be checked, if you have driven under similar conditions, to avoid cooling issues of this kind.
    Last edited by dwz8; December 29th 2007 at 15:31.
    Best regards, Dieter

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  2. #2
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Small Update:

    I made a couple of photos of the engine compartment to illustrate the situation.

    This shot was made from the passenger side looking towards the front of the car. You can easily spot the condenser of the air condition and the cooling coil of the air condition.



    The arrow points to the area where air (and dirt) enters through the front bumper and then hits the radiator. Most dirt was found on that side of the radiator.



    BTW, some time ago I also had a dead bird in the space between the bumper and the radiator. Quite surprising.

    As far as potential damages go resulting from overheating:
    - blown cylinder head gaskets
    - valve damages
    - melted engine block

    It's a simple check once a year, and I recommend doing it if you drive in hot areas and if the car is exposed to leaves, or dirt of any kind from time to time.
    Best regards, Dieter

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  3. #3

    Great tip - thanks!

    I had never though of that before, but your pictures are a clear indication of how easily this can happen without one realizing.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  4. #4
    Team Z8 dwz8's Avatar
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    Neither did I, I learned it the very hard way.
    Best regards, Dieter

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