Lotus Elan

Accidentally overheated my engine!

PostPost by: monkeyodeath » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:58 pm

Still a bit new to Elan ownership, and finally getting to drive the car more regularly.

My car has the cartridge-style water pump and an electric fan instead of a mechanical one.

Was driving on a warm day and apparently I accidentally turned the electric fan switch off, because by the time I got home and noticed what was happening, the temp gauge was a bit beyond the highest mark!

I've since driven the car and it's seemed fine -- didn't notice any milkshake in the oil and the coolant levels seem normal. But is there anything else I should be looking out for?
monkeyodeath
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 16
Joined: 24 Jun 2018
Location: California

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:46 pm

Are you sure the fan was switched off? They are usually controlled by an otter switch in the radiator, with a manual switch to override the otter in heavy traffic to bring the fan in a little earlier. That way you can't inadvertently switch it off.
If the water and oil is staying in it's respective areas you should be OK!!

Mark
User avatar
Elanintheforest
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2794
Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Location: Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire

PostPost by: Fred Talmadge » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:33 pm

My fan is manually controlled. You learn to turn it on when you live in Texas. My stupid question tho, is does anyone overheat their engine on purpose?
User avatar
Fred Talmadge
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 377
Joined: 24 Sep 2003
Location: Bellville, TX USA

PostPost by: el-saturn » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:44 pm

nobody, except maybe DONald would deliberatly overheat or leave the fan off fred, ----- BUT if you'd seen lots of white smoke coming from the front, you at least know: keep that ...... fan on - you probably have a45amp alternator, so youll always get home sandy
el-saturn
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1288
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Location: switzerland

PostPost by: pharriso » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:49 pm

Fred Talmadge wrote: My stupid question tho, is does anyone overheat their engine on purpose?

Seriously? :roll:
Phil Harrison
1972 Elan Sprint 0260K
User avatar
pharriso
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2506
Joined: 15 Sep 2010
Location: Long Island NY, USA

PostPost by: monkeyodeath » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:38 pm

Fred Talmadge wrote:My fan is manually controlled. You learn to turn it on when you live in Texas. My stupid question tho, is does anyone overheat their engine on purpose?


lol, I guess the title should have been "I accidentally left my fan switch off!".
monkeyodeath
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 16
Joined: 24 Jun 2018
Location: California

PostPost by: monkeyodeath » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:40 pm

Elanintheforest wrote:Are you sure the fan was switched off? They are usually controlled by an otter switch in the radiator, with a manual switch to override the otter in heavy traffic to bring the fan in a little earlier. That way you can't inadvertently switch it off.
If the water and oil is staying in it's respective areas you should be OK!!

Mark


Pretty sure that this is an entirely manual fan. The engine was really hot but the fan did not come on until I hit the switch.

Thinking I should install a temp switch, however. Doesn't make sense to run the fan when it's not needed.
monkeyodeath
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 16
Joined: 24 Jun 2018
Location: California

PostPost by: Slowtus » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:28 am

Fred Talmadge wrote:My fan is manually controlled. You learn to turn it on when you live in Texas. My stupid question tho, is does anyone overheat their engine on purpose?


Some could suggest that having a manually controlled fan - in Texas - is even more stupid than your question. :D

I would NEVER suggest such a thing but others may. :)

Any every time I have felt the need to supplement the cooling in these cars or similar vehicles I have always done it in such a way that it is automatic with - if as and when needed - a manual override.
Slowtus
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 149
Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Location: Canada

PostPost by: monkeyodeath » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:36 am

Is the typical setup a probe switch that's inserted in the radiator fins?
monkeyodeath
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 16
Joined: 24 Jun 2018
Location: California

PostPost by: disquek » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:49 am

I realize that this is overkill to some. But my car has a Cosworth BDP engine that's worth a fortune. So wanted to be careful with this design.

When I was planning the fan setup in my car I realized that with a single fan or a single controller, any failure in the fan system could easily cost a motor.

So I did the fan setup with two fans (9") each with a separate controller. One uses a Hayden PWM controller to keep the noise down (starts at 170F). The other uses a standard temp switch (195F) and a relay.

The car runs at 180 all day. I haven't had it out on a day over 80ish def F yet. But I also know that it's not even using the second fan yet.

One thing I want to add is an idiot light for the temperature. Cheap insurance.

-Kyle
'70 S4 Elan - Cosworth BDP & Spyder Chassis
'62 S2 Super Seven Cosworth
disquek
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 78
Joined: 25 Oct 2018
Location: USA - Philadelphia

PostPost by: nmauduit » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:09 am

monkeyodeath wrote:Pretty sure that this is an entirely manual fan. The engine was really hot but the fan did not come on until I hit the switch.

Thinking I should install a temp switch, however. Doesn't make sense to run the fan when it's not needed.


The usual way to install a manual switch on the cooling fan motor is to force it on, not to shut it off : maybe there's been a mistake in the connections (e.g. the thermally controlled ground could be shared with a manually controlled ground so that either would start the fan - a relay can be useful depending on fan motor rating).
S4SE 36/8198
User avatar
nmauduit
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1157
Joined: 02 Sep 2013
Location: France

PostPost by: wotsisname » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:29 am

monkeyodeath wrote:Is the typical setup a probe switch that's inserted in the radiator fins?


There's a few options....
1] Have an adapter brazed into the radiator (usually near the top hose) and fit a sender unit- you should be able to pretty much choose the operating temperature for this... if you fit a modern sensor
2] fit an adapter into the top hose (you cut out around 1" of the hose out (if your top hose is just rubber)... this can easily be reversed (for example see revotec)
3] OE was often an otter switch fitted into a grommet (hole in the rad)
4] a small metal bulb with connecting tubing is inserted into the top hose at the radiator (this will usually have a controller attached... this is how Kenlowe did it in the 1980s).
usually the sender will feed a relay which operates the fan, the dashboard switch would be wired in parallel to the sensor, it's a failsafe if the sensor fails or if you get a bit nervous on a hot day.


HTH
1968 Elan plus 2 - project
2007 Elise S2 [modified with a Hethel 70th sticker (yellow)]
2000 Elise S1 - Sold
wotsisname
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 335
Joined: 24 Jun 2015
Location: Hertfordshire, UK

PostPost by: disquek » Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:57 pm

Lately I've seen that the outflow side of the radiator (bottom) is the preferred place for the sensor as it's always covered in coolant (if the level drops). I don't like the sensors that stick into the fins, although they should work. I'm OCD. lol

These folks sell a wide variety of adapters that can be spliced into a radiator hose and can be had with various threads for sensors. I've bought several and always been happy with them. https://jagsthatrun.com/

-Kyle
'70 S4 Elan - Cosworth BDP & Spyder Chassis
'62 S2 Super Seven Cosworth
disquek
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 78
Joined: 25 Oct 2018
Location: USA - Philadelphia

PostPost by: gus » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:56 pm

If it did not boil, you really didn't overheat it.

As to the finger waggers about a manual switch, I had several thermal switches fail, so I am more reliable than they are, so, enough

Check coolant now that it is cool, check oil content. Start, warm up, check again. Take it for a drive, check again.

No harm no foul
gus
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 609
Joined: 05 May 2011

PostPost by: monkeyodeath » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:29 pm

Took the Elan on a nice, aggressive nighttime drive last night. Temps stayed around 80-ish. Coolant level this morning was at the top of the radiator. There was a small, dime-size bit of white milkshake on the oil filler cap, but none visible in the oil. So I'm going to try to relax!

As far as the fan switch, I think even just adding an indicator light might help, because it can be hard to tell if the fan is even on while the car is running, and the switch doesn't have "off" and "on" indicated. It's also located in a spot that's kind of easy to bump with your thigh. When I got the car really hot, I didn't realize that the fan had been switched off.

The PO of the car said he always had the fan on, never turned it off. Is this the best way to go? Is there any advantage to having a switchable fan with these engines, or do they generally need as much cooling as they can get? (I come from the air-cooled 911 world, where you stop the car if the fan stops moving!) I live in Los Angeles, so the car won't see much cold weather.
monkeyodeath
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 16
Joined: 24 Jun 2018
Location: California
Next

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests