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 Cooling In Hot Climates

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PostSubject: Cooling In Hot Climates   Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:24 pm

I am often asked about cooling in hot climates, and over many years have developed many ways to achieve this quickly and easily, and often on a limited budget; so i feel it is time to pass some of these ideas on for others to use.

British vehicles are set for the british climate, this is neither hot or cold as it is a temperate climate, as such all vehicles sold in the UK are set up for these conditions.

Water temperature is usually the biggest problem, assuming your cooling system is in good condition the obvious thing is to swap your thermostat for a cooler item, many manufacturers and aftermarket suppliers supply thermostats in differing temperatures, so go for a cooler item, it will open quicker and allow more water to flow to the radiator. In addition to this a high flow waterpump is a good idea as it circulates the water considerably more quickly then the standard item, or if you have a smaller pulley for the water pump, then fit it, it will turn the pump quicker and provide more flow.
If you are driving in a hot climate and the temperature rises, a simple tip is open all the windows and turn the heater on full blast, ensure it is on the hottest setting and the internal radiator will remove a considerable amount of heat very quickly, and cool the water even more. If you have a more modern or upmarket vehicle and have a front and rear heater, switch them both on at maximum temperature, it will remove twice the heat.

If you regularly drive in hot climates it may be worth investing in a better radiator if yours is past its best, many manufacturers do uprated versions, and aluminium is the best material for durability and improved cooling.

Engine oil coolers are available for most vehicles, these sandwich between the oil filter and two pipes run to the oil cooler which is located in the cool air flow, avoid the cheap coolers as they send all the oil through the cooler and the engine can run with its oil at too cool a temperature and this will effect the way the oil works, and can damage the engine. Use an oil cooler with a thermostat fitted, they are slightly more expensive, but only cool the oil when it runs near its upper limit due to the thermostat, and always remember a spare stat for the cooler.

Underbonnet temperatures can run very high in hot climates, a simple vent as found on a number of performance vehicles will allow this hot air to escape, they are simple to install, but care needs exercising when considering their mounting position as they will let rain in during a British winter (or summer) and wet anything below it. Another option exists, certain manufacturers such as Peugeot or Alfa Romeo had these for visual effect, on their lower model range they were solid and were there for aesthetics and contained no cooling slots as they were solid, obtain two sets from a breakers and cut out the slots on one set, but leave the other set solid. Use the solid items while in the UK, but swap them for the set with slots in to release the hot air when travelling, bolting them in means it is a quick changeover when travelling to hot climates.

Fitting a transmission oil cooler is beneficial to any heavily laden off road vehicle, irrespective if it is an expedition vehicle or not, these are simple to install, and if you already have one fitted, it is easy to uprate it to a model with improved cooling.

Inside temperatures may become a problem in hot climates, particularly on larger live aboard expedition vehicles, most will have auxiliary batteries so cooling them can be easily done with the compact 12 volt computer fans, these are designed for low power consumption and will remove large quantities of air for their size. If your vehicle has exterior vents pressed in during manufacture, as many vehicles do, it is simple to make a vent tube for each side of the vehicle, these are ducts which house a computer fan and are mounted in the roof, they suck out the hot air inside the vehicle to the pressed vents, where it is expelled.
If you have vents pressed in each side of the vehicle, the possibility of having one for sucking air out, and one sucking air into the vehicle exists, thus getting a circulating airflow and better cooling. Computer fans can be mounted in any number of places inside a vehicle, inside internal panels or existing unused housings or apertures such as unused speaker housings to generate circulation and airflow.

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4x4overlander
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PostSubject: Re: Cooling In Hot Climates   Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:22 pm

The Defender temperature gauge is about as much use as a chocolate fire guard!

Coolant boils in a pressurised system dependent on pressure and percentage coolant content between about 106-120C

The standard Defender temp gauge does not move off normal until coolant is hot and when it touches red is about 100+C

Now I hear that some people keep an eye on temperature gauge whilst driving (oh yeah)

We have an Engine Watchdog fitted which has an adjustable temperature alarm. We have else set to gives an audible alarm at 96C. This is well below boiling point of normal water. If engine is working hard and on the occasional time it goes off we stop for 15-20 minutes. It has saved head gasket job once when got a pinhole in top of rad.

Common in Australia, not so common in Europe, but I would recommend installing one in any overland vehicle.


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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: Cooling In Hot Climates   Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:03 am

A good tip for cooling the occupants is to get yourself down the breakers and find yourself a common vehicle (only so you have a ready supply of spares all exatly the same) and dig around the dashboard until your unearth the electric fan used for demisting and interior heating/cooling. Once you have found one that's easily accessible, simply remove two or more of these fans and install them in your vehicle at the top of the driver/passenger footwells directed down on to the occupant's feet. Same goes for the back if you're going to be carrying back seat passengers - maybe under the driver/passenger seats facing backwards?

Having cool feet is an excellent way of cooling the entire body down in hot climates, and used elctric fans from scrappers ain't going to break the bank!

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PostSubject: Re: Cooling In Hot Climates   Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:02 pm

get your kit off,,,,,,, laughing pound laughing pound laughing pound

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PostSubject: Re: Cooling In Hot Climates   Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:26 am

or your top Very Happy heres my 88 and a lightweight showing the convertable we too know how to stay cool in the Med

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PostSubject: Re: Cooling In Hot Climates   Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:39 am

Ahhhhh ... roll on the summer! cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Cooling In Hot Climates   Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:57 pm

Tom have you seen the weather forc ast, snow on the way Very Happy hopfully get to play againe cheers clinking teacups
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PostSubject: Re: Cooling In Hot Climates   Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:04 am

Forget your soft top Landies get yourselves a Frontera sport take the roof off, take the whole of the back off or just open the sun roof.

Or you could just drive it in the rain the water dripping through the roof will cool you down in no time.

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PostSubject: Re: Cooling In Hot Climates   Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:20 am



yea got one,,this is mine,,,love it in the summer,,,went to the mountains for a day when we got there it was torrential rain and the foot wells had 2-3" water in them,,,came home and put to holes in the foot well so the water drains out and it was dry next day in the heat,,,,,,love it,,,,, clapping clapping clapping lol!

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PostSubject: Re: Cooling In Hot Climates   Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:19 am

roamingman wrote:
Tom have you seen the weather forc ast, snow on the way Very Happy hopfully get to play againe cheers clinking teacups
Well there has to be some advantage to living way up there in Scottishland!!! Twisted Evil

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PostSubject: Re: Cooling In Hot Climates   Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:44 am

Snow this morning gone tonight, forcast is for 1ft snow tomorrow in Highlands, I will let you know tommorrow if we have moved. Laughing Laughing
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