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Previous Next Up Topic Engines / Subbug - Subaru Power / Fiberglass Buggy Radiator Options (21819 hits)
By @Jeff GS Date 2006-12-29 22:51
I wanted to start this topic to get some ideas flowing for 'glass buggy radiator location ideas.  Please post pics of your set-up, provide overal size of the radiator (maybe core size and overall size?), how you get air to it, fan set-up, etc.  I'd like this to be an archive others can reference for their own projects and ideas!

I think there are (2) different schools of thought on this, from the various posts on other boards I've read and saved.
1) Mount the radiator in the front of the car.
This obviously has some plusses and minuses, but IMO it is porbably the best overall location for direct airflow.  The minuses include vulnerability, long coolant lines front to rear, and room for a large radiator (all I can think of at the moment!).
2) Mount the radiator in the rear of the car, near the engine.
This seems to be an option used by some with some success.  Locations inlude behind the engine, above the engine (on the roll cage?), slightly forward over the transaxle - in both vertical and horizontal orientation.  Biggest problem with the rear mount seems to be getting enough ram-air to the radiator at speed, but more convenient to mount and better off-road protection.

Here's what I think is one of the nicest (and only one I've seen) of a front mount in a Manx style buggy.  This is (I believe) one of Buggy Brad's set-ups from the Australian Manx club web-site.  Uses a custom aluminum radiator cooling a 2.2L Subaru engine.  Appears to be primarily a road set-up, but I believe something similar could be used for off road with suitable caging/protection built around the front end?  Note this one already has some beefy expanded metal around the front bumper and radiator.  I plan to do something similar with my conversion:

Show us some more - and let us know how it works!

By @Jeff GS Date 2007-01-08 13:43 Edited 2007-01-08 14:08
Here's another idea - Bob's EJ25 Spatz:

Rear mounted, behind the engine.  IIRC, Bob mentioned on the old Yahoo group he was in the process of re-positioning the radiator to above the trans/below the rear seat area.  This "above the trans location" is similar to Paul's Empi buggy layout - with radiator near horizontal (and fan blowing down?).

I don't recall however, the reason Bob was moving his radiator?  I don't think it is for overall looks - Bob's layout in the above pic looks very clean.  Must be a good reason though - moving the radiator like this isn't a trivial proposition!

By @Jeff GS Date 2007-01-08 13:55 Edited 2007-01-08 13:59
Another idea - this one is Jason's buggy from the American Sand Association website.  Jason's running a Ford in-line 4 engine - but the cooling idea is the same.


AFAIK - Jason did eventually get the buggy running well and cooling well.  Looks to be a modified standard VW Golf/Scirocco radiator?  I think mounted upside down to get the outlets on the left side, with flipped end tank on the passenger side.

Also note the buggy has a custom tube frame with some body lift built in.
I tried contacting Jason to get some current info on his buggy, but no reply so far.  I think Jason has some good ideas here that might be applicable to other builds.

By Paul Moran (DBA Architect) Date 2007-01-08 23:53 Edited 2007-01-08 23:57
Here's the "Horizontal-over-the-trans" install of the radiator.  I have to admit it is very difficult to get a good picture of the install.  Rick came over Saturday to take a look at the subie.  He's planning on putting one in his brand new Berrien buggy.  I had to point the radiator out to him - he had not noticed this crucial "missing part" in his first looks at the engine install.  I think this is why Bob moved his radiator. At VW shows, people guess its a Corvair install because there is "no radiator" and its not a VW. 

From a performance perspective, I like the radiator over the trans as opposed to behind the engine which would cause the front end to be even lighter.  Putting it up front for weight would be best, but that's a lot of tubing to run.

From a cooling perspective, if I had to do this over again (and I probably will...), I'd mount the radiator to the engine and put the trans on.  Then I'd build a fiberglass or sheet metal shroud to go from the radiator to a smaller fan.  The 16" Spal fan is too large to fit between the trans and the swing plate - maybe a 10" would be better.  Then I'd add a scoop below that to pick up air flowing under the body.  I'd remove it for off road use - don't want to scoop sand up!

My current set up has a large truck inter tube sliced up and mounted between the fan and the radiator. I thought it would make for a flexible install, but too much of the tube is in the way of the air flow.  I think the only reason it cools now is because the ambient temp is 40 degrees...  

More "installed" pics can be seen here.

And out of the buggy - notice it is tied right in to the top of the engine. Mounted this way, it has enough support to stand horizontally on its own.  Mounted in the buggy, the front of the radiator ties into the torsion bar to (old) body mount points for additional support. More pictures with the engine out are here.

Air flow through the radiator is "up" - as the normal tendency for heat is to rise, Jerry suggested that I should use this to my advantage instead of trying to force the heat down.  So the fan also blows upward.
Chicago, IL
EMPI Imp 1002 ('69)/Subaru EJ20 Turbo/LinkPlus ECU
By @Jeff GS Date 2007-09-10 16:36
Engine cooling seems to be a popular topic these days.  Bringing this post back up top.
I think any "home brewed" cooling system for a Subaru powered car should be (mostly) modeled after the OEM setup.  This, along with other details about the Subaru boxer (turbo in this case) engine is covered in this technical paper.  This should be mandatory to have in your files or links to have for reference!

Previous Next Up Topic Engines / Subbug - Subaru Power / Fiberglass Buggy Radiator Options (21819 hits)

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