radiator in the back
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21:23:02 Tue
Oct 11 2005
radiator in the back
I'm planning to place the radiator in the back of my 1973 1303 beetle.
See details:

Tell me what you think of it.

16:40:19 Thu
Oct 13 2005
Re: radiator in the back
Hello !

I suggest the latest option on your page, behind the rear seat.

I'm just repeating myself here, after a few weeks of use :
With this setup and NO ducts to bring fresh air and almost no holes in back to exit hot air, I have a 180deg f temp in town, and sometimes goes up 220f on highway. Temperature here is around 10-20 deg celcius.
The fan is always on behind the rad.
Outside temp is important, heats up much faster at 20deg than 10deg oustside.
We will see this winter with -20 celcius.... I have a switch to turn on or off the fan, but I have to be aware and check my gage if I turn it off.
I also have a small engine with a 996cc suzuki 3 cyl. (1.0l)

Go for the back seat setup and give some feedback ! :smile:

21:42:48 Sun
Feb 19 2006
Re: radiator in the back
Hi, wish I'd seen this site a while back.....

About 15 years ago I put a Rover V8 in the back of my '74 and pondered the cooling options the same as you did and came to the same conclusions. I completely cut out the vertical rear bulkhead and the harizontal floor to the luggage area. I mounted a VW Passat radiator where the vertical bulkhead was as it was a near perfect fit with twin fans behind in the engine bay 'sucking' the air through (quieter in the cabin).
I then triangulated the luggage area from the top of the radiator to the bottom of where the floor meets the back seat base. I then constructed a large scoop from the bottom of the radiater that went down, forward of the axles and split arount the tranny.

At idle the set up worked a treat with the fans cutting in and out periodically as expected. However the cooling was not sufficient with the engine under load and I could only run the car for a few minutes before the temp ran dangerously high, even with the fans on.

After much head scratching I extended the bottom of the duct scoops about one inch beneath the pan and hey presto it transformed it, much to my relief. I had no problems with heat soak into the cabin either.

Unfortuneately the car was written off a few months after completion, before I really got it set up, oh well.

Good luck with your conversion

20:07:25 Tue
Feb 21 2006
Re: radiator in the back
Hey, thanks for your reply. That certainly gives me a bit more confidence!

When I first had this idea I thought I was the only crazy person to try this. But now, I've met about 4 to 5 people who allready tried it, and had succes.
Sometimes the internet is a great thing! :biggringreen:

So, a V8 hey? That must have been a very fast beetle!
A pitty it crashed..

21:50:32 Tue
Feb 21 2006
Re: radiator in the back

Just a few thoughts that might help you have success. Make sure the holes you plan to cut to allow air in and out are sufficiently large (75% rad area +). Also try and make the passage of air to the rediator as smooth a flow as possible - my ducting was very smooth with gentle curves, right up to the rad itself - a bit like the air intake ducting on a fighter jet. Any bad turbulence to the air flow can cause much restiricted flow. Just my thoughts - I'm sure you knwo what you are doing.

The V8 I used came from a Cobra replica that was crashed on a track day by a guy I used to work with. It was a 3.9 litre Range Rover unit with some mild cam and head work, dyno'd at 237bhp. Once I had the car up and running with the cooling etc sorted. I took it to the industrial area I worked at the time, late at night to see how it launched in anger in preparation for some summer 'run what ya brung' drag action. I was getting some pretty bad wheel spin on the cold damp surface so I lowered the tyre pressures a little. On the next launch it hooked up fairly strong - when I hit second I must have hit a damp patch or something as it just skewed sideways and rolled 3 times..... At least it landed on it's wheels! Fortunately I only suffered a grazed arm and a few lumps 'n bumps. Felt quick up until that moment!

That motor must have been cursed? I sold on all the bits I could salvage and left the scene for a few years.

The reason I found this site is that I am starting to get the itch again....

My next project is going to be a full on drag racer that is just about road legal. This time though I intend to mid mount a Chevy 350 small block(. One piece flip front end, full cage etc, etc. For cooling this time I will use the same rad in the same location, but use Mk1 Toyota MR2 side scoops, one each side in the rear quarter panels and duct the air to the rad using alluminium ducting around the motor to the back, as my previous idea wouldn't work as the new double wishbone suspension etc would take up too much space.

I'll keep you posted.....

10:05:34 Thu
May 24 2007
Re: radiator in the back
I, too am interested in putting the radiator farther back as to where the placement those pictures are. I'm using a 1972 Super Beetle with a 13B(ported most likely). Has anyone tried to do a mid-engine conversion, while using this setup? The thing im most worried about is space, and if i have the engine that close to the radiator, will the less water capacity make it likely to run higher temps?

20:56:30 Mon
Jun 4 2007
Re: radiator in the back
Quote: ThePilgrim at 10:05:34 Thu May 24 2007

The thing im most worried about is space, and if i have the engine that close to the radiator, will the less water capacity make it likely to run higher temps?

I don't know about the space, my guess is you have lots of room for a radiator in the old engine compartment when you create a mid-engine setup.

But the cooling isn't affected by how much water is in the system. As long as your coolant reservoir is the highest point in your system en rightly filled, the amount of water in the system doesn't matter (I presume here that you will make enough bleed lines so the radiator and engine is completely full of water).

It's more a question of airflow. That means: a lot of cool air to the radiator and enough venting in the back to get rid of the warm air.

I have my Alfa Romeo conversion running and I am driving it for about 2 months now (and enjoying it very much!!!! :biggringreen:smile:.
I do have cooling problems though. I am "debugging" it at the moment. I very soon discovered that the rear decklid wasn't venting enough and that the radiator fan couldn't suck in enough air through my air channels.
Once I fixed that, the car ran fine in city traffic, but now the challenge is to make it run cool on highway speeds. It still runs hot on higher speeds, probably because of not enough airflow to the radiator. I am planning to create more air ducts.

Read my experiences on my page:
Link to my page, Gerrelt's Garage
Click on the picture, and then click on the link in the bottom of the screen named "Debugging the cooling system".

radiator in the back
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