Radiator and Cooling

This is another part of the swap that is pretty open ended. The original radiator will not fit, even the mounts for the original get ripped out when fitting the traction bars. Wewas looking around and spotted a radiator from Hybrid Racing. It is a half size unit designed to fit in the AC radiator mounting position of a 92-00 civic or Del Sol.We called them for the dimensions and it looked like it would do the trick. The plan was to find a way to mount it off the Full-Race traction bar. Some of the nice things about it is it has bungs for mounting a temperature sender and for a fan switch. In a lot of swaps a fan switch adapter in the radiator hose is used, so this was cleaner. The radiator is high quality and made by Griffin. When we got it, weI realized just how small it was and thought "will this actually be sufficient to cool this motor". They assured us yes, but I do admit at least I was a bit nervous. It is aluminum and thicker than a stock radiator so that does improve the cooling capacity, so we went for it. Also remember that in a stock setup you are likely to have 3 radiators, one for the engine, one for the AC, and one to cool the automatic transmission, which is what our car originally had. This stacking of radiators also reduces the efficiency, and since we had no AC or Auto now, it was a much cleaner and more efficient setup (and saved some weight to boot).

We wound up using some steel brackets and stainless U bolts bolted to the tubular traction bar to support the radiator. Now, very important, you must vibration isolate any radiator or you will rattle the radiator core to it's death, especially in this swap with the stiff engine mounts. In the mounting brackets there was a hole drilled into which we we dropped rubber bushings from the condenser of a 1993 civic. The 2 pins at the bottom of the radiator simply drop right into these bushings and you now have the radiator floating and well isolated. For the top, we made a stainless steel bracket bolted to the hood latch bracket with another rubber bushing for the top pin. You can see the details in the picture and it all fit up very nicely, except for one problem. The top hose pipe interfered with our air intake, DANG! we solved that problem by having the outlet cut and welded back on pointing 45° down. That did it but be sure to get an experience TIG welder to do the job, it is well beyond our welding ability.

Most radiator and heater hoses were acquired by going down to the local auto store and asking to look at their collection of hoses and choosing ones that looked like they would work. The other possible route is to use some of the flexible hosing on the market. To cool the radiator we mounted a Spal 11" low profile "pusher" fan mounted to the front (there was not enough room behind the radiator). The stock overflow tank was reused and just relocated as shown (more brackets).

One other complication is that the heater control valve that sits on the firewall had to be relocated due to the proximity of the headers. So not only do you have to make a new home for it, but the control cable from the heater will no longer reach. So a bit of creative cable lengthening has to be done there. Since the AC box was removed from the interior of the car, there is now a disconnect from the blower fan to the air distribution box. Some home-made plexiglas adapter plates and dryer vent hose fixed that problem (see Pics).

To answer the previous question, "is this enough radiator", the answer is yes. While we don't live in the desert, I have yet to see any elevated coolant temperature even on the hottest days here. It is important that you use a radiator mounted temperature switch to activate the fan. The Hondata Pro also allow you to trigger the fan based on the engine coolant temperature, do not use this alone to activate the fan, you should use the coolant temperature switch, but you can use both. I have mine set to activate on the switch or when the internal engine coolant temperature reaches 192F.

Since the AC was removed you need to connect the vent fan to the distribution box, plexiglass and dryer vent hose works here
Relocated heater valve, note thermal covers on hoses to protect from headers
Relocation of heater valve on firewall
Front view with Spal pusher fan
Top view of mounted radiator and relocated overflow
45 degree modification to clear the air intake
Top mount, note rubber mount isolation
Hybrid-Racing half size rad