Here's a bit of something to tide everyone over until the louvering can be completed...
Radiator Replacement - Part One
So, it seems that there was a slight
and unexpected incident earlier...
Pictured: Sasha called, too, but since everyone wants to see Jeep carnage I went with this. You're welcome.
The above would be the remains of a radiator patch, which worked a LOT better than I ever would have expected...especially given the fact that the patch itself was constructed from JB Weld and window screening. In fact, I would say that it worked perfectly
right up until the moment it decided to fail...a moment which was not spectacular or face-melting at all; the patch simply cracked and depressurized the cooling system in a relatively tame manner. It was probably the least metal - and "metal" is an adjective, there, kids - breakage I've ever had...but it needed to be fixed, regardless. Thanks to a tip-off from The Beasley, I found a used TJ radiator about an hour from Muppet Labs; it was posted on a local forum along with a host of other parts that were torn off of the Carolina Metal Masters
in-house project TJ. I posted a picture
of it yesterday; if you're having trouble seeing the radiator itself, it can be seen beneath the polka-dotted areas.
After the money changed hands I spent an hour or so talking with the owners, Brian and Jeremey...and I can tell you that they were two of the nicest and most sociable people I've met in a long time; anyone who will delay their lunch and shoot the breeze with you while talking Jeeps and letting you fondle the 7075 billet brake hubs for a trophy truck is usually a stand-up kind of person, and these fellas were no exception. If I'd taken a few more dollars with me I would have picked up a set of their hood de-snubbers and an aluminum footman loop
while I was there; I saw first-rate machining on both products, and they looked like the perfect finishing touch for Greta's louver panel installation...so I'll be ordering some in the very near future. That's a story for another time, though: here's a less-cluttered picture of the surplus part.
Not Pictured: Distracting elements.
$75 for a metal-tanked radiator that's in good shape and only has about 4,000 miles of usage; that's a decent deal. I spent a bit in gas for the hour-long drive each way, but that was a small price to pay for making the acquaintance of some decent people that seem to know what they're doing, motorsports-wise. If I'd been thinking about doing so at the time, I would have snapped a few pictures of the 600-HP 5.3 that's going in the TJ that this radiator came out of...but I wasn't thinking; I was busy being distracted by the twin F9 housings that are also
going into that TJ...and no, I didn't get a shot of those, either. Axle-porn has to wait for another day; instead, this thread will stay halfway on-topic (for once) and we will all examine a not-quite-as-interesting yet freshly-painted radiator.
Pictured: And come to think of it, this would probably be a lot more interesting of an image if there were boobs in it.
After we got a coat or two of paint on the tanks and mounting flanges - and a bit on the fins - Annabelle took a small hobby knife and set to work straightening the few fin edges that were slightly bent from some sort of minor impact in the past. There really weren't too many to work back out and the ones that were bent were only bent on the ultra-thin outer edges; it really does seem to be a lightly-used radiator.
Pictured: Also, I was right; this is a more interesting image.
I shot some more paint on the fins but it didn't seem to make much of a difference; there are too many little nooks and crannies and the paint just doesn't reach into those areas very well. After that coat dried, I turned the radiator over to find that the obverse side was in very good shape as well; no real damage or rust to speak of, and reasonably free of oil or other fluids. I blew off the dust and debris with compressed air and found myself with a surface that actually looked a lot better
than the front.
Pictured: There's not even much rust at the inlet and outlet; seems that they used the proper coolant.
It started raining right about the time that I got the backside cleaned off, so I didn't get around to painting it. I did, however, snap a quick picture of the automatic transmission cooling circuit...
Pictured: Shown here with barbed fittings that are keeping soon-to-be-applied paint out of the threads.
...because I wanted a teaser shot for some upcoming exploratory surgery: I'm going to cut the lower tank apart on Greta's stock radiator and hopefully determine the feasibility of converting the cooling circuit into a water-heating
circuit for an on-board shower. Making use of an existing heat-exchanger would drastically reduce the cost of that particular project and would be vital information for anyone else that's attempting a similar feat of engineering.
Yeah, I know...reading about actual work and build-tech in this thread feels weird. Stay tuned...there's more coming.