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Old 11-25-2010, 12:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Crazy radiator idea

A weird radiator idea

Construction materials: Aluminum sheets, and piping


Build a car underbody tray out of the aluminum sheets. Make sure all the sheets are solidly physically connected together. They don't have to be welded, but atleast some overlap and firm pressing.

Zigzag a few times along the length of the car, under neath, pressed against, above the aluminum sheets some form of piping that conveys heat decently well. Have it distribute the heat from the piping into the aluminum sheets.

Have the engine coolant run through the pipes before it hits the radiator. This will reduce the need for a radiator.

Insulate the exhaust manifold (or header), exhaust pipes, and for the hell of it, even the muffler.

This will reduce under car temperatures, which will allow the sheets to cool down from undercar wind.

This will in effect make the underside of your car a radiator.

The next part of the trick, is to use a temperature controlled grillblock.

Completely using plexiglass block off the top grill. For the lower grill, use any of the forum's designs for temperature controlled automated grillblock.



Put some tape over the cracks into the engine compartment for the hood, headlights, etc. Get it pretty well sealed off.


I'm not sure how well this would work, but it was an idea.


What inspired me was reading an article about running the coolant fluid through the frame of the car to reduce radiator dependancy.

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Old 11-26-2010, 08:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This is a potentially awesome idea. You could run a 95% grill block year round.
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Old 11-26-2010, 08:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As long as someone lives in a colder climate this should be OK, although just running a cardboard grill block and underbody corrugated plastic (coroplast) should be fine in that situation. If someone is doing a lot of stop/go driving in higher temps they may need a normal size radiator with a fan to make wind and remove heat.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I wasn't saying getting rid of the radiator. I was saying self actuating grillblock.
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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In theory, I like the idea until the first time I get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on a 95F day and have all that heat radiating upward through the floorboards. Practically, I think it's going to be risky, as one medium sized rock between the wheels and you just lost all your coolant.

I do think there's potential there, but there are also significant engineering challenges to make it something that won't create new vulnerabilities and liabilities.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yep, radiator is needed the most when the car is stationary.
Having the heat soak up into the car and the vulnerability of underneath the car is an issue, given the aluminum must be thin if spread out over a large area, or it would add a lot of weight.
Note that in the Prius hybrid, the engine is stopped when the car is stopped! So the radiator would only needed when the car is moving.

I have another novel approach for a radiator I'm going to be testing in the MGeo.

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In theory, I like the idea until the first time I get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on a 95F day and have all that heat radiating upward through the floorboards. Practically, I think it's going to be risky, as one medium sized rock between the wheels and you just lost all your coolant.

I do think there's potential there, but there are also significant engineering challenges to make it something that won't create new vulnerabilities and liabilities.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Angelus,

As I recall you mentioned that you have a late model Aveo. As far as I'm concerned you can turn the entire car into a radiator and it won't improve your FE. But you certainly will be warmer in summer months...

You said it's a crazy idea.

I agree. It is.
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think it's a great idea if coupled with auto engine start/stop. And keeping the heat out of the passenger compartment is nothing that couldn't be solved with a bit of insulation. The aluminum could also be close to 1/4" and still be very light.

Some copper tubing for the antifreeze and a bit of heat transfer grease such as used in computer heat sinks or even some old fashioned soldering of the tubing to the aluminum would be conducive to the heat conduction. And with such a large surface area, the lack of air flow at a standstill may not even be a problem.

This would be most beneficial for a vehicle that is mainly used on the highway for the same reason a full grill block would be most helpful for a highway vehicle; ie high amounts of air flow.
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I think you missed the point I was trying to make, which is that it's not rational to do either speed or fuel economy mods for economic reasons. You do it as a form of recreation, for the fun and for the challenge.
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This mod is nothing without its entirety

You either automatic/manuallyadjustable actuating grillblock AND do the underbody radiator, or you don't do the mod at all.
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I once had a classic Beetle with a/c; the condensor was under the floorpan. It took a helluva beating down there.

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