Friday, April 8, 2011

Radiator support framework and Coolant lines

The radiator support framework and the coolant lines are finally finished! 

Here's the story: I purchased a custom aluminum radiator from Wizard Cooling in New York. The radiator is 17.5 x 28.1 x 1.25... almost twice the volumn of the original Subaru radiator and nice fit both width wise and depth wise for teh belly of teh bus.  I also purchased two 14" low profile Spal pusher fans, plus relays and wiring kit. Wizard made fan mounting tabs as well as rail mounting sides.
Since I have no welding or fabrication tools (not to mention skills!) I ponied up to have the fab work done professionally.  Great thanks go out to Dan Coy of Coys Customs  in Longmont, CO for doing such quality work in a short time!  Dan built the radiator support framework and protection concepts as well as rebuilt the rear crossmember (it was bent and mangled already) to allow easy fitting of coolant hose.  He then proceeded to custom build the Stainless Steel coolant pipes between the engine and the radiator.  I'll let the pictures tell the story and then provide some details below.

As you can see, a lot of work into this fabrication, but the final result looks clean and easy.  Dan ended up removing the original rear cross member because it was pretty beat up to begin with with and I wanted to route the the hoses through that spot to ensure a nice, high radiator placement.  You can see how the new rear support bar had holes drilled through it to allow all the original lies and hoses to still pass through while also creating perfectly place large holes to route the hoses through.

The radiator has a 1/2" slope from rear to front.  I have a drain cock in the front of the radiator on the lower end  to make draining easier.  The radiator itself is mounted to a steel frame, which is then mounted to the VW side frame rails.  A thin wire mesh small enough to keep most gravel out was adhered onto the inside of a piece of sheet metal with round holes cut in it to allow airflow to pass from the top of the radiator through the bottom and out.  The sheet metal was then welded to the bottom of the steel frame.  Smaller holes were drilled out along the front edge and rear edge for further airflow.

Custom 1 1/2" stainless steel lines were fabricated to fill as much linear space between the radiator inlet/outlet and the engine.  Rubber coolant line was used for the rest of the length that wouldn't allow of hard line.

The pressure tank was mounted on the firewall and is a general tank from JEGs or Summit or someplace similar  It is connected to the outlet side of the engine system via a hose barb.  The bottom of the pressure tank is routed to the inlet bard on the Tom Shiels temperature sending unit adapter.  I will plumb the heater lines to the lower original temp sending inlet.  The pressure tank also routes to the overflow tank.  Both Pressure tank and overflow tank are accessible for filling via the engine lid in the rear of the compartment.

Last big item to complete is the wiring and then a bunch of smaller things like vacuum hoses and fresh air intake set up.