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Engine cooling


It is important that the engine is installed with as much tinware as possible.

On some engines it is possible to fit pretty much all the tinware as VW intended, including all lower tin (underneath barrels). If the original fan housing is used, the thermostat and operating flaps should be retained, especially if the vehicle is intended for high mileage use.

On larger capacity engines with certain exhaust header systems and after-market fan housings (e.g. 30hp-style with dog house oil cooler ducting) it becomes difficult to fit the thermostat and operating flaps. If possible, a set of thermostat flaps should be fitted to the after-market fan housing with the flaps welded in the open position to aid the correct ducting of air over the barrels and cylinder heads. When a thermostat is not used, the engine should be started and allowed to warm up a little and very gently driven until the correct operating temperature is reached.

For most people who have invested the time and money in a performance VW engine, this should not be a problem to treat the engine with respect until it is at the correct operating temperature.

Hard use of an engine whilst cold will only shorten its life and deprive you of its correct performance.

It would surprise you how long it takes an engine fitted with a full-flow oil system, deep sump and an additional cooler to reach correct operating temperature. This is due to the increased quantity of oil that the engine will hold which will obviously take longer to warm.

Tinware for longer stroke engines

As the engine stroke increases, the use of barrel spacers can mean that excessive gaps develop between the cylinder head tin and the engine block and also between the fan housing and the cylinder head tin. We prefer to modify the tin, adding material to fill gaps and make sure the tinware fits together correctly.

Tinware finishing

We can supply your tinware in a variety of finishes depending on requirements. The tin can either be painted or powder coated. Powder coating is available in many different finishes, colours and textures.

Engine cooling fan

We have found that once an engine reaches a certain performance level the rate at which the engine achieves RPMs can cause problems for the cooling fan. The vanes in the cooling fan are only pressed in and can come apart with drastic consequences. If we feel that your engine is at this level, we can supply a cooling fan that has had the vanes TIG welded in position.

If the engine makes power in the higher RPM range, a smaller diameter front pulley can be used to reduce fan speed.

Deck lid stand offs

It is important to bear in mind that a larger capacity engine not only requires a plentiful supply of cooling air, but will also require a larger volume of air to feed the carburettors as well as the cooling fan.

There are several different ways to get more air into the engine bay:

On a Beetle, inspection holes with additional scoops can be cut and fitted to the engine bay sides to draw air from underneath the rear wheel areas. These could also be used for improved access for carburettor adjustment.

The deck lid can be spaced open at the top or bottom using either deck lid stand offs or fabricating an extension piece for the deck lid securing latch. Of the two, stand offs are the most effective as they offer a ram-cooling effect as air is forced into the engine bay as it flows over the roof of the car.

Other options are available as we are aware that some people do not like the stand off look on a Beetle.

On a Bus, usually if a larger engine is fitted, the heat exchangers are not in use. We use a scoop fitted underneath the front of the Bus, feeding air through the now derelict center heating pipe and fabricate pipework joining this into the rear corners of the Bus engine bay. An engine fitted in a Bus will run its hottest while at constant speed, for example on a motorway. The air scoop under the front of the Bus will force air into the engine bay, pressurising it with a supply of cold air.

Oil system

We recommend that with the exception of mild performance engines, a secondary oil cooler is used. On higher compression, higher horsepower engines, we can supply and fit a Mesa fan assisted oil cooler. We normally use an oil termperature controlled thermostat in conjunction with the secondary oil cooler to stop oil flow to the secondary cooler until the engine reaches operating temperature. This serves to reduce the warm up time.

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