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Re: Thermostat/Oil Cooler (story too long... but useful...)


Someone wrote:
> I just read an article on this question in the Gene Berg catalog. He
 > states that there is an decrease in engine life between 13 to 19% by 
> removing the cooling flaps. 
Knowing the type of "testing" Gene Berg typically used, I can just 
about guarantee that those numbers hold no significance. They were 
probably just pulled out of someone's.......... 
*****************************************************
*****************************************************
I know Berg is right for rings and cylinders. Cold causes friction
numbers to rise and heat makes it float ; like a hot drill bit
or hot brakes =  less friction to stop or cut.

I think you guys are getting too deep into this subject of engine 
wear caused by lack of cooling flaps.

This is my five cents.

 When I was 12 years old I was a technical 
book worm nerd . My father kept, and till this day, all of his old 
popular mechanics and engine engineering manuals , (among a
couple of hundred books on different subjects), one thing
that did stay with me was the relationship between a cold engine temps,
time and ring to cylinder wear. This did not mention bearing , valves,
heads, metal alloys, expansion coeficients thirdimensional nutrino 
phase shifts etc..... It only mentioned ringsand cylinders. 

Our heads do not care very much if the rest of the engine expands
without it , it floats on the cylinders, and studs  no warping occurs 
when they are cold. Our crank floats on a cushion of oil on the 
bearings. Only during start up or cranking oil cushion is lacking 
this is a function of oil pressure and volume. Filtering makes 
these bearing parts last longer including head valve guides.

Going back to the data, I read in a popular mechanics magazine and
compared it to engine engineering book. The Magazine was from the 
mid 1950's and the engineering book from the late 1940's. The magazine
article was many pages long and had data from various automobile
manufacturers from research covering engine wear. The engine wear they 
investigated was on the cylinders and rings, they did not concentrate on the
other components. Piston ring and cylinders are always in contact even 
when oil is present in the lubrication process. I noted several graphs with
engine temps versus ring/cylinder wear . This was for water cooled 
engines but the concept still applies to us because we still have rings,
pistons,  cylinders and friction. Several engines from each of the 
factories involved were tested with controlled subject engines.
At the end, the two test groups wear was to be measured . 
The warmer subjects had water kept warm before turn on  to 
prove the point.

The colder the test subject was, the more significant was ring and
cylinder wear . The normal temp subjects had no measureable wear
for the same time the colder subjects were running. At every given 
controlled amount of time, the heads and pistons of both subjects were 
removed and measured. put back together and started again. Some 
others were kept on to accumulate hours for the next tear down to 
give better variables to average out the data . The 
warm subjects coolant was kept warm. This is water cooled so they
used water cooled temps for their graphs and concluded an equivalent
amount of engine hours with similar changing operating loads to similuate
car moving in traffic. They concluded how many thousands of miles 
the engines "ran" versus wear. This was caused by friction coefficient
values are higher when cold just like drilling steel on a drill press or 
putting brakes on when cold. When brakes and the drill bit scenario
get hot , the drill bit will not cut and the brake will not brake any
longer ; they float on a cushion of heat energy.

This study is what made the chart,  I remember this since I was
facinated how engine guts worked when I was a teenyboper. I started
driving LEGALLY at 20 YEARS (A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO ;cough,
cough, cough).

I tested this theory by accident on two vehicles (non aircooled ),  Using my
destructive powers . Years ago on a car with a 7.5 liter detriot monster.
I removed the thermostat added a larger 4 line radiator, this would be
 equivalent to no flaps and putting a larger fan (if that were possible) on 
our cars. I compression tested this car every month, this was my pride and
joy
and I wanted this to zooom forever . Spring through early winter compression

was a very crisp (too high 11.5 :1) 180 lbs . I was proud of my engine's 
health until winter came . I used to drive night time and early morning
only (graveyard shift) . outside temps was around 40 to 50 degrees sometimes
a low 33. This is sunny San Diego , winters are not really cold.

After a month of this, my compression was 150 and in mid Feb it was
around 85 to 100 . I drove hard then and still. The engine had a hard time
starting , 
even with the magnito and some other superwamydyne stuff. I asked my dad
about
my car's maladies, he then asked me if it was running too cool and I told
him about my improved cooling mods (no thermostat and bigger radiator)
he just laughed out loud and told me I needed a new engine and to 
foreget the old engine block. He said some of his army buddies did this 
mod in Japan and on the coldest part of the winter they wore the engines 
cylinder almost down to the water jacket. Reluctant to beleive that, I
decided 
a rebuild and found that the cylinder ridge was so deep, it could be
measured 
with a child's ruler it was three notches of the inch scale or four toe
nails thick.
My rebuild was only a little over a year old and now my block was junk. The 
next engine lasted 150000 miles until the car was stolen and driven off a
bridge,
(much crying ) . 

Years later I foregot my lesson . I bought a  Volvo for 100 bucks, rebuilt
the 
engine that was in the trunk put no thermostat in it . and additionaly
had a very large efficient custom made radiator for the long trips I was
planning in 
the future. I then moved to Tijuana  at the bottom of a long loose dirt
hill road . It was winter just after the rebuild with 40 degree temps in the

early mornig. My engine died a month after that  on that hill when water
entered the cumbustion chamber through a crack on the cylinder wall .
The crome moly rings almost wore through the rebored cylinder, needed 
a new block. This rebuild only lasted a month. The next rebuild had a 
thermostat and lasted 250,000 miles until the differential stripped gears
and the autotranny converter popped open. Not bad for  a 20 year old 
car that was for 8 people in my family.

The moral of the story cold engine bad. Thermostat/ cooling flaps
good. I did not forget these lessons when I first got my car over 2
years ago, first thing during the rebuild was to make sure coooling
or warmup system was working. No more ochies for me ......

People driving in the snowy part of the country will have serious car
booboos if driven alot without working flaps (engine rebores itself). 

My Squareback:
After 50,000 miles, my engine has NO detectable cylinder ridges,
crosshatch still shows al the way up and rings are nice , piston 
machining virtually unscratched.
I will reuse my rings and put in a gapless second ring on each 
cylinder. If it were not for the stripped cam gear , the engine would still
be zooming along.

LEON MARTINEZ

1969 SQUAREBACK EFI/AUTO
SAN DIEGO AND TIJUANA







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