Passenger side suspension + Radiator

Today started out much the same as yesterday.  Passenger side ball joints and tie-rod ends.  The big different today is that everything went as planned, and the whole job took about an hour.

Of course, while working on the right-side, I found that the boot covering the tie rod CV joint was broken.  I left the tie-rod end loose, so that I can replace this next weekend (after I order a new one from Mazda speed).  Too bad I didn’t catch this in my first inspection.  Oh well.

Next came the shiny new Koyo radiator.  This puppy is 55mm thick!  It is also made entirely out of aluminum, so it is actually lighter than the brass and copper stock radiator.  The nice thing about the Koyo is that it bolts into the stock mounting locations.  It even can reuse the stock isolation rubber mounts (both the upper double washer type, and the lower peg type).  The other racing radiators like Springfield Dyno cannot make this claim.  They all require some tweaking to make them “fit”.  After all the futzing around yesterday, this was a big plus for the Koyo.  I didn’t take any pictures of moving the mounts.  Its just perfectly simply.

However….the raditor is a full inch thicker than the stock one.  This pushes the fan back into the sway bar.  So, the fan shroud has to be “modified” to relieve the interference.  Not a big deal, I’d rather modify plastic than metal any day!  My 8-inch grinder makes quick work of the plastic fan shroud.  The only thing…it’s louder than a screaming wheel-bearing!!!  Max ear plugs to the rescue (they work to muffle the jet engine noise at work…they can handle a little grinding plastic noise, too).

You have to make two mods:

1. Remove about 3/8″ from the lip of the shround between the bottom two motor braces.  You need to get pretty close to both braces, and remove enough that there is only about 3/16″ of shroud above the plane of rotation of the fan blade.

2. The bottom of the fan just touches the radiator outlet.  This isn’t a big deal, and you could just kind of flex things into place.  Not my style.  So, you need to remove about 3/8″ from the lower, driver-side corner of the shroud.  About 3 inches in from the edge.  You could radius this to match the hose, but I just ground it off square(ish).

Finally, since the radiator is 1″ thicker, you need to remove 1″ of hose from the inlet and outlet hoses.

With everything modified, here’s what it looks like…installed.  Driver-side:

And, passenger side:

It’s hard to tell in the pictures, but there is about 1/4″ clearance between the swaybar and the shroud all the way around.

Radiator outlet hose:

This leaves enough room to install/uninstall the hose without fighting the shroud.

Finally, its done.  Isn’t she purdy?

I flushed all the glycol out of the system.  I ran about 10 gallons of water through it (about 5 changes), until the water ran clear from the drain plug.  I left plain water in it for now.  I may need to drain it again.  I still need to remove the thermostat.  After that, I’ll run it with water-wetter alone.  (No glycol allowed on the track…the stuff is slicker than snot, and impossible to cleanup).

Well, it was a good weekend of work.  I still had time to do a few more things, if I’d had parts.  I didn’t want to start tearing the interior apart at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, though.  I also need to go weigh the parts I’ve removed.  Goal weight with driver is 2375.  The gross weight of the car is spec’d at 2300 (no driver).  I’ve heard that the 90-93 can get down to 2000 gross weight (no fuel, no driver).  That means I need to remove 300 lbs or so.  Actually 400, because the roll-cage weights around 100.  I sure hope those seats and carpet are made of lead!!

Time for a beer (or two, or…)   :mrgreen:

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