Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Radiator, ho!

So now that I've even Stevens on my donor, I've taken the liberty of purchasing a few required components for the build.

I've been putting together a list of important components I think I'll need to properly design the frame. This is based on common sense (like needing suspension uprights and the engine), as well as some things I've learned from reading endlessly about locost construction.

The radiator is a perfect example of the latter. I've seen several builders struggle to fit the radiator in the nose after the frame has been built. I want to get this part into CAD to make sure I'm not wrestling with modifying the radiator after the fact.

This particular unit is rather ubiquitous in the locost world. It's an aftermarket unit for a 5th gen Honda Civic. For some reason, the geniuses at Honda decided to equip their cars with a teensy little radiator.

The good news is that it fits handily in a locost nose cone, is rather inexpensive, and is available all over the internet. I guess there's some factory in China cranking out oversized units, because nearly every one on eBay is a "racing" radiator. That's eBay for cheap, but with aluminum end tanks and a 2" thick core instead of the bone stock 5/8" thick core. The welds look beautiful until you look closer and realize that they spray painted the radiator to make it look like a master fabricated it.

I intend to use the factory mounting studs for installation. Even if it ends up being a lemon, I'll still be able to use a high quality OEM unit or an aftermarket race-quality (no quotation marks) unit as a drop-in replacement.

The inlets are just over 1.25" in diameter and the outlets on my 1.8L engine are just under 1.25". I'm hoping that that means I'll be able to use regular radiator hoses for the connection. It's not a big deal, just a nice coincidence.

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