Re: Rats! My *&*!@ Saab 96 still overheats - Saabnet.com Bulletin Board


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Re: Rats! My *&*!@ Saab 96 still overheats
Posted by kansas [Email] (more from kansas) on Tue, 05 Sep 2000 22:29:47

In Reply to: Rats! My *&*!@ Saab 96 still overheats, Gary Piland, Mon, 04 Sep 2000 02:12:21
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Gary, I think the why of overheating is that the car was designed in Sweden and simply runs out of cooling capacity at 110f. The solution is
to add more. BTW how do you define "overheats"? Mine, with 50-50 coolant mix (don't run pure water!) runs up to about 210-220 water temp which puts it near or into the red on the gauge. This is hotter than designed and hotter than I like, but it is not boiling over or obliging me to stop. Water boils at 212; 50-50 coolant boils at 256. Comment on your efforts: I'm pretty sure my stock radiator is a 3-row, yours may not exceed stock
in heat transfer capacity. I too have an electric fan, which cools well
at idle or low (around-town) road speeds, but neither it nor any mechanical
fan has much function at highway speeds, where I encounter the temps I don't like. At 60 mph you have a 60 mph wind through the radiator, that's
faster than the fan blows. Water pump: The back cover of the pump is part of the engine front cover and gets reused. It is subject to erosion, yours may be badly pitted and this may affect pump capacity. Repairable with metal-filled epoxy & careful working back to the original shape. I run the stock expansion tank and have no problem, but the caps don't seal well on the plastic after a while and then you can lose coolant which causes overheating. The Volvo tanks have a better (screw-on) cap design.
If you have air in the system it will show up with a pressure tester in
requiring prolonged pumping to get to 15psi. If the system is full it will
pump up in a few strokes. Any shop has this device if you don't. My car
too drops temp markedly if the heater is turned on.

So the solution is more cooling, ie remove more heat. My radiator guy could provide a 4-row louvered-fin core on the stock tanks for multiple
hundreds of $$$$. Or I could go through all kinds of contortions to mount
a pre-77 99 core to the stock tanks, this is the traditional solution. Or
I could add an oil cooler for much less money and see how it works. My
performance shop has one that I think will fit between radiator and headlight without too much trouble, #41308 from Earl's Performance Products, Long Beach CA, will require some bracketry, re-placement of the horn (& overflow bottle if mounted on the left, where clearance from the
alternator is easier), & an oil filter adapter. Way cheaper than the
fancy radiator core. These units look very good and come in many many sizes.

Other ideas, not yet tried by me: a "balanced" thermostat, said to provide
more flow, and a wetting solution to enhance heat transfer from engine to
coolant. Neither is bad but I would expect only marginal results from
either as they do not address the real problem of not enuf capacity to take
away heat. Either available from your performance shop. I do not recommend Carlin's solution of a thermostatectomy--it is there for good reasons. Carlin, does it get to 110 where you live?

On the CV problem, a hose clamp is fine if it is not too wide for the
channel in the boot, don't overtighten. I prefer a zip-tie, you may have
to search some for the heavy ones about 5/16" wide, & may need two for
length. Let us know how you make out. K




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