To give your radiator a long life, make it last for about ten years, obviously it must be manufactured well, but there is some advice we can give to help. And this is not to tell you to avoid “destructive” crashes… (m.v.)
One of the main recommendations is to empty out the system at the end of the day, especially if tap water has been used: this is to prevent calcium deposits forming inside the ducts because it would act as a thermal barrier. The problem can be avoided even more elegantly: using distilled water which is readily available at any supermarket. I even used to get mine at a friend’s who used to deal with car batteries. Water must however be removed during the winter months, when it might freeze during storage: it would be disastrous because the expanding ice could even crack the engine cylinder! In fact, also when one goes back to the track it might be better to use warm water for the cooling system.
Also the external part needs looking after, that is the fins and the spaces between them. First of all, you have to clean ravines through which the air passes, as much as possible, you get dirt debris and rubber particles deposits there and these prevent free air flow and with it adequate cooling. To do this blow compressed air through the radiator in the opposite direction to drive direction. Also the flaps must not be bent so as not to block the section. As first precaution, it’s best to cover the radiator with a piece of cardboard when the day at the track is over, to avoid any accidental contact. This however, is not enough, also because just lapping there are jumps and bumps, so it’s normal to get bits of dirt flying about. You can straighten the flaps with a small screw driver; but better still, to avoid having a wedge effect, it’s best to have a blade that is the right thickness, and properly shaped or a simple nail file.
To conclude, to have an efficient radiator that works properly on a kart, we advise you to mount it at an angle of about 60° compared to the ground.
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