LXXXIV. Fixing and mounting Żuk radiators

Fixing the main radiator

The radiator mounts were dislodged and there was some traces suggesting leaks.

Fixing the mount does not seem overly complicated on such radiator: a powerful enough soldering iron (60W or more) should allow to heat up the relevant surface fast enough, without too much risk of damaging the whole. But that made sense only if the radiator was not leaking.

The original radiator (49 kW highest thermal load for the version associated with the 4C90 engine) should be fine in general but problems occur in standstill, traffic jam, in hot countries, since the 4 blades fan does not provides a massive air flow, not enough to compensate the lack of natural air flow. Not to mention that the fan is related to the engine RPM, so slower on standstill. Supposedly, versions sold in Egypt got a 6 blades fan. A common approach to avoid heating troubles is to mold a tunnel to improve the fan efficiency.

As far I understand, UK Żuk installed a Land Rover radiator to go along it’s PSA XUD9 TE/L.

Some people install modern alloy-core radiators on old vehicles. Though, even if you find one that can be installed properly (not so obvious in Żuk case: Lublin alloy-core radiators a shaped completely differently, being a large rectangle instead of some square), it might lead to various issues, as pointed out in this article regarding 4×4 radiator replacement:

“The other thing that will result in tears is poor vehicle maintenance, particularly bad wiring where somebody has added equipment but not earthed it properly. When that happens, you get what’s called stray-current corrosion. Brass-copper radiators are less prone to stray-current corrosion, so if you’re the lazy type, maybe brass-copper would be better.”

“A few years back, I had to replace a radiator in my truck, so I fitted an alloy unit from a reputable company. But long before it should have failed, the mounting studs pulled through the bottom tank. As you can imagine, the water didn’t last too long at that point. To make it worse, I was somewhere up near the Somalian border in Kenya. So not ideal. [Another alloy unit lasted] until somewhere in Mongolia when it failed, too. When we got back to Australia I went to a specialist place and asked for a one-off radiator that would do exactly what I wanted. Again, against my better judgment, I got talked into another alloy-core unit which lasted until the next trip north. When it failed in Townsville, I went to a radiator shop and asked for it to be repaired. But the bloke running the shop told me he could replace it with a copper unit or I could take my alloy piece of crap and drive to Rockhampton to find somebody to fix it. So now I have a copper-core radiator and it’s been faultless. I reckon a lot of the blokes making alloy cores are using too-thin material to help with faster heat dissipation. Which is fine in a road car, but these thin alloys won’t cop being pounded over a thousand kays of corrugations. So it’s copper or nothing for me from here on in.”

I went to Ermax, they agreed to fix my radiator. And they did for around 100 zł.

Refreshing the tank

Refreshing the heating radiators

One fan of the heating radiators was not working so far. I tested both fan engines, they work perfectly.

The foam around radiators was replaced too.

Mounting back the radiators

The right fan was once again failing even though electricity was coming through the relevant cable. The ground was supposed to pass through the fan mount but it was quite obvious it was not the case, so I added two ground extra cables.

Most hoses replacement is quite straightforward. Not the ones around the metal pipe. It is not clear how it should be and if the tape around it is some cheap fix or else. Even in the catalog, the shape of the metal pipe seems different and the bottom hose is not doing a 90° turn.

It is a bit strange. I don’t understand how a 45° turn hose can replace a 90° turn. Maybe the radiator is actually installed nearer to the fan.

another example once again 90° but not as tight

Lower pipe from heating radiators goes to the faucet, which one is connected to the engine next to the fuel filter . Lower pipes goes either directly to the pump (right side) or to the bottom of the right (left)

The purge of the air in the cooling system will be done later, once it’ll be possible to make engine goes up in temperature so the thermostat open, along with fan activation check.

Total cost:

przewód chłodnicy żuk diesel górny złącze łącznik = radiator upper hose (8,00 zł)
przewód chłodnicy żuk diesel środkowy złącze nowy = radiator middle hose (8,00 zł)
przewód chłodnicy żuk diesel dolny złącze nowy = radiator lower hose (9,00 zł)
fixing the radiator (100 zł)

kosztuje = 100 + 8 + 8 + 9 = 125 zł = 28 €. Żukventure cost so far = 5032 + = 5060 €

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