Temprature - is this normal? - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 103 (permalink) Old 09-30-2018, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Temprature - is this normal?

Hey everyone, I thought I'd bounce this off you guys and get your perspective.

I recently installed new Spal fans for my '6, and they work wonderfully at cooling the engine. But, I've noticed that even while driving on the highway at cruising speeds (60-70), with A/C off, the temperature seems to creep up (to just about between the 175F and the 212F line), indicating an engine temp of around 190-195F-ish, and then will drop back to about 180F. And then without rhyme or reason, will climb up again, and then back down. It does this 50% of the time, the rest of the time it appears to just stay right around 175F-180F.

With A/C on, it consistently stays part way between 175F line and the 212F line to its right while cruising on the highway. Ironically, in stop and go with the fans on , it stays right around 175F.

In the past, on the highway, the coolant temp gauge was right at 175F-180F no matter what (regardless of temperature, A/C on, etc), and would only climb when in stop and go traffic, especially in the summer.

Is this normal? The radiator is new and was recently checked and has no leaks. Thermostat appears to work (otherwise I reckon the temperature would never drop...), and the fan thermo switch works as the fans come on around 190F, and shut off around 175F or thereabouts. I've been unable to detect any leaks of any kind either. I haven't checked or changed the reservoir cap, though.

Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 103 (permalink) Old 10-02-2018, 10:42 AM
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@Gepetto. Seems pretty normal to me. My temp gauge moves around a lot in that range, especially in stop and go where there is not much airflow when the fans are off. With SPAL fans and new radiator working well seems like the system is cycling properly, and much faster than before the upgrade. Perhaps that is why you are noticing it more. With AC on I would expect it to remain steady as the fans run continuously.

That’s an upgrade I would like to do as currently I am using a pair of aftermarket fans that attach through the radiator. They move a ton of air and are very light but I don’t like using the radiator core as support and they are not fully shrouded. No issues with overheating the 3.0 even on super hot and humid days.

Did the SPAL fans give your AC more punch? I would like to do the the SPAL fans and upgrade the condenser ( read the posts on a modern “parallel flow’ unit).

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post #3 of 103 (permalink) Old 10-02-2018, 11:17 AM
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Fetta radiators are under sized and they could of made them a little bigger. Even sometimes when I drive mine I have to put the Heat on to cool the motor in traffic.
It a Flaw in this model. The GTV-6 one is twice the size. Perhaps a Milano one would fit? That's worth a look see??

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post #4 of 103 (permalink) Old 10-02-2018, 12:05 PM
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@alfasrule I have a 3.0 in my car and use the stock gtv6 radiator. I have not had a radiator-related overheating problem and am not aware of a general issue with the gtv6 having a radiator capacity issue. Coolant tank cracking seems to be the biggest issue.

I live in NJ and it is reasonably warm here in the summer. @Gepetto's car is in NY. I do see my temps on a wonderfully inaccurate gauge system going up and down in a narrow range but nothing concerning. I have to give the dash a little tap to get the temp gauge off zero when it is cold, oil pressure always reads high, fuel gauge response not linear, tach and speedo needles hard to tell since the tips were clipped after twisting in hot weather. LOL

Milano 2.5 stock radiator does seem insufficient for hot weather and a common replacement is to use the Milano 3.0 radiator with higher capacity. I am pretty sure Milano radiator is not a direct fit for the gtv6.

I was not thinking that the radiator here is an issue although a "new" radiator might have a blockage in it or not flow as well as the original one, resulting in the system not cooling as well with fans off, and faster cycling with them coming on and off. Perhaps the t-stat is not opening fully now. I even thought that perhaps the fully shrouded radiator does not cool as well with the fans off since the airflow is now pushed through a smaller area and between the fan blades, versus the stock configuration without a full shroud. But the description of the gauge behavior seemed pretty normal to me for a warm location and normal driving.
@Gepetto, would be interested to know why you replaced the radiator and chose a new radiator instead of having the original one repaired (if it was leaking or choked up)? I presume you had an original fan die and did the SPAL replacement?

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post #5 of 103 (permalink) Old 10-02-2018, 12:50 PM
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Sorry though he had an Alfetta? Never had this issue on a GTV-6.
Didn't know the Verde's radiator is larger??
You should see what they did to me Race car to correct the cooling issue.
Quite ingenious?
Another question are your fans turning in the correct direction?
Perhaps since they are after market fans you may have overlooked this?
Maybe the new fans you installed block the radiator so it can't cool itself in normal conditions?
GTV_6's and I've owned many never had Temperature issues. Some were pretty ratty as well.

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Last edited by alfasrule; 10-02-2018 at 03:37 PM.
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post #6 of 103 (permalink) Old 10-02-2018, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter A View Post
@alfasrule I have a 3.0 in my car and use the stock gtv6 radiator. I have not had a radiator-related overheating problem and am not aware of a general issue with the gtv6 having a radiator capacity issue. Coolant tank cracking seems to be the biggest issue.

I live in NJ and it is reasonably warm here in the summer. @Gepetto's car is in NY. I do see my temps on a wonderfully inaccurate gauge system going up and down in a narrow range but nothing concerning. I have to give the dash a little tap to get the temp gauge off zero when it is cold, oil pressure always reads high, fuel gauge response not linear, tach and speedo needles hard to tell since the tips were clipped after twisting in hot weather. LOL

Milano 2.5 stock radiator does seem insufficient for hot weather and a common replacement is to use the Milano 3.0 radiator with higher capacity. I am pretty sure Milano radiator is not a direct fit for the gtv6.

I was not thinking that the radiator here is an issue although a "new" radiator might have a blockage in it or not flow as well as the original one, resulting in the system not cooling as well with fans off, and faster cycling with them coming on and off. Perhaps the t-stat is not opening fully now. I even thought that perhaps the fully shrouded radiator does not cool as well with the fans off since the airflow is now pushed through a smaller area and between the fan blades, versus the stock configuration without a full shroud. But the description of the gauge behavior seemed pretty normal to me for a warm location and normal driving.
@Gepetto, would be interested to know why you replaced the radiator and chose a new radiator instead of having the original one repaired (if it was leaking or choked up)? I presume you had an original fan die and did the SPAL replacement?

@Peter A Thanks for chiming in (as I have what used to be your car...) LOL. The original radiator from 1985 was re-cored as it was just about corroded through and about to fail. Though, it still worked very well but it was a preventative measure. The re-cored radiator was tested for blockage and it's fine, but I didn't think about the fan shrouds. The Spal fans do have a shroud whereas the originals didn't...that might be the culprit. Either way, I may put in a brand new thermostat just to be safe. Or, put one that opens a little sooner (instead of full open at 190F, maybe full open at 185?). BTW, the Spal fans are fantastic! But, I find they do draw more current. So much so that the alternator ended up failing (probably from having a max draw on it so much of the time in the summer with the A/C on...). Switched to 100amp alternator, and it's still a little finicky as the lights will dim when fans come on, especially at idle (this didn't happen with the original). So if anyone knows where I can buy a brand spanking new alternator (instead of rebuilt) that will fit a GTV6, do let me know. I suspect the rebuilder of the alternator didn't do that good a job.

Incredibly, all my secondary gauges are accurate (yes, we tested them with calibrated instruments), while the speedo reads about 10% slow (but only above 50mph) and the tach reads about 150rpm higher than actual rpm.

The beguiling part is that the other night it was quite cool out (upper 50's). Driving from NYC to NJ, lots of stop and go and once I got on the open road, the temperature still rose and fell (with the fans cycling on) even though I was doing about 65-75mph. Particularly on the Verazzano bridge - temp went 3/4ths the way to the 212 line before going back. On the way back, without any stop and go and quickly getting on the highway (and, hence, temperature never got that hot), temperature gauge was right at 175 the whole until I got to local streets - just like the good old days...
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post #7 of 103 (permalink) Old 10-02-2018, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Del View Post
Interesting that the Milano 2.5l with it's standard radiator always seemedhave overheating problems in hot weather, but the GTV6s didn't with theirs? Guess they just missed on the size for the standard Milano.
I wonder if it has anything to do with the grill opening?
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post #8 of 103 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 08:15 PM
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Gepetto, why not try burping the system to allow any air pockets to vent? It sounds like either a circulation issue or air in the system, which could be inter-related. At higher speeds, yes you are shoving more air through the radiator but there is also more friction and heat generation than at idle. And that heat has to be dissipated or it will increase coolant temps. Do you reckon the water pump impeller is still attached to the shaft? I have seen impellers come loose and freewheel.

And I would not rule out a bad thermostat, either.
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post #9 of 103 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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@alfaloco Thanks for the advice! I haven't tried burping the system - I'll give that a shot this weekend. I admit I hadn't thought of that. The water pump is fairly new (3 years and 6k miles), though I suppose anything is possible. I reckon I'll try one thing at a time and see if I can solve this incrementally. Though I do think something is up as in the past this never happened at highway speeds, even in hot summer days...
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post #10 of 103 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 08:52 AM
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I've vented the system by carefully holding a shop rag under the thermostat housing, engine running and warm, and just cracking loose the brass vent plug on the t-stat housing. I don't want any anti freeze dripping onto the timing belt pulley on the crankshaft below... yeah I'm pretty cautious about that!

Sounds like your water pump should be fine, if it's that new.

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post #11 of 103 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 08:52 AM
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Don’t you love it when your 33-year-old car resists new parts upgrades? Go figure. Probably an air bubble or thermostat. Make sure the temp sensor wiring is solid. Just drill a hole in the top of the radiator, wait for the air to escape and stick a sheet metal screw in it. Just kidding but if you threaten her that way she might quit being temperamental. LOL
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post #12 of 103 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 09:32 AM
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@alfasrule I remember sitting in traffic going into the Monterrey Historic races...1985? Alfa was featured marque. And my Alfetta GT was overheating. Heater was already blowing. So a busted Alfa on Alfa weekend would not look good! Carlo Durante from Alfa of Tacoma, where I bought and serviced my car, was behind me and told me to turn on the AC and crack the hood. If you have an AC car, energizing the circuit turns on that little pusher fan in front of the radiator. It was enough to keep me going. I didn’t even know that fan was there! The Alfa track parade was awesome, I’ll never forget following a Berlina on skinny tires and with three passengers going flat out into the corkscrew. LOL. Highlight of the weekend being Fangio driving his Alfetta.
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post #13 of 103 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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@alfasrule Carlo Durante from Alfa of Tacoma, where I bought and serviced my car, was behind me and told me to turn on the AC and crack the hood. If you have an AC car, energizing the circuit turns on that little pusher fan in front of the radiator. It was enough to keep me going.
It's tricks like these that make Alfa ownership so rewarding.
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post #14 of 103 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 12:18 PM
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@Gepetto I guess this thread has wandered a bit on cooling for transaxle cars. Since you have upgraded your cooling system with the new fans, you should be running pretty steady with some normal fluctuations. Funny thing is that you say it was fine for part of a recent drive (presuming A/C off), and you know with the fans on you have sufficient capacity for most normal driving. I would lean towards a sticky thermostat if purging air does not help. Does your car seem to take excessively long to warm up? I know, harder to see that in the summer/early fall. Make sure you have good, clean connections and grounds on the temp sensors and gauge. Check if you have an old hose partially collapsed or with an obstruction. Bleed the air out of the system. I am assuming all new and good coolant.

A bad cap or crack in the tank will bleed pressure, lowering the coolant boiling point and letting air bleed back into the system. Check the tank. If the crack is on the top you may not have lost any or just a little coolant. I have had very bad experience with the aftermarket tanks. Mario @ Eurotec has been able to scrounge up good used OEM tanks that last a long time but they are getting scarce. I now have an aluminum tank ready to go, it looks super nice. You can find the thread for the aluminum tank here on the BB. I think I saw a recent note that the alu tanks are still available from the last batch manufactured.

@Del side note: check out provamotorsports.com. I'll send you a PM

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post #15 of 103 (permalink) Old 10-04-2018, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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@Peter A Indeed, though I am enjoying the discussion of Alfa of Tacoma (I believe my car was originally sold there? Or at least serviced there in it's early years). It doesn't seem to take too long to warm up - that hasn't changed for as long as I've had it. We ended up rebuilding the engine last year (it all started with an oil leak...) and, I think, all hoses were changed when the engine was put back into the car. Though I have to double check that. At this point, I think it might just be the thermostat (which was one of the few components not changed during the rebuild). I may just buy a new cap from Centerline and see if that makes any difference. Haven't noticed any cracks in the overflow tank, but then again even a tiny crack would do it.

Speaking of Mario and Eurotec, I may try to get to the NJ Driver's club open house (which is next door) this Saturday morning. Have you heard/been to it yet?
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