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9 replies to this topic

#1 mikeshoup



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Posted 11 June 2006 - 01:35 PM

With like a week straight of 90 degree weather, I'm getting concerned about my car's temperature.

First, info about the car: its an 86 XT Turbo with an SPFI block running stock boost. I live in Golden, which about 6500 feet above sea level.

Phil (KBD) said ever since Roni owned it, the car seem to run about 210-220 degrees. This seems to be above what everyone else's EA82T runs at (http://ultimatesubaru.org/forum/showthread.php?t=58997). Phil said not to run the car above 230.

Well, I noticed the car runs fine in the city. Stays right where Phil said it did, 210-220. On the highway is a different story. It climbs up to 230 quickly, and will climb above 235 unless I slow down. Now, I make frequent trips to and from Denver and staying off the highway is not a viable option.

Any suggestions to cool things down a bit?

- Obviously, an intercooler. That's my next project as soon as I figure out what to do with plumbing it.
- What about my radiator? How can I tell if its a two row or not? Obviously, if its a single row, a two row would help.
- Could this be caused by a stuck thermostat? Seems to me if the thermostat was stuck, things would get MUCH warmer.
- Think an oil cooler would help? Never installed one of those. What's involved?

What kinda suggestions do you guys have?

#2 Cougar


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Posted 11 June 2006 - 02:39 PM

I think the normal thermostat temperature is set around 190 degrees. You could try replacing the thermostat with a new OEM unit to see if that will fix this problem. The radiator may be partially plugged up so replacing it may need to be done. You can also have a block check test done to see if exhaust gases are getting into the coolant.

#3 mikeshoup



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Posted 12 June 2006 - 12:07 AM

Alright, so first thing I'll do is change the thermostat. The recommendation from everyone is OEM. That's cool.

How do I tell if the radiator I have is a two row or one row?

#4 TheSubaruJunkie



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Posted 12 June 2006 - 12:36 AM

Chances are its 2 row. Im not sure how to tell but I dont think Subaru ever came with 1 row radiators.

When i installed an intercooler on my RX, i noticed a huge difference in my engine temps. I recommend the Saab 900 Intercooler as the inlet & outlet are 2.38" which is the same diametere as your intake manifold.

If you need some plumbing idea's, just check out my gallery here:


#5 daeron


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Posted 12 June 2006 - 12:41 AM

i dont know on a subaru particularly, but look at the radiator fins, and see if you can get an idea how thick they are.. one row is usually about an inch or so, and if its approx. 1" thick, then its probly single row.. if about 2" then probly two row.

you can get radiator flush solution too. Permatex makes one that comes in a gold can (i think) that is really super stuff.. you empty your radiator and block, add this with a full load of water, run it for a few minutes, and drain and flush again. that helps eliminate partial clogs and obstructions in water channels throughout the whole motor. i am NOT a subbie wizard, so if anyone on this message board says anything against a particular flush solution, listen to them.. some of those products are rather potent chemicals.

installing an oil cooler is a simple procedure.. ideally, there is a small adapter you screw onto the oil filter, and it taps the oil off into one hose, to an oil cooler, then back through another hose into the filter... or vice versa.. then you just mount the cooler somewhere. its never a bad idea to do, but change your thermostat and flush the radiator first. you can also have pros flush the coolant system, which is really the best way to clear out the block.

#6 Skip


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Posted 12 June 2006 - 05:50 AM

No mention of the rad's age.

Your first post describes the classic symptoms of a rad gone south while the car stayed north

This has been shown to be an external problem, not an internal,
thus no flushing or such will help.

The problem manifests itself in the fins between the cooling tubes
delaminating from the tubes.

The coolant flows by and very little
heat is removed.

Hard to see this as it is behind the rad fan shroud
Posted Image
Solution - new rad

Oil cooler and IC are good ideas that could be installed at the same time.

#7 Jerry DeMoss

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 07:20 AM

That would have been my first suggestion is a new radiator.Makes a huge difference.My hatch is an '86 as well and I changed the radiator almost imediately after I got the car.That is one of the problem areas on older cars due to age.Good luck.

#8 mikeshoup



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Posted 12 June 2006 - 08:35 AM

No mention of the rad's age.

That's cuz I don't know how old it is. I suppose I'll replace it with a brand new one.

Next question, do XTs use the same radiators as the DL/GLs? Found a good deal on a radiator, says its for just about everything, but no mention of XT.

#9 DrKrazy


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Posted 12 June 2006 - 11:16 AM

Yep, never owned a Subaru that I didn't put a new two core radiator in. Even always keep a spare or two around. Have one now but I would need to turn it in for the warranty and get it replaced. If it helps at all Mike to keep my RX under halfway on our dry hot summer days, while boosting on the highway/or running A/C I had to install a brand new radiator (I really recommend Performance Radiator, they are great), intercooler, intercooler fan, oil cooler, & dump the mechanical fan for a slim EA81 electric fan. Oil Cooler made the biggest difference, followed by the replacing the mechanical fan with an electric. Though I did my intercooler right after I put my new engine in, and I'm sure that's a big key in keeping it cool on the highway also but wasn't enough for me..I don't ever want to see the RX above halfway on my gauge..normally sits at about 1/3rd to right below halfway (Sorry not sure what temp that actually is). I THINK the radiators should be the same as any of the EA82's, don't know for sure though.
EDIT: If you want to drop by and see if they are the same, or even try my extra radiator (think it is still good, just has alot of mashed fins that could be straightened) I have a few sitting in my shed.

#10 mikeshoup



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Posted 12 June 2006 - 12:24 PM

Appears the cores are different, but not by much:

Core Dimensions: 26 3/8 x 12 1/2

All Other EA82s:
Core Dimensions: 25 3/8 x 12 11/16

Seems XTs are just a bit longer width, and shorter height than other EA82s.

Hm. Doesn't seem to be that much of a difference though. I can't seem to find any two rows at all for XTs. I thought these things were two row stock.

Edit: RadiatorExpress has a two row for the XT for ~ $151.75. That's actually around the same price as everyone else. I may just go ahead and buy that.

Thanks for the offer DrKrazy on trying one of yours. I think I'll just buy the brand new one from radiator express that says it has the same dimensions.

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