October 04, 2011

Cooling Solutions

This has been another project I've picked at over the summer. I've waited until it was wrapped up so it'd look like I'd at least gotten something done.

First was the secondary CTS for the MS2. General consensus was the area of choice was a flat spot atop the neck for the upper radiator hose. However I wasn't comfortable drilling/tapping the head while it was still in the car so I hemmed and hawed over a variety of solutions. After nickel and dimeing myself with an assortment of different adapters and tees (non of which fit where the two existing sensors reside) I started shopping around for an inline hose adapter to stick the sensor to. Disgusted by the $30.00+ average I then set out for the more cost effective solution of making my own. This ended up consisting of a bead-rolled 35mm aluminum hose joiner with a 1/8 NPT bung welded to it.

To attach it to the head I sourced an appropriately sized silicon coupler, which ended up coming from HPS. Early on I had also decided I wanted to rid myself of OEM spring clamps. Of course I was extremely picky about their replacements and simply refused to settle for hose clamps from the hardware store. I finally found Forge Motorsport and was satisfied with their clamps for their stainless construction throughout, wider band, and rolled edges (the hose joiner also came from them). The upper radiator hose did require some trimming off each end to compensate for the extra length of my adapter but fit otherwise.

The lower radiator hose was another challenge in itself. The design of my manifold placed the turbocharger low enough to interfere with the normal routing of the lower hose. I played with simply flipping the thermostat housing, as I'd seen it done successfully before, but couldn't get things where I wanted them. I did some hunting for aftermarket housings (too costly) and even looked at housings for other GM applications. I was able to cross reference the Saturn thermostat to early 90's Saab 900's but couldn't justify spending the money without it being a sure thing.

Like anything with the Saturn I'd just have to modify the existing one myself. After some eyeballing I found that I could rotate the lower radiator hose so it would frame the compressor inlet, essentially creating the needed clearance to run an intake. For the hose to meet the thermostat housing required the neck to turn down 45 degrees so along came a mandrel bent piece of 1" OD aluminum tubing, some cutting, test fitting, and marking. Then off to work with Dad to get TIG welded. Upon return I prepped and painted it in Eastwood Alumablast before reassembly and installation.

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