Driving down Interstate 95 yesterday at 68 MPH in fifth gear, I happened to notice my temperature was above normal. The indicated 197 or so is probably fine, but was higher than what I like to see, and with minimal reserve. Air temp was about 82, hot, but certainly not what our desert clients experience. What was going on?
My wife’s Bugeye “Iris,” (or The Egg” as I like to call it) has a 1275 engine and five speed transmission, and it’s an awesome restoration. The restorer even re-cored the original radiator (you can tell from the modern fins in the picture) and then added a fancy thermostatically controlled electric fan. So why would this car overheat with all this impressive upgraded technology?
Here’s a hint… off the highway, the indicated temperature came down. Only under the sustained “high” load to keep the car moving along at 70 did the temperature climb. It is possible there is sediment in the system, but unlikely since everything is new. Much more likely is that the cooling fan is obstructing air flow above a certain speed. The fan is nice in traffic, but once you get moving, you need air flow to exchange heat, and the fan is actually an impediment.
This fall, (when we catch our breath at the shop and have a free minute), The Egg will get a new aluminum radiator and no electric fan, and that will be the end of it. Never again will an Iris driver have to keep half an eyeball on a climbing temp gauge. The aluminum radiator is the absolute best way to go for your Spridget. Just ask Iris.