Radiator and Cooling system
Since buying the Peugeot I had a problem with it
overheating at high speeds which only really came to light when
motorway driving. Initially I thought there was a problem with the
electric fans, especially as only the one seemed to be working. After
a lot of investigation of the fan wiring I discovered one of the fan
control relays had failed. Job done, or so I thought... Not being a
regular motorway user it wasn't easy to establish if there was still a
problem with the cooling system, though the temperature would still
rise a bit when going over the Malvern Hills, but what was normal?
Summer came along with some long motorway runs up to Scotland and
back. I still had the problem as I had to limit the speed down to
60mph to stop it overheating. I even took some of the panels off the
front to allow more air flow through the radiator. On a close
examination of the radiator I found the little cooling fins had
started to part from the water galleries, basically it was rotten.
Ringing the Peugeot dealer for a genuine Peugeot radiator, they wanted well in excess of £200 plus vat! ouch....... A search around the web found a company called Euro Car Parts (www.eurocarparts.com) who gave a price all in (vat etc) for about £120. I ordered it mid afternoon and it was here next day! I bet the Peugeot dealer wouldn't be that quick, even at over twice the price. With new antifreeze, the radiator was fitted within an hour.
What a difference the new radiator made. Before when stood with the engine running the radiator fans would cut in and out, now they didn't. With such efficient cooling it was about 18 months later that I discovered the fans weren't working again, and I only found out in Ireland going up some very long steep hills, but by switching the cab heater on full blast the temperature soon dropped. With so many other jobs on the go I didn't consider the fans not working too much to worry about as it only cause a minor inconvenience now and again.
With a forthcoming trip to the south of France during high summer planned, I set about making good the cooling system. On fellow motorhomer's website (Brian of www.ourwanderer.org.uk) who also ran a Peugeot I found out he too had suffered from overheating and made some additions to the wiring by adding some indicators in the cab. Armed with Brian's wiring diagram I took the wiring to bits on my radiator, only to discover his wiring was different to mine. Below is how I found mine wired.
Most of the actual colours above are not the same as the vehicle, hence the text.
One of the items my system had which my friends hadn't got was the Radiator Air Thermostat which is mounted inside the fan cowling of the radiator. Since mine was dead (either burnt or corroded so it fell apart on removal), I decided to bin it. What I failed to understand is why fit two relays, then wire them together (cable marked green above), then run the full current loading through the Radiator Water Thermostat. After some rewiring I arrived at the following circuit shown below.
As you can see, I ditched the Air Thermostat and rewired the relays from the Radiator Water Thermostat so that both its output contacts fed the fans via the relays (thus limiting the current flowing through the thermostatic switch and prolonging its life). The Radiator Water Thermostat is a two stage switch which is activated by the rising temperature of the cooling water. At one temperature the one relay and fan is activated, then at a higher temperature, both relays and fans are activated.
The above is satisfactory on its own. However I wanted to improve on it, not only to monitor its operation but to manually switch the fans on if the need arises.
On Brian's website, he too had made additions to his fan circuitry of indicators and override switches. I've made slight alterations to my circuit from his, but they both achieve almost the same result. The first addition was some dash panel indicators as shown in the circuit below.
All that I have done is to take a feed from the output contact of each relay and join that on to a simple LED (Light Emitting Diode) circuit. Its important to use two resistors as I found only one LED would work if I used one common resistor. The idea behind these indicators is that they will light up when there is a feed directly on to the fan itself.
To simplify the LED circuit I have created another drawing below, which will help others who are not familiar with electronic components.
I have shown the above simplified LED circuit with a diode. The diode is not necessary in this circuit, so the choice is yours. It basically stops current flowing the wrong way, thus avoiding permanent damage to the LED if you connected the circuit up the wrong way.
The LED's I mounted in a couple of switch blanks on the centre of the dash.
Now the indicator circuit is complete, I'll move on to the fan override switching. With the uses of a two way toggle switch with a centre off position and some more diodes its possible to switch one fan on with the switch in one position, then switch the switch over to run both fans. The circuit is as shown below.
.As you can see above, the 2 pole switch is basically wired parallel across the Radiator Water Thermostat with the addition of some diodes to get it to switch in the same way as the thermostat.
For the not so technical, I have done another 3D drawing to simplify the above circuit.
In use I have noticed at high speeds the LED's gradually light up, obviously the fans are turning in the forced air flow and acting as generators to power up the LED's
Sadly I don't have a photo of the radiator out of the vehicle to show you the various components, so I've done a basic 3D drawing below.
(Whoops. I drew the above from memory and without checking. Now I have found out both hoses come out of the radiator on the passenger side, not as I have drawn them above. I will get round to changing the above....)
I have come across several vans where the radiator fans haven't been working and found the wires had been pulled/dropped of the Radiator Water Thermostat, so I have include a picture of it below.
A - Radiator hose
B - Radiator Water Thermostat
C - Fan Impellor
|A couple of people have contacted me regarding running temperatures, so I have created image to display actual pointer positions, rather than actual temperatures.|
The lower temperature is the usual position during Autumn weather (rain, windy, but not freezing, probably around 5-10ļ C)
The higher reading is the usual position during hot weather (40ļ C!)
Another owner contacted me who said his vehicle was overheating, though it never lost any coolant. After suggesting several things to check, like the fans are cutting in and out, the radiator had been thoroughly flushed (removed from the vehicle and cleaned internally and externally), pump belt properly tensioned and the thermostat within the coolant circuit is operating correctly. It turned out to be a faulty temperature sender for the dash gauge. On my vehicle I have a warning lamp on the dash which illuminates when the gauge pointer is in the red section, very useful as it draws your attention to the problem, rather than having to constantly monitor the gauge.
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