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  • Remove Thermostat for Africa?

    Hi there,

    another noobie in the forum. Thanks a lot first for all the great advice. I moved to Rwanda in October and was looking for a good 4x4 to use here in Africa. My research was greatly helped by your site, leading me to order a 1994 SSR-X 3.0D from Japan. It is currently on the ship to Mombasa, where someone will pick it up for me.

    Lots of people I talked to here said that the first thing that should be done when the car arrives is to remove the thermostat to reduce the risk of overheating. However, I wasn't quite clear on what the thermostat actually does and why the removal would help to avoid overheating.

    As far as I understand, the thermostat regulates the use of the radiator? Is it true that when the car is cold, the thermostat allows the radiator to be excluded from the cooling cycle and then gradually includes it as the engine gets warmer? If this would be the case, I could understand why people would remove it - it never really gets cold around here .

    Lastly, I was thinking of buying a few spot lights to put them on the small bullbar the car comes with to amplify the high beam when driving on bad roads at night. Do you think this would hamper cooling in any serious waya? And would it be easy to connect these lamps such that they turn on when on high beam?

    Thanks in advance for your help,

    Nick
    Rwanda
    Last edited by jever98; 6th December 2004, 08:57.

  • #2
    Originally posted by jever98
    Hi there,

    another noobie in the forum. Thanks a lot first for all the great advice. I moved to Rwanda in October and was looking for a good 4x4 to use here in Africa. My research was greatly helped by your site, leading me to order a 1994 SSR-X 3.0D from Japan. It is currently on the ship to Mombasa, where someone will pick it up for me.

    Lots of people I talked to here said that the first thing that should be done when the car arrives is to remove the thermostat to reduce the risk of overheating. However, I wasn't quite clear on what the thermostat actually does and why the removal would help to avoid overheating.

    As far as I understand, the thermostat regulates the use of the radiator? Is it true that when the car is cold, the thermostat allows the radiator to be excluded from the cooling cycle and then gradually includes it as the engine gets warmer? If this would be the case, I could understand why people would remove it - it never really gets cold around here .

    Lastly, I was thinking of buying a few spot lights to put them on the small bullbar the car comes with to amplify the high beam when driving on bad roads at night. Do you think this would hamper cooling in any serious waya? And would it be easy to connect these lamps such that they turn on when on high beam?

    Thanks in advance for your help,

    Nick
    Rwanda
    hi mate.
    i think that ive seen this question covered before on this site( removing thermostat ) i would try a search on that word see what you come up with. but i seem to remember that taking the thermostat out will not make it any better for hot country,s but poss worse. think what some 1 did is to replace the rad with a 4 core instead of 2. as for the spots i have also seen this posted on this site!!!, think the aussie guy,s will be able to help on that 1 . having said that there will be some 1 along soon with greater knowledge than i have cheers mate good luck.............
    [color=red]CHEERS JOHN................ [/color]

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply.

      I searched the forum beforehand, but couldn't find any definitive answer.

      Looking at the Australian site, it seems that only auto gearbox 3.0D have the overheating problem (mine's a manual). Also, someone from Uganda advises against removing the thermostat, since, he argues, it means that the engine temperature will fluctuate unnecessarily. Here's the link: OnCourse 4WD Cheers
      Nick

      Comment


      • #4
        One of the functions of the thermostat is as a restrictor to slow the flow of coolant down around the engine. This is good for the engine in keeping it cool as it allows the water to absorb more of the heat.

        If you remove the thermostat you may end up with an engine that actually runs hotter.

        Cheers
        Cheers
        Andy
        99 Land Cruiser 100 Series 4.2TD VX Active

        www.landcruiser-rocks.co.uk
        www.gloucestershire4x4response .co.uk
        www.4x4response.info

        Comment


        • #5
          Nick of Rwanda!
          Nick of Rwanda!
          This is Enzo of Zimbabwe calling...

          I shipped my 3.0 TD 4Runner (UK name for a Surf) out to Zim via SA. I had overheating probs in the UK and split my head so replaced that and the rad. Still had overheating probs so had the rad increased from 3 to 5 core. Had to loose the fan's viscous coupling (ie: hard wiring the fan to the engine) to get the new deeper rad in so now my fan runs all the time.

          I have twin IPF 800 series spots (big rectangular !!!!!!!s) and I felt they blocked the airflow across my rad esp. when towing a caravan ,and going at slower speeds, so I removed them, but now that I've got the larger rad and constant fan I've re-fitted them. Everything seems OK so far but I've only made the 1000km run to Zimbabwe twice in this vehicle and the second time was at night (this is what spooked me to re-fit the IPFs - !!!!!! giraffe, warthogs, impala, goats, donkeys and cows wandering all over the road! That plus most Zim cars have NO !!!!ing rear ights!)

          My IPFs also come on with the high beams but I had an auto electrician wire them for me - only problem is if one of your H4 blows, you loose all your lights, so try and make sure that the spots and your H4s can work independantly as well as together.

          enzo
          http:www.bundubasher.com
          @africa4x4cafe
          [url]www.africa4x4cafe.com[/url]

          Comment


          • #6
            @Enzo: thanks for the advice. Is your 3.0 an automatic? Is there anything that determines why they overheat? I heard that only automatic transmissions overheat, but was wondering if that's true.
            Also, what are H4s??

            @Andy: Not sure that faster coolant cycling should make the car run hotter - After all, the higher the temp difference between the water in the cooler and the air surrounding it, the more effective the cooling. so if the coolant stays in the radiator for longer, it should cool less effectively at some point? Unless I am getting something very wrong here.

            Thanks again,
            Nick

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jever98
              @Enzo: thanks for the advice. Is your 3.0 an automatic? Is there anything that determines why they overheat? I heard that only automatic transmissions overheat, but was wondering if that's true.
              Also, what are H4s??

              @Andy: Not sure that faster coolant cycling should make the car run hotter - After all, the higher the temp difference between the water in the cooler and the air surrounding it, the more effective the cooling. so if the coolant stays in the radiator for longer, it should cool less effectively at some point? Unless I am getting something very wrong here.

              Thanks again,
              Nick
              If the water circulates faster it gets less chance to absorb the heat from the block, it will also have less chance to lose that heat in the radiator. Basically the water only transfers heat when it is in contact with the block or radiator. As far as I understand, the faster it is flowing, the less time it is in contact, therefore the less heat transfered. I may be totally wrong but that is how I understood it.

              Cheers
              Cheers
              Andy
              99 Land Cruiser 100 Series 4.2TD VX Active

              www.landcruiser-rocks.co.uk
              www.gloucestershire4x4response .co.uk
              www.4x4response.info

              Comment


              • #8
                3.0 Manual. Personally I think it's all down to lazy design - they took a radiator & truck orig. designed for a 2.4 petrol engine and they did not modify it when they stuck in the 3L diesel.

                Your standard main beam bulbs are H4's.
                @africa4x4cafe
                [url]www.africa4x4cafe.com[/url]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the info folks.

                  I still don't understand why some 3.0s overheat and some don't. I won't be towing a trailer, but still don't want to take risks.

                  Two more things I wanted to check with the community:

                  1. When the car gets off the boat, the person who will pick it up for me will get it serviced. Here is what I thought he should do before driving the 1800km to Kigali:
                  - Change engine oil and filter
                  - Check transmission and diff oils
                  - Grease all the important points on transmission and bearings
                  - Drain cooling system, flush out gunk and replace coolant, checking that nothing leaks

                  2. I was thinking of buying a roof tent at some point, for safaris. Any advie, Enzo, what to go for? I hear Hannibal tents are great, but not sure what's best for value for money.

                  Cheers
                  Nick

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jever98
                    Thanks for the info folks.

                    I still don't understand why some 3.0s overheat and some don't. I won't be towing a trailer, but still don't want to take risks.

                    Two more things I wanted to check with the community:

                    1. When the car gets off the boat, the person who will pick it up for me will get it serviced. Here is what I thought he should do before driving the 1800km to Kigali:
                    - Change engine oil and filter
                    - Check transmission and diff oils
                    - Grease all the important points on transmission and bearings
                    - Drain cooling system, flush out gunk and replace coolant, checking that nothing leaks

                    2. I was thinking of buying a roof tent at some point, for safaris. Any advie, Enzo, what to go for? I hear Hannibal tents are great, but not sure what's best for value for money.

                    Cheers
                    Nick
                    I would add to that.

                    1. change fuel and air filter.
                    2. Change all drive belts - Fan belt etc.

                    Cheers
                    Cheers
                    Andy
                    99 Land Cruiser 100 Series 4.2TD VX Active

                    www.landcruiser-rocks.co.uk
                    www.gloucestershire4x4response .co.uk
                    www.4x4response.info

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Make sure your driver:

                      Knows how to use the second gear box - my driver drove the whole way from Durban in 4WD High Range.

                      Knows your particularly electrical set-up - my shipping agent tried jump starting my car via my accessories battery (separated from the main ignition system as it was on a split charge system).

                      Checks your spare, wheel brace and jack - my wheel brace was stolen and my driver had to drive 60k's on a flat tyre to reach the next service station thereby totaly !!!!ing up my tyre.

                      Checks lights etc - if he has to drive at night make sure he rests regularly, driving on unlit/poorly lit unsealed roads at night is really tiring. 1800k's is a long way in Africa especially if you have plenty of border posts.

                      Check horn - in Zim the "bush" police make extra money for finding bits of your car that don't work and fining you on the spot for them - particularly prevalent on a Friday.

                      I told my driver to do 60-80 km all the way - slow but sure especially as I doubt your truck is insured between the docks and delivery to you - mine wasn't.

                      I found a local supplier, GUD, who make all the filters you need and I'll send the serial numbers etc if you want.

                      Howling Moon do great tents, better than Eezi-Awn as they have thicker mattresses, better material and were cheaper. The Hannibal IMPI looks interested but haven't seen one "in the flesh".

                      Any other Q.s - blast away!
                      @africa4x4cafe
                      [url]www.africa4x4cafe.com[/url]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Did I mention that my battery was flat when the vehicle arrived and had to be replaced at the dockside?
                        @africa4x4cafe
                        [url]www.africa4x4cafe.com[/url]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wow, so much advice thanks guys.

                          Enzo, how much effort was it to fit the swing wheel carrier to your car and how much did it cost you? unfortunately, the downside on my car is that it doesnt have the rear mounted spare....

                          Cheers
                          Nick
                          PS: ever thought of putting on of these air vents on the hood to improve air flow?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Good advice costs nothing but bad advice can cost you dearly...always think about the "worst case scenario" in Africa as the AA ain't "a phone call away" and so you need to be relatively self sufficient or to know just enough to be able to get to the next big town.

                            Swing out carrier - cost? Nothing to buy. I swopped it for the "undercarriage wind down type" with Lucky from the forum.

                            To fit it - easy, although at one point you'll need a second pair of hands for about 10 minutes. The only thing I had to pay for was for a bush mechanic to cut the steel reinforcing plates to size for me.

                            One thing though: there are two plastic "covers" that cover the bolts etc on the top and bottom hinges but I've "lost" the top one, so if anyone has one spare I'd appreciate it if you dropped me a line.
                            @africa4x4cafe
                            [url]www.africa4x4cafe.com[/url]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hhm, how did you reinforce the the attachment points of the carrier? And how did you solve the thing with the number plate and the reversing lights?
                              I have seen a very bad conversion here, and there were some pretty bad cracks in the body where the carrier was bolted in.

                              True about the self-sufficiency. Btw, any plans to come up to Rwanda? I could buy your roof top tent off you - I bet they are impossible to find here.

                              Cheers
                              Nick

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