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M20 Radiator Tuck?


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Has any ever tried tucking their radiator under the upper front valance to save cutting it? See my pics, is there any reason this wont work?


I have essentially cut so that the radiator fits leaning forwards right up against the bonnet mounting supports. Probably gains about 2 inches in the middle area of the radiator.


I would cut a hole in the top of the valance so I can fill the radiator. 


There are obvious downsides...


1) Removing the radiator once the engine is in.....?

2) Installing the M20 block with the valance still in place (much less space)


Anything else I'm missing?


The obvious upside is the valance stays which makes the whole install look nicer (or would do once cleaned up and painted)







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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

OK, so I am feeling rather smug as I feel I have proved my idea and the doubters wrong.


Originally I bought the above pictured radiator with the idea of cutting the plenum as normal. but as I decided to tuck a radiator underneath I couldn't use one with an incorporated expansion tank. So I got a new mk1 scirocco radiator and a pusher fan.I fabbed up some brackes and mounted it as pictured:






I then installed my M20 with the radiator in place, believing that once the engine was in the radiator couldn't be removed. Such was the tightness of the fit, and the fact I had the power steering crank pulley fitted even though I dont need it (duh!) I bent some fins on the radiator on installation, I didnt hole it though so it appears to be fine, anyway... this is besides the point. The point is that I then realised once the engine was on its mounts that I could easily get the radiator out again as the crank sits just below the radiator. This means I could have installed the rad AFTER the engine and saved the damage. After I installed the cylinder head I further realised that I could still easily get the rad out between the top plenum and the cam pulley. Look at the the pictures below, the crank sits below the radiator and the cam pulley has plenty of clearance to the plenum, only the water pump is in the way. I still have a 3/4 inch gap from the crank bolt to the bottom of the rad and a 1 1/4 inch gap from the waterpump to the rad.









The only things I think I will have to remove to get the radiator in and out is:


1) the water pump (not an issue as the coolant will be drained anyway)

2) coolant pipes obviously

3) probably the distributor cap and leads etc


the key thing is that i won't have to pull the engine, take it off its mounts, strip out the timing belt and gears or anything like that.


I for one think this is by far the best compromise for installing an M20 between hacking out the whole front plenum and converting to electric water pumps and moving alternators and all those involved mods.



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