Engine swaps or modifications are amongst the top few in the Mini owners list of desires for their car. Little thought or consideration is given to the cooling system when either of these up-grades is carried out. Largely because very few understand just what the cooling system does and how it does it, and that shortfalls in compatibility between the cooling systems capability and the power output of the engine can spell disaster for the new engine. All this is obviously exaggerated in the case of racing engines. Questions along these lines are popular - in most cases too late to be of use, so a little explanation should go a long way...
Cooling system functions
The internal combustion engine as used in cars is not particularly efficient. Burning a fuel/air mixture ... continue reading
The introduction of the Cooper S proved to be a testing time for the Mini's systems, but conveniently provide a guideline as to what the standard cooling system was capable of - that used on the 'S' was marginal to say the least! It wasn't uncommon for many S's to spew water from their overflow pipes when ever it was doing anything other than a steady 70 miles an hour, over-heating eventu... continue reading
In the past, fitting an oil cooler was mandatory once an engine had been even slightly uprated. The main cause for this was the quality of Motor Oils available at that time. If the oil temperatures exceeded a specific point, then engine failure was almost guaranteed. Modern motors oils are generally of a much higher quality, especially the recognized ‘names’ and have far superior h... continue reading
The cooling system in the Mini has used the same basic style radiator since it's begining in 1959 up until the introduction of the twin point injected cars when the radiator was moved to the front of the car. The original Mini was powered by an 850cc engine and designed for the little back roads of the UK. The cooling systems demands were nominal. As engine capacity and performan... continue reading