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Discussion Starter #1
Just a quick check with you guys about this - maybe save sometime from having to take bumper off and reinstall a failed item.

I stripped out my radiator and condenser when I had to replace the leaking radiator. Condenser was a mushy mess and clearly not functioning, so I didn’t reinstall or replace due to being an older car possibly with other issues.

Running without a condenser physically present would appear to result in a difficulty in reaching optimal water temperature of 90deg unless vehicle is parked and not moving? Sits at a perfect 90 and has never gone above.

If I source and fit another condenser, there is a fair chance the car will warm up more quickly and stabilise it’s coolant temperature?

What do you think ?

BTW this is a 1.9 diesel 147 that I bought for £180 so I do not have much invested in it.

Thanks 🤓
 

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I would not think it would affect the heating and cooling of the car much. After all the thermostat regulates the temperature of the water. If the radiator is cooling too efficiently the thermostat closes, so temperature rises and then it opens again to let the water cool some more.

The gauges are not always the most reliable. Not sure how the 147 varies from the 156 but I know in the 156 there are two temperature sensors. One for gauge and one for the ECU.

Many cars that did not come with A/C had the same radiators as models with A/C.
 

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Condenser won’t make any difference to engine temperature.

As above, don’t take the gauge as gospel - it is more important that the temperature is consistent (and that the heater blows hot). Diesels take age to warm up. If the engine does not reach temperature after a few miles, suspect the thermostat.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks to both for your swift and helpful replies.🙂

I had been pondering most of the points raised esp that not all 147’s will have had aircon and a different radiator is highly unlikely for non aircon models. I decided that the radiator looks very vulnerable to stone chips etc without a condenser in front of it, so my next move will be to fit a better but still scrap condenser. Shame that two of the bolts sheared in the plastic radiator. I have a thermostat from a previous Alfa which I can swap in as a second option. Pretty sure it needs a ‘stat now though.

Heading out for a 160 mile each way run down the M6 to Chester today - might free up thermostat. Hopefully will not be any serious problems 🤓.
Think my gauge will be accurate to an extent. Sits at 90deg whenever car is not moving and fluctuates between 80 and 90 when going along.

Water pump brand new as well as timing belt.
 

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As the 147 (& GT) have the CanBus wiring system, the temperature gauge should be rock steady at 90 unlike 156 fluctuating reading.

Why not cut most of the core from your current condenser and use it as a frame to mount protective fine mesh on? Lighter and cheaper than a condenser.
 

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Another thing to consider - are you intending to use the aircon in the future? Reading between your lines it points to not...

If the aircon system is left to open air the dryer absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and goes rock solid. Leaving your system open to air and/or fitting a second hand condenser/dryer, most likely will have a solid dryer. Regassing and running WILL burst the weakest point with a 'blocked' aircon circuit. After a numpty garage did this on my car - I can tell you that you get a hell of a loud bang! fortunately for me it was a rubber pipe.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
As the 147 (& GT) have the CanBus wiring system, the temperature gauge should be rock steady at 90 unlike 156 fluctuating reading.

Why not cut most of the core from your current condenser and use it as a frame to mount protective fine mesh on? Lighter and cheaper than a condenser.
Thanks for responding 🙂. I actually have another condenser mounted on another dead 147. Just didn’t have the two or three hours I’d need before heading out on the M6 today. Gauge was very busy ranging from 75 to nearly 90 going up Shap summit. Will happily fit another thermostat as pretty convinced that is where the trouble lies. Happy with the computer calculation of 53.8 mpg esp having climbed Shap and Crooklands. This with roofbars and a small empty camping trailer one way. So running cold is not killing the fuel consumption.
I will delay the thermostat job until I have a condenser refitted just so I can see if it changes anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Another thing to consider - are you intending to use the aircon in the future? Reading between your lines it points to not...

If the aircon system is left to open air the dryer absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and goes rock solid. Leaving your system open to air and/or fitting a second hand condenser/dryer, most likely will have a solid dryer. Regassing and running WILL burst the weakest point with a 'blocked' aircon circuit. After a numpty garage did this on my car - I can tell you that you get a hell of a loud bang! fortunately for me it was a rubber pipe.
Yes, I think a shorter ancillary belt is in my imminent future - although it was hot enough today to ponder a refurb of the entire aircon system. I would replace condenser and air dryer with new as first step. Car certainly went well enough today to warrant it BUT I have two Q2’s sitting idle and one of them is a better bet as a project car.
 

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I very rarely use AC to keep myself cool, preffering to open windows (unless it is unbearably hot). But I still think it is an important 'safety feature' well worth having (in working order). I'd use AC more often in cold / humid conditions than in hot, to quickly demist the windscreen. Beats repeatedly wiping it with a cloth, especially if, as often happens, the screen mists up when on the move. Of course the heater function will demist, but it takes significantly longer, especially if the coolant isn't yet up to temperature. Not being able to at all times clearly see where you are going isn't the best thing...

Regards,
John.
 

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Your thermostat is sticking part open. That's the typical failure mode on these cars, rather than sticking closed and cooking the head gasket. Needs changing before it gets worse. It will be causing rich running and wasting fuel.
 

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As above change stat and all will be good again, another month or so when using heaters etc the Running temp will be far too cool.
If you have no intention of having air con running again I wouldn’t bother fitting a condenser.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hehe, as recommended above, I fitted a new thermostat today. The needle now sits steady at the 90 deg. spot. I feel much happier.

Had a hell of a job fitting the thermostat as the 1.9 8v diesel has the exhaust gas cooler bolted in front of the thermostat. Finding the fully concealed bolts and getting eg cooler out of the way was a much bigger job than replacing thermostat alone. I think the 16v diesel is much easier in this regard.

Thanks again for all the helpful and fully relevant inputs 🤓

Ian
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Is there much history of new replacement thermostats splitting apart and emptying the coolant onto the road ? My new one has done just that - and possibly killed off the remaining life of this auld girl. For various reasons I wired the thermostat ‘shut’ again with fencing wire and drove it 100 miles home. Old thermostat re fitted and I await the likelihood of a warped cylinder head. 🤓
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This one was supplied in a box marked Aquatex but the thermostat is unbranded. Paid somewhere in the high forties for it at a respectable motor factor.
 
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