Mizu radiator install - Subaru WRX Forum
 
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#1 Old 07-26-2011, 06:53 PM
 
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Mizu radiator install

Through the generosity of one of our official site vendors, I was chosen to do this install write-up on the Mizu racing radiator 01-03 MT owner needed for Mizu install This endeavor wasn't without problems, however Sparkplugs.com proved to be a very service oriented seller, something that speaks volumes to me and who I choose to support.

The first radiator that was shipped to me, along with Mizu's fans and shroud set-up had some immediate fitment issues, both with their fans and the stock fans. Copied below are some of our correspondence regarding the issues:
Originally Posted by wagonracer
My overflow reservoir is in it's stock location. I'll check the shroud again to verify that it doesn't have mounting points for that. I believe the increased size of the fans will also prevent compatibility.

As I mentioned, that is a necessary part of the system as the higher pressure cap (above the turbo reservoir) allows coolant into the overflow with expansion, then draws it back in under (cooling) contraction to prevent air pockets in the system.

I'll let you know when I look everything over again. I'll do that soon, so if it looks feasible to make the overflow, I can request an exchange on the shroud. If not, I would suggest that the manufacture re-engineer a solution such as an overflow bottle that replaces the stock one.

I appreciate your quick replies and willingness to accommodate. I agree that avoiding disappointment is important. Customer satisfaction is the key to success in any business.

Best, Cullen

So are the mounts on the radiator off at all? Do we need to exchange that or is it cool? Not good, see details below

I'm going to relay the shroud fitment to Mizu - is the radiator thicker than the OE radiator and pushes into the regular fan space? can't tell until full install Or was the original setup just 1 OE fan on the opposite side of the reservoir? no, two fans + bottle They also have various size fans and universal fan mounts, so that could be an option. If you have the ability to easily snap a picture of the area where the issue is and forward it to me edit


Thanks!
I answered a couple of questions in red above

The post mounts on the top measure correctly and the height measures for a decent fit as well. I didn't go far enough to measure the bottom posts, and think that it will be impossible to tell until actually placing it in the vehicle, as the relationship between the top/bottom posts will have to be correct.

I honestly have little reason to think that they will be based on what I checked for the important fan and reservoir fitment. I've attached a link to photos so you can see what I found.

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The mounting points for the MIZU fans are off as mentioned earlier, and in removing my left side fan (the one that the reservoir bolts to) to check fitment, I found that to be off enough to require modification.

I would not feel comfortable drilling new holes in the stock plastic fan shrouds as there really isn't enough material there for it to retain strength. I like most, have no way of removing and re-welding the tabs and threaded bungs on the radiator itself.

Unfortunately I've found enough issues that I would return the product if I had been a paying customer. I can buffer that comment a little, in that if the rad was comparably priced to some of the E-bay no names ($80-110) I would expect to have some issues. What is your retail on these items ? I'm willing to look at another radiator if it will assist you.

I don't have any need to evaluate the fan shroud any further, as it definitely isn't constructed to accomodate the stock or any other reservoir.

A couple of other notes, now that I've looked things over more closely, the small inlet/outlet nipple (right side) for the turbo coolant bleed line is bent out of round. Also the neck for the cap on the rad itself has an overflow nipple. That isn't necessary and can actually cause problems if used, since it is not a "high point" in the cooling system, and could lead to air pockets during contraction. It would need to be removed or plugged securely to avoid this.

The average consumer/amateur modder would not likely be aware of how the system works and if installed without the reservoir, and with overflow hoses routed incorrectly this product could actually lead to cooling issues.

One last thing, upon unwrapping the rad completely for the first time, I immediately noticed how not exactly square it is. One side has a distinct curve to it. When you first contacted me, I went to a speed shop here in Denver that advertises MIZU products and looked at one made for a Mitsubishi application. It was kind of parralel-o-gram shaped

I would really evaluate whether I would want my company to distribute MIZU products until they show some serious signs of improvement with quality control. That is unless the price is low enough to justify a few headaches along the way.

BTW, I'm not a name brand snob at all when it comes to parts that I have used along the way, either with this car or my previous W2W race car. I have purchased lots of E-bay, no name parts in the past, something that a lot of this forum's members frown on.

Thanks for appreciating my honesty

Anyhow, They sent me another rad, which I found also to be "not rectangular" which is the cause of the fitment issues. Here is more correspondence.
Re: radiator install


I opened up the second radiator today, thanks. It is now clear to me where the fitment issues stem from. This one is even more crooked than the first, meaning that the sides are not at 90 degree angles with the tanks. It's still here at the shop (where it was shipped) and we have fan shrouds handy here. The mounting points are off exactly in the direction that the radiator has become distorted into a parallelogram. I don't have a camera here to shoot you a pic of this one and I packed it back in it's shipping boxes already.

I think for me to move forward with doing an install, it would make more sense to use the first one shipped, and find a technique to straighten the rad back into a rectangle. With that done, the fan mounting points should line up properly. The reason I suggest doing it with the first rad, is that it is less distorted than the second.

It's ironic that this looks like the real problem with the product as I had mentioned looking at one of Mizu's rads at a shop here in Denver and noticed its shape. I believe this to be the area that they need to improve their quality control. It could even be that they are being damaged (bent out of shape) simply by how they are being stored (with weight causing the distortion)

With all that said, knowing that the price point is where it is, I would again suggest trying to get this corrected before I would feel strongly about offering the products, moving forward. How have sales gone for you so far with Mizu rads ? Are you getting similar feedback from your costumers ?

Thanks, Cullen

Boy, talk about the short end of the stick. I'm so sorry man.
To date we've shipped out 33 radiators (combined free product and sales to customers). Aside from your experience, we've only had 2 defects.

We are going to talk with Mizu about their packaging. The custom molded insulation is great, but wherever they are purchasing/storing their cardboard is too humid and by the time it gets to us its soft. Not sure how they're shipped, but in Mizu's warehouse and ours, they are stocked on top of each other (flat) and not upright on the top/bottom or sides.

I'm sure the first set we shipped probably was not shipped properly. We're adjusting our packing/shipping procedures on the product now that we've had 1 UPS damage that we know about. Did this second shipment have an additional outer carton, edge supports or any additional protection?
Yes, the packing for shipment has been good in both cases, almost overkill. They are definitely not getting damaged in shipping. Having only seen three Mizu rads in person, and all three having been crooked, I still guess that the problem would be in how they are being stored prior to boxing.

Hey Cullen - could you please do me a favor and measure the mount location in your engine bay? (distance between the two bottom mounts and distance between the two top mounts) We're trying to walk back through and confirm fitment here.

I recall measuring the top mounting points and they were dead on, however I don't remember the distance. I'll get both measurements for you tomorrow while at the shop.

Too bad I wasn't able to do the install yesterday at the track ( Pikes Peak International) it would have been perfect with ambient temps in the mid-90s and track temps around 120+. I shared the car with a student and it ran 10 sessions total (around 300 miles) The gauge was creeping up some when I drove (all out !) and we were definitely taxing the stock cooling system. I think an open track event at High Plains Raceway should serve the same purpose well, and there are a few dates coming up soon that could work.

I will look at options for squeezing one of the rads back into a rectangle this week. We have a good choice of tools to make that happen. Since I already have the shipping labels for the first one and the fans, I'll get those sent back and "massage" the one at the shop back into shape. I'll snap pics

Got the measurements and it looks like fitment at the mounting posts will be fine. We "squared up" the second rad at the shop today so the stock fans will now fit. I didn't get any pictures before, but will when I do the install. The sides of the core are still curved noticeably.

Looks like Fri 7/22 is my best opportunity to do the install at a track (High Plains Raceway) so I can get temps off of the MIZU and stock.

So, the project moves forward......

Cullen
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#2 Old 07-26-2011, 07:11 PM
 
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So off to High Plains Raceway I go with the "squared up" radiator, tools and everything needed to do the install. That's when things got really interesting. On my second lap, trying to drive the snot out of the car and raise up the operating temps, I step on the brake for the last turn sequence on the track. It's called the "prairie cork screw" and is designed to emulate the famed cork screw at Laguna Seca. The car slows, then I hear a pop, and the pedal goes to the floor. I have it slowed down but know I won't make the turn so I drive straight off into the dirt, across the track (twice) and into the paddock.

I find that my right front brake line (a 5 yr old steel braided one from Earls) has blown a hole in itself, spewing brake fluid all over the inside of the fender well, and rendering the car unable to stop. My chances of gathering temp data have just gone right out the window. I check around the paddock to discover that even the well funded teams with big race car haulers don't carry spare brake lines, and the nearest dealership that has one is 500 miles away. An improvised band-aid to get the car home is in order, so I cut the line, insert screw and band clamp it, hoping it can withstand the high hydraulic pressure of a brake system. I take the car out on the nearby highway (nearly no traffic) and test it. I will make it home.

Here's the ugly band-aid
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Well, I've been promising to get this radiator installed for a few weeks, and decide that it would be best use of my time even though I won't be able to provide any useful temp figures, comparing the Mizu rad to stock. Installing the rad proves to be pretty uneventful.

Cullen
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#3 Old 07-26-2011, 07:26 PM
 
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Pulling the stock rad is just a matter of loosening hose clamps, draining coolant from the lower hose, unbolting the two 12mm that hold the upper brackets, unplugging the fans, removing the top hoses (pass. side) and lifting the whole thing out, fans and all. You just have to tilt it a little to clear the power steering suction hose.

Once out, transfer the fans, metal bleed pipe and overflow reservoir to the new rad (all 10mm bolts). Since MY02 never had a cap on the radiator, I purchased the bleed pipe and correct overflow hoses for the '04 WRX to accommodate the second cap. I also tossed the supplied cap and replaced it with a 137Kpa unit from Subaru (the correct one for the application)

With a little tilt, the new rad went in smoothly. Fitment on the bottom posts was perfect and the height of the Mizu works well with the top brackets. I just flipped the rubber inserts upside down so they would mount a little more flush. Reinstalled the hoses, and filled it up. Both the upper and lower hoses had to be shortened about 3/4" at the rad side to avoid rubbing or kinking.

The filling method I have success with is using a funnel that fits on the coolant reservoir above the turbo and filling steadily until it won't take any more. Start the engine let it idle while keeping the funnel full. The engine will continue drawing in coolant until it reaches operating temp. at which time a few revs will release some bubbles back through the funnel. After revving a few times I use the throttle to draw the funnel empty (down into the reservoir) and cap it while holding the revs up. Pour a little into the overflow bottle, and you're done. Thanks to my buddy ToeKutter for the pics

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Cullen
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#4 Old 07-26-2011, 07:28 PM
 
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Cullen
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#5 Old 07-26-2011, 07:29 PM
 
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Cullen
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#6 Old 07-26-2011, 07:41 PM
 
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So.....how's the radiator work you ask.....

My buddy spun a rod bearing in his recently acquired Porsche 944spec race car (with some help from my right foot) and needed to get the car home. I had brakes at only three corners, as you might recall, so what could work better ?

I towed him approx 55 miles back home, while his car fulfilled braking functions and mine provided power. The extra strain of towing 2650# in 85-90 degree temps never taxed the cooling system, and we made it home with no issues. After a couple well deserved adult beverages, I scavenged the brake line I needed and restored stopping power to the car the next morning.

I have been driving the car everyday in fairly hot conditions and haven't had the temp gauge budge from the usual spot. I'd say despite all the obstacles, the install was a success.

Thanks again to Sparkplugs.com for being so accommodating and service oriented. I believe they will get the damage issues on the rads worked out with Mizu, and will be able to sell a good quality radiator.

Cullen
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#7 Old 08-18-2011, 08:46 PM
 
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Thought it was time for an update (plus very few saw this thread in the first place) No issues whatsoever. The heat of the summer and blasting around the hills of New England have not budged my temp gauge out of normal operating range. Guess I got everything tight and bled correctly ! The rad works great......

Cullen
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