Engine performance mods add more speed and make your vehicle accelerate quicker. It’s fantastic and exciting, but the extra performance comes with one major downfall; engine heat. Vehicles tend to perform sluggish and lose power when they overheat. When there's too much heat, parts also become more vulnerable which can cause them to warp and even break. We know that’s not exciting to hear, but there are a number of ways to prevent this like changing your oil cooler, adjusting your jets and even looking at using different oil.
Take a big bore cylinder for example an engine performance mod that would require more cooling after it's installed. A big bore gives your vehicle enhanced performance through power. More specifically, “when you increase the cylinder’s bore you increase the surface area on top of the piston…” which “… spreads the fuel/air mixtures workload and produces more power…” (Motocross Action Magazine). Now that we have an example, let's explore the different ways to keep the engine cooled after it’s installed.
Here's an example of a Big Bore Kit that fits Honda TRX400EX & XR400R
The first way you can improve your vehicle’s cooling is by changing the oil cooler. An oil cooler is a type of radiator already inside your vehicle if its liquid cooled. It helps cool surplus engine heat, but after new mods are installed the stock version might not be enough. If you're a one and done kind of person, a good fan placed in the oil cooler can do the trick. If you're looking to add tons of different mods then you might want to replace it entirely with a bigger version or even install two.
Another way you can help cool your engine is rejetting. After an engine performance mod is added, your engine will likely run lean. Running lean means your air-to-fuel balance is off and too much air is coming in and too little fuel is forcing the engine to work harder. This requires changing out the jets in the carburetor and making sure it has access to all the fuel it needs to properly power the new and improved vehicle.
Now if you finish that and you’re still having problems cooling your vehicle, can we suggest you make the change from regular oil to synthetic? Synthetic oil as the name suggests, is a lubricant consisting of chemical compounds made artificially and has been proven to handle the high temperatures coming from performance parts that would otherwise break down regular oil. It’s not a cure-all, but it certainly makes a difference. Synthetic oil is more expensive, that's true, but it also has a number of advantages to make it worth your while if you’re still on the fence.
- Synthetic oil flows easier in cold weather and is highly resistant to viscosity breakdown (the ability of the oil to flow easily in all temps) from heat, friction and chemical contaminants. Synthetic oil also better lubricates the engine in very cold weather, meaning if your engine is having trouble starting, synthetic oil can help.
- You don't need to change synthetic oil as often as regular oil.
- With less oil changes you'll be helping out nature by lowering the amount of oil you dispose and let’s be honest we all use nature a ton so it's good to do what you can to keep it around.
- Synthetic oil will increase an engine’s life because it protects against crud forming in engine hot spots and burns off less oil with reduced clogging in oil passageways, limiting potential damage.
We hope these tips help overcome engine heat and make your new mods work how you want them to. If you have any other tips or tricks to keep an engine cool please share them in the comments below.
- The Ins and Outs of Big Bore Engines.http://motocrossactionmag.com/news/mxa-wrench-tech-the-ins-and-outs-of-big-bore-engines
- Big Bore Cylinder Kits Versus Standard Cylinder Kits, http://partdiscounter.com/blog/big-bore-cylinder-v...
- A Simple Guide to Rejetting Your Carb, http://www.motosport.com/blog/a-simple-guide-to-jetting-your-carb
- Oil Breakdown – Synthetic vs Petroleum, http://atvillustrated.com/content/oil-breakdown-synthetic-vs-petroleum
- Benefits of Synthetic Oil,http://www.elf.com/en/advice-corner/synthetic-oil-faq/benefits-of-synthetic-oil.html