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Author Topic: Rad shutters manual  (Read 3026 times)
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Posts: 82

« on: 07 April, 2010, 05:11:13 PM »

During restoration of my S1 Aprilia I had decided to discard the wax-bulb thermostatic rad shutters mechanism, on the possibly erroneous grounds that after 70 years I doubted the effective operation of the wax.

Having done that, it has taken me until now to try and rig up a manual operating system for the shutters. I have been running with the shutters open and even on the hottest days I have not been able to reach 130 degrees F which is the minimum start-point registered on my carefully concealed (new) water temp gauge.

I had been given inspiration by Mike Benwell's neat post-vintage motor-bike throttle lever and cable arrangement on his Aprilia.

Yesterday, I assembled the bits  -  a pedal-bike brake cable inner & outer (1 courtesy Halfords 'Discontinued Lines Bargain' shelf) and a spare Aprilia choke cable lever mechanism that I had left over. The idea was not to drill any new holes in the engine bulkhead, get a progressive opening of the shutters, and install the pendant lever unobtrusively under the dash on the right of the hand-throttle/choke levers.

I disassembled the radiator grille to check the full and free operation of the shutters which, after a bit of fettling, seemed to be OK. Re-fitting the pieces together with each of the three pieces/six screw hole eager to misalign itself was a four-armed job, made longer by only having two arms.

I dummied up the grille and the cable to check out the length required and led the cable through a drilled out long narrow grease nipple installed in a spare bulkhead hole just to the left of the ident. plate on the o/s. Finding an accessible place to locate the lever and drill the floor of the instrument panel bulkhead took time, the access to placing the bolt in the hole drilled being via a very small aperture in the panel bulkhead : get it wrong and you could lose bolts and spanners to rattle unretrieved in an inaccessible part of the body.

Finally, after contortions, all installed. I think the return spring I installed on the rad-shutters is too weak, with the result that I can only get all-open or all-shut but without a graduated control in between. I had worried that the (brake) cable nipple would jump out of its locator on top of the shutters, but so far that seems OK.

As a final footnote, I drove around yesterday with the shutters shut for a fair time and still could not get a temp registered on the water-temp gauge  -  I now suspect that the gauge is faulty.

I would be interested to hear whether other Aprilia owners have gone down this route and what kind of solution you adopted ?
Sliding Pillar
Permanent resident
Posts: 1631

« Reply #1 on: 07 April, 2010, 05:25:27 PM »

I had a similar arrangement on my Aprilia, the operating handle was a lawnmower throttle control mounted horizontally, it all seemed to work OK, but as I didn't have a temperature gauge it was more guess work and looking at the oil pressure gauge!

1955 Aurelia
1961 Lamborghini
Permanent resident
Posts: 4257

« Reply #2 on: 08 April, 2010, 07:46:26 AM »

This is a great little gizzmo for these sorts of games - and much else besides.


David Laver, Lewisham.
Permanent resident
Posts: 6061

« Reply #3 on: 08 April, 2010, 09:39:39 AM »

Not a bad price either, I bought something similar from Maplins.

8227 Cool

Own 1966 Fulvia 2C Berlina since 1997, back on road 11-1999.Known as "Fay"
2006 Renault Megane 1 5 Dci Sports Tourer
Dedra Technical Adviser
Permanent resident
Posts: 1339

« Reply #4 on: 12 April, 2010, 04:30:24 PM »

I have done similar.   With a new radiator, my car runs pretty cool and only got up to temperature in town with the shutters shut, needing them opened only in a traffic jam (in winter).  Dip the end of the gauge in boiling water.


David Wheeler.  Lambdas, Aprilia, Fulvia Sport.(formerly Appia and Thema as well).
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