A Kenne Bell front-mount intercooler was installed, boost was bumped from 14 to 17 psi and 40 lb/hr injectors were added to our Project Black Jack GN. These mods conspired to stress the cooling system. Freeway cruising would see temps of 80 to 85 Celsius, or about 180 Fahrenheit. After playing with a turbocharged IS300, temps climbed to between 95 and 100 Celsius, or 203 to 212 Fahrenheit. It wasn't all that hot out so clearly there were issues.

An all-out attack was unleashed on the Buick; it was a divide-and-conquer mission. The plan was to maximize radiator effectiveness by going to a four-row unit with no internal oil or tranny coolers. The radiator was 100 percent engine cooling with the oil coolers split to stand-alone units. C&R took delivery of a stock GN radiator and constructed a matching four-row unit that features more rows and much more efficient fins to further enhance its cooling capabilities. The C&R unit dropped in with the only modification made to the top plate.

In placing the oil and tranny coolers, the challenge was finding spots with good flow that were not too low,where the coolers could be damaged by debris. The consequences of such damage could be catastrophic engine failure. There was only one viable position that provided flow and did not further block the radiator. Flex-A-Lite came to the rescue with a dual-purpose unit that combined two coolers in one unit. While the unit is not in a direct stream of air, the flow it does get is enough to get the job done as the open fin design of the cooler needs minimal flow to function properly.

The last volley was a fan upgrade and we wanted a fan that could suck a pedestrian through the grille at stoplights. Flex-A-Lite had it covered with its Black Magic 165, a puller that flows a crazy 2800 cfm. Modern electric fans are quite high-tech as evidenced by the 165's adjustable thermostat control and A/C cut-off that blends seamlessly with today's ECUs.

The results were well worth the effort; freeway cruising temperatures are in the 158 degree F range, and with boost, the gauge slowly rises to the 190 degree F range but no further. We expect to see these numbers increase slightly when we upgrade from our stock turbo set up and put more of the 40 lb/hr injectors' capacity to use.

Engine cooling is important but in factory turbo and especially turbo conversion applications cooling upgrades can be critical to the driveability of the vehicle. So when you are laying the groundwork for a project build-up, along with the often-overlooked brake upgrade, consider the effects your proposed mods will have on the cooling system.

It's hard work generating big power. Ensure you can flex those muscles 24/7 in the hottest of heat waves by properly addressing cooling system performance.

70 158
80 176
85 185
90 196
95 203
100 212
4879 E. La Palma Ave. Ste. 206
CA  92807
286-A Gasoline Alley
IN  46222
Setrab Oil Coolers SPAL
GReddy Performance Products
9 Vanderbilt
CA  92618
B&M Racing & Performance
9142 Independence Ave.
CA  91311
Earl's Performance Plumbing
Long Beach
Flex-a-lite Consolidated
7213 45th St., Unit E
WA  98424
2605 E. Cedar St.
CA  91761
Goodridge USA, Inc.
Griffin Radiator
100 Hurricane Creek Rd.
SC  29673
Ron Davis Racing Products
Stewart Components