Since we had approval granted from Council to renovate and extend the factory recently, we’ve been busy obtaining quotations from builders, certifiers, various consultants and so forth to undertake various works.
In the meantime, we’ve managed to complete the external painting of the building; complete the renovations in the customer waiting area; and are currently in the process of having a front counter custom built for the reception area at the front office, as well as a customer counter at the factory entrance.
We’re planning on having these minor works complete within the next few months, with the bigger works planned to take place later in the year. We’re anticipating that these will take place with minimal disruption to our services during that time.
Aluminium Radiator and Heater Cores
Lightweight aluminium radiator and heater cores offer big weight and efficiency advantages. However, the coolant that is meant to protect them can start eating them away after two years which is why the coolant change intervals are as important as oil changes. For certain model years, even the best cars had unreinforced plastic hose connectors attached to these aluminium radiators and heater cores which harden with heat and age then snap off.
While exchange units are reasonably priced, accessing a heater core is a nightmare job on any car. In too many cases, owners are cooking their engines after these plastic connectors fail because the temperature gauge no longer works once the coolant escapes.
You may have heard the advice that if you car is overheating, open all the windows and run the heater with the fan going at full blast. This is because the heating system is actually a secondary cooling system that mirrors the main cooling system on your car.
The heater core, which is located in the dashboard of your car, is really a small radiator. The heater fan blows air through the heater core and into the passenger compartment of your car.
The heater core draws its hot coolant from the cylinder head and returns it to the pump – so the heater works regardless of whether the thermostat is open or closed.
A radiator is a type of heat exchanger. It is designed to transfer heat from the hot coolant that flows through it to the air blown through it by the fan.
Most modern cars use aluminum radiators. These radiators are made by brazing thin aluminum fins to flattened aluminum tubes. The coolant flows from the inlet to the outlet through many tubes mounted in a parallel arrangement. The fins conduct the heat from the tubes and transfer it to the air flowing through the radiator.
The tubes sometimes have a type of fin inserted into them called a turbulator, which increases the turbulence of the fluid flowing through the tubes. If the fluid flowed very smoothly through the tubes, only the fluid actually touching the tubes would be cooled directly. The amount of heat transferred to the tubes from the fluid running through them depends on the difference in temperature between the tube and the fluid touching it. So if the fluid that is in contact with the tube cools down quickly, less heat will be transferred. By creating turbulence inside the tube, all of the fluid mixes together, keeping the temperature of the fluid touching the tubes up so that more heat can be extracted, and all of the fluid inside the tube is used effectively.
Radiators usually have a tank on each side, and inside the tank is a transmission cooler. The transmission cooler is like a radiator within a radiator, except instead of exchanging heat with the air, the oil exchanges heat with the coolant in the radiator.
Natrad are Australia’s most trusted cooling specialists, with over 80 stores nationwide. Natrad is the most recognised and iconic brand in cooling systems. We are the market leader in radiator and air conditioning repairs. Natrad expertly services retail, trade and large industrial accounts. In addition we are supported and owned by Australia’s premier radiator manufacturer whose product is synonymous with exceptional quality.
Natrad has a proud history which dates back over 80 years.
Natra originally began as Motor Radiators way back in 1922 as a well-respected manufacturer and supplier of original equipment, to some of the automotive industry’s biggest names including Holden, Ford and Kenworth.
The business grew considerably, employing hundreds of staff at its manufacturing operations in Noble Park, Victoria. Due to this growth the business then became known as “National Radiators”.
The “Natrad” Franchise model commenced in 1984, as an efficient supply chain to service both retail aftermarket and trade customers alike.
Today Natrad have the largest range of sourced radiator products with 10 major warehouses located around the country. The extension of the Natrad Heavy Duty Specialist Group, which we are proud to be part of, is a recent addition to the Natrad brand, addressing the need for highly skilled cooling technicians for heavy industry cooling including trucking, mining, agricultural and large transport fleets.
Natrad will only use quality, trusted products on your equipment so you’ll have peace of mind that you’re getting the best. Natrad stand by their specialist service, ability to access a wide range of product and get the job done right. We specialise in exclusive access to OE and aftermarket radiators and air conditioning backed by product warranty.
Avoid extra costs of radiator corrosion, repairs and replacements by understanding the common cause for these problems is incorrect coolant usage.
Replenishing your radiator with only water dilutes the coolant concentrate and reduces its effectiveness in fighting corrosion. If a problem within your system is not diagnosed properly and fixed, this leads to blockages and/or total radiator failure.
Not all radiators are what they seem. Some suppliers use very cheap alternatives that are prone to failure, damage your car’s engine and cost you more in the long run with continual problems. Cheap radiators are manufactured using low quality grade raw materials and below standard engineering methods, which are imperative to the cooling system performance of your car. So make sure you are getting good overall value and your car goes the distance.
Some of our works in July
The Benetton F1
This particular car is quite famous as it was the one clocking fastest time in second qualifying session at Monza.
The Benetton F1 radiator
Works: Radiator recore. Raced by Gerhard Berger and in 1986 won the Mexican Grand Prix.
Berger competed in Formula One for 14 seasons, twice finishing 3rd overall in the championship. During this time, he won ten Grand Prix, achieved 48 podiums, 12 poles and 21 fastest laps (two more than his former team-mate, rival and friend Ayrton Senna.). With 210 starts he is amongst the most experienced Formula One drivers of all time. He led 33 of the 210 races he competed in and retired from 95 of them. Berger also has the unique distinction of taking Benetton’s first and last victories, with eleven years separating them.
During the 2nd Qualifying session at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Berger’s B186 was speed trapped fastest of all cars that season clocking an incredible 351.22km/h (218.23mph) while Fabi was second having been clocked at 349.85km/h (217.38mph).
Gerhard Berger (speaking in 2007) on the B186, “Rory Byrne worked with the front wing endplates so we had a kind of ground effect at some tracks. The car was like a bomb at circuits like Spa, Austria and Monza. And the power was unbelievable – even if the turbo delay was terrible. You’d open the throttle at the entry to the corner only to get the power at the exit. And if you missed it by five or 10 metres, there was nothing you could do – you just spun it. The lag was about one or two seconds. At Zetwelg, down the long straight to the Bosch Kurve, the car was throwing out 1400 bhp and just kept on pushing – you felt like you were sitting on a rocket.”
Benetton comfortably outperformed fellow-BMW users Brabham and Arrows during 1986 and won its first Grand Prix in Mexico, the penultimate race of the season. It was generally agreed that the victory was a fitting culmination to Benetton’s first season as an F1 constructor, and a vindication of the potential of the B186.
There were only ever 7 of the B186 chassis built. The current known locations of these are:
- One on display in the museum at the Mondello Park circuit in Ireland.
- One was written off by Teo Fabi during practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.
- One in Sydney, Australia rebuilt and competing in historic racing by our customer Les Wright.
- One on display at the BMW Museum in Munich.
Feature: 1927 Bugatti
The 1927 Bugatti Fuel Tank
Works: Completely dismantle and rebuild the fuel tank
There were a few types of Bugatti being made in 1927.
The Type 35 started out in 1924 as a 2-litre racecar that won numerous races in different categories and under various sets of regulations until 1931. The last version of this model was a 2.3-litre car with compressor, known as T35 TC or T35B. The T35 was the only automobile of its time that could be driven both on the road and in races.
|Year of Manufacture 1924 – 31
|Units built more than 300 (all 35 versions)
|Engine 8 cylinder in-line engine,3 valve/cylinder, overhead camshafts
|Cubic capacity/bore (cm³/mm) 199/60 x 88
|Carburettor 2 Solex
|Power (HP at revolutions/min) 90 at 5500
|Forward gears 4
|Drive Shaft Driven
|Front wheel suspension live axle, semi-elliptical springs
|Brakes Cable drum brakes
|Back wheel suspension live axle, invertedquarter–elliptical springs
|Wheel base (metres) 2.4
|Wheel track (metres) 1.2
|Tyre size 710 x 90
|Weight (kilograms) approx. 750
Bugatti Type 37A Grand Prix Car – Lot 271 Sold at $445,000
As if being a Bugatti weren’t cool enough, this is one of their legendary GP cars from the heyday of Bugatti track domination. It also happens to hold the distinction of once being a UK Speed Record-Setter. This ex-Chris Staniland car has an apparently-more-than-adequate 80hp, supercharged 1498cc single overhead camshaft inline four-cylinder engine. The Type 37 emulated the GP-winning Type 35, but was designed to be a more attainable and manageable car that could serve as a successor to Bugatti’s early “Brescia” that had made their reputation with some 2,000 units sold over its 16-year lifespan.
Although successful, the Type 37 was a bit short on performance. So in 1927 Bugatti added a version of the Roots supercharger from the Type 35. The resulting car was dubbed the Type 37A. The Type 37A was first and foremost a competition car with its magneto ignition and Bugatti’s signature aluminum wheels replacing the standard 37 wire wheels. Bugatti ended up cranking out 77 Type 37As between 1927 and 1930.
One of those is the car featured here. Bought and raced by Fairey Aviation test pilot, Chris Staniland, chassis number 37290 saw duty over four seasons, recording four outright wins and two seconds along the way. At the end of 1928, Staniland also used it to set the British Class-F 1-1/2-liter speed record for distances and times up to one hour. He managed to eclipse all but one of the records that were on the books, and which had ironically been set by a supercharged, two-liter, eight-cylinder Type 39A Grand Prix Bugatti in 1927. It even lapped Brooklands at 122.07 mph in 1929. Not bad for an 80hp four. It ended up selling at “only” $445,000 at RM auction, Scottsdale.
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