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Tkart magazine

Tech Focus | New Line presents the horizontal radiator

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23 February 2016
From vertical, slightly askew, to “lying down”: this is how New Line is revolutionising radiators for karts in order to bring a number of important benefits.

It’s a bold and smart idea, and, in its field, it’s a revolution. It’s being presented by New Line, the Maranello company specialised in manufacturing radiators for karts, quads and other applications, and everything related to their components: after years in which kart radiators have been positioned vertically, albeit with some inclination toward the rear, there is now a radiator in a horizontal position.

It was not easy for New Line to embark on such a revolutionary project, for which it a high level of know-how regarding the functioning of radiators and water and air flows is essential. However, the result is a product that will leave its mark. The aerodynamic advantages of a radiator placed horizontally are considerable, both from the point of view of penetration, in regard to the management of air flows for cooling the most critical parts of a kart.
With a sunny day and temperatures of 13°C, TKart carried out a track test (using a kart with a Parolin chassis and TM KZ engine) with the support of Greyhound, a manufacturer of seats and composite components for karts which collaborated with New Line to achieve the air conveyor for the new radiator. Everything went smoothly, with no engine cooling problem. The average temperature of the water in the cooling circuit was 47°C.

New-Line’s history comes from an encounter between the driver Marco Malverti with Alberto Frigieri and Massimo Benedetti, Ferrari workers who are down to earth with everyone. With the advent of Kart water based engines, these three men realised the need for a radiator to cool the high temperatures of the engine, and they decided to build it "in house". The first products were not New-Line brands, but the needs of kart racers looking for a functional and well-designed tool quickly transformed their activities, leading to the creation, in 1998, of New-Line Racing. About 50 units per year were manufactured at that time; about 1,000 units are now manufactured for karts and the same amount for quad and customised radiators, with a faster manufacturing lead time, thanks to new manufacturing procedures, reduced from 6 to 4 hours on average for each radiator. All without touching the craftsmanship of the products, which are still made by hand one-by-one.
Changing from a vertical to a horizontal radiator is not a trivial matter: the air flow, which normally affects the radiator front, would now affect it at an angle, which means it could not cool the water in the circuit. The air conveyor thus becomes the determinant factor. Made of fiberglass with high bending characteristics, it is placed under the radiator and deflects the flow by 90° from horizontal to vertical, directing it towards the aluminium grid where the cooling circuit water flows. The conveyor has two switches, one at the front and one at the end of the radiator, for better distribution of the air flow over the surface of the air and liquid heat exchanger. An upper flap is also mounted on the radiator that creates a depression in accordance with the laws of fluid dynamics, which and optimises the flow of air. Should the cooling power instead be reduced, you can use the classic sliding curtain positioned in place of the flap.
Mounting the new New Line horizontal radiator is simple, although the process is obviously different from the usual one. The bracket that fastens the rear conveyor has to be mounted first, which in turn will be blocked at the front with cable ties. Then the radiator is mounted, positioning it inside the conveyor. During the first assembly it is necessary to make the holes for the bolts that connect the radiator to the conveyor.
The benefits of the horizontal radiator are above all aerodynamic. The first is the smaller front section that gives a much higher drag coefficient. In fact, while a traditional radiator has a height of 41-45 cm, depending on the angle, the horizontal axis reaches a maximum of 24 cm in relation to the chassis. Despite the fact that the air flows are very turbulent for karts, a 50% reduction in penetration resistance can be assumed. The second benefit relates to the brake and the left rear wheel, critical elements for the high temperatures they can normally reach, since they are covered and take a reduced air flow, as well as being heated by the passage of the air through the radiator grille. Overheating reduces braking power, increases wear of the brake pads, abnormally deteriorates the tread and badly affects performance and grip. The flow to the rear is cleaner and the area more open with a horizontal radiator. In particular, it avoids the blister that forms on the wheel, generally at temperatures above 110°C.
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