One of the big problem areas for our Project Over Easy Scrambler was the cooling system, with the biggest offender being the radiator. The old brass radiator had been modified to support the small block V8 engine conversion but had become a little worse for wear. Additionally, the unshrouded flex fan driven directly off of the water-pump pulley was both hazardous and highly inefficient. A change was due and in keeping with the Project Over Easy theme of installing direct-fit components, we knew just who to call.
During our trip to SEMA in 2010, the 4X4REVIEW.COM team met with the good folks at Be Cool to learn more about their Direct-Fit line of cooling components. In particular, we wanted to learn more about their new line of direct-fit cooling modules for Jeep Vehicles.
Be Cool’s Direct-Fit Module Assemblies are designed as bolt-in replacements of factory cooling components and are available for a wide variety of applications. Each Direct-Fit module is designed with target vehicles in mind. Available in either polished or natural aluminum finishes, the Be Cool components will improve the appearance and performance of your vehicle. Perhaps most importantly, the Direct-Fit cooling modules are designed to be installed with simple hand-tools and without the need for modifications or any special fabrication. The Direct-Fit modules are, well… a direct fit.
Be Cool Direct-Fit Features:
- Performance Grade Dual 1” Cores
- Billet Filler Neck with High Capacity Overflow Tube
- Hand Fabricated Tanks
- Provisions for Flange, Cradle, Pin and Foot Mounting
- Heavy Duty Automatic Transmission Coolers with Fittings
- OEM Compatible Fittings & Fan Brackets, Included
- OEM Size Inlets & Outlets
- OEM Style Petcock
- 100 % Pressure Tested
- One Year Warranty
- Made in North America
That last bullet is key these days – Be Cool products are not only made on this continent, the bulk of their products are made in Essexville, MI which is just outside of the automotive motherland of Detroit. The Be Cool team are car guys to the core (pun intended).
Be Cool Direct-Fit radiators are available for over 500 applications with crossflow or downflow configuration available based on application. Each Direct-Fit Series Cooling Module includes a Be Cool direct-fit radiator that has two rows of one-inch tubes, a billet filler neck, a drain petcock, and .080 wall, hand-fabricated aluminum tanks.
Additionally, the Direct-Fit Module selected for Project Over Easy included a billet overflow tank, SPAL 16-inch electric fan and all electrical components as well as all cooling module component mounting hardware.
Be Cool Direct-Fit Module # 62030 comes with a radiator designed for installation in a Jeep CJ with a Small Block Chevy engine conversion. Specifically, this requires a radiator with a driver-side inlet and a passenger-side outlet. The included radiator measures 24 inches wide by 18.5 inches tall. The 2 inch thick core is 18 inches wide by 17 inches in height.
This radiator and the supporting Direct-Fit module components will support up to 300 HP. As with all of their Direct-Fit Modules, Be Cool guarantees that Direct-Fit Modules will lower coolant temperature a minimum of 20 degrees or your money back. With this article, we set-off to test the Direct-Fit components for ease of installation, fit within the factory mounting points and cooling effectiveness.
|Installation - BeCool Radiator and Electric Fan
||Wrenches, sockets, ratchet, screwdrivers, jack, catch-pan, wire strippers, wire crimpers, paper-towels / rags, electric multi-meter, catch can.
Work began by disconnecting the battery. We then drained the stock radiator of both coolant and transmission fluid. Once fluids were drained, we disconnected the upper and lower radiator hoses as well as the two transmission cooler lines.
Note: It is important to catch and properly dispose of these waste fluids. Most auto parts stores will accept your waste automotive fluids for a small charge, or for free.
|Removal of the stock radiator is a simple procedure in the Jeep CJ with just four bolts securing the stock radiator to the factory core support. The factory radiator is shown beside the new cross-flow Be Cool Direct-Fit radiator below for comparison. Note the switch from older-style upper and lower cooling tanks to the highly-efficient cross-flow design of the Be Cool radiator. We then performed a quick test-fit of the Be Cool Direct-Fit radiator and confirmed that mounting brackets were a direct match to the factory CJ mounting points.
Next up was the mounting of the 16-inch SPAL cooling fan with the provided hardware. As shown below, the cooling fan is held in place by four specially designed brackets. Each bracket holds securely to the fan with shoulder bolts, allowing for custom fitment.
Note: It is recommended that the fan be positioned high on the radiator core for optimal cooling.Be Cool provides ¼ inch thick rubber bumpers to both position the SPAL fan an optimal distance from the radiator and to protect the core from bumps and bruises caused by interference with the fan brackets.
|Be Cool provides an extremely complete wiring harness and relay, sourced from our friends at Painless Performance Products for wiring the SPAL electric fan. This well designed harness and relay set is accompanied by a detailed set of instructions. The part that I liked most about this wiring harness was that each wire was both color-coded and labeled. By labeled, I don’t mean a little paper flag dangling from a wire. Rather, each wire is stamped with the target application roughly every 6 inches, along the length of each wire.
|Once all auxiliary components were installed and all preliminary wiring complete, it was time to install our Be Cool Direct Fit Module back into our Jeep CJ8 Scrambler. Installation was just as straightforward of a procedure as had been the removal of the factory radiator.
|Sidebar: The one area where we spent a bit more time was on the routing of our transmission cooler lines. Rather than try to fit the old, hard lines to our new radiator, we elected to go with completely new transmission fluid cooler lines using -6 AN fittings and high-pressure hose. This set-up provided greater flexibility and a clean, modern look to the radiator installation.
|With all fasteners secured and all hoses in place, it was time to perform the final upgrade, the topping off of the radiator with Be Coolant. Be Cool’s proprietary coolant is a requirement for the Be Cool Direct-Fit Module guarantee and a key component of the Be Cool cooling solution.
Be Coolant Features:
- Pre-Mixed Ready to Use
- 300,000 Mile Coolant
- 7-Year Extended Life
- Protects to -26°F
- Boiling Point 267°F (@15 PSI)
- Made in the USA