Mazda Motorsports Offers New 3-Row Radiator For 1999-2005 NB Miatas

If you’ve upped the performance of your 1999-2005 NB Miata, whether it’s been tuned for racing, track days, or just high performance street, and especially if you’ve added a turbocharger or supercharger, you’ve probably recognized that the stock raditor isn’t up to the task.

Mazda Motorsports saw a need for a better performing radiator for the 1999-2005 NB Miata. And while this new raditor was developed specifically for Spec Miata, it has plenty of applications beyond that road racing class.

In order to develop the radiator, Mazda Motorsports turned to C&R, which has long provided advanced cooling technology for NASCAR, IndyCar and IMSA sports car applications. The company is now a part of PWR, which has experience in F1 and rally as well. As a result, C&R turned out to be the ideal partner for the development of a new NB Miata radiator that is not only approved for Spec Miata but will also work well for NB racers competing in other categories.

C&R didn’t just take an existing core and slap some mounts on it to make it fit. It was a research and development process that took the radiator from a single-pass design to a triple-pass design for optimal function in the Miata.

“A single-pass design typically has an inlet on one side and an outlet on the opposite side, and the coolant makes one pass through the entire core,” explains Phil Cook, part of C&R’s Sales and Tech Support Group. “For whatever reason, Miatas like a triple pass. In a triple pass, we actually put a baffle about six inches below the inlet so the coolant will pass through one third, then it goes back the other way, then there’s a baffle about six inches above the outlet, so there’s another pass, and then the last pass will be the bottom third of the radiator. The water actually goes three times through one-third of the core. It separates the radiator into three smaller radiators.

“This process allows heat to transfer in three different cycles instead of one large process. The duct work and nose openings are critical in these cars, and it happens that the last pass is at the lower area of the grill, where it gets the most airflow across that particular part of the radiator. That’s one of the big reasons a triple pass works so well in this particular application.”

The radiator uses C&R’s proprietary extruded tube race core and fin design and works with the stock fan – a Spec Miata requirement. It’s a direct replacement for the stock radiator, with no modifications required. It also incorporates a couple of other unique features.

“It may seem small, but we extended the top plate to help direct airflow. That’s something that’s not on the stock radiators. We also incorporated a zinc anode, which will help reduce the potential for corrosion. We suggest people run corrosion inhibitors, but the zinc anode will help as well,” says Cook.

The radiator is available now from Mazda Motorsports. More information can be obtained though the Source Box below.

Article Sources

About the author

Art Michalik

Art has served in marketing functions at various aftermarket manufacturers, driven in autocross events and in road racing in a car of his own construction, and even managed a world-famous racing school.
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