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outlander 2003 normal coolant temperatures

1536 Views 47 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  brettus australia
What is the 'normal' operating range of coolant temperature for outlander 2003-2005.
I've noticed the temp gauge on the instrument cluster will sit in a particular spot ( the 4th vertical dash) for most of the time, the engine temp must be varying so the actual engine temp will be different to that shown on the gauge.
So using the mut2 protocol to obd converter device ( from 'blackstealth' in canada) I monitored the engine temp ( via bluetooth obd to android phone) using Torque program.
( for more info on reading the ecu see
outlander mk1 obd converter )
Here in Australia its summer and expect a bit of heat in the engine. I did a 100km or so run on a mildly hot day ( about 30degC max) and monitored the engine temp.
The temp on country roads sits around 87degC plus minus about 5degC during the drive. Up to about 92degC the gauge sits on 4th dash line.
On one particular long hill the temp got up to 112degC was the max, the temp gauge went up to the 5th dash line.
I can only compare this to my other car ( ford falcon 1999) which stays well under 100degC on the same run.
Is this abnormal temp? 112degC should I be concerned or maybe take out the thermostat to reduce temps? I have not checked water level for a while but I just assume its ok, if not I will report shortly.
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well as expected 112degC is not normal temp, I let the car warm up the 106degC just sitting not going anywhere, and the fans had not turned on, so there is my problem no fans.
I took off the temp control unit at top of radiator, opened it up as much as possible, and appears not meant to be opened up. So not sure if that is working or not, I guess I can test it by getting up to 106degC or any higher tempt and measure if there is 12v output.
( these control units can be bought off aliexpress very cheap)
The control unit has 12v hot all the time, and it switches the fans on/off according to ecu, not sure if there is pwm control or not in it.
Anyhow I also tested the fans...........nothing........nada..........zilch
Fans not working when 12v connected to them, how weird that both fans should stop working. My assumption was the control unit burned a mosfet or similar under high load, causing a voltage spike and buring out the windings. But turns out not the reason for failure.
Opended up the fan motors, and wholly crap..............full of powdery black carbon, and the brushes down to zero almost, just a tiny bit of carbon brush left on end of the wire.
Further the commutators had worn down to the plastic, copper all gone, very unusual, I've never seen that before.
The whole fan unit is really high quality bit of gear, the motors in particular very well made, so what caused the copper commutators to wear down?
Was it inferior copper or just being at the end of the brushes life caused this?
There might be very little tension from the brush srings near end of life brushes causing some contact issues, causing sparking and wearing down the commutator.
anyhow unless I can replace the commutators ( unlikely) these motors are done.
The windings are actually ok, in good condition, haven't checked resistance but they appear fine.
A new fan unit very expensive, newer outlander modles can get whole fan unit quite cheap, but this older model not cheap.
So my car has 222,000km on it, and brushed has reached end of life, so its probably worthwhile changing brushes at 200,000km or so.
Interestingly it appears Lancers of the same era use exact same fans/controller.
If anyone wants some pics of the damage I can post some.
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i'll try here goes, note I have spent quite a bit of time cleaning out the black powder covering everything, looks like severe arcing has blown graphite everywhere, quite a mess initially.
Wheel Automotive tire Locking hubs Motor vehicle Alloy wheel

green arrow below shows whats left of a brush
Automotive tire Hat Motor vehicle Personal protective equipment Tire
Motor vehicle Rim Bicycle part Font Gas
Automotive tire Crankset Motor vehicle Alloy wheel Font
Wood Gas Artifact Natural material Twig
Food Event Font Wood Icing
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Wood Camera lens Auto part Machine Metal
Automotive tire Vehicle brake Rim Locking hubs Automotive wheel system
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I included pic showing copper nail which is exact width of the commutator pads, might try rebuild the commutator using these nails, its quite possible to do.
Also found the commutator can be bought on aliexpress not too expensive, but think it would be as difficult to replace with new commutator as to use the copper nails to fashion new commutator pads.
one more pic
Automotive tire Camera lens Motor vehicle Font Circle
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there's no part no. on the motor anywhere, but internet search for the motor came up with mr993933
commutator specs are 20 pads/ 8mm shaft dia/25mm dia commutator/length 14mm
i.e. 8x25x14 20pads
closest I could find on aliexpress was 8x23.5x15.3 20pads which would do the job.
( note: I bought one of the aliexpress commutators and its a tiny bit big, loose on the shaft and dia a bit big, it could be used with some painful fiddling around but not worth it, has to be exact size )
just checked on for mr993933, and checked which models it fits.
seems that the newer and older outlanders use same motor ( asx/lancer/delica too), so since the later model outlander whole cooling unit is about $120aud ( compared with 2 or 3 times that for mk1 outlander), I should be able to just change motors to my mk1 moulded plastic case, might have to swap fans too. That will be the cheaper way to go, assuming they do in fact have same motors. To buy just one of these motors by itself is rediculously expensive exercise.
Some thing just dont make sense, that will save a hell of alot of work rebuilding commutator, thought would be challenging exercise ( in patience).
( what that your reason for part# leadfoot?) handle should be "lightfoot"
no probs I've ordered later model radiator fan unit for 2007-2012 outlander, will report back if the motors are interchangeable with mk1 radiator fan unit.
I will check my fan control unit also, if its burned out I'll tear it down and show insides, will most likely be a destructive teardown as really not meant to be opened up, they've put some thought into how to stop people opening this unit.
So I've recieved the 07-12 model radiator twin fan unit, it was $120 aud( new) on
The 03-06 units are priced 2 or 3 times that, maybe becoming a bit rarer hence the higher prices.
I was hoping the motors would be same as 03-06, but on this unit a different motor used
and cant be simply exchanged between the two different fan casings.
On the bright side the moulded plastic casing ( 07-12) is designed for same size radiator, so I will be able to just use the whole 07-12 unit in the 03 model outlander. The plastic casings are somewhat different so a little inventiveness required to hold the fan unit in place but it should do the job. The motor electrical connectors are same for both different models.
I'll do some info on the instal when done, but here are some pics/info comparing the mk1 and mk2 outlander radiator fan units. The ebay unit I bought off comes from china, its not original of course, but the quality looks very good.
There are differences between the two units as shown below:
red lines indicate where the two units line up
Wood Font Gas Circle Automotive tire

Pic below shows comparison of the motors, since the mk2 unit is non-original it might
not use same motors as original mk2, I was hoping the unit would have same motors as mk1 original. Mk2 motor is smaller diameter and longer length so cant just swap into mk1 frame unfortunately. I've just shown the mk1 rear plate for size comparison.
Automotive tire Font Machine Auto part Gas

Pic below shows fan rotors, pretty much the same interchangeable between mk1/mk2, the 5 blade mk2 slightly different centre shape but interchangeable with mk1.
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I ordered a mk1 fan controller unit off ebay ( $28aud), reasonably priced, although my original unit might be ok, not tested yet. These chinese clones are clones in terms of the outer case and connections and the rear heatsink. but the inside of the unit is very different to the original mk1 controller.
They are much simpler build the circuit board appears well made with solder on components machine done good quality build.
Pic below compares the two units opened up ( original unit circuit board not visible only the capacitors):
Circuit component Passive circuit component Hardware programmer Wood Engineering

The cheap chinese one on right above has three mosfet type components screwed onto the heat sink at bottom of pic.
Left one is 30ctq045 : shottkey diode 45v 30amp
Middle and right are: L2203N : 30v 116amp 7 milliohmn mosfets
If these components are genuine irf brand they should be robust.
I cannot see the rear of the chinese clone board , but I assume there will be some larger capacitors there. The orginal mitsubishi controller has some very large good quality capacitors, rated at 50v. I'm guessing their role is to protect the mosfets/diode from voltage spikes/ripples and the brushes sparks onto commutators will be setting up some voltage spikes etc. If the chinese clone lacks these large capacitors then the lifespan might be shortened. I suspect this will be there weakness.
Its obviously considered important in the original the have these large caps. The original caps are 50v .
I quite like the chinese clones though, since they will be much easier to teardown then the original mitsu controllers.
another pic below showing chinese clone, well they are not really clones, someone has developed their own version of the circuit to interpret the ecu signal.
Circuit component Fluid Hardware programmer Passive circuit component Liquid

With such a large heatsink for the mosfets I doubt overheating will be an issue, especially if controller is put in the airflow of the fans.
There are also two small ics on the clone, 4269g ( 45v volt reg) and 12f675 ( programmable ic). I'm no expert on electronics, but I suspect for these clones to last a long time they will need decent capacitors added to protect the mosfets.
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One difference in the motors of the mk2 replacement and the mk1 original, is the original motors are fully closed, the replacement unit have openings for air cooling under the fan.
I suspect these motors are a bit less powerful than the mk1 motors but air cooled.

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I've installed the mk2 outlander fan unit into my mk 1 outlander, process took 3 hours, and was successful. I will outline the details of how to do it in some following photos etc.
I used the new controller and the fans turn on slow speed at 96degC which is in my view quite high but seems thats how its set, I will test the original controller later and see what temp it turns on at if it still works.
Below is pic of the fan unit installed ( before finishing) just to show it fits and is suitable, the right side motor is about 1.5cm from the exhaust, a bit close but I will put some high temp shield to protect it from exhaust heat, it will probably be ok as is since there is already a temperature shield on the exhaust, but I will add additional one just to make sure.
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I'll detail here how I went about installing mk2 ( 2007-2012) radiator fan unit in mk1( 2003-2006) outlander.
First of all take off air intake duct and top radiator hose, the filler bottle can also be removed its make a bit more room, it just lifts out. Radiator pipe rotate out of way.
Hood Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive air manifold

There are a few simple mods needed to the fan housing, easily done with hacksaw.
Have to remove the 4 side tabs they will get in the way.
Road surface Grey Automotive tire Asphalt Gas

after removal below
Automotive tire Road surface Asphalt Rim Manhole
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Next step may not be needed but I removed some of one of the fan braces, just to make it easier to maneuver around an aircon pipe.
Two pics below show that mod:
Automotive tire Road surface Asphalt Rim Automotive design

Automotive tire Hood Grey Road surface Synthetic rubber

there is a clip right hand top that also needs be removed as it wont let the fan shroud sit flush with the radiator.
Road surface Asphalt Automotive tire Fender Soil
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At the bottom of the aluminium radiator should be a small tray that sticks out a little at the base, the bottom of the fan unit will sit on this. I used a few blobs of silicon when installing so that it will be held in place.
Where the tissues are in this pic is the lip of the radiator tray, just soaking up some coolant before adding some silicone.this is looking down from above
Tire Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Vehicle

I took off the last 1cm or so of the bottom of the fan unit just in case it was a bit longer than the radiator ( might not be necessary). As shown below. bottom left side
Road surface Grey Asphalt Wall Automotive tire

below bottom right side
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At this stage once I was sure it would all fit in place nicely, I put some silicone on the bottom of radiator just to keep it nicely in place and no vibration issues at bottom.
I also put some silicone along the top horizontal part of the moulded plastic shroud, where it touched the radiator, just enough to hold it in place and stop any vibration issues.
Probably the hardest part was making up some brackets for the top, the mk1 has 4 bolts/nuts that hold it in place, its necessary to make brackets to hold the top of radiator.
Heres one bracket on the right hand side I made out of bits that were cut off the radiator.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Hood Bumper Automotive exterior

Left hand side was similar just used some plastic moulding from another project to do that job. Used some silicone to hold in place and a small screw on the shroud.
Green Automotive tire Motor vehicle Gas Electrical wiring

I think main thing to consider with the mounting brackets, is to make sure they push down on the shroud and also keep it onto the radiator. A bit tricky takes a little time to make something.
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So last piece of the puzzle was where to mount the controller, without having to adjust any of the exising wiring or connectors.I'm only using one bolt to hold the controller in place, its quite adequate. One note, since the controller turns on at 96degC, the air blowing onto the cooling fins of the controller is quite hot, and therefore how much of a cooling effect it has is a bit dubious. I intend to later move the controller away from radiator with its own cooling fan, just a 12v from computer of correct size should suffice, in a cool area.
Here is the where I bolted the controller on the shroud:
Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Vehicle Engineering

I ground a bit of an angle onto the bolt hole so that the controller would sit in the airflow and also helped left hand fan wire to reach without tension.
Gas Engineering Bumper Office equipment Thumb

shows bolt to connect controller below
Light Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper

shows controller in position
Motor vehicle Gas Auto part Engineering Metal

shows air intake back in position, controller sits nicely in that spot without problem.
Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Gas Automotive exterior
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So it all goes together nicely, last thing to do is stop heat to right hand motor from exhaust with additional heat protection, will do pics of that when done.
Also later will move controller to where it gets cool air and has it own fan, I dont think the mosfets will last long with 96decC or higher temp air blowing onto them.
just doing a bit of reading on these fan controllers and appears the aftermarket units do not last long, one post in this link says even with its own fan still failed.
outlander and evo controller discussion
I"m guessing its lack of capacitors across the output wires that go to fan, pwm type ebike controllers use quite large and multiple capacitors to protect the mosfets, they are also pwm based. I'm tempted to add some suitable caps ( probably 50v) across the motor output wires and see if they makes the unit last a longer time.
more info on controlling this controller
youtube vid
ecu signals
discussion forum how to control mitsu using various methods, starts with ardunio project but goes into other info
discussion arduino mitsu controller
The original oem controller seems to have been used for various projects running various dc motors by creative folk out there,
since can be driven with pwm signal alone to control speed and uses soft start feature to keep current inrush to a minimum.
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