Alu Radiator education

Heating, Cooling & AC

  1. Knebel

    Knebel Senior Member

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    I am looking to buy a new aluminium radiator this spring. I looked at the champion radiators and they have some options.

    I'm looking at:
    2 row 1" tubes
    3 row
    4 row

    I have a 2300cfm electric fan with the standard 22" radiator and a shroud I set it so that it keeps it around 180 degrees. Driving and getting airflow is not a problem at all but in the hot summer in traffic, the temp creeps up more than I'd like. Now I'm wondering which of the radiator options allow my fan to pull more air through and which setup would be best to keep it cooler at idle.

    I have read a lot of articles which would say that 4 row makes it run hotter cause it's more restrictive and 2 row with 1"tubes has the best efficiency. What about 3 row? Which radiator would be the best option? I have a 360cui with some unknown upgrades but it doesn't seem to be close to 300hp.
     
  2. The Horvaths

    The Horvaths Young man with a cowboy hat

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    I would call Champion and see what they recommend for your application -but- I don't see any reason a mild 360 would overheat with a well functioning stock radiator. Have you checked it out and considered getting it recorded?
     
  3. LocuMob

    LocuMob Fluid Technician with a hat FCBO Gold Member

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    For the price of recoring the radiator he could buy a new aluminum one. For my Polara I bought a Jeg's universal 26", welded on some brackets and installed. I got one that has an inch gap above and below, my fault, and have had no issues. I use a fan pirated from a 99 Bonneville, the smaller aux one, and it's moves a ton of air. I picked up a Champion 4 core 26" last year a guy had in a Coronet. He claimed he couldn't get it to run cool. He messed up the mounting flanges for the cooling fans. Gonna throw it in my Dart this year, so I can't confirm the overheating issue, but guys are using them with Hemi's on the street, so they can't all be bad. 2 or 3 core should be fine for your 360 and reuse your fan you currently have. Champion does have a history of bolt holes not always lining up, but that's easily corrected.
     
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  4. Gerald Morris

    Gerald Morris Senior Member

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    Re-coring definitely is more expensive than a new radiator, copper or aluminum. I cherish my rare Hi Alt, +AC + Auto 1965 22" #2524984 3 row original, but when the pinholes get big, I'm retiring it for a nice new 2 row 1" tube aluminum 22" which will bolt up. Noooobody out here was willing to discuss re-coring it for under $350.
     
  5. Turboomni

    Turboomni Old Man with a Hat

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    I understand what you are saying but just the fact you can find someone to rebuild it for me anyways would make me pay the money to keep it going. Many cars today would cost at least as much or alot more ,,try BMW and it would have to be new. Also I would like to keep it looking original but that is just me.
     
  6. Gerald Morris

    Gerald Morris Senior Member

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  7. The Horvaths

    The Horvaths Young man with a cowboy hat

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    What I'm getting at is that buying a new radiator isn't gonna do jack unless you know that the radiator is the issue. Maybe something else is going on to cause the overheating. I also don't agree with today's "if it is broke, replace it" mantra. I will always prefer to repair the original part, especially if it can be done for a similar, though slightly more expensive, price. ($250 plus tax vs $350).
     
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  8. Knebel

    Knebel Senior Member

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    Maybe instead I should source the infamous Ford Taurus electric fan which is able to suck a golf ball through a garden hose!

    Edit: I think that fan actually draws too much. Champion has applications listed but you can still choose between the rows. I'm just wondering if the 2 row 1inch tubes would cool more efficient than the 3row with the smaller tubes
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
  9. Knebel

    Knebel Senior Member

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  10. saforwardlook

    saforwardlook Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Not necessarily. The inlet is correct as shown in the drawing for a big block. What is wrong in the drawing though, is that while the radiator outlet is correct as shown for big blocks 1971 and earlier, it is not correct for 1972 and later. For the 1972 and up models, the water pump inlet was moved from the driver side of the engine to the passenger side, so the radiator outlet should be on the passenger side as well for the 1972 and later models.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
  11. Knebel

    Knebel Senior Member

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    Oh I just saw, big block. Sorry,got that confused cause mine was a small block.
     
  12. LocuMob

    LocuMob Fluid Technician with a hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Definitely agree with your first point. New parts won't fix a problem the old parts aren't causing.

    As for replacement, I have a Dart that got a Small Block and the /6 radiator wouldn't work. Now it's getting a Big Block and I scored a used aluminum radiator. My Polara had the original radiator that went bad. We still had a shop in town for radiator work (shocked the hell outta me) and he said he'd patch it, but it wasn't going to last and wouldn't re-core it saying I'd be stupid to spend that much when I can buy one new for less than half. If I had anything near original or worth something in stock form I'd go out of my way to re-core the original radiator. I don't so I buy the aluminum for less. Plus I have no idea how far I'd have to go to to find a shop to do the job.
     
  13. 70bigblockdodge

    70bigblockdodge Old Man with a Hat

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    Be careful of record especially cheap ones the fin count is not high enough on cheap cores and some fairly expensive ones also. Most aluminum ones have high fin count (aluminum is cheaper than brass/copper). A true 4 core with a good fin/inch would probably not allow enough air through at 50-60 mph without extra help from a big fan. Two one inch tubes should be plenty, that was what I was planning on running in my Barracuda with a BB. Have you tried a pusher fan out front my brother in law has a 22" with a 440 that would get warm on hot days, he cheaped out and added a pusher out front and it keeps cool now.
     
  14. LocuMob

    LocuMob Fluid Technician with a hat FCBO Gold Member

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    I have 3 Hayden fans sitting ona shelf in the garage, 1 for a puller if the Polara needs it, and 2 for a pusher/puller setup for the Dart. If I have to get a different radiator at least I don't have much invested in the 4 core I picked up.
     
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  15. 66Newyorker

    66Newyorker Active Member

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    U.S. Radiator has a couple of good videos about flow rates and air flow across the fins. I know they are on the pricey side. They also offer a 3 pass option. A lot of good info. Car Engine Basics Repair Maintenance Tuning Help Repair this web site also has some good info on radiators and cooling.