Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

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Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by mc71454 on Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:08 am

Going to try and start a topic here on radiators.

Need to replace radiator for '75 454 project. Have the same exact setup in my '70 and '71 cars and will test fit one of those next week. But for now I haven't touched the stock radiator yet on our new project, waiting for my son to come back for T'giving break at the end of the week.

Who has something that works with very little to no modifications?

Our car will be a street/strip low 12 second car, so I would like to have some reserve cooling and I have had luck with alum radiators.
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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by pila on Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:14 am

This is the 3-row aluminum radiator in my '75 El Camino. It's an off-shore Champion from Ebay.  If fits perfect in the core support, taking up all the space. During cam break-in, with a 180 thermostat, it indicated 178 for around 30 minutes at 2200.  Engine is a 507 inch Caddy, but don't know if a BBC would run hotter (?)  Likely depends on the build......



The Elco has AC, so during the run-in, the condenser was also mounted, in front of the radiator.

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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by Joe73 on Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:47 am

Did alot of research on this for my SS. Other forums have done tests of the various types and core styles. Aluminum rads with (2) one inch tube cores outperformed all brass/copper rads up to 4 core. And aluminum 3 core and odd diameter core variations.
(2) one inch cores create the most surface area to dissipate heat.

Also have to look at "fins per inch". Some companies cheap out that way.

I will be putting my 4 core 500 caddy rad in storage and going with a (2) core aluminum. I might even go with a plastic tank as long as it has good fin count and (2) one inch tubes.
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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by BBMALIBU on Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:56 pm

I recently purchased an aluminum radiator by DeWitts (1139034A) via Summit Racing.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/dwr-1139034a/overview/year/1973/make/chevrolet/model/chevelle

I have not installed it yet, but it is practically identical to the copper 4 row that's currently in the car.

I took the copper one out and sent it to the local radiator shop to be checked out...good radiator.

I want to perform a few drain and fills before installing the new radiator.  I compared the radiators when the copper one was out.
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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by BlackChevelleSS on Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:59 pm

I found a company at a swap meet that makes reproduction radiators just like the originals out of aluminum and they were a decent price. Too bad alumitech reproductions went out of business but they were high on the prices.

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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by BBMALIBU on Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:01 pm

BlackChevelleSS wrote:I found a company at a swap meet that makes reproduction radiators just like the originals out of aluminum and they were a decent price. Too bad alumitech reproductions went out of business but they were high on the prices.


I thought I read something regarding a connection between Alumitech and DeWitts.
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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by BlackChevelleSS on Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:13 am

This is the company i was talking about. I looked at their radiators in person they look great and unlike the crappy champion in my car, it will fit like original, sorry but theres a difference in thickness in a 1" tube 2 core aluminum radiator and a OEM 4 core.

http://www.autocityclassic.com/chevelle/monte-carlo/

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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by BBMALIBU on Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:05 am

BlackChevelleSS wrote:sorry but theres a difference in thickness in a 1" tube 2 core aluminum radiator and a OEM 4 core.

I agree, but I did state "Practically Identical," not exact.  

The small differences between my SPI copper 4 row vs. the DeWitts 2 row aluminum won't affect install.

Also, when choosing between brands note the following:
1. Is the radiator cap mounted at a 45 degree angle or on top?
2. The location of the trans cooler inlet and outlet (if applicable).
3. The size and total number of the tubes (vertical) in the core
(Not just 2 - 1" rows, but how many total rows in the core).
4. The inlet and outlet diameter for the radiator hoses (some have 1.5" & 1.5" and some have 1.5" & 1.75").  ***Not all brands are the same***
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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by BlackChevelleSS on Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:39 am

going from my factory 4 core radiator to a 2 core aluminum radiator did cause problems. The different in the thickness caused a decent sized gap between the core support and the radiator to where air flow can now go around the radiator instead of through it, and also caused a gap between my factory fan shroud and the radiator. My fan shroud mounts on the core support at the bottom and the radiator plate at the top. no real way to fix it. If you were replacing a 3 core radiator with the 2 core alum I think it would work just fine.

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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by Joe73 on Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:34 am

From all the reading I've done a 2 core (has to be two 1" cores) cools better than a factory type 4 core brass. And the gaps between the rad support / radiator and the radiator and the shroud should have some of the cheap square foam you get in the big box store for putting around your window a/c unit. Thats just to make everything flow through the rad and not around it.
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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by BBMALIBU on Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:39 pm

When I get home tonight, I will take a look for the above-mentioned gaps.

Just to confirm...are we all talking about a 73-77 Chevelle?
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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by BBMALIBU on Thu Jun 04, 2015 10:16 pm

BlackChevelleSS wrote:going from my factory 4 core radiator to a 2 core aluminum radiator did cause problems. The different in the thickness caused a decent sized gap between the core support and the radiator to where air flow can now go around the radiator instead of through it, and also caused a gap between my factory fan shroud and the radiator.  

The radiator is not suppose to sit flush against the core support, the radiator support panel won't allow it (73-77 Malibu).  

As for any fan shroud / radiator gap issues:

The driver side of the shroud sits flush on the radiator, no issue.

The passenger side has about a 3/4 of an inch gap between the shroud and radiator, piece of foam will fix that.
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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by BlackChevelleSS on Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:46 am

I know that it shouldnt fit against the support but it should be close, doesnt matter the year of the car, i've owned quite a few different chevelles 70-73 and generally they are all similar build and interchangeable parts. I have not owned any 74-77 cars, but im pretty sure things did not change much in this area. Fan shrouds can vary alot but I was just stating my experience with the aluminum radiators not being thick enough and I do not like having 3/4-1" of foam all over my car trying to fill gaps. I would rather just spend a little more money and get a correct fitting radiator. My champion 2 core  is doing great and  ill probably be moving it into my v8 s10 when I get the auto city correct fitting radiator.

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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by BBMALIBU on Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:25 am

BlackChevelleSS wrote:Fan shrouds can vary alot but I was just stating my experience with the aluminum radiators not being thick enough and I do not like having 3/4-1" of foam all over my car trying to fill gaps. I would rather just spend a little more money and get a correct fitting radiator. .

I agree, I wouldn't want foam all over my car either.  

In my case, the gap on the passenger side is most likely the result of a reproduction fan shroud and not the copper 4 row radiator (aluminum not installed yet).
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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by dynchel on Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:29 am

This is good info. I am currently saving for a aluminum radiator. I have a new aluminum water pump, rebuilt p/s pump, new pressure line, now just need the radiator & I'll be set.
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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by Joe73 on Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:16 pm

Here's a link to a real good (and long) read on the cooling system and how to make it work properly. Article explains what works (with part numbers) to keep your engines cool. I've read this a couple times.

Its been backed up by numerous guys running real cool engine temps in 90 degree plus heat. Even the big horsepower 500+ cubic inch engines. Even in traffic.

Also remember that your IGNITION TIMING has a whole lot to do with how cool your car runs.

http://www.chevelles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=606465
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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by BBMALIBU on Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:12 pm

I read that link a few months ago I discovered:

1. I was using A non-thermal clutch with the 7 blade fan; replaced it with the 2747 HD Hayden clutch.

2. BBC & SBC shrouds are different; I over looked this one  Head Bang , replaced it with a repro BBC shroud.

3. The 180 degree Stewart t/stat I was using:
Tested it in a pot of boiling water, it was starting to open at 200 degrees
Replaced with Autozone 160 t/stat....Tested it first.

Even with all this, the temp (measured in intake) would only get to 195 degrees on a hot (88-92) Summer day in traffic.

Sent the 4 row copper radiator out to be checked and cleaned (works perfect), reinstalled.....temp has stayed a steady 170-175 degrees at idle (cooler weather 75-80).

Next up: Install the DeWitts Aluminum Radiator.
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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by Joe73 on Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:21 pm

Just curious, how are tbe shrouds different. I never compared them.
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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by BBMALIBU on Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:58 pm

SBC shroud tunnel is deeper than the BBC.

If you use a SBC shroud with a BBC, the fan will sit too far (all the way) in the tunnel and not draw air through the radiator like it should.
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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by Joe73 on Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:04 pm

Gotcha. Thanks
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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by Wallyuph on Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:06 am

Anyone ever look at thees I saw on Eastwood site.
http://www.eastwood.com/triflow

I have a dual cross flow from Entropy. They make them them here in the USA

http://www.entropyrad.com/1968-1977-chevelle-aluminum-lsx-conversion-radiator-with-dual-fans-and-aluminum-shroud.html
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Dewitts Radiator

Post by BBMALIBU on Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:20 pm

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DeWitts Radiator

Post by BBMALIBU on Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:22 pm

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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by Hawk03 on Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:32 pm

I just ordered the 2 row Champion for my car. I won't get passed 300 hp anytime soon so I thought it would be good enough. I had a new Spectra OEM (Autozone purchased) radiator in but it started leaking trans fluid from one of the tubes on the inside and I haven't even driven the car yet. I'm hoping the Champion will last a least a couple of miles Surprised
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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

Post by cutlassguy on Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:37 pm

I just installed a 2 row with 1" tubes Be Cool rad with a 195deg thermostat in my 76 olds cutlass. Was running a 3 row copper rad.
I had to knock the 2 lower metal rad cradle mounts out and make up a new pad out of a rubber block I had.
The top rad cradle rubber mounts had to be cut back a bit to allow the Be Cool rad to sit down far enough to get the top plate back on. Original fan shroud went back in fine.
Now as to the cooling... I only drove the car about 1 hr in 38-40 humidity up here the past week. It kept the car between 205-210 on the gauge.
As for the 15% cooler they claim in not so sure about that, the 40% weight savings.. for sure.
Other than that the rad looks awesome in the car and I'm always looking at dropping more LBS off the old 76.

Hope this helps others looking into purchasing the Be Cool Rads

Eric
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Re: Radiators - Who is running an Aluminum

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