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Hotrod 97

Questions about something I read on radiators.

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I’m (finally) looking to build my full-scale weekend toy. One of the things I want to do is get an aluminum radiator with an electric fan. However, I read somewhere that a 2-row aluminum radiator is equivalent to a 4-row OEM radiator, and that a 4-row OEM radiator is too much for an electric fan. Are these things true, or was it one of “those” articles? I admit, I know precious little about cooling systems. 

Thanks in advance.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hotrod 97 said:

 ...Are these things true, or was it one of “those” articles? 

Sounds like some not particularly accurate over-generalizations to me.

I build real cars for a living these days, carefully, by the engineering book most of the time. Which is why they work like real cars.

There are some relatively simple calculations to run to size your radiator for your available space if you're in doubt.

And if you run good quality shrouded fans of sufficient size in a puller configuration, you'll be fine.

For instance, on a '47 Caddy I did several years back, with a 350HP LS1 swap, I had to use the OEM available space for the radiator for a variety of reasons. I had a custom 4-row aluminum cross-flow unit built (trans cooler integral) and ran a single 3400 CFM puller fan with a full shroud (that covered the entire core). Worked like a champ...even with the AC on in 90 degree weather.

NOTE: The market is full of semi useless bee-fart fans, like the aftermarket "upgrade" ones I'm currently replacing in a DeLorean, that won't do much of anything (but suck).

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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I worked for a friend of mine repairing and rebuilding radiators with new cores for some years a while ago and a common missunderstanding is that an aluminum radiator is more efficient than a copper/brass radiator, that's not really the case, the advantages with aluminum is that it's cheaper and lighter than copper/brass, otherwise it doesn't matter much and both will work fine.
People often compare an old clogged up OEM radiator with a new aluminum one and of course the aluminum radiator is better then, but if they had re-cored the old OEM radiator it would have worked at least as good.
I'm going to re-do my radiator for my 1963½ Galaxie and I'm going to use a copper/brass core with more rows and tighter spacing and use the original tanks to cool the 445 stroker engine I'm building for it, because I don't like the look of aluminum radiators.

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6 hours ago, Force said:

I don't like the look of aluminum radiators.

First allow me to say I know nothing of radiators, except that I need one to keep my vehicle running.  I think a lot of the "need" for aluminum over brass/copper is the "bitchin' look" they provide, and the fact every one (or the majority) of the car building shows I  watch have usually gone to an aluminum radiator.  Looks over functionality will usually win every time.

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12 hours ago, Hotrod 97 said:

I’m (finally) looking to build my full-scale weekend toy. One of the things I want to do is get an aluminum radiator with an electric fan. However, I read somewhere that a 2-row aluminum radiator is equivalent to a 4-row OEM radiator, and that a 4-row OEM radiator is too much for an electric fan. Are these things true, or was it one of “those” articles? I admit, I know precious little about cooling systems. 

Thanks in advance.

I’m sure this doesn’t sounds right to me and I say that because an OEM radiators cooling fins and tubs are aluminum only the tanks are plastic and the cooling is done in the tubs so I call BS... doesn’t compute....

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Thank you all very much for the replies and information. I greatly appreciate it. And thanks for the education on radiators. Now I know what we actually need, and what would just be for looks.

 

 

On 8/28/2020 at 11:02 PM, Ace-Garageguy said:

NOTE: The market is full of semi useless bee-fart fans, like the aftermarket "upgrade" ones I'm currently replacing in a DeLorean, that won't do much of anything (but suck).

Bill, what’s your thoughts on a reversible 2,500 CFM S-blade fan for a 4-row OEM radiator? That’s the one that I was looking at before asking the questions in the first post.

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I put a 4-core in my '91 Mustang after I switched to a 351-W motor.... I never had a overheating problem with it.....

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two thoughts for less than a penny - and that may be all they are worth.

You've probably already looked, but it's worth mentioning - for whatever car you are building, if it's an early Ford, a Mopar beast or a tri-five Chevy...,  darn near everything has at least one forum on the internet like this one for your car.  There will be people that have already been where you are and have figured out the good parts or bad and they will post their stories.  The answers may be two clicks of the mouse away.  Probably a good place to ask questions.

Most reliable manufacturers have good tech support - just a toll free call or email away.  The last thing they want is upset customers spreading bad words about their products so they will gladly get you headed in the right direction.

It's not a knock on anybody that's been there, but cooling systems are one area where the aftermarket technology and parts are changing/improving rapidly.

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