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low cost radiator?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by tobyflh, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. tobyflh
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
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    311
    Location:
    Peru il

    tobyflh Member

    what do people do for low cost radiators? I know I'm not the only cheap ass here but what do people do? I'm looking for one to go behind a 34 ford grill shell with a v8. Everything I see is 500 and up is there any hope to save a couple bucks?
  2. model A hooligan
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
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    Location:
    stockton,california

    model A hooligan Member

    Junkyard.find something close to the size you want and make it fit.a lot of use scrounge for used parts and adapt it
  3. Bryan G
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
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    Location:
    Delmarva

    Bryan G Member

    Find something close in the junkyard (or your neighbor's car) then order a new one for that model from 1-800-Radiator or NAPA, etc. Lots of late model stuff that you can find in the $100-200 range. I needed to do this with a slightly O/T pickup and found that a 70's Jeep radiator worked with almost no mods, available same day from NAPA for just over $200.
  4. Unkl Ian
    Joined:
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    Just past the corner of Hell and The Twilight Zone

    Unkl Ian Member

    Check the first generation Mustang rad for size.
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  5. Don's Hot Rods
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    florida

    Don's Hot Rods Member

    You are right, a radiator can be a major hit to the wallet, and ones for our hot rods seem way more expensive than ones for a daily driver. One way to look at it is that a good radiator is an investment in troublefree driving for years and years, and if you spread the cost out over those years it makes it easier to swallow.

    The radiator in my 27 just turned 25 years old, and was built by the Brassworks. I really had to scrimp and save as it cost me $700 even back then, but divided by 25 that isn't such a bad deal. Yes, I have had a few leaks repaired in those 25 years, but that is mainly because it shakes itself to death on the front of my car.

    But there are some more reasonably priced radiators out there, especially in aluminum, and if you shop around (and get one with welded seams as opposed to epoxied seams) you can save some money and get a good one. I am thinking about one of the Ebay radiators for my rpu project, simply because I don't have the expendible income I once had to spend.

    There is nothing worse than having a hot rod or custom that overheats. I have had cars where you have to watch the temp gauge constantly and you pray you don't get tied up in traffic on a hot day. That takes the fun out of it real quick, and makes it so you don't want to drive the car.

    Don
  6. junkyardjeff
    Joined:
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    Dayton Ohio

    junkyardjeff Member

    You have to look at it this way,do you want it look right and function like it should or just be cheap. Personally I think radiators that are not made for the grille shell look horrible and take away from the look of the vehicle if its fenderless and no hood.
  7. WickedA346
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
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    Location:
    Tinley, Il

    WickedA346 Member

    I get mine from junkyards, buddies swapouts, etc. my fordor cost me 45. Thats what it cost to have it cleaned inspected and a few repairs
  8. Unkl Ian
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    Just past the corner of Hell and The Twilight Zone

    Unkl Ian Member

  9. tobyflh
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Peru il

    tobyflh Member

    I want cheap cost not cheap radiator. I will spend the money if I have to but I was hoping there was something I didn't know. Have not bought one years so I didn't know if I was missing out somewhere.
  10. tobyflh
    Joined:
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    Peru il

    tobyflh Member

    unkl good call I'll have to check the size that my work
  11. dirtracer06
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    Location:
    Sioux Falls SD

    dirtracer06 Member

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  12. Mattilac
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    Mattilac
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You get what you pay for.
  13. junkyardjeff
    Joined:
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    Dayton Ohio

    junkyardjeff Member

    I bit the bullet and had a correct radiator built for my 37,it will sit in traffic all day long and not get hot and does not look like its cobbled up. I did have it built years ago and the prices have gone way up since but at the time I thought I spent a fortune,when it comes to the cooling system do it once and do it right. I only go cheap on my winter beaters that get replaced every few years.
  14. chopt top kid
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ravenswood, WV

    chopt top kid Member

    I bought this one for my coupe, alum, stamped tanks, made in the U.S.A.

    Attached Files:

  15. scrap metal 48
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    Dayton,Ohio

    scrap metal 48 Member

    My coupe never reached 180* with 105* temps at 'Goodguys' Columbus with an aluminum cheapo crap radiator.. Less than $200 delivered to my door....
  16. dirtracer06
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Sioux Falls SD

    dirtracer06 Member

    Correction...the box says Summit Corp on the side....the link i posted is not the vendor i used but about the same thing...
  17. 59 brook
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
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    Location:
    hollywood fl

    59 brook Member

    just bought a rad for my chevy from an ebay seller champion radiator. works well good price good service
  18. harleyjohn45
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
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    Location:
    Florida & New Mexico

    harleyjohn45 Member

    I bought an Ebay radiator for my 8BA engine. 269.00 delivered, very nice radiator, but you have to be very careful touching the fins. They are very soft.
  19. Kirk Hanning
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
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    Location:
    Goodrich, MI

    Kirk Hanning Member

    Superior Radiator out of Mt. Clemens, MI 586-463-8722 Charlie the owner really knows his stuff.

    All they do is make custom aluminium radiators. I've had 5 radiators built by them with no issues. I've been told they have an e-bay store but not sure. The last one I had built was last year at that time I paid $300. I know that he gets backed up from time to time but right now I know that things are slow being the time of year.
  20. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined:
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    Location:
    florida

    Don's Hot Rods Member

    We have used PRC a few times in the past for aluminum radiators and love the quality. If I can swing the money for this build I would love to use them again. Theirs seem to go in the $400 or so range.

    My Son is running one in his rpu and although it is chopped quite a bit it keeps the 455 Olds cool in traffic even.

    http://www.prcracing.com/about-prc.html

    Don
  21. ClutchDumpinDan
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Fredericksburg, VA.

    ClutchDumpinDan Member

    X2

    I've had good luck with Superior as well.
  22. rockabillybassman
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Napier, New Zealand

    rockabillybassman Member

    I bought a 66 Mustang radiator, had it pressure tested and two extra outlets added, cost about $170 all up. My flathead never gets over 180 degrees.
  23. Beau
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
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    1,707
    Location:
    Minneapolis

    Beau Member

    [​IMG]

    I'm going to try out the Volvo 240 turbo radiator. It's 17x22. I'm running a smaller engine and a 2" sweep. It might be too small for larger engines. For $30, I have plenty of room to pay for a few little mods to make it work.
  24. Grumpy
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
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    2,531
    Location:
    NE Ohio

    Grumpy Member

    My buddy had a radiator made for his T from a forklift radiator. Local guy re-cored it and that car was impossible to get hot.
    Didnt cost him 100 if I recall.

    Maybe a option for guys with chopped grille shells.


    [​IMG]
  25. gunswanted
    Joined:
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    Location:
    overseas, displaced from Lake St. Croix Beach MN

    gunswanted Member

    I have an aluminum radiator in my 39 Mercury. I cost around 280 shipped from Champion radiators on Ebay. It seems like a quality piece for the price. Made in the US from what I was told. I painted mine matte black with high temp rustolium grill paint. We will see how it holds up.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
  26. fordcragar
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
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    Location:
    Rainy NW, Wa.

    fordcragar Member

    I used a radiator from a 1974 Ford LTD in our 36 Chev PU. It is a crossflow that was turned up on end. Bought the radiator new from Performance Radiator for around $200, but that was 10 or so years ago.
  27. Dane
    Joined:
    May 6, 2010
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    1,357
    Location:
    Soquel, CA

    Dane Member

    What he said!

    http://wwwsuperiorradiator.com/street_rod_radiators
  28. Halfdozen
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Posts:
    435
    Location:
    Oshawa Ontario

    Halfdozen
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Another vote here for Brice Thomas Radiator. American made, family biz, good quality. http://www.bricethomasradiator.com/
    I don't think I'd trust many of the offshore- made ebay units. Doesn't make sense to me to sink a bunch of money into a motor then entrust its cooling to a questionable rad. Yes, I understand building on a budget, you might get lucky with a cheap aftermarket or wrecking yard part, or you might not...
  29. tikidiablo
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Posts:
    865
    Location:
    so cal

    tikidiablo Member

    How about a radiator for a Ford 9n tractor?
  30. scrap metal 48
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
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    3,494
    Location:
    Dayton,Ohio

    scrap metal 48 Member

    I tried a Ford 5000 ^^^ radiator but would not cool my stock SBC....

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