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Technical 1951 V-8 Chevy Radiator Hoses

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Phillipguyette, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Phillipguyette
    Joined: Jun 29, 2018
    Posts: 1


    greetings all...I just installed a Ramjet 350 in my ‘51 Chevy Coupe. Can anyone whose done this swap remember what radiator hoses they used? I’d sure appreciate some advice. Thanks
  2. All I can do is offer a suggestion, this is how I find what works best for getting the right shape for my hoses,you do need to measure the diameter of your radiator inlet and outlet and your thermostat housing & water pump.

    Napa sells VW heater ducts that are flexible & expandable aluminum pieces that are great for forming and routing for the radiator hoses and they hold the shape,something I learned years ago and I still have the 2 original ducts I bought more than 30 years ago. HRP
    tb33anda3rd and pigfluxer like this.
  3. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,177

    from texas

    Look at the tri five v8 upper and lower.
    46international likes this.
  4. lumpy 63
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
    Posts: 973

    lumpy 63

    Tri 5 lower usually works well . my failsafe upper is early 70s monte carlo 350....That SOB is really long with a couple of different curves . saved my ass a few times:D
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
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  5. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,756

    jimmy six

    Go to a "real" auto parts store the has them hanging on a wall find the ones the correct diameter and the most bends. I use what I need from them on the corners with straight metal tubing in middle. Plumbing drains work great for the top hose and I like the old screw wire hose clamps. They are usually chrome or brass. EMT electrical conduit works great on the bottom usually 1-1/4" and it will polish. Best thing is these will not collapse.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  6. if your upper radiator outlet is small you can put a sleeve section (a section of a smaller hose) on it and slip a regular radiator hose over that, works great...
    also, the thermostat housing off a 216/235 Chevy six bolts right on a later six or V8, so you can just use a 1- 1/2" hose...
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  7. Yes you can, and NAPA sells "adapters" to do this, they come with a lip on one end. Just a short hunk of hose will work too.
  8. Usually the radiator bottom hose is 1.75", so is the water pump, IIRC. Top radiator hose and water neck are 1.50". You may want to try a water neck that pivots, so you have a lot more possibilities for hoses that will fit. I used straight hoses on my swap, Gates with the green stripe.
  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,638


    Top inlet on the stock 51 radiator is 1-1/4 as the guys said above. The only hose I know of that is 1-1/2 on one end and 1-1/4 on the other is a flex hose. I am not a fan of flex hoses but have used them when that was all I could get that fit. Those adapter sleeves that slip over the inlet on the radiator and you put your hose over are common practice for replacement radiators for newer rigs now. One came with a replacement radiator that I got for an OT car a couple of years ago.

    As for figuring out what shape you need, a lot of us cut old hoses up to fit together to use as a pattern to take to the parts house. I have a box that I toss old hoses that are still in somewhat reasonable shape to use as patterns. As Lumpy 63 said those early/mid 70's GM cars have some long hoses with several bends that often work for getting that just right section with the just right bends out of.
  10. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 1,508


    DON'T whatever you do, put on those pos corrugated copper metal things sold today as "cool" rad hoses, they look like shit.
  11. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,756

    jimmy six


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