Register now to get rid of these ads!

Technical Alum Radiator

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Darin Younce, Jun 17, 2020.

  1. My 47 ford has a 327 and still has the original radiator. never has cooled well and I am thinking about an aluminum radiator. Seen some pretty bad statements about the aluminum cracking and so forth, so was wondering if any of you guys run an aluminum radiator in your car. I saw one manufactured by a company called Champion , ad looked good ( duh) but one review source was questionable. Thanks for any replies.
     
  2. KJSR
    Joined: Mar 7, 2008
    Posts: 2,250

    KJSR
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Utah
    1. Utah HAMBers

    Most issues with radiators are due to poor mounting techniques.....
     
  3. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,433

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

  4. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,433

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    A POS (lowest price you can find) radiator will let you down in time, it won't care how it is mounted, they don't have a good reputation.
    And yes, always use some form of rubber cushioning when mounting.
     
    olscrounger likes this.
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,884

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Cooling is blamed on a radiator most of the time,an canbe !
    Yet often a cooling prob. that came into my speed shop fairly often were not the radiator . I have use alum. Champion an had good luck.
    Other things to look at,can be seen by a knowing eyes,so posting a photo, may get you some info that would help too!


    Every Co. and there are a number, can an will have a odd fail some were in the many things they make or sell,so yes looking around is always a good idea. Yet balance how many good vs how many bad an knowing few will make a note about things that work right vs near every one makes notes about bad.< That's why I like to see something with a lot of good vs bad,as you can take the good notes an Xs it by 100s an bad notes are likely close to how many bad. really.
     
    2OLD2FAST likes this.
  6. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,074

    wvenfield
    Member

    My buddy put an aluminum radiator in his 56 Chevy. Looks and mounts like a factory radiator. Works perfectly fine.
     
    1Nimrod and 2OLD2FAST like this.
  7. wheeltramp brian
    Joined: Jun 11, 2010
    Posts: 945

    wheeltramp brian
    Member

    I've used many champions in my personal cars and customers cars where they can't be seen and have worked good.for the hotrods that you can see I've used walker or recorded original units
     
  8. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,202

    Gman0046
    Member

    Why aluminum? Copper/brass has a higher cooling coefficient. Beware of cheap Chinese aluminum radiators. How much quality can you expect for $125?
    The Walker radiator in my 46 Ford was in there for over 20 years and going strong when I sold the car.
    I learned a long time ago that when it comes to Brakes, Steering and Cooling is to always buy the best. When you go cheap you'll find yourself stuck on the side of the road.
     
    1Nimrod likes this.
  9. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 901

    Joe H
    Member

    I bought a Afco aluminum for my '37 10 years ago. It has worked well up to last summer. I noticed a coolant smell but couldn't find any leaks. I finally pulled it out and pressure tested it. In the lower right corner, one of the tubes was seeping where it entered the lower tank, just a small seep, enough to smell but not enough to make a mess. Since the tubes are glued in, there is no fixing it. I ended up using 3M epoxy used to glue panels on with, its super strong, yet flexible. I cleaned the area by soda blasting, then flooded the corner with epoxy while a vacuum was hooked to the inlet ( to pull epoxy into the crack ). So far it's holding.
    The take away from all that is, if its glued together, it's a one and done. If it's welded or soldered, it can be repaired.
    I will say this, it holds more coolant the original did and works really well.
     
    Blade58 and 2OLD2FAST like this.
  10. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,433

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    True and a bigger issue for me is how much is someone willing to have their whole day ruined out on the open road, or worse, their whole vacation, pretty limited places anymore to get an aluminum radiator repaired.
     
  11. Jack E/NJ
    Joined: Mar 5, 2011
    Posts: 585

    Jack E/NJ
    Member
    from NJ

    Not only that but pretty limited places anymore to get a brass radiator repaired. Jack E/NJ
     
  12. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,878

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    In "never cooled well" Temp gauge actually showing that it gets hot or the car puking coolant or that to you it runs hotter than you think a 46 Ford should run but If you researched Normal operating temps for the year and model of rig that the 327 came out of that temp would be normal? I see guys on here and in a number of other groups crap their pants all the time because that late model engine runs at a hotter temp than they think the CAR should run at and that 200 on the gauge that is almost normal operating temp for the engine scares them because it is in an old car. Case in point, engines that in the original application come from the factory with a 195 thermostat but the owner sticks it in an old car and changes to a 160 thermostat and gets nervous when the engine wants to run 195.
    Still I agree with Dana Barlow, there are a lot of factors beside radiator that contribute to engines actually overheating.
    Number one poor air flow, due to wrong fan, fan not positioned right, no shroud, missing tin around radiator that is allowing air to bypass the radiator rather than forcing it to go through it.
    If you have one of those tapered blade aftermarket "performance" fans they are designed for low restriction at the track and not to move air. A lot of times they get stuck on because they are the only thing that clears but they just flat don't move enough air including the one on my 48.
    Dirt, bugs, leaves and crap plugging up the front of the radiator not letting the air flow. Big problem around here in the summer when all the bugs are out committing suicide on radiator cores. I bought a rig with a fried engine a few years ago that had had a line to the external trans cooler leak and half the front of the radiator was plugged with greasy dirt that obviously had been building up there for a long time.
    Calcium build up on and in the radiator tubes. That white crusty crap you see on the tops of the tubes when you look down in the radiator because someone used tap water from a source that had "hard water" with a lot of minerals in it. If you boil a pot of water on the stove and there is a white scum in the pot after you empty it you damned well don't want to use water from that source in your radiator.
    Modifications to the car that block too much air flow. = the custom grill that just blocks too much air.
    An electric fan that just does not move air or it's guard blocks more air than it lets flow.
     
  13. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,340

    jimmy six
    Member

    Aluminum radiators are great in circle track cars, light weight, and cheap to buy after wrecking and they hold 30 psi Afco’s are the best. We mount them in roll bar padding, no direct bolting.
    My 56 Victoria has a brass copper US Radiator and is perfect for the job.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
    thintin likes this.
  14. It's an original rad, been in car since new , all brackets , sheetmetal , everything concerning rad is ok.
     
  15. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 1,197

    Hollywood-East
    Member

    This topic Again... If ya got the Loot, By All means find the most expensive one you can find, this thread will be 3 pages by morning, I my self have used champion which are manufactured in Ca. USA,
    Blown SBC, 100% happy across the board, recommend them to All my friend's.. Cheer's
     
    jimmy six likes this.
  16. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,459

    seb fontana
    Member
    from ct

    To the OP..That original radiator would have little trouble cooling TWO [really!] 327's; if in good condition..Have a shop check it out, maybe just needs some cleaning..
     
    firstinsteele likes this.
  17. Um, my reason for asking about the alum rad was to keep from buying the most expensive I can find, btw I have made my decision so we can end this thread now , sorry this is a repeat topic, hopefully it wont go 3 pages .
     
    1Nimrod likes this.
  18. Checked with a couple and they were backed up 3 months . Prob be fine to wait but as I said , was just thinking about the alum vs what I have, they seem cheap in comparison which makes me question quality.
     
    1Nimrod likes this.
  19. If she runs hot on the road, radiator problem. Not enough size or plugged. If she runs cool on the road but hot in town, not enough fan.

    Ben
     
  20. Been doing rods since early seventies and understand what you are saying. As I stated just thinking My rad might be ok but need to get it checked out and shoos around are swamped it seems. I have had this car in family for 47 years, was orig flathead till my dad who at the time owned the car turned it to a friend and he changed everything, engine trans mus2 frontend 9" rear you know all the common stuff. The car will get 220 degrees sitting at a light . It is tuned properly, timing set correctly, nothing abnormal. You mentioned airflow, I find it interesting the rad is aprox 400 square inches give or take , the opening on the factory grill is only around 200 square inches so in my opinion there is a built in airflow restriction. I Had a 40 coupe with a built 350, probably 325 hp, had a Walker rad and it ran normal temp as I recall around 195 ish. People can say what they wont and I wont argue but this rad was placed in a car from the factory that had eighty less cubic inches and probably 100 or more less hp and everybody knows more hp generally means more heat. Having said all that, in a perfect world with everything as it should be the original might do the job but it is not and my only alternative is buy a Walker or Griffin for around 1000.00 , buy as alum for 250.00 or get this one redone which as I said would take a long time , one guy said not this year, another said 3 months so that is the reason for my op.
     
    1Nimrod likes this.
  21. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,344

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    My afco has been in twenty years , got a little jb weld on it works fine !
     
  22. hemihotrod66
    Joined: May 5, 2019
    Posts: 174

    hemihotrod66
    Member

    I have an aluminum one in 34 Ford...The brass one I had from US Radiator wouldn't cool my hemi...Mine was built by a company in Rexburg ID called Total Cooling Products...
     
  23. Thanks for response
     
    1Nimrod and hemihotrod66 like this.
  24. Thanks
     
    1Nimrod likes this.
  25. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,817

    gene-koning
    Member

    When you buy you new aluminum radiator, don't buy the cheapest one you can find and you will probably be OK. The $200 Champion in my truck works great. Gene
     
  26. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,527

    RJP
    Member
    from PNW

    Kid that uses my shop for his sand toys, (blown SBC 4x4, blown BBC sandrail), uses nothing but those so-called cheap aluminum radiators. Matter of fact, he buys them off Amazon, and I've never seen him break a hundred bill. He's careful, and always mounts them in rubber. Granted, they aren't DD's, but when they are driven, they're driven hard. He figures if they last a year, he'll just drop another hundred. The 4x4's radiator is going on 4yrs, the rail is past 6yrs. He just bought a 4row with a fan for 126 bucks for his next project. At 126 bucks (fan, radiator and free delivery) I'm trying to figure out how there's any money being made. He tells me he doesn't need the bragging rights of that 900.00 brass radiator, he just needs it to cool. He'll use the left over cash to go faster. I can't fault his logic.
     
    thintin likes this.
  27. Thank you , yeah, I like most folks want to have top quality, ( Milwaukee drill vs Harbor freight drill) but also I want to be reasonable. 1000 bucks for a rad is a lot, I could buy one today but as I stated , I wanted opinions on these alum rad, never had in a rod or old car and wondered if they held up. All is good.
     
    Hollywood-East likes this.
  28. That is what I was thinking, I have heard several folks were happy with the Champion, also saw a couple bad reviews but those were the champion rads for modern cars.
     
  29. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,344

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    In today's marketplace , name brand means far less than it once did you can't keep up with the acquisitions & corporate buy outs ,its hard to tell who's making what , where !!
     
  30. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,817

    gene-koning
    Member

    The Champion I have was furnace welded with no epoxy in it at all. It was also made in the USA, and it is suppose to have a lifetime warranty. I think it was something like $225 shipped to my door. If I get 20 years out of it, I'm probably not going to care, it will likely outlast me. Gene
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.