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Hot Rods Chinese Aluminum Radiator Rant..

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by loveoftiki, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. thecj3man
    Joined: Aug 16, 2010
    Posts: 52

    from TN

    I haven't had the desert cooler in my 55 that long, but I will agree that its a great product. The small block in my car will run 180 sitting in traffic or going down the road. It was difficult at the time to think about spending 4 times the money for a US made radiator but it is worth it every time I dont have to worry about my cooling system.
    Hnstray and Moriarity like this.
  2. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,017


    My friend who had a radiator shop said that aluminum radiators will put him out of business hard to fix and give less problems. I have used radiators that came out of wrecks that were twisted straightened them out and used them without issues.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
  3. Sky Six
    Joined: Mar 15, 2018
    Posts: 1,542

    Sky Six
    from Arizona

    The nicer the nice, the higher the price.
  4. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,007


    Have used many Walkers and US radiators in various builds--never an issue. Did have marginal cooling with a Griffin though. Went with US radiator in that one too.
    OLSKOOL57 likes this.
  5. I always buy Walker, little expensive but you only pay once.
    olscrounger likes this.
  6. bobscogin
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,761


    I had PRC custom build a radiator for my '42 Merc powered '29 rpu. Beautiful quality, and all the dimension/ hose inlets outlets were correct. Not cheap, but we know why. That was 10 years ago. I guess they're still around.
  7. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,260


    The worlds greatest truism "you get what you pay for".
    olscrounger likes this.
  8. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,751


    Superior Radiator in Mt. Clemens, MI did mine. Was like ~$350, even did custom inlet and outlets for me and recessed the filled neck. Really nice work and good people to deal with.
    2OLD2FAST likes this.
  9. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 9,956

    from Burton, MI

    There's 'value' in every purchase to be made. I think my acceptable level of 'value' is a bit higher than the normal person. I don't see 'value' in a $125 radiator that needs repairing or replacing every so often. My Walker I bought for my Flathead was over $600...20 years ago! It's still in the car as far as I know without any issues. Now that's value!
    olscrounger likes this.
  10. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,024

    from Nicasio Ca

    Wonder if everyone in China is driving around with coolant pissing out.
    RMR&C likes this.
  11. Fogger
    Joined: Aug 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,498


    Three cars, 3 Walkers and the oldest is from '84. I personally only install brass-copper radiators in my rides. The unit in my '55 is an original V8 Chevy that works great.
    olscrounger likes this.
  12. badvolvo
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 471


    I've bought two of the speedway street rod radiators, one is 7 years old and cools my 36 with AC, no leaks so far. Worked so good, I put the same thing in my 40 with a 632" BBC, she runs at 185 all day long, even sitting in the staging lanes on a 90 degree day. I don't like to buy China, but I expect that's what they are. Cheap and works for me.
  13. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,846

    from illinois

    Could also be the worlds greatest fallacy , depends on the product ..
  14. Well...the original one that I pulled out wasn’t worth a re-core..was already fixed once and had lots of gunk in it...found a old shop that would have done it..they took a look at it and said it would be more money to order a core, could only go 3 core...I ended up buying a replacement 3 core copper brass radiator at the shop..1 year warranty... I’m sure it’s the same thing NPD, MACS, etc sell..I feel a little better about buying something from a local business man, he’ll stand behind it, and it’s a repairable piece, vs the throwaway $100.00 Chinese junk
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
  15. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,680

    Gearhead Graphics
    from Denver Co

    absolutely 0 problems with my aluminum champion. going on 5 years now in hot summers cooling a built motor.
    Sure its not a Walker, but it works fine
  16. I lived less that 15 miles from Buddy Griffin (Griffin Radiator) when they were in Townville, South Carolina and building aluminum radiators for The Busch series cars & NASCAR.

    I approached Buddy about about building me a aluminum radiator for my new project 39 Ford convertible, I took him my original radiator and he took the dimensions and it was plumbed for a sbc, He built the first hot rod radiator for my car, he also gave me a lifetime guarantee.

    I had nothing but problems, it would not cool the car, he suggested water wetters, different pulleys, electric fans, shrouds, you name it nothing worked and finally he suggested making me a new radiator.

    Within a year of his making my radiator he started making all kinds of radiators for the street.

    Buddy personally took my radiator and put it on a huge band saw and cut the fins loose from the tanks, more than half the tubes were filled with epoxy.

    The new radiator he made me worked like a charm and never ever ran hot but his radiators were expensive, not cheap like the ones being talked about in this thread.

    Although I never had another problem it soured me on aluminum radiators, I have never had any problems with what Henry Ford chose to construct radiators, copper/brass.

    I travel long distances from home and the last thing I want to deal with out on the highway is a radiator problem, and Walker Radiators have been the only radiator I use in my builds.
    OLSKOOL57 and olscrounger like this.
  17. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,007


    Walkers in most 40's no issues. US radiator in a few builds as said-no issue. US radiator was in Socal and you could call and get what you wanted quickly. They were bought out I guess and are now part of a radiator company back east somewhere.
    OLSKOOL57 likes this.
  18. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,619


    I usually have my factory radiators recored . Of course that costs a pretty penny nowadays, but that´s how it is. I´m glad we have a good radiator shop nearby, and I´m doing my best to keep them in business. I always wondered how well these cheap aluminum radiator performed. The only one I know who is using them is a friend , but he never drives his cars, and sells them as soon as they are road ready, so that´s a s long as they have to be ok. Thanks for clueing us in!
  19. Doug Hines
    Joined: Jan 9, 2019
    Posts: 247

    Doug Hines

    I am running a Cold Case flathead lowboy radiator. It was pretty cheap. Just make sure it's not too tall for you.
  20. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,428


    I have a stock replacement in my Comet from Auto Zone........cost about $200 and has a lifetime warranty.
    2OLD2FAST and mctim64 like this.
  21. I run a '65 Chevy Champion in my Ford, 4 years and 12,000 miles and it seems to be okay. Champions seem to be a cut above all the crap out there. Mine was around $210 on eBay.
  22. SkyDriver
    Joined: Apr 13, 2013
    Posts: 23


    I agree. I have Walkers in both my 34's. Put one in the coupe in 1985, re cored it 2013 after 100,000 miles. Installed one in the roadster in 1989, it is still working perfect. You get what you pay for.
    mctim64 likes this.
  23. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,377


    The desert cooler in my 57 chevy has done well for 25 years
  24. Rick Coast
    Joined: Apr 19, 2020
    Posts: 40

    Rick Coast

    I bought for my Airflow a aluminum Champion,made in cal and it cools better than any other I had. you do get what you pay for in quality. do your research before buying. There rad cap nech is heavy duty compared to others. Well built. fair priced also.
  25. Deescott
    Joined: Mar 1, 2017
    Posts: 238


    Champions seem to work great for around $275, which is great compared to $8-900. Some people can’t afford top of the line. I’m pretty suspect of the $100something ebay radiators though, especially when you don’t know where or who they are coming from.
  26. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,688


    "I had PRC custom build a radiator for my '42 Merc powered '29 rpu."

    PRC = Peoples Republic of China?
  27. bobscogin
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,761


    Seems like the case in a lot of aluminum radiators, but in this instance it stands for Performance Rod & Custom, Booneville, Indiana.

    Beanscoot likes this.

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