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Technical eBay aluminum radiator?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Boden, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. Boden
    Joined: Oct 10, 2018
    Posts: 42

    Boden

    I was deciding to either buy a $140 eBay radiator for my 53 ford or get the old one recored because it is plugged solid. I am on a tight budget. What would you guys do. If I get the eBay radiator will it last at all. At least a few years?


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  2. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 2,047

    Flathead Dave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from So. Cal.

    Who makes it? The Champion Radiators are good from EBAY. Where do you live? If you're in California, I would suggest to talk with the Radiator Lady. She can be found on the internet, at the Long Beach and Pomona Swap Meets.

    I believe she's in Wildomar.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  3. 1946caddy
    Joined: Dec 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,341

    1946caddy
    Member
    from washington

    Have you got a quote from a radiator shop to rod it out?
     
  4. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 578

    alanp561
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Don't know where you are but in Chattanooga it was going to cost me $650 to get my 46 Merc radiator re-cored. New Champion aluminum was $204 including shipping. Follow the directions and use a 50-50 distilled water/antifreeze mix. Shouldn't have any problems for a number of years.
     
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  5. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 2,955

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    What's involved in rodding a radiator?

    Remove the top of the radiator, clean out the radiator, braze the top back on, check for leaks. Sounds like one of those jobs that could save some coin.

    We still have the same Radiator shop here in town that's been here for decades. At least last time I checked. A good radiator shop is something not appreciated till it's gone.
     
  6. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 2,036

    Budget36
    Member

    I don't think we even have a radiator shop local anymore.

    Last one I had recored in the mid 90's was around 150/200 as I recall.

    That said, I've never used a Ebay radiator, but I do have 4 AutoZone cheapies in DD's..running from just a few months ago to over 4 years ago, without any issues. These can't be much (if at all) different than the Ebay ones.

    Edit:

    IIRC, they have all been Spectra? Brand
     
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  7. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 5,504

    scrap metal 48
    Member

    Cheapy aluminum off eBay should get you by for a few years.. Especially if you don't drive your 53 much...
     
  8. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 728

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    I just bought one of the champion ones off ebay myself. I did a lot of reading on forums and checking feedback before buying it. Most that use them are happy with them. Most say it's the best bang for your buck so to speak.

    Some had a couple months of use to some that had been on the road four years. I never did hear anyone complain of leaks etc.

    So I bought figuring it was worth a try.
     
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  9. gatz
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 1,348

    gatz
    Member

  10. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,395

    jazz1
    Member

    I got my 70 year old rad recored to updated standards. Rad will cool any size engine now. Original coring can be issue cooling modern engines
    Cost $500,
    My rad also weighs 40lbs
    I would be looking at reviews for the aluminum rad you are considering
     

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    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  11. Truckdoctor Andy
    Joined: Jan 13, 2017
    Posts: 573

    Truckdoctor Andy
    Member

    Sadly, a radiator shop is a lost/dying art. The only ones left around us are in St. Louis, and they leave A LOT to be desired. One of the wanted $750 to recore a Farmall B radiator two years ago. I would not be afraid to try a bay of e radiator.


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  12. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,364

    Gman0046
    Member

    What kind of quality can you expect from a $140 radiator? Definitely a Chinese POS.
     
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  13. Oldioron
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 511

    Oldioron
    Member

    It must be me but I can't stand the look of an aluminum radiator.
     
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  14. Hombre
    Joined: Aug 22, 2008
    Posts: 729

    Hombre
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There's always paint.
     
  15. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 990

    Hollywood-East
    Member

    I couldn't either... Thank Budda for Satin black... As mentioned earlier, Champion Rules for cost and quality! I actually have Mike's # in my book.. bought several from him...
     
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  16. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,254

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    Is there anyone at the machine shop there who can open up a brass radiator, rod it out, and put the tanks back on? If you go that route, you might as well resolder the filler neck and the outlets also. They get some force applied to them at times. It might be a perfect time for you to learn how to do this for yourself. It takes patience, and the joints need to be clean when going back together. The rodding process consists of running an appropriately sized flat bar through each tube, a piece of flat metal attached to a small gas welding rod can do the job. Are you certain it is plugged?
     
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  17. Torana68
    Joined: Jan 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,039

    Torana68
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Australia

    I have one, nice welds , can’t visually fault it ( no water in it yet) cheaper than having repairs done to a brass/copper one (IF I could find anyone to do it, which I can’t without sending it on a long trip)
     
  18. Champion wanted $30 to ship my radiator... eBay to the rescue. I found that one I could use from this seller: radiators4less. They are a Champion distributor and were very accommodating. Free shipping and it showed up polished, another $30 option from Champion. I have close to 10k miles on my build and it cools very well.
     
  19. Ebay radiator on a half ass built race engine and zero issues so far
     
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  20. KenC
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 223

    KenC
    Member

    I have two eBay aluminum radiators. Both are replacements for stock units. Both fit fine, neither leak and and are about a year and a half old. One is a '97 F150, original plastic tank unit with a cracked tank, after only 21 years!

    The other is in a tilt cab mitsubishi truck, originally all brass/copper but rotted to hell. Replacement has plastic tanks but works fine.
     
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  21. I have had nothing but trouble with aluminum radiators, I just replaced one in my late model truck, it's only 8 years old and it's the second one to give me trouble and there is not much I can do about late model stuff but I learn my lesson with aluminum radiators in hot rods years ago, I'll stick to copper/brass. HRP
     
  22. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 1,196

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    There seems to be some on here who think the cost of something is indicative of its quality. It just ain't so !!
     
  23. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,364

    Gman0046
    Member

    Remember one of the worlds greatest truisms. You Get What You Pay For. A Walker radiatorin my 48 Ford convertible going strong after 21 years. Using Chinese repops will always bite your ass. I don't ave to carry Walkers phone number in my wallet they last forever and cool well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
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  24. Oldioron
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 511

    Oldioron
    Member

    Then they look like a painted aluminum radiator not much different.
     
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  25. ol'stinky
    Joined: Oct 3, 2010
    Posts: 245

    ol'stinky
    Member
    from New Jersey

    I'm so glad somebody started this thread. I wanted to ask the same question but was afraid of getting my head torn off on here.
     
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  26. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 990

    Hollywood-East
    Member

    Old, You did read it's in a 53 Ford Rite?? He didn't say no hood 34 correct? So... Painting it black an a closed hood.. Ya painted black Cheap/Good quality radiator.... Cheer's
     
  27. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 990

    Hollywood-East
    Member

    NCM_0026.JPG Proof... I had a 327, 6-71, 350, 2200 stall , 3:08's, An beat the Geezuzzz out of it an never overheated, Got hot in summer 95°+ days... Highly recommended Champion as mentioned off eBay is how I got in touch with Mike, They will build custom orders for $30. Put neck Anywhere you want it... NCM_0071.JPG NCM_0454.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
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  28. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,461

    B.A.KING
    Member

    99 cents at wally world. I mean 1 can and nobody knows.........
    Down side, if you DO spring a leak out of town ,not everybody can fix a leak in ALL-U-MINUM. Tryin for Jackie Stewart accent there........
    Do whats best for you and your budget. You gonna get a ba-zillion different opinions..........
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
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  29. My Walker Radiator is now 31 years old and I have never had a problem with it, all these old cars were originally equipped with copper/brass and were meant to last, the cars built today are throw away and so are the aluminum radiators.

    Use what ever you want but remember, " The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" . HRP
     
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  30. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 990

    Hollywood-East
    Member

    What would your Walker cost today? Clearly he's not on the Walker budget... The weld's an quality of the radiator's I have used are as good if not Better than bekool! It's a radiator... It Does it's job, An Well... Oh an it's 1/3 the cost of the hi end radiator's... Sure seems to be a lot of people talk'n shit about'm ... Anyone owned one with a negative experience Champion brand specific! Please post your horror story Now )
     
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