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Technical eBay aluminum radiator?

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

  1. Gee, don't get your panty's in a wad, the guy ask a question, we all have opinions and the last time I looked it is a open forum open to discussion.

    I have been building hot rods for more that 50 years and have used junk yard radiators, Chinese aluminum radiators and American made Griffin aluminum radiators, I had more problems with the Griffin radiator than the Chinese radiators.

    But in the late 90's I was trying to cut corners and installed a Chinese aluminum radiator in a Model A and in less than a year in bumper to bumper traffic in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee the radiator failed, with the expense of a wrecker and the Motel room and car rental to drive to Knoxville to get another radiator that would work in a pence I got a bad taste in my mouth for aluminum radiators!

    BTW... Champions warranty is 60 Day

    Walker warranty is 10 year. HRP
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  2. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 990


    Gave up panties year's ago... There not made over sea's primer... I stand behind shit I have experience with, An only speak to help... Again not everyone can afford a $1000.00 radiator, He asked a simple question is it crap, I said no, in fact here's picture living proof I have nothing but good to say actually .. Soo.. am I really out of order? Have a Great weekend... I'm Out on this topic Carry-on
  3. Opinions are like rear ends, we all have one. HRP
    Boden and Hollywood-East like this.
  4. Joliet Jake
    Joined: Dec 6, 2007
    Posts: 467

    Joliet Jake
    from Jax, FL

    I have a Champion in my 62 Chevy II, it works great here in Florida, I highly recommend them.
    AHotRod likes this.
  5. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,249

    from SW Wyoming

    I also agree that Boden will probably be just fine with a cheap aluminum radiator, but being me, I would also do my best to repair the original, keeping one as a spare. I like spare stuff.
    Boden likes this.
  6. Boden
    Joined: Oct 10, 2018
    Posts: 42


    Ya. I talked to my radiator shop and they said $400. I'm ok with that but I just want to know if I can get the cheaper one and it won't bite me in the butt later on

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  7. Boden
    Joined: Oct 10, 2018
    Posts: 42


    I didn't even think about that. I didn't know I can do it myself. And it will be cool to learn how to do that. Thanks for the idea.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Hnstray likes this.
  8. Boden
    Joined: Oct 10, 2018
    Posts: 42


    This is when dopey kids like me come in handy. Only if there were more of us.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  9. drptop70ss
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,117

    from NY

    I have champions in 4 cars, no issues, over 15k miles on one of them over 5 years. The aluminum ones to avoid use epoxy, champions are fully welded.
    AHotRod and INVISIBLEKID like this.
  10. ol'stinky
    Joined: Oct 3, 2010
    Posts: 245

    from New Jersey

    It's good to know I'm not alone.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Boden likes this.
  11. I ran one in the Texas heat for a couple years in the low buck 32 car. No problems as long as I owned it. As far as I know it’s still in the car and working fine.
    AHotRod likes this.
  12. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 2,848

    from Berry, AL

    I believe Champions are made in California, not China. Mine had a "Made in USA" sticker on it out of the box. Haven't ran it yet, but it looks pretty solid built, good welds.

    We usually put anywhere from 500,000 to 750,000 miles on factory plastic tank aluminum big truck radiators. If a good one will last that long in a truck environment, I don't see why a good one wouldn't last 100,000 miles in a car. One thing we do in the trucks is run the nitrate free coolant, it seems to help the lifespan of all aluminum parts. Of course, your mileage may vary.....
    AHotRod and Fordor Ron like this.
  13. Got an aluminum one for the Model A from Dillon Radiator, Rochester, MN the quality was amazing, had it powder coated Satin Black, drove the car a lot, no problems. Dillon Radiator is on eBay as well.
    AHotRod and blowby like this.
  14. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 576


    I know I've already posted on this earlier but I used the same vendor as Bob. Only negative thing was they sent me a radiator for a Chevy conversion into my 46 Merc when I had ordered one for a stock flathead. I phoned them, they sent me the right one and I sent the first one back, no charge. They made it right in 3 days with no arguments.
    AHotRod and bobss396 like this.
  15. Boden
    Joined: Oct 10, 2018
    Posts: 42


  16. Clay Belt
    Joined: Jun 9, 2017
    Posts: 367

    Clay Belt

    They work, but any threaded fitting will strip in those.
  17. drptop70ss
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,117

    from NY

    The champions have bungs welded for the auto trans coolers and are plenty beefy. Three of mine have automatics, NPT to inverted flare fittings went in with no issues.
    AHotRod, alanp561 and Hnstray like this.
  18. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,496


    My unboxed frame 32 tore my walker apart every 6 months , tanks, side straps, prop rod bracket you name it it came loose, no problems with recored original ... if you have a boxed frame or the radiator doesn’t move at all the walker would probably be fine but I don’t think it’s up to the task the stocker was

    I’ve used a bunch of cheapie aluminum ones mostly from superior radiator, I have no problem useing them with a can of black paint on a budget car but I also don’t have the same expectations of a $200 eBay rad that I do an $800 walker
  19. boo
    Joined: Jul 6, 2005
    Posts: 492

    from stuart,fl.

    local rad shop has built me 2 rads completly from scratch from my drawings for $600 w/heavy duty cores.
  20. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,537


    In my experience aluminum radiators don’t like to sit. Keep the coolant and distilled water fresh (I change mine every season) and you should be fine with an inexpensive aluminum radiator unless you’re cooling a serious high horsepower engine.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  21. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 10,233

    from Quincy, IL

    Yes, and everyone believes their's is the True North......obviously, that's not always the case.
  22. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 2,951

    from Ioway

    And they all stink.
  23. oliver westlund
    Joined: Dec 19, 2018
    Posts: 668

    oliver westlund

    i have bought 5 aluminum rads off ebay over the years from 100-150 bucks, all because of a few bent fins, straightened the fins and they never failed me
    AHotRod likes this.
  24. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 7,298

    from Phoenix,AZ

    Odd that no one brought up the causes of aluminum failing,this also is why you will see used aluminum intake manifolds badly corroded If you are running aluminum parts you need to invest in a sacrificial anode on a yearly basis. Another mistake is not having enough grounds when you do a build or engine swap.
    AHotRod likes this.
  25. gatz
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 1,347


    Can you expand on 'sacrificial anode' ?
    i.e. What material works for alum radiators. Size - shape?
    Where best to place it; near the fill opening, inside the intake, or down inside the outlet?
  26. Joe H
    Joined: Feb 10, 2008
    Posts: 714

    Joe H

    99.99% of all new cars use aluminum radiators. Most if not all , have plastic tanks. They all mount using the plastic tanks. I have yet to see one with a ground wire going to the core or anode rod in the core. Same for engine blocks and heads.

    Please explain.
    Fordor Ron likes this.
  27. Yup, ground the radiator itself. I have to get another sacrificial anode for mine, believe it was from Permacool and was like $14.
    alanp561 likes this.
  28. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 1,121


    Champion Radiator, 50/50 mix of distilled water and antifreeze, problem solved. Black paint optional. The $204 Champion radiator I bought last year says it has a lifetime warranty. If it goes 10 years, I'll be happy. Gene
    AHotRod likes this.
  29. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 7,298

    from Phoenix,AZ

    It's pretty simple install it in place of the radiator petcock,because of shipping might as well order a pair
  30. Recoring an original radiator is expensive period. For my 5-window I went to the NSRA Rocky Mountain Nats in Pueblo,Co and bought a new Walker for $700 with free shipping. That was cheaper than a recore. If you know what you are building shop for one. If you need one for a present ride ya gotta beat the bushes on the internet for the deals.

    That all being said, and for all of those like myself who may not be able to repair their own for whatever reason, think of an aluminum radiator as a temp unit to buy you seat time in your present ride until you can find that killer deal on a new replacement unit or score a good deal on a recore .....

    That’s my inflated 2 cents -
    lothiandon1940 and sidevalve8ba like this.

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