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Late Model Radiator Swap for a '51 Chevy?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by haney, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. haney
    Joined: Jul 14, 2008
    Posts: 150

    from Knoxville

    I just went for a ride in my '51 (just finished assembly of it 3 or so weeks ago). The radiator is leaking pretty bad, and I'm looking for a cheap replacement, are there any late model car radiators that would drop into it? The autoparts store was of no help but I thought you guys might be.


  2. haney
    Joined: Jul 14, 2008
    Posts: 150

    from Knoxville

    Crap, the cheapest radiator I've been able to find as a replacement is $400.
  3. Moondog13
    Joined: Sep 7, 2006
    Posts: 761


    Early mustang. Real cheap, If I remember correctly, it should fit ok. I put one in a '39 Chevy I had. I had a '50 Chevy as well an they seemed about the same size...
  4. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    from Central Ky

    I got mine on my 55 fixed at a local radiator shop,the old guy has been in buisness for years.
    I dont know if you would be lucky enough to have a shop near you but it just cost me 50 bucks to have it cleaned and fixed. its worked great all summer.

  5. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,037

    from Michigan

    The thing about a "late-model" radiator, is they're crossflow, and a bit wide. That said...I still ran one for a while in my '52 Chevy I had years ago. Just wired it in, and found hoses to fit.
  6. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,106


    Find a good shop to recore it locally.
    Joined: Aug 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,601


    late 70s early 80s gm g body. Monti carlo cutlass v6. narrow and cheap.
  8. we dont pay more than aboubt 75 bucks for a clean and repair. beat that for a replacement.
  9. jonzcustomshop
    Joined: Jun 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,927


    think these are big enough to handle a stock big block?

    would work great for me if they could...
  10. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    from Central Ky

    They could probably be made work but arent they a crossflow radiator?
    If you dont mind the look I would assume their would be sevral options.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
  11. Lobucrod
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 4,122

    Alliance Vendor
    from Texas

    I bought an aluminum radiator from Superior Radiator for my '50 for under $300. It keeps the nailhead cool on 100 degree days.
  12. ol'chevy
    Joined: Nov 1, 2005
    Posts: 1,283


  13. 48fordf-1
    Joined: Oct 1, 2010
    Posts: 4

    from Maine

    I just purchased a 3 core stock location aluminum radiator for my 50 sedan delivery by Champion on ebay for just under $250.00 shipped. I have not installed it yet but it looks like it is going to bolt up no problem and seams to be well made.
  14. Bullet Man
    Joined: Sep 21, 2006
    Posts: 389

    Bullet Man

    go to a parts store and ask to look at their radiator catalog and look for a ford truck rad that is close to the same measurements and use it. the catalogs give dememisions. i did that for a stude truck and it worked out for me.
  15. 73super
    Joined: Dec 14, 2007
    Posts: 778


    Some of the radiator shops no longer fix the older radiators.. makes you wonder? I have found a wrecking yard or two in my area that repair radiators pretty darn cheap. Something you may want to look into. I think fixing your existing one would be a better answer than buying new.. but up to you.
  16. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    from Central Ky

    Someone mentioned recoring it, but my radiator guy quoted me a price to do that if it was to bad to fix and it was close to 300 bucks.
    I would have bought a new one for that kind of money instead of the recore.
    *I get the feeling yours can probably be cleaned and fixed if its just leaking.*
    I would say some radiator shops would rather sell you a new one and make there money that way instead of working for it.
  17. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,820

    from KCMO

  18. Yes, what was said before, a 55-6-7 most likely would fit, and you can get them cheap, new, repos. I just bought a 55 radiator and it will fit right in my son's 54 with alittle mounting bracket work. I would not think the 54 is much differant than your '51. The 55 radiator cost me $20 with no leaks and has the trans cooler.
  19. ModelAPunk
    Joined: Aug 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,931

    from Buffalo NY

  20. grynder
    Joined: Nov 27, 2009
    Posts: 33


    Hey bro Parma radiator on State road in Parma fixed the one in my 51. That was 6 years ago so I don't remember how much but it was way cheaper than a new one.

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