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Model A radiator, copper or aluminum?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 1927graham, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. Need to replace the 32 radiator in my Model A PU. I see copper radiators selling for $800., and aluminum selling for $300. I've just had a 322 Nailhead built, so not a lot of horsepower, what are your thoughts?
     

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  2. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    tfeverfred
    Member

    I had great luck with an aluminum radiator from Superior. Hell, it almost kept my engine TOO cool.
     
  3. WildWilly68
    Joined: Feb 1, 2002
    Posts: 1,724

    WildWilly68
    Member

    All depends on what you want. Guys have their preference and I think all would like to use copper. But if you are on a tight budget get a good one from PRC or Superior and you will be fine. I got one from Superior for my AV8 for $350 shipped to my door which was a lot better than $850 for a Walker.
     
  4. This question comes up at least once a month and you will hear that this one is better than that one.

    I like original styled radiators that have the correct looking tanks and that means copper brass/brass,,yeah,they are expensive.

    This is not to say that the aluminum won't work for the other guy.

    Use what you want to. HRP
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014

  5. Don't think there's probably a big difference in their efficiency, $500 more for copper was kind of a shock, been years since I shopped for a radiator.
     
  6. brandon
    Joined: Jul 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,333

    brandon
    Member


    had that issue with my prc in my model a..... actually cooled down the longer I sat in traffic...:eek: stayed consistant when I put the 185 thermostat in
     
  7. olskool34
    Joined: Jun 28, 2006
    Posts: 2,458

    olskool34
    Member

    I love the looks of an original and If I can't find/afford one, I use an aluminum one from Superior radiator. I have bought radiators for my 46 ford pickup and my 31 av8, all were direct bolt in and with some black paint, you couldn't tell unless you were looking for it.
     
  8. metal man
    Joined: Dec 4, 2005
    Posts: 2,949

    metal man
    Member

    I don't think you'll regret using an aluminum radiator. They both cool very well assuming everything else is in working order. I buy aluminum cores from C&R radiator in Indy and build my own, but I'm a moron.

    One reason I lean toward aluminum is because of the weight. There is a huge difference.
     
  9. Appreciate the thoughts on the radiator choice, will probably go with aluminum, especially with the weight difference.
     
  10. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    VoodooTwin
    Member
    from Noo Yawk

    aluminum. Paint it black and you are g2g. But take extra care in mounting it resiliently on the frame. They don't take kindly to frame twist.
     
  11. TANNERGANG
    Joined: Jan 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,273

    TANNERGANG
    Member
    from alabama

    I have always put a can of Bars leak in all of my Street Rods over the years.....with the 2 bolts at the bottom and the center rod type hookup at the top there is a lot of vitration you can't see unless you were under the hood while driving........it has never clogged up anything and if you do get a small vibration crack it will stop it.........just something I've done over the years.
     
  12. Does anyone have experience with Dillon Radiator, from Rochester, MN? From what I've been able to research, they appear to build a decent radiator.
     
  13. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 5,041

    pitman

    With the iron block motors, as long as you use a good antifreeze in the coolant, the corrosion issue will be tamed.
     
  14. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    I don't know how factual this is, so please don't shoot the messenger. :D I have a copper radiator in my 27 that I had built years ago by the Brassworks and have had it repaired a few times over the past 25 years because it shakes itself to death on the front of the car.

    Anyway, one time the local radiator repair guy told me they had a hard time fixing it because all the good solder is no longer legal, especially in California where this one came from, so he had issues trying to seal it with regular solder that we can use here in Florida. He said he sees lots of radiators these days with poor solder because of EPA regulations and all that stuff.

    Like I said, not sure how accurate, just what he said.

    Don
     
  15. Don,is your radiator spring mounted? HRP
     
  16. Christom
    Joined: Nov 3, 2011
    Posts: 217

    Christom
    Member

    Aluminium or copper - Not a lot in it really. Most if not all modern cars run ali cores and usually PLASTIC tanks! It really comes down to looks and cost if all else is equal. For a truely traditional no-hood hotrod the old fashion copper still looks the best IMO. I run a Walker on my flathead powered A coupe - love it. Looks right works great. Wasn't cheap though!
     
  17. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    No, it only has thick rubber pads under each side. I considered using a spring or two, but my radiator is chopped so far to line up with the top of my cowl that I needed every inch I had in height, so I just went this route.

    But it usually lasts 5-7 years before it develops any drips, so I have just lived with it for all the years I have been driving it and get it to a radiator shop when it needs resoldered.

    Don
     
  18. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,260

    Gman0046
    Member

    My 46 Ford convertible has the same Walker in it for 15 years and still going strong when I sold it. When it comes to brakes, cooling and steering I always buy the best.
    Read todays post about the 2 year old failed aluminum radiator in the AZ 57 Pontiac. Cheap isn't the way to go.
     

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