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Hot Rods Need a quality aluminum Radiator

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by blazedogs, May 22, 2016.

  1. blazedogs
    Joined: Sep 22, 2014
    Posts: 443


    This is the first time in all my years that I'm looking for a( aluminum) Radiator for one of my old hot rods. I read the reviews often on vendors and of course one will see complaints ,not necessary always true ,being fair to the vendor I understand that comes with the job and there will always be unhappy people.The latest complaint I read is about poorly welded in baffles to devert flow and on and on with different complaints about radiator shops.

    My question Where can I purchase one ,will be happy with the quality. if there is a issue when I get it I will not be told to take a hike ? My Wife says I don't deal with stress well !! Gene
  2. Leakie
    Joined: Nov 10, 2010
    Posts: 254


    PRC in Boonville Indiana.
    zombi50 likes this.
  3. you put one too many words in the title of this thread......that word is "quality"...
  4. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,460

    seb fontana
    from ct

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  5. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    My new PRC radiator is being shipped to me this week for my rpu project, I think this is the 4th one we have bought from them. Welded, not epoxied, and super high quality. My Son is cooling a 468 Olds in his rpu with one of theirs and it runs at about 170 even on the hottest days.

    Super nice people to deal with too.

    Leakie likes this.
  6. PONTNAK123
    Joined: Jul 10, 2008
    Posts: 429


    brice Thomas radiator btr in Alabama been in business since 1956. you can get welded tank or stamped tank. great radiators fast service 13230323_1199349423417607_4329870797771252355_n.jpg AAEAAQAAAAAAAALLAAAAJGMxYzYwNTc4LWVmZGUtNGJjYS05MWRkLWU4ODY2MzI1YTJlYg.jpg thumbnail_20140705_132248.jpg 40 convert build 005.JPG 40 convert build 003.JPG
  7. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,226


    Don't expect too much quality from a $100-$150 Chinese radiator with epoxied cooling tubes rather then tig welded. Like the staying goes, you get what you pay for. If it were me I'd buy a USA made copper/brass radiator which has a greater cooling coefficient then aluminum. They are also repairable rather then a throw away.

    wicarnut likes this.
  8. check out champion radiator they are made in california.
  9. 29moonshine
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,292


    x2^^i have bought 3 with no problems
  10. blazedogs
    Joined: Sep 22, 2014
    Posts: 443


    Yes, to the above comment , I heard about that , People were getting radiators in a box from venders. on the box it said made in China ...

  11. On my avatar I have an aluminum radiator from Dillon Radiator, Rochester, MN. It is well mounted with Barry Mounts (22000 series, Aircraft Spruce), Satin black powder coated ($40) and works perfectly, I really like the light weight of this radiator and have no regrets.
  12. I will never use a aluminum radiator again but that is not a reason why you shouldn't.

    The one I had wasn't inexpensive but it was inadequate and due to the problems with it my engine was damaged a long way from home.

    I wish you much better experience than I had. HRP
  13. Old TFFdriver
    Joined: Jan 14, 2016
    Posts: 191

    Old TFFdriver
    from California

    Ok... I am probably get blasted.., read it on the internet etc....

    Truth being told I have used

    Ron Davis ..,,

    Many times..., NEVER had a issue period...

    May be just my dumb luck or might be quality products .,,,
  14. I've never used one but always thought radiators made by an AZ company should be able to handle heat so if I was in the market I would probably start with Ron Davis. I see lots of them in AZ and spoken to a few owners who swear by them.
    Old TFFdriver likes this.
  15. Devin
    Joined: Dec 28, 2004
    Posts: 2,352

    from Napa, CA

    I have had good luck with Superior radiators in Michigan. Very reasonably priced as well. Would purchase from them again.
  16. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,439

    from oregon

    Held back because wasn't sure they made application rads for rods.
    I too think Ron Davis makes an aluminum radiator equal to the best on the market, may be the best.
    I have mentioned it on another thread, I have one in my 66 Suburban, quality product.
    Old TFFdriver likes this.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,424


    I have a Griffin in my convertible, I love it. No problems with it at all.
  18. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,340


    Superior Radiators in Michigan......I have in my 32 pickup and the other in my '29 roadster.
  19. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,345

    from illinois

  20. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,345

    from illinois

    I don't know why the comment didn't post , anyway , aluminum rad . tubes are either furnace brazed or epoxied , the tanks are repairable , the tube/bulkhead joint is repairable w/ epoxy , mines held for 7 years .
  21. I am sure that someone will say Nay nay, and I don't know about today but I have a Summit Branded aluminum radiator that is just a piece of art. it is all done in the USA and all welded not epoxied. I know several guys running them in everything from Muscle cars to street rods, yes I said it street rods I know some gold chainers, and none of them have had any complaints.

    I would sell mine but it won't work in most of our rods its a cross flow better suited for later cars like say '50s and up. And I am not working at finding it a home, if someone I like comes along sort of deal. ;)
  22. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    My new PRC radiator showed up today. They did it exactly to my drawing. I left the bottom plate longer than normal so I can trim it to fit my frame. Very happy with it. A few fins between the tubes got pushed a little in shipping, but no problem to straighten those out.



    pat59 likes this.
  23. Bought Brice Thomas (CGJ) radiator, Have not used it yet. Called and talked to a very knowledgable guy named Chris. Told him what I wanted. He provided a drawing (since it was a custom height). 2 weeks later it arrived well packed. I bought the stamped tank version but it is also avail with a welded tank. 3 1/2 inch core, heavy tabs and good looking welds. Only bitch would be no radiator cap included. They make all kinds of radiator for all kinds of stuff. Mine is 2 inch shorter than stock 32 ford. Here are pictures. btr 1.JPG btr 2.JPG btr 3.JPG radiator Blueprint.png btr 1.JPG btr 2.JPG
  24. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,183


    if your lucky and live in a big town you may have a good radiator shop there. check around that way you can take it back in person if you need to.
  25. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,675

    from So Cal

    This is an old thread, I'll assume the OP got his answer. I'll just tell about my alum radiator experience, it developed a pin hole leak in one of the welds on the top tank. If it were a copper tank I would've soldered it up myself and been back on the road in a day or 2. Because it was aluminum that wasn't going to work. I cleaned the area up well and applied some JB Weld in an attempt to stop the leak, that worked for about a week or so. I had to break down and take the radiator to a weld shop to have it repaired. Which, because they had other better paying jobs lined up ahead of me, left me down for about 2 weeks in the middle of prime hot rod season. That is the biggest issue with aluminum radiators IMO, they are not easily repaired unless you're skilled at welding aluminum, I'm not. I've done it years ago when taking welding classes, but never developed a good skill for it, and haven't attempted to since. And I don't have a TIG machine either.

    Besides that, aluminum has less heat transfer characteristics than copper/brass, so is less efficient at cooling. The 1 advantage appears to be initial price.

    Oh, and you should use nitrite free antifreeze too, as nitrites used in many antifreeze will degrade over time and heat cycles and become aggressive to aluminum.
  26. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,276


    I bought a Champion for my 40, was real disappointed with the quality. Had one of those cheap Chinese Ebay special there at the same time a customer supplied for his 40, if I didn't have morals I'd swapped them, his looked much better quality then mine. No more Champion for me.
    I've bought several from AM Radiator in Phoenix including the one in the 39 below, kinda pricy but they been great and look killer since they polish them. Figure anyone in Phoenix would need to know how to cool a car!
  27. I have a Champion aluminum in my Ford, but feel a brass/copper type would cool better. Aluminum is a trade-off mostly to save weight and is cheaper to manufacture. Before I installed it, I looked it over carefully, all welds were good and uniform, nothing wonky anywhere. I use a sacrificial anode in place of the petcock to ward off dis-similar metals issues. Eastwood makes a nice radiator for a good price too.
  28. els
    Joined: Sep 11, 2016
    Posts: 361


    I was lucky enough to find a NOS corvette radiator for my 1962 corvette. Aftermarket radiators, RON DAVIS builds a great radiator for all makes.

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