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Aluminum radiators?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by sled_dog, Dec 7, 2003.

  1. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    I'm wondering if in place of my radiator I could run a smaller aluminum unit and still cool effectively. I want to drop my hood line and narrow up the front end real well and the smaller radiator will make it easier to drop the hoodline. So pretty much does anyone have experience with aluminum radiators? I was planning on a big old 4 core rad but just seems like weight and size in the front end that i don't want.
     
  2. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Really don't hear much with people retrofitting AL units to these trucks.

    I had kind of planned on it, but I think I've been talked out of it. Your plans are different than mine, but here's what I heard from pro's, and what I thought of myself.

    Aluminum radiators tend to "pop" the seal at the tank and core. Any stress placed on this joint (imagine grabbing either side of the radiator and twisting in opposite directions) will only increase chances of it failing. Yes you have rubber cushions, but I wouldn't rely on them to absorb any and all flex your truck might dish out.

    Most new trucks (or cars) that are using AL radiators use MUCH stiffer frames than what our trucks have. You only need to crease your roof once to know that anything tying both frame rails together has to flex as well...the core support is one of them.

    I really like the cooling capabilities of AL radiators, and will likely install one in my car, but the STOCK AL radiators I don't think, are up to the task in a truck. If you went custom, all welded, it would probably hold up better, but a "standard" stock radiator should hold up to more flex than an aluminum one, even if welded.

    Some people may not see it as a problem, but having been told to stay away from retrofitting a stock AL unit to my truck by a "pro", and knowing the problems associated with the stock units, I am more than likely just going to get a 3 row "stock" replacement for my year truck.

    No real solution for you on a smaller radiator, but FWIW, my manual trans 350 cooled FINE with a 2 row "tall" radiator that wasn't in real good shape. A 3 row that was shorter, with no tranny fluid run through it, might work ok for you, although increasing the "thickness" isn't as effective as increasing the front surface area. (making it taller)
     
  3. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I see you have a 355 and I would go wit one of the mid to larger size aluminums. They are great and extremely efficient radiators. I have to do something different with my 3 core too because it isn't quite big enough for my 406.
    I had to pull one of our companies trucks about 5 miles because it was broke down to the mechanics shop (40,000lbs). It pulled good but the motor got a little warm on me. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif I will probably go with an aluminum radiator this spring.
     
  4. SUBFAN

    SUBFAN 1/2 ton status

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    What did you expect????
     
  5. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    What did you expect????

    [/ QUOTE ]It wasn't pulling all that hard once I got a little momentum built up but starting from a dead stop was a little slow, besides I was running in low range. (one more reason why 2wd's suck, no low range for heavy pulling. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif)
     
  6. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    well I'm thinking one of the simple replacement car type ones, not a newer factory truck radiator. as well the 2 row I had in there with a stock 7 blade fan cooled quite well. It rarely got warm, in fact never that I can remember. I was thinking a simple slightly smaller 2 core aluminum unit with 1 or 2 electric fans, lean it back a little bit and with it being shorter would allow a better downswept hoodline. I see what you mean about the torsional flexing on the radiator and sounds like an issue, it won't be mounted ot the core support since all that is already gone and not returning to the K5. as well I am going to make the whole hood/fenders and grill assembly tilt so the radiator will not be integrated into that.
     
  7. 99firehawk

    99firehawk 1/2 ton status

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    I have a griffen al radiator in my truck, it came out of my last "race" car, it does a superb job of cooling along with my lt1 electric fans. Ill measure it in the morning if youd like, I did have to build brackets for it .
     
  8. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I have you considered mounting your radiator in the rear like some people do? (White Knight) I would just find a semi radiator or tractor radiator or whatever else is huge and beastly and run that in the rear bolted to the floor with a bunch of electric fans.

    I run a normal 3 core in mine, always have, and have never had cooling issues. I think my tow rig has one too. It got hot on me ONCE, but I was pulling my 8,000 lb. 5er down the highway and giving it hell. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif It got about 210 and then cooled off when I exited the highway and stopped beating the hell out of it.
     
  9. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    yes I have but the thing about that is I don't know how to deal with running coolant lines, I could always do like in my dad's Race cars and run them along the floor inside the cab. Also figured best bet in the back would be like the one rig in white knights season roundup mounting to roll bar down tubes. Just have to get my cage in first.
     
  10. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    If you can mount it solid, with no flex, a modine 951(?) might fit the bill. Aluminum out of an F-body, hooks up identical to some earlier GM car radiators (similar to trucks, just not as tall nor wide maybe)and is cheap depending on where you go.

    But I have to say, leaning a radiator back is a bad idea. Yes it may work, but the cooling system almost totally relies on airflow over the cooling fins, and the angle on the cooling fins is designed for the radiator to be mounted verticle, if that makes sense.

    For an example of what I consider a piss-poor setup, look at HMMWV's. Not sure if it's been changed on any other variants, but the first ones mount the radiator at more than a 45* angle, with standard angle cooling fins. The fan isn't doing SQUAT on those trucks IMO, and they tend to get hot while cruising, which is inexcusable. I think a monkey could have set that up better. I'd imagine the 6.2L C/K trucks had no similar cruising/heating up problems.
     
  11. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    Electric fans would be mounted directly to the radiator, no motor fan. I think I'm just gonna move the rad to the bed. Won't have moving air from driving but will have 2 fans going pretty well nonstop. Just means I will relocate my original plan for fuel cell.
     
  12. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    not sure i see the problem, mount ur radiator with a very flexible mounting system so frame flex is no biggie. prob solved. alternatively, mount it in the rear to your cage... which (hopefully) doesnt flex all THAT much.

    j
     
  13. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Probably a good idea. What do you run from the radiator to engine? Pipe?
     
  14. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    dont run my radiator in the rear of my rig, but if I was gonna, I'd prolly hardmount a piece of aluminum tube to the frame to cover the distance from the front of the rig to the back and then use standard radiator hose to make the flexible connections between the frame tubing and radiator. could use steel tube also I guess... but assuming its safe from rocks or whatever, AL would cool better. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    j
     
  15. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    I will use some pipe, got a few plumber buddies will see what I can get. Then just some radiator hose for connections like jek mentioned. I want to move it now so I can drop my hood line that much more and then lose some weight up front.
     
  16. marv_springer

    marv_springer 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    So pretty much does anyone have experience with aluminum radiators?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    [​IMG]
    Summit 19x26" 2 core aluminum radiator w/ Taurus electric fan. So far, seems to cool the Big Motor just fine./forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif Seems like the radiator was under $200.

    Marv
     

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