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Best Quality Aluminum Radiator.....???

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Greg72, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Thread Rules:

    1. The discussion will be about aluminum radiators, not whether they are better than a conventional steel/copper/brass one...

    2. Saying aluminum radiators are expensive is redundant. Don't bother commenting on it.



    I want to discuss options for cooling a roller-cammed 502BBC. First of all, these are the brands I can think of off the top of my head:
    • C&R - These guys supply NASCAR and Indy, etc.
    • Ron Davis - Seen in Monster Garage and Overhaulin' buildups
    • Be Cool - The traditional Summit & Jegs offering
    • Griffin - Similar to Be Cool?? Lower cost?
    Some of these look like absolute works of art... but I don't know which would be considered the "best of the best". Are there other brands I'm missing?

    I am of the opinion that there is NO such thing as TOO much cooling potential...especially when running in hot conditions offroad where there is almost NO airflow.

    So post up with firsthand, or second-hand experiences with any of these....what have you seen, heard about and post up with any success or horror-stories. :usaflag:
     
  2. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I researched the heck out of this awhile back.... I finally decided to do the Summit one after hearing a few posts of very satisfied customers... They are certainly waaaay more cost effective... Some of the others are big bucks...

    The direct fit with auto, etc is like $275... Manual univeral one is like 160... I'm going with the auto as I plan to replumb my tranny thru it due to winter warmups...

    I need to do this desperately and it is number #1 on my priority list.... Mines original with flaking off fins, etc and it just wont dissapate heat well anymore... I've had to run around with the heat on numerous times recently to keep it under control.. not fun when its 95 out...
     
  3. Slapperbar

    Slapperbar Retired Navy NDT Examiner Premium Member

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    I have a Be Cool in my 350 S-10 and love it! It stayed cool in stop and go traffic, with a FAL dual fan setup, in Hawaii.
    I too am looking into the Summit rad to replace the one in my 'Burb.
     
  4. fatbob

    fatbob 1/2 ton status

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    I bought the Summit one, and it's made by Northern, which is the same brand that Jegs sells.
    And as far as I can tell it's pretty well built. Marv uses the same one for his 454 and had no complaints.

    I've read that Griffin uses epoxy but cannot verify that for sure. But if true, then i would rate the quality below Northern.

    That's about the extent of my experience with aluminum radiators.
     
  5. gotmud77

    gotmud77 1/2 ton status

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    I got one from speedway motors for $150. It seems to be of decent quaility. It was a 19 x 22. They have all kinds of sizes. Dont know how good or bad it will work yet. Still working on the chassis.
     
  6. SkysTheLimit

    SkysTheLimit 1/2 ton status

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    I have a Griffin. It came with the car I got the motor in. It has a big electric fan on the back of it and keeps a pretty hot roller 496 cool. I don't know much about radiators but the guy who built it all up typically used the higher end components.
     
  7. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    Aluminum radiators are more pricey and don't work as good as copper/brass radiators.

























    Does that help? :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:


    One of the main guys @ Ron Davis owns an EB. He's in tune with off road needs & uses.
    We use C&R at work for our APU radiator R&D work. They'll build us anything we want & our wants are usually weird.

    My biggest concern with an Aluminum radiator stems from the way they mount in GM trucks. I worry that they will wear faster in the rubber mounts that the copper/brass does since they won't wear harden like C/B. All it would take is a little bit of grit down in the mount to really accelerate the rubbing wear. If the mounts are tight enough that the radiator can not move, even relative to the rubber support, then it shouldn't be an issue.
     
  8. Ryan B.

    Ryan B. 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I have a be cool in my camaro, but i will tell you that the cooling system is only going to be as good as the electric cooling fans that you're running. I think scott was telling me that we both have the same fans, flexalite 230's or something the dual 12"s... For my .070 over 454 its barely enough.
    I think they're rated for around 2500 cfm.. I'm looking into getting some of the 4500 cfm dual fan setups but it poses clearance issues with my cog belt..
    So ultimately i think i'll have to pony up for a lower profile serpentine belt drive and then i'll be able to fit the bigger fan setups. I'm pretty sure this wouldn't be an issue in a truck because theres quite a bit more clearance.
    I think buying a big "universal" aluminum radiator will be a bit cheaper than one made for a specific application. :wink1:
     
  9. destinbeachman

    destinbeachman 1/2 ton status

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    I have a Griffin unit in my rig and it does an excellent job.Keeps the big block cool.Running two electric fans,both 14".One pushing and one pulling.Have had absolutely zero probs.Very durable,have bounced it around like it's nobody's business.Still in one piece.
     
  10. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    I test radiators for Visteon for a living and C&R makes all of our experimental stuff. They are very well made and have excellent heat rejection properties. Sometimes their shipping department drops the ball on packaging but I've never had any problems with leaks or bad welds or anything.

    If you can afford it, they are the top of the heap, as far as I'm concerned.
     

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