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Opinions on Flex-a-Lite and BeCool

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by willyswanter, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. willyswanter

    willyswanter 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I'm contemplating a BeCool all aluminum radiator and a Flex-a-Lite Monster electric fan setup for the chevy... Anyone run either? Opinions?

    Here is the fan setup

    And here is the radiator

    My stock radiator is starting to drip a bit where the plastic tank is connected to the core, not bad for 160k miles :o

    Also ever since putting in a cheapo kragen water pump it gets warm at idle. I'm going to replace the pump with a better unit and since the cooling system is bone stock and hasn't been flushed, ever, I figured why not upgrade the whole thing? I'm doing some other engine "mods" so I figured now would be a good time.
     
  2. littlejimmythatcould

    littlejimmythatcould 1/2 ton status

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    That looks like a pretty good setup. I've been thinkin' about doing the electric fan thing myself to cool my motor no matter what rpm I'm at. I upgraded to a big 4 core radiator and my stock belt fan isn't cuttin' it just putting around town. I might go with 2 medium- large size fans pulling 1500 cfm each. I wonder if that will be enough... that setup you're looking at looks good though... too pricey for me... but maybe someday...
     
  3. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

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    my uncle ran GT eliminator(drag racing) he used a be cool rad. helped alot keeping the car cool between rounds, dropped like 20 degrees after each run.
    also most of the racers in his class ran be cool's.
     
  4. rcamacho

    rcamacho 1/2 ton status

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    Seems like a lot of $ though.
     
  5. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Be interesting to see what your old water pump looks like under the cover.

    All the talk in the other thread about the higher flowing AL water pump for $50, I'd actually like to compare to the two impeller setups.
     
  6. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    I wouldnt get the aluminum. When I had to replace the radiator in my crewcab (carbon copy of yours sans mods) last summer at about 150k miles I bought a brass and copper version so I could get rid of the ****ing plastic tanks. I HATE THOSE GODDAM PLASTIC RADIATOR TANKS. They ALWAYS start leaking around the lower transmission cooler inlet fitting. Anyway, my brass and copper monster 4 core keeps my motor nice and cool, even when towing my 7k trail truck and trailer in the Texas summer heat. It was about $300 too. I considered getting an all aluminum on but A) I couldnt even find any with the built in engine and tanny coolers and B) the ones that I did find, even without the coolers were crazy expensive.
     
  7. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Holy crap, I just looked at the price in the link, $709.95??

    Yeah, I'd say 3 or 4 row copper/brass and call it good.

    The be-cool looks great, pretty much an exact fit (coolers too) but with everyone running external trans coolers anyway, kind of immaterial IMO.

    For that much money, even popping the plastic/AL stock tanks at roughly $200 each replacement, you'd have 3.5 to go before you even broke even. If you originally got 160K out of the original, $700 is a lot of money for an "upgrade". Plastic/AL's have a bad reputation, but by 160K they are probably getting near the end of their lifecyle, so in this case I don't see another one as a bad replacement.

    I'd also just go the Windstar electric fan setup. Cooling efficiency from them for our trucks is already proven by numerous members, I believe there is a tech writeup on the board, and the fit is probably going to be easier to deal with. Oh yeah, and probably boatloads cheaper than the fans shown in the link.
     
  8. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    The windstar fans dont fit non-small block radiators very well. I have them on my 6.2 equiped trail truck and they leave abou 6" on one side open and the same 4" on the bottom open as well. I am planning on building a custom shroud for them though.
     
  9. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I've got about that same gap under mine (non-windstar) but the sides are pretty close.

    Mine cools fine, and as long as the fans are mounted against the radiator (I didn't mount mine as close as I could, but since it works...) you won't need an additional shroud. I know some of the cheaper aftermarket fans don't even have anything along the outer edge of the blade, those are junk.

    Leaving as much open/unrestricted area on the radiator as possible for flow through, outside of the swept fan area, is the best approach.
     
  10. Greg72

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

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    I was kind of wondering what the opinions were on aluminum radiator brands as well. Once you get past the higher price, the are a superior option.

    I've seen offerings from

    C&R
    Ron Davis
    Be Cool
    Griffin

    Some of them look like absolute works of art... but I don't know which would be considered the "best of the best"


    Jason, you're on the right track IMHO by considering these types of upgrades in anticipation of a TTC spot. Overheating during hard competition is NOT the way to win.....

    :usaflag:
     
  11. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    If he's going competition, then yeah I'd imagine a plastic tank jobby isn't the answer. I assumed based on 160K miles of use that we weren't talking something that extreme.

    Amazingly enough, looking at some good copper/brass radiators, you apparently can get similar or identical performance to AL ones. LOTS of reading to find that info though. Just a ton of variables and methods.
     
  12. destinbeachman

    destinbeachman 1/2 ton status

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    I like the way those radiator kits from BeCool fit so many applications and come with fan kits also,but the price is way up there.Temps here run 110* in the summer and I was having probs keeping my rig cool sitting in traffic so I upgraded.I put a Griffin aluminum radiator in with a 15" Flexalite and a 13" el-cheapo switching off of inexpensive temp-adjustable relays from Advance Auto.This setup has been fantastic,and the Griffin units are way less pricey than the BeCool's.They look great,I just don't see how they could give that much better performance.My $.02 worth.-Allen
     
  13. Dallin

    Dallin 1/2 ton status

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    I'm running the Northern Al radiator that summit sells. The universal 31" x 19" is only $160. At that price you can still afford seperate Transmission and oil coolers. I've been really impressed with the quality.
     
  14. Boondocks

    Boondocks 1/2 ton status

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    I run a Flex-a-lite dual fan setup with my stock, re-cored radiator. This is in-front of a GMPP 383HT and I tow an 18' camp trailer over the mountain passes going to/from Stanley, Idaho and the temp gauge is rock steady in normal.

    Although, I don't like the controller and am thinking of replacing it with something I won't worry about soaking with water.
     
  15. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    I run the Flex-A-Lite 13" duals..they cool great but I over turned the P.O.T. (potentiamiter) and the auto on off no worky, so I have a toggle switch to turn it on and off.
    I hear that Alum. Rads are easily damaged buy flying rocks and what not so something to tink about? I would just run a 4core. www.radiator.com fer like $175 I think I paid..but on the 4core that dual 15" fan will be longer than the rad so the housing that the fan comes in won't seal to the cooling fins as it will be resting on the edges of the rad and sticking out on both ends...that is why I was forced to run the dual 13" fan...you be a masterfabracator could probly jerryrig something up to seal the housing so the CFM is still pulliing air thru the rad and not around it.
    Bee Cool J :haha:
     
  16. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    Both are nice units, but my personal feeling is the Be-Cool stuff is WAAAY overpriced. As already said, the Windstar fans probably work nearly as well for a lot less $$$.

    An aluminum rad will cool better than a same-size copper/brass, since aluminum is a better conductor of heat. I've read in a couple places that a 2-row aluminum cools as well as a 4-row copper/brass of similar size, but I don't know how close to reality that is.

    I believe Modine also makes aluminum rads. I've personally never heard a bad word said about Griffin or Modine.
     
  17. fabjunkie

    fabjunkie 1/2 ton status

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    I ran the same one in my 442 with a 455. Good quality and it dropped my running temps about 30+*. :bow: The new owner wanted the original 4-core, so I have a replacement for the K5 if the need arises. :D With BeCool, you're paying for the name more than anything.
     
  18. Kiqman

    Kiqman 1/2 ton status

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    I run dual flex-a-lites and the only time I wish I had the stock fan is at start-up and for the first 15 minutes. The problem is the engine heats up fast and shoots on past 210 before the opening of the thermostat cools the engine off. The auto setting on the fans isn't reached until the radiator gets to operating temp which takes about 15 minutes in the winter. To solve my problem I just leave them on manually until the thermostat has opened and the operating temp become steady.
     
  19. willyswanter

    willyswanter 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    The plastic tank started leaking on my last trip out. I slammed down into some rocks trying to throttle through a section and it started leaking after that. It's a pretty rough environment and I DO NOT want it to happen again. I hate leaks and I hate overheating, my truck has never dripped a drop of anything so I want a one piece radiator, well, no epoxy anyway.

    It was actually while squeezing through here:

    [​IMG]

    These two big rocks are only about 5 feet apart and my rear diff kept getting hung on a rock behind me. I had to gas it and launch the front end through and came down hard on the sliders and poof, leaking radiator.

    I want something that won't let me down.

    As far as windstars, I've read on pirate that they pull a ton of amps like 80+ and they won't fit my radiator too well. Whereas the flex-a-lite bolts on and has a automatic temp control setup. I have looked at some oem fans on ebay though, somre are pretty nice and ~$30 but I have a lot of working going on with the truck and I'd rather not spend a day fabbing fan mounts when I could be building pinion conversions and other important stuff.
     
  20. WRENCH-HEAD

    WRENCH-HEAD 1/2 ton status

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    I am currently running the Flex-a-lite 295 dual 13.5 inch fans on a universal 28 inch core aluminum radiator from summit. The combo works great here in Colorado winters and in South Texas summers (109 F). Previously I ran a four core brass radiator from Modine that I picked up new for $120 and had zero issues until it jumped out of the mounts and onto my belt driven fan. I had always been looking for an excuse to swap...oh well. I like the fans so much I am ordering the setup you show for my 95 tahoe just to get rid of the jet take off noise (new clutch on fan) and for a few more mpg. Just watch when getting the universal radiators as the fan fits a GM 27 inch core which equated to a 28 inch core on the universal alluminum radiator to get the fan to seat on the core and not the tanks. Only mod I am going to do is wire in the manual control switch for water dips. The situation that Kiqman mentioned does occur at start up but my water temp has yet to exceed 210 F and it runs steady at 180 F.
     

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