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Radiator Upgrade

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by BettyBurb, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. BettyBurb

    BettyBurb Registered Member

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    I want to upgrade the radiator in my 1988 GMC Suburban, 350, A?C, Automatic to a 4 row.

    I have looked at the LMC Truck catalog and there is the stock 3 row radiator (32-2945)for the 350 and then there is 4-row radiators for big blocks (32-2980 which is 34" wide and 2.5" thick). The stock one is 28.25 by 1.875" inches thick.

    I think the 34 inch wide would work, there looks like there are mounting bracket holes on the driver side about 7.5 inches over from the ones being used now. I assume these are for the bigger radiator, and I would just need brackets and pads for the thicker radiator. LMC has brackets and pads too, but it is not clear too me which ones I would need.

    I also called radiators.com and got a price of $129 for 3 row and $279 for 4 row. They said the 4 row should drop right in with no modifications.

    Has anybody switched to the 4 row and know what will really work, what brackets, etc.

    Also on the radiators.com website it came up with different prices when I checked for Chevy Suburban vs GMC Suburban - what would the difference be ???

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Why go with a 4 row? you can get an aluminum radiator that will out cool any 4 row, weigh less, less bulky,and is much more efficiant. Besides a good 3 core should be able to keep a stock 350 w/ac happily cool. I have a new 3 core cooling my built 400HP 406 with ac and stays about 200 to 205 degrees in 100+ degree days with the ac on full blast, on cooler days it always stays at 185degrees. If I could do it over I would have deffinitly gone with an aluminum radiator. Oh yeah, aluminum rads. are less than 200bucks fo the biggest one. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif

    85k5 3/4ton,14bolt,10bolt,9"lift,35"boggers,16.5x14welds,big horse 406SBC/700r4 /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif
     
  3. BettyBurb

    BettyBurb Registered Member

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    My current radiator is not cutting it for towing in the mountains when it is hot. It is the original and would be fine if I didnt tow, but it is 15 years old and has some corrosion. As long as I am going to spend the money, I want to get the most cooling capacity without spending way too much.

    The motor is original too and is fine, but I am waiting for an excuse to get a better motor - possibly a 400 ci smallblock.

    So, I want as much cooling capacity as possible - again within reason.

    Where should I look at aluminum radiators, what are the pros/cons of aluminum ???
     
  4. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Autozone has awesome radiators for less than $200. You can even get a 4 core.
     
  5. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Check out summitracing.com or jegs.com they have a bunch of aluminum radiators for a very good price, less than 200 bucks.The pros are a MUCH more effeciant radiator, aluminum dissipates heat much faster than other metals.(thats why a higher compression can be had on a block with aluminum heads)They are smaller than a 4 core, an electric fan can be used because they don't need as much air flow because of their efficiency which means more towing power. they are more attractive and help give of that "modified" look under the hood. The only cons are that they cant be fixed if punctured, they dont bolt directly in because they are universal fit and an aftermarket tranny cooler has to be used which is better anyway especially during towing. Back to your 3 row maybe it just needs to be roded out, it could be clogged.
     
  6. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    If you have an automatic tranny, you should not be without a water to oil tranny cooler like one inside your radiator. A stacked plate air to oil one like a B&M is nice, but it's not a substitute for the stock cooler. It's to be used in addition to the stock cooler. I would not be without one if I had an automatic.
     
  7. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    The after market air tranny coolers are much better than the water cooler in the radiator. A 25,000lb GVW cooler would be good enough for a stock transmission in normal driving and towing conditions.
     
  8. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    I'm not sure they looked up that 4 core right. I'm actually waiting on a call back for them. When I did the only fill in the blank I got a price of $169 when I plugged in 454 for my 88 Burb. 454 should automaticaly get the 4 core. That price the quoted you sounds like the price for a TRUCK and 88 is the first year for the new body on trucks. They are a lot more expensive of a radiator. If in doubt have them look up a 87 with 454. that's before the new body came out and should not be any chance of pulling up a truck by mistake.
     
  9. woody9

    woody9 1/2 ton status

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    i did the 3 row to 4 row swap in my 91 1500/350 suburban. www.radiator.com - $136 shipped & delivered! (express i think), but..
    IT DID take some minor conversions to get it in. It took new 'rubbers' for top & mounting brackets, and a little fab to get the shroud back in the correct position.
    I also tow and use the air. Temp seldom ever gets to 200!
     
  10. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    Call your local Radiator shops and see what kind of price they want too build one for you. Sometimes you can get a really good deal that way. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  11. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    I have had terrible luck with 'local' rad guys
    next time I am biting the bullet and ordering a modine or griffin

    Stock Car Products has some cool aluminum rads with oilcoolers in the tank I want to check out
     
  12. greybeard

    greybeard Registered Member

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    I did my 91 K5 awhile back. I got a 4 core radiator from AutoZone, part# 433730. From the dealer I got four new rubber mounting pads, part# 6264100, the upper panel (bracket), part #14018600, and the shroud, part# 14021289. Everything bolted right up.
     

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