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  • radiator question

    I need a radiator for my 78 Fury. was hoping someone had a copper/brass modine or something like that around but most everyone wants to sell me a Toyota looking POS plastic tank/aluminum core thing...
    I found a couple places online that offer a 100% aluminum, tanks and all one for it. Radiator Express has a 100% aluminum TIG welded 2 row "heavy duty" one for what seems a good price, salesman says made in USA and lifetime warranty.
    My question is this/ I am leaning towards that solid aluminum one, certainly do not want the plastic tanked POS even though it is $100 less.... but now I am adding in another different metal to the mix. The dash ahs never been out so the heater core is still the original copper/brass one. With a cast iron block, heads and intake, copper and brass in the heater core and now throwing an aluminum radiator into the mix. Will I have to worry about a reaction between all these different metals and something getting "eaten" away, like boats whose steel hull gets eaten away (that's why they attach hunks of zinc on them so the zinc gets eaten rather than the steel) they offer some kind of zinc petcock for an additional $18.95 that they claim to "sell the Hell out of" but made no mention of it being mandatory for the warranty to be good, etc... Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Years ago, when aluminum first became common in engines and radiators, innocent ignorance caused me a lot of problems with cooling system corrosion. Wise men told me to change anti-freeze every year, but since the color remained nice, my frugality won over. When I was finally convinced that the cheap way was the expensive way, I did change every year, using a premium brand, and dis-similar corrosion ceased being a problem. My understanding now is that modern anti-freeze contains enough corrosion inhibiters to prevent the problem that concerns you, and even though a couple of my old cars have aluminum intakes and custom made aluminum radiators, I have not had corrosion issues for years. The heat/AC systems still contain copper based parts, so the same ingredients are there.

    Don't take it as advice....just one man's experience.
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    • #3
      and you can but a small bottle of formula that counteracts the metals fighting each other. I have a Ford diesel truck that you have to add their additive annually.

      I replace with aluminum and paint black. While aluminum doesn't cool quite as well as brass, it is stronger so you can add a bigger psi cap to compensate.
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      • #4
        the one I was considering was a 2 row, "heavy duty", I have since found a 3 row on FEEBAY that I am waiting to hear back about a question I had about it.


        • #5
          I've bought many three row that cooled less that a quality two row. It all has to do with the size of the tubes. I'd rather a big tube two row than a small tune three row.
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          • #6
            well the original is a single row and (I think) partially plugged towards the bottom... so either a new 2 or 3 row would have to be an improvement.... only a 318 (2 bbl for now) not exactly a fire breather,,,, loves to cruise the highway around 70mph due to its 2.xx gear....


            • #7
              well I got a 3 row from Ledfoot racing Champion brand 3 row delivered 2 days ago.... look good so far... hope to swap it in this weekend.


              • #8
                How's that 3 row doing? Generally, it's not about how many rows you have but more about how big the tubes are. The larger tube 2 row radiators usually are better than the ones with smaller tubes and more rows. I was sold after getting rid of the factory brass/copper 2 row radiator and replacing it with a single row 1 1/4" tube aluminum radiator. The factory one had small tubes (didn't measure them) and it never cooled as good as this one does even when the truck was new. 95+ degree weather and the temp would rise past 200 sitting in traffic. Now, it matter what I do to it....the temp never rises.


                • #9
                  Well the car had been stored in a friend's barn for a year and 1/2, never got it out at all last year (not because of this, just had too much going) ,,,, just got it out for the 1st time this year a few weeks ago, with winter coming I wont have it out for very long this year.
                  When I last drove it 2 years ago still with the original 30-some year old, original single row, it would bubble over into the side tank.... I drove it to work a few times over the last couple weeks, (70 mi round trip)
                  the 1st time it did fine and I was wondering if I was imagining the problem I thought I remembered it having.... I drove it to work again 2 days this week, and temps are unusually hot for this time of year in Chicago... we have been 95*+ for the last 5 days now. Thursday it climbed a little higher than it used to in past years, (before it started running hot on me) but still not bad. Friday it was at about 2/3 gauge within 15 minutes of leaving work (most at 65-70 MPH) and stayed there for the rest of the ride home. Once I got home it was boiling over into the bottle. which is how I remember it from 2 years ago, and why I didn't drive it all that much the last half of that year.
                  I have had that radiator out and taken to a radiator shop twice for the same reason over the past 3-4 years, when I do have it out and drive it, I haven't put more than probably 1000 miles a year on it.
                  I even did something I usually never do and that was to swap a 180* T stat into it, made a little difference but not much. 2 years ago, I had also put in (forget the name Be-cool maybe?) a different water pump that was claimed to flow 40% more than stock, it did help a little but not enough. I had replaced the original water pump a few years prior, and I remember the original pump being an 8 vane, and the replacement was a 6 vane, I remember going back to the parts store to complain that it wasn't right but being told "that's it"/all they could get. the 2nd new pump was also an 8 vane.
                  also I thought by then all Mopars with AC had clutch fans... this one came originally with a 5 blade solid fan which is still there.

                  I ordered that new radiator the end of July and I looked both locally and online and all anyone else showed for this car were POS Toyota-looking plastic and aluminum and there was no way I was putting anything in like that) looked everywhere. couldn't find copper/brass anywhere any more. JCWhitney of all places (close enough to drive out there and save the shipping) said they had one available. I looked it up on their site and in one place in the catalog it said 100% copper/brass but in the "specs" it said plastic aluminum. Forget it.
                  so I found this one for close enough to the same cost as that plastic/aluminum POS....

                  well, I finally dropped the new radiator in yesterday and went for a ride.... WOW what a difference. I mean cmon, this car has a dead stock original 318 that still has its Lean burn running it... not like it's a fire breathing monster. just turned 53K original miles. (had 38K on it when I bought it 10 years ago) gauge never goes up past 1st mark now. BIG difference. I do know that I put more antifreeze in than came out with the old radiator. usually when pulling the radiator and/or water pump, these cars usually took 1-1/2 to maybe 2 gallons to top off after having that much of the car apart, and around 4 gallons if I start with a completely empty block and rad. Well just having pulled the radiator (and nothing else) it took a full 3 gallons to top off after I had the new rad in place!!!
                  and though the fins didn't look plugged from the outside, (it has been power washed numerous times while the original rad was in place as well as being done again with the rad out of the car a couple of times) when it's running, I can tell it's pulling a lot more air thru the core still with that same stock fan in place. I had thought of swapping to a clutch fan, but may not. Standing next to the car with the hood up, slightly behind the radiator I can really feel a huge difference in airflow thru the core. and surprisingly that 40 year old original radiator's fins are intact, not all rotted out like so many of them would get over the years....
                  original was a single row. still have it.

                  price? $219 shipped to my door from Ledfoot Racing out of California. I have seen other places selling these "Champion" brand radiators. This one is 100% aluminum, 100% TIG welded and looks like something you'd find in a circle track race car. the one from JCWhitney that I mentioned above was actually gonna cost me more! I gotta look at the paperwork, but as I remember this radiator is 100% lifetime guaranteed, it leaks, you send it back and they send you another one.....
                  my son was eyeing it for his Ramcharger.... I told him to get his own. he has a fresh 360 going into that one.... 76 block, with brand new (not rebuilt) Magnum heads.


                  • #10
                    one thing they did say, is to make sure to mix the antifreeze with distilled water NOT tap water. I should have flushed it but I just topped it off... what antifreeze came out looked brand new out of the bottle clean, it has been flushed several times over the last 4 or 5 years. and a couple of more times over the previous years since I have owned the car.
                    went with new Prestone antifreeze, and the 3 gallons I did put in was mixed with distilled, as the company said to put in there.