Aluminum Radiator v. Steel - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 27th, 07, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Aluminum Radiator v. Steel

I've been looking at new radiators, I have a steel 2 core right now, and it's running hot. Was looking at a 3 core or possibly 4 core steel if I can fit it into the 67, but I see that some aluminum radiators are the same cost as steel, stating that they have 2 1" tube cores. Which will give me the better cooling? Aluminum 2 core w/ 1" tubes, or a steel 3 or 4 core? Thanks for the help
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 27th, 07, 08:58 PM
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Re: Aluminum Radiator v. Steel

since i've never seen a steel radiator before, i'll assume you have a copper/brass radiator..
copper/brass sheds heat better, but an aluminum rad can have larger tubes with more surface area that more than compensates for that.
so, i'll say an aluminum radiator will cool better than a copper/brass one of the same size.
and you might even save a few pounds, as well.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 27th, 07, 09:07 PM
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Re: Aluminum Radiator v. Steel

If you go steel you mean copper & brass. If you choose that route go with a Super Duty 4 core. If you want aluminum that is ok too. As far as cooling, aluminum dissipates heat better while copper & brass conduct it better and away from the engine. I had a hard time with this decision. In the end I shocked myself because I chose aluminum and I'm a copper & brass type of guy. Aluminum will cost you more, but it weighs alot less and it was easier for me to install. You see more aluminum today because it is more environmentally friendly and easier to recycle. Here is an interesting article by US Radiator and others on aluminum vs copper & brass


http://www.usradiator.com/testing.htm
http://www.copper.org/applications/a...s/no_flux.html

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 07, 04:51 PM
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Re: Aluminum Radiator v. Steel

i was told by a mechanical engineer that copper radiators will supposedly keep it cooler because its is a better conductor, although aluminum's advantage is reduced weight.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 07, 05:24 PM
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Re: Aluminum Radiator v. Steel

I picked up a summit brand direct fit alluminum rad last year. It was cheap, bolted right in with all stock hardware and hoses, cools great, and polished up real nice.





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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 07, 05:43 PM
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Re: Aluminum Radiator v. Steel

400fbird,

The mechanical engineer is essentially correct. Aluminum radiator's are lighter. They also have wider coolant rows which allow for greater coolant flow. Two one inch rows is equal to four half inch rows in a copper & brass.

I've had two first gen's. The first 1969 Camaro had a BBC and a 4 row/4core copper & brass radiator. It ran cool all day even on hot days in rush hour traffic on I55, Route 83, 294, 79th st, 63rd st, etc. out here in Chicagoland.

Despite what many will claim here, aluminum raidator's are not God's gift to muscle cars. They look nice, they are lighter and that means it's easier to install by yourself. I chose aluminum this time around for this reason AND I guess since this car has aluminum headsI figured why not. My BBC had cast iron heads. But I still loved my old copper & brass and at the same time I bought the aluminum, I bought a brand new 4 row Super Duty Copper & Brass used in 427 BBC application's just in case the aluminum failed. I still have it in the box.

1) 1969 Camaro RS 396 TH 400, 12 bolt 3:73 sold 1994
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2) 1984 Z28, 5.0 H.O. T-Tops, G92 3:73, sold 1994
3) 1988 5.7L IROC-Z, sold 1994
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 07, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Aluminum Radiator v. Steel

Thanks for all the info and articles.
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