Advice on choosing a radiator - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 17, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Advice on choosing a radiator

I am looking for some advice on choosing a radiator.

My car was originally a 327/210 HP car. It came with a two row core radiator. The engine that has been in it all of the time I have owned it is a 350 from a mid 70's Impala. It is stock except for adding a four barrel, headers, and a hotter cam.

That original two row core radiator worked fine under most conditions but in bumper to bumper traffic on a hot day, the engine would start to overheat.

In this restoration, I don't have my exact engine picked yet. I'm not sure if I'm rebuilding my old 350 or getting a 350 crate engine. Either way, I'll be wanting something in the 350 to 400 HP range.......I'm guessing my old factory radiator isn't going to cut it with that.

So now I have to figure out what to get........I want to have a radiator that is stock looking or close to stock looking. And it has to be black!.....I don't want a silver colored radiator......Aluminum is fine as long as it comes painted black or can be painted black.....I don't want anything with plastic tanks.

My first question is.......can a factory two row core radiator be re-cored into something more efficient?....adding a third row to the core, adding more tubes top to bottom, more cooling fins, etc. It would be nice to save the original tanks if possible.

If re-coring to something better is not possible, then of the stock looking replacements I see out there, it looks like it comes down to.....a three row brass and copper......a four row brass and copper......or a two row aluminum.

The advertisements for the two row aluminums say with their two rows of one inch tubes, they have 30% better cooling capacity than a four row brass and copper. There is a DeWitt's aluminum that looks close to stock out there that comes in black. That looks good.......I don't want to get more radiator that I need though......if it's even possible to get more that you need!

So just looking for some direction here. Any advice is appreciated.

Dave

1968, 327 210 HP, Power Steering, Power Disc Brakes, Custom Interior, 4 Speed, Console, Gauges, Tilt Wheel, Speed Warning, Fiber Optics, 10 Bolt 3.55 Posi Rear end......Owned since 1978.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 17, 09:57 AM
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Re: Advice on choosing a radiator

You can not have a radiator that is too big.

For comparison look at a full size semi truck. It has an 11 liter motor that is rated at 350 horsepower. That is how big a 350 horse radiator needs to be to allow a motor to idle for hours in the desert southwest. Problem is a radiator that size won't fit inside a cars dimensions.

You want your thermostat to control your engine's maximum temperature, not the efficiency of your cooling system. The problem you face is that the higher horse engine option for your Camaro was a BBC. This caused the radiator as well as the motor to be offset to the passenger side of the car. You can knock out the portion of scored metal in your radiator core support but this causes issues with a motor centered in the frame.

The solution to your problem is a Pontiac 400 Firebird radiator and radiator fan shroud that is centered (Pontiac small block and big block motors are about the same size externally so it wasn't moved over to make room for a bigger motor). If you buy a four row Copper/Brass restoration radiator for an air conditioned Pontiac 400 with an automatic you maximize surface area. The automatic includes not only a heat exchanger in the tank, but it increases the fin count. The air conditioning option adds another row of cooling fins. The 400 cube engine size adds another row of tubes over the base two cores for a small block. This radiator should fit in your Camaro, but may need a little fabrication to mount on the bottom and a new Pontiac Fire bird top radiator mounting plate.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 17, 10:42 AM
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Re: Advice on choosing a radiator

Nothing beats a GM OEM rad. I installed a 4 core in my 70 Z28 back in '83 with a 180* stat and had it re-cored a few yrs back and have never had an overheating issue.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 17, 10:58 AM
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Re: Advice on choosing a radiator

Check out U.S. Radiator. I bought one and installed a number of years ago. Perfect fit and looked stock.

Chevrolet - Radiators

You can choose the number of rows. Call them and they'll walk you through their recommendations. Copper/brass blend.

Don't forget to ensure your shroud is correctly in place, fan correct, etc. Takes the whole package to cool it right.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 17, 11:01 AM
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Re: Advice on choosing a radiator

You won't go wrong with a Dewitt radiator. Quality part....

Don

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 17, 12:36 PM
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Re: Advice on choosing a radiator

If you want to keep your Harrison tanks, send the unit to Glen-Ray. He's done work for me and it top notch. Glen-ray Radiators - All New Licensed Mopar Chrysler Dodge Plymouth Radiators If you want, melt off your tanks and just ship them.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old May 5th, 17, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on choosing a radiator

Thanks for all the replies so far.

One thing I should have mentioned is that I want a direct drop in radiator where I don't have to do any modifying either to the car or the radiator.

I sent an e-mail to Glen-Ray Radiators a few days ago asking some questions and so far haven't received a reply. If I don't hear back from them by this coming Monday morning, I will call them.

I report back after I make contact with them.

Dave

1968, 327 210 HP, Power Steering, Power Disc Brakes, Custom Interior, 4 Speed, Console, Gauges, Tilt Wheel, Speed Warning, Fiber Optics, 10 Bolt 3.55 Posi Rear end......Owned since 1978.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old May 5th, 17, 01:52 PM
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Re: Advice on choosing a radiator

Call him instead. I just spoke with him this week. He answers the phone quicker than e-mails.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old May 5th, 17, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on choosing a radiator

No e-mail reply today so I will call on Monday.

Scott, who is the person I should be talking to at Glen-Ray?

Dave

1968, 327 210 HP, Power Steering, Power Disc Brakes, Custom Interior, 4 Speed, Console, Gauges, Tilt Wheel, Speed Warning, Fiber Optics, 10 Bolt 3.55 Posi Rear end......Owned since 1978.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 8th, 17, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on choosing a radiator

Sorry I have not gotten back to this in so long.

I did eventually get a phone call back from Glen-Ray. They gave me an estimate of somewhere between $600 and $700 to re-core my original with a three row core.

Curious as to what the shipping would be from Florida to where Glen-Ray is in Wisconsin, I weighed and measured my radiator and estimated a box size. I plugged that info into Fedex Ground and got $67. (I'm not sure I want to get into trying to melt off just my tanks and just sending them). So with these numbers I could be looking at $750 to $850 including shipping both ways......That might by a bit much for me right now.

Still not sure which way I am going to go yet.......One consideration is a four row brass/copper replacement from US Radiator.

That brings up a new question. Would the tanks on four row be deeper from front to back and my original two row?.......If so, that would push the shroud further away from the core support....and then I would think the bolt hole in the shroud bracket that is bolted to the core support would no longer line up with the bolt hole in the top of the shroud.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Thanks......Dave

1968, 327 210 HP, Power Steering, Power Disc Brakes, Custom Interior, 4 Speed, Console, Gauges, Tilt Wheel, Speed Warning, Fiber Optics, 10 Bolt 3.55 Posi Rear end......Owned since 1978.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 8th, 17, 10:49 AM
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Re: Advice on choosing a radiator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larger Dave View Post
[B]

You want your thermostat to control your engine's maximum temperature, not the efficiency of your cooling system.

Big Dave
T-Stat actually controls minimum temp not maximum.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 8th, 17, 11:03 AM
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Re: Advice on choosing a radiator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vega$69 View Post
T-Stat actually controls minimum temp not maximum.

Good point John.

T-stat controls minimum temp, and louvers control in front of the radiator controls air flow through radiator on Rolls Royce cars and big rig semis to control max engine temp. This assumes you have sufficient radiator capacity to cool what you have power wise; as about a third of the heat of combustion has to be shed by the radiator. More power requires a bigger than stock radiator.

Big Dave
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 8th, 17, 02:03 PM
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Re: Advice on choosing a radiator

I just mention the T Stat function as many people have the misconception they can put in a 160* and it will run cooler
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Jun 9th, 17, 09:14 PM
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Re: Advice on choosing a radiator

Installed BeCool radiator on my straight six. Couldn't find the right sizes and information was incomplete on the websites. I called BeCool, described what I was looking for and my needs, and they provided actual mechanical drawings for a couple of radiators. Once I got the measurements right, was able to order the right radiator from one of the big shops. It's a big radiator, much bigger than the six needs, but with the proper thermostat, it all runs just fine.

https://becool.com/

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