4 Row radiators - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old Jul 3rd, 19, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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4 Row radiators

I have always had luck using 4 row radiators on my 1st gen camaros. Now I want to buy one for a 71, that is reasonably priced under $225. I came across some aluminum 4 row radiators, and am wondering if there are pros and cons to aluminum VS copper/Brass.

Only those with good knowledge and actual experience please reply. I don't want theories, just the facts.

Here are two I have found so far... Know of any others?

https://www.amazon.com/Champion-Cool...evrolet+Camaro


https://www.ebay.com/i/302881608243?...iABEgJz1PD_BwE
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 19, 02:34 AM
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Re: 4 Row radiators

There are pros and cons to both, you didn't say - are you concerned with it looking like OEM?

Aluminium based radiators are of course lighter weight, dissipates heat quicker, but can fatigue easier, and are basically disposable, non repairable when they crack. They are cheap and available all over the place.

OEM style brass/copper looks right under the hood, lasts longer, cost more but does the job for the rest of your custodianship. At twice to three times the price of imported recycled aluminum, these are harder to find in an emergency/pinch.

Most people won't notice once its painted black if it is not OEM unless your being judged.


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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 19, 03:18 AM
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Re: 4 Row radiators

I gave up on copper radiators years ago for the simple reason there is no place AROUND HERE that repairs them any more. your area may be different.
I bought and am using a 3 row champion radiator. I wanted a 4 row but, the salesman told me that the 3 row would be more than enough to cool 500 HP. he was right with the exception of one thing. he also talked me into getting their shroud and fans. they wouldn't cool the engine . I think fans and shroud blocked the air while running at 60 mph
I wont discuss 3 or 4 rows. your choice. just letting you know that champion is a good radiator .
I see many being used at the car shows in our area
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 19, 03:47 AM
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Re: 4 Row radiators

An aluminum radiator with two rows of larger tubes at least one inch in size is going to be the most effective radiator for cooling.

Don
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 19, 05:58 AM
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Re: 4 Row radiators

I had a 2 row copper/brass that took a dump on me and the fix was more than a new 3 row copper/brass which I bought to replace it.
Working fine, looking for more I went 3-row aluminum with very little difference.

4-row "should" help since it has more fluid capacity.

And as above, big tube aluminum are said to do great.

As of right now with an electric water pump (35gpm) twin 12" fans on a Craig Davies fan controller that cycles the fans as needed, 3-row Champion aluminum radiator, and all working great.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 19, 06:01 AM
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Re: 4 Row radiators

I prefer OEM copper, brass radiators and have used those for many years with no issues. My current 6 have the OEM style with factory clutch fans and shrouds. When I have them recored by the last 3 radiator companies in Texas, Arkansas and North Carolina (over 30 years) have all recommended copper radiators. Aluminum is good as well because of the last posts, lighter and cheaper. Just an old school guy talkin having had 35 Camaros.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 19, 07:35 AM
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Re: 4 Row radiators

Don is correct in that an aftermarket two row with flattened one inch, or one and a quarter inch tubes, will be stronger (withstand more pressure to raise the boiling point of the fluid) than a copper brass radiator. A Griffin, or a Be-Cool two row radiator cools better than a copper brass radiator not because aluminum transfer heat better (it doesn't, copper is a better conductor) but because it has more surface area to shed heat and fewer tubes to obstruct air flow through the radiator. And as mentioned above it is lighter than a copper brass radiator, which is like adding horsepower because there is less mass to accelerate.

Down side is they have a Universal fit: which means they universally won't fit anything. You can buy a radiator with the correct outlet and has the correct mounting tabs welded to the tanks but that usually doubles the price of the radiator.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 19, 10:54 AM
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Re: 4 Row radiators


just came back from a 30 mile jaunt with the 68. up hill down hill and level. never over 180*
using a Champion 3 core radiator, modified stock shroud, 6 blade derale HD stainless fan, off the shelf aluminum water pump, 160* thermostat . with top and bottom filler panels . this a 11;1 compression engine
just for your information only. not suggesting nuttin
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 19, 11:39 AM
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Re: 4 Row radiators

Just got back from a very spirited 45 mile trip. Up and down hill with the AC blowing cold and my 580 hp liquid intercooled supercharged LSA never creeping above the 195 degree thermostat with my PWM controlled fan whisper quiet and not sucking horsepower when not needed. Custom C&R Racing aluminum radiator with integrated power steering cooler, oil cooler, and transmission cooler for my 6L90E. Had to stop for a couple of trains along the way and temperature held rock steady in the 97 degree Texas heat as the fan slowly ramped up as needed. Oh and the fuel economy was pretty darn good too with the higher engine operating temperature delivering improved efficiency. Not suggesting anything....

There are a lot of ways to slice this pie. Just be sure to set your goals up front and research the science behind radiator design and improvements since these car were designed some 50 years ago. Weve come a long way, well some of us have....

Don

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 19, 11:51 AM
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Re: 4 Row radiators

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhutton View Post
Just got back from a very spirited 45 mile trip. Up and down hill with the AC blowing cold and my 580 hp liquid intercooled supercharged LSA never creeping above the 195 degree thermostat with my PWM controlled fan whisper quiet and not sucking horsepower when not needed. Custom C&R Racing aluminum radiator with integrated power steering cooler, oil cooler, and transmission cooler for my 6L90E. Had to stop for a couple of trains along the way and temperature held rock steady in the 97 degree Texas heat as the fan slowly ramped up as needed. Oh and the fuel economy was pretty darn good too with the higher engine operating temperature delivering improved efficiency. Not suggesting anything....

There are a lot of ways to slice this pie. Just be sure to set your goals up front and research the science behind radiator design and improvements since these car were designed some 50 years ago. Weve come a long way, well some of us have....

Don
I now get 14 mpg with the od .with my 540 NATURALLY ASPIRATED
EGINE
ever watch a drag race where the announcer states that driver A is stalling
in hopes of heating his opponents engine in the staging lanes
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AS I STATED I AM NOT SUGGESTING NUTTIN . just my set up
I am tickled shttles that yours works for you

Last edited by flat tire; Jul 4th, 19 at 12:11 PM.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 19, 12:18 PM
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If you want a stock look use a good copper brass 4 core. That's what I have. Made in America by US Radiator. If not go two large 1 inch tube aluminum. No brainer.

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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 19, 01:18 PM
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Re: 4 Row radiators

Radiator size is based upon the power of the engine. Modern cars all have aluminum radiators today because easy to find and mine open pit copper mines are all but exhausted. It costs more for copper today than in 1967 (which is why we have copper clad zinc pennies, that still costs twice their face value in raw materials).

Back in the sixties a four or small six had a singe row radiator, a bigger six or small V-8 had a two radiator and a big V-8 had a three core radiator. To get a four core you needed a BBC and A/C. This is because of physics.

The thermodynamic Otto cycle (like a Diesel cycle only different) has an interesting aside. That is roughly a third of the heat from burning gas has to be shed by way of a radiator. Another third goes out the tail pipe as wasted energy (unless you have a turbo charger to reclaim some of it). Which leaves a third of gas bill to fill up actually powering your car (and overcoming friction. It is really not that efficient, and their are other variables in the thermodynamic equation but that is enough to illustrate the concept that there is no such thing as a radiator that is too big.

That monster sized semi tractor sitting next to your econo car has about the same horsepower engine that you do (figure about 350 horsepower). Because it doesn't have to look like an upside down bath tub, it has a radiator sized to cool a 350 horsepower motor. Even a four core factory radiator won't cool much more than 350 horsepower which is easily illustrated by letting the car idle for more than 15 minutes (that semi will idle for days a time without overheating).

The more horsepower you have the bigger the radiator has to be.

I enjoy reading testimonials about great product X is but physics says other wise. I live in Central Florida. It is hot here too, though it has never ever topped 100 degrees because we are surrounded with 91 degree water. Because we are surrounded by 91 degree water it is a moist heat; which feels like we are staked out in the sun at the bottom of Death Valley most of the time.

I had an intermediate size mid eighties Impala four door sedan (not the full size land yacht from the 70's). It was powered by a 582 BBC that was built for torque so HP was limited to 750 HP (that semi I mentioned that has only 350 hp, but it has 1,500 foot pounds axle breaking of torque). I used a Griffin Universal twin core radiator out of a pick-up truck. Same width as the car radiator only taller so I had to lower the radiator support tray nearly four inches to get the hood closed. It kept my car cool also, but not with the A/C on at idle, only when moving. I could idle through most stop lights but a CSX freight train called for shutting it off. Can't figure out what parallel existance most of the other cars are driving in.

Big Dave
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 19, 01:36 PM
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Re: 4 Row radiators

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larger Dave View Post
Radiator size is based upon the power of the engine. Modern cars all have aluminum radiators today because easy to find and mine open pit copper mines are all but exhausted. It costs more for copper today than in 1967 (which is why we have copper clad zinc pennies, that still costs twice their face value in raw materials).

Back in the sixties a four or small six had a singe row radiator, a bigger six or small V-8 had a two radiator and a big V-8 had a three core radiator. To get a four core you needed a BBC and A/C. This is because of physics.

The thermodynamic Otto cycle (like a Diesel cycle only different) has an interesting aside. That is roughly a third of the heat from burning gas has to be shed by way of a radiator. Another third goes out the tail pipe as wasted energy (unless you have a turbo charger to reclaim some of it). Which leaves a third of gas bill to fill up actually powering your car (and overcoming friction. It is really not that efficient, and their are other variables in the thermodynamic equation but that is enough to illustrate the concept that there is no such thing as a radiator that is too big.

That monster sized semi tractor sitting next to your econo car has about the same horsepower engine that you do (figure about 350 horsepower). Because it doesn't have to look like an upside down bath tub, it has a radiator sized to cool a 350 horsepower motor. Even a four core factory radiator won't cool much more than 350 horsepower which is easily illustrated by letting the car idle for more than 15 minutes (that semi will idle for days a time without overheating).

The more horsepower you have the bigger the radiator has to be.

I enjoy reading testimonials about great product X is but physics says other wise. I live in Central Florida. It is hot here too, though it has never ever topped 100 degrees because we are surrounded with 91 degree water. Because we are surrounded by 91 degree water it is a moist heat; which feels like we are staked out in the sun at the bottom of Death Valley most of the time.

I had an intermediate size mid eighties Impala four door sedan (not the full size land yacht from the 70's). It was powered by a 582 BBC that was built for torque so HP was limited to 750 HP (that semi I mentioned that has only 350 hp, but it has 1,500 foot pounds axle breaking of torque). I used a Griffin Universal twin core radiator out of a pick-up truck. Same width as the car radiator only taller so I had to lower the radiator support tray nearly four inches to get the hood closed. It kept my car cool also, but not with the A/C on at idle, only when moving. I could idle through most stop lights but a CSX freight train called for shutting it off. Can't figure out what parallel existance most of the other cars are driving in.

Big Dave
Many modern cars put out similar horsepower and will idle with the AC on all day long or at a train crossing without needing to shut it off. In my case the supercharger allows use of a relatively mild cam which keeps things efficient at idle because the supercharger is bypassed and produces no load. Use the right science and engineering and you can too. Sounds like you suffered from a lousy fan and/or shroud imho. I. Also guessing your car was a gas guzzler. Mine is quite efficient easily getting 20 mpg or more. More efficiency means less heat as you know....

If you are doubting what I am saying about my car you are the one in the parallel universe.... There are a lot of high horsepower protouring cars out there that have no cooling issues whatsoever.

Don

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Last edited by dhutton; Jul 4th, 19 at 05:07 PM.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 19, 04:19 PM
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Re: 4 Row radiators

Had a 1 1/2 year old copper radiator in my 69 with SBC, ran 205-210 all the time. Went to a Cold Case 2 row ( which I bought off of this site) , installed BB radiator and shroud and now runs 180-185. Perfect for what I wanted.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 19, 05:03 PM
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Re: 4 Row radiators

Don in the case of a supercharged car at idle it is making less power than many other cars at idle (low compression and wide LSA with a dual pattern cam).

Not really applicable to a 9.8 compression large displacement old school normally aspirated BBC (no variable cam timing, displacement on demand, ignition and fuel air computer controlled). There are a lot of pluses to modern cars, but I like the set and forget old school, tuned with a screw driver.

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