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I'm getting ready for a new radiator. I have a BBC 396. I was going to replace it with a 3 row. Is a 4 row really necessary??? Thanks.
 

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Do the biggest you can fit, you will not be sorry in the long run, it is cheeper to buy one radiator, than to change later.
 

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My brother put a stock 3 row BB brass radiator in his 427 BB Camaro with a stock shroud and clutched fan setup and his Camaro ran cool in 100 degree weather last summer. He was having a problem with his car running hot with a 4 row aluminum radiator with dual electric fans.
 

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One place bigger IS better :yes:

Electric fans "can" cause an issue due to lack of CFM and/or coverage of the radiator.
 

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so who makes a good big alum rad to cool around 800 plus HP without spending a ton of money cause man these are expensive,Ive got some good dual elec fans to try to put on one ,Thanks
 

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so who makes a good big alum rad to cool around 800 plus HP without spending a ton of money cause man these are expensive,Ive got some good dual elec fans to try to put on one ,Thanks
Chris, give Don at Alumitech a call, 517-404-6262. He can hook you up with a great product.
 

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Alumitech has a sale on right now, 10% discount through the end of the month if I remember correctly. Great product and good to work with. Mine showed up quick and was very nicely packaged. They will put the fan shroud retainer tabs on if you ask them. I would use the stock fan, clutch and shroud for best cooling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the replies. (Bumps included) LOL. I went with the Harrison BB 3 row replacement from Heartbeat City. Big Bucks.
 

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FYI keep in mind 3-row and 4-row copper brass radiators and 3-row and 4-row aluminum radiators are not the same thing. You are WAY better off with a copper/brass 4-row than a Chinese aluminum 4-row.

With copper/brass radiators, the largest tubes that can be used are 5/8". Some cheapies use 3/8" tubes. HQ pieces will use 1/2" or 5/8" tubes. Beyond 5/8", copper isn't strong enough to withstand the burst pressure. With aluminum radiators, the tubes can be made much larger, such as 1", 1-1/4" or 1-1/2" since aluminum is a much stronger material than copper.

So with copper/brass, since you are limited with tube size, the only way to get more cooling is to add more rows. The downside is when you add a row, you also a 'tube gap', which is the space between the tubes in the core. Typically this a 1/4". So if you add an extra row with a 5/8" tube, you add 7/8" to the overall thickness of the core (5/8" tube + 1/4" tube gap). The problem is heat transfer only occurs where there is direct tube-to-fin contact. So you've added 7/8" of core thickness, but only 5/8" of it is transferring heat. The other 1/4" just makes the core thicker and more difficult to get air flow through. Multiply this times 4 and you quickly have a core that has a bunch of dead space that isn't transferring any heat, yet is very thick. These tube gaps are also very disruptive to airflow through the core and act like speed bumps for air flow. Very similar to having an intake that isn't port matched to the cylinder heads.

With aluminum, since the tubes can be made so much larger, you get the same surface area with a much thinner core. A big 4-row copper/brass radiator with 1/2" tubes is typically 2-3/4" thick. A 2-row aluminum with 1.0" tubes has more surface area (if you count the tube crowns) and is only 2-1/4" thick. Copper/brass, as a material, transfers heat better than aluminum. Yet the aluminum radiator transfers more heat because it is so much less restrictive to air flow over the core.

The whole benefit of using aluminum is to use fewer rows with larger tubes. The Chinese aluminum 4-row radiators use tiny 9/16" tubes. A 4-row copper/brass radiator is going to transfer heat WAY better than a 4-row Chinese aluminum radiator. Yet they sell the 3-row and 4-row aluminum radiators with tiny tubes like free booze because people don't know any better.
 

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I just pulled my 23" 4 row, practically gave it away to a TC member but it was still a good clean radiator. 4 row kept my temp within 100° of ambient temp.

After much soul searching I went with the Entropy 2 row aluminum radiator. These are wide tubes. It was a direct drop in for me , even up to the factory fan shroud. I could tell immediately the cooling differance. For $350 it was a good deal for me, all appeared very rigid and welds look good. Steer clear of the Chinaman brand.

Probably one of of the smarter things I have done. Real test will be this years Powertour but I am sure it will pass flying colors.
 

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FYI keep in mind 3-row and 4-row copper brass radiators and 3-row and 4-row aluminum radiators are not the same thing. You are WAY better off with a copper/brass 4-row than a Chinese aluminum 4-row.

With copper/brass radiators, the largest tubes that can be used are 5/8". Some cheapies use 3/8" tubes. HQ pieces will use 1/2" or 5/8" tubes. Beyond 5/8", copper isn't strong enough to withstand the burst pressure. With aluminum radiators, the tubes can be made much larger, such as 1", 1-1/4" or 1-1/2" since aluminum is a much stronger material than copper.

So with copper/brass, since you are limited with tube size, the only way to get more cooling is to add more rows. The downside is when you add a row, you also a 'tube gap', which is the space between the tubes in the core. Typically this a 1/4". So if you add an extra row with a 5/8" tube, you add 7/8" to the overall thickness of the core (5/8" tube + 1/4" tube gap). The problem is heat transfer only occurs where there is direct tube-to-fin contact. So you've added 7/8" of core thickness, but only 5/8" of it is transferring heat. The other 1/4" just makes the core thicker and more difficult to get air flow through. Multiply this times 4 and you quickly have a core that has a bunch of dead space that isn't transferring any heat, yet is very thick. These tube gaps are also very disruptive to airflow through the core and act like speed bumps for air flow. Very similar to having an intake that isn't port matched to the cylinder heads.

With aluminum, since the tubes can be made so much larger, you get the same surface area with a much thinner core. A big 4-row copper/brass radiator with 1/2" tubes is typically 2-3/4" thick. A 2-row aluminum with 1.0" tubes has more surface area (if you count the tube crowns) and is only 2-1/4" thick. Copper/brass, as a material, transfers heat better than aluminum. Yet the aluminum radiator transfers more heat because it is so much less restrictive to air flow over the core.

The whole benefit of using aluminum is to use fewer rows with larger tubes. The Chinese aluminum 4-row radiators use tiny 9/16" tubes. A 4-row copper/brass radiator is going to transfer heat WAY better than a 4-row Chinese aluminum radiator. Yet they sell the 3-row and 4-row aluminum radiators with tiny tubes like free booze because people don't know any better.
I've been waiting for this explanation for days. I've been sifting through various discussions thinking to myself that no one really understands why the two types of radiators are like apples and oranges. I knew in my own head that aluminum isn't a great conductor of heat because of how it reacts when you wrap something in aluminum foil and put it i the oven it takes longer to heat and you can usually touch the aluminum without burning yourself. On the copper side if you feel under your sink hot feels hot and cold feels cold because it's conducting that temperature quickly. I just couldn't make sense of the various commercial claims for why a 2 core aluminum radiator was as good as a 4 core copper and brass. I knew it had something to do with surface area but beyond that I couldn't quite nail it down.

Finally a comparison that makes sense.

Thanks.

Perhaps this should go up front under cooling so people can see it right off.
 

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x2 on original copper/brass radiator. Keeps my 3 bb's cool with a factory fan and shroud. My 69 427 C-10 has been cool since 1988 and I tow my Camaros with it and AC and the Beach Boys playing.
 
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