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Trouble finding good radiator

 
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:06 AM
86-IDI
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Trouble finding good radiator

About two years ago the original radiator in my truck developed a leak and I replaced it with a Spectra. The Spectra only lasted a year, and I exchanged it for another Spectra. Now the 2nd Spectra has started leaking.

My truck has the 15 x 36 "wide" style radiator, so the only two brands I have found are the Spectra or APDI. Has anyone else with this size radiator been able to find something decent? I'd even be willing to buy an OEM, but doesn't seem like they make them anymore.

 
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:37 AM
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Somebody does still manufacture them, if I recall.. It's an Indian company that replicates OEM, they are something like 450-500$ and I have long ago lost a link to the website, but if you insist on OEM, it can be had, might take a week of googling and another week's paycheck, but it can be had.

My old brass rad was likewise rotten, and leaked from the seams.. I tried to repair it myself with my oxy/acct torch to remove the tanks, clean the seams and re-weld them with lead, but I couldn't get the seam right, wouldn't flow Flux right, I don't know about the lead they used, but it would bead up with what I tried.. I am not a radiator guy, do hvac and plumbing, so I wasn't really familiar with the process and the large surface area of the tanks and tubes and could not get it right.

Well I ended up dumping the brass off for scrap and got like 30-40$ for it, and went to the JY.. I found a great condition OEM aluminum / plastic radiator in a gasser 460 and determined to make it work.

It's smaller and frail looking compared to the original, but also because it's smaller - it sits down beneath the radiator core support, so it's out of the way. I don't have to step or sit on it when working on my truck the way I had to with the big brass one in there.

Altogether the new condition rad was 35$, shroud was 10$.. Had to get 2 JY hoses and splice them with exhaust style tubing and clamps to mate up with my hoses to make the bends, and cut off wheel some material from the shroud for a larger fan.

The radiator has proven to be a big upgrade from the stock unit, runs cool. I haven't yet got it off 'NO' in 'NORMAL' regardless of hauling or working the motor, it's a cool running rad.. No leaks no more, and I do like that it's out of my way when I'm wrenching on the truck.

90% of folks will disagree with running an aluminum/plastic radiator on these trucks, but they're experience is with autozoo aftermarket junk rads, the OEM unit has been trouble free for me 4-5 years'ish and shows no sign of letting up.

After scrapping the old one and buying parts, the total cost to me was only like 20$ and it runs better than ever.

Many people have tried the champion aluminum rads, though some report leaks developing, and there is always aftermarket, or the aforementioned rare OEM equivalent if you can find it. Another option is to find a decent used brass rad and have it rebuilt at a good radiator shop.
 
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:07 AM
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Too late, but the best option is have a radiator shop repair it unless it's totally shot. Mine finally started leaking around the top tank seam and the shop owner said all the "off shore" radiators had really thin top and bottom brass used compared to original OEM. A radiator shop repairs leaks, submerges them under pressure in their test tank, paints them and they end up like new. Seems like everyone who bought an aftermarket brand had a failure in a few years.
 
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Leroy Unlisted View Post
Somebody does still manufacture them, if I recall.. It's an Indian company that replicates OEM, they are something like 450-500$ and I have long ago lost a link to the website, but if you insist on OEM, it can be had, might take a week of googling and another week's paycheck, but it can be had.
Yeah, I also tried finding the OEM part # but wasn't able to come up with anything.
 
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by RaymondIV View Post
Too late, but the best option is have a radiator shop repair it unless it's totally shot. Mine finally started leaking around the top tank seam and the shop owner said all the "off shore" radiators had really thin top and bottom brass used compared to original
OEM. A radiator shop repairs leaks, submerges them under pressure in their test tank, paints them and they end up like new. Seems like everyone who bought an aftermarket brand had a failure in a few years.
Yeah that might be my best option at this point. I really regret getting rid of the original one.
 
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:51 AM
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I replaced all my trucks with the aluminum 3 and 4 core radiators from Champion. Never had an issue and the coolant stays stable temperature unlike the original.
 
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:09 AM
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I bought a parts store cheapie and so far it's lasted a year. It cools just fine. I still have the OE radiator, maybe I will have it rebuilt at a shop.
 
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Olds64 View Post
I bought a parts store cheapie and so far it's lasted a year. It cools just fine. I still have the OE radiator, maybe I will have it rebuilt at a shop.
Unless things have changed, a radiator shop can even re-core one like if a fan blade went through it.. They unsolder the top tank and bottom tank and transfer both to a new correct sized core. Never worked in a rad shop (thank gawd) but we sent dozens of them out over the years for all types of work.
 
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:03 AM
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Hit up a junk yard and get an original, have it rebuilt if need be.
 
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Old 02-14-2019, 05:50 PM
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Mishimoto makes a radiator for the IDI. They are supposed to be a good brand.

https://www.mishimoto.com/ford-6-9-7...tor-83-94.html
 
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:39 AM
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After an exhaustive fact finding period I decided to have my OEM recored. It was about $250 less than ordering / shipping a brass & copper replacement. The only B&C rad I could find online was from Radiator Specialist. The shop that did mine made two comments that swayed me. First was "that's a lot of radiator", this is why aluminum replacements aren't holding up in my humble opinion. 2nd was "Unless it's external damage, you'll never have to touch this radiator again" which sold me on the quality of his workmanship. Finished up reinstalling it yesterday. He did immaculate work, we shall see about the longevity.
 
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:48 PM
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The benefits of the brass/copper radiator is it's way more corrosion resistant than aluminum radiators. However with modern coolant this can be drastically reduced, but even so that brass and copper will last longer, and be cheaper coolant wise in the long run.

Aluminum radiators do transfer heat to air better, but it shouldn't be necessary with a coolant system in functional order. Autos and towing are where most of the extra heat comes in, and most people don't change fan clutches until it's completely wore out.

A good clutch and a clean radiator make all the difference..
 
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Old 02-23-2019, 05:52 PM
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I'm using a 4 row Champion, no issues. I'm happy with it. I still have my original that I may have repaired if it's not prohibitively expensive.
 
 


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