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Aluminum 3 core radiator comparison.

 
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:09 PM
RalphXL
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Aluminum 3 core radiator comparison.

A little while back I bought a 3 core Champion aluminum radiator. I was quite pleased with how it looked. I have a 1979 f-150 with a mild 460 that I daily drive in the salt free months and tow a camper with. I also have a 1979 bronco with a 545" big block. I planned to put the Champion radiator in my f-150 and buy another for my Bronco.
Then I saw a similar radiator on E-bay, three core, same core size, basically everything was the same except it wasn't polished, and it was $150 instead of $214. So, I bought one. Straight out of the box I noticed that the cheaper one had a thinner core, a half inch thinner, still three rows though. I was a little ticked at myself for trying to save a few bucks until I did further investigating. Although the cheaper radiator has a thinner core it has three more rows of fins width wise, and the trans cooler fittings are 1/4" npt instead of the 1/8" npt on the Champion radiator. So, I'm not sure how it's going to work out. I put it in my bronco today, it bolted right up fine now problems. I just posted this for anyone thinking of buying a aluminum radiator off of e-bay, there is a difference between the cheaper ones and the Champions, which are really quite affordable anyway.


Champion is on the right.

Jess
 
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:01 AM
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I've read your Bronco threads both here, and over on Foureyedpride!

The best comparison would be to try them both in the same truck, and keep close track of the temperature in various situations. A digital temp gauge on top of the dash would be the best way to monitor it - since there's no OBD2 data port on these trucks...
 
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:20 AM
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Where did you buy the champion radiator? I also was looking at the same one you found on ebay.
 
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:21 AM
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I'd love to see someone hook up a pump and electric fan to both of these, then run how water through and see hiw long it takes to be brought back down to room temperature.
 
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by meangreen92 View Post
I've read your Bronco threads both here, and over on Foureyedpride!

The best comparison would be to try them both in the same truck, and keep close track of the temperature in various situations. A digital temp gauge on top of the dash would be the best way to monitor it - since there's no OBD2 data port on these trucks...
Actually both trucks have a Fitech unit, so there is a digital temp available on the digital display. I don't expect to be swapping radiators though. Might be kinda hard to get all the variables the same anyway.

Jess
 
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by fordguy76 View Post
Where did you buy the champion radiator? I also was looking at the same one you found on ebay.
I found it on E-bay also. The price was the same as on their website but it looks like the one I got is polished without the Champion upcharge for polishing.

Jess
 
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:43 PM
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How a radiator works is simple but the devil is in the details. For a good comparison I would look at the fin density. The #of cores can actually be a negative for a aluminum radiator. 4 core radiators are required for a copper radiator to cool but a single core aluminum can actually cool better than a 4 core aluminum due to air flow. Too many cores and your fan will not be able to pull sufficient amount of air to cool. It would cool going 60 mph but not sitting in traffic.

this article explains it much better than I can.

https://www.cgj.com/2013/06/27/aluminum-vs-copper-brass-radiator-the-great-debate/

I would not beat yourself up too much for saving a few bucks. I imagine the cheaper radiator will cool just fine as long as you are pulling enough air through it.
 
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:51 AM
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I had a cheap one in my hands and it was surprisingly solid. I am sure it would do a better job than my crusted up old copper radiator.
 
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Lrrr-RulerOfOmicronP View Post
How a radiator works is simple but the devil is in the details. For a good comparison I would look at the fin density. The #of cores can actually be a negative for a aluminum radiator. 4 core radiators are required for a copper radiator to cool but a single core aluminum can actually cool better than a 4 core aluminum due to air flow. Too many cores and your fan will not be able to pull sufficient amount of air to cool. It would cool going 60 mph but not sitting in traffic.

this article explains it much better than I can.

https://www.cgj.com/2013/06/27/alumi...-great-debate/

I would not beat yourself up too much for saving a few bucks. I imagine the cheaper radiator will cool just fine as long as you are pulling enough air through it.
I'm not upset at the difference in the radiators. I paid less, but I'm not sure if I really got less. Mainly I just brought it up because Champion radiators have a pretty good reputation here. I'm sure I'm not the only person that thought that the cheaper radiators looked just like the Champion's and bought one. Call it a Public Service Announcement . Without them being side by side you might not even notice the differences.

I took a four core copper radiator out of the bronco to install the cheaper aluminum radiator(came with the bronco and was in questionable shape). The 545 in the bronco has almost 11:1 compression and should make about 650 HP, if this radiator isn't enough I may add an oil cooler. Fans will be a dual fan set up from a late model SUV.

Jess
 

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