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Radiator replacement 88 F250 7.3L IDI

 
  #1  
Old 06-09-2019, 10:53 PM
Rufusjivefunk
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Radiator replacement 88 F250 7.3L IDI


Hello all!

from the advice of another thread I have decided to replace my Rad. I will keep it to rebuild as the shops said the originals are awesome rebuild but I they quoted $700.

Lordco has come it at $600 with a Rad that is plastic tanks.

I found a few “racing Rads” on eBay (pic posted) that are aluminum and are coming in at the $200 range .

Has any one used these or know if they are good?

Also any tips or things I should watch for in doing the replacement?
 
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:06 PM
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all I can say is that an Aluminum Radiator should be more efficient than a Brass Radiator.

pretty sure there will be argument about that ....

but facts seem to speak for themselves ===>> https://wizardcooling.com/blog/brass...al-properties/


I have been considering using a Champion Radiator to replace my 4 Core Brass as my transmission cooler is unusable and I can't find a shop willing to do any repair, I guess all the Good old Radiator guys have retired now.

SO far what I have discovered is the Transmission Cooler lines will not Fit the Champion... you have to get Adapters or change your line setup

 
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by lonewolf_ View Post
I guess all the Good old Radiator guys have retired now.
The guys in my town were old and honest and said I had a beauty truck and to save my Rad cause they are worth $400 broken. Decent enough guys and were willing to shoot the perverbial shizal with me and pointed out a few other things that I should keep an eye on with my particular truck etc etc.

thanks for the reply .. I may just order this Rad and see how it fits.. make sure the local shop has a back up and hoses etc

so the 3core 4 core etc is in the main Rad? I see some smaller ones near the front outside my main Rad
 
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:47 PM
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3 or 4 core is the main Radiator... the other Radiator things you see in front is the AC Condenser, and maybe an Aux Transmission cooler IF you have automatic Tranny.


a 3 core might be more efficient than a 4 Core... it depends on the Core Design, for example the 3 core may have larger Cores than a 4 Core, and the design of the cores themselves is important, I see a few Chinese Knock offs that I would be Leary of buying.... make sure you can find some folks that have used the radiator you plan on buying and don't rely on Internet reviews as many of those reviews may be fake.

Just my 2 cents

autozensation is based in Hong Kong and have been selling on eBay since 2011
 
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:24 AM
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The aluminum radiators are better at dissipating heat into the air, but copper rads have higher thermal conductivity so they can absorb the heat from the coolant easier.

The main reason aluminum radiators became a thing was because its cheaper and lighter. As technology in manufacturing became better making aluminum radiators became easier as well. Most are brazed iirc where as your copper rad used solder for the most part. This isn't very environmentally friendly so that also adds to cost.

The cheaper aluminum radiators are going to also be made from a cheaper grade of aluminum that won't last near as long as a good alloy would.

My main problem with aluminum radiators, especially cheap ones is they corrode must faster than copper rads. The copper rads will still corrode to and get like a green patina that also effects the heat transfer. The aluminum corrodes more roughly and starts to flake out.

I think most people here to from a clogged up leaky rad to a new aluminum one that flows correctly and hasn't corroded yet so sure they see a difference. But it's an apples to oranges comparison.

Since they pretty much quit offering the factory style rads if you can find a replacement they are really expensive. But for how long they'll last it might be worth it to you.

I'd definitely get a second or even third quote on the rad repair. Last quote I was given a couple years ago was somewhere in the two to three hundred dollar range.

Most people don't change the rad because it's actually bad, most do it because it leaks, if you can find the leak and access it then a dab of solder on the affected part may get you going again. You can then run some rad cleaner through the radiator and probably get it to clean up fairly well.

The stock rads are huge. And four cores thick. I think there adequate enough for stock or close to stock form. Some of these guys here adding a lot of extra fuel and air to these engines definitely run into some higher temperatures, but that's not exactly surprising.

I've never had an issue with mine regardless of what I've put behind it. The absolute hottest I've ever seen it get was 220, towing a grade on an August day and it was over 100 degrees outside with the a/c running. Towing under 10k and it never gets above the 190 degrees it always runs. Regardless of outside temp, grade, and a/c. My pump isn't stock calibration either
 
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:53 AM
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With that said, there's no such thing as a copper rad, they're brass. I took my original to a radiator shop a few years back for top tank seam repair and the owner gave my a "clinic" when I picked it up. One thing he pointed out was that the foreign replacements have very thin brass top and bottom tanks and aren't near the quality as the original American made ones. He resoldered the top tank, pressure tested it in his dip tank, painted it and the bill was a little over $100. In the past I've pulled radiators from pickups to Kenworths and it was always cheaper to repair one than buy brand new even if it required a complete new core. With the environmental laws now maybe that's no longer the case.
 
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by RaymondIV View Post
With that said, there's no such thing as a copper rad, they're brass. I took my original to a radiator shop a few years back for top tank seam repair and the owner gave my a "clinic" when I picked it up. One thing he pointed out was that the foreign replacements have very thin brass top and bottom tanks and aren't near the quality as the original American made ones. He resoldered the top tank, pressure tested it in his dip tank, painted it and the bill was a little over $100. In the past I've pulled radiators from pickups to Kenworths and it was always cheaper to repair one than buy brand new even if it required a complete new core. With the environmental laws now maybe that's no longer the case.

I agree ... back in the Day, they did use Copper for the fins but never the tubes as copper is too soft, the copper eventually rots out and then your fins are gone.
 
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:48 PM
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i have never seen an aluminum radiator last more than a year in a diesel, especially an idi.
the vibrations of the diesels just rattle them apart.
 
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tjc transport View Post
i have never seen an aluminum radiator last more than a year in a diesel, especially an idi.
the vibrations of the diesels just rattle them apart.
This is a Major Concern that I have been discussing with the manufacture, while they say it is not an issue and offer a lifetime warranty against such Failure, I sure don't want to be replacing the damned thing every year.

I'm well aware of what Vibration does and all the Aluminum Radiators that I have looked at are all made in China (even the All American Companies Farm the work to China)
I can get Used from Pull a part for less than 100 bux but you better be fast because as soon as these trucks hit the yard down here that is the first thing that is gone, IF it is any good.

 
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by tjc transport View Post
i have never seen an aluminum radiator last more than a year in a diesel, especially an idi.
the vibrations of the diesels just rattle them apart.
It's been a few years since I pulled mine for repair but if I remember right the original brass Ford radiators have a few rubber vibration dampers in key spots.
 
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by tjc transport View Post
i have never seen an aluminum radiator last more than a year in a diesel, especially an idi.
the vibrations of the diesels just rattle them apart.
Going on 5 years and 100k on the welded aluminum Champion 3 row I got off Ebay. I will say the ones with the plastic tanks do come apart and even the new trucks suffer that issue and I avoid them.
 
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:52 PM
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I think Rubber Isolation mounts might be a good thing and you probably want to Ground the Radiator with bonding straps, Possibly add an Anode to the extra hole on the water pump.

Not sure how well Zinc would work with DCA4, but I do know you will have to deal with Electrolysis.

and yes Champion is also made in China.
 
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:33 AM
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After reading & studying everything on the internet i decided to get the original recored this spring. Cost just over $500.
 
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:23 AM
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Well...for what it`s worth. I`ve had this 86 almost 5 years. (next month). and almost 94K miles in that time.
When we bought it, it looked like a new Radiator was installed. Aluminum with Plastic Tanks. So far no leaks
and she runs pretty much in the center of the gauge. Maybe we are lucky so far...?

Like said above...they disappear fast when they come into the yards. My Bro-in Law and I were working on a 85
to remove the rust free Core Support. Had the original brass radiator, Wow what a heavy sucker, not sure my
scrawny lil azz could have pulled it out by my self. Set it against the vehicle bumper in front of it. next morning
it was gone.
I know the yard rats clean up stuff, and throw it in vehicles and PU Beds. But this sucker was gone.





Charlie
 
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Old Yesterday, 11:47 PM
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Quality being equal between the two, an aluminum radiator is vastly more robust than a brass one (much harder, if even practical to repair though). Cooling wise, copper conducts / dissipates heat twice as well as aluminum... BUT, brass cores are lead soldered which cuts their efficiency by about half, and the brass alloys cutting it further, making them equal to alum. because alum can be welded / brazed, elminating any efficiency robbing dissimilar metals. Due to the stronger characteristics of aluminum, you can go 1" wide tubes with the same wall thickness as a .5" brass core, allowing more surface area from 2 1" core aluminum vs a 4 .5" core brass, thus the aluminum CAN BE more efficient. You cant go 1" tubes on brass without doubling the wall thickness, which more than cancels out the cooling benefit. It was this technology breakthrough the caused the OEMs to shift to the aluminum radiators (more efficient, allowing them to be cheaper and lighter).

With that out of the way, after spending several days worth of hours reading and talking to a few local shops, only the good 1" aluminum radiators will outcool a brass by any signifigant margin. However, most aftermarket radiators are not the good ones, theyre cheap, thin imports that only have .5" tubes. Ive spoken with a few reputable places that say theyve never had a return on champion rads, even with diesels. Diesels for whatever reason seem to be more prone to electrolysis problems, but that shouldnt be an issue with a quality coolant like fleetcharge.

Plastic end tanks will burst, not if, when. Nature of the beast, this is one thing that was repeated over and over, and something ive learned with our volvo trucks. The bonding agent can only take 'x' amount of heat cycles.

The moral of the story is, ive wasted a week of my life and still have no idea if a cheapo 4 core alum will outcool my factory replacement brass rad.

Some excellent reading here: Griffin Radiator - GENERAL FAQ
 

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