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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The radiator I had re-cored 30 years ago (can't even find a shop in San Diego to re-core these days) was weeping a little at the bottom, but never gave me heating problems. I decided to buy a new one. Bought a 4 row copper and brass radiator from a parts supplier in Utah who wouldn't answer my question about where it was made (should have been a red flag - radiator cap script was in Chinese). Installed it and it was fine around town. Took it on the freeway for the first time and the engine ran hot (didn't boil over) about 3/4 or higher on the temp gauge (stock). Put my old leaky one back in and the gauge never gets above 1/3 (I had removed the thermostat to eliminate it as a possible cause). Bottom line - What's the best option for a down flow radiator (V8 stock position)? I'm considering a US Radiator Desert Cooler. They have several options that are supposed to help cool. Other option might be a Griffen aluminum that fits in the stock position. I have no experience with aluminum radiators. I've seen posts here, but there's a lot of people with bigger motors and fancy cross flow radiators. Engine is a 283, 0.60 over, balanced, Crower torque cam with hydraulic lifters, Edlebrock intake and 600 Holley. No A/C.

Any experience/suggestions are most welcome. I don't want play musical radiators.
 

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Check ebay many to choose from....I bought an aluminum one off ebay last fall. Seems to be ok so far this summer. I can't remember the brand (RPC I think), paid about $300.

TV
 

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Check ebay many to choose from....I bought an aluminum one off ebay last fall. Seems to be ok so far this summer. I can't remember the brand (RPC I think), paid about $300.

TV
Thanks TV. Got burnt on the Chinese one off Ebay, so I'm a little gun shy. That's why I'm leaning towards a name brand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Summit sells radiators for the tri fives. I just bought an alum. one from them and I'm pleased with it . About $300.00
Thanks, Crankshaft. I'll check out Summit.
 

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Driver57.....I believe I would get a good, name brand, aluminum, downflow radiator like Griffin, PRC, or Walker.....These companies have good warrantees and a reputation to uphold.

See my previous thread on "best downflow radiator": http://www.trifive.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65471
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Driver57.....I believe I would get a good, name brand, aluminum, downflow radiator like Griffin, PRC, or Walker.....These companies have good warrantees and a reputation to uphold.

See my previous thread on "best downflow radiator": http://www.trifive.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65471
Thanks, 557B210.

Griffin is certainly one that I'm considering. Griffin users seem to be happy campers. The other is the US Radiator Desert Cooler (very stock appearance). They have several options: High efficiency, 2,3 or 4 row, Triple flow and Optima. Going with all of the options (around $559) would probably be over-kill, but if the old 283 gets tired, I'll drop in a 350 and possibly Vintage Air - so I want to have additional cooling capacity. I don't want to need to buy another radiator later if I can help it. Do you have any experience with the Desert Coolers?

I'm old-fashioned. I lean toward the copper and brass radiators. Maybe I should join the 21st century?
 

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I am running 2 Desert Coolers and I am happy with the look, fit, and performance. I am currently thinking about intalling a shroud on my '55 because it will run a little warm on hot days in town but always perfect on the highway. I have the radiator in the 6 cyl. position so it is quite a ways from the fan which is ony a stock 4 blade. I bought mine for under $300 from: www.mervsclassicchevyparts.com. Merv is very good to deal with on any parts that you might need. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am running 2 Desert Coolers and I am happy with the look, fit, and performance. I am currently thinking about intalling a shroud on my '55 because it will run a little warm on hot days in town but always perfect on the highway. I have the radiator in the 6 cyl. position so it is quite a ways from the fan which is ony a stock 4 blade. I bought mine for under $300 from: www.mervsclassicchevyparts.com. Merv is very good to deal with on any parts that you might need. Good luck!
Thanks for the input. I've been waiting to hear from a Desert cooler owner. Merv seems to have good prices. I'll likely order from him if none of the locals (San Diego area) can come close to the price.
 

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Hi I just put a Dessert cooler in my 57, It dropped the temp right away.
I bought mine from danchuk for 490.00. It dropped right in to the V8 postion.
I would highly recomend it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Results

Well, to close the loop on this, I went with the US Radiators Desert Cooler 4 row, high efficiency. Car never gets above 160 (thermostat temp).

Lesson learned. Don't waste money on an imitation.

The first one I bought LOOKED like a desert cooler, was 4 row high efficiency (supposedly). Maybe they should call it a DESSERT cooler? It might cool sherbet.

If anyone wants to know who sold the first one to me (and refused to take it back) send me a private message. The car sat for almost 4 months waiting for transmission and clutch work, but got hot first time at freeway speed. He said that I had it too long and it sat in the car, etc. I told him that the old one sat in the car for 30 years and it still cooled the engine. Just leaked a little.

Anyway, for what it's worth (and thanks to all who posted) the Desert Cooler did it for this 57.
 

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Driver57.....PM sent
 

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I had the same experience with a new Chinese radiator. I'm not going for a geopolitical rant but there's a reason why these come with 6lb caps. Mine lasted about three months of fairly infrequent driving and ran hot out of the box. I put on a shroud,more aggressive fan, and another half spacer (a have a 350 with the radiator in the stock 6 position) and it only slightly helped it at idle. It still ran hot on the highway. I drove from Chicago to Louisville last week and in attempt to keep coolant in the radiator I put on a 20lb cap (undoubtably Ill advised) and for lack of a more technical term it exploded the following morning. I would have preferred a more traditional look like a desert cooler but the only radiator I could find at the fairgrounds was an aluminum Brice Thomas radiator (USA made for just over 300 bucks). Im not a radiator connoisseur but I never heard of them before this. While it's too early for a ringing endorsement the car never hit 170 degrees in the same conditions on the drive back. For what it's worth it went in like butter too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I had the same experience with a new Chinese radiator. I'm not going for a geopolitical rant but there's a reason why these come with 6lb caps. Mine lasted about three months of fairly infrequent driving and ran hot out of the box. I put on a shroud,more aggressive fan, and another half spacer (a have a 350 with the radiator in the stock 6 position) and it only slightly helped it at idle. It still ran hot on the highway. I drove from Chicago to Louisville last week and in attempt to keep coolant in the radiator I put on a 20lb cap (undoubtably Ill advised) and for lack of a more technical term it exploded the following morning. I would have preferred a more traditional look like a desert cooler but the only radiator I could find at the fairgrounds was an aluminum Brice Thomas radiator (USA made for just over 300 bucks). Im not a radiator connoisseur but I never heard of them before this. While it's too early for a ringing endorsement the car never hit 170 degrees in the same conditions on the drive back. For what it's worth it went in like butter too.
Sorry that you had the same problem, but as misery love company, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who ran into this. Good luck with the new radiator. Sounds like you've got a "keeper".
 
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