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Old 04-27-2012, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ForceFed86
Recently bought a 2 row 28x15x2 cheapo alum radiator. Anyone have direct experience with replacing a 2-row radiator of the exact same size with a 3-row?

I'm using 2 12" electric fans. This has cooled the car fine up until I use the AC in stop and go traffic on hot days. Without the AC on the car will stay around 190-210* (180 thermo). Even on 100*+ days I've seen a highest reading of 210 or so. On the highway I can run the AC on hot days without any overheating issues.

Due to engine packaging and turbo plumbing, I have no room for a schroud. The radiator is covered decently by 2 12" fans. I know a schroud is best, but I just don't have the room.

Do you think switching to a 3 row core radiator will make that much of a difference? The 3 core units I'm looking at are the same 2" thickness as my current 2 core. I just can't see them cooling that much better?

I'm also looking into a more powerful fan setup. As these are the supplied cheap fans.

The usual advantage of using a three row vs a two row core is you get additional capacity for coolant. If the tubes in the two row are large, the capacity gain going to a three row may not be significant. However, the area exposed to cooling air will be increased so the cooling will be better with the three row. There is another area to consider that rarely gets mentioned. This is the number of fins per inch. The more fins the greater the cooling area and the more efficient the radiator becomes.

If you have room to run the electric fans shown, then you have room for a shroud.

How are your fans controlled? Do you have them turn on with a thermostatically controlled switch? If you do, change that so they run constant whenever the ignition is on. You might also consider running a high volume larger single puller fan.
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