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Old 04-27-2012, 04:41 PM
BogiesAnnex1 BogiesAnnex1 is offline
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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.

We have back to back testing of a 31 wide by 19 inch high cross flow in copper brass of 3 rows and the same size and flow direction in aluminum 2 rows of 1 inch tubes. Everything else, fans, pump, operating cycle kept the same. With the same 180 degree thermostat they functioned identically.

I see you're really pressed for space, if you don't have an engine oil cooler, you should find that a large enough one will take about 10 maybe 15 degrees off the coolant temp. All you've got to do is find a place for it.

Without a shroud it's hard to get fans to pull over all the possible radiator core area. Another trick is to use cookie baking sheets to make a shallow shroud that fastens around the perimeter of the core and accepts the fans with either their shrouds modified either by cutting or bending for the depth of the cookie sheets. The internal angles are for crap but it actually works pretty well. Sometimes it does interfere with high speed cooling, the solution is some flapper doors outside the fan radius in the cookie sheet these will be sucked shut when the fans run so a vacuum forms across the entire core to pull air through it at idle and stop and go traffic but at cruise and higher speeds when the fans aren't required the ram air will blow the flapper doors open to provide more flow area with less restriction. This type shroud can be configured so it adds no more depth than your existing fans which will get around your space problem. Plus, if you use your wife's old baking sheets you'll love the smell of chocolate chips as your moving down the highway---GOT MILK?

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