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Old 08-12-2003, 02:17 PM
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3 row vs 4 row radiator

In Texas , Is 4 row always better than a 3 row? Does a 4 row cool 25% better so your temp will be 25% lower? Does anyone have any hard numbers to compare the 2.

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Old 08-12-2003, 04:51 PM
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I don't know about "always" but a 4 row should cool better than a 3 row. Sorry, don't have any numbers. Are you having cooling probs? What's all in your cooling system now?
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Old 08-12-2003, 06:04 PM
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A two row aluminum radiator (with larger 1" or better yet 1.25" tubes and more cooling fins) will cool more efficiently than a 3 or 4 row copper/brass radiator.
Most of the older design copper/brass radiators have smaller diameter (3/8-1/2") cooling tubes and less fins, with the fins running parallel to one another.
In modern aluminum radiators, you not only save weight over copper/brass, but the tubes flow more coolant and the fins are diagonals which provide more cooling surface.
I know that this isn't specific to what you asked, but there is a point with a copper/brass radiator that you just can't get it to perform much better. The thickness of the copper/brass hinders cool air from passing through it, particularly when it is clogged with debris or hindered by an a/c condenser in front of it. The cooling tubes on the engine side of the copper/brass radiator do not benefit from the cooler air exchange.
Check with GRIFFIN, BE COOL, RON DAVIS RADIATOR and PRC. The cost of an aluminum radiator is more than a copper/brass, but with the demands on todays cooling systems the old copper/brass just cannot do as much as we'd like them to do.
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Old 08-12-2003, 06:29 PM
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i had a 2 core in my vette , it was always around 3/4 the way to hot, with the 4 core it lifts up a little past a quarter and then stops . if your vehicle is running hot and its not plugged up with sludge , a 4 core may be the answer, it was for me . mike
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Old 08-13-2003, 06:21 AM
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I was told that a 4 core doesnt necessarily help because it reduces the airflow because of the additional thickness. So you have to balance that against the additional volume.

Thats why I ask.

I have a 3 row in a 65 401 buick riviera (bored 30 over- 35,000 miles) and the radiator is 1 year old but this summer its just getting up to 230 (air temp is 100 and a/c on - so maybe I am asking for trouble). and if I get in stop and go traffic it goes up to 235. I have checked/replaced everything (thermostat, tried flex fan, new hoses, shroud, timing, even changed the head gaskets) and now I am thinking I should have gotten a 4 row. I cant put a pusher fan on the outside because of the headlight motor.

Unless I put a small 9" fan . Will that help? since it gets hot even on the freeway I would think that airflow is not the problem.
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Old 08-13-2003, 08:35 AM
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I've had the same problem only with a 2 core. I suggest to take it to a reputable rad shop and have them build it up to a 4 core high density. Just my opinion, check the knowledge base for more tips and ideas or suggestions. Lol, let us know.
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Old 08-13-2003, 09:47 AM
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Are you running a shroud? It will make a big difference.
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Old 08-13-2003, 02:29 PM
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You said you tried just about everything, when was the last time you flushed the system out? Also you still have the front air dam under the front bumper?
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Old 08-13-2003, 03:11 PM
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i had a 1960 chevy pickup with a 350.

it had a small 3 core with no shroud. it got too hot in the summer.


i put in a 4 core with a shroud and added some water wetter. it made all the difference in the world. i regularly go up very steep hills( the kind big rigs can only go 15 mph up) in 100+ temps.

after the swap it staye dway cool. no good for winter though. never got that hot! my heater didn't work so good.

- Also a justin h.
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Old 08-13-2003, 07:01 PM
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Air Dam!!! I heard about this from another thread a few weeks ago. I didn't have one, it was crack so I removed it. I went to the pick your part, and got one for $3.00 I just did a highway drive 1000 mi and it made a huge difference. I just finished the 500 mile engine breaking with a new motor and did the drive. I removed the original fanclutch and put a flexfan on, I was scared of over heating the car on the drive, it was 100+ on the day of the drive, my car didn't get over 175-180 deg. with a tight motor! It made too much of a difference actually. I will be putting an electric back on when I return.
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Old 08-14-2003, 09:22 AM
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The answer to tubbed is no I don't run a shroud. I previously stated run a 4 row(core )high density rad, 185 themostat with a 16th inch hole drilled in it facing the rad, electric water pump and electric fan(pusher). I don't have a belt or crank driven fan. I raced last Fri. and it never overheated. After each heat I shut the engine off and just let the pump and fan run for about 5 minutes. As far as cruising if I don't push it, it normally runs between 180 and 200 which is A OK! I would love to try some water wetter but Summit won't ship to Canada and I have yet to find a Canadian distributor. Someone down there want to send some, can make arrangements.
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Old 08-15-2003, 01:00 AM
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It doesn't only make a difference how many rows of tubes there are in the rad but also the over-all thickness of the core. A 2 inch 3-row is likely to cool better than a 1.5 inch 4-row. Also the shroud position makes a significant difference. It should ideally be within 3/4 in from the fanblade tips all the way around and extend 2/3 into the fan swath. Shrouds that don't reach the fan swath are almost useless.
Another trick is to help the hot air escape the engine bay by cutting holes or louvers into the inner fenders or installing a non-functioning coil-induction style hoodscoop to help clear out this hot air a.s.a.p. A friend of mine worked att a rad-shop, had the best rad etc in his hi-po 289 '64 Fairlane but it kept running hot untill he re-adjusted the hood hinges so the back of the hood was raised abit to clear out the hot engine bay air and it cured the problem. Hope these pointers help sumbody out.
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Old 08-18-2003, 09:37 AM
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Logic and radiators

Let's think logically about radiators and cooling. First, a four-row radiator is 33% more rows than a three-row, not 25%. Second, all things being correct, the thermostat will control the temp. If you are flowing enough water in the radiator and enough air through the radiator, a properly sized three-row will cool the same as a four-row because the thermostat will regulate the temp. Cooling problems occur when you ask a radiator to do more than it was designed to do -- like putting a big block in a Vega. The Vega radiator was designed to cool a 4 cly. Or, if you expect an old clogged radiator to cool. It just won't flow enough water.
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Old 08-18-2003, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dollybud
The answer to tubbed is no I don't run a shroud.
A shroud will make a BIG difference. Instead of pulling air from the size of the fan, it will pull air from the whole rad which is ideal. I would look into that first.
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