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Old 12-29-2009, 04:41 PM
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Aluminum or brass radiator

Well let me start by saying I knda screwed up. I ordered a radiator for my 79 Malibu that I thought was a 3 row brass replacement for the 3 row that I now have that's full of calcium deposits. Well since I didn't put enough research into it they replace it with a 1 row aluminum radiator with at least a 1 1/4" tube. Do you think the aluminum radiator will cool as well as a clean 3 row brass? I know the air flow will be better with the aluminum one but will it handle disapating the heat as well as a 3 row brass?

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Old 12-29-2009, 06:52 PM
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Well I've been doing alot of reading and I'm beginning to think the aluminum one will do just as good of a job as the 3row copper radiator. But I would like some input and opinions. Thanks
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:39 PM
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I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how well it will cool- IF the rest of the specs are OK. Do you have the core thickness and tube spacing?
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:49 PM
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I'm running both in different cars. The aluminum is lighter in weight and has superior cooling, not to mention look good. I'm also running a 3 row brass radiator which is in my Ford truck. The brass radiator cools well as does the aluminum, but I find is more sensitive to dents and damage than the aluminum. Either radiator are fine. It's a matter of choice. My opinion? Aluminum is a much better radiator for overall cooling.
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how well it will cool- IF the rest of the specs are OK. Do you have the core thickness and tube spacing?
I don't have the specs on hand but I can measure it. The tubes are proably 1 1/4", they are spaced maybe 3/8" apart. I'll have to measure it be sure but the more I looked at it the more I think it will do just as good or better
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Phoneguy
I don't have the specs on hand but I can measure it. The tubes are proably 1 1/4", they are spaced maybe 3/8" apart. I'll have to measure it be sure but the more I looked at it the more I think it will do just as good or better
Aluminum for the win!
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Old 12-30-2009, 08:15 PM
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I know I'm comparing to a partialy clogged radiator but the 1 row aluminum radiator is cooling my BBC just fine. I couldn't get it to go over 195/200* cruising along at 60 and getting on her pretty hard. If it did warm up it came back down to 190* range without a problem. With the old radiator it would slowly climb up and wouldn't cool back down.
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:14 PM
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There are pros and cons for each. My preference is copper as it will transfer heat best of the two materials, is more easily repaired (i.e. in West Overshoe, Nebraska on a Sunday afternoon)and will last longer in a nasty climate (salted highways). A well designed aluminum radiator is a good alternative in terms of price and weight (look at a NASCAR race car) and a well designed aluminum radiator will work just fine. They do look nice, but look at the shined copper top tank of a show car sometime.

This is a graph of metal heat conductivity - sorry about the size, I'm too lazy to do the Photobucket thing:
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