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Old 03-18-2008, 02:10 PM
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best cooling radiator

As a first time street rod builder I would like to hear what you guys think is the best cooling raditor, copper/brass or aluminum. Also where is the best place to buy them. I know that Griffin and Walker are the big names in the business and they are both proud of their products too. I talked to both on the phone. Griffin recommends a 2 row aluminum and Walker recommends a 2 row copper/brass. I was thinking a 3 row at least as this will be going into a '38 Pontiac with a 389, 350 HP. max, TH400, power and air. I'll spend the money for the right radiator. So whataya say?

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Old 03-18-2008, 02:33 PM
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As a older type rodder ... I always use the brass/copper type. I use WALKER ... and have for over 25 years. Easier to repair if the needs arises ... ( but has not yet )



I have the Walker Z-line in both of my 32 Fords. I like their shrouds also ...
The Walker in my 32 Roadster is over 20 years old. I like them so well I went and bought a new Walker Z-line for my 32 3W project.



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Old 03-18-2008, 10:11 PM
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I'm not going to bad mouth Griffin.....but talk to some hot rodders about them. If I was going with a copper/brass I would buy a Walker, but I wanted an alum. radiator. I asked around and did a lot of research and settled on a PRC (Performance Rod & Custom) alum radiator. This thing is a work of art, all tig welded and beautiful. Most of your alum radiators are 2" core but have 1" tubes so they'll cool most anything, look at thier web site. I have a buddy thats a dealer if you decide you would like one, can't beat the price either.
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Old 03-19-2008, 03:01 PM
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I have used both walker and griffin radiators in my own cars, I have had bad luck recently with walker radiators in early cars with bracketry coming loose, and have had VERY bad luck with customer service to get a fix from walker! I currently have a 37 ford coupe with air and a zz4 with a griffin radiator with the 1 1/4" tube core with the built in overflow tank, it fit great,the bracketry is rock solid, and performs great! I recently replaced an older(but well maintained/flushed)walker radiator in a 33 ford vickie that couldn't keep up with the cooling of a stock 350 with air from the day it was built, with a large tube griffin radiator, and now the car is running perfect temp even with the air on. The preference of brass vs aluminum is like a fight over what religion is best! I have had good luck with either type radiator in a streetrod if the whole system is designed properly! there is much more to look at than just the radiator to have an effective cooling system!
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Old 03-19-2008, 06:10 PM
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I am running a Walker Z line in my 36 Coupe. It has the integrated trany cooler and the condenser. I have no cooling issues with the mild 327 and there has not been any problems in the 9 years it has been on the road. I have a Griffin in my 36 Pickup only because Griffin offered one for it and Walker did not. It is configured the same as the Walker on the Coupe and does a great job cooling the 383 stroker. It has been in use for the near 7 years in service and there have been no problems. So I say go with either of these and I am sure there are some others out there that are just as good and I don't think there would be any earth shattering differences in price.

Trees
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Old 03-19-2008, 07:15 PM
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Aluminum radiators are by far more efficient than the copper/brass design. The puny, single row stock aluminum radiator in my '95 Corvette cooled it just fine, even when the engine was modified to the 450/500 HP/TQ level. I did finally install a racing radiator, but mainly because I got a good deal on it and also because it had an engine oil cooler built into it, which was something that I wanted. It's all stock dimensions besides being a two-row, and was a bolt-in, except for minor mods to the mounting bracket for the electric fans. It cools so well that I had to make some changes after installing it, in fan on/off temps and etc., to prevent over-cooling during normal driving.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:18 AM
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I know this thread is a month old..

I run a 18.5"X17" Griffin Aluminum 2 core with 1" tubes. The 1 1/4" tube unit wasn't available in 10/06 when I was finishing my XK120 Jag.
Didn't have much choice due to the size..this was an off the shelf (drag rad) from Summit.

The Jag has a VERY small snout..but even here in the desert at 110*+ I have still run 185-190 with the electric shrouded fan that came as a set. Approx $500 if I remember..

Jag has a med/build new old school 350 (..2humps, 2.02s, Headman, Holley 600 etc.)..
I was suprised it worked so well. Fab'd the snout to cowl the air direct..works well..even here in "dry heat" Arizona
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:26 AM
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keeping pontiac ....ALL PONTIAC!!! GREAT JOB!
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Old 04-09-2008, 05:38 PM
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Several years ago, I had a 70 Jeep CJ with a warmed up 350 Chevy. Very tight fit with not much room to play with. Had heating issues from day one. After doing some searching, I settled on a Griffin, and for the next 4 years, on the street and trail riding, no overheating. The guy I sold it to is still driving it, 5 years later, and I don't know that he's had any issues either.

That's probably the route I'll go on my next rod also.
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:52 AM
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All I know is, the fan and shroud are likely the biggest factors in keeping an engine cool. If the fan ans shroud are properly set up where you are pulling enough air through the radiator, the brand of radiator isn't going to be much of an issue.

This is the most common mistake I have seen in streetrods over the years. Guys will do an engine swap and leave the shroud off because it got in the way and wham, the thing overheats. It overheats because the fan is sucking air into it from the engine compartment instead of the the other side of the radiator, forcing air through it to cool the water.

Brian
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:33 PM
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Radiator

Aluminum radiator will hold the high pressure. The 38 radiator will not hold up to high pressure very well because it is brass and will swell and burst the tanks. The best deal is to sell the original radiator to a collector or list it on ebay for it will fetch a fair price.... usually more then 200 bucks depending on condition.

I have a 39 pontiac 4 dr sedan am running a aluminum radiator from Northern radiator company. Complete set-up runs around $250 delivered. They have a universal model made for narrow front end applications. It is 16inches wide and around 27inches tall and is made to handle the big v-8's... The included mounting hardware leaves alot to be desired, but the radiator is top shelf.

Your 38 uses the exact radiator that the 39 uses.... order one from the OK. wharehouse for the good price,rather then from a middleman supplier or speed shop.
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Old 04-12-2008, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR


This is the most common mistake I have seen in streetrods over the years. Guys will do an engine swap and leave the shroud off because it got in the way and wham, the thing overheats. It overheats because the fan is sucking air into it from the engine compartment instead of the the other side of the radiator, forcing air through it to cool the water.

Brian
This is one of the most accurate statements I have seen on Hotrodders.com in a good while.

The Brass/Copper VS. aluminum radiator thing will be discussed ( and cussed ) for many years to come. The fact remains that a LOT of the original brass/copper radiators from the 20's/30's are still here and holding water. Most of the OEM aluminum radiators I have seen in the past few years needed replacement after 10 years or less. The brass/copper radiators are vastly easier to repair if the need arises.

I, myself, would never run a aluminum radiator in a 32 Ford ... because they are butt ugly IMHO.





Both are NICE cars but the one with the black ... brass/copper radiator looks the better of the two ... ( we are talking the shell/grille radiator area only ) ... or at least to me ...
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Old 04-12-2008, 02:54 PM
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Yes, being brass, aluminum or plastic hasn't a single thing to do with how much pressure they hold. The design of the radiator in question is what determines the pressure it will hold.

The brass rad in my 65 Gran Sport has a 15 lb cap on it, the stock brass rad in my 48 Chevy pickup had I believe a 6 lb. It did however get an "update" where I had braces riveted and soldered and voila, it held 12-14 or something, I forget and was "full pressure".

Aluminum "Extra cooling" I guess, aluminum does displace heat better. But like I said, it the brass rad is properly designed it works just fine. By brother has a tiny brass rad in his roadster with a bored out 401 (413 CID) Nailhead Buick and it stays almost "Too cool". So if properly set up, brass works just fine.

Brian
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