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Old 04-30-2010, 07:41 AM
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stock Rad 51 chevy 4.3 v6

Can I use the stock rad in my 51 chevy pickup to cool my recent 4.3 v6 engine swap? I am planning to bring the stock rad to a professional shop and get a new core installed.
Option 2 was to use the stock rad that came with the 4.3 system, I would much rather keep the stock 51 Rad look.
Some things I am wondering about?

1. Hose configuration?
Perhaps a photo if someone has a similar set up.
2. Hose sizes?
3. Rad cap 4 lbs?
4. Overflow?
5. will 4.3 water pump be ok?
If so, what are things to look out for or add etc. Thanks to anyone who can advise an amature like myself, for their time and consideration.

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Old 04-30-2010, 09:14 AM
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radiator compatability??

1. Hose configuration? just look at the radiator input/output and the two connections on the engine. Are they sort of in the same locations?? can a hose find its way from one rad connection to the appropriate engine location without having to go through 6' of twists and turns? simple enough for you to sort out visually.

2. Hose sizes? diameters will be determined by what fits the engine input/ouputs ..make sure the new/reconstructed radiator takes the same hose size. DON'T be looking at any kind of step down hose diameters or anything. Unless by 'size' you were meaning length....then refer back to #1.

3. Rad cap 4 lbs? NO, NO, NO. The 4.3 will definitely need a higher-pressure (read: modern) system, so the old radiator would have to be re-cored AND otherwise converted to hold higher pressures.

4. Overflow? easy enough to add, but necessary

5. will 4.3 water pump be ok? sure, that's the easy part.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:31 AM
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providing there will not be air conditioning, the stock rad at the 4 PSI should be able to cool a 4.3... preassure only increases the boiling point. 3* per PSI so providing the temp stays below 224* ( with straight water ) it will be fine.. that said, it would need a 180* T-stat to stay below that, and running a 50/50 mix of antifreeze would be best... not the best radiator setup, but it should keep the engine sufficently cool..
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Old 04-30-2010, 02:44 PM
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Make sure your water pump is the correct one for the belt system you are using. Serpentine belt water pumps turn the opposite direction of a V-belt system. They look the same but the impellers are different.
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Old 05-01-2010, 04:53 AM
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stock Rad 51 chevy 4.3 v6

When the time comes to install the newly recored, stock rad, this very useful information makes it much easier to do it right. Also gives me confidence to go ahead with my cooling system plan.
Thanks guys for sharing your knowledge & experience. After this frame off is completed, hopefully I can return the favor and help someone else. Great sight & great people.
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