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Old 06-19-2018, 07:44 AM
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T-Bucket radiator

Has anybody used the Speedway T-Bucket radiator? I really like the price...but nervous about the difference between it and others that are much more expensive.I know you get what you pay for but..Speedway has a good rep. Any feedback? Thanks.

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Old 06-19-2018, 09:51 AM
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Most of the Speedway items are decent though I ran a Walker ($$). I had a seam leak problem after about 5 years and they didn't bother fixing it - just replaced it though I had to pay shipping one way. Don't know if they still do that service but the Walker on my current car is 18 years old and is still fine.

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Old 06-19-2018, 10:10 AM
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Just a couple of tips that I have learned over the years........

1.Mount the radiator in plenty of rubber to prevent it being banged around and stressed. It should float in its mounting, not bolted down solid.

2. Use molded hose. Those "one size fits all" straight, ribbed hoses will exert steady pressure on the inlet and outlet, stressing the connections and promoting cracking and leaks. If you can't find a correct molded hose in one piece, manufacture your own hose from short, curved pieces and straight lengths of copper tubing, hose-clamped together. If you'll speak nicely to the manager of an auto parts store and tell him what you're trying to do, he will usually let you go through the hoses in back to find what you need. Once you have found what you need, write it all down so that you can duplicate it later when you need to replace the hose.

3. Support it well from the top of the radiator back to the cowl of the car with the proper rods.

4. You will get the best "eyeball" from the radiator if you place it so that it slices right down the middle of the front wheel and tire in side view. (equal with the spindle front to rear). Having it slice further back isn't too bad either, but avoid mounting it so that it is ahead of the tire/wheel in a side view. That just looks hinky. Mount the radiator so that it is on the same angle top to bottom (as viewed from the side) as the firewall of the car. Again, having two different angles between the radiator and the firewall just looks hinky.

5. If you find a molded hose that works on the bottom connection, insert a spring inside it to prevent it from collapsing and shutting off flow to the water pump. Of course, if it's a made-up hose of tubing and molded hoses, then it probably will not collapse (suck flat).
.

Last edited by techinspector1; 06-19-2018 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 06-19-2018, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skinnymike View Post
Has anybody used the Speedway T-Bucket radiator? I really like the price...but nervous about the difference between it and others that are much more expensive.I know you get what you pay for but..Speedway has a good rep. Any feedback? Thanks.
T bucket cooling is always dicey as you're trying to get cooling for a V8 that came from the factory behind a 2 or 3 or 4 tube radiator with a core surface of 16 to 19 inches by 27 to 32 inches. So it should be obvious that an 18 by 18 inch radiator with 2 rows of tubes is going to be challenged to keep up with the pace.

These things are helped by having seperate oil coolers for the automatic transmission, if you're using one, and for engine oil. A seperate trans cooler keeps its heat out of the engine's coolant. The engine oil cooler gets the oil temp that has to transfer through engine structure into the coolant rerouted to a seperate cooler which saves a lot of heat from going into the radiator. However, don't be surprised if it turns out you still have to find clever ways to suck heat out of the engine's coolant.

This problem will be there whether you use Speedways house brand radiator or any of the high priced spread offered. It simply comes down to trying to cool a modern V8 in the same space that struggled to cool an old fashion, low power , inline 4. The physics are against you!

Bogie
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Old 06-19-2018, 02:10 PM
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I have been able to make it work by using an engine-driven fan. Start with spacing the fan blades no more than one inch from the radiator core at rest and construct a sheet aluminum shroud that puts the blades halfway in and halfway out of the shroud, with about 3/4" gap between the tips of the fan blade and the opening of the shroud. Use a steel fan blade assembly pirated from an '80's Oldsmobile DIESEL. It is an 18" diameter unit with a 3" pitch that will move a ton of air. Attach it to a thermostatically-controlled fan clutch and run the fan at stock speed off the crank.
https://www.ebay.com/i/362145132416?chn=ps
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Old 06-20-2018, 02:27 AM
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The 4" chopped 32 radiator I used on my T was from Speedway. It was an aluminum piece from Ron Davis and cooled just fine. The only time it would get over 200* was during a parade or in very heavy slow moving traffic. I don't think I ever saw it over 210* and that was with the trans cooler hooked up.
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:21 AM
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rad's for a T

my last bucket build i used a 3 core CHAMPION rad. it's styled like the orig model T. and i used the larges elect fan to fit.. never had an issue. plus the rad came polished. champions are sold by a ton of companies but i use champion.com come direct from manuf. 5 yr warranty too.
as a side note i have used champions on both my buckets, '66 fairlane, now my '73 mustang and i'd use them again. no i don't work for the company either.
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:00 AM
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Thanks for the feedback! This car has a Champion ( I believe) rad in it. The car was built by somebody else, good workmanship but, some weird decisions. The motor is set a bit high, so the rad is too high. To lower the rad will need a electric fan. The reason for the question is because the Champ radiator is rounded at the top and looks kinda not right. Asthetics. So...to "fix" it either a T rad or a shell. I figure a shell would hinder airflow over the tanks and add to cooling problems. I realize an electric fan will help the cooling, lowering the rad will help it look right, but, that rounded top tank...so the less expensive Speedway T rad to fix the looks. Then I'll have an extra rad sitting in the garage. Stupid or what!!!
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:06 AM
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Gotta ask. Does a rad shell that covers the top tank hinder cooling some? A Deuce or T shell would solve the looks thing.
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Old 06-20-2018, 09:00 AM
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Cold Case radiators are on sale at Jegs right now. Ideally tube size can trump number of rows simply because air can flow easier between the tubes. A 4 row radiator with tiny tubes and an electric fan is not always what its cracked up to be if air can't make it easily through the radiator.
My Dad's 55 chevy finally killed the radiator. It was leaking at the seam under the tank. To re-core and fix some stress cracks in the tank was going to cost more than a 2-core 1.25" dia tube from Cold Case. Thats with the die stamped tank that has the flutes like the original Harrison. Nicely polished, but not a mirror finish. A proper electric fan, with a shroud and proper spacing (if you can't get techinspectors recipe to fit) should do you fine. Don't forget you have to wire in the electrics for the fan, which can be a pain for some cars.
Champion is also a very good radiator, if you don't mind the tig-welded/fabricated tank look. DeWitts and Walker tend to be the kings, but I can't afford them LOL
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Old 06-21-2018, 06:09 AM
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rad

rounded like this....
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Old 06-21-2018, 07:14 AM
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Bill,

What a clean looking T.
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