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valve monkey
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for a less expensive alternative to a custom radiator in my '36 Chevy. There are some off-the-shelf items that are the correct dimensions (or close) but of course they're designed to be installed horizontally.

Is it possible to use a radiator designed for a horizontal installation if you can get the inlet/outlets modified to work?

Is this a waste of time and effort?
 

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My 2 cents worth
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SinistrV6 said:
Looking for a less expensive alternative to a custom radiator in my '36 Chevy. There are some off-the-shelf items that are the correct dimensions (or close) but of course they're designed to be installed horizontally.

Is it possible to use a radiator designed for a horizontal installation if you can get the inlet/outlets modified to work?

Is this a waste of time and effort?
I can't say I have ever heard of this, or even thought of this, or see why it would not work. After all the inlet, and outlet, would still be on the top and bottom, given the radiator hose connections are on the opposite sides of the radiator, and the core is originally designed to flow sideways. The only detriments I can think of would be the position of the radiator cap, and it's angle for filling it, and the position of the transmission cooler fittings, if used.

All in all, it is a very interesting question, and it will be interesting to read any other comments.
 

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valve monkey
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
carsavvycook said:
I can't say I have ever heard of this, or even thought of this, or see why it would not work. After all the inlet, and outlet, would still be on the top and bottom, given the radiator hose connections are on the opposite sides of the radiator, and the core is originally designed to flow sideways. The only detriments I can think of would be the position of the radiator cap, and it's angle for filling it, and the position of the transmission cooler fittings, if used.

All in all, it is a very interesting question, and it will be interesting to read any other comments.
The inlet and outlet would almost certainly have to be reworked and the neck and cap would have to be moved to the new "top".

I wondered about "cross-flow" vs. "vertical flow" too. Anyone know if that's an issue?
 

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I just spent a while trying to put it into words how that could be done when I came to the conclusion that if your running a automatic you will be way ahead to get a right radiator. Your going to run into cooler problems.
If the upper hose and the cap are on the same side no problem
With a stick, just turn it so the cap is still to the top of the rad. Put a 20 lb cap on it and put a filler in the upper hose with a 14 lb cap. A swivel neck will get you headed in the right direction for the upper hose. For a lower hose you'll have to get inventive. A prebent tube would probably be in order.
The radiator and coolant don't know the difference. All they know is get the heat out.
 

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valve monkey
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
61bone said:
I just spent a while trying to put it into words how that could be done when I came to the conclusion that if your running a automatic you will be way ahead to get a right radiator. Your going to run into cooler problems.
If the upper hose and the cap are on the same side no problem
With a stick, just turn it so the cap is still to the top of the rad. Put a 20 lb cap on it and put a filler in the upper hose with a 14 lb cap. A swivel neck will get you headed in the right direction for the upper hose. For a lower hose you'll have to get inventive. A prebent tube would probably be in order.
The radiator and coolant don't know the difference. All they know is get the heat out.

Thanks for the input. Could you be more specific on why you think an automatic would have cooler problems? I'll be running a supplemental trans cooler but if "the radiator and coolant don't know the difference" why would the trans cooler be any different? Not saying you're wrong, just wondering why.
 

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It's a Chrysler, not a Ford
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if you have ever used an IR temp gun on a radiator, there is about 15 degrees difference from the bottom to the top, with the top being hotter. If the tranny fluid ran through the hottest part of the radiator will it be effective? Have you checked with some of the speed shops like Speedway motors for radiator? They have them listed for all sizes.
Jim
 

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That's what I was alluding to. Turning the rad will more than likely put the cooler to the top of the radiator. There is going to be a twofold problem.
One being that the cooler is going to be in the hottest part of the radiator. The other is part of the cooler won't be in the coolant unless you can get a filler neck put on the very top of the tank.
 

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Rod...from a Chrysler?
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A guy in our club has his rad sideways.
He dropped a 50 Ford P/U on his 80 something 4x4 Ford chassis.
He didn't mention any problems.
 

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I don't know if they are special or not, but some gensets have a remote radiator mounted horizontally on the roof. but in that system there is a big tank where the antifreeze is stored, water goes through the engine then gets pumped out by another pump up to the remote radiator then gravity back to the tank. so maybe something like that is possible here. keep us updated sounds cool
 

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WFO
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The old, non-cross flow rads had the tranny cooler across the bottom. A cross flow rad could be orientated the same way in order to have the cooler across the bottom instead of the side.

Depending on the radiator and how it's set up as far as cap location, a rad could be found that could be laid on its side w/cooler at the bottom and cap at the corner, but on the side, not what is now the top. A simple gooseneck could then be soldered to the location of the cap but would extend up, above the waterline.

It would be likely that there would be a small amount of air trapped that would need to be bled from the system, possibly by way of what used to be the drain plug.

I suspect the cooling might not be as efficient as it could be, but if the rad was enough "oversize", it might still cool good. This is all purely speculation, so don't flame me too bad if it's lame! :drunk:
 

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It's a Chrysler, not a Ford
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After knocking the cob webs out of my brain, I remembered something. GM made a 2.5 straight 4 cyl and stuck them in the Grand Am, Firenza, but they used a filler neck on the block and had the cap on the driver's side tank. The highest part of the cooling system was at the thermostat housing/filler. I found a picute of one of those radiators. Look how the cap is located.
 

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Something else to consider is the type of water pump that you will use. I believe a typical radiator's tubing is pitched so that there will not be as much of a resistance to flow through the radiator. If the radiator is put on its side, the water pump is going to have more of a resistance to overcome due to the tubing no longer having that pitch. You could use a high flow water pump to counteract this possibly. Your flow through the radiator will surely decrease, which essentially is less heat that is removed and could cause an overheating condition. I would agree with cobalt, you may want to oversize the radiator to make sure you can get enough heat out of the system. Just some food for thought.

Ben
 

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Will I ever get it done?
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I have found, in my experience, you are usually better off going ahead and buying a radiator made for the vehicle. Adapting and rigging ... usually ends up costing almost as much and you still have a " rigged " piece. I always buy Walker radiators. They are a little more expensive but I get GREAT service from them. There are less expensive radiator builders who some of my friends have used and they say they are happy with them. Custom Auto Radiator is one of them. For less than 5 hundred ... they will sell you a NEW one ( with 4 rows :) ) made for your 36 Chevrolet.

http://www.customautoradiator.com/rdpg5.htm

Deuce ... Moderator
 

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valve monkey
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for all the replies. I'll probably "bite the bullet" and buy a custom radiator. It was worth a try anyway.
 

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70 Chevelle SS 396
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Hi- I don't know if it'll help- but I've ran a radiator completely upside down.

I put a caddy radiator in a V8 S-10, and the location of the inlet/outlet made it more convenient for me to run it upside down. I put in an in-line filler/cap (which I made from copper fittings, and an old radiator filler neck brazed on). This radiator was used with a remote reservoir originally- so there was no radiator cap/filler neck on it.
As previously mentioned by another member- the important thing is to have an air bleed, or your filler neck at the highest point in the system.

I've had no problems with my setup- temps have never gotten over an acceptable level. Of course- If I had the means, I would go with a custom "made for the application" setup ;-)

Good luck,
Nooj
 

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Old(s) Fart
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Coming in a little late, and yes, in my experience, "rigging" something ends up costing more in the long run that doing it "right" (not that it's ever stopped me, however ;) ), but there's no problem with turning a radiator sideways if the dimensions are right. You'll likely need a remote filler neck, but lots of cars have those (see Northstar-powered Caddies, which have an expansion tank with the filler on it - and yes, the tank is pressurized). An external trans cooler solves that problem. You'll just need brackets and hoses. I've seen several vehicles with exactly this configuration, most recently an early 50s Chevy pickup.
 
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