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Aluminum 3 row Radiator installed - Pix

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SoCar72
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:32 pm
Location: South Carolinian in NJ

Aluminum 3 row Radiator installed - Pix

Post #1 by SoCar72 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:42 pm

So, my original 2-row began leaking like a sieve. So, I bought an aluminum 3-row off of eBay for $145 from Radiator Dealz. It looks like the manufacturer dissected a factory 3-row and formed an aluminum copy from the parts. The top and bottom caps are smoother than the factor style. Other than that, the TIG welded seams and the aluminum color, it basically looks like a stock unit. Meaning, it doesn't have the ballsy-racer look of the Griffin's and the other high end Aluminum units. My only complaint, trivial to say the least, is that the unit was made in China. I suspected as such being the cost was on par with the cheapest stock replacements that I found. :?

Photos :

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Engine side view. Ports are in the same place and are the same size. I wasn't happy with the supplied draincock, so I elbowed it down. The provided configuration would have worked just fine. I was just being picky...

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Driver's side view. The thicker core is evident.

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Bottom view.

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Top view. The most noticeable difference is here and, other than being aluminum, is the dead give away of being a non-stock unit. I found that my radiator cap fit, but the primary gasket didn't seal against the flange as it should. I found that the neck was a little taller than the original unit. I solved the problem by installing an 1/8" thick rubber gasket between the primary gasket and it's sprung seat. Seemed to have cured that problem.

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The install was no different than a stock unit and lined right up without adjustments. However, I was able to remove the 2-row stock without needing to remove the fan, but the 3-row Alum wouldn't reinstall with the fan in place. With the thicker core (3-way vs. 2-way) the fan clearance was much tighter. Once reinstalled, after a half-hour knuckle chafing ordeal, the fan clearance was about a 1/4". Since the blade actually protrudes forward of the web some, I increased the clearance by bending the blades a little back towards the engine, slightly bowl shaped. This probably wasn't necessary, but the extra clearance made me feel a little better. With aftermarket fans that I have seen in the past, the blades do not protrude forward, only trail back. Using one would have left about 3/4" of clearance. There was just barely enough room to get the stock bolts into place one at a time.

The radiator has been in for about week and a half now with several temperature cycles and no problems. The temps hold very steady at about 180deg (thermostat rating). I'm happy. :D
'63 Falcon 4dr, 170 stock, 3.20:1 7.25"
T5 ('85 Mustang 5.0) 3.35 1st - 0.68 5th, 25mpg city / 27mpg hwy
Pertronix Ignitor II & Coil, 16x7 Cragar 345's re-bored for 4-lug, 215/60 R16 BFG's

'69 Mach 1, 351w modified, 4sp Top Load, 3.00 9", Torq-Thrust II's 17x8f, 17x9.5r, 245/45f, 275/40r
'79 F-250 2wd, 300, Offy with 470 Holley T/A, Hedman Long Tubes, 4sp OD MT, 3.40 Dana 60

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LaGrasta
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Re: Aluminum 3 row Radiator installed - Pix

Post #2 by LaGrasta » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:59 am

great install and nice write-up as well. I'm impressed you still run the mechanical fan. I'm fairly certain it would be impossible to keep it in my case. My alum rad must be thicker than yours. Stay cool! 8)
1963 1/2 Falcon 170/C4/8" (alt, a/c, Petronix/42v coil/8mm wires, 16" electric fan, electric fuel pump, Holley 1940, K&N Harley air filter, power dual m/c, 11" disc, 3" drop, Shelby drop, white tuck/roll, Moon steering wheel, '59 Caddy tail lights, fishtail exhaust tip, shaved trim, handles, cowl, fuel, dash, 4" radius trunk/door corners, power windows, 600w iPod system)

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SoCar72
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Re: Aluminum 3 row Radiator installed - Pix

Post #3 by SoCar72 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:27 pm

I'm constantly hearing about long nose and short nose water pumps. I'm certain mine is a short nose, I can't possibly imaging mine being any shorter. The pump, fan, and pulley system is tucked so tight against the block that I barely have room for radiator hose clamps. Which is fortunate for my install. That area is very tight.

I am considering an electric fan set-up as a pusher on the front side. Future ideas are making this idea more attractive.

Thanks for the positive feedback! :thumbup: :mrgreen:
'63 Falcon 4dr, 170 stock, 3.20:1 7.25"
T5 ('85 Mustang 5.0) 3.35 1st - 0.68 5th, 25mpg city / 27mpg hwy
Pertronix Ignitor II & Coil, 16x7 Cragar 345's re-bored for 4-lug, 215/60 R16 BFG's

'69 Mach 1, 351w modified, 4sp Top Load, 3.00 9", Torq-Thrust II's 17x8f, 17x9.5r, 245/45f, 275/40r
'79 F-250 2wd, 300, Offy with 470 Holley T/A, Hedman Long Tubes, 4sp OD MT, 3.40 Dana 60

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xzerokidx
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Re: Aluminum 3 row Radiator installed - Pix

Post #4 by xzerokidx » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:30 pm

Nice write up.

What kind of vehicle is this in?
How thick is the core?

I almost bought the Radiatordealz aluminum rad. Well I did twice but they said they were out of stock and refunded me my money. Not helpful when I was trying to get my car back on the road.

I ended up buying the engineered cooling products unit. More money for sure (50%) but with (2) 1" tubes there's more surface area to cool (for a turbo one day) and its made in the USA were the determining factors.

Once it came in the mail, I said to myself, this is NEVER going to fit. It's waaaaaayyyyy to thick. I had to "modify" (use that term loosely) the rad. support to shoehorn it and the 250 with the mechanical fan in. Glad you didn't have to.
1963 Ford Falcon Futura
'76 250ci, C4, 8" rear

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SoCar72
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Re: Aluminum 3 row Radiator installed - Pix

Post #5 by SoCar72 » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:29 am

I installed it into my '63 Falcon with the 170 L6.

The core was only slightly thinner than the chassis of the radiator which was as thick as the original unit. I didn't actually measure it, but dimensionally, all of the key dimensions mirrored that of the original, with the core filling about 90% of the chassis thickness. I went from a 2-row to a 3-row. I would image the new unit is nearly identical to a stock 3-row in core thickness.

I would say that installing this unit in a round body with a 144,170,200 and short nose water pump should yield only minor clearance concerns, the greatest being installing the fan and leading blade edge tolerance.
'63 Falcon 4dr, 170 stock, 3.20:1 7.25"
T5 ('85 Mustang 5.0) 3.35 1st - 0.68 5th, 25mpg city / 27mpg hwy
Pertronix Ignitor II & Coil, 16x7 Cragar 345's re-bored for 4-lug, 215/60 R16 BFG's

'69 Mach 1, 351w modified, 4sp Top Load, 3.00 9", Torq-Thrust II's 17x8f, 17x9.5r, 245/45f, 275/40r
'79 F-250 2wd, 300, Offy with 470 Holley T/A, Hedman Long Tubes, 4sp OD MT, 3.40 Dana 60

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