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  #1  
Old July 7th, 2008, 05:26 PM
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Gary Young
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Radiator Choice

I have read a bunch of the radiator replacement threads and have come to no conclusion on what is the best solution for my 3.9L engine. Here are some of the suggestions I found. I am running hot on the highway and have verified a good fan clutch, thermostat, timing is OK etc.

1) Replace with stock radiator.

2) Recore with more tubes. (Possible no benifet?)

3) Recore with new higher efficency core. (What ever High efficency means)

Any insites on which option is best would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old July 7th, 2008, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PCRover
I have read a bunch of the radiator replacement threads and have come to no conclusion on what is the best solution for my 3.9L engine. Here are some of the suggestions I found. I am running hot on the highway and have verified a good fan clutch, thermostat, timing is OK etc.

1) Replace with stock radiator.

2) Recore with more tubes. (Possible no benifet?)

3) Recore with new higher efficency core. (What ever High efficency means)

Any insites on which option is best would be appreciated.
Questions:

Does it run hot during slow traffic as well?
How did you test the viscous clutch to verify it is working properly?
When was the last time the coolant system had been flushed? If it's been a while, the coolant system may have deposites blocking the flow.
Have you tested for exhaust gases in the coolant?

The problem may or may not be in the radiator.

Good luck...

Cheers...
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  #3  
Old July 7th, 2008, 06:33 PM
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Gary Young
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Does it run hot during slow traffic as well?

No

How did you test the viscous clutch to verify it is working properly?

Replaced

When was the last time the coolant system had been flushed? If it's been a while, the coolant system may have deposites blocking the flow.

Not lately.

Have you tested for exhaust gases in the coolant?

Nope. Good idea.

At 100k miles I figured it was just ime for a new radiator.

Thanks for the input.
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  #4  
Old July 7th, 2008, 07:08 PM
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gustaf kupetz
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Radiator Choice

Recore with more rows!

I re-geared my truck (4:10's) to run 35's but mostly just run 33's for daily use. problem was any sustained engine speeds above 3k would result in temps climbing. Now than I've added more cooling ability I've never had any issues. must admit I did a 4.6 conversion as well... but never the less It solved my issues. It cost me $500.

Good luck, -Gustaf
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  #5  
Old July 7th, 2008, 07:45 PM
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I think John F here is getting Ron Davis to make high quality replacement radiators w/ electric fans.
Right now they have my radiator for a template.
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  #6  
Old July 7th, 2008, 09:29 PM
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Charles Galpin
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I agree you should change/flush your coolant first, and make sure you burb all the air out properly. If your problem remains, I can recommend the radiators Pendy (Jim Pendleton) gets made. They have an additional core and work very well (for me anyway).

hth
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  #7  
Old July 7th, 2008, 10:01 PM
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As Cliff said.....have a custom radiator being made. Have a 4.6 modification and figured if I was getting a new radiator I didn't want to go OEM.

The Ron Davis is a 2 core model all aluminum but the tubes are twice as big, ie equivalent to 4 core without the size. This also makes is more likely it won't clog.

You also still have to decide whether to go with visco fan or electric and that's a whole other can of worms.

Again, I didn't want to deal with visco clutch going out and went electric with a built-in shroud.

Also, the Ron Davis has built in tranny cooler. They also have external "remote" oil cooler that doesn't rely on fan/air flow and uses the radiator fluid to cool it. Here are some pics.
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  #8  
Old July 8th, 2008, 07:13 PM
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how much?
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  #9  
Old July 8th, 2008, 11:47 PM
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Gary Young
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I have 33's with 4.11's so I am sure that is contributing to the problem with 3k on the tac at freeway speeds. I will take mine to the local radiator shop and see what they can do for me.

I like the custom radiator, but that might be a little pricy for me. John, Can you share the price with us?
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  #10  
Old July 11th, 2008, 09:37 PM
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Sorry for delay. Don't everyone kill me when I give you the price.....$1,300. This is custom, all-aluminum, with tranny cooler integrated, and integrated shroud with fans and electronics.

I know its pricey but if it lasts and works well I don't mind paying for it.

Let the flaming begin!!!!!
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  #11  
Old July 12th, 2008, 11:12 AM
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not bad considering a new stocker is around $500!
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  #12  
Old July 12th, 2008, 01:59 PM
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I had Griffin Radiator build me a custom one for a 928 Porsche w/ oil cooler (no tranny cooler as it was a stick) back in 1996 and that cost me $750.
There was no shroud nor fans etc either.
So thats really not a bad price at al.
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  #13  
Old July 21st, 2008, 08:38 PM
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Amit Likhyani
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I am thinking about getting a Ron Davis with the oil cooler built in that also utilizes the stock fan. Someone talk me out of it soon. Re-coring in Austin, TX is not going to cost significantly less.
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  #14  
Old July 21st, 2008, 09:39 PM
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A lot of factors but as usual it comes down to cost / benefit.

My opinion, aluminum is radiator of choice for many reasons but does incur a higher cost although I would argue it is worth the cost.

Remember that radiator and its ability to transfer heat is based on (1) material properties and (2) design properties. Radiators are made either with (a) copper/brass (copper tubes/fins and brass tanks) or (b) all aluminum.

Copper has better thermal properties than aluminum but this is only part of the equation. Copper tubes are soldered not welded to the fins unlike aluminum which decrease efficiency. Also, the tubes cannot be made much larger than 1/2" without significant weight penalties to make the tube wall thicker to avoid "ballooning".

Tube size is proportional to increase surface area for fin contact which is proportional to increased conduction. This correlates best with overall thermal conduction, ie increased tube size is more important than better material.

Aluminum can be made in tube sizes 1" and above. This also means less "cores" although overall thickness of the core is usually the same or slightly more for aluminum. I believe this makes is more "clog" resistant as there is less "dead space" for trapping material. Also, increased tube size is less likely to clog although usually not big consideration until under 3/8" tube size.

Copper is less corrosive and so does not need to depend on "preservatives" but with the advent of preservatives in antifreeze this difference is negated unless you are in third world country without access to this, ie only can use water.

Also, the aluminum radiator is lighter by almost 50%, which may or may not matter to you on a truck.

No doubt, it is easier to recore copper but if it gets to that point I would rather just replace the whole damn thing again. Would not expect this to happen soon or often. Just look at vast majority of cars and trucks now. These are mostly aluminum radiators. I've never had recoring issues on any of my cars or trucks in the past.

Aluminum is pricier. But I think when you account for everything I don't mind the price differential. This is my opinion.

Curious to hear what others think. Always open to suggestion and new ideas/information/opinions.
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  #15  
Old July 21st, 2008, 10:02 PM
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I can have a 5 core R-fin radiator made for anybody 800.00 plus shipping and a core charge if I supply a core. Made a few for members on the board. My radiator shop is busy this time of year so it takes some time to get done. Takes a few custom parts to make these cores fit as well.

Recomend ditching the oil cooler in the 94-95 trucks in most cases.

Aluminum can be a hassle to deal with. And I have seen many glued style fail from impact damage just shaking about while off road. Something to consider.
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  #16  
Old July 22nd, 2008, 06:08 PM
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since Ron Davis makes them for baja racers etc, Id hope that wouldnt be an issue?
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  #17  
Old July 22nd, 2008, 06:37 PM
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  #18  
Old July 24th, 2008, 04:26 PM
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Brian Love
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I can tell you that the ones Pendy has made are pretty friggin good. I lve in AZ (phoenix) and run the AC all summer with no problems whatsoever. Oh, yeah, I have a 2.8L diesel with an automatic....I keep very warm in the winter.
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  #19  
Old July 25th, 2008, 12:03 AM
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John
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It is true that aluminum is more prone to stress cracks but this has to do with how it is mounted and constructed, just like anything.

The RonDavis radiators have no epoxy or glue. EVERYTHING is welded, tanks, fins, tubes, etc. This makes a big difference. But you also pay for that.

I don't think you can go wrong either way for most applications.

I'll post some pictures of the radiator and oil cooler when I can.
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  #20  
Old April 11th, 2009, 08:59 PM
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