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Discussion Starter #1
I have an aluminum radiator that is a 2 row. I also have a copper brass 3 row. Both are identical in size, height, width, and thickness. Is one better than the other?
 

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I have an aluminum radiator that is a 2 row. I also have a copper brass 3 row. Both are identical in size, height, width, and thickness. Is one better than the other?
That could be a trick question. Normally, I would pick the 3 row core every time, but, most copper/brass radiators I have seen are basically old school and usually well,,, old. I have been amazed at how efficient some of the new car radiators are and if I didn't know how good they work would just say that they are too small and thin to cool anything. I guess where I'm going is the new designs are way more efficient at cooling and if they were exactly the same design it would come down to the material. Honestly, I would guess the aluminum would be more efficient, otherwise they would still be making all the new ones out of copper/brass, unless of course the cost is deciding material. I will say that a C7 Vette runs an aluminum radiator you wouldn't think was up to the task but they can idle in the Texas sun on a 100 degree day with the AC running full blast and never get over 210 degrees. So, I'm gonna say the only way to find out would be to run each one and find out. I'll put my 2 cents on the aluminum one. Good luck!

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. I appreciate your opinion.
 

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Does the 2-row have 1.25 inch tube / fins? If yes, I'd go with that one because that design works very well for me. The only thing about an aluminum radiator is that it might be a little worse for galvanic corrosion when paired with an iron block engine.

A magnesium sacrificial anode radiator cap can solve this problem. This one below is a 13-pound cap but they make a 16-pound cap if you so desire.


Rick
 

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Does the 2-row have 1.25 inch tube / fins? If yes, I'd go with that one because that design works very well for me. The only thing about an aluminum radiator is that it might be a little worse for galvanic corrosion when paired with an iron block engine.

A magnesium sacrificial anode radiator cap can solve this problem. This one below is a 13-pound cap but they make a 16-pound cap if you so desire.


Rick
I'm running an iron block LM7 and aluminum radiator like the original Escalade it came out of. The funnest part about my engine bay other than the LM7 is the overflow tank full of Dex-Cool, just like the trucks they come out of!

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #6
T
Does the 2-row have 1.25 inch tube / fins? If yes, I'd go with that one because that design works very well for me. The only thing about an aluminum radiator is that it might be a little worse for galvanic corrosion when paired with an iron block engine.

A magnesium sacrificial anode radiator cap can solve this problem. This one below is a 13-pound cap but they make a 16-pound cap if you so desire.


Rick
Thank you for your opinion. I'll have to check on the fin size of the aluminum radiator.
 

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Hey buddy if your looking to replace your rad. If your money is t to tight right now I’d suggest going with a champion 4 row aluminum rad, they are at a great price right now.


this is just an example might been able to find the same cheaper somewhere else, maybe even from champion
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The radiator caps I have are a16 lb Stanz and a 11 lb Champion. I haven't figured out the fin size.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Josh , I don't have the bucks now, but that's a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The brand of the aluminum radiator is Champion. The number is EC162.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What's the proper cooling system pressure on my 73 350 cu. In. Engine? How does a person know what pressure cap to put on a radiator?
 

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Just for information...I live in Hawaii and asked a local radiator shop for a ball park estimate to recore a brass and copper 87 El Camino radiator. The gal said the job would run between $800-1000 because the cost of copper is so high. Upon hearing that that helped me refocus away from a recoring solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you. I own both of them that I'm asking questions about. That's good information. That'll stop me from having the copper brass one rebuilt.
 

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11 lb cap is too low. Could it be 1.1 Bar? 16 lb is the correct spec, and 1.1 Bar is 16.17 lb. I've had caps marked 1.1 Bar for motorcycles.

The Aluminum 2 row will cool the best. Aluminum is better at heat dissipation.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you. It's an 11 that came with the aluminum radiator. What happens if the cap pressure is low? The 16 is on the 3 row copper brass radiator.
 

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The higher the pressure, the higher the boiling point of your coolant. Higher pressures will tolerate higher temps. Modern cars have 16-20 lb caps. I would use the 16 lb cap ( if it is good- free check at your local auto parts store). With the 11 lb cap, it's possible you could reach the boiling point and lose some of your coolant.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you. I have ran both on the aluminum radiator. The 16 is the one I've been running lately. They seem to run the same according to the temperature gauge. It reads 220 at idle and a little more on the road, but doesn't boil over. No fluid loss. I was thinking it should run under the 220 temperature. It has a 195 degree thermostat. I had a 160 in it years ago and it over heated. It quit with the 195.
 

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so it looks like the 160 was allowing too much coolant thru too fast so it overheated? but it still runs 220 at idle? how hot does it get in Mountain Home?
 

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Our gauges are not very accurate. You could do a test on your gauge to calibrate it. I use a potentiometer ( a rheostat like for dimming the dash lights works good) and an ohmmeter. Copied this table from another post on the subject. Disconnect your temp sensor at the block, and connect it to the potentiometer, with the other side of the Pot connected to ground. Set the pot to 145 ohms before connecting the gauge. Turn the ignition on, and your gauge should read 220. If the gauge is "off", adjust the pot until you get 220, and then remove the pot and check it's resistance against the table. You could also test the sender in a similar fashion, but it's easier to test if it is removed from the car.


 
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