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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. I have a 1970 el camino with a 307, no AC. I just pulled this car out of storage this winter after it was put there 25 years ago and found that the radiator is cracked (I think it is the original radiator). I ordered a new radiator from autozone (spectra CU161), but this radiator is wider and the transmission cooling lines do not line up. (The upper line port is about 6 inches lower than on the old radiator). The width is easily accepted (I figure that it'll cool better), but what I can't figure out are these two things:

1) Is there a place to get new transmission cooling lines that would be bent to the correct shape to reach this new radiator (I don't want to risk bending the existing ones as they are quite rusted and probably need replaced anyways) and

2) closely related, how do you tell which transmission you have? I've narrowed it down to either the 350 or the 400, but not sure how to tell the difference.


Novice restorer in Indiana...

Thanks,
Craig
 

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This chart will tell you what trans you have just scroll down to the pics.
http://www.maliburacing.com/auto_tranny_id.htm
On the lines, here's what I did. Go to the parts store and get hose that are specific for trans fluid. NOT vacuum hose.
Not a real good Pic but if you look at the inner fender you can see what I did.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If i'm looking at your pic correctly, did you just bend your own line and add the fittings to the ends? It looks like you ran it a slightly different route than mine are currently run. do most autoparts stores carry the appropriate tools to do the fittings and line bending?
 

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Stock 3ft line with fittings and flares on both ends. I cut it in half and bought a cheap tubing bender from the parts store. I think I payed around $5.00 or so for the bender.
I ran my lines as far away from the headers as I could get.
 

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1) Is there a place to get new transmission cooling lines that would be bent to the correct shape to reach this new radiator (I don't want to risk bending the existing ones as they are quite rusted and probably need replaced anyways)
In all likelyhood - no, you will not find pre-bent lines for a radiator whose points of connection differ from the factory. Which leaves you with a few options.

1. cut the one line (approximately 6" out of the vertical) and rejoin with an inline union adapter - this would require you buy or borrow the proper flaring tools. (this is not all that difficult - except that flaring a line already installed on a car isnt as easy as flaring a line you can stick in a vise.

2. Cut the line (again the 6" out of the vertical) and then join the wo with a short length of hose, suitable for the fluid and pressures involved.

3. Bend the existing lione with a bought or borrowed tubing bender, cut it off at the appropriate position and flare the end for a seamless connection to the radiator. Obviously this would be the most desireable solution but it can be the most problematic, because if something goes wrong in the bend or flaring then you have a garbage line and have to replace it.

The beauty of #1 and #2 is that if you try #1 and you cant get the flares right or find the union - you can replace the rigid union with the hose thus essentially doing #2
 

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I installed a tranny fluid cooler in front of the radiator. I then cut the tranny lines, added hose and the correct fittings. By doing that you eliminate the need for bending any tubing and a fluid cooler is always a good thing. This bypasses the radiator completely. Previously, my engine overheated and transferred the heat to the franny fluid. I had to Texas:texas:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice. As the lines are quite rusted and don't really look in that good a shape anyway, and after all your advice, i think i'm going to go with a full line replacement. Any suggestions on good benders and flaring tools? I'm eventually going to do a full rebuild on it, so a little bit of cost in the tools doesn't bother me.

thanks, Craig
 

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Just use standard brake lines.
Available online cheap...even with $10 shipping.
You'll need 3/8 line...bl651 is 50 inch length,bl660 is 60 inches.
I recently installed the 50 inch length in my Chevelle.
I stock up and have used the 60 inch length in a pinch.
Here's where I got mine.

http://www.streetsideauto.com/p/ags-bl651/
 

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my suggestion on flaring tools is buy whatever flaring bar is cheap. I've never seen any difference in them really. I like the imperial tools, but any will really do the same thing. The same cannot be said of the flaring dies. Buy those from snap-on. The snap-on's are made by imperial, but theirs cheaper than buying them through imperial. They are about 8 bucks a piece from snap-on and well worth the price. They work much better than the cheap autozone ones and they don't break off like the ones from autozone. I've ruined more brake line with cheap flaring dies than I care to count. any way you go good luck.:You_Rock:
 

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