aluminum radiator cores

Competition engines and ancillaries - general discussion
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pastaroni34
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aluminum radiator cores

Post by pastaroni34 » July 7th, 2006, 9:35 am

I have considered doing an aluminum radiator swap. I am not looking for a conventional swap job from a volvo or whatever. I need some advice on brands and types of cores out there. We will most likely buy a core and weld the tanks onto it along with hose fittings etc. I find usually on a product as popular as this getting real information is hard except from someone with hands on experience. Thanks,
-Jason Miller
Miller's Mule Machine and Design Inc.
Houston, Texas - USA

Guy Croft
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Post by Guy Croft » July 7th, 2006, 10:00 am

Sorry, no exp of that Jason.

Anyone else?

GC

simon-spanner
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Post by simon-spanner » July 7th, 2006, 9:42 pm

On some of the Morgan +8's i work on (which dont so much have a cooling system as a not overheating system!), i've fitted bespoke aluminium radiators, and seen a 10-15 degree C drop in running temperatures

Check out http://www.paceproducts.co.uk for ideas on cores etc

Fiat Racer Don
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alum rad brand name

Post by Fiat Racer Don » July 10th, 2006, 6:53 pm

Jason

Ron Davis is a brand I know a 124 racers use this - Jim Scurria. And a bunch of Austin Healy Sprite guys with much success.

I recently decided to improve my cooling situation in my race car. I have Robert Rogers of ShadeTree putting a new 3-row copper core (VHT?) in a std 1.8L rad. Will fit stock fittings, look stock and is the set up he uses on all his race cars he supports. Plus his own car. Slightly less expensive than an alum rad.

BTW - with an alum rad - if you catch a stone - repair is a lot more difficult than copper.

FYI.

Don Tuscany
Don Tuscany

Julian
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Post by Julian » July 10th, 2006, 7:17 pm

You have 3 basic options:

Multi-core steel - which adds weight and is only a marginal improvement in cooling capacity.

Aluminium, single or dual core - lighter, more efficient thermal transfer but generally vulnerable to damage.

Copper core - commonly thought to be the ultimate but rarely proves to be the case. it is more efficient than aluminium but in order to get the strength and the required level of water flow it generally proves heavier than the aluminium equivalent.

Any of the three options can be made to spec. you decide size and flow rate, etc. just provide the drawings and they can build it. (I'm sure there are limitations but in practical terms there is nothing to worry about).

Personally I would go with aluminium, dual-core if you need it, as it offers the best compromise on size, weight and efficiency. Yes you need some degree of protection for it but this is not unusual for any radiator but essential for road use.

pastaroni34
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Post by pastaroni34 » July 11th, 2006, 1:44 pm

Don, Robert was showing me a radiator like you described when I was up there last month -- maybe it was yours?

I'll be happy going with a dual core aluminum core and having the end tanks hand made and polished nice (I always like a touch of craftsmanship)

I may be able to make a little kit out of this. Many ask about converting but going to a junkyard and getting everything lined up is really alot of work especially for the minimal benefit the volvo style radiators bring (plus plastic ends).

A little more research has to be done though..
-Jason Miller
Miller's Mule Machine and Design Inc.
Houston, Texas - USA

Julian
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Post by Julian » July 11th, 2006, 1:50 pm

Jason,

have you checked the alignment of the cores with the airflow? just a relatively minor detail but it can make a big difference in performance.

There are two schools of thought

1) Keep the cores aligned with the air flow as closely as possible (ie radiator is perpendicular to aperture - obviously dependent on quality of airflow since it may not be that obvious)

2) Keep the cores at an oblique angle but provide plenty of "extraction" from the back of the radiator. The idea is to force the air to slow down to gain maximum cooling effect from a relatively small radiator. A dual core rad in this situation is likely to be more of a problem than a boon.

Without the extraction a misaligned radiator just acts as a wall and the majority of the cooling capacity is wasted.

If you are having a radiator made it might be possible to correct a minor misalignment and make even more of a gain!

Fiat Racer Don
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alum rad followup

Post by Fiat Racer Don » July 11th, 2006, 5:25 pm

Jason

What you saw could have been mine... it is traveling my way this week. Julian has a good point on fin/air direction.

The Shadetree model by Robert has this issue address....from his racing experiences with Steve Cole and himself. However he has the core made this issue is optimized

Good Luck...no matter what you put in it will be an improvement.
Don Tuscany

pastaroni34
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Post by pastaroni34 » July 12th, 2006, 7:49 am

Well most of all I want it to be right. I've emailed a few racing radiator places to get information and am waiting to hear back.
-Jason Miller
Miller's Mule Machine and Design Inc.
Houston, Texas - USA

Fiat Racer Don
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Ron Davis Alum Radiator part number

Post by Fiat Racer Don » July 12th, 2006, 9:18 pm

Jason

From Jim Scurria - P/N for the Ron Davis unit he bought. Hope it is helpful

Don

Per Jim "In any case, I just bought a new aluminum radiator (16" x 22" 3 row). This is much bigger than my previous radiator. It's a Ron Davis radiator P/N 1A22163. About $250, including shipping. Beautiful piece of work. I'm working on mounting it now. Check it out http://www.rondavisradiators.com and see what you think"
Don Tuscany

Fiat Racer Don
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Ron Davis Alum Radiator part number

Post by Fiat Racer Don » July 12th, 2006, 9:19 pm

Jason

From Jim Scurria - P/N for the Ron Davis unit he bought. Hope it is helpful

Don

Per Jim "In any case, I just bought a new aluminum radiator (16" x 22" 3 row). This is much bigger than my previous radiator. It's a Ron Davis radiator P/N 1A22163. About $250, including shipping. Beautiful piece of work. I'm working on mounting it now. Check it out http://www.rondavisradiators.com and see what you think"
Don Tuscany

pastaroni34
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Post by pastaroni34 » July 13th, 2006, 1:21 am

hey thats not too high a cost! you dont happen to have any pictures of Jim's stuff? ;)
-Jason Miller
Miller's Mule Machine and Design Inc.
Houston, Texas - USA

sumplug
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Post by sumplug » July 20th, 2006, 10:22 am

no one has mentioned fan assist. can you not have a fan before and after radiator with 2 or 3 stage for cooling?
dont forget, the engine bay is like a pressure cooker. you need to let heat out as well. if the bay is getting over heated, the radiator will have to work harder to reduce coolant temps

Julian
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Post by Julian » July 20th, 2006, 10:47 am

Perhaps generalising slightly but a fan is not going to offer the same kind of airflow that you can achieve with just car movement. The only time the fan(s) should be working (if you have one) is when the car is sat stationary or in slow moving traffic.

From what I have seen of cooling fans you generally don't want more than one (usually on the back of the radiator) as you have a trade off in place. Putting the fan there reduces the available cooling by simply being an obstruction to airflow. If the car is going to spend *all* of its life at very low speeds then dual fans might be worthwhile but despite current trends in cities most cars generally travel a bit faster than that and when it comes to competition a lot faster than that!

Spending more time and effort on getting air flow through the engine bay is going to achieve far more - or perhaps moving the cooling system out of the engine bay if the engine is to be effectively "bottled up".

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