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Thread: 2nd gen V8 radiator replacement

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    VCVC Member Rcollins's Avatar
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    2nd gen V8 radiator replacement

    Hey All, Long time no see.

    I did a ton of work to Vanna Black last summer to get her ready for the 2017 Nats, and right before the trip I spring a leak in the radiator and ended up taking my Econoline.
    Once again i'm planning on a Nats trip in the early and I'm wondering about radiator options. My van has the stock V8 radiator but needs to be re-cored. I've been quote about 400 bucks for the re-core which seemed fair.

    My questions is: is there a decent aftermarket radiator for similar money (or cheaper would be cool) that is an easy swap or is it best to just go with the re-core of the original V8 rad?

    My gut is telling me to re-core the original but I wanted to get some opinions.

    RC

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    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
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    Really not any direct swap V8 radiators out there.
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    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    IMHO, the re-core of the original is the best way to go. Get them to install the largest core you can and still retain the stock dimensions.

    On Hella Sunshine, I used an aftermarket aluminum Champion radiator that was tig-weld modified to close off the cap for the filler port, and then they added the nipple to the passenger side tank for the small hose that goes to the overflow. It worked ok, but I would have still preferred to have a re-cored original for proper factory fit. The radiator I used was the same one Pappy59 used in his 454 2nd gen. Both of them worked well to cool our engines as long as you get enough air through them. Just keep in mind the width of the tanks is slightly off about 1/2" so it doesn't fit in the original 2nd gen saddles like the original. I actually moved the saddles on my van and re-welded them to make it work.

    Here's the thread to Pappy59's build where he discusses the radiator. Its champion pn #CC571. http://www.radiators4less.com/index.html sold it, and they also did the tig weld modifications on it too for a reasonable extra charge. that way they warranty the modification against leak. If you mod it yourself or have someone else do it, it voids the radiator's warranty.

    http://www.vcvc.org/showthread.php/1...light=radiator



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    Administrator smiley's Avatar
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    Yep. Recore.
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    VCVC Member Rcollins's Avatar
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    Finally got around to this

    I just wanted to add an update to this thread in case anyone is browsing through looking for info.

    I finally ended up getting my radiator recored. Found and old timer that did it in a shop behind his house. It ended up running me a whopping $560.00 bucks though. The guy said it was one of the most expensive cores he's ordered for the size. anyway, he did a great job, 1 week turn around and the radiator looks like new. I'm in the middle of getting it all plumbed back in. taking this opportunity to redo all my trans lines with AN fittings and braided hoses. I was really surprised how clogged up the old rad looked inside. It looked like it had many years of hard tap water run through it. I've been doing a ton of research on anitifreeze as well. basically if you have an old copper/brass rad just run plain jane old school green coolant. no fancy red/yellow/orange "long life" junk. a lot of people claim it has some sort of organic compounds in it that attack copper/brass... yada yada yada. I'm not a chemist but old green mixed with distilled water still seems like the best bet.
    RC
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    Don't mind my tiny rear tires. I had to put the originals back on to fit her through the garage door - lame.
    Last edited by Rcollins; 07-17-2019 at 03:05 PM.

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    VCVC Member Rcollins's Avatar
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    OH! Also....

    Another quick thought.
    Be real careful taking out the bolts for your lower rad support. i barely put any muscle into one of them and snapped it clean off. Then I proceeded to break 2 EZ outs off in the hole I drilled trying to remove it.
    Fun stuff.

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    New Guy
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    Champion Radiators actually lists a cross flow aluminum radiator for the 2nd gen vans that's supposed to be a direct replacement. I've not used one but I think they come in 2,3,4 core style

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    VCVC Member TurboVan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rcollins View Post
    I just wanted to add an update to this thread in case anyone is browsing through looking for info.

    I finally ended up getting my radiator recored. Found and old timer that did it in a shop behind his house. It ended up running me a whopping $560.00 bucks though. The guy said it was one of the most expensive cores he's ordered for the size.
    Don't mind my tiny rear tires. I had to put the originals back on to fit her through the garage door - lame.
    How many rows in the core?
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    VCVC Member Rcollins's Avatar
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    it was replaced to whatever the stock v8 rads are. 3 row, right?

    works great, stays cold as hell, idling in stop and go traffic for an hour during the parade at the nats this weekend I never topped 180, ambient temp was atleast 90. ran about 170 at 70mph on the thruway all 300 miles home.

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    VCVC Member Wookee's Avatar
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    Cool

    It was nice to see you and Vanna this past weekend RC...
    Its a "van thing". A life style you have to live to understand!!!!

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