Alluminum radiators?

Lowhound

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I have 2 3row radiators I can choose from when my Bee is road ready. Both are vertually new. I was thinking about replacing with an alluminum one. Is there any real advantages other than the look. Iv noticed a lot of you have them. Plus the alluminum ones that I have priced are cheaper than the 2 new ones I have.
 

67 coronet

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aluminum radiators cool better(aluminum disapates heat faster)as long as they are good quality.be very carful to not get junk that uses sealant instead of welded together.
 

Dako

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Upgrading from the original 2 row, I purposely bought a copper 4 row just so it would 'look' original to the casual observer, as the aluminum (had to 'say' it as I spelt it) definately do not look factory. 'Most' go aluminum because their original (likely a 2 row) was damaged, missing, or just plain didn't trust its cooling capabilities, and as you found they are less expensive. As for cooling properties...yes, by design aluminum radiators disipate heat quicker. Will you notice a difference on your car's temp gauge?... 1. only if you are currently having a problem, and 2. Only by comparing similar sized radiators...in other words, comaring a 2 core copper to a 3 core aluminum is not a fare comparrison to see how much better the cooling properties of the metals are.

Unless you are after a more 'race car' look under your hood, I couldn't imagine spending the cash on something you already have in hand.

Except for safety issues, in car-crafting the owner's preference trumps any opinions or 'made-up' rules... With that said, do what makes you happy.
 
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Cranky

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Aluminum does not conduct heat better than copper. The thermal conductivity or heat transfer rate of copper is 92% versus aluminum which is approximately 49%. However, the copper fin bonded to the tubes, or water passages, using lead solder is very inefficient and slows the heat transfer rate to just slightly better than that of aluminum. This can be a disadvantage of copper if the bonding process does not allow the copper fin to touch the brass tube, and why not all copper/brass cores of similar design, but different manufactures, transfer heat equally.
Copper/brass radiators, because of their weight and durability, have been around a long time and can be easily disassembled and reassembled for cleaning purposes. Not the case with aluminum, unless speaking of the O.E. version that comes with crimp mounted plastic tanks. As a result the life expectancy of the aftermarket aluminum radiators will be far less than that of copper/brass.

This info comes from http://www.hotrodhotline.com/md/html/aluminum_vs_copper.php and there is more info there. Core design is also talked about. Also, a 4 core radiator may not cool any better than a 3 or even a 2 core since by the time the air gets to the last set of tubes, it's not able to pull anymore heat from it. Recently, I needed a new radiator my my Dakota and a buddy had a used aftermarket replacement that was a single core with 1" wide tubes. It replaced a factory copper 2 core unit. It cools better than the factory one ever did. So other words, in most cases, a good aluminum unit does cool better than a lesser than good copper radiator does.
 

Cranky

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Also, luminum radiators are welded or “aluminum brazed” and the finished piece is 100% aluminum. This eliminates the dissimilar metals and solder bloom problems that affect copper radiators. Aluminum radiators can also use wider tubes that create more surface contact area from the tubes to the fins and helps dissipate the heat quicker. Most aluminum radiators use 1” wide tubes and some manufacturers like Griffin offer 1.25” and 1.5” tubes as well. Traditional copper radiators usually use ½” tubes so a 4 row copper radiator has slightly less fin contact area than a 2 row aluminum core with 1” tubes when you take into account the loss of contact area at the curved ends of the tubes.

This comes from http://www.caparadiator.com/aluminumvscopper.html
which also has more info. I'm sold on the wide tube aluminum radiators and don't plan on ever going back to the old factory style setup. I don't really care if it doesn't look stock...what I care about is protecting my engine.
 

Jim Bob The Dancing Bear

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If you already have the two 3 row radiators, they are in good shape use them. I assume they are 26".

I have an aluminum 26" only becuase my 22" copper 2 row sprung a leak (again) and I was tired of dealing with it. The aluminum one is a 26" 2 core (cores are 1" each) from ebay that came from china. The welds are UGLY but it works great.

Put that couple hundred bucks towards something else.
 

1toolguy

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I installed a Champion 3-row in my Cordoba and lowered the operating temp 20 degrees.
 

Red63440

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Also, aluminum radiators are welded or “aluminum brazed” and the finished piece is 100% aluminum. This eliminates the dissimilar metals and solder bloom problems that affect copper radiators. Aluminum radiators can also use wider tubes that create more surface contact area from the tubes to the fins and helps dissipate the heat quicker. Most aluminum radiators use 1” wide tubes and some manufacturers like Griffin offer 1.25” and 1.5” tubes as well. Traditional copper radiators usually use ½” tubes so a 4 row copper radiator has slightly less fin contact area than a 2 row aluminum core with 1” tubes when you take into account the loss of contact area at the curved ends of the tubes.

This comes from http://www.caparadiator.com/aluminumvscopper.html
which also has more info. I'm sold on the wide tube aluminum radiators and don't plan on ever going back to the old factory style setup. I don't really care if it doesn't look stock...what I care about is protecting my engine.

The aluminum radiators are vacuum brazed and its the cladding on the headers plates that is melted during the process that seals the tubes to the headers. Copper brass radiators have the headers installed by hand and are welded by a computer operated welding machine. After the welding the ends of the headers are finish soldered to guarantee that the tubes do not leak at the welds. I know this because I worked many years at Valeo Engine cooling where we produced Copper Brass Radiators, Aluminim Radiators and Aluminum Turbo coolers for the trucking industry. We also made the radiators for the Viper, Neon Turbo and larger Dodge pick ups. The plant, in early days had been known as "Blackstone" as was a factory supplier for Mopar.
 

Lowhound

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Thanks all. I always get good answers here.Its gonna be awhile before the Bee will be out of its nest so I have more time to think about it.Im just trying to think ahead.
 

Photon440

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While this discussion shows some advantages that aluminum rads have over old fashioned brass, there's a third alternative: newfangled copper radiators using newer technology. For example, thinner materials and lead free brazing for more efficient heat transfer and a lot less weight.

More details than you could possibly want...here:
http://www.copper.org/applications/automotive/radiators/design_innovations.html

-=Photon440=-
 

1971RR

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Anybody ever used classicradiator.com? Looks like they have a lot of neat stuff. Aluminum radiators that look like the factory copper (shape/installation) and of course lots of factory radiators. I am in need of a correct radiator for my RR and ran across this site (thank Hemmings). Looks like I'm destined to spend $400-$500 on a radiator. I was trying to avoid that....
 

super-bee_ski

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Lowhound;
My 383 (No a Hemi) 1970 Bee came with the BIG 26" Hemi radiator because the car IS an aircontitioined car. Is your car an AC car? If so, the radiator MAY be sufficient to cool your engine. I know you know this already, I'm not sure why I asked you. Sorry.
"Super-bee_ski"
 

Dennis H

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Ma Mopar knew what she was doing. 26". Copper. Had mine 4 rowed and runs cool. 180 Superstat. Runs 170. Clutch fan, no recovery tank.
 

terzmo

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I've used Champion rads on all big and small blocks and they are the best bang for the buck...
 
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