Radiator swap for Carlisle

Heating, Cooling & AC

  1. TopBanana72

    TopBanana72 Active Member

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    Hi Guys,

    I read the sticky thread on radiators, but want some more opinions. I am getting the Charger ready for Carlisle. The car is very reliable, but my biggest concern is not having over-heating events happen on the trip. So, this is a base '72 318, automatic, non-a/c car with it's original 19" (yes) radiator (fixed fan, no shroud). Only engine mods a re dual exhaust and 4bbl. It has been fine for the three years I've had the car except for smelly antifreeze on hot days after a drive. The needle is dead center most of the time driving (factory gauge) until I shut engine off, then you can see the gauge climb to maybe 3/4 if you turn the key on to see. The Carlisle trip for me is 400 miles each way.

    So, I was thinking of putting a bigger radiator in with shroud before the trip. I get it, about factory designs and all, but am thinking after-market and not too too much $$. Although, I do plan on replacing the 318 in the future. I want to stay small block (maybe 360 or 408). Any recommendations what I can put in right now that will work in the future? (I will need the trans cooling line connections, plan on keeping the 904). The car will never be a racer, even with a better engine. I like it as a highway cruiser.
    thanks all
     
  2. R413

    R413 Well-Known Member

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    Normal for the gauge to climb with the engine off, that’s not a problem in any way. Every car will do that. Is it overflowing coolant after you turn it off?
    How does it do on a long freeway trip?
    Those 19” radiators are really small even for a stock 318.
    You don’t have much time to make changes.
     
  3. Ccas

    Ccas FBBO Vendor FBBO Sponsor

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    If you end up holding off and going to Carlisle with the old radiator, we'll have a display and inventory at Carlisle. We've had plenty of customers swap in new units right at shows. :)
     
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    • Demonic

      Demonic Well-Known Member

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    • slepr1

      slepr1 Well-Known Member

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      Make sure you anti-freeze is in good shape and throw some Water Wetter in it and don't look back. If you haven't had an issue with it don't worry. The rise in temp after shut down is normal (as stated by R413). Longer drives are better at keeping it under control anyway. If it makes you feel better put a shroud on it.
       
    • R413

      R413 Well-Known Member

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      Can you expand on the great differences? How do you know you didn’t have a bad or malfunctioning t-stat when you started? Thanks
       
    • khryslerkid

      khryslerkid FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      Sounds like normal operating temps to me.

      Proper timing is important to keep the engine temps right. Timing set too low will cause more heat.

      The least amount of antifreeze you can get by with in the system will help. Water displaces heat better than antifreeze.

      The Water Wetter or Kool it works good in the system for lowering temps.

      The gas that you use will have an effect. E free will keep it a tad cooler than ethanol added gas.

      Definitely having a radiator in good shape, properly located fan in a shroud will make it work the best.

      All of these things can work together for the optimal cooling system. Useing the newer fuels that these cars weren't ment to run on can be a challenge but it's doable.
       
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      • Demonic

        Demonic Well-Known Member

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        My Charger used to run hot at highway speeds. Clean water jacket, new 26" radiator, water pump, spring in lower hose. I must have had 8 different thermostats. One day i was disassembling an old 340 intake. Had a brass thermostat, factory part # on it. It's a 67 factory thermostat. Not a "high flow", just what the 67 parts book calls for. It has a 33% bigger opening at 1 7/16" that the Stant or parts store thermostats, which are around 1". I put it in the Charger, high speed cooling cured. The one I linked in my earlier post has the same opening.

        The aftermarket thermostats for our cars have been too small for 52 years.

        IMG_3002.JPG
         
      • TopBanana72

        TopBanana72 Active Member

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        Update,

        Carlisle trip went off without a hitch. It did rise to about 3/4 gauge reading while I was sitting in hot traffic waiting to get into the grounds. Slepr1 and other's, thank you! I did add the water-wetter. The only other thing I did was add an overflow container. I got a universal one from O'Reilly's for $9, see pic.

        I guess Ma Mopar knew what she was doing with my 19" radiator, 318 car.

        IMG_0566.jpg
         
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