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Alloy Radiator


Paul Amey
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Been talked about on here and other places before and the general opinion seems to be theres minimal problems with construction or materials quality but the design can be poor with connection pipes at wrong angles and dimensions incorrect. These have usually been worked around because as you say theres a considerable saving to be had...

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Ive got a Chinese honda civic alloy rad on my Vitesse. Cost about 50 quid on ebay and some of the welding might not be as pretty as the known makes but its worked fine for 3 years now. Of course in this case the exact dimensions didnt matter as the system required modifications to fit it anyway...

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Right thanks. So, they don't sound as bad as some people make out. I did notice the welds were not all that pretty. Some of the alloy welders I have worked with in Aviation would laugh there socks off to be honest. But then again, this is going on a car not a jet engine. Honda Civic rad is something to check out as well.

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10 hours ago, Paul Amey said:

Right thanks. So, they don't sound as bad as some people make out. I did notice the welds were not all that pretty. Some of the alloy welders I have worked with in Aviation would laugh there socks off to be honest. But then again, this is going on a car not a jet engine. Honda Civic rad is something to check out as well.

Be aware that the same rads come in different thicknesses and rows of tubes. Frontal area is generally better for cooling than thickness but in some of our cars the space available is limited so a thicker rad is the only way to have more cooling surface.

The number of rows of tubes can help explain the difference in price between two rads of the same thicknesss as for example a cheapy will have 3 rows of 1/2" wide tubes while a more expensive unit 2 rows of 3/4". Contrary to the advertising the latter is better as it will be slightly more efficient due to more useful cooling surface but wider tubes are more difficult to manufacture hence the higher price.... 

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40 minutes ago, Paul Amey said:

I looked on ebay last night and noticed that the Chinese one's I saw at £89 a few weeks ago are now priced at  £229!

That is one heck of an increase!

At present there is a worldwide shortage of shipping containers and freight costs have gone up a lot, maybe the rad costs the same but the shipping is the rest 🙄

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Don't do it! I had a Chinese aluminum rad fitted on my Classic Mercedes. The weld bend at the bottom hose connector failed. The results were disastrous. Fortunately, I caught it before the motor overheated. 

It can be painful paying for a non-Chinese unit but I highly recommend going with products made with an element of manufacturing ethics involved. Basically anything Japanese/ German is preferred (if a recore isn't an option)

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1 minute ago, avivalasvegas said:

Basically anything Japanese/ German is preferred. 

Basically, anything original is preferred. :) I've just left a Herald rad across to a re-coring company who are looking at the upgrade options and will ring me back with suggestions. 

The sniffy little blonde at the Reception desk looked at it and asked me: "Is that from a tractor?" with the same expression you'd get if you told her that it was a sewage filter.

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29 minutes ago, avivalasvegas said:

Don't do it! I had a Chinese aluminum rad fitted on my Classic Mercedes. The weld bend at the bottom hose connector failed. The results were disastrous. Fortunately, I caught it before the motor overheated. 

It can be painful paying for a non-Chinese unit but I highly recommend going with products made with an element of manufacturing ethics involved. Basically anything Japanese/ German is preferred (if a recore isn't an option)

Fraid I think youre in the minority there. However its always a personal choice of weighing up cost, 100 (Chinese) v 500 (Radtec) against possible quality issues....

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Our Spit has what I believe to be a cheap Chinese Aluminum rad, it was supplied locally, its been fitted at least 15 years and even in our hot weather performs well in cooling the engine, the only issue I have re quality is the inlet/outlet pipes their wall thickness is very thin and easily damaged in fact if you were to be a gorilla I think you could crush the pipe, for a 1/2P more a decent pipe could have been fitted which would also have permitted the pipe to be bend rather than the cut bend that looks very cheap!

But hey it was cheap at under $150, its lasted well showing no signs of blocking, and performs well even up to days in a traffic jam at 40C temps, what more can I ask. 

For the Dolly Sprint I've toyed with a Rousse Al Rad but the cost is very expensive esp with shipment and would it arrive undamaged! so I think I'll wait till it has to be addressed!

Interestingly I had a NEW AMI, CKD, Aus made and fitted to Aus made Heralds as original equipment, it was obviously copper/brass rad & interestingly it was of very thin construction and only 2 core, Whether AMI built down to a price OR actually did hot weather testing I don't know,  I passed it onto a club Herald owner, who was as happy as Larry to have an original new rad for his Aus 12/50 Coupe. 

My Vitesse original rad was recored here in Aus 25 years ago, it reqd modification as the Aus tubing/fins were different to UK so the floor of the header and bottom tanks had to be replaced, but it looks original, & still performs well.

In all my cars I use very good quality inhibitors (Penrite or Nulon 6 year) at 30% strength and change every 2 years so there is no sign of any corrosion, Melbourne's water is soft which in our water mains increases their corrosion so I presume the cars cooling system is at the same risk, there is no sign of that white hard water deposit or blocking tubes. Our Jag service provider always used deminerilised water in the systems, & Penrite racing coolant/inhibitor.

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Why why why go aluminium.

The ONLY advantage is a slight weight saving. And unless you are racing the nuts off the car you do not need it.

Aluminium does not cool as well as a decent original Copper rad. So if you need cooling why buy Aluminium.

Cheap is the wrong reason to buy.  Also, Why support the Chinese.

Roger

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