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I was hoping to get a first start tomorrow and was just filling up the fluids that I had drained on everything. Then I noticed that my radiator has a leak at the top left. So I need suggestions on where to get the cheapest one that will fit with no modifications. I looked at the Ecklers, Paragon and their aluminum (which is what I have) start at $500.

Has anyone dealt with these guys Classic Radiator on eBay?

I also have another question. My car was originally a manual and is now an automatic. The PO had installed an aftermarket radiator on the front of the existing aluminum radiator. I'd LOVE to get rid of this hack and get a correct aluminum radiator made for an automatic but I'm worried that that size is different and I'll have to order a new expensive bracket for it. Does someone know if that's true?
 

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I would go with a big block radiator for an autotranny... Check with one of our vendors, there are several that handle radiators.
 

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There are lots of great radiator venders out there. You pay for quality and ease of installation. In your case you may save money in the long run by going with a Corvette specialist. When it comes to Corvettes this is the guy. http://www.dewitts.com/
 

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I have a Dewittes sp 31 kit it was just a drop in replacement no mods and really have to push to get the temp over 190 the fans rarely come on.
 

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You have a couple of options. I think the DeWitts is the best but also the most expensive. Remember you get what you pay for.
I have used copper/brass 4 core radiators for years as well. The original in my 72 base automatic is one and still functions great,no cooling issues at all. I had one made years ago for my 69 4 spd car that is also fine and that had to be 25+ years ago now.
You can look at those cheaper ones online for $200 or so. I used one and found the sweeps were not correct and were not sweeps at all. I had a radiator shop solder on the original sweeps from the old radiator and then it worked great.
Buy what you can just be aware of the differences.
 

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Have you stock radiator repaired/recored. Any auto radiator repair shop should be able to fix the leak.

:laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Have you stock radiator repaired/recored. Any auto radiator repair shop should be able to fix the leak.

:laughing:
Yeah that did cross my mind as I believe it's only the top hose connection piece that's loose. However I don't like putting lipstick on this radiator pig. It might work fine a summer, but I'm looking long term. And as you can see below, mine is pretty dirty and there's a fair amount of fins that are badly bent. This is what mine looks like now:

front:


back:


blemish:




Actually I'm looking at buying a brand new one, a Griffin aluminum radiator. It's brand new except that it has a minor dent on it so they're selling it for cheaper than $500. Here's a picture of the dent:






other than that it's in pristine condition. Good bet or not?
 

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...I don't like putting lipstick on this radiator pig...
Your pig is better looking than you think. I see nothing wrong in your pix that radiator shop could not clean and repair.

It's your money. If you decide to go aftermarket, you should put your aluminum unit up for sale. It has value to someone who needs one.

:thumbsup:
 

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Your pig is better looking than you think. I see nothing wrong in your pix that radiator shop could not clean and repair.

It's your money. If you decide to go aftermarket, you should put your aluminum unit up for sale. It has value to someone who needs one.

:thumbsup:
I guess at this point of my project, with so many things going wrong because there was no proper maintenance done on this car, that if I can replace a part with a new part that fits correctly, I'd feel much better about things. The lack of maintenance on my vette by PO is pretty astounding, I don't know how he even was able to run it for as long as he did. When instead of fixing the tranny pan leak, you instead carry about extra bottles of ATF in the back to keep it filled, that just shows what kind of budget the PO had for this car. And yes, my vette when I bought it, had 2 unopened ATF bottles in the back area. :smack

Seeing as this car has never been driven for probably a couple years and certainly not since I've owned it in August 2010, I know there is at least 1 leak just by filling up radiator and could see fluid coming out. I don't know what shops charge for a radiator repair, but I'll venture to guess around $90/hour. So if I have just an hour in to fix this one leak, maybe I need more time and $ in to fix getting the fins straightened and cleaned. So let's be nice and say it's $150 to fix it. There's already a big gash on the lower portion of my existing one, if that starts to leak after I run the car for a while then I'm right back where I started. Sure, the shop would pressure test it, but if they find more leaks than this one and have time into it and it would be something that requires a fair bit more $ to fix or they say it's just trash, then I'm out that money with nothing to show for it.

But I admit, I've been sucked into the "while you're there" syndrome, guilty as charged. My wife chastised me for our last credit card bill and has told me "no more $". So there is credence to the view of fixing it with the very least amount of $ so I can put it together. So I'm a bit torn.

I told my wife it would be about $500 to correctly replace the radiator and that this one I'm looking at is about 1/2 of that except for the blemish. She comes from a background that if a can at the grocery store has a dent in it, pick the next one without the dent. So to her, she already envisions this blemished new radiator as a risk. The company says they'll give me a 30 day guarantee that it doesn't leak.

:thud:
 

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Did you buy the radiator already? I can tell you that the big gash in the lower portion of your radiator, Cannot be fixed properly. If that helps in your desicion. What kind of deal are you getting on the dented one? Sometimes dents are not that bad, We sell dented radiators from time to time.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Did you buy the radiator already? I can tell you that the big gash in the lower portion of your radiator, Cannot be fixed properly. If that helps in your desicion. What kind of deal are you getting on the dented one? Sometimes dents are not that bad, We sell dented radiators from time to time.
John, no I haven't bought one yet as my wife doesn't like me buying new dented radiators :D no matter how much I try to tell her that if it doesn't leak now it probably won't leak later.

The one I was looking at was $250 for a completely new one with the single dent in it.

I have no idea if that big gash on mine is even leaking. I bought the car in August and haven't driven it 100ft yet myself. What I was worried about with mine is that it is really dirty, fins are dinged, and even if they fix the one there might be other leaks. I didn't witness any leaks other than the one at the top inlet area but that's just by filling it up, who knows if there are others once it gets under pressure.

The new dented one I'm looking at, the only guarantee they'll give me is that it won't leak for 30 days. It's either take a gamble that it works permanently and save $250 or buy new with no dents for $500.
 

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I could probably meet you close to the middle. We have a new entry level radiator ( which is still a 2 row 1" tube aluminum radiator) that is going to retail around $400. I will post some pictures tomorrow and see what I can do on price. It won't be as good as $250, but it will have a 3 year warranty.
:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I could probably meet you close to the middle. We have a new entry level radiator ( which is still a 2 row 1" tube aluminum radiator) that is going to retail around $400. I will post some pictures tomorrow and see what I can do on price. It won't be as good as $250, but it will have a 3 year warranty.
:cheers:
I look forward to the pictures. :thumbsup:
 

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Here is a couple pictures I took today. This is a new design which is still a high quality Michigan made radiator. All these are made 100% in house, from start to finish. It will come with a three year warranty. We are still developing pricing and how we want to market it. If you (or anyone else following the thread) would like to purchase one feel free to email me. I don't have a part# yet, or a listing our web site. It's that new.





Let me know what you think. This is supposed to be an entry level radiator. It will not replace our Direct fit radiator.
 

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new radiator

Here is a couple pictures I took today. This is a new design which is still a high quality Michigan made radiator. All these are made 100% in house, from start to finish. It will come with a three year warranty. We are still developing pricing and how we want to market it. If you (or anyone else following the thread) would like to purchase one feel free to email me. I don't have a part# yet, or a listing our web site. It's that new.

Let me know what you think. This is supposed to be an entry level radiator. It will not replace our Direct fit radiator.
John, it looks great, but then again I don't know much about radiators other than it needs to radiate heat away fom the fluid and the BTU rating.

I'm looking at your A63M which is a Direct Fit replacement for mine and I'm hard pressed to tell the difference just by looks alone. The obvious thing is the bottom right outlet is square unlike the A63M. So that begs the question then, will this cool as good as the original aluminum one that came with my '71?

Basically what I'm looking for is a radiator that will fit into my current bracket without any modifications. So when I hear the words "Direct Fit" I assume that it's completely drop-in, no grinding or anything to get it to fit. If this isn't a "Direct Fit", what does that mean as far as drop-in functionality? My car, for as far as I can see right now, will never be a NCRS model, so things like radiators don't have to look like the original but they do have to fit like the original.

I've bought enough new parts for my '71 that are of "replacment" style, such as a heater core, that never fit right and caused me all sorts of grief. If this new radiator is not a "drop-in" replacement for what I currently have, I want nothing to do with it.

Jeff
 

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Jeff, These are some good questions. Our A63M and all our other radiators are Direct Fit (we even trademarked the term). What makes this radiator different from the A63M is some cosmetic pieces. The A63M uses the stock bottom outlet that you were refering to, it also has a top dressing panel that looks better. Some of these changes result in less time, material, and welding to manufacture, which will allow us to sell it for less. Both the A63M and this new radiator will fit the exact same and have the same internal core. The core is what will determine performance, which will be the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
differences

So I've still been looking around, content to wait until the Spring thaw before I order anything therefore making it easier to return.

So I saw this item recently and inquiried the seller of it and he said this:

"I work on corvettes for a liveing, this is a origanal corvette radiator, dont compare it to after market, if your car is not these years it will not fit! this is a big block radiator. ... in 68-69 the frount was smaller so it will not fit 68-69"



Now when I look at all of the aftermarket aluminum big-block radiators for a '71, the above picture's inlet and outlet don't match what I find through Ecklers, Zip, etc.

Can someone tell me if this is a legit BB alum radiator?
 

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That looks like a brass radiator painted silver, not aluminum. The lower hose fitting also looks more like the one in my 75 than your original radiator.
 
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