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Time for a new radiator

Discussion in 'Engine & Performance' started by Hatchet54, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Hatchet54

    Hatchet54 Full Access Member

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    Hey guys, I've had a new radiator on my to-do list this summer as I'm pretty sure it is original to the truck and is starting to show some serious age. But as of last weekend it has now begun to leak, which means it is officially time to spring for a new one.

    I'm looking for opinions on what some of you have used as a performance upgrade for a stock qjet 350. The options online are pretty numerous and I really don't know the good from the bad.

    I'm not looking for anything crazy, just something that would ideally keep me cool while pulling an occasional trailer.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Frankenchevy

    Frankenchevy . Supporting Member

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    I had this same debate with myself. Decided to get mine rebuilt. The choice became easy once a few members beat me over the head telling me I had the big diesel radiator.

    There are some pretty sweet looking aluminum radiators with electric fan setups on here, too.
     
  3. RecklessWOT

    RecklessWOT Full Access Member

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    I am in the same boat. Mine doesn't leak but it's pretty damn full of calcium. Still flows but on really hot days if I'm asking a lot from it the temp will start running higher than I'd like to see it. Only a matter of time till I have to replace it. Since there are no such things as radiator shops anymore I was just gonna throw a new radiator at it from the parts store or whatever, but since it's fucking 2019 of course it won't be brass, it's gonna be aluminum tubes with plastic tanks (which I reeeaaaaally don't want under my hood). I was thinking about getting a nice welded aluminum radiator but that's big money that I don't feel like spending.

    I'd be happy to see what some others suggest too
     
  4. Arkansas_V8

    Arkansas_V8 Proud Redneck

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    Just get one for a Suburban or 1 ton with all the options. Only thing bigger is a diesel radiator.

    I run a huge 4 core with two 12" electric fans. I can slowly crawl all day, or bang high rpms all day in the mud, and keep it close to 150° all day if I want.
     
  5. Frankenchevy

    Frankenchevy . Supporting Member

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    No radiator shops near you at all? Damn
     
  6. Blue Ox

    Blue Ox Turning Diesel Fuel Into Fun

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    I know I'm in the wilderness here, but I've probably put a dozen brass/copper radiators in my truck. I've only needed one aluminum and plastic one. YMMV.
     
  7. shiftpro

    shiftpro Full Access Member

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    I was at Rock Auto yesterday and I'm surprised the aluminum rads they have. The big diesel 3 core with aluminum tanks is under $400.
     
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  8. Camar068

    Camar068 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    If it's the original, look and ask all shops around if there is a repair shop around. Between here in KY and FL, if it's minor your looking at well less than $50. Keep the original if possible.
     
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  9. Nonstop

    Nonstop Full Access Member

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    Just went through this. My brass one started leaking. I have run Champions on my 2 other cars and am very happy with them. They have a lifetime warranty.

    I chose a parts store radiator for my truck because it also has a lifetime warranty and can get a replacement in a matter of a day or two. I have been happy with this one so far and it is aluminum and plastic with 2 huge tubes to replace my 4 small ones.
     
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  10. Rusty Nail

    Rusty Nail Whatever! Supporting Member

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    If it's not your daily, or if life allows having the truck down long enough to have the OE BRASS unit repaired, that's my first choice.
     
  11. Hatchet54

    Hatchet54 Full Access Member

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    So just out of curiosity what makes the OE radiator desirable over a new unit? I am certainly open to the idea of repairing the original, I just figured a new one would be an improvement.

    Looking at some of the Champions and they seem pretty nice and I like the warranty. Anybody else have one?
     
  12. Frankenchevy

    Frankenchevy . Supporting Member

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    Brass is more malleable than aluminum. I think that is why some believe aluminum to be more prone to failure in high vibration situations.

    From my experience with any mass produced item we’re (the collective we) buying for these trucks, there’s a possibility of receiving a defective unit. It seems like it’s more common than it was in the past. Might be the shear number of parts produced versus QC protocols.

    The good news is, for the most part retailers understand this and won’t bat an eye swapping it out for you. The bad news is, you have to deal with the headaches of part failure and replacement.

    That’s why I buy from retailers with proven return policies i.e. summit. They’ve swapped out more stuff than I care to mention free of charge. Fortunately, I have back up vehicles.

    If it is a daily, it’d be beneficial to get it from your favorite local auto parts store. That way if it does need a warranty swap, it’s immediate. Aaand, you can do it in their parking lot to prove a point—pool of coolant and all!
     
  13. Dutch Rutter

    Dutch Rutter Full Access Member

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    Generally the brass OEM units can be repaired. The plastic cap ones just get replaced. I believe they all cool about the same as far as effectiveness, unless one is larger or a higher grade unit. Back in ye ole days a radiator shop was a normal thing and would repair a brass unit cheap. Today people just replace the entire plastic cap units. Plus what @Frankenchevy said. Really cant go wrong, keeping OE if doable is usually prefered but if not, do what you can.
     
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  14. 78C10BigTen

    78C10BigTen Full Access Member

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    I still run the factory brass one. I also have a repair shop less then an hour away. I just got two brass ones in my truck load of parts that need repair i may have repaired as spare
     
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  15. CSFJ

    CSFJ ----------------- Supporting Member

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    And, fwiw, aluminum is said to dissipate heat more efficiently than the brass does, allowing use of fewer cores to get the same job done. Again, ymmv. I guess I really don't favor one over the other, all of the squares I've owned over the years have had the factory brass radiators, but if I couldn't get a replacement, or had one damaged beyond repair, I'd spring for one of the better performance units with the welded aluminum tanks.
     
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