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  • 1 Post By Dwight
  • 2 Post By meteorpilot

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-26-2021, 07:27 AM
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Default Radiator Repair or Replace

Here's an email I sent to Bob, but thought the information may be helpful to others. I'll report back.
Bob,
I’ve got #071. Been talking to Peter about my shopping list after a blown engine has me checking off some squawks. I didn’t know I had radiator problems, but this one from 1983 needs help, according to a trusted radiator man. As you can see, it’s the old two-pin style. A re-core estimate is $750. Is it time to swap to aluminum, single pin mount? It's a very tight fit passing the upper control arm nuts. Can you provide any pricing to help my decision?
Looks like I’ll need a radiator and a different top mounting plate and requisite hardware. What am I ignoring?
This feels like a $750 core is the cheap route! :/
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Old 03-26-2021, 08:34 AM
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One word.......... "Fluidyne"
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Old 03-26-2021, 09:25 AM
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The Fluidyne FHP35 is a good fit relative to the overall dimensions, but will require some changes:

The upper tube must be modified to clear the ERA chassis.
Somehow the fan mounting brackets must attached to the top of the radiator.

On the early cars, the bottom ERA radiator tray must be modified to accept the Fluidyne's lower pins.
I suspect that our later top filler/mount will work with the Fluidyne.
Some shroud mods may be required.

There's probably something that I've forgotten...
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Old 03-26-2021, 10:10 AM
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Mine had a fluidyne and when it developed the electrolysis leak it was cheaper to replace it than to fix it (and then to have it probably fail again sooner rather than later). Put in the electrolysis plug.
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Old 03-26-2021, 10:24 AM
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My 2 cents: is upgrade to the biggest aluminum radiator you can fit. In my case I custom designed with a rad company to fit into my available space. Off the shelf did not work for mine but its a different chassis than yours. Thats the first part. 2nd and third part is Then install the biggest fan(s) you can with good shrouding. I also learned to not to use aluminum radiators whose tubes are epoxied into the core, mechanically brazed into the core is more durable over the years. Shop carefully.
Motors are just too expensive to screw around with old tech radiators A good custom built shrouded aluminum rad is about $800, good fans $200 then a good controller if you desire $200. All cheaper than a new motor or even just a head gasket job depending on the damage. Dont take my word for it, call some noted radiator experts to get pricing and solutions. My 475 hp big block can idle in 95F summer heat at 200F, with both fans blowing. The downside was having to upgrade to a 140A alternator to feed those fans.
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Old 03-27-2021, 05:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitcarbp View Post
My 2 cents: is upgrade to the biggest aluminum radiator you can fit. In my case I custom designed with a rad company to fit into my available space. Off the shelf did not work for mine but its a different chassis than yours. Thats the first part. 2nd and third part is Then install the biggest fan(s) you can with good shrouding. I also learned to not to use aluminum radiators whose tubes are epoxied into the core, mechanically brazed into the core is more durable over the years. Shop carefully.
Motors are just too expensive to screw around with old tech radiators A good custom built shrouded aluminum rad is about $800, good fans $200 then a good controller if you desire $200. All cheaper than a new motor or even just a head gasket job depending on the damage. Dont take my word for it, call some noted radiator experts to get pricing and solutions. My 475 hp big block can idle in 95F summer heat at 200F, with both fans blowing. The downside was having to upgrade to a 140A alternator to feed those fans.
Great info. Thanks, and I'll talk to my radiator man about this. Maybe he can use my old copper unit as a template.
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Old 03-27-2021, 05:09 AM
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Before I saw Bob's response, I talked to Peter Portante. Will cost around $1400 and 4 weeks waiting for a new radiator and required hardware for mounting. This would update my car to the new version - aluminum - and would be a more original look. Wrestling with this option. Cost is a small part of it. The waiting... ugh. It's roadster season in GA!
This car was built by my dad in '83. Sold in '88. And she found me again a little less than a year ago. Dad always had trouble with the old 428 overheating. A subsequent owner added an oil cooler and that reportedly solved the overheating issue. I put about 1500 miles on her before slinging a rod and never overheated. But the tired old mill wasn't exactly making good power.
Decisions, decisions.
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Old 03-27-2021, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meteorpilot View Post
Before I saw Bob's response, I talked to Peter Portante. Will cost around $1400 and 4 weeks waiting for a new radiator and required hardware for mounting. This would update my car to the new version - aluminum - and would be a more original look. Wrestling with this option. Cost is a small part of it. The waiting... ugh. It's roadster season in GA!
This car was built by my dad in '83. Sold in '88. And she found me again a little less than a year ago. Dad always had trouble with the old 428 overheating. A subsequent owner added an oil cooler and that reportedly solved the overheating issue. I put about 1500 miles on her before slinging a rod and never overheated. But the tired old mill wasn't exactly making good power.
Decisions, decisions.
I updated the original radiator in ERA188 to the new style 9 years ago while still living in the NE. I did it myself, but sourced the radiator and mounts from ERA. This is by far the best thing you could do for the car, unless your new recore is going to be aluminum.

As an alternative, have you thought about sending your radiator down to Griffin to see what they can do with it?

Bill S.
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Old 03-27-2021, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by mrmustang View Post
As an alternative, have you thought about sending your radiator down to Griffin to see what they can do with it?

Bill S.
Does Griffin do copper/steel cores too?
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Old 03-27-2021, 02:36 PM
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Does Griffin do copper/steel cores too?
No, rebuild/clone in aluminum was my thought. Personally, I like the conversion to the later, more correct aluminum version now offered by ERA, but that is just me

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Old 03-27-2021, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meteorpilot View Post
Before I saw Bob's response, I talked to Peter Portante. Will cost around $1400 and 4 weeks waiting for a new radiator and required hardware for mounting. This would update my car to the new version - aluminum - and would be a more original look. Wrestling with this option. Cost is a small part of it. The waiting... ugh. It's roadster season in GA!
This car was built by my dad in '83. Sold in '88. And she found me again a little less than a year ago. Dad always had trouble with the old 428 overheating. A subsequent owner added an oil cooler and that reportedly solved the overheating issue. I put about 1500 miles on her before slinging a rod and never overheated. But the tired old mill wasn't exactly making good power.
Decisions, decisions.
DO IT... I strongly recommend going this way... you will forget about the $1400 soon, and the sooner you make the decision the sooner the 4 weeks start ticking away... the car will be down a couple weekends either way right? so there is a 2 week delta? no brainer its only 2 weeks man...
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Old 03-27-2021, 05:43 PM
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Brice Thompson makes radiators for everything. I've bought several and never paid over $400.
Custom made for Cobras (B&B was the last one).

Go online and look at their directions for ordering one from them.

https://businessfinder.al.com/brice-...adsden-al.html


https://www.facebook.com/BriceThomasRadiator/
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Old 03-27-2021, 08:18 PM
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Thanks Dwight. Brice Thompson looks like an experienced supplier and affordable. Good to know about them
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Old 03-28-2021, 08:30 PM
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Good advice, Mike. You're right on all points. And thanks Dwight. Great resource. I'll look into it.
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Old 03-30-2021, 05:46 AM
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Update; total parts to make the radiator the same as current run ERAs will be $1425, plus any taxes and shipping costs - and according to griffin, 6-8 weeks to build the thing. This option also will require new mounting trays and the can of worms that comes with retrofitting them. I checked with my engine builder, Lyle Piper, (Southern Automotive) who put in a call to his pals at Unique to see if they could offer a suggestion. “Get the radiator to us and we’ll have one like it built in aluminum in about a week”. So I did. I believe they’re working with Dwight’s recommended shop, Brice Thomas, where Unique gets all their cores. Here’s hoping.
Bonus! Got a tour of the Unique eye candy.
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