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Aluminum radiators

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tjweston Avatar
tjweston Tim Weston
Topanga, CA, USA   USA
Opinions ? What's the general consensus ?
Thanks,
Tim

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refisk Avatar
refisk Rick Fisk
Frankenmuth, MI, USA   USA
I bought a Chinese made ebay radiator for my '72 Midget. Paid $145.95 shipped to my door. It fit fine and cooled great. The only thing I didn't like was the mounting fittings on the radiator had metric threads.

I have an aluminum radiator on the blue car in my avatar photo. It was made by Ron Davis here in the USA, fits fine, cools great, but costs a small fortune. Last weekend at Road America I hit about 105 mph at almost 7,000 rpms on the front straight and the temp never went over 190 degrees. smiling smiley

Rick

MartinWeb Avatar
MartinWeb Martin Webster
Guildford, Surrey, UK   GBR
Hi Tim, For what it’s worth, in my opinion, an aluminium rad is probably useful if you are racing, but for everyday driving a bit of an extravagance. My frog has a mildly tuned 1275 engine which I fitted 30 years ago with a standard axle. I use a 50% solution of anti freeze and during our hottest summer since 1976 this year when average daytime temperatures were in the upper 80s F, lower 90s , my water temperature gauge never went above 195degrees. This was driving with enthusiasm not just pottering about at low speed . Even in heavy traffic it remained steady. A good flush every couple of years plus the anti freeze is all that’s needed.
Martin

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Desert Rat Avatar
Desert Rat Chris S.
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
I went with a Wizard Cooling aluminum radiator for my 60 Sprite. It was the best upgrade for the Las Vegas summer heat. My driving temps are around 15 degrees cooler and even in our 110° plus summer heat the temp gauge never goes beyond 195. The Sprite handles the summer heat better than I do now!
If you live in a hot climate you won’t regret it.



Agnes, an original, unrestored, unmolested 1960 Austin Healey Sprite Bugeye, bought by my father in 1961 from the first owner.

Poundingsand Avatar
Poundingsand Silver Member Peer Ebbighausen
Los Angeles, CA, USA   USA
Hey Tim. I just fitted one off of eBay to my Sprite...after two test drives (one being Saturday with temps around 95) I have to say it cools about ten or fifteen degrees better than the stock radiator. It took some fettling to install, but I'm glad I switched...one caveat: I also installed a plastic 6 blade fan with it (I had the 6 blade tropical fan originally),


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tjweston Avatar
tjweston Tim Weston
Topanga, CA, USA   USA
Thanks for the feedback guys, much appreciated. I'm going to go for it.

Can you tell me if any of the radiators you bought and installed were plumbed correctly for the water gauge thermal element tap (correct thread pitch etc. ?) and also were the mounting holes drilled correctly in the correct place with captured nuts at the back end (if so, what thread here ?)

Thanks in advance,
Tim

Poundingsand Avatar
Poundingsand Silver Member Peer Ebbighausen
Los Angeles, CA, USA   USA
Hi Tim. Mine was plumbed correctly for the gauge element. However it did NOT have captive nuts for the mounting - in fact it wasn't drilled at all...I had to fit it myself.

Another issue with mine (perhaps because I was fitting it to a square body car instead of a BE) was the shroud was an inch too deep. I had to cut it back enough to clear the thermostat housing and generator...you can see where I overlapped it.


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Desert Rat Avatar
Desert Rat Chris S.
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
Hey Tim, no issues at all with the Wizard Ccoling radiator. Everything was drilled correctly and. where it should be. I didn’t have to modify anything. The Wizard Ccoling radiator does not use the same cap as the OE radiator but Wizard has them or they can be had any auto parts store, it’s 7pound GM cap.



Agnes, an original, unrestored, unmolested 1960 Austin Healey Sprite Bugeye, bought by my father in 1961 from the first owner.

Sprite1956 Roger Parry-Jones
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia   AUS
Guys and girls,

I've recently discovered through other enthusiasts that the standard thermostat housing is a significant water flow restriction. The hose outlet inner diameter is less than an inch. The solution is to fit the Turbo Cooper thermostat housing and hose with larger inner diameters on the engine side. Water flow rates improve dramatically, demonstrated by radiator temperatures becoming the same top to bottom, instead of hotter at the bottom to the top. I'll see if I can post the original discussion and photo's.

A good 'funnel effect' and sealing around the radiator to body so all the airflow is forced through the radiator core is important as well.

This may obviate the need to upgrade to cheap but effective three core aluminium Chinese radiators. I was irritated with the one I purchased at the lack of original looks and function; no captive nuts, bolt holes not drilled, very poor top fan protective shield and small sized 13 pound radiator cap. However, the price was about a third of what a standard replacement would have been, and a fifth of the price of a locally manufactured and otherwise excellent alternative. I took the fan off and fitted a thermo-fan. I removed the thermostat housing blanking sleeve that I'd put in to try to improve water flow rates and fitted an 80 degree thermostat. It takes longer to warm up than it did when I used a thermostat but never boils. If I encounter overheating in the coming Australian Summer I'll fit the Cooper thermostat housing and hose. Currently there is definitely no need.

Regards,

Roger

tjweston Avatar
tjweston Tim Weston
Topanga, CA, USA   USA
Update,
So I sprung for the Wizard radiator ($$$) and six blade plastic fan which I installed over last weekend. The Wizard is a great piece of gear; plumbed correctly, all holes and captive nuts in the right places. Very straight forward install. Only hassle was freeing up the water temp gland nut and element from the old radiator. That thing was on there ! Penetrating oil and pounding on the vise grips kind of on there ! Anyway all is well and the car runs 10 to 15 degrees cooler on balance. Worth it !
Tim


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BlueMax1 Avatar
BlueMax1 A G
?, ?, USA   USA
I went with a custom build from Sereck Motor Sport UK. Love the quality and fit, as well its performance.


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tjweston Avatar
tjweston Tim Weston
Topanga, CA, USA   USA
Beautiful engine bay !

Desert Rat Avatar
Desert Rat Chris S.
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
Hey Tim, what part number radiator cap are using? Arthritis in my hands makes opening the one that Wizard Cooing sent with my radiator damn near impossible for me, yours has tabs on the sides that would make it easier for me.



Agnes, an original, unrestored, unmolested 1960 Austin Healey Sprite Bugeye, bought by my father in 1961 from the first owner.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-11-11 09:54 AM by Desert Rat.

tjweston Avatar
tjweston Tim Weston
Topanga, CA, USA   USA
It's a Stant cap (Pep Boys). I don't have the # handy but it's either a 4lb or 7lb. I called Wizard for the part numbers. You have to push down on it as you turn it to compress the spring.
TW

Desert Rat Avatar
Desert Rat Chris S.
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
Cool, thanks. I’ll give Wizard a ring on Monday. The one they sent is round and smooth and I just don’t have the strength in my hands anymore to push it down and turn it.



Agnes, an original, unrestored, unmolested 1960 Austin Healey Sprite Bugeye, bought by my father in 1961 from the first owner.

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