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Upgraded cooling system #752044
August 30th 2019 5:27 pm
August 30th 2019 5:27 pm
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 15
VA
M
Malatrix Offline OP
stranger
Malatrix  Offline OP
stranger
M
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 15
VA
I found a hole in my '85's radiator today. Are there any aluminum or upgraded radiators for these vans? Mine had a problem with running hot and I'd like to prevent that from happening.

Re: Upgraded cooling system [Re: Malatrix] #752045
August 30th 2019 5:57 pm
August 30th 2019 5:57 pm
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 582
Portland, OR
Deathorvictory Offline
addict
Deathorvictory  Offline
addict
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 582
Portland, OR
I'd suggest an aluminum radiator upgrade. My 79 has one and runs pretty cool in all occasions.

Last edited by Deathorvictory; August 30th 2019 5:59 pm.

1979 Dodge B200 Shorty, 1987 B250 Longy
Re: Upgraded cooling system [Re: Malatrix] #752048
August 30th 2019 7:03 pm
August 30th 2019 7:03 pm
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,701
San Diego
W
wrcsixeight Offline
veteran
wrcsixeight  Offline
veteran
W
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,701
San Diego
Copper and brass both conduct heat better than aluminum.


Aluminum is stronger and can have wider tubes for more surface area to transfer heat from tube to fin.

So same thickness radiator has to have more rows of brass tubes and the solder joint between copper fin and brass tube limits the ability to transfer heat as effectively as a significantly wider single aluminum tube to its fins.

Aluminum is thus easier to make, and cheaper, but is not necessarily an upgrade.

In my case the copper fins were eroding in two years or less in a salt air environment even painted, and I now have some 9 years on an cheapo all aluminum radiator in same environment.

The availability of copper brass cores with plastic side caps is becoming less than aluminum with plastic side caps. My all aluminum Silla radiator started weeping at the end cap and core juncture at 9 months, the bars leak ginger root stop leak tabs at 1/6th the recommended dosage stop all seeping and coolant loss in the subsequent 8.3 years unbless I do a drain and fill without adding some more.

Autoparts today all suck, they've just promoted more superfluous marketing saying how awesome they are.

You can pay out the keester for what is perceived to be top quality, and perhaps be no better off than the cheapest available option.

There is no honor in maximum profit, and the consumer just gets screwed.

Re: Upgraded cooling system [Re: Malatrix] #752053
August 31st 2019 10:09 am
August 31st 2019 10:09 am
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 98
Seattle, Washington, USA
RichardB Offline
journeyman
RichardB  Offline
journeyman
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 98
Seattle, Washington, USA
I put a Liland 510AA aluminum radiator in my van exactly one year ago (Labor day weekend). It coupled with a high flow water pump is awesome, I've not lost a single drop of coolant since installing it. And I actually run "too cool" sometimes in the winter. And recently did abouut 1700 miles of freeway driving in over 85* temps, needle never got more that 1/16" above the 1/4 temp mark. Even when pulling super long and steep grades in 2nd gear at 60mph. A quick google search does not show it to be available on ebay or rock auto anymore though. :-(
Rockauto.com has stock replacements for $140. Or Recoring your old radiator is a a good option if you've got a good radiator shop in town. Or I did just find this: Ebay radiator

There are pro's and cons to aluminum, but as our vehicles age and OEM replacements become more and more scarce we will be forced into using universal options. I'm also into 1970's and early 80's Toyota Celicas and Corollas and we are at that point with those vehicles. Everyone in that field at this point is either recoring (if possible), or adapting aluminum radiators.

- Rich


1991 Dodge B250 Zephyr Conversion. "Bi-frost" 74,000-ish original miles and counting.
- 318TBI; has headwork and other bolt on upgrades. Runs strong and smooth!
- Powertrax locker
- 3" aluminum radiator.
- Rear air springs, rebuilt suspension, steering stabilizer.
Re: Upgraded cooling system [Re: Malatrix] #752062
August 31st 2019 6:22 pm
August 31st 2019 6:22 pm
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,701
San Diego
W
wrcsixeight Offline
veteran
wrcsixeight  Offline
veteran
W
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,701
San Diego
A ECM controlled engine running too cool will use significantly more fuel. My 185f thermostat knocked my highway mileage from almost 17 to barely 14 and the 195f returned those 3mpg instantly.

I've had some strange gauge fluctuations over the last few years and the first thing i suspect is the gauge, or the voltage reaching the gauge, or its sensor/sender.

I can actually easily tweak voltage and have a three decimal place voltmeter that feeds my dash temp and fuel gauges, and the difference between 4.995 and 5.200 volts is half a hatch mark on the temp gauge and the gauge nearly pegs in the red at normal temperature up near 6 volts feeding the gauge.

Guessing is also worthless, and I now have K type insulated thermocouples attached to my thermostat housing and radiator upper tank with a thermal epoxy.

These confirm my gauge itself is not to be trusted as 100% accurate. There is a significant delay in its readings there are times it reas high when the Kytpe thermocouples read rock steady. there are times the gauge reads steady and where expected when the thermocouples read high.

And one can put the biggest thickest most efficeint radiator available in there with extra puller and pusher electric fans, and the thermostat, if not stuck open or well out of range will not allow overcooling.

A radiator with a big overhead in heat thransfer potential is a great thing, but unless the thermostat is stuck open or not present, it is not going to overcool the engine, and one does not want an ECM controlled engine running cooler than teh computer expects to see anyway. It would likely not pass a smog test if one had to pass one and it will eat into MPG's.

Don't trust the gauges 100%. They are delayed, take their readings with a 'grain of salt' types of things at best.

Re: Upgraded cooling system [Re: Malatrix] #752086
September 02nd 2019 10:56 am
September 02nd 2019 10:56 am
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 98
Seattle, Washington, USA
RichardB Offline
journeyman
RichardB  Offline
journeyman
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 98
Seattle, Washington, USA
You are right about the fuel injection/ temperature relation. Good point to bring up! My van only every ran super duper cool on our coldest days (20-ish degrees outside temps), and if I was just puttering about town. It is TBI, but I'm getting the same 14-16MPG now that I ever did before the new radiator, and I did install a new 195* t-stat at that time too. So I think all is well. Cheers!

- Rich


1991 Dodge B250 Zephyr Conversion. "Bi-frost" 74,000-ish original miles and counting.
- 318TBI; has headwork and other bolt on upgrades. Runs strong and smooth!
- Powertrax locker
- 3" aluminum radiator.
- Rear air springs, rebuilt suspension, steering stabilizer.
Re: Upgraded cooling system [Re: RichardB] #754295
November 20th 2019 6:08 pm
November 20th 2019 6:08 pm
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 15
VA
M
Malatrix Offline OP
stranger
Malatrix  Offline OP
stranger
M
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 15
VA
So I got an aluminum Rock Auto replacement and while I know I can't trust my gauges, the temp gauge no longer gets anywhere close to the middle unless I park for a few minutes. I'll just have to see how it works for the long haul.

Re: Upgraded cooling system [Re: Malatrix] #754376
November 22nd 2019 8:06 pm
November 22nd 2019 8:06 pm
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 98
Seattle, Washington, USA
RichardB Offline
journeyman
RichardB  Offline
journeyman
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 98
Seattle, Washington, USA
Glad you got a replacement radiator! But I'm curious if your water pump is moving enough coolant through the system. This time of year you really should never have temp rise when at idle even for many many minutes.
Also if you think you "can't trust your gauges", you actually can't trust them. Might be a good time to swap out the coolant temperature sensor. And do a resistance test on the gauge to see if it reads within factory spec (factory service manual will tell you how to do this).

Cheers,

- Rich


1991 Dodge B250 Zephyr Conversion. "Bi-frost" 74,000-ish original miles and counting.
- 318TBI; has headwork and other bolt on upgrades. Runs strong and smooth!
- Powertrax locker
- 3" aluminum radiator.
- Rear air springs, rebuilt suspension, steering stabilizer.

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