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Old 07-10-2012, 09:56 PM   #1
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Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

So the radiator in my IROC finally started leaking fluently from its plastic parts and I think its time for a new one, the question is what should I get??
I've been doing a little research, it seems that the price difference between plastic/aluminum rad and all aluminum one is significant almost double the price. How much difference does it really makes??
Ever since I put 180' stat and 180' fan switch I don't have any cooling issues plus the plastic/aluminum rads sold today comes with a life time warranty so I know I will be all set if the new rad will start leaking like the old one. So whats really going to justify an extra $100 on an all aluminum rad?...any thoughts?
The car is mostly stock used for daily driving and occasional trip to the track.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:07 AM   #2
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

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Originally Posted by 88I-ROC View Post
So the radiator in my IROC finally started leaking fluently from its plastic parts and I think its time for a new one, the question is what should I get??
I've been doing a little research, it seems that the price difference between plastic/aluminum rad and all aluminum one is significant almost double the price. How much difference does it really makes??
Ever since I put 180' stat and 180' fan switch I don't have any cooling issues plus the plastic/aluminum rads sold today comes with a life time warranty so I know I will be all set if the new rad will start leaking like the old one. So whats really going to justify an extra $100 on an all aluminum rad?...any thoughts?
The car is mostly stock used for daily driving and occasional trip to the track.
With a stock engine, you are correct. A quality plastic will function just fine.
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:46 AM   #3
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

The plastic will last around 100,000 miles and then leak around the seal. A guy helped me fix mine years ago and he had some black urethane goop he used in conjuction with the seal and it was fine untill I changed motor and added a be cool rad. He said the gasket slowly wears and gets weak on the stock plastic tanks.
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:04 PM   #4
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

For $90 with life time warranty I think its worth it rather than spending $250 on all alluminum one.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:24 PM   #5
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

I bought one from Auto Zone several years ago and never had a problem. And as 88I-ROC said, with life time warranty, you can't beat it, IMHO
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:20 AM   #6
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

My stock one was perfect for my stock motor for over 12 years but when it got old and I added a 500 plus horsepower high compression solid roller motor the stock radiator was not nearly enough and even with a be cool radiator the factory fans was not enough. It was not untill this spring that I finally solved the over heating dilema. It only took me about 10 years to learn how to make these cars REALLY cool a truly hot motor. You have to have two rows of one inch tubes, a 170 or 180 stat, you have to have the air dam and baffle, A taurus fan from 91-95 3.8l 2 speed (4000cfm), about 70-30 antifreeze and distilled water and water wetter. This will cool any 3rd gen. I have tried probably 6 radiators, 8-10 fans including a total of 5 fans at one time. many water/antifreeze ratios and additives, wiring combos including leaving the fans on all the time (all 5).
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:23 PM   #7
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

Sounds interesting, I thought many times to change the dual fans to more powerful ones, however I don't think I'm ever gonna get 500 hp out of this car, I'm planning to keep it mostly stock all around, and the reason for the radiator change its because its started leaking pretty bad not because its overheating. The lower temp stat and fan switch doing a pretty good job to keep it cool.
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:56 PM   #8
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

100% aluminum 3 or 4 core. You'll never have trouble from it again.
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:49 PM   #9
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

Yea, that was the argument, but the fact that the plastic/aluminum one is more than %50 cheaper and comes with lifetime warranty nowadays, it was a better choice to go with this one.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:16 AM   #10
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

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Originally Posted by 88I-ROC View Post
Yea, that was the argument, but the fact that the plastic/aluminum one is more than %50 cheaper and comes with lifetime warranty nowadays, it was a better choice to go with this one.
I got my 3 core for $125, even though it's chinese it still works great.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:22 AM   #11
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

Aluminum with good fans. Cant beat it.
http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/co...guys-want.html (So you guys want a bolt in all aluminum 3 core radiator?)

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Old 07-24-2012, 12:42 PM   #12
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

I bought a SILLA all aluminum 2core off ebay for $120 bucks with free shipping, no complaints whatsoever. The crappy plastic endtank one i had prior failed in a year; drain plug shot completely out, then after i fixed that the end tanks cracked.

Look around and you will find a good deal, but IMO, go all alum, its well worth twice the price as a stocker.
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:05 PM   #13
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

I know I'm going to jinx myself but here it goes..
My 89 Formula 350 is still on its original rad.
I have run a 160* Tstat in it since 1992.
The car/rad has 240,000 miles on it.
I have had 11 diff motors in this car. The current motor is a 400ci stroker with afr 235s, solid roller, mini ram and long tube headers
It runs 160* to maaaybe 170* all day long and I haven't heard the 2nd fan come on in a loooong time.
I have no A/C
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:24 PM   #14
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

I researched all over the web and didn't anything less than $180 that will fit the IROC nicely. I just looked at ebay and the radiator you so call claim cost $120 is advertised at $189. It doesn't matter anymore, already got a new plastic/aluminum rad for $90, if it fails, I will get a replacement for free from the store next to my house because of the warranty, no big deal.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:27 PM   #15
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

This radiator will make your ac ever work better. The Factory one from the parts house is really for a V6 not a V8... It's a drop in replacement with a bit of cutting of the condenser top mount that's about it. It's well worth spending the extra $100 and install it. I've included the link of the ones with the fans but they do just sell the radiator separate for $180ish if you call and do the order over the phone.

Food for thought I went through 6 radiator's that are sold at the local parts house for $90ish. After driving with the new aluminum radiator and having the stock fan still installed it never went past 190 in stop and go without the fan running in 105 out side temps. Single core for a v8 just doesn't cut it for any out side temp over 100.
Fyi yes all my air dams are there and in good condition it's just really hot if you think about it, if it's over 100 out it's easily 135 on the pavement or hotter.

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Old 07-26-2012, 12:56 PM   #16
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

That's a pretty good deal with the fans. I'm sure the 2 core aluminum is much better than the 1 core, but I'm just saying that for my application and my budget I rather go with a standard one for now, there is other stuff that my car need and I'm just trying to balance where the money goes on what. Plus my AC doesn't work anyway, probably has a leak in the system and bad compressor, when I can afford all that I would probably be able to afford 2 core rad. Also, the only reason I'm replacing the rad its because its started leaking pretty bad from the plastic sides, otherwise I never had any overheating problem, specially when I have the 180' stat and fan switch. The funny thing is, even after its leaking and I'm missing coolant, my motor still stays cool.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:25 PM   #17
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

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That's a pretty good deal with the fans. I'm sure the 2 core aluminum is much better than the 1 core, but I'm just saying that for my application and my budget I rather go with a standard one for now, there is other stuff that my car need and I'm just trying to balance where the money goes on what. Plus my AC doesn't work anyway, probably has a leak in the system and bad compressor, when I can afford all that I would probably be able to afford 2 core rad. Also, the only reason I'm replacing the rad its because its started leaking pretty bad from the plastic sides, otherwise I never had any overheating problem, specially when I have the 180' stat and fan switch. The funny thing is, even after its leaking and I'm missing coolant, my motor still stays cool.
You sure your gauge itsnt broken? I never know a third gen v8 to run cool without some major help or mods. You could just get the radiator without the fans and with very minor molding to the top mount support it fits. I'll post a pic in a bit how I did it and you will see. On the funds issues and everything needing to be done I hear yup on that one... just food for thought the new radiators from AutoZone or anywhere else are all made by the same company and the reason they have lifetime warranty is because they don't last for ****... it got to the point that Oreilly's couldn't even get the radiator even tho it shows hey sell them.
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:59 PM   #18
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

That's where I got it, Oreilly's. I'm pretty sure that my guage is fine. When I went for inspection couple weeks ago I disconnected my fan switch so the car would run hotter for the inspection, and the guage did show hotter temp than when I had my fan switch connected, by the way, that's when the leak got worse. The rad I got got from Oreilly's looks better quality than the one I had in my car, haven't got around installing it yet though.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:50 PM   #19
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

Did you get the Murray 438162 from O'Reilly? I am not liking mine, but then I was just hoping if would slip right into my 84.
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:30 PM   #20
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

Yes, that's what I got!...I hope I wouldn't have a problem fitting it. I think the setup on 84 is a little bit different than whats in mine cause back then they used the pully driven fan instead of electric no?
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:00 PM   #21
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

Mine is HO 305 with electric fan. They put the drain **** on the left side of the radiator vs the stock right side. Also the drain is pointing down right into the radiator shelf. I have notched the side of the sheet metal and cut some of the plastic off the drain **** valve in attempt of get it to fit. I am going to look into hole sawing a hole for the drain and that might help get it to slide in better. Minor issue the lower trans line is above the lower radiator hose vs the stock under so it needs to be bend some to connect. Due to my current physical ability I was hoping it was just a remove and replace with out any modifications, so it's making me cranky.
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:10 PM   #22
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

I know what you sayin man, if I have to do all that, Oreilly's getting this radiator back!!, however, as far as the drain ****, did you meant the location of the drain plug?? cause mine is on the right side if you face the rad which is the the same like the one I have in my car right now. As far as the transmission lines, mine's manual so I dont have to deal with it.
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Old 07-27-2012, 04:17 PM   #23
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

My stock drain was on passenger side. New Murray radiator is on the drivers side. My power steering lines interfere with the new location of access as well as the side of the radiator shelf. Maybe they designed it for newer years.
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Old 07-27-2012, 05:56 PM   #24
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

Thats weird, I'm almost positive I saw the drain plug located on the passenger side, when I'll get home, I'll double check that and the part number and let you know. I think they may have given you the wrong rad.
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:18 AM   #25
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Re: Plastic/Aluminum or all Aluminum Radiator?

So I just checked the part number on the box, looks like you got something different, mine is 433918 and it does have the drain plug on the passenger side.
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:18 AM
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