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g-body & f-body radiators

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Old 12-05-2018, 11:29 AM
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g-body & f-body radiators

hey there,
i know this may sound like a stupid question to some of you, but for my purpose and parts at hand it would be perfect: would a g-body (like, buick century/regal/GN etc) radiator physically fit an f-body? would the tranny cooler lines hook up? I found the info that the ones on the Th700 are said to be 1/2-20 straight thread... are these all the same on the GM cars from say the 70/80 era?

background:
got an old but working stock radiator from a '79 Buick Regal 3.8T with I think the 200C tranny kicking around, and the radiator in my Formula (see sig) decided to blow the internal tranny cooler, so got ugly milk shake in both systems (coolant+ATF) now and of course I parked it immediately (summer car anyways).
Since I want to convert the Formula to T56 (got most parts here already) soon as well but sell or at least store the stock (working) TH700, I would like to put in a new (or working, for that matter) radiator, drop 700 pan and put in new filter and fluid, flush it, fill up with fresh fluid...I guess that way the tranny would be okay to use again? For this experiment I could just use this old G-body radiator I already have anyways.
Since a new radiator is not that easy/cheap to get over here, I was thinking I could just continue to use my current radiator with the T56 and cap off the tranny oil cooler ports after some flushing.

Thoughts and inputs welcome, thanks!
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:58 AM
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Re: g-body & f-body radiators

Don't know about the radiator but the clutches in the TH700 (and almost all auto transmissions) are water soluble -- what does this mean? If you get water in the transmission then the clutches are likely to fail soon, at the very least get a flush done as soon as possible and don't store it with any water in the transmission.

The stock radiator will work with the trans cooler capped off with the t56 but obviously there are issues with it so I would replace. You could also cap it off and put in a cheap after market trans cooler or rob one from another vehicle (vans with tow packages are usually a good target here).

The 4th gen fbody radiator fits ok, it has little flanges to hold the airconditioner and cooler fans on it that can cause issues but otherwise is almost a direct bolt in. I bet the Holden radiators from any of their LS cars could be made to work.

You can pull the radiator out of the fbody car in like 10 min so I would say... just try it, getting fitting adapters shouldn't be too hard.

There are alot of "china made" aluminum radiators for fbody cars on ebay, many with free shipping to the states you may want to look at that to get one to Australia.

Confused on your car though is it a LS swap or a stockish LO3?
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:13 PM
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Re: g-body & f-body radiators

Hey there Aviator,
phew that sounds kinda bad what you say about "water soluble clutches"?! you mean because they are powdered metal or..?
actually it has already been a few months and i already had a bad feeling that it would not be a good idea to leave it like that for long.. so i really need to drain that ****, and start over with some fresh fluid in it at least, maybe still worth a try..
well it's now in my apartment's underground car park and i can't really work there.. my plan however is to do the rad swap (leave fan off) and AT pan drop to get a new filter and fluid into it, i'm afraid of flushing it like that with all that **** in it, figured it would damage bearings, pump, valves and whatnot? i would then drive it to my workshop which is about 10 minutes away, then do a thorough ATF flush there and either replace the radiator with a new one or whatever..

Btw, I'm from Austria not Australia Maybe I can source a used 4th gen radiator though, that would do plenty.

The 84 TA is LS1+T56 swapped, the 89 Formula is closer to stock (I want to say "stock for now" but life is what gets in between and I've been procrastinating plans for that one for too long!)
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:39 PM
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Re: g-body & f-body radiators

Opps LOL sorry <insert clip from the dumb and dumber movie where Jim Carrey mixes the two countries up> I just glanced at your location. At any rate the holdens are sold as what Vauxhall Insignia's in Europe the model with the LS engine radiator might wedge in. Or in the US these would be sold as GTO's... Why can't GM use one name/brand...

Bearings etc shouldn't be too much of an issue, the clutch material on the the clutch disks is where your risk is. They are just like brake shoes but use a different bonding agent which happens to breaks down in water (but not ATF for some reason). Its one of the big risks with a flood car etc. A simple rebuild kit fixes it but most people are afraid to tear down a transmission.

Have you checked Amazon they sell radiators that fit here in the states -- not sure how that works with them in other countries on shipping costs.
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:21 AM
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Re: g-body & f-body radiators

No prob on mixing the countries up, it happens a lot The Insignia is an FWD car with a transverse engine so I doubt there will be much similarities. Stock LS cars are kinda rare around here, except for some Vettes maybe.
Anyways, thanks for your pointers, will shop around some more I guess.
But at least I know I really need to take care of this to not damage the clutches (even further).

Maybe someone knows if a TH200C like the 82/83 F-bodies have would have the same radiator tranny cooler fittings?!
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:20 PM
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Re: g-body & f-body radiators

If you got water in your transmission you will never get it all out without a complete rebuild and new torque convertor. Even when the garages do a flush they can't get all the fluid in the convertor changed out. You end up with about an 70-80% flush.
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:04 PM
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Re: g-body & f-body radiators

hmm, even considering that water boils to steam at ~100(C), wouldn't it therefore leave the..."emulsion"?
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:47 PM
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Re: g-body & f-body radiators

this ma ybe a brain fart but somehow it got stuck in my head so letting it out (lol) - could you also run one of these internal transmission oil coolers in our radiators for a heat exchanger of engine oil when running a manual transmission? anyone tried this or heard about it? any input appreciated.. thx
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:54 PM
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Re: g-body & f-body radiators

I've seen kits with t56 to use a cooler I don't see an advantage of pumping engine oil through a built in trans cooler. If you really want to do a oil cooler I would use a stand alone heat exchanger, too much risk with oil/water if the built in one fails.
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:47 PM
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Re: g-body & f-body radiators

Having experienced a total automatic transmission failure in my old '64 Galaxie500XL when the radiator started puking coolant into the transmission, the only thing I regard a built in cooler in the factory radiator is good for is ballast.

External coolers are cheap, and have the advantage of not allowing coolant into places like engines and transmissions.

Eliminating the factory cooler in favor of an external cooler is one of the first mods I do whenever buying an older car with an automatic transmission.

It was real fun, and expensive trying to fix an old Cruise-O-Matic, mostly because Ford changed the bellhousing pattern in '65 from 5 to 6 bolts... and the transmission was never quite the same after being filled with coolant.
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:58 PM
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Re: g-body & f-body radiators

Originally Posted by ownor View Post
hmm, even considering that water boils to steam at ~100(C), wouldn't it therefore leave the..."emulsion"?
While going through this process it will pump water through the Transmission. Also this theory would only work if the highest point in the transmission has a vent. Otherwise the water vapor will collect at the high point. People used to stick saw dust down old power glide transmissions to keep them from slipping for a short duration only to end up with more costly repairs.
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:25 AM
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Re: g-body & f-body radiators

Points taken, thanks guys!
I think I'll still try to save it with the fluid and filter change, new radiator and fluid flush, let's see.
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