20 year old rad cut open

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1,767
Location
Toronto Canada
Thread starter
Had to change the rad in my 99 Caravan. It started to leak where the tube of the core meet the end plate. The fluid was changed every 5 years or longer. My experience has been that ever since they got away from the old copper/brass radiators, they just don't seem to corrode. I cut it open to see what it looked like inside. Most of the time, the fluid used was a cheap old green style glycol mix. As of late I couldn't find that fluid so I used a universal type. Clean as a whistle.

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4,825
Location
Taiwan
Originally Posted by WobblyElvis
It started to leak where the tube of the core meet the end plate........... Clean as a whistle.
Given that "It started to leak where the tube of the core meet the end plate" why does it matter that it is "Clean as a whistle."? I suppose it indicates it was probably thermally efficient until failure, but maybe a dirtier one would have lasted longer.
 
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1,906
Location
Seattle-ish, WA
Originally Posted by Ducked
Originally Posted by WobblyElvis
It started to leak where the tube of the core meet the end plate........... Clean as a whistle.
Given that "It started to leak where the tube of the core meet the end plate" why does it matter that it is "Clean as a whistle."? I suppose it indicates it was probably thermally efficient until failure, but maybe a dirtier one would have lasted longer.
I also am failing to see the upside here. Clearly not up to the task with the coolant and change interval.
 
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844
Location
Wash, DC
Upside is it worked well for 20 years. And that's using old school green which is rated for 2-3 years, for 5+ years. Back in the '80s a friends Corolla cooling system was ruined in 7 years because he used a mechanic that didn't actually do the work he was paid for. This mechanic also "faked" a timing belt replacement on this car. The old belt got loose (no self-adjusting tensioner) and jumped a couple teeth. Luckily a non-interference engine (1.6L twin cam).
 
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5,722
Location
Charlotte, NC
We had a similar failure in our 2006 T&C @ 230+k miles. It had G-05 in it since new. Our 2000 Dodge GC rad was replaced at 34k because of external damage. Now has 180k on it, G-05 of course.
 
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495
Location
TX & ON
Copper-brass is more efficient for the same thickness, about double the thermal conductivity of aluminum. Aluminum is acceptable, if the core thickness is increased and/or the the tubes are made larger. With cores, it's a compromise between thickness & airflow. I have all my hot rod rads recored with domestic copper cores, and along with brass tanks, this combo is hard to beat. The reason for aluminum radiators these days is cost, and not much more. On the rare occasion I order a custom aluminum radiator, it's for fitment on a tubular frame or added capacity on a tow vehicle, and they always have the cores TIG'd to aluminum tanks, rather than attached to the lowest possible bidder OEM mass market style plastic tanks.
Originally Posted by FordCapriDriver
Aluminium makes far better radiators than copper or brass for sure. My Escort has a aluminium cooling radiator and a copper / brass heater core, after much research i'm running VW G12++ Si-OAT ( Glysantin G40 )
 
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166
Location
Florida
I have cut the ends off many of these alum and plastic radiators for scrap. I prefer copper and brass because they can be fixed easily. And they don't blow apart. The plastic end tanks can blow out, leaving huge chunks missing and there is no way to fix it. You can always keep going on a copper brass one but if the plastic end tank blows a chunk off you can't drive anywhere. My 69 Camaro still has its original Harrison radiator with its tag that indicates the engine. 396. Yes it has been repaired several times.
 
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362
Location
Greenville SC
Originally Posted by ofelas
Copper-brass is more efficient for the same thickness, about double the thermal conductivity of aluminum.
If by double you mean twice as bad, you're correct ... although brass has copper in it, brass isn't a very good conductor of heat. Can brass be made thinner because it is stronger ... yes, if half the thickness of aluminum, you'd be equal. I seriously doubt, but do not know, if it is enough stronger to do that. There needs to be more factual data. Brass CAN be soldered with common materials and techniques; aluminum cannot be.
 
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495
Location
TX & ON
Not even close to what I meant to say :-) By copper-brass I meant copper cores (thermal conductivity) & brass tanks (strength vs weight).
 
Messages
591
Location
Atlanta, GA
What's going on at the bottom of the radiator in the last picture? Is that what salt belt residents get to look forward to with their radiators?
 
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