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Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? #4543801
10/15/17 08:29 AM
10/15/17 08:29 AM
Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 38
CT - USA
tomlct Offline OP
tomlct  Offline OP

Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 38
CT - USA
I installed 1 (Spectra Premium CU883) in my 1988 Dodge Aries 2.5. I have been driving since 1967, but this might be the 1st time that I actually purchased a new rad (I probably had a few replaced along the way, and I don't know what brands would have been used).
This is an effort to track down a problem, when fully warmed up, then extended idle, the gauge was rising to around the 2/3 mark or higher, but not overheating. Now the gauge does not move as much so I hope I have a better flow of coolant.
The price from Amazon was amazing - $ 46.76 for a new rad. It's made in China, and is light, and looks kind of cheap, but for the price, I am taking a shot. Also, having a 30 year old car, it is a pleasant surprise when parts are available - you can't take everything for granted with an old timer.

Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct] #4543816
10/15/17 08:52 AM
10/15/17 08:52 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 18,431
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Chris142 Offline
Chris142  Offline

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 18,431
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
They work fine. But a local radiator shop can check the flow and condition of your old radiator so your not throwing parts at it.


02 Wrangler carlube 5w30
87 F250 traveler 15w40
07 fjcruiser Chevron 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor 15w40
Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct] #4543829
10/15/17 09:14 AM
10/15/17 09:14 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 8,017
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline

Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 8,017
Waco, TX
I bought a lifetime warranty chinese radiator from radiatorstores.com for $99 in 2001.... it lasted 14 years. Company went out of business by then.

$7.07 per year - - I'm still happy!


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: Chris142] #4543831
10/15/17 09:15 AM
10/15/17 09:15 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 8,017
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline

Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 8,017
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: Chris142
They work fine. But a local radiator shop can check the flow and condition of your old radiator so your not throwing parts at it.


Plastic end tanks seems to last about 15 years in most cases.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct] #4543842
10/15/17 09:29 AM
10/15/17 09:29 AM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,473
Lyndhurst NJ
Audios Offline
Audios  Offline

Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,473
Lyndhurst NJ
If its a quick swap out, then Id gamble with the Chinese stuff. But if its on a car that takes a few hours to change the rad, then Ill pay twice for a quality product that will last. But sometimes the Chinese ones surprise you and make it for a while.

Last edited by Audios; 10/15/17 09:29 AM.

2002 VW Golf TDI-Mobil 1 5/40 TDT
2007 Mercedes GL320 CDI- M1 0/30 ESP
2005 BMW M3 BMW Twin Power 10/60
2003 BMW M5-Fuchs 5/40
1998 BMW M3/4/5 Fuchs 5/40
Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: Audios] #4543876
10/15/17 10:02 AM
10/15/17 10:02 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 18,431
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Chris142 Offline
Chris142  Offline

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 18,431
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Originally Posted By: Audios
If its a quick swap out, then Id gamble with the Chinese stuff. But if its on a car that takes a few hours to change the rad, then Ill pay twice for a quality product that will last. But sometimes the Chinese ones surprise you and make it for a while.
its a 5 minute swap in that car.


02 Wrangler carlube 5w30
87 F250 traveler 15w40
07 fjcruiser Chevron 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor 15w40
Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct] #4543877
10/15/17 10:03 AM
10/15/17 10:03 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 12
Delaware
delaware74b Offline
delaware74b  Offline

Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 12
Delaware
I just replaced the radiator in my '04 3.0 Ranger. It failed on the passenger side plastic tank-to-fins connection. Not bad, considering 285K miles. Coolant replaced every 75K with fresh G05 and distilled water mix.

Replaced it with a Napa-branded (Spectra-made) radiator, cap and gallon of full-strength G05 for $135 with discounts. The radiator was marked being made in Canada, not a bad deal. I couldn't wait for one from Rockauto for $100 and the stealership was crazy- almost $300 for a manual transmission model -WHAT??? A manual tranny radiator more than one for an auto tranny?? My guess is the auto version is a more popular model. The replacement one was spec'd as being the same for both auto and manual tranny.


'04 Ford Ranger S/C 3.0 M5OD 300K
'04 Ford Explorer 4.0 4x4 145K
'74 MG MG-B 1.8 132K
'94 Toyota Camry LE 3.0 250K
'96 Lexus ES-300 3.0 280K
Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct] #4543886
10/15/17 10:13 AM
10/15/17 10:13 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 24,117
ON, Canada eh?
StevieC Offline
StevieC  Offline

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 24,117
ON, Canada eh?
I have used this brand in the past and the plastic ends that meet the metal it usually seeps coolant here. I also have used their oxygen sensors and they don't last very long. Just my experiences.


'18 Dodge Grand Caravan GT - 25k KM - AMSOIL SS 0w20

Fear 20wt oils if you want your engine to last. smirk2
Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct] #4543935
10/15/17 10:53 AM
10/15/17 10:53 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 2,559
The Northeast
mclasser Offline
mclasser  Offline

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 2,559
The Northeast
I've had one for the past 2 yrs. So far, so good.


2018 Hyundai Elantra VE
2013 Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD
2002 Honda Accord EX-L

Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct] #4543966
10/15/17 11:30 AM
10/15/17 11:30 AM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 5,524
DFW
DBMaster Offline
DBMaster  Offline

Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 5,524
DFW
I prefer Koyo. They're about the same price as the Spectra.

Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct] #4544119
10/15/17 02:15 PM
10/15/17 02:15 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 157
California
boom10ful Offline
boom10ful  Offline

Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 157
California
I'd go with Denso. Radiators nowadays are almost all made in the same factories. There's a local shop around me that charges $130 for a Chinese radiator and when I compared it to the ones from Rockauto they're identical down to the metal tubes. I took a gamble and bought a NOS OEM radiator for my car and when I installed it and ran it, the plastic end seals started leaking a lot more than my used one! I wouldn't buy one from a dealership because you don't know how long its been sitting there causing the seals to dryrot.

Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct] #4544190
10/15/17 03:58 PM
10/15/17 03:58 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 3,100
Central Maryland
HangFire Offline
HangFire  Offline

Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 3,100
Central Maryland
Originally Posted By: tomlct

This is an effort to track down a problem, when fully warmed up, then extended idle, the gauge was rising to around the 2/3 mark or higher, but not overheating. Now the gauge does not move as much so I hope I have a better flow of coolant.


Might be a partially stuck thermostat. Also might have some air bubbles in the system.


Various musings: http://hangfire.net
Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct] #4544196
10/15/17 04:07 PM
10/15/17 04:07 PM
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,868
Texas
GMBoy Offline
GMBoy  Offline

Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,868
Texas
I've used both Spectra and TYC with no issues.

Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct] #4544225
10/15/17 04:47 PM
10/15/17 04:47 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,202
Campbellsville, KY
Alex_V Offline
Alex_V  Offline

Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,202
Campbellsville, KY
Radiators get less efficient as deposits form on the metal surfaces inside and some of the passages in the core get plugged. No surprise your new rad. has the car running cooler.

I've installed several Spectra radiators in the last 2 years and I've always been pleased, relatively speaking. I'd still be fine if they were made of metal from top to bottom. laugh


To quote a friend, "Synthetics, man."

'85 GMC C3500, 454, 132K
'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 173K (totaled 2018, in rehab)
'85 Mercedes 300TD, OM617 turbo, 217K (wife's)
'67 Suburban, 350, 331K
Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: HangFire] #4544429
10/15/17 08:55 PM
10/15/17 08:55 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 34,077
ME
eljefino Offline
eljefino  Offline

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 34,077
ME
Originally Posted By: HangFire
Originally Posted By: tomlct

This is an effort to track down a problem, when fully warmed up, then extended idle, the gauge was rising to around the 2/3 mark or higher, but not overheating. Now the gauge does not move as much so I hope I have a better flow of coolant.


Might be a partially stuck thermostat. Also might have some air bubbles in the system.


This. You need to be gentle on the head gasket. Highly recommend drilling a hole in the top flange of your existing stat. Will make it warm up slightly more easily and dampen the temp swings. Will make it self-burp, too. Important since you won't get the little allen headed burp plug out of the water box.

Experience in two 2.5s, one in a Spirit, one in a dakota. Both got head gaskets.

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