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#4543801 - 10/15/17 08:29 AM Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators?
tomlct Offline


Registered: 08/21/14
Posts: 32
Loc: 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.

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#4543816 - 10/15/17 08:52 AM Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct]
Chris142 Online   content


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16817
Loc: 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 durablend 10w40
87 F250 traveler 15w40
04 Tahoe super-s 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
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#4543829 - 10/15/17 09:14 AM Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: 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!
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(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."

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#4543831 - 10/15/17 09:15 AM Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: Chris142]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: 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."

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#4543842 - 10/15/17 09:29 AM Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct]
Audios Offline


Registered: 11/19/11
Posts: 881
Loc: 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.


Edited by Audios (10/15/17 09:29 AM)
_________________________
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#4543876 - 10/15/17 10:02 AM Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: Audios]
Chris142 Online   content


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16817
Loc: 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 durablend 10w40
87 F250 traveler 15w40
04 Tahoe super-s 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor 15w40

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#4543877 - 10/15/17 10:03 AM Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct]
delaware74b Offline


Registered: 06/05/16
Posts: 10
Loc: 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.
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'04 Ford Ranger S/C 3.0 M5OD 293K
'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

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#4543886 - 10/15/17 10:13 AM Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 17116
Loc: Ontario, Canada
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.
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'15 Dodge Journey - 90,000 KM's - SSO 5w20
'06 Hyundai Santa Fe - 535,000km - SSO 0w30 (R.I.P)

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#4543935 - 10/15/17 10:53 AM Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct]
mclasser Offline


Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 2223
Loc: The Northeast
I've had one for the past 2 yrs. So far, so good.
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2018 Hyundai Elantra VE -- 3K
2013 Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD -- 55K
2002 Honda Accord EX-L -- 210K


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#4543966 - 10/15/17 11:30 AM Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct]
DBMaster Offline


Registered: 09/18/12
Posts: 5322
Loc: DFW
I prefer Koyo. They're about the same price as the Spectra.

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#4544119 - 10/15/17 02:15 PM Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct]
boom10ful Offline


Registered: 01/17/17
Posts: 128
Loc: 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.

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#4544190 - 10/15/17 03:58 PM Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct]
HangFire Offline


Registered: 08/21/13
Posts: 2506
Loc: 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

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#4544196 - 10/15/17 04:07 PM Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct]
GMBoy Offline


Registered: 11/22/04
Posts: 7702
Loc: Texas
I've used both Spectra and TYC with no issues.

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#4544225 - 10/15/17 04:47 PM Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: tomlct]
Alex_V Offline


Registered: 04/10/16
Posts: 1155
Loc: 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
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'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 167K
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#4544429 - 10/15/17 08:55 PM Re: Has anyone used Spectra replacement radiators? [Re: HangFire]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32631
Loc: 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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