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Ransom
Ransom UberDork
1/3/14 12:51 p.m.

I've basically just decided that between the Ebay $100 aluminum radiators made in China and the $220 locally rebuilt brass unit (reputable shop), I'm going with the local one for the '63 Ranchero.

I figure most of the alu radiators are of sufficient quality. I really, really (really) don't want this to be a political thing, but I has a sad when I think about working conditions the alu rads are made under (or more accurately, the inability to know that they're okay in a place where it seems to be fairly commonly not okay). I'm not holier than thou or anybody else. I was only saved from caving in and buying a made-in-China Jazzmaster copy the other day by one too many dubious reviews.

The Ranchero, mercifully, will probably not tax its cooling system horrifically, and it's not some corner-carver where I'm especially worried about pulling 5 lbs off the nose.

The remaining thing I'm wondering is that since brass isn't exactly the cheapest material on Earth, is there an aluminum radiator supplier that's somewhere in the same ballpark as the local brass unit? I mean, if it can be lighter and more effective for similar money, I'd be a dummy not to do it...

Tried a quick Google; Summit wants over $575 for a Griffin for this application (list $650). Be Cool I don't think has an exact fit, but with a little fiddling I can get one of theirs for similar money to the local brass unit... Others to consider? Experiences with the Be Cool?

Ranger50
Ranger50 PowerDork
1/3/14 12:55 p.m.

Afco? Northern?

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
1/3/14 12:57 p.m.

Griffin universal radiators are substantially cheaper, as are AFCO if you're willing to do some work.

Also maybe consider Mishimoto for universal application. Think you can get one of theirs for under $300.

The problem is that exact fitment stuff like this is expensive for the most part.

However, i've been buying a lot of ebay "racing" radiators lately, and they're holding up great.

Found this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-ROW-17-CORE-ALUMINUM-RACING-RADIATOR-60-66-FORD-SMALL-BLOCK-FALCON-3-3L-l6-V8-/400637531932?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Model%3ARanchero&vxp=mtr&hash=item5d47db971c

That work for you? Could also check through the 848 listings for "radiator" that that seller has right now to see if there's something else you think could easily work.

Ransom
Ransom UberDork
1/3/14 1:10 p.m.

Cool, thanks guys! That already triples my leads...

SFO, the Speed Daddy rads appear to be made in China (after some Googling). Not the end of the world, but did you read my post?

bgkast
bgkast Dork
1/3/14 1:22 p.m.

I'm looking at an fsr for my build. http://www.fsrproducts.com

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
1/3/14 1:41 p.m.
Ransom wrote: Cool, thanks guys! That already triples my leads... SFO, the Speed Daddy rads appear to be made in China (after some Googling). Not the end of the world, but did you read my post?

Yep i did, i should have elaborated further:

I run a Griffin on the Escort, and a Speed Daddy on the MSM and the Cherokee. (Well, once i install it.)

I couldn't find anything negative to point out about the Speed Daddy when compared to the Griffin, and in fact, the MSM Speed Daddy unit was 100% identical to the equivalent Mishimoto radiator i compared it to at the time. (Even has "plaque" holes where Mishimoto puts their badge)

My feelings certainly aren't hurt if you don't buy one, but i've had great luck with them. Wish they had one for my MX6 so i can stop buying piece of E36 M3 Made in USA OEM replacements that don't last a year.

Ransom
Ransom UberDork
1/3/14 1:47 p.m.

In reply to bgkast:

Excellent; just emailed to ask for dimensions or photos for their '64-'66 Mustang radiator...

Ransom
Ransom UberDork
1/3/14 2:05 p.m.

In reply to Swank Force One:

I just mean that I'm not worried about the quality of the radiator so much as the quality of the treatment of the person holding the TIG torch... As I re-read my post, I guess I more hinted at that than spelled it out.

In any case, it is very much useful information that the radiators have worked out well, and it's entirely possible that I'll end up acting on that information down the road on some other application, so thanks very much for that!

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 Dork
1/3/14 2:22 p.m.

yup. i use a ton of champion radiators. made in china, but lifetime warrenty through american distributors. they flat work, and i like the way they do their packaging. (look in the drivabeater thread)

fidelity101
fidelity101 Dork
1/3/14 2:30 p.m.

+1 for griffin, EXCELLENT quality and a lot of choices to choose from for basically any application.

Also, they are not made out of Chinesium, they are made in South Carolina.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill UberDork
1/3/14 3:00 p.m.

Once upon a time Griffin made brass radiators for about 1/2 what the alum rads cost and they were rebuildable. I do not know if they still do. I think their radiators are now made in Charlotte, NC area. area.

series8217
series8217 New Reader
1/3/14 4:24 p.m.

I bought an Ebay "3 core" for my Fiero and sent it back. The "polished" finish was chrome spray paint all over the radiator (including the fins), and it utilized an old-style narrow-tube core (0.75" width or less). I now have a Griffin 2-core (the cores are like 1.25" wide each -- more surface area than the ebay 3-core). Haven't installed it yet. Looks like a good product though. Same price as the Ebay junk...

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
1/3/14 4:29 p.m.

I'd like to know where you're getting Griffins for Ebay prices, because i'd like to buy oh.... 4.

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
1/3/14 5:04 p.m.
Ransom wrote: I've basically just decided that between the Ebay $100 aluminum radiators made in China and the $220 locally rebuilt brass unit (reputable shop), I'm going with the local one for the '63 Ranchero. I figure most of the alu radiators are of sufficient quality. I really, really (really) don't want this to be a political thing, but I has a sad when I think about working conditions the alu rads are made under (or more accurately, the inability to know that they're okay in a place where it seems to be fairly commonly not okay). I'm not holier than thou or anybody else. I was only saved from caving in and buying a made-in-China Jazzmaster copy the other day by one too many dubious reviews. The Ranchero, mercifully, will probably not tax its cooling system horrifically, and it's not some corner-carver where I'm *especially* worried about pulling 5 lbs off the nose. The remaining thing I'm wondering is that since brass isn't exactly the cheapest material on Earth, is there an aluminum radiator supplier that's *somewhere* in the same ballpark as the local brass unit? I mean, if it can be lighter and more effective for similar money, I'd be a dummy not to do it... Tried a quick Google; Summit wants over $575 for a Griffin for this application (list $650). Be Cool I don't think has an exact fit, but with a little fiddling I can get one of theirs for similar money to the local brass unit... Others to consider? Experiences with the Be Cool?

Semi-related, and this will probably turn into a mini-rant because I'm really bored and it's 18 degrees in my garage since my wife opened the damn door and left it open I use a "Koyostar" brand radiator in my rallycross car. It's Chinese (hey, they even knock off the Japanese brand name....). That said, I actually have firsthand knowledge about the factory complex that builds them (my job involves knowing a lot about China), and here's some interesting things: It's a very modern factory (no less than any American factory), and by no means a sweatshop. It complies with all kinds of ISO standards and they are checked, as the company builds things for non-Chinese companies (including some parts for Japanese cars). Most of the workers there are residents of Guangzhou, which is a major economic center of China. They're not a bunch of country peasant laborers....they're "industrial workers" just like some American who builds AC Delco parts in a factory someplace, etc....I'm sure they get paid far less than the AC Delco workers do, but our concept of "hourly" isn't always relevant to other countries.

I will note that the radiator I got is identical in almost every way to a friend's Mishimoto. The welds and gussets look the same, the fit and finish is the same, etc.

I'm not justifying anything, but I am saying that we really shouldn't have a default "if it's made in China it's crap and made by peasants in a sweatshop" opinion. I watch China for a living. There is certainly hardship there, lots of pollution, and people working for pauper wages in sweatshops (primarily in the far-inland industrial zones that produce products for use in-country). A good deal of exported equipment is built in large coastal economic powerhouse cities that look a hell of a lot nicer than Detroit ever did, and have better working conditions than American industrial workers did "back in the day." And a good portion of them use the same CNC, fabrication, and manufacturing equipment that western factories do. I've gotten great stuff (and crappy stuff) from China. I've also gotten great stuff and crappy stuff that is "Made in the USA" or "Made in Germany" as well.....YMMV. Hell, go read up on the quality problems on the US Navy's newest Littoral Combat Ships (made in the USA). SOme of the worst welding and metalwork I've ever seen in the shipping industry......

China has a ways to go for sure, but don't get too teary-eyed about the workers there. Most of them aren't living any worse a life than the guy you buy a soda from at the 7-11 or the cashier at Wal-mart (who you don't shed tears for, I'm sure).

Ransom
Ransom UberDork
1/3/14 6:03 p.m.

In reply to irish44j:

Well, I'd say it might be a bridge too far to say I don't care about low-paid workers in here (or that I think it's sufficient to pay a TIG weldor enough for a 7-Eleven standard of living), but that's an awesome and informative post. Thank you.

It's reasonably clear in my initial post, I think, that it's not the quality of the parts I'm concerned about. While I could have been more forceful in that distinction, it's sort of interesting (and perhaps slightly frustrating) that many replies have ignored (or minimized) that part in favor of reassuring that the part quality is fine.

I mean, on a function for function basis, I'll take the $100 alu rad over the $220 brass one every day and twice on Sunday. It's lighter, cooler, and, well, cooler. But that's not the whole point.

There's no simple answer. I'm taking my best guess with each purchase. I'll continue to buy some Chinese stuff, but there are times I look at a product and think that there's just no way that's winding up in my hands for such a paltry sum without some corners being cut somewhere. Again from my initial post, I'm in no position to be uppity about it. I'm just a member of the global humanity, hoping to vote with my paltry dollars for everybody to be treated as well as possible.

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
1/3/14 6:25 p.m.

I totally agree. For every cheap HF tool that works perfectly and lasts forever, there are just as many cheap HF tools that are complete junk. I'd say with Chinese stuff it's just worth doing the research on the company that makes it to see (reading Chinese helps, but most of the "big" companies there also have corporate/business information in English). And in many cases, raw material simply costs less in China or in other places. China produces over ten times the aluminum per year that America does, so serves that it's probably a lot cheaper there than here. Labor costs, and insurance costs are lower (not nearly as many tort/liability laws there that US businesses pay $$$$ to insure against.....

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
1/3/14 6:28 p.m.

I bought a Speedway chevy style 2 core in 26" for under $200 a year or so ago for my E30. If you can TIG up your own flanges or know someone who can it's a no-brainer if they still sell 'em.

patgizz
patgizz UberDork
1/3/14 11:19 p.m.

the howe racing radiator in my belair is holding up great after 8 years. it was in the ballpark of your local recored unit.

blaze86vic
blaze86vic Reader
1/4/14 12:29 a.m.

I run a "Summit Brand" aluminum radiator in my Crown Vic. Has worked great for years.

Snrub
Snrub New Reader
1/4/14 10:51 a.m.

I had a Howe radiator in my turbo FC. I was able to significantly oversize it. It was great. It was inexpensive.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe Dork
1/4/14 4:38 p.m.
fidelity101 wrote: +1 for griffin, EXCELLENT quality and a lot of choices to choose from for basically any application. Also, they are not made out of Chinesium, they are made in South Carolina.

Another +1 form me they really work well.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon MegaDork
1/4/14 7:58 p.m.

Griffin makes EXCELLENT stuff but it's just plain out of my price range. I have one of the Speedway 'universal' double pass aluminum radiators in the race car, I've been very happy with it.

Ransom
Ransom UberDork
1/4/14 8:02 p.m.

For I don't know how manyth time, I love this forum

series8217
series8217 New Reader
1/5/14 3:21 a.m.
Swank Force One wrote: I'd like to know where you're getting Griffins for Ebay prices, because i'd like to buy oh.... 4.

Maybe just the one I bought?

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/gri-1-25201-xs

$173 shipped. Actually I think that's cheaper than the ebay one I had. I do have to change the tube sizes on the Griffin to make it fit, but that's pretty easy..

BTW it appears to be two 1" tubes, not two 1.25" as I said before.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
1/5/14 10:02 a.m.

Yeahhh... my Griffin was well over $300.

Update on the Cherokee Ebay radiator, installed it yesterday. Core looks great, end tanks look great, and it doesnt leak.

The tabs that the a/c condenser sit in weren't close to right, and the studs up top that hold the rubber standoffs also weren't right, and made of very E36 M3ty metal. Two snapped without any real force.

I'm still glad I went with it instead of another parts store piece of E36 M3, or spending HUGE money on a brand name.one, but i'm going to go back to the seller and demand some.money back, since this was advertised as direct fit, and it really wasn't.

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