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Thread: Custom Radiators

  1. #1

    Custom Radiators

    I've been working on the cooling system of a Diablo replica with a 350 chevrolet engine in it that would overheat in minutes. The original builder shoe horned a radiator between the back of the cab and the engine, which also put it directly on top of the mufflers. I put two small aluminum radiators in the rear of the car which worked much better but didnt have quite enough capacity.

    So I just finished building a pair of these for a it. Each radiator is built from two new Honda Civic aluminum two core radiators. The end result is a 4" thick 4 core radiator with an aluminum fan shroud attached. (the pictures are of the drivers side radiator)

    What do you think?







  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    611

    Re: Custom Radiators

    ;D good job, now this is thinking outside the box ;D that should take care of your problem ;D

  3. #3

    Re: Custom Radiators

    The rad is going to work great as long as it has coolant in it.
    What do I mean? That rad will probably not have coolant in it unless you install a vent tube in the top.
    All engines create air/ steam in the cooling systems. When the steam gets to the top of the rad it stops the coolant flow and does not allow the rad to fill.
    You need to install a pressure tank (highest point in the system) and run vent tubes from the top of both rads and the top of the engine (stat housing) to this pressure tank.
    The pressure tank has a large port on the bottom so the coolant takes the place of the steam.

    Let me guess, your car would overheat in about 5 minutes even at minus 5 degrees. -- This condition is not poor rads, it is no coolant flow or air in the system.

    Great welding skills with aluminum man, good job.


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    251

    Re: Custom Radiators

    good job, but one question. does it fit with that fan/shroud, without hitting the tyres or rear panel? I dont thing I could not fit it in my roadster . ( tube chassis)

  5. #5

    Re: Custom Radiators

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinner
    The rad is going to work great as long as it has coolant in it.
    What do I mean? That rad will probably not have coolant in it unless you install a vent tube in the top.
    All engines create air/ steam in the cooling systems. When the steam gets to the top of the rad it stops the coolant flow and does not allow the rad to fill.
    You need to install a pressure tank (highest point in the system) and run vent tubes from the top of both rads and the top of the engine (stat housing) to this pressure tank.
    The pressure tank has a large port on the bottom so the coolant takes the place of the steam.

    Let me guess, your car would overheat in about 5 minutes even at minus 5 degrees. -- This condition is not poor rads, it is no coolant flow or air in the system.

    Great welding skills with aluminum man, good job.


  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    106

    Re: Custom Radiators

    once you get these worked out with the pressure tank and all you should sell these as kits once you've worked out the details on your car. Add brackets to the top and bottom for ease of mount, maybe a bung on each for temp based fan switches, and include a nice aluminum pressure tank that people can mount up high and i bet you'd have many interested people,


    If its ready in time for me (god knows how many weekends it'll take to get that ls3 in my Vendetta) I'd want a set, though mine mount on the side of the car not the back

    http://www.gagliardidesign.com/donorcooling.html




  7. #7

    Re: Custom Radiators

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinner
    The rad is going to work great as long as it has coolant in it.
    What do I mean? That rad will probably not have coolant in it unless you install a vent tube in the top.
    All engines create air/ steam in the cooling systems. When the steam gets to the top of the rad it stops the coolant flow and does not allow the rad to fill.
    You need to install a pressure tank (highest point in the system) and run vent tubes from the top of both rads and the top of the engine (stat housing) to this pressure tank.
    The pressure tank has a large port on the bottom so the coolant takes the place of the steam.

    Let me guess, your car would overheat in about 5 minutes even at minus 5 degrees. -- This condition is not poor rads, it is no coolant flow or air in the system.

    Great welding skills with aluminum man, good job.

    If you look at the top of the radiator in the picture you can see a small plug in it. I reused the drain plug bungs from the Civic radiators and put one in the bottom tank for a drain and the other in the top for an air bleed or a port for a vent tube if it's needed.

    The previous setup would overheat in a matter of minutes but that was with a large single radiator sitting in front of the engine where it could get no airflow at all. It was not the high point in the system, the intake manifold mounted thermostat housing/radiator cap adapter was. Some jackass mounted this radiator 1/4" above the cherry bomb mufflers that they put under the front of the engine. (obviously this is a real hacked up build!) It also had a "fan shroud" glued to the radiator about 1/4" from the fins with a 12" fan on it. There was never a possibility that it would work.

    The first set up I built for this car was with two of the Civic radiators in the rear. It worked great for the first two transfer cycles but heat would build up slowly to the point that the car would get up to around 210 with a 190 thermostat in it. It wouldnt cool well at all with the 160 thermostat that was in it when I got it, so I put the 190 in it. Once the 190 was in it worked much better with the coolant having more time to sit in the radiator but the radiator capacity was too low and the car would slowly build up heat, about 45 minutes or so to get up to 210.

    As you probably know, it's not real easy to find radiators with any kind of serious capacity that fit in such a small area. Doubling up on them seemed to be the thing to do and I'm confident that the additional capacity will keep the temp wherever I want it. I'll have them back on sometime this week so we'll know for sure. I'll post up some installed pics and results.

    Thanks for the input and the compliment!

  8. #8

    Re: Custom Radiators

    Quote Originally Posted by 0rcc
    good job, but one question. does it fit with that fan/shroud, without hitting the tyres or rear panel? I dont thing I could not fit it in my roadster . ( tube chassis)
    Yes they fit. I tapered the shroud to give it a little extra room at the bottom of the rear panels. I'll post up installed pics later on this week.

  9. #9

    Re: Custom Radiators

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey078
    once you get these worked out with the pressure tank and all you should sell these as kits once you've worked out the details on your car. Add brackets to the top and bottom for ease of mount, maybe a bung on each for temp based fan switches, and include a nice aluminum pressure tank that people can mount up high and i bet you'd have many interested people,


    If its ready in time for me (god knows how many weekends it'll take to get that ls3 in my Vendetta) I'd want a set, though mine mount on the side of the car not the back

    http://www.gagliardidesign.com/donorcooling.html

    I can build more of them if anyone needs them. They'd have to run about $500 per radiator though. There's a couple hundred in materials and about 8 hours of fab time per radiator! Still cheaper then anything you can buy that even comes close to fitting in such a small area with this much cooling capacity. Brackets and bungs are no problem.

    They'd mount great on the side of the Vendetta.

  10. #10

    Re: Custom Radiators

    I might be concerned if that small fan can suck or blow thru 4 " of radiator fins :
    it is better to increase over all surface area than thickness

    I am just saying so dont start barking at me

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