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Discussion Starter #21
....Like all things in modern cars... The switch over to Aluminum was based on cost and weight.

There is no denying that aluminum weighs less. The weight savings contribute to epa/dot - fuel economy, weight classifications, etc. But remember, most aluminum radiators are fitted with plastic tanks too. Every wonder why Aluminum radiators are replaced, not rebuilt? Just a thought?
I'm not quite sure what your getting at here?...Two of the advantages of aluminium rads are that they don't use solder for attaching end tanks(which is a poor conductor of heat) and they last longer than copper rads.....

Most things I have read don't dispute that copper dissapates heat better than aluminium but the overall design of the aluminium radiator is much better and more effecient than the copper rads.

Here is some good reading..Just ignore the first column regarding the corvette stuff.

DeWitts - Why Aluminum
 

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I actually think if all things being equal and a copper radiator is taken care of, it will last longer. Aluminum, no matter what, just gets eaten away over time by minerals and other crap in your cooling system. Copper is much better at holding up to years of having coolant in them. Even a poorly taken care of copper radiator can be flushed and can be put back into service even if it needs some solder repair. I wouldn't bother touching an aluminum one that has been damaged or been sitting with coolant for an extended period of time neglected. That's why they just replace aluminum and repair copper. By the way, in how many repair shops do you see old copper radiators sitting around compared to how many old aluminum radiators you see sitting around? That's because the aluminum ones all go to the recycler. :)
 

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my 68 stang has the factory big block rad in it currently (with internal trans cooler). I'm on a weight saving kick with the car. Does anyone have an idea how much weight I'll save going with the aluminum rad like is in the article?

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I finally got around to wieghing the two rads..They are just like they are in the pics..The aluminium has the rad hoses attached and the stock rad has the shroud so the extra wieght should be pretty even..The aluminium wieghed in at 16lbs and the stock was very close to 20lbs..
 

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I'm a hydraulics design engineer, part of my job is calculating delta "T" across heat exchangers. There are so many factors to include in a question like this, that it becomes a giant project! but, bottom line...if the water flow, inlet temp, and air flow are the same through both radiators, the aluminum will reject a minimum of 35% more BTU's. Aluminum is a better conductor of heat than copper. One other critical factor, ONLY use enough anti-freeze to protect the engine from freezing, the higher the consentration of anti-freeze the less BTU rejection you will have! Good luck.
 

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I'm in So Cal and use NO antifreeze in my aluminum radiator. I use a water pump lubricant only. Works great. Also, make sure your engine is ground properly or you might have an electrolysis problem.
 

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I'm a hydraulics design engineer, part of my job is calculating delta "T" across heat exchangers. There are so many factors to include in a question like this, that it becomes a giant project! but, bottom line...if the water flow, inlet temp, and air flow are the same through both radiators, the aluminum will reject a minimum of 35% more BTU's. Aluminum is a better conductor of heat than copper. One other critical factor, ONLY use enough anti-freeze to protect the engine from freezing, the higher the consentration of anti-freeze the less BTU rejection you will have! Good luck.
Hi Grapvinestang

I'm new at all this aluminum radiator stuff.
My question is; Do I need to put a lot of anti freese into a the aluminum rad. while I live in Las Vegas. Its very rarely gets that cold here.

Thank You
GOD BLESS

Schooner
 

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pretty sure copper is a much better conductor of heat than aluminum, Heat sink rods are copper in industrial applications. but copper/bronze cant be built to as efficient a design as the stronger aluminum can. a copper rad built with the blueprints of an aluminum rad would be the best of both worlds-untill it fell apart.
 

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yah think so do yah ,Its hot here with the humidity actually its terrible runs arounf 43 -45 here humidity just wipes you out so it gets hot here as well
 

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Discussion Starter #33
I am not sure if you can get a Nothern Rad with a built in trans cooler or not...Since I am running a manual trans it was not an issue for me..You can always run an external trans cooler mounted out in front..Most guys with a "built" automatic trans or a higher stall convertor will want to run one anyway..
 

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What about the transmission cooling lines?

Champion cooling makes a great radiator for the price and they include tranny coolant options.

As far as the lines themselves? I'm running custom fabricated lines I had made at a hydraulic supply shop. They're "soft" lines rated at something like 400PSI and 800 degrees... if either of those are reached something is seriously wrong! ;)

I had them hook up quick connects on both sides so I can install and remove the pair in probably 5 minutes which includes getting the jack stands in place or driving the car up on ramps.

The best part of this is that they're pretty cheap. I think I had mine built for around $50.00 for the set and that included all sorts of little connectors to get the quick connect stuff functional.

I've bent my own tranny lines a couple times... I'll never do it again, this is so much easier and they also look better in my opinion.
 

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Do you need to ground the aluminum radiator as well as the block then?
With my aluminum radiator there was a small wire included... Didn't touch it, and its not connected now..
Absolutely. Ground it.

David
 

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A MAJOR point that has not been addressed in the thread is the fin count of the radiators in question, either aluminum or copper. As a prior operations manager for GE Heat Transfer we manufactured heat exchangers for nuke powerplants world wide, in addition to the Sea wolf submarines to name just a couple.
For the most part we used 90/10 copper nickle tubing and aluminum cooling fins. Occasionally we would get an order for copper finned heat exchangers, but for the most part they were cost prohibitive for the return on heat transfer.
Our design engineer was one of, if not THE gray beard of the industry. He actually had in his office the original heat transfer book. We referred to it as the holy grail. It was done in pencil including all the graphs during the great depression. As a matter of fact, the new heat transfer text books use the exact same graphs.
Anyway, back to the point. Fin count cannot be left out of the design criteria. Are there 12,14,16 18,20 fins per inch? Fin count equals cooling surface. Within reason, the greater the fin count and contact point (collar) between the tube and fin, the greater the opportunity for heat transfer. Other factors such as airflow and what you are putting through the cooling tubes, Glycol, holy water (super clean water) assist or impede heat transfer.
All other factors remaining the same, I would rather have a copper radiator with 16 fins per inch rather than an aluminum radiator with 12 fins per inch.
Fin count is probably more critical in this application than the material the cooling medium is flowing through.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
It seems this old thread has turned into a copper vs aluminium debate but all the info is cool (no pun intended)..I have long since updated the upper mount from the stock unit to just a couple of short pieces of threaded rod with two jam nuts to adjust the rad just where I wanted it..After that I covered the top with a simple piece of stainless to give it a much cleaner look.
 
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