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The word has come from my radiator guy that the radiator's shot. This certainly explains my recent overheating problems! It's down to 20% flow and needs either recoring or replacement. Recoring is going to run me ~$700. I haven't seen a lot of replacement radiator places for classics online (except all the really old-timey stuff like all-brass radiators).

Does anybody have a good vendor they recommend for new, replacement radiators? Do any exist?

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Hi-I'm a restorer and have had 2 radiators recored in the last year. One-a 53 Buick Roadmaster unit has a special core material which is expensive to buy-the car is a Skylark so we bit the bullet-$700 installed at my local radiator shop. The second was a 35 Chevy with original core-the cost for a similar core material was $400 installed which was a breath of fresh air after the Buick.

6 months later I found a 35 Chevy rad. NOS in the crate for less than $300.-a bargain which we no longer need.

My radiator repair guy explained the 53 core is an unusual material costly to buy from only one source.

So keep on looking and you might get lucky.

If I were going to drive the Chevy on a Great Race I'd buy the NOS radiator because I'd get new tanks which are less likely to be brittle than 70-80 year old used tanks.

Martin Lum

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A core is not just a core. How many rows? Fin density? More rows and fins = better cooling and the repairer ought to be able to tell you what he is planning to use.

BTW, my 56 radiator was $500 in 2003. 3 row w/ extra fins.

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Don Hart Radiator Repair in Waller, Texas. $400 for new radiator core four years ago for my 1958 Rambler Ambassador 4-dr. hardtop station wagon (327 V-8, not some wimpy Rambler six!). They have a web site and they will make a new one if you send them your old one.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

(yes, guys, I own a Rambler)

1925 Buick model 26

1949 Buick model 56-S

1949 Buick model 59

1950 Buick model 76-R

1954 Buick model 48-D

1959 Buick Electra 2-dr. ht.

1962 Buick Electra 225 4-dr. ht.

1963 Buick Wildcat conv.

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Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

(yes, guys, I own a Rambler)

QUOTE]

Oohhhh a Rambler... LOL.. Actually, there is a fellow local to me who has a 60? Rambler Ambassador with a factory 4 speed, dual shifter car with overdrive. Quite sweet! Gotta look and see if I have a picture.

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If the radiator was not leaking when delivered to the radiator shop, and if the shop did not at least take off the top tank and attempt to rod it, it may not be shot. I have three 55's that are using original radiators. 20 years ago I took one with overheating problems to a radiator shop and after a simple visual inspection they determined that I needed a new core for $500. I took it to another shop that quoted a core for $250 and left it. They called 2 hours later and said it was ready --- it was sound and all it needed was to be rodded ($75) --- I just drove that same car 4664 miles (75,000 miles since repair) without problems with that radiator (the heater did leak :( ).

In the meantime my 76 Olds has had 3 new cores or radiators installed...it seems that the replacement cores or radiators are junk!

Willie

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I just had my 58 radiator done for $500 ....the heater core was $300. I had to change my pants after he told me about the heater core, since the last heater core I did was $140 in 2005. He upgraded my radiator to a 3 row, though. It was a 2 row.

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Definitely go 3 row if you can...they used a factory 2 row core in my Special for about $475 4 years ago, but I wish I would have spent a little to go bigger at that time. It runs nice and cool most of the time, but easing up toward 65-70 MPH for awhile on the freeway, and then getting into stop and go traffic still makes it run a little warm, in the upper range of normal. Even with a Caddy limo 7 bladed fan!

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My upper and lower tanks were good. Did a 3 row for my '50 for $475 at Mel and sons. Concord CA.

I'll have to keep them in mind.

In the meantime I was thinking about how ugly the recored radiator would look against its support bracket so I took it off. At first I thought it was riveted to the chassis, but I found the 15/16" nut and lock washer securing it to the bottom. The impact wrench made short work of it.

rad10.jpg

The bottom of the support bracket with its integral bolt. Note the rectangle of... something that acted as a spacer of sorts between the bottom edge of the bracket and the chassis.

rad15.jpg

rad16.jpg

I'm not sure what exactly it's made of; I gently pried it off the bolt and separated one of the six or possibly seven layers that make it up. I can't tell whether it's like gasket cork, leather, some kind of impregnated cardboard, or what. I first thought they might be rubber but they're brown and vaguely fibrous inside. Not really sure what to replace it with; none of my parts catalogs or the shop manual make any reference to it that I can find.

rad17.jpg

Does anybody here even know what this stuff/thing is called? I could put it back on the bracket when it's repainted but obviously I'd rather replace it with something a little fresher.

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That body mount takes some of the road shocks off of the radiator, is my guess.

Okay, I took a photo of my '58 Rambler Ambassador 4-dr. hardtop wagon today. Forgive me for hijacking this thread! I hope you guys will let me back after this. Either 196 or 186 (can't recall which) of these were made and it is one of two known in existence today. That's the original paint.

Pete Phillips

post-32059-143138650069_thumb.jpg

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