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Eric W

Radiator: 1951 40-series, Dynaflow

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Somewhere in the forum I found a post that listed the exact part number for the radiator for the 1951 40-series with Dynaflow, and what other years interchanged. I wrote it down, then lost what I wrote & can't find the post again. Anyone have that info? I believe it's a common part across 1950-52, but want to check. My '51 does not have the original radiator & rather than restore/recore this mystery part, I need to start over with the right radiator.

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According to my 1950s Buick parts manual, 1950 through 1952 40-series and 50-series have the same radiator core. I assume the only tank differences are whether or not it has the connection for the Dynaflow cooling hose in the bottom tank. Pete Phillips, BCA #7338, Leonard, Tx.

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Pete:

According to my Buick parts book, 1950-52 Series 40 and 50 with DF use Gr. 1.219, part #3123756, a Harrison part. The core or perhaps the entire radiator interchanges with some Oldsmobiles, primarily 1950-52 Series 88 and 1951-52 Series 98. There is a note in the Thompsons Interchange that says the Series 40 is reported by other sellers as being a 2" wide core while the Series 50 is reported as a 2 and 1/2" core.

Joe, BCA 33493

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I assume the only tank differences are whether or not it has the connection for the Dynaflow cooling hose in the bottom tank. Pete Phillips, BCA #7338, Leonard, Tx.

Pete,

Could you expand on that? Did some of them have that connection? My Dynaflow cooler line runs out of the water pump and into the lower thermostat housing. I've never seen one with a connection to the bottom radiator tank.

Edited by shadetree77 (see edit history)

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Pete,...I've never seen one with a connection to the bottom radiator tank.

Echoing Robert on this.

post-61965-143142177682_thumb.jpg

I think Old Tank put these up here a while back for us. Looks like (on paper) that the transmission cooler lines routed from the water pump up to 1955.

Dan

post-61965-143142177677_thumb.jpg

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Thanks, guys! I found a '50 on eBay being parted out, and there's DVAP about an hour up the road that may have a car or two with this radiator.

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Sorry--forget about what I wrote re.: hose attachment to radiator. I was thinking of the '54 that is in my garage right now with the small hose coming out of radiator's lower corner. Pete

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The 1953 Special with Dynaflow has a different radiator than the earlier straight eights. This radiator has a small 5/8" pipe nipple at the bottom. If you study the figures above for the heater hose routings you will see that the 1953 Series 40 shows the hose from the defroster going to the bottom of the radiator.

Joe, BCA 33493

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... and there's DVAP about an hour up the road ...

You are one lucky guy to be that close to DVAP

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Got to DVAP Casa Grande today. Photos in another thread. They let me do my own "inventory search" for them (they will let you into the yard). There was one compatible radiator for my car, and the guy in the office actually talked me out of it - based on poor condition, he felt it would be more trouble than it's worth. I just missed a decent looking one on eBay this week. Anyone have a Harrison 3123756 - I'll ask on forsale/wanted.

I also asked about a spare wheel - he said stocker steelies are $50 + shipping (and for me, tax). Couple of dashboard parts (knobs) I need for the '55 - I forgot to look inside the '54-'55's while I was there. I have another reason to be back thru Casa Grande in Feb, and again in March, so I'll probably stop in there again.

Not much to see here:

post-92541-143142249449_thumb.jpg

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Can anyone with the Dynaflow-equipped 50-52 non-Roadmaster provide these dimensions? This is a photo I grabbed, I don't have the radiator to measure.

Top to bottom of core (matrix), Side to side of core (matrix, inside-to-inside) or side-to-side of core flange-to-flange - see photo:

post-92541-143142269935_thumb.jpg

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Thanks Dave - one more question - how much space is between the fan & radiator core? I would mock this up on my car, but I have all the accessories off the front of the engine now & the (incorrect) radiator out. Even if it was all back together, I wouldn't get a good measurement...

I have found a couple of possiblities made by Griffin on the Summit website that might work. They are a little narrower, but the height is almost exact, and given that they are Aluminum, all-new, and a little thicker than stock, the slightly smaller area due to the lower width should not be a problem. I calculated the stock radiator would have 935 in^3 of cooling "volume", where the Griffin would have 1282 in^3 volume in a slightly narrower but thicker package. If this works, $220 for brand new is going to be hard to beat. Also avoids having to deal with making an old one perform / get re-cored, etc.

I'm trying to preserve at least some of the original appearance by running the correct radiator support. Y'all who know about these cars might ask, how can you not run the correct radiator support? The radiator support also supports the FENDERS. Well, in my car, to get that big honker of a truck radiator in, someone way back when cut out the cross-beam and diagonal from the radiator support, so the radiator itself is taking the downward load of the fenders - rather than having the built-in cross beam take that load. I have bought a replacement radiator support that has the complete cross-beam and diagonal. I'm trying to plan it so that the radiator I put in there will clear the fan.

If the clearance to the fan is minimal, I might be able to get a little more by cutting down the fan spacer on the pulley. Of course, this just gives up fan clearance on the back side of the fan to the other stuff on the front of the engine, but there may be a little there to give.

If this works, we might have a relatively low cost way to replace blown out old radiators for these '50-'52 cars...

OR

Does anyone know of anyone making reproduction exact-fit new radiators for these cars? I haven't been able to find any.

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Do you have a shroud? The fan should be spaced half way in the shroud opening, the distance to the core is not critical except to be adequate for clearance, minimum of 1" would be best to allow for movement and twisting. I would highly recommend a shroud, it greatly improves airflow thru the radiator.

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No, I'm not that far yet. I don't know that '50-'52 even had a shroud.

I'm trying to figure out a radiator that can fit, given I can't find an "exact fit" replica radiator. I got the car with an incorrect, I'm guessing maybe mid '50's possibly pickup truck radiator, so rather than putting any money into repairing that, I'll put the money into either a NOS, reproduction, or close-as-I-can-get new radiator. The trick with the '50-'52 (and maybe others) is the radiator frame has a cross-beam and diagonal because the radiator mounting frame supports the fenders. The cross-beam and diagonal prevent moving the radiator more forwards to clear the fan, unless you did what someone did in my car's history and CUT OUT the cross-beam and diagonal. I can already see the fenders on my car sag outwards - the dimension across the radiator frame on my car is about an inch more at the top of the frame where the weight of the fenders pulls on it.

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Eric- my radiator and support are off of the car, so i can't answer your question. Also, no shroud on these cars.

Thanks Dave - one more question - how much space is between the fan & radiator core? I would mock this up on my car, but I have all the accessories off the front of the engine now & the (incorrect) radiator out. Even if it was all back together, I wouldn't get a good measurement...

I have found a couple of possiblities made by Griffin on the Summit website that might work. They are a little narrower, but the height is almost exact, and given that they are Aluminum, all-new, and a little thicker than stock, the slightly smaller area due to the lower width should not be a problem. I calculated the stock radiator would have 935 in^3 of cooling "volume", where the Griffin would have 1282 in^3 volume in a slightly narrower but thicker package. If this works, $220 for brand new is going to be hard to beat. Also avoids having to deal with making an old one perform / get re-cored, etc.

I'm trying to preserve at least some of the original appearance by running the correct radiator support. Y'all who know about these cars might ask, how can you not run the correct radiator support? The radiator support also supports the FENDERS. Well, in my car, to get that big honker of a truck radiator in, someone way back when cut out the cross-beam and diagonal from the radiator support, so the radiator itself is taking the downward load of the fenders - rather than having the built-in cross beam take that load. I have bought a replacement radiator support that has the complete cross-beam and diagonal. I'm trying to plan it so that the radiator I put in there will clear the fan.

If the clearance to the fan is minimal, I might be able to get a little more by cutting down the fan spacer on the pulley. Of course, this just gives up fan clearance on the back side of the fan to the other stuff on the front of the engine, but there may be a little there to give.

If this works, we might have a relatively low cost way to replace blown out old radiators for these '50-'52 cars...

OR

Does anyone know of anyone making reproduction exact-fit new radiators for these cars? I haven't been able to find any.

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Thanks Dave - I was looking at engine photos today and it seems the design concept for "pre shroud" cars was to get the fan really close to the core. Makes sense, but might not work so well with the slightly thicker off-the-shelf radiators I've found. Anyone else have an assembled car to check the rad-to-fan distance? And while you're in there, how much could the fan be moved back? What's the next thing the fan would hit? The drive belt? I've actually seen a little light at what might be the end of this tunnel - one of the engine photos showed pretty much EXACTLY what I'm talking about here - the factory radiator support complete, with a newer radiator fitting in behind it. Someone's done this already. I just need to figure out what radiator was used...

post-92541-143142272962_thumb.jpg

Edited by Eric W
Added photo (see edit history)

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Found something close. One of these might even be the radiator in the photo above.

http://wizardcooling.com/buick

Though they say the "1950 Buick Street Rod Custom Al Radiator" is for replacement of original 6-cylinder radiator. I'm guessing what they really made here was the standard-trans size of radiator. And the other one, with the wider core, is for "replacement of original V8 radiator". And they list this one as for "Manual" "No transmission cooler", or with a "built in transmission cooler" option for additional cost.

Though if you're going to make a custom-designed radiator, why not retain the original inlet/outlet configuration? Looks like they have the inlet too far over to the left, the outlet should be an elbow, and the fill cap should be offset to the right. With those things done right, paint it black, and it would blend right in...

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