DShoes

US Radiator: which for '65 base model Rivieria?

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Gentlemen,

 

I'm looking to replace my old and worn out OEM radiator on my 65 base model. I've heard good things via this group about US Radiator. What have folks' experience been with them and their products? And which radiator should I be looking at and why?

 

http://www.usradiator.com/buick-riviera-1963-65-v8-radiator.html

 

Is the swap out do-able for a relative novice?

 

Many Thanks,

David

ROA #15463

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If I were you, I'd be going for this one.

 

005070AADZ Yes 4 YES

2-5/8

It's for an a/c car

It has four rows of cores

and it has the cooler for an automatic transmission. (hence the A in the part number in lieu of an S [Standard trans] in the one above it with the same basic dimensions.)

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Thanks RivNut. I should’ve specified I do not have A/C. 

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Call the manufacturer and ask what the differences are beteween the radiators for a/c cars and non a/c cars.  From the descriptions there are different part numbers for each but they appear to be the same.  Best bet is the guy who builds them.  Tell him that you'll be sharing your findings with the other members of this forum.  If he sees some free advertising, he's liable to tell you more.

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Any how-to tips from anyone who has replaced a radiator?

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Posted (edited)

On a non a/c car, you have the top support bolted to the core support.  Remove that bracket and the radiator is free from the chassis.  Remove the automatic transmission cooling lines for the bottom tank on the radiator and the hoses from the radiator.  Then just lift the radiator out being careful to keep the fins away from the fan and the core support.

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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Thank you (again) RivNut. I hoped it would be that straightforward, but wasn’t sure!

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5 hours ago, DShoes said:

And which radiator should I be looking at and why?

 

Get the biggest one you can.

 

When you’re sliding the new radiator in, put a piece of cardboard in front of the fan.

 

But I have to ask: how does a radiator wear out?  Is it plugged or leaking?

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12 hours ago, KongaMan said:

 

Get the biggest one you can.

 

When you’re sliding the new radiator in, put a piece of cardboard in front of the fan.

 

But I have to ask: how does a radiator wear out?  Is it plugged or leaking?

Thanks KongaMan. Appreciate the install tip.

 

The old radiator is leaking quite bad. Multiple places along the seams have failed. A number of the fins are bent as well. 

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Consider using your old tanks and just having them recored.

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Posted (edited)

I agree, I have done about a dozen or so 63-65 Riv radiators and the best is a re-cored stock one. A good shop can squeeze a big 4 core on the stock tanks.  I prefer that over any new currently available radiator, including the US ones. 

Edited by DualQuadDave (see edit history)

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Good thoughts, gentlemen. Makes a lot of sense. Thank you. I currently have a request into these guys for a quote. Seems like an experienced shop here in the PacNW that likes taking on these older radiator recore jobs.

 

http://seattleradiator.net/

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Update: Seattle Radiator will be recoring the stock radiator but with more closely packed 1/2" tubes (3/8" on center as opposed to original  9/16" on center). This increases the flow rate (and therefore heat dissipation capabilities) from 57 gal/min to 80 gal/min - or a 40% increase.

 

$531 out the door (and guaranteed fit) as opposed to $680 + shipping new from US Radiator. Thanks all for your input.

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I see you are from Washington and I have many friends from there and most of them have gone back for the summer.  If you are in Phoenix let me know and I will give you a good stock radiator.

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1 hour ago, 5632 said:

I see you are from Washington and I have many friends from there and most of them have gone back for the summer.  If you are in Phoenix let me know and I will give you a good stock radiator.

Thank you. Very kind of you but I’m not in Phoenix and don’t have plans to be anytime soon. 

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On 6/13/2019 at 8:47 PM, DShoes said:

Any how-to tips from anyone who has replaced a radiator?

I replaced mine a couple of times. It’s easy real easy, if you want to reuse your coolant drain the radiator and save coolant to put back in. Take out the fan shroud. Unhook the rubber hoses on the radiator end. Might as well put in a new thermostat while you working on the car. Transmission cooler lines if you have them. Tube wrenches are the best for taking off the brass couplers on fuel, brake, and transmission lines. Pull out the radiator.

hope this helps to some degree

Turbinator

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17 minutes ago, DShoes said:

Yep. It was “plug and play” easy. Thanks Turbinator. 

DShoes, happy I could help.

Turbinator

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44 minutes ago, DShoes said:

Yep. It was “plug and play” easy. Thanks Turbinator. 

Did you actually remove the fan shroud or just unbolt it at the top and lay it back on the water pump?

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RivNut, my fan shroud is not much and only protects from above. I unbolted it completely to access the radiator. 

34A3B4D2-B1CF-46A9-BAE0-B685DA749DBD.jpeg

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That's not the fan shroud to which I was referring. That's there to keep you from sticking your fingers in the fan or to keep your tie out of the fan. The shroud for an air conditioned car completely surronds and envelops the fan.  Those are much more difficult to work around.  Here's  a pictute of one; you can see why I asked. The square part is the same size as the radiator. The round part is just big enough for the 5 blade fan to fit into it.

 

mPfh7xsLrSh96M_2mS_ab9A.jpg.1ada8dc46aa81370bbe92d4d7691b5a8.jpg

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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On ‎6‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 12:28 PM, DualQuadDave said:

I agree, I have done about a dozen or so 63-65 Riv radiators and the best is a re-cored stock one. A good shop can squeeze a big 4 core on the stock tanks.  I prefer that over any new currently available radiator, including the US ones. 

More rows doesn't necessarily mean better cooling.  In fact, one wide row is likely better than four small rows.

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It's all about the surface area with which the coolant comes into contact.  Kind of like cooling a drink with ice cubes - same amou t of ice, one big cube or that cube crushed into many smaller pieces.  Crushed ice has more surface area. More smaller tubes has more surface area for heat transfer.

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51 minutes ago, RivNut said:

It's all about the surface area with which the coolant comes into contact.  Kind of like cooling a drink with ice cubes - same amou t of ice, one big cube or that cube crushed into many smaller pieces.  Crushed ice has more surface area. More smaller tubes has more surface area for heat transfer.

The theory is correct; the analysis and conclusion possibly less so.

 

Consider a radiator with a 2" tank.  You can install 4 rows of tubes, each 3/8" wide with 1/8" between them, or one tube that's 1-7/8" wide.  Assuming that all tubes are 1/8" tall, which configuration has more surface area?

 

Next, consider flow.  Which has greater flow: 4 3/8" x 1/8" tubes or a single 1-7/8"x1/8" tube?

 

Cooling capacity is a function of several factors (surface area, flow rate, fin spacing, tube density, etc.), but newer materials and manufacturing techniques force us to reconsider conventional wisdom.

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The main thing to consider is how muchnof the water is coming into contact with the cooling surface(s).  If you have a column of water 4 3/8" wide, it's going to take a long time for any conduction of heat transfer to reach the middle of that coulmn.  Before the center of that coulumn of water is cooled, it will be recirculated back into the block.  If the water passes through the radiator too quickly, it won't get cooled effectively.  Later developments in radiators have water cross flowing, in two levels.  Keeping the water in the radiator longer giving it more time to be cooled.

 

3530_ArticleSection_M_4e5386c4-20b1-405a-9eb4-7f2b8eae84b2.jpg.025bc7bb23af1578510a57b2f8d4748a.jpg

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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