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Removing Radiator from '41 Straight-8


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Looking for some input before I remove the radiator from the supports...

 

I've taken off the front clip and have clear access to the radiator, but I was wondering if there's a specific method for taking out the radiator that would be easiest. It's a pretty heavy unit, so should I support it or have a second person standing by? Does it lift out, or turned left or right while sitting on the bottom support. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

 

Once it's out, I'm sure I'll have questions about the best place to send it for repair or re-core. I've checked several places to find a replacement, but no luck. I'm sure even a NOS radiator may need a re-core after sitting for 80 years.

 

Thanks in advance!

Dave

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Dave,

Why take it out ?

Was she overheating, or did she have a leak ?

You could just seal the bottom tube and fill it with CLR and let her sit a couple of days, and then reverse flush it.

 

Mike in Colorado

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Hi Mike,

 

She developed a bad leak in the back, about 3-4 inches above the bottom tank. I didn't see any damage (like the fan hitting or something like that) so I'm assuming a seam burst, or it was just her time. There isn't a lot of room to see what's going on when the front clip is on, so I removed it. Also gives me an opportunity to do a few touch-ups on the wiring and detail the engine compartment again.

 

As an update, I removed the 4 bolts and 2 nuts holding the radiator to the support, and I can see there is a trick to this (although I haven't quite figured it out yet). The battery tray on the left is pretty tight to the radiator, and on the right there are two shielded wires that go to the headlight/parking light that are in the way. Guess I have to take those out too. 

 

Dave

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Well if you have to pull it, just remember that the radiator is a major structural component holding the front clip together.

Do some major blocking up on each side prior to taking out the rad's bolts.

Might be a good time to rebuild the water pump too.

Should be easy to get to now.

Good luck............

 

Mike in Colorado

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Be prepared for some "crazy" prices when it comes to recoring.

Many years ago I got prices for recoring of $2000.00 for a 6 cylinder radiator and $5000.00 for an 8 cylinder.

Those prices were about 20 years ago and were for non-original style cores - (not the honeycomb design)

I am a stickler for originality so I searched, and found (luckily), an NOS 6 cyl. radiator that needed nothing but installation.

Finding an NOS 8 cylinder radiator is going to be near impossible.

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Go for a repair, if it works you will have saved a bundle. My local friendly repair guy did not give any guarantees, but he believed he managed to seal these and four more leaks in the radiator of a 31. I have not dared tried to fit it in yet, partly because of the weight issue when everything is back together. I previously have had two radiators recored (honeycomb) in the UK for roughly $1600 each. Big money, but not $5000...

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Just circling back to update. Thanks, Narve, for the input!

 

I'm leaning towards having the radiator re-cored, and I've spent the past couple of weeks digging up some names in the Northeast of radiator guys who have had experience with this particular style radiator. It's not a honeycomb radiator, which surprised some very knowledge Chrysler people I spoke with. It appears that to have it re-cored will require a custom core to be fabricated. I'd go for the repair, but if the radiator is becoming fragile, I'd prefer to take care of the entire problem, rather than continually have to plug leaks as they develop. I don't think it's going to approach $5k, but it's certainly going to be pricier than a repair.

 

So...anyone care to talk me out of this? 🙂

 

Dave

 

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How original does it need to be?

I would bet that you could fit a "Champion" replacement in there.

I did that on a custom application om my 46.

The Champion radiator site had dimensions listed, and where the inlets and outlets were.

I don't recall which radiator I chose but its a four row and cools the 392 just fine.

Seems like it was just a couple of hundred bucks give or take.

 

 

 

 

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Edited by JACK M (see edit history)
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Jack, I may, at least temporarily, put a Champion radiator in. I've had a couple specialists look at the radiator and both agreed it needed a re-core. Just curious, did you have to cut any of the supports to get the unit to fit? Because of the shape of my radiator, I'm going to have to fabricate some mounts to hold a rectangular radiator. I don't want to cut anything that is stock in the car, just in case, down the line, I find a NOS unit.

 

Dave

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I'd spend the money and do it right..

Copper recore.

I have a couple 1946-48 eight cylinder Chryslers that have that same shape

Or very close to the same ...tube and fin radiator.

They where never honeycomb type.

I spent over $1800.00 to have a local guy do my old 4 ton Dodge truck radiator...he did a beautiful job and it's the real deal.... looks and cools right.

He hesitated to do it...but I got him to do it. I was very thankful as I dreaded going long distance for a huge heavy rad record job.

Should last at least another 50 years.

Aluminum no way....

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I actually used a core support from a Royal om my build.

Unfortunately the NY support is gone now.

I don't think it would be to difficult to make brackets to hang an aluminum radiator in there though.

I browsed the Champion site and found a rad that I could make work. The specs ( height, width, inlet and outlet locations) were listed so I just did a lot of measuring and checking before I ordered.

This was a few years ago so I hope the site is still as helpful as it was then.

 

One thing that I added  was one of those universal shrouds from Speedway or the likes. Being a relatively heavy car and a sizeable engine I tried to cover all the bases.

I also used a good steel fan. I don't think much of those flexible fans as they flatten out at speed.

These pics are before the shroud.

 

 

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Nice pictures, Jack. I'm gathering my options at this point, wanting to be original to the car, but also wanting to drive the car this Summer. We're already at July 4th,  and in my experience, the day after the 4th is Labor Day. :)

 

Bob, do you know the max width, height and thickness of the '46-'48 straight-8 radiators? I have a feeling, although they look really similar to the '41, that they are a bit squatter, and possibly wider. The mounting bolt holes are definitely in the wrong places, but the interesting thing is that they both have that oddly angled bottom tank, which is the same shape as the support. Maybe I need to send my radiator out to your guy...

 

Dave

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I have a used rad out of a 41 New Yorker I would like to sell. The top tank has had a small patch added for some reason. But it is such an unusual tank shape I did not want to take it down to the recycler. Art 

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"Bob, do you know the max width, height and thickness of the '46-'48 straight-8 radiators? I have a feeling, although they look really similar to the '41, that they are a bit squatter, and possibly wider. The mounting bolt holes are definitely in the wrong places, but the interesting thing is that they both have that oddly angled bottom tank, which is the same shape as the support. Maybe I need to send my radiator out to your guy..."

This weekend I could go to my parts and measure one up (1946-48 eight cyl radiator) with pictures if you want...

Bob

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As usual, Bob, great pictures. The '46-'48 8-cylinder radiators are strikingly similar to the '41 core that has stepped wings. However, aside from looking wider, the side mounts are also different, which would require some customization of the support. If it's not too much trouble, I'd still be curious about the width of one of your radiators, just to know for certain.

 

I wasn't sure if I wanted to mention how much the quotes were for a full copper recore, but since this is an informational forum...I had several quotes all around the $10k range and a 6 month to 3 year time frame. I'm afraid that's a bit much for my budget and my patience (might be different if this was a T&C). I'm going to have something a bit different done, at ~1/5 the cost, which should give me close to the same coolant capacity, and be more efficient. That's the hope anyway - I'll post pictures when I get it back.

 

Dave

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Dave.....I'll get those dimensions this weekend!

Three years and up to 10 grand....OMG!

The price of my rads just went up big time...ha ha....I better keep them for my cars for sure now.

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"I had several quotes all around the $10k range and a 6 month to 3 year time frame"

On 7/10/2020 at 8:25 PM, 1941_Saratoga said:

As usual, Bob, great pictures. The '46-'48 8-cylinder radiators are strikingly similar to the '41 core that has stepped wings. However, aside from looking wider, the side mounts are also different, which would require some customization of the support. If it's not too much trouble, I'd still be curious about the width of one of your radiators, just to know for certain.

 

I wasn't sure if I wanted to mention how much the quotes were for a full copper recore, but since this is an informational forum...I had several quotes all around the $10k range and a 6 month to 3 year time frame. I'm afraid that's a bit much for my budget and my patience (might be different if this was a T&C). I'm going to have something a bit different done, at ~1/5 the cost, which should give me close to the same coolant capacity, and be more efficient. That's the hope anyway - I'll post pictures when I get it back.

 

Dave

 

I tried to warn you (just kidding)

I had a feeling it was going to be "crazy"

Joe

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The 1946-48 Chrylser eight cylinder radiator measurements...

Top to Bottom...27" add 1-1/4" for rad neck

Overall width... edgeto edge of rt/left mounting flanges...34-1/2"

Centerline to centerline  width of mounting bolt holes..33-1/4"...three each on mounting flanges

Core thickness...3"

Top tank thickness front to rear....7"

Part#1155287

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Thanks Bob, as I suspected, the T&C radiators of that vintage are wider than mine. Here are some diagrams I made up to send to a couple of radiator fabricators before I decided to go in a different direction. I believe that my radiator was only used for 2-3 years, ending in '41 (or '42).

 

$100 for tested radiators...who would have thought that hanging on to those would have made a great retirement plan!

 

Dave

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rad_rear_measurements.jpg

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I'm glad I still have a couple of those 46-48 radiators.

Your core is a 3" too I suppose.

I think 10 g's is too high and wait time tooling but what do I know.

You have excellent drawings to get quotes....interesting to see what comes up....not too many  shops left to do this type of work.

Maybe you will get lucky on price and turn around time.

Australia also has a great radiator restoration company...shipping though would be expensive.

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Yes, it's 3" deep. I've already sent out my radiator to a shop in the Northeast, and (fingers crossed) may have it back before August. Just before the radiator popped, I replaced the tie rod ends, new brake shoes, drums turned and had the cyIinders resleeved, replaced steering arm bushings, and bought 4 new Firestone white walls. It would be great to get a little driving in this year!

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  • 2 months later...

Thought I would update this thread, as it's been two months. Just picked up my radiator on Saturday from Cap-A-Rad radiator shop in Long Island, NY and drove it back to Boston. Bill and his guys were the only shop that I talked to that had an alternative to the $10k recore.  You can see what he did in the pictures - instead of the sloped shoulders and curved lower tank, he straightened everything so that he was able to use 3 rectangular cores and fit them in the original mounts. I put the radiator back in place on Sunday, and just waiting for a couple of strong bucks to come over and help me put the front clip back on.

 

The cost was 20% of the original recore estimate, and he had a '48 T&C radiator that had just come in, waiting for the same treatment. Curious what you think of this solution.

 

Dave

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Edited by 1941_Saratoga (see edit history)
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