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View Full Version : Cool/Heat: Aluminum rad specific to 53/54 c/k



macstude
11-19-2018, 11:55 AM
Looking for completed and proven installations of an extreme cooling radiator for my 53 K modified that has a mild Chev 350, 700R4 trans, AC condenser and trans cooler in front of a recored 4 row original radiator. 18" Lincoln mkVIII electric fan. I run without a hood to cowl seal and without the inner fender seals over the A arm cut outs.


This combination has served well in our northern climate but comes up short when the ambient goes above 80F and have the AC on. I limit engine temp to 210 degrees. With the AC off the engine runs 195. I am limited to using a 13# rad cap because of the original bottom tank age and limitations.


I have closely followed same subject threads pertaining to Larks, Hawks and trucks. The 53/54 and maybe the 55 use a shorter rad (15" core vs 17").


I am aware of the popular use of a Northern crossflow 209657 26x16 universal rad. My concern is this rad has only 306 sqin of face area vs the stock 360 (approx.) I don't think this is a solution for my car.


Having looked into affordable rad options I lean towards wanting to fit the 26x19 version (Northern 209675) in my car if it can be done if the top tank corners are angled and eliminating the fill cap. Has anyone used this rad successfully? I have a 1 1/4" GM sway bar so lowering the rad cradle is not an option.


I'm also looking at vertical flow rads that are made for Novas, GTO's.


Thanks

5brown1
11-19-2018, 04:10 PM
Check out this thread I started a few years ago. Some options with pictures.

http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?58434-I-think-the-radiator-search-might-be-over-C-K-cars

345 DeSoto
11-19-2018, 05:02 PM
77127 This is practically a slip-in on my '56 Hawk. It works WONDERFULLY in the Sky Hawk, using a PT Cruiser electric fan and mount...if you are the LEAST bit handy...

macstude
11-19-2018, 06:29 PM
Check out this thread I started a few years ago. Some options with pictures.

http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?58434-I-think-the-radiator-search-might-be-over-C-K-cars

Thanks for the link. That radiator is addressed in my post. 16x26 universal racing. Readily available from a number of vendors and a somewhat easy installation. Same or similar to the Northern 209657. Downside is less core face area 15-20% less.


I need all the cooling I can get. That same radiator but 3" taller is the Northern 209675. Today I mocked up this rad in cardboard. For sure I will have to slant the top corners and lose the filler neck.


I like the CJ Jeep with GM inlet/outlet locations a lot. About twice the price of the horizontal flow, $300 or so. This rad is almost a shoe in for Hawks but they have a taller (2" more)original rad than the 53/54's. The core itself is 1" taller than the original. One could flatten the bottom tank and chop the top tank. Too much rework for me.


The Jeep rads are available in a number of cooling capacities, including a 3 row core with 1" tubes.

bensherb
11-19-2018, 07:25 PM
I just put one of the Jeep/Chevy conversion radiators in my Hawk with a 289,4L60 and AC. It works great here in CA, with 100F degree + summers. Not bad for $125 on ebay.

However, I understand your question. We had Griffin make us a radiator for our '53 coupe that has a Chevy 350/4L60 (haven't got the AC installed yet). It works too good. It replaced a recorred 4 row brass radiator that worked ok, but was marginal when the ambiant temp went over 100F. With nothing more than swapping in the Griffin radiator, the thing vary rarely gets over 160F now. We're thinking of swapping to a hotter thermostat; we do use high flow thermostats, they do make a difference. The Griffin Radiator does work great but it did cost about 8 times what the radiator in my Hawk cost.

macstude
11-19-2018, 08:00 PM
I just put one of the Jeep/Chevy conversion radiators in my Hawk with a 289,4L60 and AC. It works great here in CA, with 100F degree + summers. Not bad for $125 on ebay.

However, I understand your question. We had Griffin make us a radiator for our '53 coupe that has a Chevy 350/4L60 (haven't got the AC installed yet). It works too good. It replaced a recorred 4 row brass radiator that worked ok, but was marginal when the ambiant temp went over 100F. With nothing more than swapping in the Griffin radiator, the thing vary rarely gets over 160F now. We're thinking of swapping to a hotter thermostat; we do use high flow thermostats, they do make a difference. The Griffin Radiator does work great but it did cost about 8 times what the radiator in my Hawk cost.

Hi, your reply is spot on, thank you. What fits a Hawk, fits a Hawk. I'd like to avoid the cost of a Griffin if I can, thus the search for a more budget friendly solution. What size of core, vertical or horizontal, fins, tubes did you get from Griffin? It is encouraging to hear that it is reasonable to expect an improvement over the 4 row Stude rad I have been using.

I'd be most interested in how well your 53 performs when you get your AC working. Have you got your condenser rad mounted yet? Mine is too small because the drier is using up some space.


Thanks again

Regarding your low 160 degree max temps you should expect to reach whatever temp your thermostat is rated at. If that is not happening then most likely too much coolant flow is somehow getting past the t/stat. I have found that the fail open t/stats do not return to a closed position after an overheat. Regular t/stats may be way off calibration as well. I have seen 180's open at 160.

If you are running an electric fan the location of the temp sensor makes a difference. I switched over from a radiator probe to a screw in sensor adjacent to the thermostat and temp gauge sensor

bensherb
11-19-2018, 08:17 PM
The core is 3/4" taller than the stock rad, same width, two row, vertical. I think the tubes are 3/4". Standard, stock fan and shroud. Haven't mounted a condenser yet. Temp gauge sender is at rear of head. It probably has a 160F thermostat, haven't torn into it yet; with the brass radiator it ran around 180F normally.

Two 10" electric fans on the Hawk, fan temp sender is in water manifold between head and water outlet (289 Stude).

studegary
11-19-2018, 08:56 PM
77127 This is practically a slip-in on my '55 Hawk. It works WONDERFULLY in the Sky Hawk, using a PT Cruiser electric fan and mount...if you are the LEAST bit handy...

I believe that you mean '56 Hawk (not "'55 Hawk"). There is a big difference in height available between a '53-'55 C/K and a '56-'64 C/K (Hawk).

345 DeSoto
11-20-2018, 07:07 AM
Gary, caught my mistake. However on this radiator it's almost 6" shorter than the Stock Hawk radiator. Move it up or down to where you want...

macstude
11-20-2018, 10:48 AM
The core is 3/4" taller than the stock rad, same width, two row, vertical. I think the tubes are 3/4". Standard, stock fan and shroud. Haven't mounted a condenser yet.

Thanks. Last night finished making a cardboard mockup of the horizontal flow 26x19 Northern 209675. Looks like it will work by reworking the top corners. Hood clears the mock up.


Now looking at a vertical flow Champion rad used on Pontiac lemans GTO. https://www.championradiators.com/3-row-20-Pontiac-Lemans-radiator-1966-1967
The core is similar in size to the Jeep version but the bottom tank is flat. The inlet could be relocated to allow slanting the top tank like the Stude's. I'd go up to the 4 row monster core.

This vendor offers modification services. Click on "Support" for a cost breakdown.

WilburV
11-20-2018, 12:04 PM
You may want to consider a Datsun 240/260 Z radiator which is almost identical to a 53/54 C/K radiator except that its about 3/4 inch shorter. The lower inlet curves upward just like the Studebaker and the top tank is sloped on the sides for hood clearance. They make them in aluminum 2, 3, and 4 core versions that are priced comparable to the Jeep V8 conversion radiators that are used in Hawks and Larks. These radiators have been used in Datsun V8 conversions for years.

bensherb
11-20-2018, 02:11 PM
Thanks.
Now looking at a vertical flow Champion rad used on Pontiac lemans GTO. https://www.championradiators.com/3-row-20-Pontiac-Lemans-radiator-1966-1967
The core is similar in size to the Jeep version but the bottom tank is flat. The inlet could be relocated to allow slanting the top tank like the Stude's. I'd go up to the 4 row monster core.

This vendor offers modification services. Click on "Support" for a cost breakdown.

The Jeep radiator I used in my Hawk has a very thin flat lower tank. It's thinner than the 1 1/2" lower hose. I could actually lower it a couple inches if I don't want to access it's drain, or if I cut a hole in the cradle for access. It's core is 2" shorter than the radiator it replaced but 1" taller than the stock '53 rad; same width, same width as the '53. Total height is 1 3/4" taller than the stock '53 rad, only 1" more than the Griffin but it also has nicked top tank corners.

This Jeep radiator might work in the '53 if mounted low, certainly would if top tank corners were angled. Of course, you'd probably end up with clearance problems between the lower hose and crossmember if mounted low.

sals54
11-20-2018, 03:50 PM
77127 This is practically a slip-in on my '56 Hawk. It works WONDERFULLY in the Sky Hawk, using a PT Cruiser electric fan and mount...if you are the LEAST bit handy...

What model should we be asking for? Part number? My 54 has a 3 row in it now which has been reconditioned from many years ago. I'm just now going to try it out.
This model would be good to know just in case mine does not do the job.
Thanks

345 DeSoto
11-21-2018, 08:55 AM
SALS54 - Here is the contact/specs for the Aluminum Jeep Chevy Radiator from KKS...http://www.kksmotorsports.com/show.asp?id=698

This is the KKS site on ebay… https://www.ebay.com/itm/KKS-3-ROW-ALUMINUM-RADIATOR-72-73-74-75-76-77-86-JEEP-CJ-CJ5-CJ6-CJ7-CHEVY-ENG/292345182085?hash=item4411217785:g:bW4AAOSwgVJb7E1I:rk:2:pf:0

sals54
11-21-2018, 12:50 PM
SALS54 - Here is the contact/specs for the Aluminum Jeep Chevy Radiator from KKS...http://www.kksmotorsports.com/show.asp?id=698

This is the KKS site on ebay… https://www.ebay.com/itm/KKS-3-ROW-ALUMINUM-RADIATOR-72-73-74-75-76-77-86-JEEP-CJ-CJ5-CJ6-CJ7-CHEVY-ENG/292345182085?hash=item4411217785:g:bW4AAOSwgVJb7E1I:rk:2:pf:0

That looks like the one I aleady have in my 56 Wagon. I'll check the dimensions. If it fits the 54, then all the better. Thanks

StudeRich
11-21-2018, 03:15 PM
WAY too Tall for a '53-'55 C or K.

macstude
11-22-2018, 10:07 AM
You may want to consider a Datsun 240/260 Z radiator which is almost identical to a 53/54 C/K radiator except that its about 3/4 inch shorter. The lower inlet curves upward just like the Studebaker and the top tank is sloped on the sides for hood clearance. They make them in aluminum 2, 3, and 4 core versions that are priced comparable to the Jeep V8 conversion radiators that are used in Hawks and Larks. These radiators have been used in Datsun V8 conversions for years.

Thanks I was not aware of this one. Definitely worthy of note. Physically and dimensionally this should fit right in. The only drawback I foresee is the reduced size of the core vs the stock 53/54 c/k rad. The Datsun is approx 317 sq in vs Stude 360 sq in core face area. Works out to about 12% reduction. Might be worth a try.

Specs and photos here:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Best-4Row-Aluminum-Radiator-Fits-Nissan-Datsun-240Z-260Z-L6-2-6L-AT-MT-1970-1975/252804339304?_trkparms=aid%3D555018%26algo%3DPL.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131003132 420%26meid%3D9ad51affadc7430980d780329d28d4b7%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D12 %26mehot%3Dlo%26sd%3D160857134116%26itm%3D252804339304&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

PackardV8
11-22-2018, 03:14 PM
Random thoughts:

1. A mild SBC shouldn't overheat with the setup in the car at present.
2. With today's synthetic oils 210-degrees is not overheating. Many later SBCs don't even turn on the electric fan until 230-degrees.
3. Installing a separate trans cooler takes heat out of the engine radiator.

jack vines

Kdancy
01-07-2019, 01:37 PM
Presently have a custom made 5 core radiator in our custom 53 Coupe with 350 sbc. It does not get the job done when the temps reach 90+ and high humidity in
north Fla.
I've changed the water pump to a high flow pump, both hoses and thermostat. Checked timing. Still not cooling well under above conditions. I was just reading tech info on radiators and read that the 4/5 core radiator may have a problem with enough air flow thru the fins. I know that the old line of thinking used to be that the more cores the better cooling.

StudeRich
01-07-2019, 06:54 PM
You would THINK that a Radiator Mfg. or Seller would at least know which WAY their product Flows! :(

CROSS FLOW, I don't think so.

Kdancy
01-08-2019, 10:45 AM
https://www.cgj.com/2014/06/30/down-flow-radiator-vs-cross-flow-radiator-what-is-the-difference/

studeguy54
01-08-2019, 11:11 AM
Looking for completed and proven installations of an extreme cooling radiator for my 53 K modified that has a mild Chev 350, 700R4 trans, AC condenser and trans cooler in front of a recored 4 row original radiator. 18" Lincoln mkVIII electric fan. I run without a hood to cowl seal and without the inner fender seals over the A arm cut outs.


This combination has served well in our northern climate but comes up short when the ambient goes above 80F and have the AC on. I limit engine temp to 210 degrees. With the AC off the engine runs 195. I am limited to using a 13# rad cap because of the original bottom tank age and limitations.


I have closely followed same subject threads pertaining to Larks, Hawks and trucks. The 53/54 and maybe the 55 use a shorter rad (15" core vs 17").


I am aware of the popular use of a Northern crossflow 209657 26x16 universal rad. My concern is this rad has only 306 sqin of face area vs the stock 360 (approx.) I don't think this is a solution for my car.


Having looked into affordable rad options I lean towards wanting to fit the 26x19 version (Northern 209675) in my car if it can be done if the top tank corners are angled and eliminating the fill cap. Has anyone used this rad successfully? I have a 1 1/4" GM sway bar so lowering the rad cradle is not an option.


I'm also looking at vertical flow rads that are made for Novas, GTO's.


Thanks

My solution on the radiator, involving the 209657 26"x16" Northern radiator is still in my '54 coupe. The modification I made to the position of my radiator mount would still be applicable for your, and probably would set the 29"x16" radiator you reference another 3" higher, and, most likely would still clear the hood. I have a high volume fan on my '54 and it moves a LOT of air. My car has a 350/700-R4 /9" Ford rear end combination, but I do not have air conditioning. On the most extreme days of heat here in Pa, it has NEVER overheated. Put an overflow container on it (Speedway Motors has them very reasonably www.speedwaymotors.com (http://www.speedwaymotors.com)). I set the fan to turn on at 210 (always have an adjustable thermostat for the fan), and the fan will turn on when you stop the car, but it never pukes on the ground.

I did make one modification to the bottom outlet of the radiator, and it is noted in my post.

Links to my post are in the original Forum post shown here.

Denny Foust
studeguy54@gmail.com

macstude
01-08-2019, 12:14 PM
Thanks Denny. Since my last post I decided to go with the Northern 26 x 19 two row of 1" tubes. By tilting the rad 15 degrees forward at the bottom and extending the cradle solved my problem of interference with the 1 1/4" sway bar. I had to eliminate the filler cap as well. Rad hoses will be done this week. Photos to follow shortly. End results will have to wait until spring time.

kmack10@shaw.ca

StudeRich
01-08-2019, 08:02 PM
https://www.cgj.com/2014/06/30/down-flow-radiator-vs-cross-flow-radiator-what-is-the-difference/

Thanks, but I already know what a Cross Flow Radiator is, but THIS Radiator clearly is NOT! :rolleyes:

chet445
01-09-2019, 09:09 AM
I had a radiator from Griffin for my '53 C/K and it fit fine but sprung a big leak after 5 years as the aluminum gave way.