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View Full Version : Cool/Heat: Radiator Interchange '53 C/K



Flat Ernie
12-13-2016, 07:12 PM
I've seen the specific aftermarket aluminum radiators by Wizard that cost well over $400. Probably not out of line, price wise, for a low-volume product.

However, most radiators out there often have a common core size, tank configuration, and outlet location. So, rather than reinventing the wheel, I was wondering if anyone knew what applications have similar dimension radiators for a more common application that might mean more choice and lower prices.

My tape measure says the core on my '53 C/K is 15" tall and about 24" wide (going by memory as I'm not near my car right now). 15x22 is a relatively common GM size in crossflow (which are generally more efficient - all else being equal) and you can find aluminum ones under $150 with outlets in the appropriate place.

Has anyone successfully used/adapted one of these (or any other) and recall the original application?

MChance
12-13-2016, 07:53 PM
From what I understand that a Nissan 280Z radiator is almost a bolt in for the 53-55 C/K's

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FIT-Datsun-280Z-1975-1979-All-3-ROWS-CORES-ALUMINUM-RADIATOR-FOR-/172330541240?fits=Model%3A280Z&hash=item281fb360b8:g:qKcAAOSwFV9XzNvf&vxp=mtr

Flat Ernie
12-13-2016, 08:00 PM
From what I understand that a Nissan 280Z radiator is almost a bolt in for the 53-55 C/K's

http://www.ebay.com/itm/FIT-Datsun-280Z-1975-1979-All-3-ROWS-CORES-ALUMINUM-RADIATOR-FOR-/172330541240?fits=Model%3A280Z&hash=item281fb360b8:g:qKcAAOSwFV9XzNvf&vxp=mtr

Thanks!

Seems a little wide, but again, my 24" number is from memory...there is a support that would account for additional width though...and those tabs might bolt into the support...again, all from memory. I'll have a look in the next few days to confirm.

The drain out the bottom may prove challenging...

Treblig
12-13-2016, 09:01 PM
I recently installed a Wizard aluminum radiator in my daughter's 59 Hawk. I was concerned about the price and how well it would fit. As it turns out it fit perfect. I compared all the dimensions with the original radiator and it was an exact copy except that it was thicker and had 1 1/4" tubes which cool like crazy. I'm running a Chevy 350 and live in a very hot humid climate. The radiator solved all my cooling problems. I wouldn't hesitate to spend the money again for such a great fitting and extremely well cooling radiator.
Note: The only big difference between the Wizard and the original was the size of the outlet. The lower outlet was about 1/4" larger, this was not a bad thing since one of the ways you can get more cooling is by increasing flow and it's hard to get enough flow through a smaller hole. The 1 1/4" tubes allow for greater flow so it would have been counterproductive to keep the smaller outlet. So I'm very glad the outlet was larger!!

Treblig

Flat Ernie
12-13-2016, 09:02 PM
Thanks for the positive feedback on the Wizard!

jrlemke
12-13-2016, 10:29 PM
One problem with the Datsun radiator is the bottom fitting may have to be made to angle up to clear the frame. All the radiators I tried came too close to the frame to fit a hose. Not too big of a problem. -Jim

Quentin
12-14-2016, 06:08 AM
I fitted a Jeep radiator, sold as a Jeep/Chev V8 conversion to my 63 Hawk. Fitted perfectly once I trimmed 1/2" off the mounting tangs. 24" rings a bell. Anyway, it was only $159 and top and bottom outlets are perfect location and correct diameter.

5brown1
12-14-2016, 07:04 AM
Here is what I used and how. http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?58434-I-think-the-radiator-search-might-be-over-C-K-cars

mbstude
12-14-2016, 07:33 AM
Doesn't a 53 use a shorter radiator than a Hawk?

MChance
12-14-2016, 01:36 PM
Yes, the 53-55 C/K's use a shorter radiator than the 56-64 C/K's

Flat Ernie
12-14-2016, 07:03 PM
Here is what I used and how. http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?58434-I-think-the-radiator-search-might-be-over-C-K-cars

Good thread & info - thanks!

Mrs K Corbin
12-15-2016, 06:54 AM
I used Classic Custom cooling's cc4952 in my truck which is more suited to a car as it's shorter. But was much cheaper at less than $200....

Mike Van Veghten
12-15-2016, 09:24 AM
See the "Radiator Lady" in SoCAL.

They custom make aluminum radiators. They use a high fin count core, use thicker material for the tanks than most places do. His welds are very nice.
While I don't recall what I paid for it, it was more than acceptable to either off the shelf and custom units.
All I can say is, mine gooks good, fits, the in/outlets are correct, etc..! The only thing is that I had to drill the attachment holes...!?!?

Mike