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Thread: Re-core services/ New radiators

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    President Member Ron Dame's Avatar
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    Re-core services/ New radiators

    So far the Avanti radiator does not leak, but it is clear the fan hit it and several tubes were soldered off. By summer I bet it starts overheating.
    Is there a preferred re-core service, or does someone know of a good replacement?
    Ron Dame
    '63 Champ

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    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Dame View Post
    Is there a preferred re-core service, ...?
    Preferred service is going to depend on the experience of shops within any geographic area. For recommendations in the North Carolina area you would be well advised to inquire of members in your local chapter of SDC.
    In central Pennsylvania I highly recommend Union Radiator on Lycoming Creek Road in Williamsport, PA.

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    President Member nvonada's Avatar
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    Ask around. My local NAPA is an old-school auto parts store so when I needed my Jeep re-cored I asked them. Turns out a guy not 10 miles from my house could do it. Expect to pay though.

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    President Member thunderations's Avatar
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    Find the oldest and most disorganized radiator shop in the area. It will usually be run by a guy that should have retired 20 years ago and he will let you know up front that aluminum is crap and that only old brass radiators are worth working on. He will thank you for bringing in an old quality radiator to have repaired/re-cored That's your guy. He won't be cheap, but will be competitive with the fancy new shops in the industrial strip center with the neon advertising signs and polished tile floors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderations View Post
    Find the oldest and most disorganized radiator shop in the area. It will usually be run by a guy that should have retired 20 years ago and he will let you know up front that aluminum is crap and that only old brass radiators are worth working on. He will thank you for bringing in an old quality radiator to have repaired/re-cored That's your guy. He won't be cheap, but will be competitive with the fancy new shops in the industrial strip center with the neon advertising signs and polished tile floors.
    You perfectly described the shop that did my last radiator.

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    A dying art for sure. Kinda like getting brakes and clutches relined.

    There is a guy local to me who still does this. His father started the business in the 50's. My guy is about my age (65) and i fear that once he quits there will be no one around here to do it.

    He had to have

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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderations View Post
    Find the oldest and most disorganized radiator shop in the area. It will usually be run by a guy that should have retired 20 years ago and he will let you know up front that aluminum is crap and that only old brass radiators are worth working on. He will thank you for bringing in an old quality radiator to have repaired/re-cored That's your guy. He won't be cheap, but will be competitive with the fancy new shops in the industrial strip center with the neon advertising signs and polished tile floors.
    You hit the nail on the head. The local old time shop closed when the guy doing the repairs retired, a new company took over. I brought a Lark radiator to the new shop to have a small leak repaired. When I called a week later the young man doing the work explained that the radiator was no good because when he heated it all the solder ran out (in other words he didn't know what he was doing and over heated it). He also said the bill was $100. I never went back to pick up what was left of the radiator or pay the bill. They likely sold it for scrap. Lesson learned.
    Dan Peterson
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    The shop that does my radiators has been in business in the same location since 1946 and the shop looks like it. They are the go to shop for repairs to older style radiators. They re cored the radiator in my 1962 Hawk in the late 70"s and it is still doing what is is supposed to do. The guys in the newer shops are mostly parts changers and don't have any idea on how to properly repair an old brass/copper radiator. Bud

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    President Member Ron Dame's Avatar
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    My local guy is a bigger curmudgeon than me. Been in business since Moses needed a re-core. He looked at mine and said "Nope". Nothing else. Just "nope". The next guy is 30 miles away and I know nothing about him
    Ron Dame
    '63 Champ

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    President Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    When you find the right shop, ask for a core with increased fins per inch. That increases swept area and provides better cooling.
    Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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    President Member tsenecal's Avatar
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    I think that a lot of the older radiator shops have closed down due to stricter regulations on the chemicals, used in the process of cleaning and repairing brass and copper radiators. I agree with an earlier comment on aluminum radiators. I read an article a while back, comparing copper/brass, to the aluminum counterpart, and they claimed that the copper was more efficient.

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    President Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Copper is supposed to be more efficient at heat transfer and aluminum is lighter and takes weight off the front end...which is more important?
    Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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    Thoughts on Aluminum vs Copper radiators. http://www.cgj.com/2013/07/16/alumin...inal-thoughts/

    Probably worth mentioning that there are currently a lot of big HP OEM as well as most of today's ordinary cars running Aluminum radiators.
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    I've had Rowdy in Slayton MN recore radiators and he does a great job. It is not cheap as copper is expensive and it does take a bit of labor. I have put Al radiators in 2 cars (Jeep CJ to sb Chev conversion) They go in fairly well but need a little trimming of the shroud as well as some percussive adjustment and added baffle.

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    President Member thunderations's Avatar
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    Bottom line is that both work nearly the same, but aluminum is cheaper, lighter, and actually has better air flow and cools a little better.
    Now to throw something else at this discussion that a cross flow radiator is supposed to cool better then a vertical flow.
    Years ago when I was messing with CJ5 Jeeps and off-roading, a lot of V6 and V8 conversions were being done on these old 4 banger Jeeps. Cooling became an issue and, of course, everyone was looking for a cheap solution. One radiator shop in Phoenix took the stock 4 cylinder radiator and turned it sideways, modifying the inlet and outlet and moving the filler neck. The very same radiator that was overheating would now run cool.......well, at a comfortable operating temperature with the bigger engines.
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    President Member nvonada's Avatar
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    Generally I like aluminum better (cheaper and lighter! sign me up!) but to me they just don't look right in an old car.

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    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    To me, the OEM 2-row radiators are useless on V8 Studes, especially if AC equipped, and I stopped using them long ago. I have had several radiators specially made for Studes, with good results: had a 4-row, "desert cooler" made, with stock tanks, for a 56J when I lived in the California desert. Had a 2-row, sirocco style (double pass) aluminum cooler made for a 56J here in Kentucky. Had three radiators re-cored here in KY, to effectively make them equal to a five row radiator, if Stude had made such a thing.

    The last three are now on the two GTs and the 56J, and they surpass anything I ever had made before. But they cost about $750 each. The shop that did them was as others have described above, and in business since the 1950s. They are the local go-to shop for all the hot rodders within a several hundred mile radius, so I am told. I consider myself lucky that they are only about 40 miles from me, in Louisville.

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    I had the one on my Lark re-cored in 2015. I used an old-school radiator / auto shop located in Kansas City, KS called Able Auto. I have used them for my radiators for 30 years. I had a Stude radiator done in 2001 for about $250 for an Avanti. When I had my Lark done in 2015, it was $750. I about choked, but I wanted "original". I had a nice discussion with him about the radiators and he would buy a recore section that was made per dimensions from the old one and shipped to his shop, then he installs the upper and lower tanks.

    In 2017, I needed a radiator for a 1970 GMC K2500. He had one in stock for $150 for a four-core HD radiator. Yes, it was brass. I guess it's about supply and demand........

    Oh....And Able Auto definitely fits the radiator shop described above, as the guy I have dealt with for 30 years is already 3rd generation owner.
    Dis-Use on a Car is Worse Than Mis-Use...
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    President Member thunderations's Avatar
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    Something I forgot to mention on the description of a "Good" radiator shop, is to not wear good shoes when going there as the stuff on the floors will destroy them. Best to have another pair of shoes to put on before getting back into your car or truck, or plan on replacing the carpet or mats. Keep the crummy shoes for when you go back to pick up the radiator.
    Quote Originally Posted by BILT4ME View Post
    I had the one on my Lark re-cored in 2015. I used an old-school radiator / auto shop located in Kansas City, KS called Able Auto. I have used them for my radiators for 30 years. I had a Stude radiator done in 2001 for about $250 for an Avanti. When I had my Lark done in 2015, it was $750. I about choked, but I wanted "original". I had a nice discussion with him about the radiators and he would buy a recore section that was made per dimensions from the old one and shipped to his shop, then he installs the upper and lower tanks.

    In 2017, I needed a radiator for a 1970 GMC K2500. He had one in stock for $150 for a four-core HD radiator. Yes, it was brass. I guess it's about supply and demand........

    Oh....And Able Auto definitely fits the radiator shop described above, as the guy I have dealt with for 30 years is already 3rd generation owner.
    1966 Daytona (The First One)
    1950 Champion Convertible
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  21. #21
    President Member tsenecal's Avatar
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    Good advice on the shoes. The old radiator shop here, is closed now, but I remember that the floor was always a mess.

  22. #22
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    Another fantastic shop is on Long Island...."Tap-A-Radiator"....did my Avanti a beautiful job.....speak to Bill.....do a web search and you will be impressed......located in Farmingdale, LI.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Dame View Post
    So far the Avanti radiator does not leak, but it is clear the fan hit it and several tubes were soldered off. By summer I bet it starts overheating.
    Is there a preferred re-core service, or does someone know of a good replacement?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeHall View Post
    To me, the OEM 2-row radiators are useless on V8 Studes, especially if AC equipped, and I stopped using them long ago. I have had several radiators specially made for Studes, with good results: had a 4-row, "desert cooler" made, with stock tanks, for a 56J when I lived in the California desert. Had a 2-row, sirocco style (double pass) aluminum cooler made for a 56J here in Kentucky. Had three radiators re-cored here in KY, to effectively make them equal to a five row radiator, if Stude had made such a thing.

    The last three are now on the two GTs and the 56J, and they surpass anything I ever had made before. But they cost about $750 each. The shop that did them was as others have described above, and in business since the 1950s. They are the local go-to shop for all the hot rodders within a several hundred mile radius, so I am told. I consider myself lucky that they are only about 40 miles from me, in Louisville.
    Do you know if there are any clearance issues with the Avanti? I have had the OEM radiator recored, but in hot weather, at idle, I am still experience a slight upward creep of the temperature at idle, and that's without even putting the AC on yet. I'd like to get it solved.

  24. #24
    Silver Hawk Member JoeHall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Shears View Post
    Do you know if there are any clearance issues with the Avanti? I have had the OEM radiator recored, but in hot weather, at idle, I am still experience a slight upward creep of the temperature at idle, and that's without even putting the AC on yet. I'd like to get it solved.
    Sorry, I do not know anything about Avanti, but bet some other folks will be along shortly to answer your question

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeHall View Post
    Sorry, I do not know anything about Avanti, but bet some other folks will be along shortly to answer your question
    Thanks for the reply. I hope someone will. (I cringed when I reread my own question, given how badly written it was -- that's what I get for trying to type while someone was talking to me at the same time.)

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    Griffin Radiator will build you a new aluminum radiator. You can have it built to fit, built to match the old one, built with upgraded capacity.

    If you want it to look original, send them your old one to copy and paint the new one black.

    They've been building radiators longer than I can remember, and their stuff is in everything from Model As to NASCAR.

    http://www.griffinrad.com/

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    Consider your water pump and how well it fits the bore and backset of the vanes. I have been fighting an issue on my 59 Lark with an all new radiator, cleaned out block, all new freeze plugs, all new hoses, and all new heater core. There is absolutely no reason that my car should be getting hot, yet it continues. I am thinking that there is too much clearance between the vanes of the rotor and the swashplate inside the housing. There was a time period of mis-manufactured water pumps that I was enlightened about a while back. Do a search on here about water pumps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Shears View Post
    Do you know if there are any clearance issues with the Avanti? I have had the OEM radiator recored, but in hot weather, at idle, I am still experience a slight upward creep of the temperature at idle, and that's without even putting the AC on yet. I'd like to get it solved.
    Dis-Use on a Car is Worse Than Mis-Use...
    1959 Studebaker Lark VIII 2DHTP

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