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Thread: Need radiator for 1966 Cruiser

  1. #1
    President Member Scott's Avatar
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    Exclamation Need radiator for 1966 Cruiser

    Hi all,
    I just learned some very bad news about the radiator in my 1966 Cruiser (V8 with water cooled automatic). There is so much corrosion at the top of the unit that even a repair of the immediate problem makes it basically a waste of money.
    I also learned the unit in my car now isn't original. It's a vintage replacement, but not original.

    So...Does anyone have a good, tested original radiator to sell? It's not critical it have the transmission outlets, as I have an auxiliary cooler for the transmission that isn't in the same water circuit. I'm in central Minnesota. I'm willing to pick up if it's within a couple hundred miles.

    If anyone knows of swaps or other known good options, please let me know. My radiator man has done many Studebakers, but he admits he might not be aware of some swaps that could work.

    Thanks!
    "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

  2. #2
    President Member thunderations's Avatar
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    A new aluminum radiator would be a good choice. Use one made for a Jeep with a small block Chevy conversion. There are several posts on the subject that you might search for. These are basically "bolt ins" for a Studebaker. With eBay free shipping to your door, paying a little more for a new radiator vs getting an unknown used one and driving several hundred miles makes sense to me.
    1966 Daytona (The First One)
    1950 Champion Convertible
    1950 Champion 4Dr
    1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
    1957 Thunderbird

  3. #3
    President Member 62champ's Avatar
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    https://www.ebay.com/itm/KKS-3-ROW-A...Jaa0q1&vxp=mtr



    Note the side flange has two holes where Studebaker used three - You would just need to add the holes in the proper place to mount in in your '66. Good luck.

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    Agree with the aluminum radiator. What is the best way to prep the top tank so it will hold paint so it's not so obvious (compared to the original)?
    Mike Sal

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    Speedster Member bjackameit's Avatar
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    Will this also work on earlier Lark types?

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderations View Post
    A new aluminum radiator would be a good choice. Use one made for a Jeep with a small block Chevy conversion. There are several posts on the subject that you might search for. These are basically "bolt ins" for a Studebaker. With eBay free shipping to your door, paying a little more for a new radiator vs getting an unknown used one and driving several hundred miles makes sense to me.
    This looks like it would also work with a 1964 Lark type with a Studebaker V8 without modification based on the upper and lower radiator hose connection locations -- is that correct or not?
    Bill Jackameit
    1964 Challenger Wagonaire
    1964 Daytona Sedan
    Total of 10 Studebakers owned since 1961
    Bill Jackameit's Studebaker Page online since October 1995
    http://billstudepage.homestead.com/files/studpg.htm


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    Yes, I think it's a drop in for just about any stude....

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    President Member RadioRoy's Avatar
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    Free shipping is a good deal, too.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

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    President Member thunderations's Avatar
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    I would check with a good automotive paint shop, but probably a good cleaning, either an etching or epoxy primer and a top coat. Might want to top coat it with a heat resistant paint, but radiators shouldn't get that hot. There is probably a radiator black available too if you're not looking for show quality.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Sal View Post
    Agree with the aluminum radiator. What is the best way to prep the top tank so it will hold paint so it's not so obvious (compared to the original)?
    Mike Sal
    1966 Daytona (The First One)
    1950 Champion Convertible
    1950 Champion 4Dr
    1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
    1957 Thunderbird

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    President Member wdills's Avatar
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    I used a light coat of SEM self etch primer followed by several light coats of Eastwood radiator black paint. You want to keep your coating thin because if it gets too thick it could crack from the heat. I painted the tank and frame to get good even coverage. On the fins, I sprayed just enough to make it black. You don't want excessive build up on the fins because it could affect heat transfer. No special prep required, I just cleaned it good with acetone before applying primer.
    Wayne
    "Trying to shed my CASO ways"


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    President Member Scott's Avatar
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    This fellow (very knowledgable) quoted me about $1000 for a custom built aluminum radiator! Ouch. That's just too much. That's just one option, though. But THIS sounds like a great deal if it'll work.
    Quote Originally Posted by thunderations View Post
    A new aluminum radiator would be a good choice. Use one made for a Jeep with a small block Chevy conversion. There are several posts on the subject that you might search for. These are basically "bolt ins" for a Studebaker. With eBay free shipping to your door, paying a little more for a new radiator vs getting an unknown used one and driving several hundred miles makes sense to me.
    "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

  11. #11
    President Member Scott's Avatar
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    I agree! The only downside is it isn't stock looking. But all things considered, modern in this case is better.
    Quote Originally Posted by thunderations View Post
    A new aluminum radiator would be a good choice. Use one made for a Jeep with a small block Chevy conversion. There are several posts on the subject that you might search for. These are basically "bolt ins" for a Studebaker. With eBay free shipping to your door, paying a little more for a new radiator vs getting an unknown used one and driving several hundred miles makes sense to me.
    "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

  12. #12
    President Member thunderations's Avatar
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    Only a purist would notice it if it were painted black.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    I agree! The only downside is it isn't stock looking. But all things considered, modern in this case is better.
    1966 Daytona (The First One)
    1950 Champion Convertible
    1950 Champion 4Dr
    1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
    1957 Thunderbird

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    Scott, one thing that hasn't been mentioned...since your car had a water cooling for the transmission, you may have to add a small trans cooler if the new radiator doesn't include one (I'm at work & can't see the ad).
    Mike Sal

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    Speedster Member whitehawk759's Avatar
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    I have one in my 61 Hawk, CONSIDERABLY cheaper than a custom and as has been said almost a drop in. I got the three row and it has never overheated and I have air conditioning. It is about 1 1/2 inches shorter. I did not paint mine and it looks fine. Mine made by Victor. You will not regret it. BTW, they do have the built in transmission cooler and it is much cleaner looking, especially if you add air conditioning. Good luck.
    Don Watson
    61 Hawk

  15. #15
    President Member Scott's Avatar
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    Yes, I saw that this unit has the separate cooler for the transmission. I have the separate cooler now, just because the guy that rebuilt and installed the transmission said it was a good idea. I can keep that arrangement or if I get this Jeep unit I can go back to the original way of hooking things up. My car originally had AC (I found a stock under the dash unit) and I might someday set it all up again. It still has the special pulley on the engine with a little chunk broken off. Maybe that's why the AC was taken off several decades ago.
    Quote Originally Posted by whitehawk759 View Post
    I have one in my 61 Hawk, CONSIDERABLY cheaper than a custom and as has been said almost a drop in. I got the three row and it has never overheated and I have air conditioning. It is about 1 1/2 inches shorter. I did not paint mine and it looks fine. Mine made by Victor. You will not regret it. BTW, they do have the built in transmission cooler and it is much cleaner looking, especially if you add air conditioning. Good luck.
    "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

  16. #16
    President Member Scott's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the great advice! I'll let you know if I have more questions. I'm thinking I'll go with the ebay purchase as soon as my radiator man gives me his opinion.
    "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

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    President Member Jerry Forrester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    as soon as my radiator man gives me his opinion.
    I wouldn't be seeking advice from anybody that quoted me a price of $1000 for an aluminum radiator. Run away.
    Jerry Forrester
    Forrester's Chrome
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    See all of Buttercup's pictures at https://imgur.com/a/qP6MR

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    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    I agree with Jerry.
    Have you tried French Lake in Annandale?

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    President Member Scott's Avatar
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    No, I haven't, but now I'm not sure I should be looking at a vintage radiator. I do know French Lake, though! I could give them a call just for the information.
    Quote Originally Posted by TWChamp View Post
    I agree with Jerry.
    Have you tried French Lake in Annandale?
    "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

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    I've got one of the ebay aluminum radiators in my 56 Wagon, same configuration as your 66, and it fits like a glove. Just had to drill a couple holes in the flange.
    sals54

  21. #21
    President Member Scott's Avatar
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    That's great to hear. That's the way to go, then.
    Quote Originally Posted by sals54 View Post
    I've got one of the ebay aluminum radiators in my 56 Wagon, same configuration as your 66, and it fits like a glove. Just had to drill a couple holes in the flange.
    "Madness...is the exception in individuals, but the rule in groups" - Nietzsche.

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    President Member rusty65's Avatar
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    Just a few items to note here: The radiator pictured in the ad has the draincock and the transmission hose fittings at the BOTTOM of the unit. Does that mean I'll have to hack up my radiator cradle or is that picture for "illustrative purposes only"? I have no problem drilling holes in the flange.Went outside to check other measurements and it looks like it would be a good fit otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty65 View Post
    Just a few items to note here: The radiator pictured in the ad has the draincock and the transmission hose fittings at the BOTTOM of the unit. Does that mean I'll have to hack up my radiator cradle or is that picture for "illustrative purposes only"? I have no problem drilling holes in the flange.Went outside to check other measurements and it looks like it would be a good fit otherwise.
    The overall height of the replacement radiator is just a little bit shorter than the original Studebaker radiator. Thus, it fits best to space it slightly higher, which gives a little additional clearance at thr bottom. All of the ones I have sold to customers didn’t have the draincock pointing straight down, but knowing there will be adequate clearance if it was as shown.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty65 View Post
    Just a few items to note here: The radiator pictured in the ad has the draincock and the transmission hose fittings at the BOTTOM of the unit. Does that mean I'll have to hack up my radiator cradle or is that picture for "illustrative purposes only"? I have no problem drilling holes in the flange.Went outside to check other measurements and it looks like it would be a good fit otherwise.
    No hacking required. Just mount it a little higher and drill holes as needed to get clearance. This really is not that hard. Many guys have done this already with great success. Its easy.
    sals54

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