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  • Woo hoo!...free radiator

    SO, after striking out on finding an acceptable (nearby) Studebaker truck radiator for my "test" stand, today I set out on a mission to find a competent "old-school" radiator repair shop. I visited a couple of garages owned and run by fellow car enthusiasts. Folks that know the local resources and have contacts. I kept getting vague answers, like, "Wesmorland" used to have a shop, but he died." Or, "so and so over in Spartanburg used to do it, but now won't touch a vintage radiator."

    Next, I went to the only independent family owned parts store in town. At any given moment, there are probably six, or so, workers on hand. Today, I was lucky, and the owner stepped up and greeted me as I walked in. I reminded him of the overstock Jeep radiator he made me a deal on years ago. He joked that he was sure if I hadn't taken it, he would probably still have it taking up space in his warehouse. Then, I explained about my engine test stand project and that I was wanting to know if he had a customer who specialized in repairing old vintage copper/brass radiators? By this time, a few other employees, and a couple of mechanic customers had joined in the discussion. I got a suggestion of "perhaps this one is still in business on Augusta Road," and even a phone number.

    Then the owner offered to take me down to his larger warehouse to check for the possibility he had any stock radiators that might work, to adapt for the test stand. If you knew how busy this person usually is, this was no small gesture. I apologized for taking up his valuable time, and joked that his "paying customers" would be time better spent. He laughed it off. Next, he climbed one of those tall rolling platform ladders, grabbed a box on the top shelf, and pulled out a brand new shiny radiator. I had to tell him that it was probably suitable for a large four cylinder water cooled lawn tractor, but not a heavy cast iron Studebaker V8.

    Next, he climbed down off the ladder, walked over to a dark corner, and said, "How bout this?" A large brand spanking new four core modern Aluminum radiator for some model Chevy truck. Complete, with transmission cooler, and oil cooler coils in the end tanks. Unlike the Jeep radiator from years earlier, that he gave me a "firesale" deal on, he went a little further this time. He said, if you think you can use it...it's yours!" Another one of those items wrongly ordered, and more costly to return than just write it off. I offered to pay him but he refused.

    Then, I had the nerve to say...If it don't work, will you give me a REFUND? His reply..."I'll double what you paid!" He even loaded it in my truck. It pays to make friends. When I get to the point to need flex hoses, clamps, etc...at least he'll get list price for those items. I won't be shopping around for a better deal.

    The rest of the day was spent deconstructing the Studebaker Radiator support, and using my engine hoist to begin the "mock-up" and adapt this oversize radiator to the test stand. The first pic is one where I had planned on using the Studebaker radiator set-up until I discovered how rotten the radiator was. The next pics will be the beginning stages of adapting this new horizontal rectangle with the vertical tanks on each end. Like many of my projects, adapting, and improvising, is a constant challenge. As of now, nothing is really attached. I will probably re-engineer the radiator support uprights. The radiator is hanging from my hoist and stabilized with a couple of clamps. I apologize for the clutter, and bad pic quality.

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    John Clary
    Greer, SC

    SDC member since 1975

  • #2
    What a sweet Deal John! I am thinking that most average 1500 and 2500 1/2 and 3/4 Tons usually have a 2 Row, so that 4 Row may have been for a 1 to 2 Ton or larger GM Truck, a very efficient Radiator!
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

    Comment


    • #3
      Cool beans, John.

      With that much cooling capacity, you can use that test stand engine to power your portable generator, with the engine idling for hours without overheating! BP
      We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

      Ayn Rand:
      "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

      G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the encouragement. However, I'm still a bit apprehensive. Kinda like a possum crossing the road..."I AIN'T THERE YET." The Studebaker set-up used a shroud to direct airflow through the coils. I'm loosing that with this unless I take time to fabricate one. But, I don't plan on that kind of added work until I find if it is necessary. I might even use a supplementary electric fan(s) in the event the engine fan proves insufficient. Right now, on the mock-up, the radiator is at least five inches from the fan. The way I've designed the engine mount base, (on rails), once the radiator is mounted in place, I will be able to move the engine forward to facilitate air flow through the radiator.

        For anyone who is familiar with an old Ford 8N tractor, you will notice there is NO temperature gauge. Ford claimed that they purposely OVERBUILT their radiator so that a temperature gauge would not be needed. Of course, in reality, especially when bush hogging a large field with tall weeds, you have to have enough common sense to climb off the seat and clear the weed clogged radiator occasionally.

        My original plan was to operate any engine exactly as it would be installed in a vehicle, including the radiator. However, if this big radiator will help move things along, it will be a small, but important, deviation from my initial plan. In the mean time, I can still search for an original radiator to install into my truck...if and when the time comes. Hopefully, a radiator with only holes (inlet-outlet) that are needed for proper operation.

        When I stated this is a four core radiator, I'm really not certain. It could be only three, but by counting the lines inside the fins, I'm thinking four. Either way, plenty of capacity. The metal tanks, (instead of plastic), is a big bonus.
        John Clary
        Greer, SC

        SDC member since 1975

        Comment


        • #5
          Regarding your shroud problem. Unless you are planning on moving the stand with the engine running, just set a large house fan in front of the radiator when it is in use. Lots of shops do that when running a car in the shop.
          "In the heart of Arkansas."
          Searcy, Arkansas
          1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
          1952 2R pickup

          Comment


          • #6
            What a great score, John. It looks to me to be a HD Chevy/GMC from the 70's-80's-a real tough unit with huge capacity. As stated by 52-fan, you'll probably not even require a shroud, perhaps an electric pusher will suffice. Nice to see you being "repaid" for your loyalty over the years.
            Cheers, Bill

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Buzzard View Post
              What a great score, John. It looks to me to be a HD Chevy/GMC from the 70's-80's-a real tough unit with huge capacity. As stated by 52-fan, you'll probably not even require a shroud, perhaps an electric pusher will suffice. Nice to see you being "repaid" for your loyalty over the years.
              Cheers, Bill
              I am hoping to make this test stand as self contained as possible. I have other engines lying around. Wouldn't it be a fun thing to be able to take it to events as a "Show & Tell" display/demonstration. I have used a window fan before, when I was running a six cylinder on it. In fact, at one time, instead of a radiator, I had rigged up a garden hose with tap water running through, and a couple other equally messy and cumbersome arrangements.

              Today, I picked up some additional angle iron for fabricating a radiator support. But, before I could get any further...I was captured by "HER" (AKA my wife) for a mission to deliver some food & cheer to my mom in the nursing home, the library, pharmacy, and the grocery store. So now, nearly 4:PM, we are getting around to having lunch.

              Don't know if I'll get anything substantial done on my project this evening, but today was time well spent. Although, while attempting to cheerfully carry out my activities today...my mind kept racing back to this project...mulling over various options available to continue constructing.
              John Clary
              Greer, SC

              SDC member since 1975

              Comment


              • #8
                OK, it took some time, but today, I finished the new radiator installation. Today, I had to finish fabricating a couple of radiator mount stabilizer struts. I pulled the rig out into the yard so I could take some pictures in sunlight. Still a bunch of work to do, but hopefully, the cooling system is no longer a good excuse to delay making further progress.

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                I have a question about this last photo. On our old Studebaker radiators, (unless there is a built-in transmission fluid cooler) there are only three coolant connections. An "inlet," "outlet," and the little "Purge" outlet like the one just below the radiator cap. However, this one has a larger (3/4") connection, as seen in the photo, that goes into the water tank???

                This radiator has built-in transmission and oil coolers, but they are separate coils sealed off from the water. I'm unsure of what to do with this connection? Do I simply plug it off? Or do I install a overflow/expansion tank, and run both the overflow connection and the larger 3/4" tubes into the overflow tank?

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                Last edited by jclary; 09-29-2017, 04:02 PM.
                John Clary
                Greer, SC

                SDC member since 1975

                Comment


                • #9
                  For test purposes could you run a garden hose through the engine and let it trickle through to maintain an even constant temperature in lieu of a rad?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A 3/4 " outlet makes me think of a heater hose. Return from heater maybe? In any case you could just cap it off.
                    "In the heart of Arkansas."
                    Searcy, Arkansas
                    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                    1952 2R pickup

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 52-fan View Post
                      A 3/4 " outlet makes me think of a heater hose. Return from heater maybe? In any case you could just cap it off.
                      Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. I'm just used to heater connections being on water pump manifolds and engine block/heads. Since this is a single connection on the radiator, I'm having a little difficulty understanding how it picks up the other connection for circulation. I have had GM vehicles that had water jackets and connections on "intake" manifolds. But, I soured so badly on anything GM, that what little I used to know about them has been purged from memory. I'll have to come up with a piece of hose, couple of clamps, and block it off. I suppose I could also install another temp gauge in the radiator to see what the difference in radiator temp is in relation to the in-block temperature.
                      John Clary
                      Greer, SC

                      SDC member since 1975

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jclary View Post
                        OK, it took some time, but today, I finished the new radiator installation. Today, I had to finish fabricating a couple of radiator mount stabilizer struts. I pulled the rig out into the yard so I could take some pictures in sunlight. Still a bunch of work to do, but hopefully, the cooling system is no longer a good excuse to delay making further progress.

                        [ATTACH=CONFIG]67449[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]67446[/ATTACH]
                        [ATTACH=CONFIG]67447[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]67450[/ATTACH]

                        I have a question about this last photo. On our old Studebaker radiators, (unless there is a built-in transmission fluid cooler) there are only three coolant connections. An "inlet," "outlet," and the little "Purge" outlet like the one just below the radiator cap. However, this one has a larger (3/4") connection, as seen in the photo, that goes into the water tank???

                        This radiator has built-in transmission and oil coolers, but they are separate coils sealed off from the water. I'm unsure of what to do with this connection? Do I simply plug it off? Or do I install a overflow/expansion tank, and run both the overflow connection and the larger 3/4" tubes into the overflow tank?

                        [ATTACH=CONFIG]67448[/ATTACH]
                        The '72 (and many others) GM trucks had the 3/4" heater hose fitted to the radiators. The 5/8 heater hose attached to the water pump.
                        Jerry Forrester
                        Forrester's Chrome
                        Douglasville, Georgia

                        See all of Buttercup's pictures at https://imgur.com/a/tBjGzTk

                        Comment

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