1985.5 Radiator [Solved]

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ekstrandt
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1985.5 Radiator [Solved]

Post by ekstrandt » Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:42 pm

Four years ago when I restored this car I had the radiator flushed cleaned and pressure tested. It has begun to weep coolant from a coolant tube. I ordered a replacement from Autoricambi and I notice that it has fewer coolant tubes (43 vs 64 on the original). I assume that modern materials and manufacturing process would account for the fewer tubes and less weight (bonus :D ). I don't want to install only to find out that it is unable to stay cool. I don't want to have the original repaired and it fail again in a few years. Has anyone installed the radiator from Autoricambi and able to give some feedback?
Thanks
Last edited by ekstrandt on Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
MikeGreer
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Re: 1985.5 Radiator

Post by MikeGreer » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:09 pm

Interesting, I bought a replacement radiator for my '79 spider from AR, I didn't count tubes, I just took out the old and put in the new one. It's worked wonderfully for months. I don't know if these two radiators are the same based on the different years of the cars, but mine has worked just fine. I'm assuming you bought the standard radiator, not th new aluminum one.
45 years with a spider, that's a long time
Restoring the '79 for the second time, you're never finished ;)
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davedecker4
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Re: 1985.5 Radiator

Post by davedecker4 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:18 am

One good thing about the old radiators is they contain copper which can conduct and dissipate heat well. They are heavier than new aluminum radiators. They do have the benefit of not being as fragile however, where aluminum is brittle, copper is malleable. They can also be fixed, cleaned, repaired, maintained, etc. Modern car radiators with plastic tanks cannot be repaired at all, only replaced. Aluminum radiators can be difficult or impossible to repair. Probably need a fancy TIG welder instead of solder in any dingy rad shop. The AR rad should work ok. I'm sure its hard to find anything as dense in the newer cores. If you worry about not being as durable or cooling quite as well with fewer tubes, just get the old one fixed. If you have a good rad. shop, they should be able to solder up the ends or rod it out and make it work like new. Either way, if you keep it long enough, eventually you may have to have it cleaned, soldered or otherwise attended to. Radiators are full of water and corrosive material after all. Maintenance helps.
Dave Decker
a 'couple' Fiats and Lancia's
ekstrandt
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Re: 1985.5 Radiator

Post by ekstrandt » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:43 am

I installed the new radiator and it appears to be working. Sometimes newer and lighter is just as good as old and heavy.
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PhillySpider
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Re: 1985.5 Radiator [Solved]

Post by PhillySpider » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:36 am

Had ours fixed at a local shop where all theydo is radiators. 2 geezers surrounded by hundreds of radiators and a work bench. Really enjoyed talking with them... they hang out all day, don't want to retire and enjoy getting dirty they said. Happy to give them my money and sent a few buddies that way... they apparently did a great job on my pals 55 olds gas tank.
"Life is what happens while you're busy making plans"
Garage:
1980 FI Spider 2000 MT
2014 Audi A4 MT
2014 Mercedes C300 AT
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jseabolt
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Re: 1985.5 Radiator [Solved]

Post by jseabolt » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:17 pm

Seems like the Modine radiator I installed on my Fiat 131 had fewer tubes as the original one but cooled just fine.

I always thought aluminum dissapated heat better than brass/copper. Simply because they are much thinner. The one in my 2003 Subaru is about half as thick as the one in my Spider.

It's getting harder to find a radiator repair shop these days. There was about 5 in town 25 years ago but only one remaining.

25 years ago I had mine recorded. It cost me $400 back then. Simply because nobody was making replacement radiators. Now you can buy a aluminum radiator for a Subaru for less than $100.

Knock on wood but I've yet to see an aluminum radiator corroded and leak like those old brass/copper ones.
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