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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Radiator performance? Life expectancy?

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MEXICOWANDERER

las peñas, michoacan, mexico

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Posted: 09/10/19 11:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

#1Flyboy is right and here's why.

Brass radiators have fragile copper heatsinks. I've have seen far too many cases where a brass radiator looks good but the heat sinks are all but disconnected.

And hydraulic fan controls that malfunction windmill rather than spin. Blocking 70% of the airflow. Quicksilver has a differential driven fan gearbox. And a 9 blade Horton Fan that will damned near knock you off your feet. Five-row radiator and has functioned well in 122F ambient. A hell of a lot better than the diver [emoticon]

time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 09/10/19 12:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How old is the coolant? I read random troubles with Dexcool so I would probably be flushing that out and refill with regular universal juice. As long as all that is getting done I would have a new radiator, new thermostat and possibly water pump replaced at the same time.

My radiator is original with 18 years and 205,000 and seems to cool fine. Standard Prestone coolant. VERY difficult to get my temp gauge to budge. Last time was 115F up a long 5%.


2001 F150 SuperCrew
2006 Keystone Springdale 249FWBHLS
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maillemaker

office

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Posted: 09/10/19 12:26pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

You can flush it and free up some space, but it is old and other issues with them is they can leak, and you cant flush that issue away.
Get a new one.


I tried radiator flushes with my 30-year-old radiator, it had zero effect. I do not think anything short of acid would take the mineral deposits out of a radiator.

I even tried following the "extended flush" instructions of driving around with the stuff for a week.

Quote:

Don't mix metals. If heater core is aluminum then get aluminum radiator. If copper then copper…


My OEM radiator was copper. I went with an aftermarket aluminum one because they are thermally more efficient. Even though brass has better thermal conductivity, the solder reduces that and makes the aluminum ones generally better. They are also considerably lighter.

You do have to worry about galvanic corrosion with aluminum radiators. To solve this, I installed a sacrificial zinc anode in mine.

https://www.amazon.com/Flex-lite-32060-Anode-Drain/dp/B001GR09S4

My radiator had a dedicated port for the anode so I could also have a standard drain petcock.

Steve


1990 Winnebago Warrior. "She may not look like much but she's got it where it counts!"



shum02

Burlington ON CDA

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Posted: 09/10/19 01:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Replaced the rad in the SD last year with just over 400k kms on her. Started to leak past the seals on the bottom of the core between the header and the bottom tank. Not to bad I think.

I replaced the egr and oil cooler at the same time along with a new t-stat and overflow bottle.

A solid weekend of my own labour and parts so not too bad.

Can tow my 8000lb camper and barely push 200F for oil and coolant and around 170F for trans fluid, t-stat keeps her right around 190F empty.

Worth the trouble.


2006 F350 Lariat FX4 CC 4x4 PSD
2007 KZ2505QSS-F Outdoorsman


theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 09/10/19 01:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BobsYourUncle wrote:

I don't recall this ever being an issue in the past.

Not a good sign ! If you did not swap it ahead of your trip, I would carry a spare (OEM).

BobsYourUncle wrote:

I'm wondering what I should expect from my radiator. It is original and has never been touched, flushed or anything.

So you have the original coolant in it ! That would make me nervous also. Dexcool turns to sludge if it gets too hot. Really hard to clean out.

I do all of my own maintenance including radiator "flush". Drain, fill with fresh water and Prestone Flush chemical. Drive for at least 30 minute. Drain, refill with fresh water, drive for 30 minutes. Drain and refill a second time and a third 30 minute drive. Drain, fill with coolant.

The problem is, it is pretty much impossible to drain all the old coolant/water out of your system which is why I do TWO fresh water rinses. When putting new coolant in, I use 100% non-diluted. Use your favorite procedure to remove air. Check the strength. Adjust with water or coolant to meet the strength requirements.

#1Flyboy

California

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Posted: 09/10/19 01:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I did not mention it but please forget the Dexcool ( Deathcool ) & go with your favorite Name Brand 5 year / 150,000 mile antifreeze ( full strength NOT premixed ).... When you get done changing all the parts & flushing out the motor before refilling REMEMBER THIS: You will probably have a couple of gallons of water / old coolant left sitting in the motor ( unless you have drain plugs on the engine block )....

the bear II

Torrance CA.

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Posted: 09/10/19 01:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The times I have had cooling issues with an older truck it was the fan clutch twice and the thermostat once. I did replace the radiator due to a leak but it wasn't causing a heating issue.

On my daily driver car with a plastic aluminum radiator the plastic developed a crack. I was able to keep up with the water leak for a few weeks while I looked for a replacement radiator. One day while driving to work the temp gauge pinned hot. The radiator still had plenty of water. The thermostat had stopped opening.

So I would check the operation of your fan clutch. It may be coming on but not strong enough under load. And make sure the thermostat is opening or not clogged.

There is a product be RedLine called "Called Wetter Water" I used it in my truck and it kept the temp 20 degrees lower while pulling my 5th wheel up a grade that we travel often. It works as advertised.

mapguy

Puget Sound

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Posted: 09/10/19 02:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

STAY WITH DEXCOOL -don't create extra issues to deal with, changing can lead to other issues like sludge build up from incompatible coolants. You cannot get all the old dexcool out...…

Replace the radiator if at all concerned with its integrity. Use OEM or OEM replacement like Modine from napa.

I would check to see if the fan is coming on at the right temp. It is a thermal fan. These are known to stop working or "engaging" at the proper temp over time.

Cleaning the radiator stack would be a good move, too!

fj12ryder

Platte City, MO

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Posted: 09/10/19 03:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just be aware that "Water Wetter" is not an anti-freeze.


Howard and Peggy

"Don't Panic"

Cloud Dancer

San Antonio and Livingston TX USA

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Posted: 09/10/19 04:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One look inside the radiator is all it would take for me to decide to replace it, AND the water pump. But, I would first do the best engine flush possible.


Willie & Betty Sue
Miko & Sparky
2003 41 ft Dutch Star Diesel Pusher/Spartan
Floorplan 4010
Blazer toad & Ranger bassboat

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