Pennock's Fiero Forum
  General Fiero Chat - Archive
  Champion 3 Core Aluminum Radiator Makes a huge difference in cooling

T H I S   I S   A N   A R C H I V E D   T O P I C
  

Email This Page to Someone! | Printable Version


Champion 3 Core Aluminum Radiator Makes a huge difference in cooling by California Kid
Started on: 04-04-2010 10:03 AM
Replies: 24
Last post by: rogergarrison on 09-11-2010 09:07 PM
California Kid
Member
Posts: 9540
From: Metro Detroit Area, Michigan
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 275
Rate this member

Report this Post04-04-2010 10:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for California KidSend a Private Message to California KidDirect Link to This Post
I finished putting my new radiator in yesterday, replacing my 3 core copper radiator, and I am amazed at how much difference the aluminum one makes. After finishing the install I let the car run for a half hour idling, which typically generates some pretty high temperatures (at least on my car), when the fan kicked in it brought the temp down to two bars above bottom, and I know my gauge reads a little high. Now I can adjust my computer to bring the fan in at a little higher temp, so it isn't running most of the time.

I did have to do a few more minor modifications to fit the radiator in my '88, that weren't covered in Archie's installation thread of this radiator, but there were minor to get clearance so the radiator would would sit in it's home position letting all other attachment parts line up (look for interferences with other parts when doing the install).
IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
revin
Member
Posts: 8684
From: Pville, TX
Registered: Aug 2001


Feedback score:    (10)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 234
Rate this member

Report this Post04-04-2010 10:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for revinSend a Private Message to revinDirect Link to This Post
Come on Cali,
you know the rules................... HAVE TO HAVE PICS!!!!!


Oh and where to buy
IP: Logged
jokerb90
Member
Posts: 366
From: Nederland, TX
Registered: Nov 2008


Feedback score:    (6)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post04-04-2010 10:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jokerb90Send a Private Message to jokerb90Direct Link to This Post
dunno where he got his....mine from fleabay, 'bout 220 delivered or so.

Got a suprise when putting mine in -- the old rad had about a 1-1/2" off center bow shape. The PO or a shop tried to raise the car from the rad!!!

I had to reshape the lower support -- nothing a 2x4 and a BFH couldn't take care of -- can't comment on capability yet, as swap is in progress, and for 88 fitment, well, it isn't a simple R&R, but still only took about an hour, including the reshaping of the lower support and trimming the upper mount.
IP: Logged
California Kid
Member
Posts: 9540
From: Metro Detroit Area, Michigan
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 275
Rate this member

Report this Post04-04-2010 10:52 AM Click Here to See the Profile for California KidSend a Private Message to California KidDirect Link to This Post


Here's link where Archie posted install experience:

//www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/098899.html

Copy of Ebay Motors Ad, I just called them direct when I placed my order:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymot...?hash=item1c0cd4221c

------------------

Car History: //www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/025670.html

IP: Logged
Hulki U. My-BFF
Member
Posts: 5949
From: Back home in East Berlin, PA
Registered: Apr 2008


Feedback score:    (25)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 248
Rate this member

Report this Post04-04-2010 11:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Hulki U. My-BFFClick Here to Email Hulki U. My-BFFSend a Private Message to Hulki U. My-BFFDirect Link to This Post
I just put one of those Champion 3 core rads in mine as well. I have been very impressed with it, and it does a fantastic job at cooling her down.
IP: Logged
cptsnoopy
Member
Posts: 2578
From: phoenix, AZ, USA
Registered: Jul 2003


Feedback score:    (8)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 60
Rate this member

Report this Post04-04-2010 01:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for cptsnoopyClick Here to Email cptsnoopySend a Private Message to cptsnoopyDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by California Kid:

I finished putting my new radiator in yesterday, replacing my 3 core copper radiator, and I am amazed at how much difference the aluminum one makes. After finishing the install I let the car run for a half hour idling, which typically generates some pretty high temperatures (at least on my car), when the fan kicked in it brought the temp down to two bars above bottom, and I know my gauge reads a little high. Now I can adjust my computer to bring the fan in at a little higher temp, so it isn't running most of the time.

I did have to do a few more minor modifications to fit the radiator in my '88, that weren't covered in Archie's installation thread of this radiator, but there were minor to get clearance so the radiator would would sit in it's home position letting all other attachment parts line up (look for interferences with other parts when doing the install).


Please let us know if you are comparing new to new or what your new copper rad did awhile ago to this new one or old copper to new al?

Thanks,
Charlie


IP: Logged
California Kid
Member
Posts: 9540
From: Metro Detroit Area, Michigan
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 275
Rate this member

Report this Post04-04-2010 05:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for California KidSend a Private Message to California KidDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by cptsnoopy:


Please let us know if you are comparing new to new or what your new copper rad did awhile ago to this new one or old copper to new al?

Thanks,
Charlie



The best way for me to summarize this is that the Champion Aluminum is at least 15 to 20 degree between than the Copper 3 core core I had in the car. The aluminum also drops the temp a lot quicker when the fan kicks in compared to the Copper (big benefit for spirited driving). My Copper 3 Core is in excellent condition, no deposits, no scale, like new condition, it just isn't as responsive as the aluminum. The Copper 3 Core was OK with my old engine that had about 50 less HP.

This was important to me as the Hilborn Injection likes temps in the 175 to 185 range, you can feel the difference as it hits 200 and above. I don't run a thermostat, only a re-stricter flange in the thermostat housing, also running Corvette water pump with re-circulation port plugged to increase flow. While my factory temp gauge does work, it reads about 10 to 15 degrees high, confirmed by Micro Tech laser temp gun. I've got a new AutoMeter Temp gauge, just have to find time to install it. Just finished an hour drive, playing around , and I'm very happy with the improvements in lowering the temp and bringing the performance up a notch.
IP: Logged
Macs86GT
Member
Posts: 2276
From: hagerstown Maryland
Registered: Apr 2008


Feedback score:    (6)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post04-04-2010 06:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Macs86GTSend a Private Message to Macs86GTDirect Link to This Post
That is unusual as copper has a higher thermal conductivity. Is there a difference in tube size round vs flat, and was the copper one a finned core design vs a flat fin design. is the aluminum core one finned with oval/flat tubes radiators with a finned core design cool better as there is more space for air to get around.

[This message has been edited by Macs86GT (edited 04-04-2010).]

IP: Logged
California Kid
Member
Posts: 9540
From: Metro Detroit Area, Michigan
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 275
Rate this member

Report this Post04-04-2010 08:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for California KidSend a Private Message to California KidDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Macs86GT:

That is unusual as copper has a higher thermal conductivity. Is there a difference in tube size round vs flat, and was the copper one a finned core design vs a flat fin design. is the aluminum core one finned with oval/flat tubes radiators with a finned core design cool better as there is more space for air to get around.



Both Radiators are oval/flat tube with finned core, the radiators are very similar in design, flat tubes on aluminum one might be slightly wider, or it could be an illusion due to the bright color of the aluminum. I can tell you that the capacity of coolant is exactly the same, as I saved what I drained, refilling system required no additional coolant.
IP: Logged
Jake_Dragon
Member
Posts: 31868
From: USA
Registered: Jan 2001


Feedback score: (5)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 398
Rate this member

Report this Post04-04-2010 09:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jake_DragonSend a Private Message to Jake_DragonDirect Link to This Post
What kind of water pump are you using?
IP: Logged
Macs86GT
Member
Posts: 2276
From: hagerstown Maryland
Registered: Apr 2008


Feedback score:    (6)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post04-04-2010 09:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Macs86GTSend a Private Message to Macs86GTDirect Link to This Post
Thats a good radiator then I'll have to look into one when the time comes. I used to work in a radiator factory making the cores only reason i asked about the fin design.
IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
California Kid
Member
Posts: 9540
From: Metro Detroit Area, Michigan
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 275
Rate this member

Report this Post04-04-2010 09:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for California KidSend a Private Message to California KidDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Jake_Dragon:

What kind of water pump are you using?


Non Archie kit, using stock SBC Corvette pump with re-circulation port blocked off. Everything packages in engine compartment.

IP: Logged
randye
Member
Posts: 12008
From: New Port Richey, Florida
Registered: Mar 2006


Feedback score: (1)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 209
Rate this member

Report this Post04-04-2010 10:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for randyeClick Here to visit randye's HomePageSend a Private Message to randyeDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Macs86GT:

That is unusual as copper has a higher thermal conductivity. Is there a difference in tube size round vs flat, and was the copper one a finned core design vs a flat fin design. is the aluminum core one finned with oval/flat tubes radiators with a finned core design cool better as there is more space for air to get around.




What some are calling a "flat tube" design is known as a "plate / fin" style heat exchanger vs. a "tube / fin" style.
Plate / fin style heat exchangers are generally more efficient than a "tube / fin" style.
It's all about surface area....

[This message has been edited by randye (edited 04-04-2010).]

IP: Logged
California Kid
Member
Posts: 9540
From: Metro Detroit Area, Michigan
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 275
Rate this member

Report this Post04-04-2010 11:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for California KidSend a Private Message to California KidDirect Link to This Post
Pics of the radiator from the other thread:



IP: Logged
Rickady88GT
Member
Posts: 10101
From: Central CA
Registered: Dec 2002


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 201
Rate this member

Report this Post04-05-2010 02:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Rickady88GTClick Here to Email Rickady88GTSend a Private Message to Rickady88GTDirect Link to This Post
I also installed one of those in an 88. Not exactly a bolt in affair but I am happy with it. It was a little more work than I was lead on to believe. The tanks are much larger than the stock Fiero tanks and the new rad is also a very tight fit in the upper and lower bracket/frames.

------------------
[IMG][/IMG]

IP: Logged
California Kid
Member
Posts: 9540
From: Metro Detroit Area, Michigan
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 275
Rate this member

Report this Post04-05-2010 03:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for California KidSend a Private Message to California KidDirect Link to This Post
I spent at least 8 hrs putting mine in, didn't take pictures of minor changes I made, was too busy figuring out the fit issues. Safe to say if the upper hold down brace doesn't line up with mounting holes, you've got interferences holding the radiator out of design location. One point I will make is that there are two threaded bolt shafts (at least on the 88 GT), one at each side of the car at the lower radiator that prevent it from going all the way forward. (letting it sit properly in the bottom channel). You must grind off the excess thread of the bolt down to the nut, so that you don't have to worry about them rubbing a hole into the tanks of the radiator. Also on the 88 you have to cut down the rubber isolators that are on the underside of the upper hold down brace, but do not cut them until you confident the radiator is sitting properly, there should be a little compression into the rubber when you fasten the brace down.
IP: Logged
Red97
Member
Posts: 455
From: moncton new brunswick
Registered: Jun 2006


Feedback score: (1)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post04-05-2010 12:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Red97Click Here to Email Red97Send a Private Message to Red97Direct Link to This Post
i also bought one for my V8 car, how ever it made NO difference at all. not sure what could be wrong now
IP: Logged
randye
Member
Posts: 12008
From: New Port Richey, Florida
Registered: Mar 2006


Feedback score: (1)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 209
Rate this member

Report this Post04-05-2010 01:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for randyeClick Here to visit randye's HomePageSend a Private Message to randyeDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by California Kid:

I spent at least 8 hrs putting mine in, didn't take pictures of minor changes I made, was too busy figuring out the fit issues. Safe to say if the upper hold down brace doesn't line up with mounting holes, you've got interferences holding the radiator out of design location. One point I will make is that there are two threaded bolt shafts (at least on the 88 GT), one at each side of the car at the lower radiator that prevent it from going all the way forward. (letting it sit properly in the bottom channel). You must grind off the excess thread of the bolt down to the nut, so that you don't have to worry about them rubbing a hole into the tanks of the radiator. Also on the 88 you have to cut down the rubber isolators that are on the underside of the upper hold down brace, but do not cut them until you confident the radiator is sitting properly, there should be a little compression into the rubber when you fasten the brace down.


 
quote
Originally posted by California Kid:

The best way for me to summarize this is that the Champion Aluminum is at least 15 to 20 degree between than the Copper 3 core core I had in the car.


If you're happy with it that's great, but wow, 8 hours of modification work for what seems like a very marginal improvement?
That temperature difference you reported is about 8-9%... not a whole lot greater than a 5% tolerance on a temp. gage.
(I don't think I've seen a lot of temp. gages a whole lot better than 2% tolerance on the most expensive high end stuff.)
I'm not bashing your mod., and like I said, if you're happy with it , that's great. It just seems like for a stock or mildly modified engine, this radiator swap is fast approaching the "law of diminishing returns" for the cost and labor required.

It does *look* fantastic though, and I've sure done my fair share of mods that have no performance improvement but look sweet.

[This message has been edited by randye (edited 04-05-2010).]

IP: Logged
California Kid
Member
Posts: 9540
From: Metro Detroit Area, Michigan
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 275
Rate this member

Report this Post04-05-2010 02:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for California KidSend a Private Message to California KidDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by randye:


If you're happy with it that's great, but wow, 8 hours of modification work for what seems like a very marginal improvement?
That temperature difference you reported is about 8-9%... not a whole lot greater than a 5% tolerance on a temp. gage.
(I don't think I've seen a lot of temp. gages a whole lot better than 2% tolerance on the most expensive high end stuff.)
I'm not bashing your mod., and like I said, if you're happy with it , that's great. It just seems like for a stock or mildly modified engine, this radiator swap is fast approaching the "law of diminishing returns" for the cost and labor required.

It does *look* fantastic though, and I've sure done my fair share of mods that have no performance improvement but look sweet.



Let me clarify what I've posted above, I said "at least" a 15 to 20 degree improvement in cooling. With the copper 3 core I was running pretty darn close either side of 220 on factory gauge (mid point on gauge), with the aluminum I'm just either side of 170. This is with the car fully warmed up in traffic at speed of 45-50 mph, lights, and occasionally heavy foot. With the copper core, once the temp rose above 220 it just wanted to keep climbing slowly under same driving conditions (you had to baby it for a while to get it to settle back down). The aluminum core will approach 210 with hard driving, but it does cool down very quickly under moderate throttle.

Kinda difficult to explain all this, but it made a very significant difference on my car. I realize there are acceptable % deviation on gauge readings, know mine reads a little high, the temps I quoted are off the same factory gauge. The hour test run I took yesterday was pushing the car pretty hard, and in all fairness probably harder than normal to see where the temp would go with the new radiator.

What really stood out to me, was that upon first start up, when I let the engine idle for 30 minutes, I couldn't let it idle nearly that long with copper core radiator, temp would just keep climbing even with the fan on. The aluminum radiator seems very happy to set around 170 with the fan running. Hope this clears it up a little.
IP: Logged
Archie
Member
Posts: 9419
From: Las Vegas, NV
Registered: Dec 1999


Feedback score:    (12)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 545
Rate this member

Report this Post04-05-2010 03:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ArchieClick Here to visit Archie's HomePageClick Here to Email ArchieSend a Private Message to ArchieDirect Link to This Post
WE've installed 7 or 8 of these radiators so far & none of them has taken any more than 2 hours. I'm thinking that whoever originally installed your old rad. mat\y have made some modifications to the mounting to get it to fit right & some of your time was spent undoing those changes.

Archie
IP: Logged
randye
Member
Posts: 12008
From: New Port Richey, Florida
Registered: Mar 2006


Feedback score: (1)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 209
Rate this member

Report this Post04-05-2010 10:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for randyeClick Here to visit randye's HomePageSend a Private Message to randyeDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by California Kid:


Let me clarify what I've posted above, I said "at least" a 15 to 20 degree improvement in cooling. With the copper 3 core I was running pretty darn close either side of 220 on factory gauge (mid point on gauge), with the aluminum I'm just either side of 170. This is with the car fully warmed up in traffic at speed of 45-50 mph, lights, and occasionally heavy foot. With the copper core, once the temp rose above 220 it just wanted to keep climbing slowly under same driving conditions (you had to baby it for a while to get it to settle back down). The aluminum core will approach 210 with hard driving, but it does cool down very quickly under moderate throttle.

Kinda difficult to explain all this, but it made a very significant difference on my car. I realize there are acceptable % deviation on gauge readings, know mine reads a little high, the temps I quoted are off the same factory gauge. The hour test run I took yesterday was pushing the car pretty hard, and in all fairness probably harder than normal to see where the temp would go with the new radiator.

What really stood out to me, was that upon first start up, when I let the engine idle for 30 minutes, I couldn't let it idle nearly that long with copper core radiator, temp would just keep climbing even with the fan on. The aluminum radiator seems very happy to set around 170 with the fan running. Hope this clears it up a little.


Thanks for the clarification.
I noted that you're cooling a highly modified V8, so you obviously need all the capacity you can get.
From what you have just stated, it appears that you obtained almost a 19% decrease in average temperature.
I would think that the % improvement for a stock or slightly modified V6 would be even better.
During my last round of improvements to my 87 GT with 3.4L motor and stock TH125 trans, I dropped in a new OEM style radiator and a Dickman 195* fan switch and low temp thermostat.
The car will idle all day long at 90* ambient temp and never exceed 195* on the gage. (I'm using SpeedHut Revolution Series gages with upgraded sensors @ 2-4% tolerance.)
I really need to swap out the old 3 speed trans and drop in a 4T60, as I believe it's my cruise speeds with the higher RPMs from the old trans that are making my water temp, sit at 210* steady at speed.
Until the trans swap, I planned on installing an aux. trans cooler to try to drop the added heat to the radiator a bit, but with the numbers you are reporting I might just swap out my new radiator to an even newer one. If I could realize a 15% temp improvement at speed that would be approx. 178* and would be fantastic.
IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
California Kid
Member
Posts: 9540
From: Metro Detroit Area, Michigan
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 275
Rate this member

Report this Post04-06-2010 09:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for California KidSend a Private Message to California KidDirect Link to This Post
Thought I should add that my comments are mainly a comparison between my old copper 3 core versus the new aluminum 3 core. I also run a engine oil cooler with thermo fan set at 185, it buried in left rear wheel house behind side scoop, engine oil capacity is 7 quarts. Keep in mind this is a freshly built engine with only a couple thousand break-in miles, and I think with a few thousand more miles it will loosen up a little more, generating a little less heat. Engine oil is still getting the crap kicked out of it, with pressure dropping (viscosity) at around 1,000 miles of use, 25 psi loss by 2,000 miles, full recovery with oil change at 2,000 ( still using break-in oil ). So this would be probably considered an extreme test.
IP: Logged
fierogt17
Member
Posts: 187
From: sandy utah USA
Registered: May 2007


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post09-10-2010 11:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fierogt17Click Here to Email fierogt17Send a Private Message to fierogt17Direct Link to This Post
my radiator just blew so I need to get a new one, these champion 3 cores look great. I was just wondering what size fits in the fiero.
IP: Logged
California Kid
Member
Posts: 9540
From: Metro Detroit Area, Michigan
Registered: Jul 2001


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 275
Rate this member

Report this Post09-11-2010 11:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for California KidSend a Private Message to California KidDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fierogt17:

my radiator just blew so I need to get a new one, these champion 3 cores look great. I was just wondering what size fits in the fiero.


They all fit with some minor modifications, review this thread:

//www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/098899.html

They come standard with automatic transmission cooling fittings in tank halves wither you use them or not, plug them if you have a manual trans just to keep crap out of there. You can order off Ebay, or just call them to order.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymot...&hash=item45f51464c1
IP: Logged
rogergarrison
Member
Posts: 49601
From: A Western Caribbean Island/ Columbus, Ohio
Registered: Apr 99


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 552
Rate this member

Report this Post09-11-2010 09:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonDirect Link to This Post
Champion does a good job for a reasonably priced radiator. My 1966 Coronets went out a few months ago. The only ones available I could find were upwards from $500. I found Champion online. I have a 413 cu in/390 hp Super Stock engine with auto. Mine was a direct bolt in that took me all of 30 mins to install. I got a 2 row because he told me they were good up to 500 hp engines. Impressed me that he said IF it didnt keep it cool, he would send me a 3 row for nothing. It was in the 90s for last few months most of the time and never got over 180* highway or stop and go traffic. Mine was $170 delivered to my door. I also liked they came with new cap and chain retainer.
IP: Logged



All times are ET (US)

T H I S   I S   A N   A R C H I V E D   T O P I C
  

Contact Us | Back To Main Page

Advertizing on PFF | Fiero Parts Vendors
PFF Merchandise | Fiero Gallery | Ogre's Cave
Real-Time Chat | Fiero Related Auctions on eBay



Copyright (c) 1999, C. Pennock