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C4 Cooling and Heating Systems

Radiator (1/9)
 8/7/16 6:15pm
legsdiamond
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St. Louis, MO - USA

Vette(s):
Red 1986 Corvette convertible


Joined: 6/28/2016
Posts: 17

My 1986 corvette radiator has a small leak. It's the radiator with plastic sides. I was wondering should I replace with aluminum radiator? Single or two row? I appreciate the help. Thanks!

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Re: Radiator (2/9)
 8/8/16 9:25am
Atchafalaya
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Atchafalaya Basin, LA - USA

Vette(s):
Black 1979 L-82 Black 1996 LT1 Black 1999 Coupe


Joined: 3/20/2009
Posts: 514

If you are worried more about function vs. originality, go to an aluminum.
Re: Radiator (3/9)
 8/8/16 10:52am
legsdiamond
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St. Louis, MO - USA

Vette(s):
Red 1986 Corvette convertible


Joined: 6/28/2016
Posts: 17

Should I get aluminum 2 row? Will 2 row affect or interfere with condenser?

Thanks!



|UPDATED|8/8/2016 7:52:28 AM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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Re: Radiator (4/9)
 8/12/16 10:00pm
Dave91TM
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Joined: 6/17/2012
Posts: 12

I replaced a stock rad on my 91 and it has run perfectly cool ever since, I have idled it for 30 mins in 30deg C
and it barely gets to half, If your car is not modified a stock rad should suffice.


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Re: Radiator (5/9)
 8/15/16 5:27pm
Carmichaels89
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Valley Center, CA - USA

Vette(s):
Original owner 89 C4 Coupe,Silver with Red Int, late model C6 wheels


Joined: 7/11/2016
Posts: 7

If you were not experiencing any heating or cooling issues with the stock radiator, then replace it with the identical unit. Where we live in So Cal the temperatures frequently reach from the mid 90's to low 100's. There were times the car would run at 245 degrees. It does not over heat but I was uncomfortable with those numbers even though it has run that way since new. (we are the original owners) When the time came to replace the radiator, I opted for the 2 row aluminum unit. Make sure you get the matching unit for your vehicle. Some have the radiator cap on the actual radiator and some have the cap on the reservoir. Stick or auto trans is the only other difference.
The aluminum units are not a direct fit but close. You will need to do some massaging of the lower supports and the rubber cushions to get the unit fully seated on the cross member so the upper shield fits. If you have the auto trans, some of the units do not come with the adapter fittings needed to hook up your cooling lines. A local dune buggy shop had the necessary fittings to allow the pipe fittings on the trans cooling lines fit the metric inserts on the new radiator. ($36 worth of fittings and a day hunting for them) I changed the thermostat to a 180 degree unit and I also changed the fan relay for one that turns the fan on at 190 degrees. If your vehicle does not have heavy duty cooling, (2 fans) a separate temp sender must be installed for the new, lower temperature sending unit. There is a large allen head plug in each cylinder head (one on each side) where the factory temp sender is located on heavy duty cooling equipped cars. The one you want to remove is on the driver's side cylinder head between the front two spark plugs. Remove the left front tire and the center plastic inner fender liner and you will have excellent access to the plug. I was unsuccessful in removing the plug after years of temperature changes and had to drill the plug out. I used a drill bit just large enough to not come into contact with the threads and cleaned up the threads with a tap. The new sensor comes with wiring directions and if I remember correctly I only had to reroute one wire. Do not use any Teflon tape on the sensor as it is self grounding when installed in the head. The fan now comes on at 190 and turns off at 180. It is a rare occasion when the temp goes over 200 now. The A/C is much more efficient and I feel more at home in those temperature ranges. This was a full days work changing all the components to make it work in the lower temp range but was well worth the peace of mind. The A/C condenser works with the aluminum unit but again some massaging is required. I used pieces of a old serpentine belt to make cushions between the radiator and the condenser. I also used the same pieces to fabricate the lower rubber radiator cushions as the factory ones do not fit the aluminum radiator. 


|UPDATED|8/15/2016 2:27:48 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|
Re: Radiator (6/9)
 8/24/16 8:04am
legsdiamond
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St. Louis, MO - USA

Vette(s):
Red 1986 Corvette convertible


Joined: 6/28/2016
Posts: 17

My radiator had a small hole in it. So changing it. I flushed system and now when putting antifreeze(diluted) in. It started to spit up like geizer antifreeze back up through where I was filling it up in radiator. I put cap on and its not over heating. How can I fill up radiator when its doing that?

Thanks


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Re: Radiator (7/9)
 8/24/16 3:00pm
Kettsvette
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Scottsdale, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1988 Dark Red Metallic Convertible with sports seats, Delco/Bose radio system, Z52 suspension


Joined: 7/8/2014
Posts: 23

I replaced my radiator about 4 years ago in my '88.  As I recall, it took a few days of driving to get the cooling system to burp its way to running without the low coolant level light coming on.  The design of the cooling system is such that the radiator fill is a little lower than the highest point on the engine so air gets trapped in the system and needs to burp itself.  Once this passes the cooling system seems to work without problems.

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Re: Radiator (8/9)
 8/24/16 3:58pm
legsdiamond
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St. Louis, MO - USA

Vette(s):
Red 1986 Corvette convertible


Joined: 6/28/2016
Posts: 17

Thank you so much! I appreciate the help...I was getting worried there for a minute. Thinking cracked block or something....

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Re: Radiator (9/9)
 9/8/16 7:52am
86er
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Vette(s):
1986 C4 Corvette Coupe, Medium Blue Metallic


Joined: 5/13/2012
Posts: 38

Hi, I installed an Aluminium DeWitts radiator, this is a direct fit with no mods & it does run cooler than standard

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