Feedback on PWR custom aluminium radiators & cores.

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 17:04
ThreadID: 9817 Views:6260 Replies:3 FollowUps:5
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Roachie & Goldfinger, I think I can comment here about the custom alloy radiators in GQ's. I built mine as a custom aluminium one using a (K&J Thermal Products core, PWR "Paul Weel Radiators" is owned by K&J Thermal, Kees Weel is Paul father.)
Anyway I used a stock core from a Ford F100/Bronco, part No from memory was FD 086A. This core was slightly narrower than original but the same height and as the radiator is crossflow I simply made the endtanks slightly larger.
The core thickness is 57mm which has 2 rows of 26mm tubes, This is the same core construction that the supercars use except they use an internally dimpled tube.
If having a custom core made up then dimpled tubes cost an extra 20% on top of core price.
Your standard 2,3,4,5 row brass/copper rads are lucky to have 10-12mm tubes and in 4/5 row then they have to offset the tubes and then you have airflow problems getting air to go through the radiator.
After a great many hours of fabrication including running auto trans coolers in both end tanks as per factory I ended up with a radiator with twice the capacity of the original Nissan item.
How well does it work? Absolutely brilliantly. Towing my caravan (1700kgs - 1800kgs) over Xmas/New Year with temps in low to mid 30's going up hills full throttle in 2nd gear (automatic) Air con on, the temp never rose above 1/2 on the gauge. Prior to this the car would have been close to boiling at those loads with the van.
At Beechworth without the van the temps were 42 degrees and the temps ranged from 1/4 to 1/3 on the gauge with air con on flat out all the time.
Note: When I built the radiator, I built it so that the original shroud was able to be fitted as well. I doubt if PWR build this feature in, it would be worth asking them.
Regards Andrew.
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Reply By: Member - John - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 19:07

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 19:07
Andrew, just out of curiousity, if your where to make another radiator as you described, but no trans coolers, for a GU, what sort of money would you be looking for? Thanks in advance, John
AnswerID: 43355

Follow Up By: awill4x4 - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 22:39

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 22:39
Sorry John, at this stage I don't have any intention of building any others. The price charged for the core was quite expensive (over $500 from memory, PWR certainly didn't do us any favours even though we buy custom cores from them for the motor racing industry)
I then spent literally hours and hours in fabrication to ensure the best possible product.
I've put "O" ringed bleed valves in each header tank to ensure the rad fills right to the top (factory ones are a problem in that the top 30+mm won't fill and are always an airlock)
I've run an "O" ringed fitting drain plug which is easily accessed by an allen key from underneath rather than the stupid plastic tap on the side of the rad which is nearly impossible to get at.
I've put in extra temp senders entering and exiting the rad to get differential temps when I hook up the extra VDO gauges I got as well.
I've used a billet radiator neck rather than the pressed alloy ones.
Fitting the shroud took ages as extra fabricated channels had to be built which then had to have nutserts installed so the shroud would bolt up using the original mounting points.
There are some pics of the radiator nearly completed as well as some of the intercoolers I've built recently.
Here's some pics of a top mount intercooler I built for a an early 80's petrol Jackaroo that I'm quite proud of too.
Regards Andrew.
FollowupID: 305679

Reply By: Roachie - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 21:00

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 21:00
Thanks for that info. It certainly bears out what the bloke from PWR was telling me on the phone. I don't pretend to understand the physics of the whole deal, in terms of one of the replies I had on my previous post where I brought this subject up. One fellow (haven't got his name in front of me at this moment, but may have been Truckster?), said that if the overall size of the radiator was the same, he didn't believe the new one would be any more efficient just because it has bigger holes (ie 2 rows of 26 mm holes instead of 2 rows of 10mm holes).
$1100- is a helluva price, but if it solves the problem and presumably lengthens the engine's life span, I reckon it's got to be money well spent. (Sounds like I'm talking myself into ordering one, doesn't it.........if I do, I guess my order for 4 new Tough Dog Big Bore Adjustable shockers will have wait another few months until I can save up more clams and brownie points with the Minister For Finance).
AnswerID: 43370

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 22:43

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 22:43
Na, I was saying I would go a a 3 core for $450, or 4 core for $600, over $1100.. Way too much, and if you have a front ender, bye bye... Stick, slide off into a rut etc etc.. Then theres no guarantee its gonna work!

Yes, I can see the insurance company coming to the party for an $1100 radiator....
FollowupID: 305680

Follow Up By: awill4x4 - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 23:03

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 23:03
Roachie, what people tend to forget is that aluminium radiators are much more efficient at dissipating heat than the copper/brass ones. My new rad had a really good test over Xmas/New year and it came through with flying colours. I know that if I hadn't changed, the original one wouldn't have coped.
If you do get one, be sure before installing radiator that you flush out your coolant with a good radiator flush. ( I used Tectalloy Mukowt) and also get your entire cooling system pressure reverse flushed. It's amazing the amount of "crap" that this removes from the coolant system. Refill cooling system with plain water.
At this point get the radiator place to do a "stray current test" if your vehicle fails this get it rectified "BEFORE INSTALLING THE RADIATOR"
Stray current will quickly ruin a radiator and is not covered under warranty.
Use a top grade coolant with good anti foaming/cavitation properties (I used Tectalloy long life 100+, expensive but so is my rad) An excellent way to check anti foaming/cavitation is to shake the bottle up in the store and watch the bubbles form at the top, the best coolants are the ones in which the bubbles quickly disperse. It quite a surprise to see some top name coolants that fail this simple test.
I'll start a new post with info on the correct procedure for stray current testing and cooling system flushing.
Regards Andrew.
FollowupID: 305686

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 23:10

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 23:10
Theres also another thread on radiators on outerlimits
AnswerID: 43392

Follow Up By: awill4x4 - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 23:20

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 23:20
Hey Truckster, guess what I started at work today? I'll give you a clue. It sits above the rocker cover of a TD 42 and is made of aluminium and has a scoop directing air through it.
FollowupID: 305688

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 23:21

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 23:21
I want one.. wonder if sweety will let me.... ;)
FollowupID: 305689

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