5 Once the radiator was set...
5 Once the radiator was set in place, the lower hose was installed. This is another benefit of using the electric fans. If a stock fan was used, we wouldn't be able to touch the lower hose from above. Those electric fans made the install and any future service much easier.
Once the radiator is installed, be sure to check for electrolysis from a poor chassis or radiator core support ground. The electrolysis will eat the aluminum up in short order. One telltale sign is a black anodized look inside the radiator tanks. When you service your cooling system, the electrolysis check should be performed. If you find electrolysis, and you've been running the engine like this for awhile, fix the problem and change the antifreeze.
Use aluminum fittings in aluminum radiators, if possible. Using dissimilar metals together can also cause electrolysis and corrosion. A light coating of Teflon sealer on fitting threads is a good idea for ease of removal later. No need to use the longest wrench in the toolbox to install the fittings either. Use restraint when tightening the drain plug or drain cock.
We dropped our Dewitts radiator and core support into PSA and filled it with a 50/50 mix of Prestone antifreeze and distilled water, then hit the road to catch up with the '05 Hot Rod Power Tour. During the trip, the cooling fans would come on at 215 degrees, run for a short time, and the temperature would quickly drop to 197 degrees. We ran the A/C through all the typical traffic associated with the Hot Rod Power Tour and never saw the temperature above 215 degrees. Out on the road, 200 degrees was the norm, no matter what terrain we encountered. since that time, the cooling system has continued to perform flawlessly, and if we ever need to service the radiator, the original engine-driven fan shroud is not a concern.
PSA had logged over 10,000 miles in seven months when we decided to take the cover off the top of the radiator and found quite a bit of debris had accumulated in front of the radiator. There had been no noticeable temperature change, but eventually, the accumulation of debris would be noticed. It's a good idea to annually inspect the area between the radiator and A/C condenser for debris.
Fuel mileage is our big concern now. The Dewitts aluminum radiator can actually save some dollars in fuel costs. If the electric cooling fans are controlled properly, the stable engine temperature will allow optimum fuel usage, and if the fans aren't running all the time, the alternator load will be reduced, thus using less horsepower, which means more fuel mileage. Even engine-driven fans will benefit if a thermostatic fan clutch is used. Lower temperatures will require less thermostatic fan clutch engagement, requiring less fuel usage. What a deal-save your engine and better fuel mileage to boot!
6 The bolts that retain the...
6 The bolts that retain the radiator upper brackets can puncture the radiator tank if the wrong length is installed. The length of the upper retaining bracket bolts aren't standard and before you replace those bolts, check for proper clearance.
7 We've dropped our modified...
7 We've dropped our modified '90 radiator fan assembly in place. We used the '90 Corvette fans because the price was right. The only concern is the fans shroud requires modifying and clearance around the upper control arms. Dewitts has a set of fans that bolt right onto the Dewitts radiator, and they can install the fan package for you if you buy their complete package. This is a good idea for the Saturday afternoon warrior since the Dewitts radiator and fan assembly will drop right in place.
8 We fabricated the top cover...
8 We fabricated the top cover out of .045 sheet steel to fit tight to the radiator core support to avoid any air loss over the top of the radiator. The nice part about using the steel top cover was the original upper radiator retaining brackets could be used. We fitted the cover over the brackets and welded them to the cover.
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