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1984 6.9 radiator re-core cost

Discussion in '6.9L IH & 7.3L IDI Diesels' started by Frstdiesel, Oct 19, 2020.

  1. Frstdiesel

    Frstdiesel Full Access Member

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    Well I thought I had a good lead on a "reasonable" re-core for my original radiator.
    I was quoted $680.

    From what I have read on here over the past many months this is probably in the ballpark.

    Also from what I have read on here, it seems the aluminum rads are lasting 3-5 years.
    If I can get twice that from my original radiator after re-core, it might be worth the $680.
    Thoughts or suggestions by you experienced guys?
    Kevin
     
  2. franklin2

    franklin2 Full Access Member

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    I bought one of the Champion 2 core all aluminum radiators on ebay approx 15 years ago. It just sprung a leak in the core a couple of days ago. I am a little disappointed, I figured it would last the life of the truck. The original radiator crapped out after about 20 years, so I guess I can't complain too much.

    So what do I do now? I checked all the parts stores, rockauto, and ebay. It came down to ebay and another champion, or Autozone.

    The champions on ebay are now mostly 3 core. I see most of them have decent ratings now, they did have some shipping damage problems but the one I got was perfect when I got it. If I bought another, I should get close to the same service out of it.

    The Autozone radiator is made by Spectre, the same people who make the gas tanks. It's aluminum with plastic tanks. If I order it online, they have a code where I can get 20% off and free shipping. And I just accumulated a $20 reward. So if I put those two together, the price is very close to the champion on ebay.

    I believe I have decided to get the Autozone radiator. The reason? It has a limited lifetime warranty. So if I keep the receipt, I have something to fall back on, something I would not have with the ebay radiator. All the newer cars and trucks have plastic tanks now, so I am not afraid of that.

    You can buy 3 of those champion radiators on ebay for $680 and have money left over.
     
  3. franklin2

    franklin2 Full Access Member

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    P.S. The aluminum radiators cool very well, so you do not have to worry about that. Even the 2 core one I had cooled the truck in the hottest weather once I got the fan clutch fixed.
     
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  4. Philip1

    Philip1 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    If it was me, I would avoid the plastic tank radiators like the plague. I've had bad luck with them from the gasket between the core and tank leaking after less than a year of being in the truck to the plastic tank exploding under heavy load leaving the truck stranded. My philosophy regarding radiator sizing, bigger is better as long as you can afford it. Here is the 3 options champion offers for these trucks (2 core, 3 core, and 4 core)

    https://www.championradiators.com/Ford-F-series-diesel-radiator-1983-1994
     
  5. Frstdiesel

    Frstdiesel Full Access Member

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    Yeah i would rather shy away from the plastic tank rads.
     
  6. Shadetreemechanic

    Shadetreemechanic Full Access Member

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    That is probably about right for a recore. You are in texas though. If you have someone to core it can't you find a decent used one and have it rodded?
    I just did that to one for $150. Its like a new one now.
     
  7. Frstdiesel

    Frstdiesel Full Access Member

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    That's a thought....
    What's the odds of finding a decent used one though?
     
  8. square1

    square1 Registered User

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    The radiator shop claimed a recore would be as good as the original. The original lasted 25 years.
    $500+ a little / 25 years = very good deal IMO
    They, by all appearances and performance, did an awesome job.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
  9. Shadetreemechanic

    Shadetreemechanic Full Access Member

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    Decent used ones are not hard to find in TN. I assumed texas would be the same with no salt on the roads.
    A recore would be as good as new. I have spent the $$ to do that on tractor radiators that are harder to come by.
     
  10. IDIBRONCO

    IDIBRONCO IDIBRONCO

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    Pretty good at my place. Two are in my garage, one is in a yet-to-be-stripped-down parts truck, and there's also one that probably needs a recore. That's not counting the ones in my Blue Truck and my Ex Wife project truck. I hoard these any time I find them. Wes may have one as well. You may try giving him a shout.
     
  11. chris142

    chris142 Full Access Member

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    We get about $900 for a standard recore and $1300 for the super efficient recore with 5/8 tubes set 3/8 apart with 14 fpi. Hurry up cause my boss is retiring in 2 weeks!
     
  12. franklin2

    franklin2 Full Access Member

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    Well, I had big plans to order the Autozone one. Went this evening to get it, and as soon as I apply the discount and it gives it to me, the site craps out. Tried several different things. They lost that order, I went to ebay and ordered one of those.

    I had that happen on Advance Auto's site before. I was getting pretty large discounts by ordering online and getting 20 and 30% discounts, and then going to the store to pick it up. After I did this a few times, they also started having supposed site problems. But, if I got on my cell phone which uses a different ip address, I could order and the site was not down. Go back to the computer, and the site was down again. Sounds like the old twitter and facebook deal to me.
     
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  13. chris142

    chris142 Full Access Member

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    Why?
     
  14. franklin2

    franklin2 Full Access Member

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    Well, the new radiator came today. The whole end of the cardboard box had come undone, but the only damage was one of the angled hook things on the top on one side was bent a little bit no big deal.

    Looked it over and compared it to the old one. They have channels on each side of the radiator for mounting. The old radiator had a thin steel channel on both sides tied together with steel rods going across the front of the radiator core. The new one is all aluminum, the aluminum is a thicker gauge where it mounts compared to the steel.

    Comparing the thickness, there is not much difference. The old radiator had only two rows, but they were very wide. The new radiator has 3 rows, but all 3 are more narrow, and it works out to be the same thickness. Don't know in theory if this is better or not, and I haven't gotten it out on the road to test it yet. These trucks are terrible to try to get to warm up and get the thermostat to open so you can burp the air out.

    All in all, pretty uneventful swap. And you can't beat the price. The newer diesels may pass me by on the road, but mine is much easier and cheaper to work on and keep going. I have a 2009 f350 with the 6.4 at work, and the fleet mechanic refuses to work on anything with the cooling system. He says Ford has to use some special machine to get all the air out of it. They charged $800 to replace both radiator hoses. Now it has sprung a leak in the lower driver's corner of the radiator, and he is making me live with it till we can get it to the dealer. I am guessing with the radiator cost that will be a $2000 bill.
     
  15. Philip1

    Philip1 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    3 narrow rows will have more surface area than 2 wide rows. This in theory should improve cooling although it is possible to be too small of a different to notice
     

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