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6.9 IDI 15 5/8 Radiator Replacement

Discussion in '6.9L IH & 7.3L IDI Diesels' started by Vanzal15, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. Vanzal15

    Vanzal15 Registered User

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    All,

    Wondering if anyone has an alternative to the $400+ Pep Boy's Spectra radiator for a drop in replacement. I hear I should go aluminum but have not been able to find one that has the 15 5/8 element height my truck has stock. Amazon and Ebay searches are all over the place. It looks like the 1985 was made with two different radiators, a 15 5/8 and a 23 3/4 and i was lucky enough to get the less common one?

    Best,

    Lyle
     
  2. Shadetreemechanic

    Shadetreemechanic Full Access Member

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    Where are you? I have a narrow one in my parts truck that I have no use for.
     
  3. chris142

    chris142 Full Access Member

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    That short squatty one was for no factory ac trucks. Very rare. I have seen 2 in my lifetime and I work at a radiator shop.
     
  4. Vanzal15

    Vanzal15 Registered User

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    I’m in San Jose California. Is it the stock copper one or aluminum?
     
  5. Vanzal15

    Vanzal15 Registered User

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    Really? My truck has AC in the dash but it does not work and has been half gutted. Any idea if you can bolt up the square one or how off it might be?
     
  6. Shadetreemechanic

    Shadetreemechanic Full Access Member

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    It is a factory radiator, but I am in TN. I think you will need to change out your core support in order to put the square radiator in.
    I would consider pulling it and shipping to get you going, but this coming weekend I am out of town and I am working all week so it would not be instantaneous.
     
  7. chris142

    chris142 Full Access Member

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    Aftermarket ac.
     
  8. Vanzal15

    Vanzal15 Registered User

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    Man, thanks for the legit offer. I did quite a bit of research and can't seem to find a drop in aluminum replacement. I am not sure i want to invest the time in moving radiator supports at this time.... i have a welder and all just would rather drive the truck then wrench on it for the time being. I think what i am going to do is try flushing my stock radiator. The inside looks a little crusty but the outside looks to be in extremely good condish... I'm hoping by doing a few chemical flushes i dont uncover any leaks.... i'll keep you guys posted.
     
  9. Shadetreemechanic

    Shadetreemechanic Full Access Member

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    Are there not any radiator shops left in California? I just had a factory radiator hot tanked and rodded here. (I did have to drive to Alabama to find a radiator shop.) If the radiator is not rotten a radiator shop can make it good as new.
    I think it cost me $125 bucks and 2 hours of driving but was well worth it.
     
  10. Vanzal15

    Vanzal15 Registered User

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    I have no experience in restoration of radiators. It sounds like having a radiator shop clean it out professionally might be orders of magnitude better then the old chemical flush huh?
     
  11. chris142

    chris142 Full Access Member

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    Thats smoking cheap!
    That's smoking cheap! I work at a radiator shop in Hesperia,CA. We no longer dip them but we do rod them out. That's a $200+ rod out! $50 of it is just the cost of solder.
    solder as it's so heavily regulated here it costs us a bunch just for the roll of solder. There are many radiator shops still in southern California.
     
  12. chris142

    chris142 Full Access Member

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    A flush won't get down into the tubes where the plugs are.
     
  13. Garbage_Mechan

    Garbage_Mechan Garbage Mechanic

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    One of the last true radiator shops I have worked with is Panky’s in Hayward. I sent all my trash truck fleet work from Green Team in San Jose to them. Prior to that in the Central Valley Panky’s would actually pick up my Radiators including up to D8 Cats. Usually 2 to 3 days. A known clean radiator solves a lot of potential headaches.
     
  14. Shadetreemechanic

    Shadetreemechanic Full Access Member

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    That is the route you should go. Even if I sent you mine I would still tell you to have it rodded. They will perform as good as new.
     
  15. Shadetreemechanic

    Shadetreemechanic Full Access Member

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    For those in the South:
    Flat Rock Radiator in Flat Rock, Alabama. He inherited the shop from his dad. They have been around about 40 years in the same spot.
     

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