What new radiator to buy?

Garbage_Mechan

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I need a new radiator ASAP for my 91 7.3 IDI Turbo. Not able to fix existing.There are so many choices of all aluminum radiators out there. Not only the brand choice but what size and number of tubes. 2 rows of 1” tubes or 4 rows.
I tow in 100 degree weather with the AC on no problem now. What radiator is working for you? Is Mishimoto much different than Champion?
 

Nero

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I purchased a champion 3 core, I haven't had a chance to put it in yet, but shipping was relatively fast to Oregon, just ask that they fill it with expanding foam (the box) before shipping, as FedEx isn't the most gentle...
 

Clb

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Last go round quality and price had no interaction.
Lasting +5 years was not a heavily reported thing.
Buy 2 and pray.
I cooked mine out with sodium hydroxide in another country so the epa can pound sand.
 

Big Bart

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Most members suggest they bought a champion 3 row core. They seem to be readily available. If they make a 4 row go for it.

Mishimoto is known as a quality aluminum radiator but I believe they are $200-300 more expensive.
 

rreegg

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I replaced the rad on an 88 idi spring '21 and went with a 3-core aluminum from ebay, it was in the low $200. It wasn't a champion from what i remember but has worked fine thus far (freeway/city driving + hauling) - haven't seen coolant temp get above 205F but don't push things hard. My rec. is to make sure it ships from the USA regardless of where you buy from (if online). If you can find something priced reasonably at a local shop or something then that'd be my preference

From a different angle got a pick'n'pull rad for a vw tdi last week and it ended up having a couple leaks in it (if it would've worked i'd be a genius if it doesn't i'm an idiot) - so ultimately I'd recommend a new rad over used at this point in time (just my opinion, some folks prefer used/oem stuff) just to save any hassle
 

rreegg

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I'm curious if any of these trucks have radiator fans? definitely don't have one on the 88 - if OP is concerned about water temps during hot 'n' heavy hauling maybe that could be a way to dump heat with a regular alum. rad - getting a 4 core would presumably help too
 

quickster

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I just put in a Champion 4 row iirc. Def runs a little hotter. Pulled my dump trailer yesterday and noticed that. But you really have no options left. Mishi or Champion.
 

Big Bart

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If this was not a ASAP thing I would of suggested buying a used brass one and recoring it. I prefer recoring an original to replacing with aluminum. Today that costs $750-950 but they tend to run cooler, it’s plug and play, no shipping damage issues, and it will last 15-20 years if done right.

Many have not gotten even 5 years out of aluminum one. (But what do you expect for $300?) Also someone (Perhaps josh the bear) mentioned use a ground strap to slow the electrolysis that also slowly does them in.

However as mentioned above its near impossible to find a new replacement brass radiator, if you can they tend to be stupid expensive.
 
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quickster

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You can't find anyone to retank or repair radiators. They are gone. I ground strapped my aluminum one also. A place up in Myrtle said they had one, but for $1300. Yeah right.
 

Big Bart

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I am in Socal, still several shops that are able to recore. But like machine shops a dying breed.

The boat industry is keeping our local radiator shops alive. (They do boat heat exchangers and automotive radiators.)

But with all new cars in the last +20 years using plastic tanks with aluminum cores there is no money or sense in recoring. Just toss and replace with néw. So their days are numbered.
 

quickster

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I saved my old rad, the top tank needs to be resoldered. If I ever come across a place I'll get it done.
 

Nero

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Mac's radiator in my area does do recores, but they wanted $1200 for everything said and done. I politely declined.
 

Luda-Chris

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I was going to pull the trigger on a 4 core champ but wound up repairing my factory rad. Shop I used was called Active Radiator, I believe its a franchise and they are scattered about the country. Might be worth a look!
 

catbird7

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I had very poor luck with champion and went with an original re-cored. It has worked flawless since. Zero problems hauling camper in any temp with AC running. Currently have a brass rad and heater core for an old Jeep project getting re- cored right now. Cross rad in North Central PA.
 

Garbage_Mechan

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Guys, I would rather have a good brass core but it just isn’t happening anymore.
So I’d like to stick to talking about what aluminum radiator is working or didn’t work for you. And my 96 7.3 PSD truck is still on the original plastic tanked aluminum radiator so we can’t say they are all junk. Lol
 

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