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Thread: Radiator - Re-core / Replacement?

  1. #1
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    Radiator - Re-core / Replacement?

    Need to either re-core or replace the original Harrison radiator in my 57 2 door 210. PN# 3136158 R-03 (?) K-56 which is Nov.56 date I believe. 283 V8 with my signature dual fours, mild hyd cam and headers. Radiator currently has leaks in the down flow tubes and fair amount of damage to the paper thin fins. Not missing or tore, just scraped by objects thru the years. V-8 radiator position, have a steel six blade Derale 17317 fan and will be using a two piece ABS shroud. Have been looking at a LOT of aftermarket radiator options but would like some input from those who have gone thru this before and were satisfied with their results when finished. Price is not as much a consideration as is the quality and fit would be for me. Hate spending $$ and not being satisfied with the results. Will be talking to the shop that re-cored the 4 row radiator for my 71 Chevelle to see if they can get a new core for my 57.

    Also the threaded nut plates have thread damage from a cross thread at some point. Thinking of drilling out the threads and using 1/20 bolts free running bolts which would make alignment easier when installing the radiator. Thoughts on this, good idea or bad idea? Opinions?

  2. #2
    Registered Member busterwivell's Avatar
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    I had an original 4 core redone when I was building my 56. 3 months after I got the ca on the road, it started leaking again. I took it back, and they told it wasn't repairable. Thought they just took my money. My car is not stock anyway, so I put in a Champion aluminum radiator. I put one in my 66 Chevelle about 6-7 years ago, and it's been fine. This one in my 56 is going on 3 years now without a problem. Engine runs cool in 110+ heat with the A/C running.

  3. #3
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    Sorry to read of your bad experience with the re-core of your radiator. At the cost of having such done I would have thought you would have had a one year warranty. Did you show them the ticket from the recent core replacement showing their involvement with the radiator? I had the 4 row radiator re-cored for my 71 Chevelle several years ago and has been cooling great with no problems. Plan to visit that same shop today with the radiator from the 57 and hopefully with the same results. Will post back here later today what I find out.

    Does the Champion radiator look stock in design but is aluminum in construction? Welded construction? Have seen some aluminum radiators with the top tank being slanted and would to keep a stock appearance.

  4. #4
    Registered Member busterwivell's Avatar
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    The Champion is not shaped the same on top, but my 56 is no where near stock, so that didn't matter to me. I was after function rather than stock appearance.
    I had the receipt with me when I took the radiator back to them. They took my money the first time, assuring me the radiator would be fine when they were done. They claimed their warranty was 90 days. This time they were not so optimistic. I won't take any work to them again.
    The other frustrating thing was that I had to open the A/C lines to complete the removal, then have it charged back up again.

  5. #5
    Registered Member Custer55's Avatar
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    I believe Cold Case aluminum radiators have stamped tanks that look like a stock radiator. My son has one in his 59 Mercury and it works great. Wasn't a stock replacement for his car (was for a Mopar) but worked with a few minor mods and a lower hose adapter. The tri-five radiators that they sell would be a bolt-in. No mods needed.

    https://www.coldcaseradiators.com/pr.../model/bel-air

  6. #6
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    Waiting to hear back from our last remaining radiator shop on the status of the radiator. Repair, re-core or replace is a big question yet to be answered. Was planning on entering the '57 in our local car show tomorrow (Sat 7/10) for it's very first showing but looks as if that will have to wait. Had planned to take our '71 Chevrolet 4x4, '71 Chevelle and finally being able to enter the '57. Not going to happen that way now, will be taking just our '71 Chevelle instead this time.

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