Radiator Issues: Re-Core or purchase new aftermarket?

Discussion in 'Small Block Tech' started by Paul Stewart, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Paul Stewart

    Paul Stewart Well-Known Member

    What do you guys think? My 2 core isn't keeping the car cool, so looking to go with a 3 or 4 core. There is only one shop in town still doing these and I don't know anything about them. Suggestions are welcomed!
  2. gstewart

    gstewart Well-Known Member

    personally, I would buy a new rad. If u have a 350 (mostly stock), a 2 core should suffice. U surely do not need a 4 core. In an early thread, a year or two ago, there was a discussion on this subject.
    Mark Demko likes this.
  3. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    I'd go new.
    Recores are a crap shoot.
    Get a nice 1 or 2 row aluminum rad.
  4. Golden Oldie 65

    Golden Oldie 65 Well-Known Member

    Do you still have the original Harrison radiator? If so, I would re-core it with a high efficiency 3 row core. I use a guy near us in Belvidere, IL who is the best I've ever seen with radiators. He's done many of them for my restorations.
  5. hugger

    hugger Well-Known Member

    If looks dont concern you, the plastic tank replacements fit as they should, much more efficient, weigh less, and have a lifetime warranty,...I've used close to 1k of them over the years
  6. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    Re-core radiators work great, just like new from the factory. The tanks were universal from the factory for the application they were installed in, meaning that a 2 core radiator can be re-cored to a 3 or even a 4 core radiator. A 2 core would be for a small block no A/C, a 3 core would be for a small block with A/C and a big block with no A/C and the 4 core would be for a big block with A/C.

    Also if there was a towing package the radiator would be upgraded 1 row higher than what is listed above with a 4 core being the highest rows offered.

    Over the time of 40 to 50 + years of service, a factory style radiator the core material thins out from coolant circulation and looses a lot of there cooling capacity over time. Usually if it still holds pressure it will still cool an old tired factory engine though. Which brings us to the myth of "the block being bored to thin after a rebuild and now it overheats"(LOL)! A rebuilt to more of a performance build with more power and the 40 to 50 + year old 2 row radiator is re-installed and now it overheats! Yeah, its because it was "bored to big" and not because the radiator isn't up to the task of cooling the new performance engine that make more power which makes more heat.:rolleyes:

    If there are plans of upgrading to a 455 or even upping the performance of the sbb 350 you have now, then upgrading the radiator would be a good idea. I like using local shops when I can to keep the $ I spend closer to home than possibly sending it overseas. Your local shop would be worth a try, plus if there is something wrong with it they are down the street where they can fix it in one day instead of shipping it back from where you ordered it from.

    Some radiator shops even build custom aluminum radiators that would be a direct fit in your car, would be worth checking your local shop to see if they have that capability if you're interested in an aluminum radiator?
    Darron72Skylark likes this.
  7. Mart

    Mart '71 350 GS, almost stock

    I've been running a Modine 3 core since Perry drugs stopped selling auto parts!!! About 25 years ago or so......
    300sbb_overkill likes this.
  8. Fox's Den

    Fox's Den 22 years of racing the same 355 Buick motor

    Same here and same amount of time !
  9. Daves69

    Daves69 Too many cars too work on

    Had mine re-cored with the high efficiency 3 row core have not had any overheating issues.
  10. 64 wildcat conv

    64 wildcat conv Silver Level contributor

    I had my original factory Harrison radiator re-cored 8 years ago and no issues with overheating. It is a factory AC car so it had a 3 row core, shroud, fan clutch, and AC water pump stock. I chose the re-core to keep the factory look and fit. It was a bit pricey at the time due to the price of metals spiking back then. I think it was about $500.
  11. Golden Oldie 65

    Golden Oldie 65 Well-Known Member

    It's still $500. The last one I had done was for a `68 GTO, probably the same core, and that's exactly what it cost but worth it to retain the original tanks. My `65 Skylark has a Griffin aluminum radiator that doesn't look original but then again there is nothing original about that car anymore so it doesn't matter to me.
  12. 300sbb_overkill

    300sbb_overkill WWG1WGA. MAGA

    WOW! The last recore I had done was around $245 about 7 years ago and I thought that was high back then!

    If its not a daily driver then you have time to see which way is best for your wallet.

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