A radiator can also be defined as a heat exchanger. As fluid is pumped out of the motor via the water pump it travels into the radiator where it flows past small fins inside. These fins are fashioned into small rows of ¼-½ spacing and make up the radiator’s core. On the older-style radiators the fins were ½ inch apart from one another and for the most part worked OK. Then the demand for more horsepower came along and so did cooling larger-horsepower engines. In the ’80s, brass and copper prices rose higher than aluminum, so the automakers took a look at making aluminum radiators that reduced overall cost. US Radiator took a look at what the newer cars and trucks were doing inside their radiators and discovered the fins were spaced slightly smaller to ¼ apart instead of ½ on the brass and copper core radiators. The ¼ spacing helped cool the vehicle about 20-percent better than that of the ½ fins because of the increased surface area of the fins and core. The above holds true for the brass and copper core radiators, but aluminum radiators require a slightly larger fin and spacing. Aluminum radiators transfer heat, but not as efficiently as a brass/copper radiator will. With that said, aluminum radiators still work great and reduce a radiator’s overall weight by 20-25 percent. And as we all know, taking weight off the front of a truck helps the vehicle handle better and saves fuel in the long run.

Cross-flow radiators and down-flow radiators

A down-flow radiator will have an inlet on the top of the motor for the hot coolant to enter from the engine. As the coolant enters the radiator it mixes in the top tank with the rest of the coolant. If you can picture a bunch of rubber ducks inside of the radiator all trying to get to the lower hose, some make it right away and some don’t. The rubber ducks that make it out of the lower hose right away are not as cool as the ducks that stay in the radiator’s fins longer. A down-flow radiator typically holds more coolant than that of a cross-flow and is very tall.

On a cross-flow radiator the tanks are on either side of the radiator with the coolant inlet on top of the radiator. The cross-flow-style radiator directs coolant from the inlet to a side tank, then across the radiator. Picture the same rubber ducks coming from the engine, then through the upper radiator hose into the tank. The ducks would then gather inside the inlet side tank and be forced to the other side outlet tank of the radiator. When the coolant travels from inlet to the outlet side of the tank, it must travel through the core of the radiator inside small tubes that have cooler air passing by them reducing the coolant temp. One advantage to a cross-flow radiator is that it is not as tall as a down-flow radiator and can accept one large fan or dual electric fans. CT

SOURCE
US Radiator
4423 District Blvd.
Vernon
CA  90058
323-826-0965
http://www.usradiator.com/
Summit Racing
Akron
OH
800-230-3030
330-630-0240
http://www.summitracing.com/
Deuces Wild Hot Rods
Fillmore
CA
805-524-5724
http://www.deuceswildhotrodsinc.
com
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