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Old July 25th, 2011, 08:13 AM   #1
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how to tell the difference between 3 and 4 core radiator

Im trying to find out the difference between a 3 row and a 4 row what is the difference between thickness and how to tell the difference in the top plate pics would help the reason im asking is I think I have a a 3 core in my car with five blades.its been running hot.Its been hot in the new york area for the past week started to overflow in the overflow bottle when the car is off I have a 455 motor a little work done to it cam pistons.Is there a big difference between a 3 core and a 4 core I also have ac in the car running about 225 on a very hot day

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Old July 25th, 2011, 08:18 AM   #2
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Shroud in place and fan clutch functioning correctly? Lots of air should be blowing when hot at idle.
Overflow is okay if not excessive (as in bad rad cap).
225* is a bit hot but not severely.
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Old July 25th, 2011, 09:03 AM   #3
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just a little rub first... correct terminology is 3 ROW or 4 ROW, the "Core" refers to the whole center section of rows & fins (not counting tanks)

Top plate & tank size is the same regardless of number of rows.
How to check number of rows... Take the radiator cap off (when the engine is cold of course) use a flashlight and look inside to the right.
you will see the ends of all the flattened tubes as they come into the side tank.

Count the number of rows, and you have your answer.


As for temps... I can't say. If my cars run more than 210 I get nervous and pull over and let it cool down.
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Old July 25th, 2011, 09:20 AM   #4
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Some 4-rows have a larger tank, necessaiting different rubber or even steel mounting pads/brackets.
If you've the money, and not worried about originality, I've heard there's some exceptional aluminium radiators with more tubes and fins per inch than factory, and not a ton of money!
Complete bolt-in with no mods!
Supposed to handle those 572 inch 'aftermarket' motors easily!
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Old July 25th, 2011, 09:51 AM   #5
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I have the shroud in place and has a 5 blade fan and the fan clutch kicks in fine yes and by looking at the rows I have 3 what Rob was saying could it be a bad cap on the radiator.During the summer months not extremly hot it runs about 210. During the winter months about 195 changed the thermostat to a 160 still the same.Is it worth it to install an electric fan in front of the radiator to kool down alitttle.

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Old July 25th, 2011, 10:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELECMAN View Post
I have the shroud in place and has a 5 blade fan and the fan clutch kicks in fine yes and by looking at the rows I have 3 what Rob was saying could it be a bad cap on the radiator.During the summer months not extremly hot it runs about 210. During the winter months about 195 changed the thermostat to a 160 still the same.Is it worth it to install an electric fan in front of the radiator to kool down alitttle.
A thermostatically controlled electric fan on the face of the radiator is an outstanding economical solution to overheating while idling or very hot weather. I have mine set to come on between 195-200 and I can sit at stoplights or move slowly from stoplight to stoplight or just sit and idle and my temp will now not go much over 210 at the highest. I have a 3 "row" radiator and prior to adding the elec fan the temp would rise to almost 240 in those type situations. When i get moving again the temp will go right back down and normally operate around 185-190. As for the motor reaching that high of water temp -- You will NOT sustain any engine damage at 240 as long as you "keep the coolant in it"! If the coolant stays in the system under pressure and doesnt boil out, you wont do any damage! That being said, it certainly is best to try to keep it as low as you can. Go for the electric fan. Much cheaper than an aluminum radiator!
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Old July 25th, 2011, 10:33 AM   #7
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Go for the electric fan. Much cheaper than an aluminum radiator!
Be sure to factor in an upgraded alternator, as these electric fans will need 20 amps or so.
At idle, the 63A alt puts out under that and with cooling fan, AC blower on high and lights on, you are at 50A right there. A 63A alt might work, but if you city-slog alot like in Dallas, it will not.
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Old July 25th, 2011, 10:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELECMAN View Post
I have the shroud in place and has a 5 blade fan and the fan clutch kicks in fine yes and by looking at the rows I have 3 what Rob was saying could it be a bad cap on the radiator.During the summer months not extremly hot it runs about 210. During the winter months about 195 changed the thermostat to a 160 still the same.Is it worth it to install an electric fan in front of the radiator to kool down alitttle.

Lose that 160 degree thermostat and put in a 180 or even a 190.

The function of the thermostat is to alternate water in the block and water in the radiator to allow it to cooling down. If you run a thermostat with too low of a temp- it just stays open all the time. Water in the radiator is never allowed to cool down. Put in the higher temp thermostat, the higher the number the longer the water stays in the radiator & the cooler it will be when it returns to the engine when the thermostat kicks open again.

AC cars almost always came with 4 row radiators to aid in cooling. Those extra rows contain a lot more coolant.

US Radiator makes a 4 row radiator called the "desert cooler" that has a couple "blocks" in the tanks that force the water to do kind of a 2 stage cooling thing within the radiator. Supposed to work really good. I bought one for a 67 Merc Monterey I had with a 390 that wanted to overheat all the time. Never had a problem again.
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Old July 25th, 2011, 12:39 PM   #9
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Rambo - Your theory is correct, but only with no thermostat!
There is enough restriction with any thermostat to cool accordingly, as they're not the size of the housing opening.
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Old July 25th, 2011, 03:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELECMAN View Post
I have the shroud in place and has a 5 blade fan and the fan clutch kicks in fine yes and by looking at the rows I have 3 what Rob was saying could it be a bad cap on the radiator.During the summer months not extremly hot it runs about 210. During the winter months about 195 changed the thermostat to a 160 still the same.Is it worth it to install an electric fan in front of the radiator to kool down alitttle.
I just replaced the fan clutch on my car because it had been replaced somewhere alone the line with a cheapo non thermostatically controlled clutch the old one seemed to work fine but with the new one it runs 20 degrees cooler. You might also just need to have your radiator cleaned that can make a big difference sometimes. A electric fan can cause it's own PITA problems, I'd just optimize your stock system and get it work at like new.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 05:17 PM   #11
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Guys thanks for the input
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Old July 31st, 2011, 05:17 PM
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