1 month Cold Case Radiator review and thoughts. - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 14th, 18, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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1 month Cold Case Radiator review and thoughts.

THE PROBLEM: As many of you may know, ever since I rebuilt my SBC 383 (With an 8.5 CR) in my '68 El Camino and added a Procharger (With 15 lbs. of boost and an intercooler) I have had a difficult time keeping the temperature below 210°+ (With a 50/50 mix of antifreeze, no thermostat & a standard flex fan) in sunny Southern California traffic.

At 80° on the highway the temperature guage (Installed in the manifold) reads 185°. In constant stop and go traffic for more than 5 minutes, the temperature would shoot up to 215°+. Once the car began to move again, it would drop to about 200° and hold as long as I didn't stop for a red light or get stuck in traffic again.

THE FIX - After discussing this issue with many other muscle car enthusiasts at shows and online, I decided to purchase a Cold Case aluminum radiator.

The radiator arrived about a week later. It was neatly boxed & covered in thick plastic which was shrouded with about 2 inches of styrofoam. A careful once over confirmed the welds were clean and solid and radiator tanks were nicely polished.

Other than being aluminum, the two biggest things I noticed were: the center core was thicker than stock and the Cold Case had 2 row high flow cores as opposed to my old small 3 row core original. Although the new radiator was stouter than the original, it still fit effortlessly in its cradle.

The install - this install was a direct replacement. It went in fairly fast as I didn't have to alter or change anything to make it fit. A simple R&R was all that was required.

After a quick flush and a refill of 50/50 antifreeze, with my fingers crossed, I was on a mission to see how the Cold Case radiator compared to my original.

TEST DAY - The test weather was sunny and 90° outside. I drove around town (Including the highway) for a couple of hours. My car's highway temperatures were in the area of 175°. Now to the street with traffic. In stop and go traffic for about 5 minutes it hovered around 180° and then I came to a complete stop due to a dreaded train crossing. Another 4-5 minutes of just idling, the temperature rose to 190°. With the train's safety arms back up in the air, my temperature guage was back down to 179° in less than a mile (All testing was done traveling the posted street limits with the exception of 2 hard accelerations).

It was obvious to me the Cold Case radiator let my thermostat do all the talking. Not only did it keep my temperature down during hotter conditions, but as soon as there was a little bit of air flowing (Through the intercooler and then receiving secondhand air) my temperature dropped drastically. I couldn't ask for anything more.

THOUGHTS - At the end of the day, it did exactly what it promised to do, but at a substantially lower price and polished at that. I recommend this product for anyone wanting a classic Muscle Car or Hot Rod look, and the efficiency of a high dollar aluminum radiator to match. This was money well spent. Remember, heat is an engines worst enemy.

NOTE - Due to the radiator being a tad thicker than stock, make sure to check your radiator hose clearance in relationship to the fan belt when installing. Yes, I speak from experience and a loose belt. Yikes!

Feel free to DM me if you have any questions.

Former Drag Racer and Muscle Car Enthusiast.


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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 18, 9:08 AM
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Re: 1 month Cold Case Radiator review and thoughts.

Cold case in my '70 454 El Camino. Solved my running hot issues. Also installed a factory clutch for my fan.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 18, 4:10 PM
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Re: 1 month Cold Case Radiator review and thoughts.

It may help to have your fan sit further back, and not so much inside the shroud?

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 18, 8:11 PM
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Re: 1 month Cold Case Radiator review and thoughts.

One question, you said you had no thermostat. Then you said this: “It was obvious to me the Cold Case radiator let my thermostat do all the talking”. Did you add a thermostat? Or did you mean temp gauge where you said thermostat? I may be confused, as it wouldn’t be the first time!
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 18, 8:48 PM
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Re: 1 month Cold Case Radiator review and thoughts.

As said in the # 3 Post the Mech Fan should be Half in/out of the Shroud Hole
to do the Best/Max job of pulling Air thru the Rad Fins and the Shroud

Another thing 50/50 Anti Freeze / Water Mixture in warm weather is not needed
about 15% ( -15*) mixture of Anti Freeze / Water,
since more water would dispense heat better,
is what I use in my Rad/Engine which keeps the Water Pump lubed enough

So you could have kept the old Rad and just changed the Mixture to more Water/ less Anti Freeze
and likely got the same results !!??

67 Chevelle Malibu SS Cdn
Born 283 / PG / A51
468/TH400 2,500 stall/ S60 3.70 Gs
Prev Best on M/T ET S/S #3454 street Tires/Dress 2018/05/20
60' = 1.664
1/8 = 7.532 et / 91 mph
1/4 = 11.814 et / 115 mph
NEW Best with 3,500+ Stall TC 2019/09/08
60' = 1.547
1/8 = 7.311 et / 91.76 mph
1/4 = 11.595 et / 114.28 mph


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 18, 9:28 PM
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Re: 1 month Cold Case Radiator review and thoughts.

Frank probably regrets posting this review now.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 18, 10:58 PM
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I’ll have to say, I put a Cold Case radiator and flex-a-lite 18” fan on over the winter, replaced the original radiator with factory blade fan.

Original setup worked ok. On warm days it would get up there though -210- in slow traffic, idling etc.

We have had some 90-degree weather the last few days, drove the car a lot including sitting in bumper to bumper traffic in the heat for a long time.

Temps have stayed right at 180 (180 thermostat.) Has never gone over that once, in the last few weeks of hot/very warm weather.

Again, nothing fancy, 283 and power glide, no shroud.

Was not happy at first, fitment wise, my car has one of those air boxes in front of the radiator, stock. Short water pum. Cold Case radiator was not a “direct fit”.

Found out that Cold Case didn’t even know that some small block cars came as above stock, and they said they based their design on “stock big block cars” but they are very unclear about that in their marketing material!

Anyway, made it fit and it works great so I guess not too many complains.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 18, 12:18 AM
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Re: 1 month Cold Case Radiator review and thoughts.

Great write up!!
I also have similar results with my Cold Case radiator, (69 with 454) however I also went with the dual electric fan set up all for less than $400.
Thanks for taking the time to update us on your results.
I'm not sure why some folks don't like the 50/50 mix. I'd like to understand that a little better.

Anyway, good job.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 18, 1:26 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1 month Cold Case Radiator review and thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 70GS455 View Post
It may help to have your fan sit further back, and not so much inside the shroud?

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Thank you for the tip!

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 18, 1:28 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1 month Cold Case Radiator review and thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 70CHEVELLE396 View Post
One question, you said you had no thermostat. Then you said this: “It was obvious to me the Cold Case radiator let my thermostat do all the talking”. Did you add a thermostat? Or did you mean temp gauge where you said thermostat? I may be confused, as it wouldn’t be the first time!
I meant temperature guage. Good catch!

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 18, 1:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1 month Cold Case Radiator review and thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirk's67SS View Post
As said in the # 3 Post the Mech Fan should be Half in/out of the Shroud Hole
to do the Best/Max job of pulling Air thru the Rad Fins and the Shroud

Another thing 50/50 Anti Freeze / Water Mixture in warm weather is not needed
about 15% ( -15*) mixture of Anti Freeze / Water,
since more water would dispense heat better,
is what I use in my Rad/Engine which keeps the Water Pump lubed enough

So you could have kept the old Rad and just changed the Mixture to more Water/ less Anti Freeze
and likely got the same results !!??
Fan placement may have allowed the old radiator to operate a little more efficient, but, it surely does not dissipate heat like the new aluminum one.

Thanks for the feedback.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 18, 12:48 PM
 
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Re: 1 month Cold Case Radiator review and thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirk's67SS View Post

So you could have kept the old Rad and just changed the Mixture to more Water/ less Anti Freeze
and likely got the same results !!??
No, because he had a 50/50 mix in his old combination and if you look at his old combination, he had a shroud and a flex fan. I believe he duplicated everything except the thermostat and as he said, with the thermostat, he ran even hotter.

All radiator companies (including us) do a lot of theoretical analysis on cooling systems. We have been actively seeking certain heavy duty combos to do real world testing. The best way is to make sure you can identify the components that made the difference between the old and the new. Frank's car was a perfect candidate, we agreed that all he would change is the radiator and leave everything else the same. By doing so, the test results are very clear.

There is no other logical explanation for the significant drop in temperatures since the only significant component that changed was the radiator.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 18, 12:53 PM
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Re: 1 month Cold Case Radiator review and thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPRSPT69 View Post
Great write up!!
I also have similar results with my Cold Case radiator, (69 with 454) however I also went with the dual electric fan set up all for less than $400.
Thanks for taking the time to update us on your results.
I'm not sure why some folks don't like the 50/50 mix. I'd like to understand that a little better.
Anyway, good job.
In warm weather times/locations you do not need Antifreeze in your Rad

as Water will do better alone for dispensing/reducing the Hot Temp of the Fluid coming out of the Engine into the Rad

The reasons for the Antifreeze mixed with Water(Coolant) in a Rad is for
A. to lube the Water Pump I have found that a -15* Reading on my Coolant Temp Rating Tool is good enough eg. 15%
B. to protect the Coolant from Freezing in the Cold Weather locations in the Winter,
up here and also in some of your USA states, it can go to -50* Below Zero sometimes
that is where the 50/50 mix of Antifreeze & Water would apply

And therefore the more Antifreeze mixed with Water the less/slower it will cool down when going thru the Rad .

MotoMaster Antifreeze/Coolant Tester
MotoMaster Antifreeze/Coolant Tester | Canadian Tire $ 8.99 Cdn
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67 Chevelle Malibu SS Cdn
Born 283 / PG / A51
468/TH400 2,500 stall/ S60 3.70 Gs
Prev Best on M/T ET S/S #3454 street Tires/Dress 2018/05/20
60' = 1.664
1/8 = 7.532 et / 91 mph
1/4 = 11.814 et / 115 mph
NEW Best with 3,500+ Stall TC 2019/09/08
60' = 1.547
1/8 = 7.311 et / 91.76 mph
1/4 = 11.595 et / 114.28 mph


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 18, 1:19 PM
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Re: 1 month Cold Case Radiator review and thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ccass View Post
No, because he had a 50/50 mix in his old combination and if you look at his old combination, he had a shroud and a flex fan. I believe he duplicated everything except the thermostat and as he said, with the thermostat, he ran even hotter.

All radiator companies (including us) do a lot of theoretical analysis on cooling systems. We have been actively seeking certain heavy duty combos to do real world testing. The best way is to make sure you can identify the components that made the difference between the old and the new. Frank's car was a perfect candidate, we agreed that all he would change is the radiator and leave everything else the same. By doing so, the test results are very clear.

There is no other logical explanation for the significant drop in temperatures since the only significant component that changed was the radiator.
All I was saying is that by locating the Fan Blades Half in and Half out of the Shroud Hole
And by reducing the amount of Antifreeze percentage Mix in his Coolant
he would have seen a reduction of the Fluid Temps by just doing that
and maybe not have to buy a New Rad, just do a clean out on the Old Rad

Of course any New Larger Alum Rad is going to Cool the Fluid down better than a OLD Smaller Brass Rad .

67 Chevelle Malibu SS Cdn
Born 283 / PG / A51
468/TH400 2,500 stall/ S60 3.70 Gs
Prev Best on M/T ET S/S #3454 street Tires/Dress 2018/05/20
60' = 1.664
1/8 = 7.532 et / 91 mph
1/4 = 11.814 et / 115 mph
NEW Best with 3,500+ Stall TC 2019/09/08
60' = 1.547
1/8 = 7.311 et / 91.76 mph
1/4 = 11.595 et / 114.28 mph


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 18, 10:25 PM
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Re: 1 month Cold Case Radiator review and thoughts.

From everything else I've read and had personal experience with Water alone is not the best for cast iron engines.
It's corrosive and breaks down with thermal cycling. Anti freeze mixed correctly also helps with corrosion and increases the boiling point.
If you are adding 15% anti-freeze why not just add 50/50?. 15% wont help much in a freezing situation.
I personally have not seen a 15% mix or just plain water make a 10 or 15 degree difference compared to a 50/50 mix' maybe other's have.

Just my thoughts.
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