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Custom radiator

I am thinking of ordering a custom aluminum radiator from Griffin or a similar vendor and tried to take measurements with the radiator in the car (75 Sportwagon).
Here is what I came up with.
Width 18"
Height 14"
Tank height 2 1/8" both upper and lower
Tank width 2 1/2"
If anyone has any experience ordering this piece please let me know
1) Are these dimensions correct?
2) Is this enough info for them to make one to fit?
3) Would i have to send them a radiator ?
3) Can the opel radiator frame be attached to a new aluminum one?
Help is appreciated as my Opels need all the help they can get in the Arizona heat. Especially with A/C
 

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Paul, I've seen plenty of the nice custom aluminum radiators, they can fit stock brackets in most Chevys because of the simple chev design.
But to have one fit an Opel, I think they'd say, "Whaaaat?"
It's usually custom fab work. Usually pretty simple, too.
Your situation calls for as big a radiator you can stuff in there. As did mine, I went with a '85 Honda Accordian unit complete with twin electric fans. Huge compared to stock GT!
Electric fans are the trick.
Stay Cool! :cool:
 

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Custom radiator.

Paul,

Sounds like you have a serious cooling issue. I've had a couple of radiators rebuilt with a three row core made of brass. Both of the units used the stock tanks brazed onto the new cores. They were the same size as the stock Manta/Sport Wagon radiator. The radiators had about 15% greater capacity and worked great. The temperature gauge never went over about 1/4-1/3 in Texas.

I take it that you will use a A/C unit on the Sport Wagon. If you do this, try an auxiliary cooling fan on the front side of the condenser. There is an 8-inch Perma-Cool fan that is available. If you have a custom radiator built or use the stock with a three row core, have them put in a bung fitting for a thermostat sender. This will allow you to install a thermostat to control the fan. You can get a fixed temperature or adjustable thermostat for a range of about 170-210 degrees. Should be measured at the outlet. This would indicate whether or not the radiator is providing an ample amount of cooling. If the water temperature is still high, the fan will come on to "boost" the airflow. Primarily this will be a low speed or start-stop assist. A fan does not provide significant help in cooling over about 20-30 mph.

Make sure your water pump and drive belt are in good condition. Also, make certain to have the fan shroud in place. Check to ensure that there are no cracks or gaps in the shroud. There are a ton of people who remove them and then wonder why a system that used to run at a normal temperature now runs hot.

Good luck.
 

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not custom

Actually, if you do get through to Griffin, and send them all your dimensions, they'll probably take a lot of your $, laugh at you after you hang up, and then send you one they already have on the shelf: Part #25135. While this will only fit Mantas and Asconas, Summit lists it as part # GRI-2-25135-X for $221.95.

http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?part=GRI-2-25135-X&N=300674&autoview=sku

If you were going to Carlisle, I'd sell you a set of mounting brackets there, as I plan on taking some for sale, along with some for a similar radiator for GTs and Kadetts. If you're not in a hurry, and want to make your own brackets, there should be an article on the whole project in the Blitz in the June or July issue.

(If you are in a hurry, don't want to make your own brackets, and aren't going to Carlisle, PM or e-mail me and we'll talk details and price.)
 

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Stephen's right.....been there, done that for my ITB car.
 

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That's cool. I'm impressed. My experience about "custom parts for an Opel" has been to get dumb looks and "how do you spell that" answers from the parts people! The second smartest parts man in this town said, "isn't that a Buick?" The smartest one is Hank at Napa, his first job out of high school was at a Buick dealership, they sent him to Opel service schools and he says he had to do ALL the air conditioning installs in GTs. Wasn't fun, apparently.
 

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Paul, here's a bit of experience with AC on my GT here in sunny SoCal, so you can maybe make a comparison. Understanding it really doesn't get that hot here as it does where you're at. When I got my GT with AC it only had a stock 2-row radiator in it, all the time I drove it with AC on there was no problem with overheating. The radiator sprung a leak, so I had a 3-row core put in. Simple enuff, remove the upper and lower tanks from the old core and put them on the new core. The radiator is the same size it was originally except as noted it has more capacity, both for fluid and cooling. Now for some advice that I have touted at least once or twice after living in the high deserts of CA and New Mexico where temps were 3 digits during the summers, put in at least a 180 degree thermostat. That restricts the water flow through the engine and radiator allowing more cool down time of the coolant in the radiator. If the engine does overheat with the thermostat, it will overheat without it too. Been there, done that.
 

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Be sure to use an electric fan on the front side, in addition to the stock fan and shroud, as David recommended. That's what I've done here in Las Vegas with my 280Z to allow me to use the A/C in even the hottest weather. I tried only the stock fan and only an electric fan (as a puller) and it ran too hot both ways when when the temps went over 110.
 

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oldopelguy said:
Actually, if you do get through to Griffin, and send them all your dimensions, they'll probably take a lot of your $, laugh at you after you hang up, and then send you one they already have on the shelf: Part #25135. While this will only fit Mantas and Asconas, Summit lists it as part # GRI-2-25135-X for $221.95.

http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?part=GRI-2-25135-X&N=300674&autoview=sku

If you were going to Carlisle, I'd sell you a set of mounting brackets there, as I plan on taking some for sale, along with some for a similar radiator for GTs and Kadetts. If you're not in a hurry, and want to make your own brackets, there should be an article on the whole project in the Blitz in the June or July issue.

(If you are in a hurry, don't want to make your own brackets, and aren't going to Carlisle, PM or e-mail me and we'll talk details and price.)
I'm confused...is this radiator a drop in fit or do you need some custom brackets that you're talking about bringing to Carlisle? I've been wondering about a cooling solution for my 2.4 and this looks like the way to go.

Can anyone chime in with the typical cost of changing the Opel radiator to a 3 core like Dave mentioned, and whether that will support a 2.4 running AC?

Dave may have already answered this, but I haven't found it.

Todd
 

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Cost

Todd,

The cost, here in the Dallas/Ft. Worth, is about $175. This will get you the increase capacity cor, mounted in the original frame and using the orignial tanks. It is a "drop in" replacement and seems to be very well made.

I should handle the 2.4L with A/C, I'd think. I don't know that it would produce that much more heat energy than the 1.9L. Guess that it has a great deal to do with how much you would push it.
 

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neuropel said:
I'm confused...is this radiator a drop in fit or do you need some custom brackets that you're talking about bringing to Carlisle? I've been wondering about a cooling solution for my 2.4 and this looks like the way to go.
This isn't a radiator custom made for an Opel Manta. It is a universal racing one Griffin already makes that is exactly the right size for a Manta already. It just needs the proper brackets to mount it in the Opel.

If you look at the pics Bob posted of this radiator, you can see the parts he had to weld onto the side tanks and the bottom for it to be a drop in using the stock Opel mounts. I have some brackets I made to replace the rubber mounts on the sides of the rad and a mount for the bottom so that the rad can be dropped in without any aluminum welding. The mounts I made bolt in to the body and channel the tank on the sides and bolt to the bottom to use the Opel mount there. Same effect, but like I said, no welding aluminum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have some brackets I made to replace the rubber mounts on the sides of the rad and a mount for the bottom so that the rad can be dropped in without any aluminum welding. The mounts I made bolt in to the body and channel the tank on the sides and bolt to the bottom to use the Opel mount there. Same effect, but like I said, no welding aluminum.[/QUOTE]
I am very interested in your brackets. I ordered the Griffin radiator through Summit yesterday. Tell me more. Pics?
 

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oldopelguy said:
This isn't a radiator custom made for an Opel Manta. It is a universal racing one Griffin already makes that is exactly the right size for a Manta already. It just needs the proper brackets to mount it in the Opel.

If you look at the pics Bob posted of this radiator, you can see the parts he had to weld onto the side tanks and the bottom for it to be a drop in using the stock Opel mounts. I have some brackets I made to replace the rubber mounts on the sides of the rad and a mount for the bottom so that the rad can be dropped in without any aluminum welding. The mounts I made bolt in to the body and channel the tank on the sides and bolt to the bottom to use the Opel mount there. Same effect, but like I said, no welding aluminum.
Stephen, I'd like to talk to you more about this at Carlisle? Are you bringing extra brackets with you to sell? Definitely interested, especially if the brackets make it a drop in application. Perhaps up to three sets if they will work for GTs too.
Are there any differences between radiators in the various 1.9 cars?
Todd K.
 

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This particular Griffin radiator is too tall to fit a GT. Making the width fit would not be much of an issue, but making the height fit would be!
 

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one possible way to get a bigger radiator to fit in a GT is to set it up with more of an angle, like a Cobra, or Shelby Series 1. Then an electric cooling fan can be used as puller. This assumes that you have relocated your battery to the back of course, and are willing to take on a fair amount of fabrication, oh yeah, a longer lower hose too.

ps, This is a lot of work for a nominal gain. Attempt at your own risk.
 

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not for GT

I'm currently using that particular radiator in my Kadett, but it's front end was already damaged and the sheet metal I had to cut to fit it was no loss. I wouldn't even try to mount it in one that was nice, and I won't be using it in the car when I get the new nose on it.

Instead, for my Kadett and hopefully for GTs too, I'm planning on using one of the aftermarket racing radiators and electric fans designed for a 92-00 Honda Civic. They are 1/2" shorter, at 18" tall, 15" wide, and come with the mounts for an electric fan already brazed on. They are as big as any radiator you'll ever get into the stock location, and sell on e-bay and elsewhere for $120-300 depending on which name is on it and who you buy it from. I have already made some brackets for them that should work in a GT, but I can't tell the front-to-rear fit without actually trying it in a GT, which I hope to talk someone into letting me do at Carlisle. (Not having a GT does make it hard to do stuff for them.)

Once I know they fit, I'm planning an article for the Blitz that'll detail how to make the brackets and everything else, and I plan to make a few to sell to people without the tools to do the fabricating themselves. I'll be bringing a couple GT ones, each a little different just in case, and several Manta ones to Carlisle for just that reason as well.
 

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My radiator installation resembles how it was in the 68-up Corvette, of all things. Slanted very radically. I use a surge tank like in a big truck, plus an overflow jug. During tech inspection Saturday the officials spent four minutes there. Ten on the whole car...
Lots of fabrication, yes, but who's afraid of a little torching and welding? :rolleyes:
Ya can't get what ya need when ya say "can't"
 

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running dam good, but hot

I seemed to have more heat issues since the summer came.

this is my first summer with an electric fan, last summer my stock fan was fine.
I was runnning an electric fan with as a 12in pusher .It was fine this winter and spring with no shroud. now with the temp in 90's ..i am hot at the 3/4 to 7/8 mark on the gauge in the city and spirited driving, i am fine on the highway. I put in a 14 in blade last night and it didnt make a difference. I put in the top piece of my shround and i will try to piece in the rest of the stock opel shroud around the pusher fan as access is compromised.

w/o the shroud , air escapes around the edges, i can see why it helps.

water pump is new, belt is good. radiator is 2 row recored in 93.Fluid is all new,fresh and full.
 

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opeldean said:
I seemed to have more heat issues since the summer came.
water pump is new, belt is good. radiator is 2 row recored in 93.Fluid is all new,fresh and full.
YAH but what thermo you running- never overlook the obvious- been there-done that! :cool:
 
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