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what's inside that radiator?

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Old 13 Jun 2015, 05:23 pm
Cool Cruiser
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Location: southeastern PA
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Default what's inside that radiator?

I had to replace the radiator on my '01 PT. It had corrosion on the upper seam and was starting to weep coolant. It had 120K miles on it and the cooling system was reasonably maintained. The OEM radiator was a Valeo, made in Mexico.

I ended up taking the old radiator apart in preparation to scrap it and took some pics:

Here's an overall picture. The plastic tank ends are held in place with the little crimped aluminum fingers. There's a rubber gasket between the tank and radiator to keep things sealed.

I was wondering how much force is trying to part the tank end from the radiator, a simple calculation:
1.6" x 20.3" x 16 psi = 520 pounds
Yes, the force on the tank end at operating pressure is 520 pounds.

How much force is on each little aluminum finger? There's 116 little fingers, so:
520 lb / 116 fingers = 4.5 pounds per finger

Here's a close-up of the tubes. I was a little surprised how elongated they are. None of the tubes was plugged, there was just a little bit of debris in a few of the tubes on the inlet side. The inlets on each tube have a slight flare that reduces inlet restriction and helps coolant flow.

Just thought I'd share.
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Old 13 Jun 2015, 05:30 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: darien il
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Default Re: what's inside that radiator?

here's the inside when i cracked mine open at 249k miles (:
anybody try the $54 radiator

FYI - mine still cooled fine, but it was leaking at the crimp
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Old 13 Jun 2015, 06:14 pm
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Default Re: what's inside that radiator?

"KOOL" pictures!
To view larger pictures simply "click " on the picture!

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Old 14 Jun 2015, 06:50 pm
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Cool Re: what's inside that radiator?

interesting pics!

They use the flat wide tubes in radiators because there is much more surface area to dissipate the heat to the fins.

2001 PT Cruiser 5-speed; 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass S; 1990 Chevy 454SS; 1995 Caprice Classic woody
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Old 14 Jun 2015, 10:56 pm
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Talking Re: what's inside that radiator?

Originally Posted by rcktpwrd View Post
interesting pics!

They use the flat wide tubes in radiators because there is much more surface area to dissipate the heat to the fins.
Your radiator job isn't complete until it's "finished"????

2003 PT Cruiser GT Panel Van Conversion as new day driver.

Have now owned 6 PT Cruisers = Me PT Crazy!
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