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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys so whats good out there these days.

I currently have the original 70s radiator all rusted out and leaking with the engine clutch fan and another electric fan pushing on the outside.

I need a full new setup. I am thinking about ditching the clutch fan and going with one of the new aluminum radiators with 16" electric fan and shroud.

What do you think of these ebay 4 Rows?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ASI-4-ROW-ALUMINUM-RADIATOR-SHROUD-16-FAN-for-1968-1974-Chevy-Nova-El-Camino/292038729955?_trkparms=aid=111001&algo=REC.SEED&ao=1&asc=56922&meid=8a3ba0c2794045d0a3018acc5bdf831c&pid=100675&rk=4&rkt=15&mehot=lo&sd=323709689518&itm=292038729955&_trksid=p2481888.c100675.m4236&_trkparms=pageci:53f4c56d-4a2b-11e9-bab0-74dbd1807c67|parentrq:9554cc5e1690a86019ece932ffedccf1|iid:1
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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I do not like the design of the fan shroud of the ebay unit in your link. It is very shallow and close the radiator. A shroud should funnel air as it flows thru the radiator. The shroud shown on the ebay link looks like it would impede air flow thru the perimeter of the radiator as you were cruising.

It is hard to beat a good 7 blade clutch fan for drawing air thru the radiator at idle and low speeds. I also feel that an electric pusher fan installed in front of the radiator is not needed if you have a good clutch fan.

Below is an image of my radiator set-up. I used my original fan shroud and 7 blade fan (installed new clutch). I had to make some custom brackets to hold everything in place, but it works great for cooling my 400 small block stroker. I never go over 180° coolant temp even when the outside temp is 90+ degrees.


I personally use one of the Summit Racing's universal fit aluminum radiators.
The Summit radiator has 2 rows of larger 1" aluminum tubes that I have read are more efficient at cooling than the smaller tube 4 row radiators. I think it is a great radiator for the price.
I do not use a radiator with a built-in trans fluid cooler... I use a stand alone trans fluid cooler that I mount in front of the radiator.

Below is a link to a comparable size Summit radiator to the one that was posted in your link.
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-380328
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am hearing all the reviews say good things about the radiator I posted earlier. So does anyone have first hand experience with this setup even though the shroud does seem pretty flat to the surface.

Here is another. Would this setup be even better with two fans and vents?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Row-Radiator-Shroud-Fan-Thermostat-for-Chevy-Camaro-1970-1980-Nova-1975-1979/303032301458?_trkparms=aid=111001&algo=REC.SEED&ao=1&asc=56922&meid=19f6d60329ba4deebf6834838b4af24b&pid=100675&rk=3&rkt=15&sd=264032688455&itm=303032301458&_trksid=p2481888.c100675.m4236&_trkparms=pageci:6e2a0fff-4a9a-11e9-bded-74dbd18086d6|parentrq:982ceb2e1690ad4a929be281fffe2011|iid:1
 

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I have the same rad on my 74 sbc with a plastic shroud. mechanical fan with a 16inch pusher in the front. Have the pusher for insurance hooked to a switch so i can turn it on if the car ever goes above 210, never has happened though stays at a steady 160-180 even in hot NY traffic

edit: i have the first rad, the 2nd set up looks real trick though, got a feeling that if that rad and fans cant keep a car cool then there is an underlying problem somewhere
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you guys for your feedback and experience. As I do more research I am hearing that the 4 row radiators aren't always the best to go with since heat builds up in the middle and yes I would need a very powerful fan to pull it through.

So, I looked into the 3-row and found this. I would save $100 and the fan is even more powerful. It pulls 2250 CFM and comes with the whole kit.

Thermostat turns on at 180 and turns off at 165. Sounds cool to me, pun intended.

What do you guys think of this one? Any bad experience, personal experience, and warnings to stay away from?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/3-ROW-RADIATOR-SHROUD-FAN-THERMOSTAT-FOR-1968-79-CHEVY-NOVA-75-87-EL-CAMINO-AUTO/232555301672?fits=Model:Nova&epid=7015634693&hash=item3625604b28:g:e3AAAOSwjfhcgd-Y:sc:US_UPSSurePost!93433!US!-1
 

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Thermostat turns on at 180 and turns off at 165. Sounds cool to me, pun intended.
You don't want a thermo switch that requires the engine being cooled to 165° to shut the fan off. I would get a thermo switch that operates well above the engine thermostat rating, otherwise the fan will run most of the time. While you are driving down the road the natural airflow through the radiator will be sufficient to cool the engine, so you want the shut-off point of the fan to be 10° or so above the normal operating temperature.
My engine runs about 180°, the fan comes on low speed at 195° and high speed at 210°. In normal operation it is off 99% the time, unless I'm stuck in traffic.

One thing you lose by adding rows of cooling tubes is coolant velocity, an important factor in creating turbulence and efficient cooling. Also, the additional rows are less efficient as the air that reaches them is already warmed by the first rows.
 

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How are you liking the 2-Row style? I have heard by the some techs that I should go with at least a 3-row and preferably a 4-row.
Even though it is a two row radiator each row is 1 inch wide. call the number on the website and talk to them. thats what i did and it was the best decision i made for my cooling system
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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I agree with Fordfan. Call the websites and be sure to ask them the size of the cooling tubes used in their radiators.

Most aluminum 2 tube radiators use a 1" tube. 2 x 1" = 2" of tube cooling surface.

A 3 row radiator with only 5/8" tubing will provide less tube cooling surface than the 2 tube radiator with 1" tubes (both radiators having the same size core). 3 x 62.5" (5/8") = 1.875" of tube cooling surface.

The unit shown in the link Fordfan provided seems like a pretty nice piece.
 

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This is the one I'm using: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-384027

I have a stock 3rd gen Fbody electric fan in front of it with a full aluminum shroud. I've read somewhere the fan is 3000+ CFM.

I've only had it for less than a year but it keeps my car cool like I've never seen. With my stock radiator the car would overheat pretty easy.
 

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These unbranded Chinese parts are seldom what they claim they are. CFM ratings are exaggerated and material quality is unknown.
Buy from domestic manufacturers that have a name and reputation to uphold.
 

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When going with aluminum, most popular is the large 2 row design.
4 row isn't as good and 3 row is the worst of the bunch.

Take a look at Cold Case.
2 rows of 1.25" tubes. Industry standard is 1".
Stamped tanks and very friendly on the budget.
PM me for a special deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
When going with aluminum, most popular is the large 2 row design.
4 row isn't as good and 3 row is the worst of the bunch.

Take a look at Cold Case.
2 rows of 1.25" tubes. Industry standard is 1".
Stamped tanks and very friendly on the budget.
PM me for a special deal.
Tell me more. PM sent.
 

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Some have success with these ebay radiators. Some don't. It's really a selling point that you have a 'guarantee' or someone you can go back to if you have problems in the future.
If you are just looking to get by for a year or two and sell the car, this may be fine, but you don't want to always go with the cheap radiator. A blown radiator could damage the entire engine!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Oh and by the way, which is a good thermostat temp for the fan to kick in?

I am seeing several options.

On 185F Off 175F

On 200F Off 185F

On 210F Off 195F

In my ignorance it would seem like the on at 185 would be good to beat the heat in comparison to it already being 200 which would be harder to cool down since its already getting up there pretty hot. You know what I mean? I don't know though.
 
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