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radiator?


Pat K
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As you can tell, I am leaning on this forum pretty heavily to share your expertise and save me some money at the same time. i purchased an '84 in April. Radiator had 2 electric fans, the battery had fallen off its stand and busted one so my mech. replaced with just one Syclone electric fan. On 100 degree days, sitting in traffic, this is just not getting the job done. I would like to replace with whatever other Avanti owners have found successful - at a reasonable price. When I showed him the aluminum one from Univeral for $140, he said not a good idea to mix cast iron with aluminum. Some physics that I don't pretend to understand. 4 questions:

1) What was the original radiator used in the 84's off the production line? Chev?

2) Any comment on the Aluminum/cast iron issue?

3) Any suggestions on fans and shrouds?

4) other suggestions?

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If the car is an '84, it's on the Stude frame. That was used through 1985. Did Avanti Motors still use engine driven fans by that point? If so, the fans he has are retrofitted.

Cast iron/aluminum? What parts are in question?

If the radiator has never been serviced, it may require a complete flush if not a new core. Radiators are available from some of the vendors but they're not inexpensive...if that's actually part of the problem.

I have a single aftermarket electric fan installed on my '70 and it does a great job keeping the engine cool. If the single electric fan isn't doing the job, it may not be moving enough air...a fan with a higher cfm rating may be called for. Does the single electric fan run all the time or thermostatically controlled...if so, it may be coming on too late. Electric fans require a shroud to operate properly...does it have its own shroud?

We really need more information.

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It has the Camaro, 305 in it. You are correct about the Stude frame. the fan runs all the time. No shroud. If that is the original rediator, it is 30 years old. If it was replaced sometime along the line, it is at least 15 years old because the car had been sitting for 15 years before I bought it. i know the old saying," if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it" The system I have in there now works fine except on 100 degree days. Even so, I would like to start over.

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I would take the radiator to a shop & have it flushed, remove the plugs on each side of the engine & flush out the crud & install the shroud.

You didn't say if the car is boiling over or does the gauge just show hot. bill

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If the car has been sitting that long, the entire cooling system should be flushed. I would suggest replacing all the hoses and belts while you're at it. Pressure testing the cooling system and radiator cap is a good idea as well. Sitting for so long could have left a lot of sediment in the engine block and radiator.

Electric fans are a good thing but most need a shroud to be the most efficient. If the fan(s) are simply mounted on the core, they only pull cooling air through just where they are. If they're mounted in a shroud, they pull air through the entire radiator core.

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Just gets hot. Heads towards 220. That is when I stop and let it cool down. It vapor locked on me once at 220, so I won't let it go there anymore. The gist of what I am hearing is rather than replace the whole system, just clean up the system I have - and add a shroud.

Sound right?

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My 84 (RQB-4245 - Stude frame, 305HO) came new with electric fans - the original owner here in Houston complained of overheating summer traffic and the car was retrofitted at the selling dealer in the day to a clutch-type fan. I'd have to look in my notes, but I believe that the shroud was replaced as part of this operation, also. At just under 30,000 miles, I've not had any issues with overheating, but not knowing the age of the coolant or hoses I recently flushed the system and replaced the upper and lower hoses at the radiator. Drove the car recently in a 95+ degree day and it barely went above 180 on the gauge. As an aside, I tend to release the hood when driving (a carryover habit from my old Jag XJS, which also has a front hinged hood) as I "feel" that this improves airflow in the engine compartment and thus cooling.

I, too, would be interested in an alternative radiator. In my day job, we have radiators made for the DeLorean, and I've toyed with the idea of asking our current supplier to price them out for me. We buy them in lots of 144 (24 units every 6 months) and retail them for $308.

I imagine there were at least a couple different radiators used over the years on the many different drivetrain iterations of the Avanti - but would love to be wrong about that - can anyone confirm differences between the Avanti II range from 66-85?

James

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Opening the hood to let heat out is not exactly a good idea. While it does vent heat, it does so into the ventilation system for the interior of the car. The heat and engine fumes get sucked through the cowl inlets into the interior...not good for your health. Some post-Studebaker Avantis have holes drilled in the inner fender panels to vent heat out of the engine bay...so running hot was not unknown to Avanti Motors.

If your car isn't already equipped, I would recommend the Saturn air deflector be installed. It's inexpensive and easy to install on any Stude frame Avanti. It will lower engine temps up to 10 degrees or even more at speed, though it really has no value sitting in traffic. It directs more air up to the radiator rather than cause turbulence under the car. Here's a link to it with installation instruction...http://www.studebake...ool/airdam.html. The price today is higher...about $30 or so through a GM dealer. It might be less expensive from on online supplier.

As far as I know, Avantis from '63 through '85 all used the same radiator...at least the replacement radiator is the same if you look at the vendor ads. Whether Avanti Motors ever upgraded the specs of the radiator is an open question. The fan shroud for Avanti II's and Studebaker Avantis are slightly different as the Stude engine and GM engine required slightly different openings for the fan. Sometimes the shrouds will interchange, sometimes not.

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I used a generic 19" X 26" Aluminum radiator in my 83 and have another one just installed in my 74. I always run my engines hot (195 deg, Carnot Knows ) but last year going to the Zone meet it was 95 deg and about as humid and it held 190-195 no problem. It will idle at cruises as well as I've never had it go over 195 deg.

The one in the 74 is from Speedway and I purchased it on special for $89, it's normally $129 IIRC and I have the local sheet metal shop bend up a set of bracket (top and bottom) out of 16 ga. Aluminum and TIG them to the radiator. $80.

This what it looks like before I build the shroud for the electric fan that will go on the radiator

100_1091_zpsaa09392b.jpg

100_1143_zpsf5d281e6.jpg

If originality is not an issue here's an option, Bob

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Now, let me see what it looks like with fan and shroud, please. I will be taking this full set of pictures to my radiator guy. By the way, I live in a rural area. Not only are there no other Avanti's out here, most people have never even seen one before. Makes it kind of fun to drive around. I never lack for conversation in a parking lot.

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Opening the hood to let heat out is not exactly a good idea. While it does vent heat, it does so into the ventilation system for the interior of the car. The heat and engine fumes get sucked through the cowl inlets into the interior...not good for your health. Some post-Studebaker Avantis have holes drilled in the inner fender panels to vent heat out of the engine bay...so running hot was not unknown to Avanti Motors.

Interesting - this is commonly done within the XJS community, so I saw no reason not to do it with the Avanti. I'll keep that in mind for the future.

If your car isn't already equipped, I would recommend the Saturn air deflector be installed. It's inexpensive and easy to install on any Stude frame Avanti. It will lower engine temps up to 10 degrees or even more at speed, though it really has no value sitting in traffic. It directs more air up to the radiator rather than cause turbulence under the car. Here's a link to it with installation instruction...http://www.studebake...ool/airdam.html. The price today is higher...about $30 or so through a GM dealer. It might be less expensive from on online supplier.

Thanks for the part number - I had sproadically looked for another Saturn unit with a different part number with no luck. Using this number from your link, I just ordered one from gmpartsgiant.com for $32 shipped. I'll have a go at it when it arrives next week.

As far as I know, Avantis from '63 through '85 all used the same radiator...at least the replacement radiator is the same if you look at the vendor ads. Whether Avanti Motors ever upgraded the specs of the radiator is an open question. The fan shroud for Avanti II's and Studebaker Avantis are slightly different as the Stude engine and GM engine required slightly different openings for the fan. Sometimes the shrouds will interchange, sometimes not.

With a $130 alternative from Speedway for a 19x26 - http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Speedway-Chevy-Universal-Aluminum-Radiators,3557.html - that's a good enough deal that there's no point (to me) in fooling with it.

James

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  • 8 months later...

I like the look's of the aluminum radiator in 'Avanti83's' car. If I needed to replace an Avanti radiator, I think I'd go this route as aluminum cools very well....and the price is right! I remember that the brass core of an original '63-'85 Avanti radiator interchanges with a Lincoln Mark l. (With different end tanks.) These brass cores are super pricey now. As a 'just in case' extra part, I bought just about the last original Avanti radiator SASCO had several years ago...Never needed to use it....it's still in the original Studebaker packaging!

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Bob, do you have a transmission cooler set up for this?

James

James

The 74 has a T56 6-speed in it but my 83 has a 200R4 with essentially the same radiator. I used an aftermarket cooler on it. It cools just fine in the summer.

IMGP0710-001_zpsd7cd2fec.jpg

Bob

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Bob, do you have a transmission cooler set up for this?

James

James

The 74 has a T56 6-speed in it but my 83 has a 200R4 with essentially the same radiator. I used an aftermarket cooler on it. It cools just fine in the summer.

IMGP0710-001_zpsd7cd2fec.jpg

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In scrolling through your "Photobucket" I can see some other photos of how it is mounted - thanks!

Do you have a similar shroud setup on your '83?

James

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I used the OEM shroud on the 83 with a flex fan. The 74 has a serpentine setup, which I like but adds length that makes the OEM setup unusable.

P1010505.jpg

The 83 has an aluminum headed 355 SBC with a lot of internal mods that it cools in 90 deg Michigan weather.

Bob

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Okay - thanks for that picture - that's what my setup (albeit with the stock 305) will look like!

James

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  • 4 weeks later...

Got the radiator installed over the weekend, and the fan looks like it will interfere with it. My '85 is "weird" in that the previous owner removed the factory electric fan set up and had the dealer replace it with a shroud and fan with a clutch. I'm re-using the shroud, and was thinking I could re-use the fan, too. Were you able to use the original fan in the 83 as shown above?

Thanks!

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