GENI & II OEM "like" Radiator Replacement Option

Discussion in 'RT/10 and GTS Discussions' started by Ron, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. Ron

    Ron VCA E-Member - Great Lakes

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    **Potential** GENI/II OEM "like" Radiator Replacement Option

    After noticing a slight leak in my 15 year old original radiator, I pulled it and brought it down to Albert at Indianapolis Radiator Works. He expressed some concern about the repairability and while a re-core is always an option ($400), I decided to check with my Viper Parts friends JonB & Chuck to see what my options were for a new OEM radiator. Seems the orginal is no longer available and that my choices were limited to a racing aluminum, a used OEM, or a custom built one off OEM like replacement. Not liking any of those choices (aluminum - not stock appearing, relatively expensive and some forum horror stories about reliability, Used - condition and longevity, Custom built - time & $$$) I continued to hope mine was repairable and thought I'd check Ebay in the meantime just in case. There I found X2Builders.com selling an aftermarket OEM replacement. After a short chat with Scott, I ordered one. It arrived the very next day. After unpacking (a 45 minute job as it was cemented into place with vast quanities of expandable injected foam!) I discovered a very OEM looking brass radiator, made in Mexico, with 3 rows of tubes versus the OEM 2 rows. A pleasant surprise. A/B comparisons showed them to be almost identical with only the drain plug, inlet and outlet tubes angles and tank to frame connections being slightly different, nothing that appears to matter. The studs are all in their proper places and dimensionally it's right on. Seemed to be at least at the OEM quality level. The X2 unit has 2 more lbs. of metal in it, 20.8 vs. 18.8lbs.

    I find that given that OEM is NLA and, while a recore is always an option, the idea of aquiring an OEM type replacement for slightly less than the price of a recore with as a bonus about 20% more cooling capacity, was too much to pass up. Turns out Albert was able to repair my OEM but the X2 is going in with the OEM headed for the attic as backup.

    Update.... I suppose I might have been premature in my glee. As you can see from the last picture, the inlet tube is not exactly pointing in the same direction as the OEM radiator. This is a problem as the hood hinge now contacts the tube and therefore prevents the hose from being installed. Probably not an easy fix. Anyone with ideas beyond removing the tube from the original and soldering it in the new? My end game is to have two viable radiators. To be continued...



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    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
  2. MTGTS

    MTGTS Viper Owner

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    I've looked @ this on Ebay. Might purchase it in the future if they get the inlet neck situation sorted. Looks nice and with 20% more cooling capacity it's almost a no brianer if it turns out to fit and last unlike almost all the other options
     
  3. Camfab

    Camfab Viper Owner

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    I'm no radiator expert, but in the past when I had a contact that built radiators, he explained that additional rows don't really mean extra cooling. The factory two row can be very efficient and brass fins with what appear to have louvers in them are much more efficient. Not sure which pic is what but I thought I'd throw that out there. The radiator shop that repaired your OEM radiator should be able to resolder the neck of the new radiator at the same angle as the OEM unit. Good luck with the new radiator.
     
  4. GTS Dean

    GTS Dean Viper Owner

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    Re: **Potential** GENI/II OEM "like" Radiator Replacement Option

    I agree that it should be adjustable by a competent radiator shop. Whether it makes any difference - I don't kow, but the new tank inlet is an "inny" and the OEM tank inlet flange is an "out-y". The OEM piece also appears to have a higher fins/inch count than the new unit - creating more heat transfer surface area.
     
  5. Ron

    Ron VCA E-Member - Great Lakes

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    Yeh, I agree, it's a job for a professional. I tried "tweaking it" but the force required would certainly cause damage and with my luck I wouldn't notice it until it was reinstalled. Back to see Albert on Monday.

    Dean, I thought it was just the difference in photos, but you are right, the tube spread and tube thickness is larger in the new rad. Maybe the the third row is needed just to equal the OEM?

    I'll report back soon...
     
  6. ohno

    ohno Viper Owner

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    I bought one of those on ebay and ended up returning it because of the upper left inlet. Then I bought one of these bad boys (although a little tab bit more expensive) and it has been perfect http://www.howeracing.com/p-7456-drop-ins.aspx
     
  7. Ron

    Ron VCA E-Member - Great Lakes

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    Ohno,

    Was it a brass or aluminum radiator? Perfect fit?

    Thanks
     
  8. ohno

    ohno Viper Owner

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    Aluminium/Perfect (I had it in, in under 15 min)
     
  9. Chuck 98 RT/10

    Chuck 98 RT/10 VCA Venom Member-Midsouth

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    How many fins per inch?
     
  10. Ron

    Ron VCA E-Member - Great Lakes

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    Chuck,

    I know you're asking about the aluminum unit but for comparision it seems the OEM is slightly more than 6 rows for every 2 inches and 9.5 "fins" depending on what classifies as a fin. The X2 seems to be slightly less than 6 rows of tubes per 2 inches with about 7.5 "fins" per inch. More specfically, the OEM tubes are .260" between the insides and are .090" thick. X2 is .270" and .125' respectively:

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  11. Tom F&L GoR

    Tom F&L GoR Viper Owner

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    Ron, I'm not sure what conclusion I would come to, but it might be interesting to know how much each weighed when full of coolant (or water.) That would determine the volume difference.
     
  12. Ron

    Ron VCA E-Member - Great Lakes

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    Hi Tom,

    It's been a long time! I'll do that and report back. Might take a few days as they're already packed up ready to be dropped off at the shop tomorrow. As soon as I get them back I'll let you know.

    Ron
     
  13. ViperTony

    ViperTony Enthusiast

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    I'm going to go out on limb here and state that it's more about airflow then additional rows.
     
  14. jay01m

    jay01m Viper Owner

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    MTGTS is right. I've had my stock radiator rebuilt with a triple core unit. The best way I can put it is it cools a little more efficiently, not necessarily cooler temps, which would be accomplished by a thermostat. I've found that the engine will still run hot, but cooling it back to normal temps (190-200ish) after getting some air flow over the radiator, is faster than the old 2 core unit.

    Having done a ton of research on this about 2 years ago, and posted on the forum, I don't think much has changed. The Howe unit looks pretty nice based on one member's experience, but if it's a triple pass radiator, I wouldn't recommend it. I recommend sticking with a single pass dual or triple core unit, whether rebuilt or new.

    Just my $.02.

     
  15. GTS Dean

    GTS Dean Viper Owner

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    I think it's really more about heat transfer area and Btu massflow at a given static pressure, whatever the design.
     
  16. Ron

    Ron VCA E-Member - Great Lakes

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    Quick update: S/w Scott at X2 and he fully stands behind the product. I can return it or have fixed locally. My choice is to fix, assuming the inlet is soldered rather than brazed which would cause a more extensive repair. Scott's next production will have corrected tubes and from what I saw during my test installation, that's all it needs. The extra foaming is to ennsure safe arrival as shippers have been a bit rough in handling radiators in the past. Even so, I'd suggest a little bit less foam :)

    Indy Radiator Works inspected the X2 radiator and had some random first glance comments:

    OEM tube width is 5/8" vs. X2's 1/2". In a perfect world, one wide tube is better than any number of smaller tubes as they'd be more surface area exposed to the fins. Structurally aluminum can do that (as it is hardened) but brass typically can't.

    As many mentioned previously more tubes aren't automatically better as at some point there is diminishing returns as row 2 has row 1 heat to contend with, row 3, 2 & 1, etc., in addition to the above mentioned surface area issue.

    Fin count of OEM is about 15 per inch, X2 11 or so. More is better up to airflow obstruction, less is cheaper. In this case, OEM is better.

    Build quality is similar to OEM.

    The X2 unit, once inlet /outlet are adjusted to factory placement, seems to be a solid value in a Viper GEN I / II replacement radiator.

    As a side note, Al recommends reinstalling the repaired OEM and using up it's life rather than installing the X2 as once a radiator has been used and removed, the lead solder (60% or 70% lead depending with the remainder being tin) will corrode in the air and typically quickly fail when ultimately reinstalled. An unused radiator will not.

    Will do the water volume measurement Tom suggested once I get it back and that should be it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
  17. Ron

    Ron VCA E-Member - Great Lakes

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    $40.00 later, the inlet (factory brazed) and outlet (factory soldered) are now in the OEM position.

    Weight plugged but dry: OEM 19.0lbs, X2 21.2lbs. Full of H2O, OEM 27.8lbs., X2 31.6lbs. Electronic bathroom scale with a 0.2lb. resolution so take it for what it's worth.
     
  18. kyleblix

    kyleblix Viper Owner

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    Hi Ron, i'm looking ar ordering one of these X2 units. I'll contct them to make sure they now have the correct tubes. Other than that, have you had any issues with it?
    Thanks.
     
  19. Phun70

    Phun70 Viper Owner

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    Love to hear what's up with the outcome of this and final temps and other observations.
     
  20. Ron

    Ron VCA E-Member - Great Lakes

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    Sorry guys, still running my repaired OEM unit as Al recommended. Unfortunately for me, the OEM unit now has a slight leak on the opposite side from before so it's probably time to make the change and have the OEM unit recored. Not because the core is corroded, but because the solder joints are all suspect now. Anyway, once I take the plunge, I'll report back on temp readings. Durability testing will take some time though.
     
  21. steve911

    steve911 Viper Owner

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    I thought Snake OYl was selling gen 2 radiators and Jon B also?
     
  22. Ron

    Ron VCA E-Member - Great Lakes

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    Could be - at the time I wanted OEM or as close to the OEM look as possible and X2 was the only option I could find. I did check with Jon B & Chuck first. Never thought about checking with Cory.

    Will finally install it in a few weeks.

    Curious - how many of GENI or early GENII rads have leaked to this point. I changed out my coolant to Dexcool early in my GTS's life and while it's 100% corrosion free, I'm curious if the Dexcool impacted the solder durability at all.

    Thanks
     
  23. Steve-Indy

    Steve-Indy VCA Venom Member - Great Lakes

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    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
  24. Ron

    Ron VCA E-Member - Great Lakes

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    Havoline says no as do many other sources, which I believe to be accurate however with mine leaking at several solder joints, I am curious if my experience is better, the same, or worse than similarly aged and mileaged (30K over 15 years) Vipers using conventional coolant.

    A completely unscientific poll of course -

    Now as far as your reading material, I think I'd better brush up on my chemistry before I can get much out of that :)

    Thanks Steve
     
  25. Mad Max

    Mad Max Viper Owner

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    I was getting ready to head out to the autocross event at Tire Rack and this is what I found during my pre trip inspection.

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    It appears there is corrosion at the ends of the tubes and has started leaking. So I'm looking at my options. I believe I would either like to have mine re-cored or purchase a new OEM style.

    Any new updates on the X2?

    Any recommendations on where to go for a re-core?

    I also found this unit as well. Anyone have any experience with this particular unit or company?

    http://www.radiatorexpress.com/product.asp?part=1998+DODGE+VIPER++-+8%2E0+liter+V10+RADIATOR+Name+Brand+Replacement&part_id=218850&aaia_id=1314723

    Brent
    Red 98 GTS
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  26. dave6666

    dave6666 Enthusiast

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    Get the Howe from RSI. I've never been a fan of the brand name, name brand. LOL.
     
  27. Ron

    Ron VCA E-Member - Great Lakes

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    Brent -

    I don't have an update on the X2 because my repaired original radiator is still going strong so the X2 still hasn't been installed. Thought I saw a hint of seapage a while back but dry as a bone now.

    In your picture it looks like your radiator is really digging into the cowling. Isolators crushed?

    Were it me, I'd have no problem going with X2 again as long as it was the new run with correctly positioned necks. Then flush and save your OEM for a recore for the next time.
     
  28. Mad Max

    Mad Max Viper Owner

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    Ron,

    Thanks for the input.
    Can you PM me contact info for the radiator shop that you used? We used to have a good one here years ago however it's no longer around.
     
  29. uvbnbit

    uvbnbit Viper Owner

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    That's kinda what mine looks like. Pulled it out this afternoon (2nd time in a month). First shop said it didn't have a leak. LOL
     
  30. s55c

    s55c Viper Owner

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    for what its worth.... back when dex-cool was the poop to use.... I was working at a GM dealership parts dept.... GM quietly sent out letters to the dealrships to immediately drain dex-cool and replace with the green... seems they knew about its corrosiveness. GM also released a couple of redisigned water hose connectors that were thicker and of a different steel than what was on the vehicles... we sold a ton of them. Not sure if since then the dex has be changed at all but I won't use it and the day after getting my new GM vehicle I drained and replaced with the nissan BLUE coolant. Good stuff at a reasonable price and no problems. my 2cents
     

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