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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05 Sep 2006, 01:10 am
Pete from Boston
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Default Plastic vs. aluminum radiator

I need a new radiator in my 90 Accord (155K) -- ridiculous leak and I'd
just rather put something new in than mess around with
patching/welding. I've been reading through a lot of radiator
replacement discussions in here and given the amount of time I've
already spent looking at and playing with it, I'm willing to give doing
it myself a shot.

That said, I'm wondering about the pros/cons of plastic and aluminum
tanks. Having had leaks on two plastic-tanked radiators, I'd rather go
with aluminum if that's going to tend to develop leaks less. Someone
mentioned aluminum being heavier -- is this going to make any
substantial difference other than ease of installation?

The prices on the ones I'm seeing listed on line are all reasonable,
but I don't see a lot of detailed info on one vs. another (which is
info much more in abundance on this group, thankfully).

Any opinions/recommendations?

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05 Sep 2006, 06:39 am
N.E.Ohio Bob
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Plastic vs. aluminum radiator

Pete from Boston wrote:
> I need a new radiator in my 90 Accord (155K) -- ridiculous leak and I'd
> just rather put something new in than mess around with
> patching/welding. I've been reading through a lot of radiator
> replacement discussions in here and given the amount of time I've
> already spent looking at and playing with it, I'm willing to give doing
> it myself a shot.
>
> That said, I'm wondering about the pros/cons of plastic and aluminum
> tanks. Having had leaks on two plastic-tanked radiators, I'd rather go
> with aluminum if that's going to tend to develop leaks less. Someone
> mentioned aluminum being heavier -- is this going to make any
> substantial difference other than ease of installation?
>
> The prices on the ones I'm seeing listed on line are all reasonable,
> but I don't see a lot of detailed info on one vs. another (which is
> info much more in abundance on this group, thankfully).
>
> Any opinions/recommendations?
>


I bought one (plastic) with a lifetime guarantee, and it needed re-done
(by me) a few years later. They gave me a new one without any problems.
KEEP the receipt. bob
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 05 Sep 2006, 07:13 pm
TeGGeR®
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Plastic vs. aluminum radiator

"Pete from Boston" <masspete@my-deja.com> wrote in
news:1157436655.192738.21030@74g2000cwt.googlegrou ps.com:

> I need a new radiator in my 90 Accord (155K) -- ridiculous leak and
> I'd just rather put something new in than mess around with
> patching/welding. I've been reading through a lot of radiator
> replacement discussions in here and given the amount of time I've
> already spent looking at and playing with it, I'm willing to give
> doing it myself a shot.
>
> That said, I'm wondering about the pros/cons of plastic and aluminum
> tanks. Having had leaks on two plastic-tanked radiators, I'd rather go
> with aluminum if that's going to tend to develop leaks less. Someone
> mentioned aluminum being heavier -- is this going to make any
> substantial difference other than ease of installation?
>
> The prices on the ones I'm seeing listed on line are all reasonable,
> but I don't see a lot of detailed info on one vs. another (which is
> info much more in abundance on this group, thankfully).
>
> Any opinions/recommendations?
>




All-aluminum is best. If you can find one these days. They're getting
harder to locate.

An important point to remember is that the rad MUST be free-floating.
When the upper mounts are bolted down, the rad should be LOOSE even when
the engine is hot. It should wiggle very easily. If it is snugly mounted
and not easily movable, excessive stress is placed on the tanks, leading
to a greater probability of fractures.

--
TeGGeR®

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
www.tegger.com/hondafaq/
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05 Sep 2006, 10:00 pm
Art
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Plastic vs. aluminum radiator

Indeed I was surprised how loose radiators are these days. My father
destroyed the front of his 2004 Saturn. After it was fixed I was checking
it over and I couldn't believe how loose the radiator was. I brought the
car back and they said it was right the way it was. I drove over to Saturn
dealer and checked the new ones out..... yep.... they are loose all right.


"TeGGeR®" <tegger@tegger.c0m> wrote in message
news:Xns9835CD9F39D9tegger@207.14.116.130...
> "Pete from Boston" <masspete@my-deja.com> wrote in
> news:1157436655.192738.21030@74g2000cwt.googlegrou ps.com:
>
>> I need a new radiator in my 90 Accord (155K) -- ridiculous leak and
>> I'd just rather put something new in than mess around with
>> patching/welding. I've been reading through a lot of radiator
>> replacement discussions in here and given the amount of time I've
>> already spent looking at and playing with it, I'm willing to give
>> doing it myself a shot.
>>
>> That said, I'm wondering about the pros/cons of plastic and aluminum
>> tanks. Having had leaks on two plastic-tanked radiators, I'd rather go
>> with aluminum if that's going to tend to develop leaks less. Someone
>> mentioned aluminum being heavier -- is this going to make any
>> substantial difference other than ease of installation?
>>
>> The prices on the ones I'm seeing listed on line are all reasonable,
>> but I don't see a lot of detailed info on one vs. another (which is
>> info much more in abundance on this group, thankfully).
>>
>> Any opinions/recommendations?
>>

>
>
>
> All-aluminum is best. If you can find one these days. They're getting
> harder to locate.
>
> An important point to remember is that the rad MUST be free-floating.
> When the upper mounts are bolted down, the rad should be LOOSE even when
> the engine is hot. It should wiggle very easily. If it is snugly mounted
> and not easily movable, excessive stress is placed on the tanks, leading
> to a greater probability of fractures.
>
> --
> TeGGeR®
>
> The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
> www.tegger.com/hondafaq/



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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 05 Sep 2006, 10:06 pm
Elbert
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Plastic vs. aluminum radiator


anytime I can avoid a plastic tank radiator its a good thing


On 4 Sep 2006 23:10:55 -0700, "Pete from Boston"
<masspete@my-deja.com> wrote:

>I need a new radiator in my 90 Accord (155K) -- ridiculous leak and I'd
>just rather put something new in than mess around with
>patching/welding. I've been reading through a lot of radiator
>replacement discussions in here and given the amount of time I've
>already spent looking at and playing with it, I'm willing to give doing
>it myself a shot.
>
>That said, I'm wondering about the pros/cons of plastic and aluminum
>tanks. Having had leaks on two plastic-tanked radiators, I'd rather go
>with aluminum if that's going to tend to develop leaks less. Someone
>mentioned aluminum being heavier -- is this going to make any
>substantial difference other than ease of installation?
>
>The prices on the ones I'm seeing listed on line are all reasonable,
>but I don't see a lot of detailed info on one vs. another (which is
>info much more in abundance on this group, thankfully).
>
>Any opinions/recommendations?

-----------
Elbert
ask@me.com

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 05 Sep 2006, 10:23 pm
jim beam
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Plastic vs. aluminum radiator

Pete from Boston wrote:
> I need a new radiator in my 90 Accord (155K) -- ridiculous leak and I'd
> just rather put something new in than mess around with
> patching/welding. I've been reading through a lot of radiator
> replacement discussions in here and given the amount of time I've
> already spent looking at and playing with it, I'm willing to give doing
> it myself a shot.
>
> That said, I'm wondering about the pros/cons of plastic and aluminum
> tanks. Having had leaks on two plastic-tanked radiators, I'd rather go
> with aluminum if that's going to tend to develop leaks less. Someone
> mentioned aluminum being heavier -- is this going to make any
> substantial difference other than ease of installation?
>
> The prices on the ones I'm seeing listed on line are all reasonable,
> but I don't see a lot of detailed info on one vs. another (which is
> info much more in abundance on this group, thankfully).
>
> Any opinions/recommendations?
>

there's nothing wrong with plastic, provided two conditions are met:

1. as tegger says, it needs to be loosely mounted.
2. there needs to be normal pressure in the system, not excess due to a
leaking head gasket.

regarding 2, a lot of times, radiators are replaced because of
"overheating". a low level head gasket leak can persist for a long
time, with the chemical and pressure stress that places on the system.
if a radiator cracks under those conditions because a prompt and
effective diagnosis of the root cause was not made, i don't think
there's a huge amount to complain about.

fyi, plastic/aluminum are a great combo for internal corrosion
resistance and seal persistence - that's why they're used. just make
sure you don't buy the cheapest one and you should be ok.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 06 Sep 2006, 09:26 am
Earle Horton
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Plastic vs. aluminum radiator

The radiator in my Jeep is rigidly mounted to the front grille, but the
hoses are about two feet long each.

Earle

"Art" <begunaNOSPAMPLEASE@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:IRqLg.3761$v%4.2503@newsread1.news.pas.earthl ink.net...
> Indeed I was surprised how loose radiators are these days. My father
> destroyed the front of his 2004 Saturn. After it was fixed I was checking
> it over and I couldn't believe how loose the radiator was. I brought the
> car back and they said it was right the way it was. I drove over to

Saturn
> dealer and checked the new ones out..... yep.... they are loose all

right.
>
>
> "TeGGeR®" <tegger@tegger.c0m> wrote in message
> news:Xns9835CD9F39D9tegger@207.14.116.130...
> > "Pete from Boston" <masspete@my-deja.com> wrote in
> > news:1157436655.192738.21030@74g2000cwt.googlegrou ps.com:
> >
> >> I need a new radiator in my 90 Accord (155K) -- ridiculous leak and
> >> I'd just rather put something new in than mess around with
> >> patching/welding. I've been reading through a lot of radiator
> >> replacement discussions in here and given the amount of time I've
> >> already spent looking at and playing with it, I'm willing to give
> >> doing it myself a shot.
> >>
> >> That said, I'm wondering about the pros/cons of plastic and aluminum
> >> tanks. Having had leaks on two plastic-tanked radiators, I'd rather go
> >> with aluminum if that's going to tend to develop leaks less. Someone
> >> mentioned aluminum being heavier -- is this going to make any
> >> substantial difference other than ease of installation?
> >>
> >> The prices on the ones I'm seeing listed on line are all reasonable,
> >> but I don't see a lot of detailed info on one vs. another (which is
> >> info much more in abundance on this group, thankfully).
> >>
> >> Any opinions/recommendations?
> >>

> >
> >
> >
> > All-aluminum is best. If you can find one these days. They're getting
> > harder to locate.
> >
> > An important point to remember is that the rad MUST be free-floating.
> > When the upper mounts are bolted down, the rad should be LOOSE even when
> > the engine is hot. It should wiggle very easily. If it is snugly mounted
> > and not easily movable, excessive stress is placed on the tanks, leading
> > to a greater probability of fractures.
> >
> > --
> > TeGGeR®
> >
> > The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
> > www.tegger.com/hondafaq/

>
>



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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 06 Sep 2006, 09:45 am
Jim Yanik
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Plastic vs. aluminum radiator

"Earle Horton" <Earle-NOSPAM-Horton@msn.com> wrote in
news:44fed990$0$24308$a82e2bb9@reader.athenanews.c om:

> The radiator in my Jeep is rigidly mounted to the front grille, but
> the hoses are about two feet long each.
>
> Earle


Radiators expand and contract with temp changes.

and we ain't talking about Jeeps. 8-)



>> >
>> > All-aluminum is best. If you can find one these days. They're
>> > getting harder to locate.
>> >
>> > An important point to remember is that the rad MUST be
>> > free-floating. When the upper mounts are bolted down, the rad
>> > should be LOOSE even when the engine is hot. It should wiggle very
>> > easily. If it is snugly mounted and not easily movable, excessive
>> > stress is placed on the tanks, leading to a greater probability of
>> > fractures.
>> >
>> > --
>> > TeGGeR®
>> >
>> > The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
>> > www.tegger.com/hondafaq/

>>
>>

>
>
>




--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
at
kua.net
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 06 Sep 2006, 11:01 am
Earle Horton
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Plastic vs. aluminum radiator

"Jim Yanik" <jyanik@abuse.gov> wrote in message
news:Xns98366D7765BB5jyanikkuanet@129.250.170.84.. .
> "Earle Horton" <Earle-NOSPAM-Horton@msn.com> wrote in
> news:44fed990$0$24308$a82e2bb9@reader.athenanews.c om:
>
> > The radiator in my Jeep is rigidly mounted to the front grille, but
> > the hoses are about two feet long each.
> >
> > Earle

>
> Radiators expand and contract with temp changes.
>
> and we ain't talking about Jeeps. 8-)
>

Everything in the car expands and contracts with temp changes. You can
either install two foot long radiator hoses, or put up with a floppy
radiator. ;^)

Earle


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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 06 Sep 2006, 02:03 pm
Grumpy AuContraire
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Plastic vs. aluminum radiator



Earle Horton wrote:
>
> "Jim Yanik" <jyanik@abuse.gov> wrote in message
> news:Xns98366D7765BB5jyanikkuanet@129.250.170.84.. .
> > "Earle Horton" <Earle-NOSPAM-Horton@msn.com> wrote in
> > news:44fed990$0$24308$a82e2bb9@reader.athenanews.c om:
> >
> > > The radiator in my Jeep is rigidly mounted to the front grille, but
> > > the hoses are about two feet long each.
> > >
> > > Earle

> >
> > Radiators expand and contract with temp changes.
> >
> > and we ain't talking about Jeeps. 8-)
> >

> Everything in the car expands and contracts with temp changes. You can
> either install two foot long radiator hoses, or put up with a floppy
> radiator. ;^)
>
> Earle




The reason for "floppy" radiator installation is to minimize the effects
of torsional stress. All frames/bodies flex which ain't good for any
high pressure vessel...

JT
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